Have you ever considered making your own compost at home?
Maybe there are some things holding you back, such as how it’s sometimes difficult to turn compost when it’s in your garden or you’re worried about the compost heap being smelly.
That’s why you should consider purchasing a compost tumbler, which is a sealed container that mixes organic material to produce compost.
What are the benefits of a compost tumbler?
Using a compost tumbler means that you just have to fill it with waste and then it will do all the hard work for you. Many compost tumblers rotate.
This means they can mix the compost easily so you don’t have to. If that sounds good to you, you’ll love our best compost tumbler reviews.
Let’s check out five great products that will make compost a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.
Our Top Picks For The Best Compost Tumbler
Best Overall Winner: EJWOX Large Composting Tumbler
This EJWOX composting tumbler has many benefits, and it’s a solid choice for advanced and beginner composters alike.
- Aerated internal bar
- Powder-coated steel frame
- Galvanized steel feet
- This composting tumbler is a dual-chamber one. This means that you can compost on a regular basis as it has enough capacity. How it works is that you fill up one chamber when the other chamber has almost completed the composting process. By using them in this way, you’ll always have a compost chamber ready to use.
- This tumbler has an aerated internal bar that works to mix the compost as well as double-wall panels that absorb heat so that bacteria can get to work on decomposing the waste.
- Using this composting tumbler is easy, thanks to its slide doors.
- This tumbler is built to be durable – it has a powder-coated steel frame that also keeps it stable.
- It has galvanized steel feet that are another good feature to prevent the tumbler from experiencing war and tear.
- Some people who have purchased this compost tumbler have reported that the part which separates the two chambers is flimsy and doesn’t always work.
- Others have reported that the doors are quite narrow and small.
- You get everything you need to assemble the compost tumbler in the pack, such as screws.
- You can access the product’s user manual on the company’s website.
This best rated compost tumbler by EJWOX is currently unavailable on Amazon, but you can purchase it from the EJWOX website for $142.99. This is a useful compost tumbler that has many benefits if you want to start composting.
Runner-Up: FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter
If you want to start making your own compost really quickly, you’ll love this tumbling composter by FCMP. It can produce compost in just two weeks!
- Removable door
- Ergonomic handles
- Adjustable air vents
- This composter has a tumbling design, so it mixes compost easily and quickly. All you have to do is turn it five times every two or three days.
- This composter has a removable door for easy access.
- It’s built with ergonomic handles.
- It’s got a galvanized steel frame that is resistant to corrosion.
- This composter is all about aeration. It’s got adjustable air vents and deep fins. These help to break up the contents in the chambers so that a lot of air can be added to it. More effective aeration is actually one of the benefits of choosing a tumbling composter instead of a regular one.
- Some people who have purchased this composter have reported that it’s quite difficult to assemble.
- Others have reported a design flaw – the composter is difficult to empty because it collects compost along the sides and this doesn’t come out easily.
- This composter is built to be strong. It’s UV-resistant and free of toxins such as BPA. It can also be fully recycled and is contact safe.
- Since this compost tumbler has two separate chambers, you can ensure that you always have a steady stream of healthy compost being produced.
This best compost bin tumbler costs $99.95. It’s cost-effective while being well built to offer you greater durability so you can produce your own compost without it costing you a lot of money.
Now that we’ve looked at the two best compost tumbler models on the market, let’s check out a great alternative to try if you’re looking for something a bit different.
Alternative: Exaco Trading Company Exaco Mr.Spin Compost Tumbler
- Rotatable compost tumbler
- Steel frame
- Easy assembly
- This compost tumbler is built to stand on two legs, which makes it portable and easy to fit into small spaces.
- Its two chambers ensure that you can keep your fresh waste separate from older waste, which is useful if you’re making two batches of compost at different times.
- This compost tumbler is rotatable and using it is really easy: you just turn it and the organic matter will be mixed.
- All you need is a Phillips screwdriver in order to assemble this compost tumbler, which shouldn’t take you more than an hour at the most.
- Since it’s raised off the ground, this compost tumbler prevents pests such as ants and vermin from being a nuisance.
- Some people have complained that the divider doesn’t work properly.
- Others have reported that the door to use the composter is really small as well as that the composter tends to leak when it is turned.
- This compost tumbler has a strong green-coated steel frame that’s 1.2mm thick and offers greater durability.
This small, portable composter is built to be user-friendly. It also won’t burn your budget as it costs $109.99. It offers decent capacity (43 gallons) which is right up there with other best compost tumblers on the market.
But, if you’re looking for a compost tumbler that’s compact and easy to store in your living space, you’ll love the next tumbler on our list.
Best Small Compost Tumbler: Miracle-Gro Small Composter
If you have a small living space but you still want to make your own compost, you’ll want a compost bin that’s small enough to fit into tiny spaces. If that’s the case, you’ll want this Miracle Gro model: it’s the best small compost tumbler on the market and a total game changer because of its shape, so let’s check out its specs and features.
- Locking feature
- Hexagonal design
- Comes with gardening gloves
- This compact compost tumbler is built in a hexagonal design so that it’s easier to mix. But the added benefit of this is that it doesn’t look like a traditional compost bin, which can be good if you’re storing it in your living space.
- It’s built to fit in small spaces. You could put it on your balcony, on your patio, or even on a rooftop garden.
- It has a side-locking feature so that you can easily load and unload compost.
- The plastic of the tumbler is UV-resistant.
- The construction of this product is not as high-quality as what you’ll find in more expensive compost tumblers. It has plastic parts that fit into the panels but they don’t fasten securely enough, as some people who’ve purchased this tumbler have reported.
- Other people have reported that the tumbler is difficult to assemble, so you might need to access online resources to help you out, especially if you’re doing this for the first time.
- As a nice touch, you receive a pair of gardening gloves when purchasing this tumbler. The gloves are resistant to water while also having a no-slip grip feature.
- The tumbler is built to ensure an airtight seal so you don’t have to worry about unwanted odors or pests being attracted to your compost.
If you’re interested in this interesting, small compost tumbler, you can purchase it for $69.90 and enjoy using it for your kitchen waste and other organic matter. It’s proof that anyone can compost, even if they don’t have a large living space.
Best Wheeled Compost Tumbler: Kotulas Wheeled Compost Tumbler
For the ultimate convenience some compost tumblers are fitted with wheels so you can move them around. This is especially great if you want to ensure that your compost tumbler is always in enough sunlight and to make it easier when you want to move it from the garden to the house. The Kotulas Wheeled Compost Tumbler is worth checking out to make your life easier. Best of all, it’s got loads of capacity to offer you.
- 50-gallon capacity
- Plastic and steel construction
- Screw-in cap
- This wheeled compost tumbler offers the most capacity out of all the compost tumblers we’ve reviewed: 50 gallons!
- It’s built to be strong, thanks to its heavy-duty steel tube frame and recycled plastic drum.
- It comes with two wheels that make it easier to roll around your garden.
- This compost tumbler has a screw-in cap to make it easy to fill it with materials, but some people who have purchased this product and reviewed it on Amazon have said that it’s difficult to properly align the cap so that it can close properly.
- Other people have reported that this compost tumbler is very close to the ground, which makes removing compost from it a bit difficult.
- This compost tumbler is easy to rotate so it makes turning your compost so much fuss-free, even if you’re a beginner.
- People have reported that the compost tumbler is easy to assemble.
This compost tumbler is currently unavailable from Amazon. However, you can purchase it from other sites, such as the Northern Tool website. The Northern Tool company has retired their Kotulas brand but still makes their products available. You can expect to pay $179.99 for it.
Compost Tumbler FAQ
After reviewing the best compost tumblers on the market, you might have some questions related to compost tumblers. Let’s look at three common ones.
How to use a compost tumbler?
We can see from our compost tumbler reviews that these products have many benefits.
They make it easier for you to make compost at home because you don’t have to mix it yourself, to mention just one advantage.
But it’s important to know how to use a compost tumbler in the best way so that you will be able to produce healthy compost that will benefit your garden. Here’s how to use a compost tumbler.
- You have to load your compost tumbler with waste from your garden and kitchen. You should make use of green and brown waste. Green waste includes grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, while brown waste refers to items like paper. You should always follow the rule of putting one-part green waste with three-parts brown waste.
- When you put materials into your tumbler, make sure you add them once at a time and only when you have accumulated enough materials to fill the tumbler. This is important because it prevents you from having different materials being made into compost at different times, which would result in unhealthy, improperly formed compost.
- When you have filled the compost tumbler, you should give the waste a chance to break down. Make sure you put your tumbler in an area of the garden where it will receive lots of direct sunlight. This will stimulate the growth of bacteria which will break down the organic matter.
- Then, once or twice every few days (depending on what the compost tumbler manufacturer specifies), you should turn the compost tumbler. This is important to mix the organic materials and aerate the compost.
- Always check that there are no offensive odors coming from the compost tumbler. These can point to different problems in the materials you’re using. For example, if you smell an ammonia-like odor, this is a sign that there’s too much nitrogen in the compost. That means you need to add more brown waste to your tumbler. On the other hand, if you smell a rotten egg odor, this could point to there being too much moisture in the compost. You should also add more brown waste to decrease it, as SFGate reports.
- When the compost is ready, which might take a few weeks (check what the compost tumbler manufacturer states), you can empty the tumbler. It’s pretty standard that the hatch that you use to fill the tumbler with materials is the same one you’ll use when emptying the tumbler.
- You’ll know that the compost is ready when it smells a bit earthy and has the appearance of loose or dark brown soil. If it doesn’t have these characteristics, then you need to leave it in the compost tumbler for longer.
How long does it take to compost in a tumbler?
After you have put your organic material into the compost tumbler and you’ve ensured you’ve turned it according to the manufacturer’s specifications, you should be able to produce compost within two or three weeks.
However, you should always check the compost tumbler’s specific information pertaining to how long it takes to make compost as this might differ a little from one compost tumbler to the next.
If you want to speed up the composting process, such as if you have a lot of organic waste that you want to use to make compost on a regular basis, you should choose to purchase a compost tumbler that has two separate chambers.
This enables you to make different batches of compost at different speeds.
It also gives you the chance to keep a continuous composting ritual because when one chamber is full of organic materials you can make use of the second one to start a new batch of compost.
By ensuring that your compost tumbler has favourable conditions, this will also help you to speed up the composting process.
You should ensure that the compost tumbler is getting a lot of sunlight as this will encourage bacteria to be produced in the waste, which will stimulate the compost to be produced.
Bear in mind that if you live in a cold or wet region, your compost might take longer than three weeks to be produced because the outdoor temperature will obviously affect the process.
Other important things you should do is to ensure you have the right balance of carbon and nitrogen, as we discussed earlier.
Finally, it can’t hurt to use what’s known as a compost starter.
This is a bit of ready or semi-ready compost taken from a previous batch that gets put into the compost tumbler for the new batch you want to make.
It can help you to jumpstart the composting process, even though it’s not something that you have to do every time you compost.
What do you put in a compost tumbler?
We’ve already discussed the types of items you should put in your compost tumbler, focusing on green and brown waste, but let’s look at this in more detail.
Here we’ve categorized different waste you can put in your compost tumbler, but also how much you should put in so that you get your balance of nitrogen and carbon right.
- Dryer lint, eggshells, tea leaves and tea bags, straw, shredded leaves, green comfrey leaves, coffee grounds can all be used safely in your compost tumbler. When it comes to dryer lint, choose to use ones that are made of natural fibers as they break down the best.
- Some materials you need to use sparingly in your compost tumbler include pine needles (they’re acidic), wood chips and pellets (they have high levels of carbon), and wood ash (it should always be sourced from clean materials and be sprinkled into the compost tumbler).
Now, it’s important to note that there are some materials you should never, ever, put into your compost tumbler. These include the following:
- Meat or fish scraps, and bones, as these will attract pests. Even though your compost tumbler is sealed, it might not be airtight, which could result in pests such as maggots and cockroaches getting into the compost.
- Weeds, such as in grass clippings, as these will cause weeds to grow in the compost. Make sure your grass clippings are free of weeds.
- Any fruit or vegetable peels that could contain pesticides, such as peach peels, orange rinds, and banana peels.
- Sawdust that has machine oil residue. While you can use sawdust in your compost tumbler sparingly, it should always be mixed in so that it doesn’t form clumps. It must also be completely clean and free of any machine oil or other residue.
Making your own compost is a fantastic way to use your kitchen, and other, organic waste, and be able to give your plants the nutrients they need to grow in healthy ways.
Instead of setting up a compost heap, you can make use of a convenient compost tumbler.
This is really easy to use, even if you’ve never composted before.
In this article, we’ve looked at the best compost tumblers you can buy, along with what makes them worth your money.
We’ve also answered some common questions you might have about compost tumblers in general, so that you can get started right away with making your own compost.