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You may know that composting turns your kitchen scraps into nutritious soil additive to help your garden thrive and is a simple way for you to reduce landfill waste. A home composter can make this an easy task, so we researched quite a few of them from many manufacturers, considering factors such as how easy it is to use and clean and how it looks in your kitchen or yard.
Made from plastic, our favorite compost bin is the OXO Good Grips Easy Clean Compost Bin because of its perfect size for countertop use and easy-to-use lid that stays open when needed.
Read on for the best compost bins.
Best Overall: Oxo Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin, 1.75 Gallons
Lid stays open
Compost bag stays hidden
Easy to clean
Doesn’t fully contain odors
For a well-priced, durable compost bin, you can’t go wrong with the OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin. This bin earned our best overall spot because of how easy it is to use. It has a unique design that keeps the bags tucked inside for a neat look, and the stay-open lid makes it easy to put waste into the bin with one hand. The lid is even removable to make emptying the bin even easier.
The bin reduces odor with the soft-seal design that promotes oxygen flow, but that does not mean this is completely odorless: We recommend removing the 1.75-gallon bags every few days. (The capacity is a standard size for most countertop-style compost bins.) Another downside is it’s not the prettiest compost bin to have sitting on your countertop, but it's not a complete eyesore.
Best Budget: Package Free Compost Bin Container
Need to purchase filters
If you are looking for an inexpensive bin to compost, the Compost Bin Container from Package Free is a great value. This stainless steel bin has a capacity of 1.3 gallons, which should hold an average week’s worth of food scraps. The lid's strong seal traps in smells, and you can still lift it with one hand, which is critical while working in the kitchen.
The compost bin comes with a replaceable filter of cotton and activated charcoal to eliminate odors and keep fruit flies away. If you want to keep it on your counter, its functional, well-sized, and simple design should match any kitchen aesthetic.
Best Tumbler: FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter
Easy to use
Outdoor use only
Who else recommends it? The Strategist, Good Housekeeping, and Bob Vila also picked the FCMP Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter.
What do buyers say? 1,100+ Home Depot reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
If you are looking for a compost bin that turns your waste into soil, opt for the FCMP Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter. This is strictly an outdoor composter that includes two chambers designed for quick curing. On average, the waste turns into soil in as little as 2 weeks.
Made of plastic, this tumbler is built for outdoor use only, with a large opening, removable door, and aeration holes. It’s simple and easy to use: Place waste into one side and turn the handle every couple of days. It’s not the best-looking composter to add to the backyard, but you can tuck it away to the side or in a shed.
Best for Gardeners: The Squirm Firm Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin
Have to work to keep flies out
A gardener who gets the benefits of composting for soil should enjoy the 360 Worm Factory. The worms will grow in size and quantity and consume several pounds of waste each week. The first tray takes about 3 months to become fully composted by the worms, and then each tray takes about a month moving forward.
The kit includes mineral rock dust that adds nutrients to the finished compost, four stacking trays, a thermometer, a hand rake and scraper, a worm ladder, a base with spigot, and a comprehensive instruction manual. Managing the Worm Factory is low maintenance and takes less than 15 minutes a week. For those not as familiar with this type of composting, it’s important to note that red wiggler worms must be used.
Best Outdoor: Greenes Fence Cedar Wood Composter
Takes up a lot of space
The Greenes Fences Cedar Wood Composter is designed for outdoor use, with a wide-open bin that makes turning the soil easy. The cedar wood gives it an elegant appearance that looks nice in your backyard. This compost bin is easy to maintain. You can turn the soil with a pitchfork or shovel every 2 to 3 weeks to help speed up the breakdown process if you wish, but this is not required.
The kit comes with four posts, 28 boards, and 48 spacers, which give you one bin once assembled. We recommend purchasing additional kits to create a three-bin composting system to keep a continuous supply of compost. Depending on the climate and materials used, the compost should be ready to use in 3 to 12 months.
Best Countertop: Bamboozle 1.2-Gallon Stationary Composter
Need to buy filters
The Bamboozle Bamboo Compost Bin is one your friends may be jealous of because it's just that pretty. The bin's charcoal filter, which you should replace every 60 days, is designed to absorb that garbage-y odor. The company provides a beginners guide if you are new to composting that breaks down what needs to be decomposed before repurposing and what can go straight to the garden.
This composter is offered in three matte colors (graphite, natural, and terra cotta), with a slim, modern handle that looks good on any kitchen countertop. The best thing about this bin is it can go right into the dishwasher and still last for ages.
Best Design: Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50
Easy to use
Increases your electrical bill
Additional bins and filters are expensive
Vitamix created the FoodCycler with the goal of taking something that has not been desirable in the past, such as composting, and making it simple and easy. The bucket holds a half gallon of scraps, and you can leave the bucket on your counter while you fill it up and transport it to the unit. Once the composter is full, hit the power button, and it goes through a drying, grinding, and cooling process that cuts down food waste by up to 90 percent. You can leave it alone for a few hours until it completes the cycle.
This composter comes at a higher price, but it's mess-free, takes away the odor, and does it all indoors—truly adopting a “set it and forget it” functionality. The main downside is replacements for the the filters, which last about four months, are reported to run about $40 each.
Best Large Capacity: GEOBIN 246 Gal. Compost Bin
Easy to set up
Can buy more to make bigger
Takes up a lot of space
If you’re looking for something with a large capacity, the GEOBIN Compost Bin can hold 216 gallons! This composter is fast and easy to set up, and the best part is that you can adjust and expand the size as the compost grows. It’s made with thick plastic, making it durable to bear the elements outside but can also be reinforced with zip ties, or by tying it to garden stakes. The ventilation holes enhance the airflow to speed up decomposition.
It is recommended to use two people for setup, one to hold and the other to clip the pieces together. When the compost is ready, the quick closure keys allow easy access to be harvested. This is a compost bin meant for outdoors, and once finished, it can be used around trees and in the garden.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Miracle-Gro Single Chamber Tumbling Composter 27.7 Gal
Debris sometimes falls through vents
The Miracle-Gro Single Chamber Tumbler is another all-around excellent option. With a 27.7-gallon capacity, it's not too big but also not too small—a perfect choice for households interested in starting a composting routine and anyone with a modest-sized garden or lawn. (Miracle-Gro also has an 18.5-gallon option and a larger dual-chamber model for those who need a different size).
This single-chamber composter cures food scraps and yard waste in as little as four weeks, transforming your throwaways into that coveted "black gold." Plus, it only needs to be turned (or "tumbled") every day or two. (Just bear in mind that a little debris might fall through the air holes when you turn it.) We also like that it comes with a hand trowel, a cultivator, and a garden fork for transferring the nutrient-rich matter when it's ready.
Best for Kitchen: SimpleHuman 4-Liter Compost Caddy
Stainless steel construction
Attaches to trash can
Removable inner basket
Custom-fit liners sold separately
If you're looking for something to keep in your kitchen, we highly recommend the SimpleHuman Compost Caddy. It's designed to attach to your trash can, but you can also place it on your counter.
This compact canister is made of durable stainless steel and has a removable inner plastic basket. While it has a notably small capacity, it makes an excellent indoor companion to a larger composter.
Best for Gardeners: The Squirm Firm Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin
"Worm tea" collector
Somewhat small capacity
Gardeners love the Worm Factory, a vermicomposting system that calls on live worms to help process food waste. It comes with four trays, but you can buy more and expand it up to eight trays high.
You also get a refrigerator magnet with an infographic outlining what worms can and can't eat, so you know what to toss in. Additionally, there's a collector tray on the bottom with a spigot for draining out the "worm tea," which you can use as liquid fertilizer.
Best with Crank Handle: RSI 65 Gal. 2-Stage Composter Tumbler
Composters typically need to be turned every day or so to mix the material and help it decompose. With this in mind, the RSI 2-Stage Tumbler has a geared rotating handle that makes the process easier.
Boasting a 65-gallon capacity and a large clearing area, this two-chamber contraption was designed for high-volume composting. The barrel is made of high-impact, all-weather plastic, and the zinc-coated metal frame is designed to resist rust for years to come.
You can’t go wrong with the OXO Good Grips Compost Bin, which is well-priced and designed to keep composting bags tucked inside. The removable lid and rotating handle make emptying effortless. For a composter that is for outdoor use, the FCMP Dual-CHamber Quick Curing 37 Gallon Tumbler Composter has two chambers and, with little maintenance, turns your waste into soil in about two weeks.
What to Look For When Buying a Composter
Type of Container
Are you looking to make your own compost from food scraps, or do you need a container to temporarily store food waste? The two products are completely different, so think about your needs.
The size of your composter affects the amount of material you can store. If you have a small yard and a mulching lawnmower, you might not need a large composter. Another factor to consider is the size of your yard since you need dedicated space to keep the composter.
Plastic composters are affordable and tend to be weather resistant, but over time, the material can become brittle from sun damage and could crack. Metal composters are heavier but last longer. For in-home, short-term storage of compostable materials, it’s more about aesthetics—though plastics can retain odors.
When buying a composter, the main thing to consider is the method of composting. There are stationary options, which essentially sit still while the organic matter decomposes. These come in the form of small kitchen-sized containers, which you transfer to a bigger compost bin, as well as large outdoor options.
Tumblers are meant to be rotated regularly to mix up the materials, allowing them to decompose faster. Then there are vermicomposters, which rely partially on live worms to process scraps (whereas conventional composters just wait for the matter to decompose on its own).
Usually, indoor composters feature air holes to allow ventilation or airtight lids to keep smells inside. With outdoor models, odors aren't as much of an issue, as the fresh air keeps smells at a minimum. However, they often still have vents to tamp down the malodorousness.
With indoor and outdoor models, look for durable designs that are dishwasher-safe (indoor) or weather-resistant (outdoor). Most composters are made of heavy-duty plastic and/or stainless steel; both are notably resilient and long-lasting.
How do you use a composter?
Thanks to Mother Nature, there's really not a whole lot to composting. Whether you intervene or not, organic matter decomposes and eventually turns into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. You can speed up the process by getting a tumbler (rotating composter), which mixes up the material, adds oxygen, and helps it all break down faster.
What can (and can't) you put in a composter?
You can put all kinds of food scraps into a composter, such as apple cores, banana peels, vegetable skins, coffee grounds, eggshells, and bread. However, animal products, such as meat, dairy, and bones, generally aren't recommended for composting because they can harbor pathogens and attract pests.
You also can add grass clippings, leaves, wood shavings, hay, animal manure, and other yard waste, as well as paper towels, cardboard, and shredded newspaper. Things you generally shouldn't put in a composter include oils, pet waste, diseased plants, charcoal, and ash.
How can you reduce the smell of your compost?
The best way to reduce the smell of your compost is to use a bin that has adequate ventilation or a drip tray on the bottom, as too much moisture can be a culprit. Also, fluffing up the bin with lighter, dryer materials, such as leaves, can help keep odors under control. Additionally, avoid putting meat, dairy, and eggs into your composter.
How often should you clean your composter?
Outdoor composters don't have to be cleaned very often—once or twice a year is plenty. It's more important to regularly remove the decomposed matter. With an indoor compost bin, wash it out regularly to keep odors under control and prevent bacteria growth. You can purchase compostable liners, which are just like garbage bags, except they decompose with the rest of your scraps.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This list of best composters was written by Deanna McCormack, a freelance tester and product review writer for The Spruce. Deanna specializes in home, family, and outdoor products.
To narrow this list down to the best in each category, she considered each product’s capacity, size, and ease of use. As someone who has been composting in her own home for many years, she also gave top ratings to composters that keep odors inside and are easy to clean.