Composting is a great way to take kitchen and yard waste and recycle it into a nutrient rich soil that is a perfect addition to flowers and gardens. Turning all of that waste into compost keeps tons of garbage out of landfills every year, and is the perfect addition to organic gardening. Below are some of the Top Composters on the market with ratings and comparisons of the available features. Also be sure to check out our in-depth reviews of each product.
Click the images on each product to go to the review page where you will find the best and worst features of each composter, so you can choose the one that is perfect for your home. There are also price comparisons at the bottom of the review pages to help you find the best price across the web.
Top Composters Comparison(RATINGS KEY: 1=lowest to 5=highest) ( PRICES KEY: $= $99 or less, $$= $100 to $199, $$$= $200 and above )
|Composter:||Algreen Soil Saver||Good Ideas CW-2X||Worm Factory 360||Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler|
|Capacity||12.6 cu. ft./ 94 gallons||7 cu. ft./ 52 gallons||2 cu. ft/ 18 gallons||10.7 cu. ft/ 80 gallons|
|Number of Bin Chambers||Single||Dual||Four Trays/ +4 Expandable||Single|
|Lid Type||Snap on/Locking||Dual Screw-On||Stackable Trays||Hinged/Removeable|
|Manual/Compost Fork||Tumbler on wheels||No turning required||Tumbler turns on it's axis|
|Compost Tea Collector||NO||YES||YES||NO|
|Warranty||25 years||1 year||10 years||5 years|
|Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review||Read Full Review|
There are several types of home composters, and each one has their own advantages and disadvantages. Here we will discuss the three main types and a description of each, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Bin Enclosure Style Composters
The most basic form of composting is just having a heap of waste in a pile somewhere in the yard that may include kitchen scraps, leaves raked in the fall, or grass clippings from lawnmower bagging. The bin enclosure style composters take this concept a step further, by having the age old compost pile contained in a plastic enclosure with a completely open bottom. A good example of this type of composting bin is the Algreen Soil saver. Many of these bins have lids, which is great for keeping animals out of the compost pile.
Traditional compost piles can cause the yard to look messy and may even be an eyesore for neighbors, but the bin enclosures keep the composting material neat, and is much easier on the eyes. The open bottom allows for good drainage, and it also provides access to earthworms which aid in the breakdown of the compost pile as well as leave behind nutrient rich worm castings.
Compost enclosures require the most amount of work if you’re looking to produce compost quickly, because you will have to turn and aerate the pile fairly often to speed up cooking times. This can be a good amount of work especially when the bin is nearly full. Turning the pile is by no means required, you can just let it sit and let nature do all of the work, but it will take much, much longer to produce compost this way.
Tumbler Style Composters
Tumbler style composters take one of the hardest parts of traditional composting, and make it super quick and simple to do. The key to producing compost quickly, is the occasional turning of the pile for aeration and to keep the compost cooking. Compost tumblers are designed to make turning the compost an easy task that anyone can do. Most of these types consist of a plastic bin that turns on wheels or it’s own axis, so with a simple flick of the wrist the job is done. These tumblers are probably the easiest to use of all the types, and work really for small to medium size yards. They can be placed close to the house for easy access and are perfect for decks and patios. Compost tumblers have some useful features such as double-sided bins that allow you to add waste to one side while the other side cooks, and compost tea collectors that can be used to collect the nutrient rich liquid that drains from the pile to be used as organic fertilizer. If you have very large amount of yard waste (grass clippings, leaves) or a very large family that produces lots of kitchen scraps you may need two of the compost tumblers due to the limitations of size on most models.
If you’ve ever looked into buying worm castings for your garden or flower beds then you already know how expensive they can be. Worm castings are created when earthworms break down composting material and are the most nutrient rich, organic soil available. Worm composters give you the ability to make your own high-quality worm castings at home. These compost bins consist of multi-level trays filled with worms that you add your waste material to, and then just let the worms do all the work. When one tray is full you just add another on top, and the worms work their way up after they finish composting each tray. Shredded paper and kitchen scraps are recycled into a nutrient rich soil that is perfect for organic gardens. The worm composting bins can be a bit messier than they other types of composters, and they also have the lowest capacity, but the payoff is the high-quality otherwise expensive worm castings that are produced in the process.
When looking for the right type of composter for your home two main factors are most important; size and ease of use. First, the size of the unit compared with it’s planned use should match up. You don’t want a huge monstrosity if all you plan to add is a few kitchen scraps here and there, so a small tumbler or worm composter is ideal. On the other hand if you have large amounts of scraps and yard waste you want to compost you’ll want to find one of the larger tumblers or maybe even an enclosed bin type.
Ease of use is very important, and more than likely will determine your desire to continue composting. The tumbler types are very easy to use and are great for beginners and veterans alike. They require much less attention than the other types to produce compost quickly. The enclosed bin types hold much more material but require a bit more
work to maintain, and the worm composters come with the added requirement of making sure the conditions are ideal for the worms, but produces some of the best organic soil.
These are all things to consider when trying to decide which composter is best for your situation, but in any case you’ll be greatly reducing the waste being sent to landfills, and get rewarded with great quality soil year after year.