Creating compost is very beneficial to gardeners because it gives you an excellent mix of organic materials that allow you to grow healthy plants. It’s a quick and easy way to reduce how much food waste your household has, and the right compost tumbler will have enough space for all of your materials while making it easy to use. Since composting is relatively easy in the grand scheme of things, it’s something a lot of people do to enrich their garden or potting soil before they add new plants.
There are also dozens of compost tumblers available, and this makes it a challenge to narrow down the best one for your needs. We’re going to help with this process and showcase 10 of the best compost tumblers available on the current market. Each one will have pros and cons you can compare, and you can narrow down your choice based on your wants and needs.
A heavy-duty compost tumbler can ensure that you have more than enough compost for your garden beds, flowers, trees, and vegetable gardens whenever you want to add nutrients to the soil. You can easily create gallons of compost in one go too. Spivey_compost tumbler by Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
FCMP Outdoor Tumbling Composter – Top Pick
This compost tumbler holds up to 37-gallons of material in two chambers, and dual chamber design allows you to easily finish one load of compost while starting a new batch of material in the second chamber. You can also not install the partition to split the chambers and two sections and have one bigger 36-gallon tumbler for your garden or yard. It sits two feet off the ground, and this is high enough to comfortably load and unload it without bending over far.
Perched on a metal stand, this compost tumbler resists rust and corrosion due to exposure to the elements, and the metal stand also makes it harder for pests like rats to invade. There are sliding plastic doors that seal the chambers, but they can freeze in the winter and be difficult to open or close. You can choose from just the compost tumbler, tumbler and bin, or tumbler and starter mix when you order this product.
- Holds up to 37-gallons
- Dual chamber design
- Can take out the divider
- Sits two feet high
- Metal stand
- Sliding plastic doors
- Available in three styles
- Doors can freeze shut in winter
Good Ideas Compost Wizard Jr – Step-up Pick
This compost bin is part of the manufacturer’s Compost Wizard series, and this is the smallest one of the series they offer. You’ll get a single chamber on this tumbler that sits on a hollow base. The hollow base collects leachate, and the base comes with rollers to make it easy to turn the bin. It comes with a seven cubic foot capacity on it that gives you enough room to handle the average amount of waste generated by a household. The company recommends that you set this tumbler on bricks, concrete blocks, or landscaping rocks to help it drain off the leachate as needed.
When you buy this compost tumbler, it comes fully assembled and ready to use out of the box. All you have to do is set it outside and start filling it. It is a single chamber design, and this means that you have to stop filling it once it reaches maximum capacity until your compost is ready to use. The doors slide easily open and closed to make it a snap to access your compost or add more to it.
- Single chamber design
- Base has rollers
- Easy to turn
- Doors slide open and closed smoothly
- Seven cubic foot capacity
- Drains leachate
- Fully assembled
- Have to set it up on rocks to encourage good drainage
Redmon 8000 Compost Bin – Mid-End Budget Pick
If you’re on a budget, this is a basic outdoor compost tumbler that can help you up your gardening game. It comes with a very affordable price tag without skimping on size, and it can hold up to a maximum of 65 gallons of compost at one time. While this is a stationary bin instead of a tumbler, it has a wider base that gives it more stability when you’re loading, unloading, or leaving it sit and allowing your compost to break down. It’s a great choice for processing larger quantities of compost at once.
The dark coloring and square design of this compost tumbler allow the contents to heat up much more quickly than other options, and this allows you to get to your compost quicker. You may have to secure the lid down when it gets windy. Also, this product sits directly on the ground, and this makes it more vulnerable to pests like rats.
- Heats up materials quickly
- Large capacity for the price
- Wider base attached to it
- Dark coloring
- Easy to load and unload
- Mesh over the holes to keep pests out
- Available in two colors
- Sits directly on the ground
Miracle Gro Small Composter – Bargain Budget Pick
If you think that you don’t have enough room in your backyard landscape design to hide a compost tumbler, try this option from Miracle Gro. This is a smaller model that can comfortably hold up to 28 gallons of waste. However, it has a small enough profile to fit comfortably on your patio, balcony, or anywhere that offers just two feet of available space. It’s a good pick if you’re a single person or a couple that has a small amount of organic waste that you need to compost.
This compost tumbler comes with a single chamber for the design, and it can cure your compost in between four to six weeks. You should only have to turn it once every one or two days. The oxygen holes are smaller, and this allows for minimal debris to spill out. The tumbler sits on a wide metal base that resists rust and corrosion, and it can help keep pests out. There are also two sizes available if you need a slightly larger tumbler than this one.
- Two sizes available
- Holds 28-gallons of compost
- Takes up only two feet of space
- Cures compost in four to six weeks
- Metal stand
- Smaller aeration holes
- Easy to open and close
- Assembly can be frustrating
Worm Factory 360 Black – Best for Composting with Worms
If you’re someone who wants to use a compost tumbler with worms, this is the compost tumbler for you. It’s an expandable worm composter that comes with four trays. This is usually large enough four one to four people’s waste products. You can add up to two more trays for a grand total of six if you have more family members. The composter does need good airflow, the correct temperatures, and enough moisture to support the worms and keep them alive. It’s an extremely efficient system if you can keep it between 40°F and 80°F.
You can toss everything from paper waste to kitchen scraps into this compost tumbler and the worms will do the rest of the work. The more you feed the worms, the more casings you get. However, you could have to wait several months to see positive results with it. It comes with a very wide base that adds stability to this product, and it’s easy to slide the drawers in and out.
- Can expand up to six trays
- Needs good airflow
- Uses live worms to break down compost
- Good for paper scraps to food waste
- Wide base
- Easy to move
- Living composter model
- Can take months to work
Lifetime 60058 Compost Tumbler – Best for Large Capacities
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If you need to go through large quantities of compost to cover your whole garden layout, this compost tumbler comes with an 80-gallon capacity. It has enough space for large quantities of kitchen scraps, paper, yard waste, and cardboard. It also has a lid that comes with a slightly larger opening that makes it easy to get in and access your finished compost or add more materials when you need it. You’ll have to turn the tumbler every one or two days, and it sits on a sturdy base that makes it easy to use.
There are large aeration holes to ensure the entire compost tumbler gets good airflow. The lid attaches firmly to keep it in place, but you may want to reinforce it if you use the full 80-gallons. The compost tumbler will leak liquid as your compost breaks down, but you can easily catch this in a bucket and use it or allow it to drain into the ground below it. The metal legs make it difficult for rodents to get up and into the tumbler.
- 80-gallon capacity
- Larger opening
- Sits on a wide base
- Metal legs keep pests out
- Easy to load and unload
- Three options available to buy
- Legs have powder coating on them
- Need to reinforce the door
Geobin Compost Bin – Best for Yard Waste Composting
If you’re someone who mainly wants to compost your yard waste, this composting tumbler is for you. It’s an open composter that uses flexible plastic for the build material that can get up to 3.75-feet in diameter. It arrives tightly rolled, but all you have to do is lay out the plastic and flatten it before you bend it to fit into your desired size. Since this product has an open design, it allows for very quick decomposition of any material you place inside it.
This compost tumbler works well for yard clippings, leaves, coffee grounds, and a range of other non-food items. It has aeration holes running down the entire body of the unit, and the top is 100% open to allow for maximum airflow. It’s easy to adjust the size of the bin to suit your needs, and the plastic keys will lock the segments in place to ensure they don’t accidentally move or slip open when you’re loading and unloading it.
- Uses flexible plastic for the body
- Easy to adjust the size
- Quick to set up when you get it
- Works for yard waste
- Open design
- Aeration holes down the sides
- Stores in small spaces
- Flimsy when it’s not full
Good Ideas Composting Tumbler – Best for Dual Compost Loads
This composting tumbler has dual chambers on it, and this means that you can have one almost finished load of compost on one side and a brand new batch on the other without them mixing. It’s a great product if you have raised garden beds that need compost early on and flower beds that don’t need it until later because you can split your compost and have it ready at different times. You’ll get built-in handles that make it easy to turn the bin to rotate the compost, and it has a tea-collecting base that maxes out at five gallons.
The base rollers on this compost tumbler allow you to easily turn the compost bin when it’s totally full without a lot of stain on your body. The two door hatches do only measure seven-inches wide, so it can be difficult to get a shovel in there to quickly remove your compost. The doors twist closed for security, and the aeration holes are small so stray compost doesn’t fall out.
- Dual chamber design
- Sits on rollers
- Easy to turn
- Works for continuous composting
- Built-in handles
- Doors screw in for security
- Small aeration holes
- Doors are only seven-inches wide
Jora Composter Tumbler – Best for Continuous Composting
This is another compost tumbler that comes with a larger capacity than others on the list at 60-gallons. There is a continuous use dual chamber design, so you can have 30-gallons of compost ready to go and start a second 30-gallon batch of compost in the same unit without mixing them. So, you’ll never run out of compost with it. It has a one-year warranty against damage or defects, so this gives you time to try it out and see if it’s a good fit for your needs.
It has great insulation on it, and this means that pests will have a hard time getting into your compost tumbler and getting to your compost. It’s made out of polyethylene, and this is a durable but nontoxic material. The frame is galvanized steel, and this makes it rust-proof with exposure to the elements. The chambers seal tightly to prevent leaks, and it has multiple side vents that give your compost excellent aeration as it breaks down. The latches are also stainless steel.
- One-year warranty with customer support
- Seals tightly
- Stainless steel base and latches
- Heavy insulation
- Dual chambers
- Very durable
- Doors have larger openings
- Difficult to assemble and very heavy
FCMP Outdoor Dual Body Tumbling Composter – Smaller Loads
This compost tumbler makes mixing loads of compost relatively easy, and you should only have to turn it two or three times every one to two days. Your compost can be finished in as little as two weeks if you set it out in a sunny and hot location. It has larger openings with removable doors that make it an excellent gift for gardeners due to the ease of use, and the deep fins on the sides of the body give you fantastic handholds.
The two separate sides on this compost tumbler allow you to finish one side while adding fresh compost to the other side. If you swap them continuously, you’ll get a constant supply of fresh, nutrient-packed compost for your yard or garden. It has a maximum capacity of 37-gallons, or five cubic feet. There are aeration holes along the side that mixes oxygen in with the compost. The body is BPA-free and UV-inhibited plastic that won’t warp or break down with repeated use. The galvanized steel frame has a powder coating on it that helps it resist damage due to rust and corrosion.
- Dual chamber design
- Doors are removable
- Tons of aeration holes
- Galvanized steel frame with a powder coating
- 37-gallon capacity
- Body is BPA-free and UV-inhibited plastic
- Easy to turn due to deep fins on the body
- Assembly can be difficult
Compost Tumbler Buyer’s Guide
When you start to shop for a compost tumbler, there are several things that you want to keep in mind. Buying considerations can help you quickly and easily compare various compost tumblers and narrow down your choices to find the best one. We’ve put together a quick buyer’s guide that will help you do just that below.
There are many styles and sizes available on the current market for these bins, and this is why having buying considerations in mind is essential. They can help you narrow down your list to one or two top picks relatively easy. Long Island City pocket and container garden tumbler compost bins by Nick Normal / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
How to Use a Compost Tumbler
What type of compost do you want to create in your compost tumbler? Do you want to add garden waste or kitchen scraps over longer periods of time? Do you want to compost in batches or have one larger load? If you want to regularly add to your compost, you should get a dual chambered unit. This will let you start filling up a second chamber while the first one is currently composting.
If you only have a single chamber on your compost tumbler, you’ll open it to add new material during the composting process. Each time you open the door, cool air will slow the composting process down. So, this is something to consider when you’re looking at different models.
When you want to create quality compost, draining the moisture off is essential. High-quality compost tumblers usually come with at least one or two drainage holes or slits. These holes or slits could go down into a bucket at the bottom of the composter, or you could have to put a bucket there to catch the drippings. If the water sits in your compost, this can lead to very wet materials that don’t break down as well.
The ideal compost tumbler will be durable enough to handle the maximum capacity of compost without a problem. It should feature a high-density plastic material for the body that is resistant to UV damage. If there are any screws, locks, hinges or latches on the compost tumbler, make sure that they get a tight fit and don’t wiggle loose. Most high-quality tumblers use a metal frame, and it may have a powder coating on them. This can help prevent issues with rust and corrosion.
Ease of Use
How easy is it to use your new compost tumbler? It’s essential that you find one that is easy to use once you start to fill it. The last thing you want to do is get it full of rich compost and have trouble turning it or getting the compost out. Many tumblers have secure hand-holds that you can grip to turn it, and some have rollers set under the bin to make it easier on you to operate.
Do you need a small or larger capacity to handle all of the compost you have? Some composters give you the advantage of being very portable, but larger units make more compost at one time. There are several sizes available that run from 20 or 30-gallons up to 75 or 80-gallons, so matching your compost tumbler’s maximum capacity with your needs will ensure you get the most out of it.
Can you lift up and carry yoru compost tumbler on your own? If you can, this is considered to be a very portable model. Does it take two people instead of one to lift and carry it? This is still considered to be very portable. If it takes more than three people to lift it when it’s empty, you’ll have a problem. If you can’t lift it when it’s empty, there is a very slim chance that you’ll be able to budge it once it’s full.
Ideally, any tumbler that you can have will have a large enough storage chamber for all of your compost, but it’ll still be portable for one to three people to move with minimal effort. Otherwise, you’ll have to set you tumbler in one space and not move it again. Tumbler-composter by Ryan Roy / CC BY-NC 2.0
Rats can wreak havoc on your property, and a compost tumbler that they can easily access is a hoard of free food. So, you want to ensure that pests can’t get into the tumbler while you have compost in it. Most of the options on the list came with sturdy metal legs that were two-feet or more off of the ground. This makes it very difficult for anything to get into the bin. Some did sit directly on the ground, and these are easy targets for rats or other pests.
Heat is another necessary component for speeding up your entire composting process. So, you don’t want stray drafts slowing it down. Double-check that you have very tight seals around the doorways. Insulation is another nice thing to have because it can help trap heat inside with the compost and break it down even faster than it normally would.
Your compost tumbler will need aeration to give the compost vital nutrients. This can help speed up the entire composting process. Make sure that any device you pick out has multiple air holes along the sides of it. They don’t have to be very large because this can allow some of your compost to spill out when you turn it.
Even though your compost tumbler won’t be the most visually-appealing thing in your yard, there are some that have more visual appeal than others. Consider how much space you have to set your tumbler up, and where it is most convenient for you to reach it. Enclosed tumblers are generally better to get than open ones. If you can get away with a smaller footprint, try for a smaller capacity tumbler so it’s easy to set out of the way.
These 10 compost tumblers are some of the best you can get on the market. You can easily compare the reviews and see which one will work best for your wants and needs. Really think about how much waste you have that can go into your tumbler because this can help you pick a size. When you get it, set it up and start filling it with your compost so you have a batch ready in time to feed your plants in the summer months.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.