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Best Compost Bins Roesler

15 of the best compost bins and how to choose

Turn your food waste into healthy soil with our pick of the best compost bins and composters

No serious garden is complete without a compost bin or compost area of some kind. Not only is composting an environmentally friendly way of dealing with your kitchen and garden waste, but it’s also a fantastic method for producing healthy soil that’s perfect for growing plants. Don’t miss our guide to improving soil health.

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Composting can be done all year round (with late summer to early winter being a peak time) and while there are general rules to follow, anyone can try it. The key is to find the best compost bin for your outdoor area – even if space is at a premium, there are small composters that will make it possible. For a few key pointers, read our guide to composting in a tiny garden.

We’ve picked out a selection of the very best compost bins available, plus a few composting accessories you might need. We also have a guide on the best types of compost to buy. First, though, read on for our guide to help you pick the right compost bin for your outdoor space.

How to choose the best compost bin for your garden

How do compost bins work?

Compost bins work by speeding up the decaying process that takes place naturally with dead, rotting organic materials. This would happen organically in an unenclosed space too – but a compost bin creates the perfect conditions for microorganisms to break down discarded material and turn it into nutrient-rich soil. The compost will emerge over the months, or even up to a year, and you can then add it to your beds as a fertiliser.

This process is aerobic, which is another way of saying that oxygen is vital in order for those microorganisms to work their magic. A natural byproduct of the composting process is heat, and temperatures inside composts can reach as high as 75C. 

As our society grows increasingly environmentally aware, more and more people are turning to compost. Even some plastic manufacturers are marketing their products as biodegradable and compostable – claims that are currently being put to the test in The Big Compost Experiment.

Types of compost bin

Unsurprisingly, they come in a range of sizes and types. You’ll find the best compost bins in each category down below, but here’s a quick round-up of the main varieties: 

Wooden compost bins

Wooden compost bins are generally made of slats, which allow air in through their sides – handy for assisting the composting process. Some come with rooves that keep the rain out. One drawback to slatted compost bins is that they won’t retain as much heat as completely sealed plastic bins. But the convenience of removable slats can make a huge difference.

Plastic compost bins

Plastic compost bins are suitable for smaller gardens and outdoor spaces. Their non-porous sides mean they are effective at retaining heat, and since they don’t let in light, they prevent weeds from growing inside the compost. Cheaper plastic bins are unventilated, while higher-end choices have holes to allow air inside.

Compost bags

You can turn any old sack or tarpaulin bag into a composter, but far wiser is investing in a special composting bag. These are made of breathable, durable fabric that allows oxygen to enter inside, and won’t rot or get damaged by the stored compost.

Worm composts

Worm composts, or wormeries, are one of the best compost bin options for people who have limited outdoor space but are keen to see something useful done with their kitchen scraps. The wiggly little inhabitants of these bins break down the material and produce a nutrient-rich liquid that works as a highly effective fertiliser.

Bokashi bins

Developed in Japan, bokashi is a fermentation, rather than decomposition, process, and takes place far more rapidly – in as little as 10 days, you can have nutrient-rich material that can be added to your garden. Read our guide to bokashi for a proper run-through of what’s involved. Bokashi bins typically come in twin backs, so you can add to one bin while the other is fermenting.

15 of the best garden compost bins

200L Aerobin Hot Composter

A green Aerobin composter on a white background.

The innovative Aerobin was invented in Australia to accelerate the composting process in a natural way. It has a special core, which circulates air to support the microorganisms feeding on the waste. Thanks to the clever design, it’s one of the best compost bins for fast decomposition; you should be able to see compost forming in just 8-12 weeks of using it.

At 117.5cm tall and 51cm across, this bin can hold a lot of material. And, as it comes in an attractive ‘Brunswick Green’ colour, it should fit in nicely among trees and foliage in your garden.

Blackdown Beehive Wooden Composter – 6 Tier

A wooden beehive-style compost bin in a garden.

Compost bins can be fairly unsightly – but this one hides its function by masquerading as a beehive. It’s constructed with attractive British redwood timber, and each plank is 22mm thick and pressure treated for a 15-year guarantee. 

The roof attaches to the body of the bin with hinges and a sash cord, so, after opening it, you can keep your hands free to tip in your waste. Plus, there’s a handy door at the base to access your compost.

315L CompoSphere Rollable Tumbler Composter

A black and white spherical compost bin on a white background.

Here’s a product you may not have seen before. The CompoSphere Rollable Tumbler has a circular shape so you can quickly churn up the waste inside. It’s also one of the best compost bins for easy transportation, as you can push it around the garden rather than keep it in one spot.

With a capacity of 315L, this compost bin can hold a large amount of household and garden waste. And it’s made from recycled, UV-protected plastic, so it should stand the test of time. 

Lacewing Hazel compost bin – 900 Litres

A woven wooden compost bin on grass.

If you’re after an understated compost bin to blend into your garden, why not opt for this attractive woven one, made from hazel? When set up, it measures 90cm across and 1m tall, so it should hold up to 900L of material. 

While it doesn’t have the aeration technology of some other compost bins, air can get in through the gaps in the hazel weave, supporting the decomposition of waste stored inside. 

Green Cone Waste Digester

A Green Cone compost bin with underground basket on a white background.

The Green Cone is a twist on the standard compost bin. With its sleek design, which widens towards the base, it’s a more modern option for anyone who wants to create a minimal, uncluttered look in their outdoor space.

The bin is made up of a basket installed below ground level, as well as a green outer shell and black inner cone on top. It also comes with a kitchen food waste caddy and a sachet of composting ‘accelerator powder’. 

Lacewing Easy-Load Slotted Compost Bin

Best Compost Bin Lacewing

This 1,000L-capacity unit is one of the best compost bins for people with big gardens who find themselves producing large volumes of waste. It’s made of pressure-treated pinewood, that has been guaranteed by the manufacturer to last for 15 years against wood rot.

But the key to this compost bin is the removable slats, which helps you adapt it to suit the size of your compost area, and make adding and removing from it much more convenient. It’s also available in 373L, 605L and 893L sizes.

Symple Stuff Compost Bin

Best Compost Bin Symple Stuff

This mesh compost bin is made of powder-coated steel and is both rust and corrosion-resistant. Those mesh walls allow for plenty of oxygen to enter the compost, although it will retain a lot less heat than the plastic and wooden options on this list. Each of the bin’s sides can be simply removed by unwinding the coiled wire on each of the four sides.

A simple, straightforward choice – and one that’s ideal for composting with leaf mould.

Buy Symple Stuff Compost Bin from Wayfair

Bacsac Compost bag

Best Compost Bins Bacsac

Not strictly a bin, but we’re including Bacsac’s range of compost bags on our list as they’re aimed at people with limited space such as a balcony. The geotextile cloth is breathable, meaning it will keep the compost well-contained, but will still allow oxygen inside to assist the decomposition process.

We’ve featured the small 20L option here, but it’s also available in 40L and 80L sizes.

Buy Bacsac Compost Bin from Made In Design

Krikoris Garden Thermo Compost Bin

Best Compost Bins Krikoris

Basic plastic composters keep their contents unventilated, meaning they have to be opened and the compost turned over to properly aerate. It can also be a real pain removing the compost when it’s ready.

The Krikoris bin, however, comes with a range of user-friendly features: its sides are ventilated, and there are latched lids on both the top and one side. You can also set it up on four little legs, so liquid can drain from below. If convenience is a priority for you in your garden, give this one real thought.

Buy Krikoris Garden Thermo Compost Bin from Wayfair

Wiggly Wigglers Urbalive Worm Composter

Best Compost Bins Urbalive

Another smart solution to composting in smaller spaces is to invest in a wormery, like this 20L kit from Wiggly Wigglers. The idea might sound a little off-putting, but there’s a reason that the waste worms produce is known as ‘black gold’.

This kit contains a stone composter along a bedding block, some lime mix, a moisture mat and, of course, 500g of composting worms. A guide is also included, and the brand has a YouTube channel to help teach you in the ways of worm composting. 

Buy Urbalive Worm Composter from Wiggly Wigglers

Roesler 328L Compost Bin

Best Compost Bins Roesler

Another wooden unit; this one with a pitched roof will keep the elements out of your compost.

Unlike the Lacewing, it only has a single removable slat at its base. It’s also pressure-treated to stand the test of time, although the makers do recommend you spray the compost bin with water in the hottest months, in order to avoid small cracks as the wood regains its moisture later on.

Buy Roesler 328L Compost Bin from Wayfair

Meridian Compost Tumbler

Best Compost Bins Meridian

A tumbler is one of the best compost bin designs out there as it helps you physically churn your compost and protects it against rodents. Scurrying little pests do often like to break into compost bins, so a way to avoid this issue is by keeping your compost up on stilts in a tumbler, and turning it periodically.

This option from Sol 72 Outdoor is made of ventilated plastic, and has two separate compartments.

Buy Meridian Compost Tumbler from Wayfair

Geobin Compost Bin

Best Compost Bins Geobin

If composting is a fundamentally eco-friendly activity, then here’s the eco-friendly bin to do it in. The Geobin is essentially a rolled sheet of perforated plastic that’s 50 per cent recycled: you can unroll it to the diameter of your choice, and then fasten it together with the included closure keys.

The simplicity of the materials and the setup makes it a particularly affordable choice, too.

Wiggly Wigglers Organko 2.0 Bokashi Compost Bin

Best Compost Bins Organko Compost

This twin-pack bokashi bin – also from Wiggly Wigglers – caught our eye on style and appearance alone. These will look just at home on your kitchen counter as in your garden.

Each of the bins in the Organko 2.0 kit has an inner container that’s easily removable for you to take to your garden. The taps at the base of each – a bokashi standard – are there to drain off the liquid that’s produced in the fermentation.

Also contained in the kit is two 1kg of bokashi active bran, which  kickstarts the fermentation process, and an instruction guide. 

Buy Organko 2.0 Bokashi Compost Bin from Wiggly Wigglers

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 Composter

Vitamix FoodCycler with accessories on a white background.

If you love a gadget, you might find yourself drawn to this electronic food composter. Rather than take up space in your garden, it sits on any worktop, table or cabinet and processes scraps in record time. Just hours after filling, you’ll get useful soil fertiliser to spread on your garden. 

In fact, you can empty and refill the FoodCycler multiple times in a single day – and chuck the 2L inner bucket in the dishwasher when you’re done. 

This little gadget can even compost tough materials like chicken bones. Just remember to use the handy carbon filters to remove any unwanted smells. 

Buy Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 from Nordstrom

Composting accessories for the garden

Thinking about the other composting necessities? Here’s our list of the best compost bin equipment for your home and garden. 

Garden Trading Compost Bucket

Best Compost Bins Compost Bucket

If taking daily walks with your kitchen waste to your compost bin sounds a bit tedious, you’ll want some kind of temporary storage for those scraps. This steel compost bucket can store 10L of kitchen waste, but also be easily tucked away in a cupboard or a shelf.

Helpfully, it also has the word ‘COMPOST’ written on it, just in case someone goes in search of a biscuit and gets a nasty surprise. A smaller 3.5L option is also available.

Microbz Compost Activator Solution

Best Compost Bins Microbz Compost Activator

If you want to lend your compost a helping hand, take a look at this activating solution from Microbz. A blend of lactic acid, hydrocarbon-processing bacteria, molasses and water, this will assist those microorganisms in breaking down your compost and speeding up the decay process. 

Harrod Horticulture Long Handled Leaf Grabs

Best Compost Bins Leaf Grabs

If you plan on adding fallen leaves to your compost, or even simply focusing on creating leaf mould compost you can make the job of collecting them much easier with this set of leaf grabs.

Designed in two large, spade-like scoops connected like the blades of a scissor, these grabs will make a quick job of collecting leaves, twigs, and other garden waste and transferring them to your composter.

Thick Canvas Waxed Apron

Best Compost Bins Waxed Apron

If there’s one thing you don’t want seeping into your clothes, it’s pungent, months-old compost. Stay clean and protected in your garden with this thick, durable waxed apron from Alaskan Maker. It’s available in both navy and olive colours. 

Buy Thick Canvas Waxed Apron from The Worm That Turned

ETI Compost Thermometer

Best Compost Bins Thermometer

Heat is a vital part of effective composting, since it kills off things like unwanted bacteria and weed seeds. If you have a vented composter, you can monitor its progress by popping one of these thermometers inside to see if the temperature is rising.

Burgon & Ball Compost Soil Scoop

Best Compost Bins Soil Scoop

You’ll want a spade or fork for larger composts – but if you garden on a small scale, this soil scoop will be perfect for both adding and turning compost. The scoop is made of powder-coated steel and has a 10-year guarantee.

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Buy Compost Soil Scoop from The Worm That Turned