17 Best Garden Compost Bins: The Ultimate List

compost bin, composter, compost tumbler,garden compost bin, outdoor composter, outdoor compost bin

Composters are a great addition to gardens of all sizes. They keep stinky produce scraps out of your kitchen trash, and provide a great addition for your garden soil whether you have flowers, vegetables, or even just window boxes. Finding the best compost bin is really about finding out which one works with your home, your lifestyle and your budget. Someone who lives in the city is going to choose a different compost bin than someone who lives out in the suburbs or the country with a big yard.

In this article I will go over the best composters available in 2018. This extensive list includes composters of every style, including tumblers, bins, portable and uniquely designed compost systems that can be used even if you do not have a yard. The list is organized roughly by type of composter, with my personal pick for the best overall model in the #1 spot.

envirocycle composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Small footprint
  • No assembly
  • Made in USA
Price: $259.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Yimby Tumbler Composter, best compost bin Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Inexpensive
  • Adjustable air vents
  • Easy to use and clean
Price: $69.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hot frog composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Double chambered
  • Aeration holes oxygenate compost
  • Durable BPA-free and UV resistant material
Price: $181.77 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kotulas composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Inexpensive
  • Large capacity
  • Relatively lightweight
Price: $129.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
algreen composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Over 40 cubic feet in three bins
  • Made of recycled materials
  • Easy access with large opening
Price: $331.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
garndeners supply company composter raised bed garden Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hassle free gardening
  • Easy to access with keyhole design
  • Integrated composter
Price: $499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
redmon composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Access doors on bottom and all sides
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable and rugged design
Price: $54.34 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
exaco composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Extra large
  • Durable construction
  • Pest proof
Price: $75.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Presto Geobin Composting System, composter reviews, best compost bin Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to assemble and move
  • Holds leaves or other waste
  • Aerated and easty to water
Price: $34.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
spring gardener composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy set up
  • Light weight
  • Comes with stakes and cover
Price: $67.87 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
riverstone industries compost sack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to mix
Price: $49.38 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Worm Factory 360 Worm Composter, compost bin reviews, buy compost bin online Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Can be used indoors
  • Odor free
  • Low maintenance
Price: $109.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
chefs star worm composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Made of recycled plastic
  • Can be used indoors
  • No odors
Price: $129.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter Kit, best compost bins Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Composts meat and bones
  • Safe for indoor use
  • Makes compost tea
Price: $46.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Food Cycler Indoor Kitchen Composter, kitchen compost bin, kitchen composter, best compost bins Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Processes food scraps fast
  • No additives needed
  • Can handle meat and bones
Price: $699.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Algreen Food and Pet Waste Solar Digester, compost pet waste, solar composter Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Attractive terra cotta design
  • No maintenace
  • Composts pet waste
Price: No price available Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. Best Small Space Tumbler: Envirocycle’s The Most Beautiful Composter in the World

    Pros:
    • Attractive and sleek design
    • No assembly required
    • Makes compost and compost tea
    • Made in the USA with excellent customer service
    Cons:
    • Only comes with one bin (but you can buy multiples and combine)
    • On the more expensive side
    • Smaller capacity than other options

    Envirocycle may be tooting their own horn by calling this “The Most Beautiful Composter in the World,” but in a sea of ugly bins that tend to look like oversized trash cans, this composter does have an attractive and super functional design. Instead of eing built on a frame, this composter sits on the ground with a base that is equipped with rollers to make tumbling smooth and easy. The capacity of this single drum composter is 35 gallons, making it on the smaller side and perfect for balconies, porches or small yards. If you want a larger capacity you can purchase multiple composters and have them each in various stages of decomposition. This way you can make sure you always have compost ready to go in your garden as needed.

    This composter comes with a five year warranty and is made in the USA out of food safe, BPA and rust free, UV and antioxidant protected materials. The HDPE material used to make this composter is all recycled materials, and it goes though an 11 stage filtration process to ensure the finest quality, safest and purest material. This composter makes both solid compost as well as compost tea, which can be harvested directly from the base.

  2. Best Inexpensive Tumbler: Yimby Tumbler Composter

    Pros:
    • Easy to access and hose off to clean
    • Two week turnover time for finished compost
    • Adjustable air vents to control moisture level
    Cons:
    • Requires some assembly
    • Wetter scraps might clump together inside the bin
    • Sometimes drips

    Tumbler composters are a good option if you have a yard with some space and for small to medium sized families with a fair amount of food waste to dispose of. They make it easy on you, all you have to do is spin the composter on its axis and your compost is mixed and aerated at the same time. The best models have two compartments so that you can fill one up while the other is processing. The Yimby has a capacity of five cubic feet.

  3. Best Small Double Barrel Tumbler: Hot Frog Dual Body Tumbling Composter

    Pros:
    • Two chambers so you can leave one to compost while filling the other
    • Extra deep fins to break up clumps and aeration holes to provide oxygen
    • Durable construction with BPA free, UV resistant material tumblers and galvanrized, rust resistant steel frame
    Cons:
    • Aeration holes means some debris may fall out and attract pests
    • Not very large capacity
    • Doors always face downward when resting so you need two hands to empty compost into the bin

    The Hot Frog composter is a nice mid sized option for anyone who wants an easy to use, elevated dual chambered composter that won’t take up too much space in the yard. This composter has two drums which hold about 20 gallons each, for a total capacity of 27 gallons or five cubic feet. The barrels are constructed of a durable BPA free recycled polyethylene that will not degrade under sunlight. The frame is made of galvanized steel and is rust resistant. The Hot fog also features aeration holes and deep fins to break up any clumps inside of the chamber and ensure even, efficient decomposition. Assembly is easy, as each tumbler comes in one piece and the frame goes together quickly with just a few screws.

  4. Best Tumbler On Wheels: Kotulas 50 Gallon Wheeled Compost Tumbler

    Pros:
    • Not very expensive
    • Large capacity
    • Heavy duty frame and wheels
    • Easy to move around the yard
    Cons:
    • Debris may fall out of aeration holes and attract pests
    • Only one chamber
    • Plastic wheels are not very rugged

    This tumbler composter from Kotulas has an easy to use design that allows you to transport it around the yard whenever you need. This means you can process your compost in one spot and roll it right over to your garden to empty it out, which is so much easier than dumping into a wagon or wheelbarrow and then transporting it! The frame is constructed of heavy duty steel for maximum strength, and the composter itself has a large 50 gallon capacity. The construction also allows for air circulation in order to speed up your composting.

  5. Customer Favorite Composter: Algreen Soil Saver Classic Compost Bin (3 Pack)

    Pros:
    • Very well insulated
    • Made of 100% recycled materials
    • Large top opening for easy access
    • Two sliding doors on the bottom for easy harvest
    Cons:
    • May attract pests that can dig, like mice or gophers
    • Takes six to eight weeks to process
    • More labor intensive

    The Algreen is a stationary, closed composter with a 13.5 cubic foot capacity. This style of composter is good for larger families or if you will be composting yard waste like leaves and grass in addition to food scraps. Stationary composters retain moisture really well and don’t attract as many bugs as other styles because they are closed off from the elements. This compost bin from Algreen is inexpensive and sturdy, and with over over 300 four to five star reviews on Amazon.com, it is definitely a customer favorite. This pack of three will give you over 40 cubic feet capacity total. It is a great option if you want to cycle your compost on a yearly basis. You can also purchase this composter individually by clicking here

  6. Best Composter and Garden in One: Cedar Keyhole Elevated Raised Bed Garden With Integrated Composter by Gardener’s Supply Company

    Pros:
    • Unique design allows for hassle free, easy composting
    • Delivers nutrients directly to plants’ roots
    • Easy to reach keyhole design
    • Made in the USA
    Cons:
    • No reviews on Amazon.com
    • Assembly required
    • Relatively expensive

    This unique design from Gardner’s Supply Company is unlike any other bin style composter. The compost bin itself is part of a U-shaped raised bed garden, so that the compost tea that it produces is delivered directly to your plants’ roots, without any need to transport it. This composter is the most maintenance free model we have found, and helps you produce great produce or flowers with very little effort. The U shaped design makes it easy to access the bin as well, even when you have a garden overflowing with plants.

  7. Best Inexpensive Composter: Redmon Green Culture 65-Gallon Compost Bin

    Pros:
    • Very inexpensive
    • Access doors on all sides for easy harvesting
    • Durable, rugged design and construction
    Cons:
    • Not as large capacity as other bin style composters
    • Some assembly required
    • Air holes may attract pests

    At less than $60, this compost bin from Redmon proves that you do not have to spend a lot of money for a durable, rugged composter. This bin is made of a weather resistant plastic resin and includes ventilation holes on all four sides to allow for good air flow. The lid is a convenient lift off design for easy access and easy cleaning in between loads. There are also four access doors on the bottom of the bin so that you do not have to move it in order to harvest compost from the bottom of the pile.

  8. Best Large and Inexpensive Compost Bin: Exaco Eco-King Polypropylene Composter

    Pros:
    • Extra large capacity
    • Very inexpensive
    • UV-resistant and durable construction
    Cons:
    • Only one access point for harvesting compost
    • Reviewers found it hard to maintain a perfect square footprint after assembly
    • Some assembly required

    If you are looking for a compost bin that won’t break the bank but still has a large capacity, this 110-gallon square bin is a perfect choice. At only $90, it is one of the cheapest on this list but it still has some great features that make it easy to use and effective. The bin itself is made of 100% recycled UV-resistant polypropylene and it has two easy access flaps on top for dumping scraps in. There is an easy access door on the bottom for harvesting compost as well. The green color of this bin makes it easy to camouflage in the garden as well, so it won’t stick out and be an eyesore.

  9. Most Inexpensive Compost Bin: Geobin Composting System

    Pros:
    • Lightweight, easy assembly
    • More attractive than a leaf pile!
    • Easy to add water with a hose if needed
    Cons:
    • Takes longer to process than closed systems because compost dries out quickly
    • You have to build up layers for effective composting, it is not as easy as just throwing in scraps
    • Open system may attract pests

    The Geobin is an open composting system and is great for leaves, grass and yard waste in addition to produce scraps. The Geobin has a huge capacity and is adjustable to around three feet in diameter, with a max capacity of 15 cubic feet. The vent holes around the composter allow air flow, and the black color retains heat well.

     

  10. Best Wire Compost Bin: Spring Gardener Kitchen Waste Composter with Stakes and Cover

    Pros:
    • Easy to set up and take down
    • Comes with rust proof stakes and waterproof cover
    • Very Inexpensive
    Cons:
    • No reviews on amazon
    • Open air design may attract pests
    • Not as sturdy as stationary bins

    This wire bin may look like a dog kennel, but it is actually a portable and lightweight compost bin. This bin has an easy to set up folding design and it comes with six stakes for added stability. There is also a waterproof cover included to keep rain out and heat in while you are composting. This is a relatively large bin with over 15 cubic feet of space. It has an easy access door on the bottom for harvesting, and can easily be combined side by side with multiple bins for a custom system.

  11. Best Simple Composter: Riverstone Industries Composter Sack

    Pros:
    • Easy to use and transport
    • Very inexpensive
    • Easy to mix compost, just lift and shake
    Cons:
    • Animals may chew through material
    • Does not provide great air circulation
    • Liquids may leak out of the sack during composting

    It does not get any simpler and easier than this compost sack from Riverstone Industries. This sack is super inexpensive, can be used anywhere and can easily be transported around the yard in betwen loads or even while in use. It is constucted of a rot proof material so it can be used for many years of composting, and has a pull cord locking system to keep pests out. You can select either 60 gallons or 100 gallons.

  12. Worm Factory 360 Worm Composter

    Pros:
    • Odor-free, can be used indoors
    • Very low maintenance
    • Kit comes with everything you need to get started, including worm tea collector tray, how-to DVD and guide, and worm bedding
    Cons:
    • Does not come with worms (Buy worms here)
    • May leak
    • Cannot compost citrus (it is harmful to the worms)

    Worm composters or worm bins use worms to help the composting process along. The worms eat the food waste and excrete casings, which are one of the richest soil fertilizers around. You can also easily harvest compost tea from worm composters, which is great to add when you are watering your plants for an extra nutrient boost. The Worm Factory 360 is the most complete vermicomposting kit out there for beginners and includes everything you need to get started with vermiculture. Best of all, you can use this system indoors or outdoors so it would be good for someone who doesn’t have a lot of yard space. You can even buy a set of ready to go red worms to go with your composter – no need to go digging in the dirt to find worms!

  13. Chef’s Star 3 Tray Worm Composter

    Pros:
    • Made of 100% recycled plastic
    • Smaller footprint for indoor use
    • Odor free
    Cons:
    • Does not come with bedding or worms
    • May leak over time
    • Takes some maintenance, trays must be rotated

    The Chef’s Star 3 tray worm composting system is a cheaper alternative to the Worm Factory kit. It comes with an organic and compostable coconut fiber mat and a simple instruction guide. It is incredibly easy to use, just fill up the top most tray and the worms will migrate up to the scraps and feast! Make sure to get your red wriggler worms to go with your composter as well so that you can set it up upon arrival.

  14. SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Bokashi Composter Kit

    Pros:
    • Can compost meat scraps and bones
    • Odor-free, can be used indoors
    • Easy to harvest compost tea
    Cons:
    • Very small capacity
    • Solid waste must go through a second phase of composting
    • Some reviewers had issues with warped lids

    The SCD Probiotics kit uses a system called “Bokashi.” Bokashi is a Japanese composting technique that uses microbes to ferment food waste and speed up the composting process. You can harvest compost tea from this system but the solid waste will need to go through a second composting cycle, either buried outside in the yard or in an enclosed composter. Each SCD kit comes with a compost barrel with a spigot for easy harvesting of compost tea, a strainer for draining excess moisture, and a bag of soil inoculate. The capacity is .67 cubic feet per kit.

  15. Food Cycler Indoor Kitchen Composter

    Pros:
    • Super fast processing time
    • Does not require additives or enzymes
    • Composts meat and bone
    • Food basket is removable and dishwasher safe
    Cons:
    • The process is more of a dehydration than a true composting, so it may attract pests to your garden
    • Loud volume
    • Lots of moving parts that may break or wear out
    • You have to buy replacement filters

    An electric composter such as the Food Cycler is about as easy as it gets. You do not have to do anything other than fill it up and turn it on, and in as little as three hours you have ready to use compost. It does take a bit of planning, for example you should not load it up completely with potato skins or bread crusts because so much starch may gum up the system. The Food Cycler has 2.5 cubic feet of capacity and can compost meat and bone scraps in addition to vegetable waste. The end product from the Food Cycler is not the same thing as typical garden compost however, it is more similar to mulch. Still, this machine produces quick results and is great for anyone living in a small space that cannot do traditional composting.

  16. Algreen Food and Pet Waste Solar Digester

    Pros:
    • Decorative terra cotta top fits in with lawn decor
    • Maintenance-free
    • Easy disposal for pet waste
    • Locking lid to deter pests
    Cons:
    • Compost is not usable for food plants like vegetables or fruit trees
    • May attract flies
    • Difficult to move

    The Algreen Solar Digester is a completely unique system because it makes it possible to compost pet waste. No more doggie doo doo bags! Just bury the lower portion into your garden or lawn and fill it up with food scraps, yard waste and pet waste. You do not have to empty this system out, the scraps decompose inside and drain right out into the surrounding soil. This system is great for fertilizing lawns or flower gardens, but keep in mind that you would not want to feed your vegetable garden with compost made from pet waste.

What is Compost? Compost is decomposed plant matter from yard waste such as grass clippings and leaves along with food scraps that eventually turn into "black gold" that you can use as a valuable soil additive. Compost contains macro-nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as micro-nutrients such as sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc. These nutrients not only help make healthy and abundant produce in your garden, they are an important part of our diet as well. When you grow fruits and vegetables with homemade compost you are helping to ensure that you get these same nutrients in your own diet. Compost also contains beneficial insects, bacteria and fungi, which all play a part in helping plants absorb nutrients, establish strong root systems and withstand pests. Compost also helps soil maintain proper moisture and temperature levels, saving you time in the long run because plants grown in well composted soil do not need to be watered as often. 

Composters come in three main styles: Tumblers, Bins, and Portable. Each of these styles has the same end goal in mind, which is to effectively and efficiently turn food and yard waste into black gold.

Tumblers are a good choice for anyone with a small yard that cannot dedicate a large area to composting. They are above ground containers that can be turned or tumbled periodically to ensure even decomposition. They usually have two separate collection bins so that when one becomes full, you can seal it for anaerobic decomposition while filling the other. Anaerobic decomposition means that no air touches the compost while it is processing, which can speed up the process.

Bin style composters can either be aerobic, with air holes or vents to allow air circulation, or anaerobic. Bin composters are generally large in size and are meant to stay put in one place.

Portable composters are great for renters or for anyone who wants to be able to move their compost pile around the yard from year to year. They also tend to be less expensive, easy to set up, and less visually obstructive than permanent bins.

See Also: 

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