Compost pile on a green background - What is the best compost bin

7 Top Rated Compost Bins for 2017

What is the Best Compost Bin for You?

What would you do if someone told you they had the secret to obtain the following for your garden:

  • The Best Plant Food
  • Improved Disease/Pest Resistance
  • Healthier Soil

Not only could you get these benefits (and more), but you can get them for free every year.  Whether you're new to composting or you're a certified compost wizard, you can up your game with any of the bins explored below.

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I'll Tumble For Ya'

A black plastic dual chambered tumbling compost bin

The first compost bin we'll explore is a dual-chambered tumbler: The Yimby Tumbler Composter.  Dual chambers? Tumbler?  Don't worry, even though composting lingo can get a little complicated, stay with us.  These terms are as simple as they seem.  There are two main benefits to a system like this.  1) The tumbling action makes aerating your compost as effortless as possible (short of having a robot do it for you). 2) The dual chambers allow you to have one batch curing while you add to the other side.  You could have finished compost in two weeks time (depending on conditions and materials added).

At a Glance...

  • Medium Capacity
  • Easy Aeration (Tumbling)
  • Dual Chambers (one side cooks while the other collects)

Larger Capacity (looks like a droid)

This might be the droid (compost bin) you are looking for.  But seriously, it might be the right bin to get you started.  This unit combines two important features for someone starting out: 1) larger capacity and, 2) worms are welcome.  The bin is open at the bottom and will provide access for worms to join in on the composting fun.  There might be one thing that gardeners like more than compost, and that would be worm castings (for the newbies, worm castings = worm poop).  I want to go back to the capacity "feature" now.  It's not a "feature" just because you can put more in it.  It's a "feature" because a larger pile will be better insulated and allow you to cook your compost faster and more efficiently.  Who doesn't love making compost faster?

At a Glance...

  • Larger Capacity: 65-gallon
  • Worm Accessible (party bonus!)
  • Easy to Assemble and Use

Low Tech, High Capacity

Sure, this compost bin is not likely to be a conversation piece.  What it lacks in futuristic appeal, it more than makes up for in simplicity and capacity.  It's expandable up to 216 gallons.  Wow!  If you want capacity, durability, and affordability in one easy-to-use package, this is the "bin" for you.  With the included keys, you can adjust the size (diameter) of this bin for your application.  This is a great item for both beginners and master gardeners alike.

At a Glance...

  • Largest (in this list) Capacity: 216-gallon
  • Worms are welcome - castings (see above) here we come
  • Most affordable and simplest to assemble

Want Solid & Liquid Compost?

If you were not excited by the Geobin above because of its ordinary appearance, and you prefer something that will spark a conversation, this Envirocycle bin just may be the ticket.  This US-made medium-sized composter has both the looks and the functionality.  For those who are looking for an "out-of-the-box" experience, this no-assembly required bin is the answer.

At a Glance...

  • Medium Capacity: 35-gallon
  • Tumbling action helps keep it aerobic
  • Makes compost tea (yup, that's a thing) simultaneously

In a Holding Pattern?

So far, we've looked at 4 great bins for getting your composting started.  We wanted to take this opportunity to change our direction (slightly) to bins designed to hold your compost scraps until you're ready to bring them to the larger bin for "cooking."  Above you see a rust-resistant, odor-catching bin designed to hold your scraps in waiting.  Once you've filled it up (1.3 gallons), it's ready to bring to your larger bin.  This is a great worry-free option for your kitchen.

At a Glance...

  • 1.3-gallon capacity
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel construction
  • Replaceable charcoal filter controls odors

Prefer Something More Modern?

For some, shiny steel kitchen gear is a major eyesore.  If you are one of these people, you can get similar functionality to the stainless steel unit above and with some savings to boot.  This compost storage bin is made of smooth plastic that will help make emptying and cleaning it as painless as possible.  It does have a smaller capacity.

At a Glance...

  • 12-cup capacity
  • Smooth plastic reduces build-up
  • Flip-up lid minimizes odors

Prepare Yourself for Bokashi

This unit sure has an interesting name.  We'll get into that at another time.  For now, let's discuss where something like this fits in our list.  This is a kitchen bin but unlike the above two kitchen bins, this unit will actively compost your scraps.  You will receive both liquid and solid compost.  Two important things must be noted.  The solid compost you get will be unfinished and require finishing by being placed into soil.  Second, you can compost items that are not normally permitted in traditional composting methods. Sweet!

At a Glance...

  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Provides liquid and solid compost
  • Permits composting of non-traditional food waste

What would you choose?

We have presented you with 7 compost bins with the hope that you would determine what is the best compost bin for you.  It's easy to feel lost at this point.  If you still feel like you need more time or information, please click on the learn more buttons above.

Besides buying a bin, building your own is another possibility.  Either way, we believe (and you probably do too) that composting is a worthwhile practice.  It's more important to get started than to get stuck in "analysis-paralysis."  Interested in a challenge?  Consider accepting our 7-day challenge found here.

Woman in white t-shirt holding an apple in one hand and a pear in the other

Leave Us a Comment


You've made it this far, and we think that makes you a rock star!  Would you mind leaving us a comment below?  We'd love to hear from you.  

About the Author Neil

I am a husband, father of 3, and a full time educator. I take my passion for sustainability from at home in the garden with my family to school with the children in the community. Through awareness, change can come. Will you change with us? We'd be happy to have you.

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4 comments
Lyle says a couple of years ago

Nice post Neil, I think composting you’re leftover food is a great way to save money and means families don’t have to any harmful fertilisers on their lawn. My family uses that little green bin you have mentioned here but we don’t use the scraps as compost, just put it in the appropriate bin afterwards.

What composting bin would you choose?

    Neil says a couple of years ago

    Hi!  Thanks for the comment.  No worries about not composting your organics.  Like we’ve said, we only want to encourage our readers.  Perhaps your township takes the separated waste you provide and composts it in industrial-sized piles.  Perhaps you and your family might consider the bokashi style composter.  For my situation, I need a larger bin because of the amount of brush and fall leaves that we receive.  So I’d probably go with the Geobin. 

Norman says a couple of years ago

I have also written an article on composting and what is so amazing is the process through which composting takes. Compost is so good because of what it can do for your garden plants.
Compost bins are an ideal thing for this kind of work because of the good results that these bins can give. Giving you that rich garden soil.

    Neil says a couple of years ago

    Norman,

    Thank you for your comment!  Indeed the bins can give great results so long as you get at least close with the ratios of more browns than greens.  I’ve seen a lot of negative comments regarding bins that “don’t work.”  I feel bad because it’s not usually the bin, but the person mixing the ingredients that needs “fixing.”  You mention that you wrote an article on composting.  I’m always looking to help my readers with new ideas.  Please feel free to share the link with us.

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