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Look for the best compost bins of 2024 to jumpstart your eco-friendly garden? These are the best compost bins for all types of living situations and experience levels.
When beginner composters come to me all stressed out with a million questions, I try to reassure them that composting is actually a pretty simple process. All organic matter eventually rots and turns into compost.
One of the first steps is choosing your composting method. This decision is partially informed by where you’ll be composting (in your spacious backyard, on your deck, etc.), and will determine which type of compost bin is right for you and your lifestyle.
This post will cover the different types of compost bins, which compost bins work best for different lifestyles, and my favorite compost bins in each category!
P.S. This blog post focuses on outdoor compost bins. If you’re looking for a solution to collect kitchen scraps before bringing them out to your compost, read more about the best compost caddy for kitchen countertops.
Hi, I’m Leslie!
My name is Leslie, and I’m the founder of PunkMed! On my blog, I and my team share info, experiences, and recommendations in the area of sustainability, urban homesteading, and all things gardening. Our goal is to help you slow down and savor the small joys in life through sustainable practices (including composting!)
In today’s post, I’m sharing my favorite compost bins for every type of space and lifestyle. These recommendations come from my years of experience composting in my tiny backyard in the city. I’m here to convince you that you can really compost anywhere with the right compost bin!
Let’s get into it!
This post is all about the best compost bins.
Types of Compost Bins
Open Compost Bin
As the name suggests, open air compost bins allow your compost to be exposed to the elements. Open air compost bins are usually made from wood or steel wire and therefore allow a good deal of airflow. Unfortunately, this extra exposure to the elements can also be attractive to rodents and other pests, so these systems may not be the best for city-dwellers.
However, these compost bins are super low maintenance and easy to set up! Once you’re compost bin is set up, start throwing materials on top, and occasionally give it a turn. (Learn more about home composting.)
Open air compost bins produce finished compost relatively slowly (3-12 months depending on temperatures).
Note: You can easily DIY your own open air compost bin by nailing four pallets together. Alternatively, create a circular bin by shaping chicken wire or hardware cloth into a tube and securing with wire.
Best For: Those with lots of space, access to a patch of dirt or lawn, not worried about pests.
Closed Continuous Compost Bin
Closed continuous compost bins allow you to continuously add food scraps, yard waster, and other compost materials to the top of bin, while finished compost settles to the bottom. A door of the bottom of the bin allows you to collect finished compost.
These bins also have lids, which keep rodents and pests out.
Closed continuous compost bins produced finished compost relatively slowly. Usually finished compost can be collected a few times each year.
Best For: Apartment/city dwellers that have access to land but are worried about pests.
Compost tumblers also created compost in a closed system that keep pests out. However, these compost bins are also set to rotate on an axis with a handle. These compost bins are a little bit more hands on–you’ll need to rotate
Routinely rotating the compost bin causes a flurry of microbial activity that speeds up the composting process. Depending on temperatures, finished compost can be ready in as little as four to eight weeks.
Best For: Apartment/city dwellers that want access to finished compost relatively quickly.
The multi-bin composter allows you to have several compost bins in differing stages of “doneness.” One compost bin in this multi-system may contain finished compost, while you continually add materials to the other.
The multi-bin composter allows you to have access to finished compost while still having an active pile to throw kitchen scraps and other waste.
Best For: Heavy waste producers
Best Compost Bins
Best Outdoor Compost Bin
This open air compost bin from Greenes Fence may look simple, but it actually has some genius design features. First, it’s extremely easy to assemble: simply slide boards and spacers into posts for a secure frame–no tools needed!
Second, it’s a completely modular system–composters can be connected together to create a multi-bin system as your operation grows. Corner posts are routed on all four sides for easy assembly and expansion.
Finally, this compost bin is made to last in the USA with 100% chemical-free and sustainably-sourced cedar.
Dimensions: 36″L x 36″W x 31″H
Best Compost Bin With Lid
This galvanized steel compost bin from Gardener’s Supply Company features a locking base door and vent holes on the sides to promote air flow as your compost cooks. This genius design allows you to continually feed your compost from the top, as finished compost is collected from the bottom. When you’re ready to harvest, a metal bar keeps the base door up and out of your way.
The two-part hinged lid comes off entirely when adding materials to the bin, and keeps pests out when not in use. I love this compost bin for city dwellers and others that are worried about attracting critters (or catching flak from neighbors!)
Plus, the powder-coated galvanized steel that is weather-resistant and made for any season.
Material: Powder-coated galvanized steel
Dimensions: 36″W x 20″L and 32″H
Best Compost Tumbler
Many compost tumblers on the market are simply too small to produce a meaningful amount of compost–not the case with this 100-gallon tumbler from Lifetime.
This ultra-durable high-density polyethylene tumbler features two 50-gallon tumblers to allow for continuous composting. Continue feeding one barrel while harvesting from a finished batch of compost in the other!
The ergonomic design puts the tumblers at the perfect loading height, and allows for extremely easy turning. No knobs and handles–and no more back-breaking work trying to aerate your compost pile with a pitchfork!
Dimensions: 65″L x 31″W x 43.3″H
Best Multi-Bin Composter
For those looking to scale their composting operation, or who already need a lot of compost, the multi-bin composter is the way to go.
This multi-bin system allows you to have a continuous stream of compost is varying stages doneness, so you’ll always have compost when you need it (if you plan correctly!)
This multi-bin composter is made with rustic, untreated 11/16″- thick cedar boards that simply lock into corner posts without tools for a durable, open-bottom frame.
Dimensions: 72″L x 24″W x 31″H
This post was all about the best compost bins.