16 Best Compost Bins for Turning Table Scraps into Gardening Gold
Ready to start composting? Here are the best bins and pails to choose from.
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Gardening is trending, especially after so many people picked up the hobby during quarantine. The secret to successful gardening is using compost—because it’s a natural, easy, and eco-friendly way to create nutrient-rich soil for your backyard or container garden, or even indoor plants. Making it yourself not only saves money, but allows you to keep a closed loop system by putting plant nutrients back into the soil—one of many tips for growing a vegetable garden. That’s where compost bins come in.
There are a plethora of compost bins to choose from, but figuring out the best one for you depends on your needs, space, climate, and how involved in the process you want to be. “Choosing a compost bin that fits your space and lifestyle means that it will be a natural part of your daily routine, not a chore that you’ll feel like avoiding,” says Erinn Witz, garden expert and co-founder of Seedsandspades.
We found the best compost bins and food scrap pails for every gardener—whether you have a large patio space, only a balcony or porch, or even need to compost indoors. Once you decide on a bin, you can learn how to make compost for any of your gardening needs, whether it’s fruits you grow indoors.
Best overall bin
IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter
Our pick for the best overall bin is this tumbling composter with two sections, so you can compost in different stages simultaneously. It also handles plenty of garden waste. “I like that it has two chambers,” says Witz. “It lets you add fresh materials to one side while you’re cooking a batch in the other.” She continues, “The fact that the top closes helps cut down on smells that might bother the neighbors. I’ve had excellent results with it in my suburban backyard.” Pro tip: Don’t place your compost bin near your outdoor furniture unless it has a smell-reducing feature like this one.
- Ideal for beginners
- Holds large amount of waste
- Allows for multiple composting phases at once
- Takes time to assemble
- Pricier than other options
Best basic compost bin
Algreen Products Soil Saver Classic Composter
Made of durable plastic, this classic compost bin is easy to assemble, can hold plenty of organic material, and is designed to keep garden critters away with a latching lid. One verified Amazon purchaser says, “It’s also a good solution for people in more urban environments, because it will make your compost tidy and not unsightly.”
It also has an open bottom, so what you place in the bin will be in contact with the ground. “I like my compost having contact with the soil,” says Bill Earley, science teacher at Trinity Episcopal School of Austin. “These microbes spread underground and help to enrich the surrounding soil as well.” Here are all the tips your landscaper won’t tell you.
- Keeps pests out
- Blends in outdoors
- Super durable
No bottom (can be an issue if placing on cement or wood)
GEOBIN 216-Gallon Compost Bin
The GEOBIN Compost Bin is one of the more affordable options, and one of the best for handling a large capacity of yard waste and organic material. You can also adjust the size as the compost pile gets bigger, and the bin is easy to move to different areas of the garden if need be. “This is a wonderful, low-cost option that still has an easy-to-use design,” says Witz. “I would recommend this type of compost bin for someone who’s renting since it’s easy to take down and pack if needed.” Consider these expert garden tips after setting up your compost bin.
- Great value for price
Requires turning the compost pile
Easiest to use
Good Ideas Compost Wizard Jr
This 52-gallon Good Ideas compost bin is ideal for people or families who are new to composting, or anyone who wants a straight-forward, no-fuss method for composting. “It didn’t occur to me that this would arrive as a whole, complete, no-assembly-required thing! SO great!” verified Amazon purchaser Ivy writes. “I really like the fact that the two major components are so simply and sturdily designed, and pose no real danger of breaking.”
- Large capacity
- Has carrying handles
- Easy assembly
- Lid can be difficult to put on
- Can become heavy and hard to turn when full
Best for large gardens
D.F. Omer Garden Composter Bin
This recycled garden composter bin is BPA-free, made from recycled plastic, and is ideal for big gardens that require large amounts of compost, as it boasts a 110-gallon capacity. “The D.F. Omer Garden Composter Bin is great for gardeners who want to make lots of compost in one spot,” says Witz.
The design makes it a breeze to add in materials and then turn the pile. “The hinged top is super convenient for adding your compost materials, and you can just open the sliding door at the base to scoop out your finished compost,” says Witz. If you’re concerned about critters getting in, there’s also an option to add a lock to the doors.
- Easy to open
Time consuming to assemble
Redmon 8000 Compost Bin
This 65-gallon compost bin is a rectangular, durable plastic bin that makes it simple to toss in food scraps and organic waste. Once the process is complete, access finished compost from a small door at the bottom. “These work so well, I bought two more, and continued composting with leaf litter, garden overgrowth, and kitchen scraps. Grew pumpkins out of two units last year, and in the fall, discarded the vines and used composted dirt to top off my growbag container garden,” says one verified Amazon purchaser, who now owns three of these bins. “Easy to assemble, lids fit well, and the units are sturdy. No complaints.”
This bin is best placed over soil or in the garden, not on cement or wood because it doesn’t have a bottom. “Sometimes the best bins are those that are connected to the earth, where moisture can be retained for a longer period of time,” says Earley.
- Durable design
- Easy assembly
- Requires manual turning
- Requires direct contact with ground
Best tiny space compost bin
Miracle-Gro Single Chamber Small Composter
Live in an apartment or small home but still want to compost? The Miracle-Gro Small Composter is just what you need. “Its size and tidiness make it great for apartment dwellers,” verified Amazon purchaser John writes. “It’s small and clean enough that nosy neighbors or overzealous landlords won’t notice or take issue with it.” Once you get the hang of composting, you’ll want to consider these must-have gardening tools.
- Fits smaller spaces
- Easy to assemble
- Simple to use
Best worm compost bin
Worm Factory 360
A worm composter enlists the help of worms to convert your food scraps into nutrient-rich soil. The Worm Factory 360 has four trays, so you can compost at multiple stages and have new gardening pets, too. “Worm Factory 360 has multiple composting drawers that create a continuous-loop composting process—it’s a highly efficient system that really capitalizes on space,” says Witz.
- Easy to set up
- Made in the USA
Pricier than other models
Best rotating compost bin
SQUEEZE master 43-Gallon Compost Bin
The SQUEEZE master compost bin is a tumbler-style bin, so you don’t have to manually turn the compost pile, just rotate the chamber every two to three days. Made of BPA-free polypropylene plastic with a steel frame, it’s durable and sturdy. “I love this composting device,” verified Amazon purchaser Gin says. “It makes stirring the compost easy by allowing you to spin it.”
- Easy to turn the compost
- Hands-off method
- Heat- and corrosion-resistant plastic
Assembly is difficult for some
Best indoor compost bin
All-Seasons Indoor Composter Starter Kit
If you’re set on composting but don’t have much space, consider this indoor composter starter kit that provides everything you need to start turning your food scraps into gardening gold. The best part? You can place it on your kitchen counter or under the sink where it won’t take up much space. One verified Amazon purchaser says, “I will get another because after it is full, it has to ferment for about two weeks.” And you don’t have to worry about odors, either. “It does not stink at all,” the purchaser adds.
- Limited odor
- Compost year-round
Best countertop bin
OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin
This OXO Good Grips Easy Clean Compost Bin for the countertop blends right into the kitchen, and is a decent size for your daily kitchen scraps. Just use a compost bag to line the bin for easy maintenance and cleaning. The design eliminates pests from sneaking in, too: “It holds a lot of stuff, and the lid is razor-thin and leaves no gap for flies to get in,” writes verified Amazon purchaser Tabitha. “I love how the top lid comes off easily.”
- Sleek design
- Easy to use and clean
- Removable lid
Not for long-term composting (only for scrap storage)
Best stylish kitchen bin
EPICA Stainless Steel Compost Bin
With a super clean design, this stainless steel compost bin blends right into the kitchen, making it a pretty addition to toss all your organic waste into. It’s durable, easy to clean, and has an airtight lid so bugs and flies can’t get in, while also keeping smells contained. “The 1.3-gallon capacity holds a nice amount of kitchen scraps, and the included charcoal filter is an absolute must to cut down on odors,” says Witz. It’s a great way to keep your kitchen clean and look stylish in the process.
- High quality steel that won’t rust
- Seals in odors
- Includes charcoal filter
Pricer than other models
Best sustainable bin
Bamboozle Food Compost Bin
This sustainably-made compost bin is made from bamboo fibers, looks great on any kitchen counter, and is small enough to be tucked away under the sink. Cleaning and washing the bin is easy—just place it in the dishwasher! “It feels like a luxury item, and it does work very well—no smells, no flies,” verified Amazon purchaser Etteilla says. “A really nice gift and lends a real sense of elegant luxury to the kitchen compost.”
- Made from bamboo
- Sleek design
- Charcoal filter in lid is difficult to clean
Best freezer compost bin
Full Circle Scrap Collector and Freezer Compost Bin
If you’re short on counter space or simply prefer a minimalist approach in the kitchen, consider this food scrap collector and compost bin designed for the freezer. Made of silicone, the material is flexible and easy to take out the frozen scraps and toss into the composter.
One verified Amazon purchaser says, “With it being such a soft material, you can just push the bottom in to pop the frozen scraps out, no thawing required!” And cleaning up is easy with a handy wire rim, so it can attach to the counter when you’re ready to clean up. “It is also so convenient how it hooks onto a drawer for throwing scraps in as you cut vegetables!”
- Easy to clean
- No odors
- Silicone material
- Doesn’t have a lid
- Requires a good amount of freezer space
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- Erinn Witz, garden expert and co-founder of Seedsandspades
- Bill Earley, social studies and science teacher at Trinity Episcopal School of Austin