Whether you live in the city, the suburbs or the country, composting your waste and recycling it into fertilizer is a positive action on many levels. You can cut down on the amount of household waste you throw out, use the compost to help your garden grow and even save money on waste disposal.
There are composting solutions suitable for just about any situation, so here we take a look at the options to help you choose the best composter for your home.
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Quick Glance: Best Composter on the Market
If you are looking to start composting for the first time or are thinking about replacing or upgrading an existing composter, you might be wondering how to choose the right option.
Here, we look at the most important points to note when choosing the best composter for your needs.
What’s Type of Composter is right for you?
Probably the most important decision when choosing a composting system is deciding which type you want – and there are basically three to choose from.
a). Stationary composters
Stationary composters are probably the most traditional. As the name suggests, you set them up in your yard (they are almost always used outdoors) and then are not supposed to be moved again.
With this type, you add scraps at the top, turn the pile from time to time and harvest the compost from the bottom.
The advantages are that these composters hold more material, are simple to use and provide a steady source of compost as you need it. However, they are usually slower than tumbling composters.
b). Tumbling Composter
Tumbling composters are designed to make turning the compost easier – all you do is turn a handle to rotate the drum. There’s no need to do it manually with a shovel or pitchfork.
Tumblers can work much faster than other types of composter, giving you compost in only a matter of weeks under optimum conditions. However, they are smaller than stationary compost bins and you have to compost the whole batch before it can be used.
c). Worm Composter
The third kind is composters containing live worms.
They are quick and efficient, and many are suitable for indoor use, but certain items, like citrus, garlic or meat products, are unsuitable for worm composters.
- What size do you need? – The capacity of your composter is another vital consideration. Think about how much household waste you need to recycle each week. If you choose one that is too big, you won’t have enough waste to make it function, but if you have one that is too small, you will end up throwing scraps in the trash instead.
- Pest proof – Not all composters do a good job of keeping out pests like rats or raccoons. If you live in an area where this is an issue, make sure you choose a composter that won’t attract pests to your yard.
- Durability – Look at what the composter is made of. How long will it last? Heavy-duty plastics and corrosion-resistant metals will last much longer than cheap, flimsy materials.
The Best Composter on the Market of 2020
1. FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter (Yimby Tumbling Composter) (Our Top Pick)
This 37-gallon tumbling composter is an ideal model for beginners who want to try their hand at composting but who might not have the space, time or patience to tend to a traditional pile in their yard.
It requires only minimal care and attention to achieve great results. All you need to do is remember to turn it five or six times every two or three days and it will quickly begin producing potent fertilizer for your garden.
With most tumbling composters, you can expect compost within six to eight weeks – but the manufacturers of this composter claim you can begin to harvest compost in as little as two weeks under optimum conditions.
One particularly useful feature that makes this composter extra-practical is that it is divided into two composting chambers. This allows you to compost two batches simultaneously, giving you a steady flow of fertilizer whenever you need it.
We also like the strong construction – it is made of heavy-duty BPA-free plastic with a corrosion resistant steel frame.
However, on the downside, it is a little complicated to put together. Even for people who are quite handy, it may still take a while – but for those who are less used to this kind of job, it might be better to ask for help.
Also, while 37 gallons is a generous volume for small scale production, those who need to make larger quantities of compost might find it too limited.
Overall, there is a lot to like about this composter. It’s a great space-saver for smaller yards and it is a good option for novices and experienced composters alike. A highly recommended product.
What We Like
- Dual bins – allows you to produce a steady supply of compost
- Tumbler design – eliminates the need to turn manually
- Good aeration – allows your compost to breathe
- Easy to use – a good choice for composting beginners
- Built to last – made of heavy-duty plastic with a corrosion-resistant steel frame
What We Don’t Like
- Takes time to assemble – some people might find it a challenge
- Limited capacity – although this depends on your needs
2. Envirocycle The Most Beautiful Composter in The World
This composter is marketed as “the most beautiful composter in the world”, and we have to admit, it’s quite a looker. Available in a reserved black or a striking “hot pink”, this is a unit that will enhance rather than detract from the appearance of your yard.
However, it’s not all about looks – this is a unit that is also designed to do a great job.
It is easy to operate – you simply add your household waste and kitchen scraps and make sure you keep turning it every couple of days, and within a few weeks, you will be able to start harvesting valuable fertilizer for your yard.
It is extremely well-made, incorporating strong BPA-free plastic and rust-resistant metal to ensure it will see many years of service. It is also a very compact unit, making it ideal for smaller yards or even larger balconies – although 35 gallons might be too small for some.
The liquid compost tea that runs out is collected at the bottom and then be harvested by using the four drain plugs. However, harvesting can be a little awkward since you need to remove the drum and tip the base to siphon off all the liquid.
The only other major downside is the price. This composter is one of the more expensive options, although you have to expect to pay more for a premium product – and one that is made in the USA at that.
Overall, this is a product that would appeal to someone who cares about aesthetics but who also wants a premium product that does the job it’s made for. If you can afford the relatively steep price tag, this is a composter that won’t disappoint.
What We Like
- Great-looking – minimalist design and available in two color options
- Compact unit – won’t take up much space in your yard
- Collects compost tea – and includes four drainage plugs for harvesting it
- No assembly required – arrives ready to go out of the box
- Made of solid materials – built to last many years
What We Don’t Like
- Higher price point – one of the more expensive composter options
- A little awkward to drain the tea – need to remove the barrel to harvest it
3. Redmon Green Culture 65-Gallon Compost Bin (Best for the money)
This is a large 65-gallon stationary compost bin that is designed to provide a simple and efficient way for you to compost your household waste and kitchen scraps.
It consists of a large bin with a lid on top and plenty of ventilation holes down the sides to allow your compost to breathe. At the bottom, it features four openings to allow you to harvest your compost from all sides.
The holes at the bottom are also useful when turning your compost – you simply shovel the compost out at the bottom and put it back in at the top to recycle it until it is ready.
We appreciate the simplicity of the design and the overall concept. This composter keeps things as uncomplicated as possible. We also like the rugged design and high-quality materials – it is made of high-impact plastic and should last for many years.
To throw in a couple of negatives, we don’t like the way there is no real way to anchor the bin to the ground – it simply stays in place due to its own weight and the weight of the compost inside. The lid also doesn’t attach securely and can be blown off by even moderate wind.
Another issue is that since the bottom is open, it is quite easy for pests to access your compost – but at the same time, this makes it easy for beneficial worms to get in too.
However, for a composter at this budget-friendly price point, these are only minor gripes, and this is still a highly effective product. If you are looking for an affordable stationary composter with plenty of capacity, this is an option that’s worth checking out.
What We Like
- Rugged design – built of strong materials
- Large capacity – can hold up to 65 gallons of compost
- Well ventilated – plenty of aeration to allow your compost to breathe
- 4-door access – allows you to take compost from all sides
- Low price tag – an excellent budget option
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t anchor to the floor – just sits in place unattached
- Lid doesn’t attach well – can blow off easily in even moderate wind
4. Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
This tumbler-style composter from Miracle-Gro is a dual chamber model that is designed for smaller-scale composting operations. It would be the ideal size for a household of around two or three people to use to recycle their kitchen scraps and other household waste.
The two chambers allow you to make up two batches of compost at the same time – you fill up the first chamber and leave it to start composting while you work on filling up the second chamber. This will give you a constant supply of fertilizer for your flowers and vegetables.
It is also an extremely effective way of making compost. Unlike traditional composting methods, this tumbler can produce compost within only four to six weeks – or even less in warmer conditions.
The materials it is constructed from are of high quality and are obviously designed to last. There are few parts that look like they will fail unless the composter is subjected to excessive rough treatment, making this a unit you can look forward to using for many years.
It features pest-free fastenings that are designed to keep out rodents and other pests, and it comes with access to an online instruction manual that explains how to use it.
That said, assembly may prove a little tricky for some, and if you are not confident with jobs like this, you might be better off asking someone to help you.
The one significant disadvantage to this unit is that the hole for removing compost is too small for a regular shovel, making it awkward to harvest. You can either empty it onto the floor and shovel it up or you can use something smaller, neither of which are especially practical.
However, overall, we like the design and functionality of this composter. If you are looking for something that won’t take up too much space and will help you compost smaller quantities of waste, this is another composter that could be worth investigating.
What We Like
- Dual chamber design – allows you to add material to one while the other composts
- Quick way to produce compost – can be ready in 4-6 weeks or less
- Built of strong materials – high-quality plastics will last for a long time
- Pest-resistant fastenings – designed to keep rodents and other pests out
- Bonus gloves – comes with a pair of gardening gloves as a free gift
What We Don’t Like
- Difficult to harvest – hole is too small for a regular shovel
- Tricky to assemble – some people might find it difficult to set up
5. Jora Composter Tumbler JK270
If you are looking for a top-end tumbling composter with increased capacity that allows you to produce larger quantities of compost, this unit from Jora should be of interest.
It features dual insulated chambers that can hold up to 70 gallons of material. As with other models, the dual chambers allow you to work on composting two batches at the same time – but the fact that they are insulated means you can do it year-round, something that is not commonly seen on other composters.
This composter is made of high-quality materials, including galvanized sheet metal that is designed to resist rust. It is also wall-mountable and includes the necessary fittings, giving you more flexibility over how you install it.
Another big plus is the solid fastenings that ensure no unwelcome animals can gain access to your compost, ensuring everything inside is well protected and progressing the way you want it to.
Of course, the most obvious downside to this product is the premium price tag. This is one of the most expensive home composters available, putting it out of reach for those looking for an option that is kinder on their wallet.
It is also quite challenging to construct, and unless you are particularly adept at putting things like this together, you will need to set aside at least a couple of hours and preferably have someone else to lend a hand.
All in all, a good investment if you can afford it and a tumbling composter that should give you good service and large quantities of compost for a good many years.
What We Like
- Insulated composter – can be used year-round
- Dual chambers – allows you to work on two batches simultaneously
- Large capacity – can hold up to 70 gallons of compost
- Pest proof – secure fastenings keep unwanted visitors out
- High-quality components – galvanized sheet metal designed to resist rust
What We Don’t Like
- Premium price – far more expensive than most other options
- Some might find it a challenge to assemble – not as user-friendly as some
6. Algreen Products Soil Saver Classic Compost bin
This classic-style composting bin from algreen has a lot going for it. First, it has a very large capacity, one of the largest of all the composters in this review. That means if you have significant volumes of household waste to throw in, this could be a good pick.
It requires minimum maintenance to keep the composting process moving along – although you will need to turn the compost at the top from time to time.
By the time the waste reaches the bottom, it will already have turned into compost, meaning you can simply harvest it from the bottom as you need it. This is unlike tumbler systems where you need to compost the entire contents of the drum before you can use it.
To harvest, you just shovel it out at the bottom from the large opening. The opening at the top is similarly large, making both harvesting and adding more scraps quick and easy.
We are also impressed with how quickly this composter works. Under optimum conditions, it can produce usable compost in only six to eight weeks – a traditional compost pile can take anything up to a year to produce results.
Finally, something else we really like is the 20-year warranty – this is a product that is strongly backed by the company that makes it.
One negative is that it is not especially pest proof, so if you live in an area that is prone to rats, raccoons or similar, you may find this composter attracts them to your yard.
Also, the instructions that come with it are not very well written and could be clearer.
To summarize, this is a solid option if you want a simple but effective way of producing large quantities of compost much faster than on a traditional open pile. It sells for a very reasonable price and is a highly recommended pick.
What We Like
- Large capacity – holds up to 94 gallons of material
- Bottom access – allows you to remove small amounts of compost as needed
- 20-year warranty – designed to last and backed up by the company
- Large openings – facilitates the addition of material and the harvesting of compost
- Easy to use – requires little maintenance or attention for great results
What We Don’t Like
- Not animal proof – may attract rats, raccoons, squirrels or other pests
- Instructions a little unclear – could have been better written
7. Compost Bin by GEOBIN
For the ultimate in simplicity at the lowest possible price, this composter from Geobin is hard to beat. You simply choose the size you need, clip it together and start filling it up with whatever you have to hand.
Its size is one of its strong points – with a maximum capacity of 216 gallons, it can hold more than twice the volume of any other composter in this review.
Once set up, it’s easy to use. All you need to do is keep adding new material to the top and then turn it from time to time. It’s essentially quite similar to keeping a traditional compost pile, but this is a neater, more elegant solution.
It’s a very inexpensive option – you could hardly save much more money if you created your own DIY version – and it is made of tough and resilient plastic, so it will last for a good few years.
One of the few negatives is that it doesn’t come with any stakes or anything to hold it in place until it begins to fill up. Until it gets about half full, it is prone to blowing over or away in strong or even moderate wind.
The only other issue is that this composter will need a certain amount of material to be effective. If you only have small amounts of scraps to feed your composter, a smaller option might be better.
However, if you want something for recycling large quantities of organic waste, this could be a wise pick.
What We Like
- Huge capacity – holds up to 216 gallons of material
- Inexpensive option – hardly costs more than a DIY compost bin
- Easy to assemble – won’t take long for a single person to put together
- Simple to use – this reduces composting to its most basic level
- Tough material – made of strong plastic and built to last
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t come with stakes – needs something to hold it in place until half full
- Requires a lot of material to be effective – won’t work with just occasional scraps
Good for the environment, great for your garden
By recycling household waste into compost, you are helping to protect the environment while giving your plants and vegetables a huge boost. If you are interested in composting but don’t know which model to choose, any of the options we’ve included in this review would be a great place to start.