Best Compost Bins and Tumblers of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparison

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If you’re someone who values living a clean and healthy life, then you probably understand the importance of composting and the positive impact that it can have on our environment. Composting is especially useful for folks who enjoy growing their own fruits and vegetables, as it acts as a type of fertilizer.

While it’s fine to simply compost in a bag or container, composting bins are specially designed to hold high amounts of compost. In this article, we’re going to take a look at five of the best compost bins and tumblers on the market.

Comparison Chart

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EJWOX Large Composting Tumbler – Dual Rotating Outdoor Garden Compost Bin
Best Choice
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FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter
Best Price
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Joraform Compost Tumbler JK 125
Best Construction

Best Composting Bin and Tumbler Reviews

FCMO Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter

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Tumbling composters provide a unique solution to a common problem that we all face when our compost pile builds up. They eliminate the need for us to reach deep into the container and mix the compost pile by hand, making mixing much easier. The convenience factor of the IM4000 is what earned it a spot on this list.

Product Highlights

The most notable (and probably most obvious) feature of the FCMO Outdoor IM4000 is that it is a tumbling composter. This means that, instead of having to shove your hand into your compost pile and mix it manually, all you need to do is close the door and turn in about 6 times every 2-3 days.

It actually comes with two composting chambers, which allows you to store two separate compost piles at once. You can have one pile ready to use after sitting for a few days, while the other is empty and waiting to be filled with fresh scraps and clippings.

By continuously swapping the sides after finishing one compost pile, you’re able to create an uninterrupted flow of healthy, rich compost. The construction of this tumbler is quite durable, thanks to its polypropylene body.

It is contact-safe and resists degradation, even when placed in direct sunlight. The steel frame is galvanized to ensure that it does not rust or corrode.

There are several adjustable air vents throughout the entire composter, as well as deep fins that are used to break up any clumps that may have formed inside the chamber. They also mix plenty of oxygen into the compost. Tumbling composters allow for much better aeration than their standard counterparts, which is one of the main selling points of the IM4000.

The Good

There is a lot to like about the FCMO Outdoor IM4000. The mere fact that it’s a tumbling composter gives it some great advantages right off the bat. Being able to rotate the entire compost pile at once will always be more favorable than sticking your hand or a stick into a tub of rotting food.

The two separate chambers are a huge bonus. They allow you to store two different piles of compost that are at two different stages of decay. That way, one will always be ready to use by the time you’re replenishing the other.

The Bad

One of the only major downsides that comes with this tumbling composter is the metal frame that holds it up. The legs are rounded at the bottom, which does not provide as much support as they would if they were more flat and square.

You’ll have to put the IM4000 on a very stable surface if you want to avoid having it topple over when the wind picks up even slightly. Also, the assembly can be quite tedious, and there seems to be a never-ending number of screws involved.

Pros

  • Two separate chambers
  • Durable construction and body
  • Adjustable air vents
  • Resistant to sun damage

Cons

  • Frame can be unstable

Miracle-Gro Small Compost Tumbler

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This compost tumbler from Miracle-Gro features a unique hexagon design that is both stylish and effective, providing better mixing each time you rotate it. It’s very compact, which allows you to cure your compost pile anywhere, regardless of the size of your garden.

Product Highlights

One of the most appealing features of the Miracle-Gro compost tumbler is its compact design. It can fit basically anywhere in your house or garden, like your porch, balcony, patio, or rooftop garden, so that you can compost from anywhere in any season.

If you’re also after a compost tumbler that is seriously durable and is capable of resisting the elements, then this may be the one for you. The Miracle-Gro tumbler is designed to be long-lasting and effortless to use so that you can continue composting easily for years to come.

It features a sturdy side-locking mechanism that allows you to easily load and unload your compost pile. Meanwhile, the construction remains durable enough to keep a tight seal, deterring any unwanted pests and insects. The plastic body is UV-protected, so it will never leak harmful toxins and chemicals into your compost that could ruin its composition.

When you order your Miracle-Gro compost tumbler, you’ll also receive a free pair of multi-purpose gardening gloves, courtesy of Miracle-Gro. Each pair is entirely waterproof and boasts a no-slip grip, making them perfect for both outdoor and indoor uses.

The aeration system that is featured throughout the design allows for oxygen to slowly and steadily enter the chamber, which fuels the curing process of the compost. The mixing bars allow you to cure your compost even quicker if you’re in a rush.

The Good

The hexagon shape of the Miracle-Gro makes the compost much easier to mix. Every time you turn the body over, the compost moves around more, mixing more thoroughly. It also means that you can store the tumbler just about anywhere in your home, regardless of how much space you have.

This is particularly useful for folks who live in apartments or other buildings with small gardens, or even rooftop gardens. You’ll still be able to cure compost without taking up too much space in your home. The door can be fastened in place to prevent rats or other pests from getting in and chowing down on your compost.

The Bad

The Miracle-Gro compost tumbler faces a problem similar to that of the FCMP Outdoor IM4000, in that the base frame is rounded. This means that you’ll have to place the tumbler on a flat, sturdy surface, or you risk having the whole thing topple over.

Getting the side walls to snap together during assembly can be quite troublesome, too. It will take you some time to figure out how to align everything properly. This is a frustrating process overall.

Pros

  • Hexagon shape allows for easy mixing
  • Very compact
  • Can be placed anywhere
  • Aeration system

Cons

  • Difficult to set up

Envirocycle Mini Composter

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This next item is known as the cutest composter in the world, according to Envirocycle themselves. While we would like to say that we included the Envirocycle Mini on this list because of its title alone, we’d be lying if we did. This is a truly unique compost bin, which is why we’ve featured it here.

Product Highlights

Envirocycle is a pioneer in composting innovation, and its miniature composter reflects that innovation. It was designed to be placed close to your home or in your garden, regardless of whether you live in the suburbs or the city, thanks to its compact nature and low space consumption.

It also features a unique compost tea collecting base, which is quite a rare feature to find on a composter, even from a brand such as Envirocycle. The tea collector makes composting in areas like your patio, balcony, deck, or porch a clean and pleasant experience.

The elegant design of this miniature composter allows it to blend in with any sort of modern interior and looks great in any garden, as well. It is an all-in-one composting system that combines both a compost drum with a compost tea maker base.

The entire body is made from food-safe, BPA materials, so you won’t need to worry about any rust or harmful toxins leaking into your compost and destroying its intricate chemical composition. The drum is able to rotate atop the base, which creates compost that is solid and rich.

If you’d like, you also have the option of collecting any excess liquid that is created during the curing process, which you can then use as a kind of ‘liquid fertilizer’. Not many compost bins or tumblers feature this option, which is part of what makes the Envirocycle Mini so unique.

The Good

Perhaps the greatest appeal that the Envirocycle Mini has is how compact it is. It’s slightly more compact than the previous composter on this list, but that slight difference can be huge in terms of saving space.

The design is extra sleek and all black, so it’ll fit in anywhere in your home. It is also quite discrete when placed in your garden and would even look good if you decided to place it in one of your garden beds. The design is definitely one of the Envirocycle Mini’s greatest assets.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the compact nature of this compost bin is as much a negative as it is a positive. Don’t expect to be able to store hordes of fruit and vegetable scraps in here, as it’s going to get full very quickly.

Luckily, the compost tea base allows you to collect the excess liquid that your compost creates, which means you’ll technically have more compost in a liquid form.

Pros

  • Sleek and elegant design
  • Can fit anywhere
  • Creates compost ‘tea’
  • Tea collector prevents mess

Cons

  • Cannot store a lot of compost at once

EJWOX Large Composting Tumbler

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If you’re looking for a supremely large composting bin that will allow you to store over 40 gallons of compost at once, then look no further than this large composting tumbler from EJWOX. Its sheer size and volume are what earns it the #4 spot on this list.

Product Highlights

It would be criminal not to further emphasize the size of this compost tumbler from EJWOX. It is able to house a whopping 43 gallons of compost at a time, which is more than enough fertilizer to nourish even the largest suburban gardens and lawns.

It is a dual-chamber tumbler, which allows for continuous composting as you fill up one chamber while the other is reaching the end of its curing process. That way, you will have a constant supply of ripe, fresh compost waiting to provide your garden with all the nutrients it needs to bloom and flourish.

The internal aeration bar mixes your compost thoroughly while also providing the necessary airflow the scraps and clippings need to decay properly. The double-wall panels are black not only for aesthetic purposes but so that they can absorb and trap as much heat and sunlight as possible, aiding in the curing process.

The tumbler turns on its axis to allow for a rotation that is balanced and easy. Plus, the easy-slide doors will let you keep track of your compost efficiently, with each door having dimensions of 10.23” x 6.1”.

What’s great about the EJWOX compost tumbler is its height. It is just short enough to be at the perfect height for you to dump your compost materials into without bending over. However, it is just tall enough to allow you to fit a cart under the body if you wanted.

The Good

In complete contrast to the previous composter, the greatest aspect of the EJWOX compost tumbler is how big it is. With a 43-gallon storage capacity between the two storing chambers, you’ll be able to fit enough compost inside to last you for weeks, which also allows you to create more ripe and rich compost.

The dual chambers are also a big bonus, as they allow you to continuously create compost by having one ready to use while the other continues to cure. This creates an endless cycle of using and refilling.

The Bad

You’ll definitely have a hard time storing this in your home if you live in an apartment or a small condo, since it’s so big. It’s much better to store it outside, even if you do have a large house, since it will take up much less space outdoors than it would indoors.

It will also become quite heavy when filled to its maximum capacity, so make sure that you know where you want to store it before you start filling it up. It’s going to be difficult to move once it’s full.

Pros

  • Large size allows for plenty of compost to be stored
  • Internal aeration for better mixing
  • Double-wall panels
  • Dual chambers

Cons

  • It is heavy

Joraform JK 125 Compost Tumbler

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Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at the JK 125 compost tumbler from Joraform. Having this compost tumbler will make you feel like you’re inside some sort of bunker, thanks to its somewhat industrial and military design.

Product Highlights

Weighing in at a whopping 63 pounds, this is by far the largest composting bin on this list. If you’re looking for a composting bin that will provide you with months worth of compost that is rich in nutrients, then you’ve found the right one.

The JK 125 is designed to be as simple as possible, with the rotation functioning by hand whenever you place compost materials inside the body. It is insulated to allow temperatures within the bin to reach higher than 160°F, which allows for a composting process that is quick and efficient.

With two chambers to add compost to, you’ll be able to produce an endless stream of compost. Simply fill one chamber up a day or two before the compost in the other chamber has cured, so that you’ll never be at a shortage of fertilizer. That way, your garden will be happy all year-round.

The composter itself is positioned off the ground so that no pests or rodents are able to access the waste within the chambers. The door also seals using a latch, so it can’t be bumped open accidentally.

Furthermore, the frame is made of metal and is quite sturdy, so you won’t have to worry about the chambers collapsing and spilling compost all over the place. The rotating function allows you to mix the compost thoroughly to ensure that it all cures at the same rate.

The Good

Once again, size plays a big role (pun intended) for the JK 125. It’s able to store a massive amount of compost that will keep your gardens nourished and healthy for months.

Also, unlike a few of the other elevated tumblers on this list, the frame on the JK 125 is very sturdy. Thus, you should not run into any toppling or wobbling when propping it up on an uneven surface like grass or dirt.

The Bad

Just like the previous two composters on this list, the size of the JK 125 is just as much of a detriment as it is a benefit. You might have a hard time fitting this in your house, and it can look quite unsightly on your lawn if it’s small.

We recommend purchasing this composter if you have quite a lot of space on your property. Otherwise, you’d be better off with a more compact option.

Pros

  • Can store plenty of compost
  • Dual-chamber
  • Sturdy frame
  • Easy rotation

Cons

  • May not fit in small homes

Buyer’s Guide

There are a few key features you should look out for when on the market for a composter. Here are a few of the important ones.

Size

The size of your composter is dependent on two things – how thick you want the layer of compost to be (depth per square foot) and the size of your garden. Multiplying these two numbers together will let you see the volume of compost you need for your garden, and doubling the result will tell you how much space you will need from a compost bin.

Construction and Design

The construction and design of your composter should match your composting needs. If you don’t want to have to bend down to place your compost materials into your composter, then an elevated compost tumbler would be the way to go.

If you are looking to create a lot of compost at once, you should consider purchasing a composter with two or more composting chambers. This will allow you to have compost piles at varying stages in their curing process, allowing for a continuous stream of compost.

Material

Most composters will be made from food-safe, BPA plastics, and other materials to ensure that no toxins seep into your compost and pollute their nutrient make-up. Some composters will also be made with an insulated material, which will allow the pile to heat up and cure faster.

Features and Included Accessories

You don’t necessarily need any added features when it comes to compost bins, as a closed bin is enough to let the materials cure successfully. However, some features, like built-in aerators and several chambers, can aid the curing process and provide you with more high-quality compost.

Price vs. Value

At the end of the day, a composter is really just a glorified bin that you’re throwing your food scraps into. Sure, they come with some interesting features that can help speed the process up, but they’re still bins.

You shouldn’t pay more than $80 for a composter, unless it’s some high-tech miracle composting machine. Most large composters are usually quite affordable, and even compost tumblers that come with things like ‘tea makers’ are very rarely more expensive than that.

FAQs

Should I build or buy a compost bin?

For general purposes, building a compost bin is more than sufficient to meet your composting needs. You can usually make use of a plastic bin that you may have lying around at home, drill a few holes at the top of the lid to allow air in, and place your compost materials inside.

Buying a composter is obviously much simpler, and they usually come with some other features that you can’t install in one you build on your own. If you’re willing to spend the cash, that may be the better option for you.

Which type of compost bin should I get?

There is no real ‘best’ compost bin out there. The type of compost bin you buy should depend on how quickly you want your compost made, what kind of compost you want, and how much compost you want to make at once.

Compost tumblers are great for folks who are looking for a well-mixed compost pile since they allow you to rotate the bin and mix the compost together. Compact compost bins are better for folks who live in smaller homes or have smaller gardens since they take up less space and produce less compost.

How much is a compost bin?

You can expect to pay anywhere between $40 and $90 for a compost bin. This depends on what type of composter it is, the features it comes with, and its capacity to hold materials.

How do I set up a compost bin?

Most ordinary compost bins do not require any setup. All you need to do is place them somewhere in your home and start filling it with food scraps and clippings.

Sometimes, larger compost tumblers will require you to put some pieces together and then attach the body to the frame. Once that is done, you can place them somewhere in your garden and fill them up at your discretion.

Where should I put my compost bin?

That depends on how much space you have in your home, as well as the size of the bin itself. Generally speaking, putting your compost bin somewhere in your garden is the best approach, since there’s usually more space there than in your home.

Plus, you’ll be able to avoid the odor, as well. If you don’t have space in your garden, then you could purchase a smaller bin that could fit somewhere in your home, like the kitchen.

Wrapping Up

There are plenty of compost bins and tumblers out there, and choosing just one can seem impossible. We hope that this list will be useful in making your next purchasing decision easier. Happy composting!

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