The experts believe that composting is a thousand years old practice, but no one can actually pinpoint who and when used the first composter. As for the modern composting process, it was begun in the ’70s when so-called compost rollers were very popular.
For the last few decades, gardeners have been using practical and reliable compost tumblers. Let’s become one of them. Buy the best composter for your needs and create your own rich compost to increase the quality of your soil and get healthier food.
best compost bin comparison chart 2019
FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter
Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
2 x 18.5 gallons
EJWOX Garden Compost Bin Tumbler
Exaco Mr.Spin Compost Tumbler
FCMP Outdoor HF-DBC4000 Dual Body HOTFROG Tumbling Composter
Spin Bin Composter
When you decide to protect the environment you live in and make some compost, the first thing you need to think about is mixing and aeration the organic materials you use. In general, there are a few options available.
For example, using the pitchfork is an old, reliable method people have been practicing for centuries. The obvious disadvantage of this method is the fact that you need a lot of time and hard work to get the desired results.
I assume that your goal is to get the ultimate results with as little effort as possible. Nowadays, you can find various excellent composters which will make the entire process quicker and easier.
Which Type Of Composter is right for you?
There is a bunch of various types of composters you can use in your yard. Let's consider your options:
1. Indoor Bin
This is a convenient, lovely, and practical unit which you can keep in your kitchen. If you are one of those people who don't have enough big yard you can pick out this type of composter made of durable plastic or stainless steel.
2. Outdoor Bin
It is a simple compost bin made of stainless steel, wood, or high-quality and durable plastic. You can use any barrel which will serve the purpose. On the other hand, you can buy a hardwearing container with or without a lid.
These barrel-shaped units are quite practical composters which you can roll or crank by yourself. That way, you will get well-mixed materials you can use to fertilize your garden.
The huge advantage of this type of composters is that they have holes for ventilation which make its content fully aerated. Also, many manufacturers put some ridges or blades inside the tumbler. These tools will help with breaking the green material into smaller pieces. Additionally, all your organic waste will turn into compost quicker.
Some of these units come with two separate chambers. You can use one of them for freshly added materials and the other for compost that is almost ready to use.
Depending on your needs, you can pick out one of two models available on the market:
a). Hand rolled tumblers
It is a basic, barrel-shaped type of compost tumbler which you need to roll by hand on one of two possible ways - by using molded handles or by grabbing the unit's sides.
Since they are positioned low ground, you will have problems with using them, especially if you have an issue with your back or neck.
b). Ball-shaped tumblers
Their ball shape can be really nice, and you can keep them in your garden as a useful decoration. The usual problems with this design are difficulties with rotating the unit when it is overloaded.
What You Need to Pay Attention to Before Purchasing a Composter
When you are looking for the best composter you want to buy, one of the first things you should think about is an adequate location to place it and possible problems related to your new unit.
I can give you a few reasons why composting can be tricky and what problems you can expect when you decide to start making your own compost:
When you add too much green matter into your composter, including fresh kitchen waste and grass, you can expect that your compost will start smelling bad. The reason is the higher level of produced nitrogen.
To avoid confrontation with your neighbors, try to include dried straw and leaves in the content. Also, chopping the added material and regular turning will decrease the fragrance of your compost. Keep in mind that many tumblers still have no right solution to the problem with unpleasant smelling.
2. Too much waste
If you are a member of one of those families who produce a lot of waste which you want to turn into compost, you need to buy the unit of a suitable size.
3. Rodents and other pests
If you live in a region where you have problems with rodents and other wildlife, you need to take care of fortifying your outdoor compost pile to minimize the opportunities for small animals to turn your compost into a food source. I am pretty sure that you don’t need rats in your yard.
One of the best possible solutions is to turn the pile regularly. Also, if you move the composter every season, you will prevent rodents from creating a permanent habitat around your house.
4. Angry neighborhood
Well, you can count on the unhappy neighbors if your compost is near their windows. No one likes seeing a pile of waste while having a barbecue.
The solution can be some nice designed tumbler. You will get excellent compost, and people around you will be satisfied with the view. Well done.
The Best Composter on the Market of 2019
1. FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter (Yimby Tumbling Composter) (My Top Recommended)
Black and elegant, FCMP outdoor IM4000 tumbling composter has a capacity of 37 gallons (140 l). To get healthy, organic waste in this unit, you just need to turn it five to six times every two to three days during the week.
This well-designed, lovely unit features an octagon-looking shape. Its eight smooth, plastic side panels and elegant black color make this composter an ultimate model on the market.
This environment-friendly unit with two chambers, the large openings, removable door, adjustable air vents, and ergonomic handholds is made of a recycled plastic and steel frame. All these characteristics make it easy to add waste and remove compost after two to four weeks if you keep it moist. Even beginners can easily use this composter without too much effort.
Even though you will find that this model is difficult to assemble, don’t be discouraged. It is not too complicated for further use. Additional advantages are that it is affordable and doesn’t require a lot of extra space in your garden.
It is enough to pick out a sunny place in your yard to place it there, and you will minimize the period of maturation of your compost. Also, it can be helpful to add a compost starter at the bottom of your device before adding kitchen waste.
Depending on the amount of waste you produce in your kitchen, you will probably need about a month to fill one chamber up to the top. Then leave it there to mature while adding waste in the other one. Yes, it is that simple.
What I Like
- It is efficiently designed and firmly built unit
- Since it comes with clear instructions, it is a great model for novices
- The size of this device is well-adapted
- You can quickly turn it, even if it is entirely full
What I Don’t Like
- You will probably need someone to help you with assembly
- Fast turnaround for the compost directly depends on the weather
- If the unit is not full enough, there is a possibility to see it moving around during operation
- This is not a unit of a high capacity
2. Envirocycle Composter
It seems that everyone agrees in one thing – Envirocycle is the most beautiful composter ever produced in the United States. This durable, simply designed rust-free unit contains composting tumbler bin and compost tea maker and doesn’t require any assembly. Also, it is not too big and doesn’t require a lot of space.
The larger, 35-gallon model is pretty expensive, but it is worth that price. Since it looks very sophisticated and elegant, you can find a convenient place for this unit and use it as a fancy piece in your garden.
I like that this composter is weather-resistant and safe. It is made from quality, rust-free, food-safe, and antioxidant and UV protected plastic, without any harmful chemicals which could get into compost. Plus, there are air vents for compost aeration and protection against pests as well as other animals that might try to enter inside.
On average, you should wait for a month or two to get the first batch of compost. Compost tea maker is a significant part of the device which is used for collecting liquids which are squeezed out of the composting material. You can use it later as fertilizer. Keep in mind that you need to turn the drum two or three times a week. In general, this easy to use unit is a perfect choice even for a novice.
What I Like
- This lovely unit is solid, durable, easy to set up, and made of rust-free, antioxidant and UV protected material
- There is no need to assemble this device
- You can get good-quality, liquid compost along with composting tea in approximately one to two months
- You will get a device with a large tank capacity and vents for excellent aeration of compost
- Five years of limited warranty
What I Don’t Like
- Compared to other similar units available on the market, this composter is quite expensive
- When it is full of heavy items, it can be challenging to roll the chamber
- The device has no stand, handle, and leverage
- It can be tricky to get out all the tea from the unit
3. Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler
With descent composting capacity of 2 x 18.5 gallons (2 x 70 l), Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler is an ideal model. The entirely separate dual chambers will allow you to get compost continuously. One chamber is for composting, and the other is for adding new waste. It is an excellent solution indeed.
The considerable advantage of this unit is that you don’t have to work hard and mix compost by your hands. All you need to do is to open its removable door and put your waste in the chamber. Don’t forget to turn the handle five to seven times every few days. The result will be healthier plants in your garden and more abundant harvests.
This all-season, heavy-duty composter has a sturdy steel frame and two removable doors. That means you can completely remove them, which can be priceless when you need to load and unload waste material from your composter.
The ventilation system is top-notch and allows excellent aeration of your compost which will make it nutritious and healthy. You can expect the first batch of compost in about a month thanks to the internal mixing bars which speed up the process of decomposition.
One more thing! If you buy this model, you will get a pair of multi-purpose Scotts gardening gloves as a free bonus gift.
What I Like
- This composter is made of sturdy, long-lasting, BPA free, and UV-protected materials
- To complete the assembly of this composter, you will need only half an hour
- You can quickly fill this unit or take out the content
- It has two individual bin chambers with internal mixing bars for accelerating the process of decomposition
- The doors’ lids are fully removable
What I Don’t Like
- It is expensive
- The doors can get gritty over time, and you may have problems to open them effortlessly
- Some parts of this unit are made of cheap materials
- You need to check all the parts regularly because they may loosen over time
4. EJWOX Garden Compost Bin Tumbler
With two rotating composting chambers and 43-gallon (163 l) capacity, EJWOX garden compost bin tumbler can be a perfect choice for your garden. Since it is a dual model, you can continuously use it while alternately charging and discharging the chambers.
This modern, urban, and compact composter made of plastic with a steel frame is highly efficient in the process of decomposing. Two chambers with the sliding doors can hold a lot of kitchen waste and make this model convenient for use.
The essential thing is that, with this unit, you don’t need to worry about assembling. With the simple enclosed instructions, you may do the whole job by yourself. Since this composter is well-designed and all the parts fit perfectly, you won’t need a lot of effort and time to enable it to work.
Also, it is a stable, strong, two-legged device which will stand firmly while spinning the content. Thanks to its sturdy steel frame, this composter can withstand even 50-60 mph (80-96.5 km/h) winds.
Its capacity is probably enough for a family of three to four members. Just put eggshells, banana or orange peel, coffee grinds, leaves, and so on into your unit, and you will get healthy compost in approximately a month.
What I Like
- You won’t need to spend a lot of time and efforts to assemble this unit
- The price of this composter is affordable
- Thanks to the new sliding doors design, you can remove compost easier than ever
- This unit is sturdy and made of steel and recycled plastic
- It can probably withstand even the strongest winds
What I Don’t Like
- Door openings could be bigger
- The quality of this unit is not top-rated
5. Exaco Mr.Spin Compost Tumbler
Elegant, eco-friendly, green and black Exaco Mr.Spin compost tumbler has two chambers positioned on the two-leg stand. Those two sections will keep old and fresh, organic waste entirely separated, which will make a process of composting much healthier.
The capacity of 43 gallons (160 l) is quite enough if you have a small garden and prefer not to mix the organic waste in different stages of decomposition. Since its capacity is approximately 10% bigger than competitors, it seems that you will get the best value at an affordable price.
The quick assembly is a great advantage of this model. It comes with good instructions and parts which fit together without complications. This device doesn’t have any problems with rotation regardless of whether the chambers are empty, wholly or partially filled.
The whole design is elegant and reliable, and the good-quality, lightweight, 100% recycled plastic is durable and sturdy. High temperatures, heavy rain, or frosts can’t damage this practically indestructible material from which this device is made. Plus, it will protect your compost from rodents and other pests.
What I Like
- The almost ideal size is convenient for recycling a considerable amount of kitchen and garden waste
- The process of decomposing is fast
- This eco-friendly unit keeps your compost protected from pests and rodents
- The model features adjustable air vents to allow better aeration of the content
What I Don’t Like
- It is quite difficult to fix the separator between chambers which results in the mixing of content
- Assembling this unit is not too hard, but can be tricky due to more than fifty movable parts and screws in the package
- The doors are too small and impractical for use
- Over time, you can spot leaking the vents
6. FCMP Outdoor HF-DBC4000 Dual Body HOTFROG Tumbling Composter
This lovely, green and black dual chamber compost tumbler with attractive design can hold approximately 37 gallons (140 l) of compost. This device is actually a hybrid of two best tumbling models this manufacturer provides. The benefit of FCMP outdoor HF-DBC4000 dual body HOTFROG tumbling composter’s wheel-like design is that it makes rotating the device much more comfortable.
It is made of rust-free, UV resistant, and BPA-free plastic which makes this unit safe to use without compromising its performances. The top-notch design of this model includes durable construction, efficient content mixing, and easy using even for beginners.
The galvanized steel frame of this unit is resistant to corrosion and won’t change over time. Plus, its deep fins on the body are practical and provide excellent ergonomic handholds.
Two separated, excellently aerated chambers allow maturing the compost in one part while adding fresh waste in the other part. If you continuously swap sides, you will get a constant source of healthy, rich, natural compost.
The only effort it requires is to turn its body five to six times every two to three days a week. If ingredients are well-balanced and weather sunny, you will get matured compost after just two to three weeks.
What I Like
- You will get an attractively designed model with dual chambers
- It is made of rust-free and UV resistant, and BPA-free materials
- You can quickly assemble this composter by yourself
- Except for durable construction, the advantages of this unit are excellent aeration and sizeable, removable doors
- With this composter, you won’t need to dig and mix the content manually
What I Don’t Like
- This unit has quite small chambers
- It can start leaking, and you can face the putrid smell of decomposing compost in the middle of your garden
- Paint coatings can scrape off over time
- To get this machine working correctly, you need to add a large quantity of water in it
7. Spin Bin Composter
Black, barrel-style Spin Bin Composter has a capacity of 60 gallons (227 l). Do you know that the manufacturer offers a replacement of the unit or full refund if you notice any spot in this model? They are convinced that their product is well-done, strong, and durable, and you can be sure that you will get the best composter at an affordable price.
The unique design saves space and provides a large capacity at the same time. It is an ideal choice for you if you don’t have enough space in your yard. The dark color of 100% recycled plastic this model is made of will absorb sunlight. That will help to heat the collected content and to increase the speed of the process of composting.
This compost tumbler includes a dual center bar which improves mixing the content. With twenty vents, four compost thermometer ports, and double mixer bar, this unit is an ultimate maker of nutritious, healthy, and organic compost. Plus, the process of composting in this device is efficient and fast.
The device features sturdy, coated steel legs thick one inch (2.5 cm). You can assembly and decompose these legs as needed and quickly move your composter throughout your yard.
What I Like
- Filling and discharging the content are facilitated thanks to convenient wide openings
- Ribbed, rugged interior of this composter and a dual-mixing center bar allow holding a lot of material and its better mixing
- The aeration of the content is excellent due to the position of its twenty vents
- This unit will produce excellent quality compost fast
- Two years guarantee
What I Don’t Like
- Although it comes with a manual, you will probably need some extra help and time to assemble this unit
- If you don’t close a lid properly, you will find the spilled out content
- Due to issues with a base, the device can become unstable during rotation
Other Things You Should Consider
To get the best composter for your needs, you should consider some crucial features before you buy one. Let’s see:
Resistance to extreme temperatures
Since you will probably place your new composter in the garden, you should pick out the unit made of UV and low temperatures resistant plastic.
Having a well-looking indoor composter is an ultimate need if you decide to have one in your kitchen. However, you should consider the desirable appearance of outdoor composter too, especially if you live in an urban area. Like the device in your kitchen has to fit into the interior, it is essential to keep in mind that ugly composter shouldn't disrupt the look your well-maintained garden.
You need to accurately determine the capacity of the unit that suits your needs. Before going shopping, you should think about the amount of food, grass, leaves, or straw you will approximately throw out during a particular period.
I know that the large composter looks impressive and promising, but keep in mind that the content can break down during maturation if the unit is too big and with poor aeration. For example, if you pick out a too high device, you will probably have some trouble to dig out the best stuff from the bottom. Consider sliding or side opening doors as practical solutions.
My advice is to choose weather-resistant, rust-free, food-safe composter made of quality, antioxidant and UV protected plastic. You certainly don't want to stick with a unit with harmful chemicals which could get into your compost.
Ease of use
You need a model which you can rotate in an easy way even though it is full of a compost pile. Maybe you should consider a unit with a handle and cogs, especially if you want to avoid excessive strain. One more thing! Some of the composters you can find are pretty difficult to assemble. If you are not skilled with tools, you should look for easy folding models with good instructions.
Think about mixing and aeration
Ridges and bars inside your composter will help you with quicker breaking up the materials. Also, don't forget to check if your new device has enough vents for aerating your compost, making the process of decomposition more evenly.
Get rid of the smell
If you decide to buy a basic model, you will need a charcoal filter and its natural absorbent properties. Charcoal will quickly draw out any bad smells into the filter, and it is a perfect solution for an indoor model. An airtight, sealable lid is another reliable solution.
Collecting compost tea
Some models have an excellent ability to collect compost tea. After diluting it with water, you can use compost tea as an effective fertilizer.
If you live in an area where some pests such as mice, rats, raccoon, or foxes make a lot of problems, you need an above the ground located model of composter with a door that can't be easily opened. You don't need some nests with pests’ babies inside of your unit.
Composting at your home has many benefits, including eco-friendly behaving and enriching your garden's ground. Tumbling composters are definitely desirable options since they are efficient, prevent contact with pests, and provide extraction of compost tea.
I have listed seven best composters for you, but my top pick is FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter (Yimby Tumbling Composter). This eco-friendly unit is made of a recycled plastic and steel frame.
It has two chambers with large openings and removable doors which allow easy insertion of waste and extraction of mature compost. As a firmly built and an efficiently designed device, this composter is an excellent choice for anyone, including beginners.
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.