Best compost bins for recycling in your garden

Smarten up your compost with one of our top picks

Man hold out his hands with gardening gloves holding out hand full of compost from his compost bin.

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Looking for the best compost bin to become even more eco-friendly and give your outdoor plants a health boost? Now – more than ever – gardeners should aim to practise an ecological mindset. Whether that’s with feeding birds in the winter, planting some bee and bug-friendly plants, or recycling in our homes and gardens, it all contributes towards making our planet a better, safer and happier place. Another easy idea to try is by converting your garden and kitchen waste into compost. All you need to get going is one of the best compost bins to keep your garden happy.

Organic matter is actually perfect for your soil and plants. In fact, it provides a decent food source for those little microorganisms that maintain the soil. These little blighters improve the soil’s structure, drainage, water, fertility and capacity to hold nutrients. A decent mulch is vital to the health of soil.

Best compost bins at a glance

• Best overall: Blackwall Compost Converter - View now on EvenGreener
• Best wooden: Forest Slot Down Compost Bin - View now on B&Q
• Best hot composter: Green Johanna Hot Composter - View now on Great Green Systems
Best large plastic compost bin: Garantia Eco-King Composter - Robert Dyas

In this buyer's guide, we've gone through all the different ways you can compost, from wooden bins to hot composters that help decomposition at higher temperatures.

The best compost bins for home and garden waste UK

Best wooden

Though able to facilitate aerobic composition well with their ventilation, wooden bins have a few downsides. To prevent any issues, cover the bin with a polythene sheet to keep the heat in - and the rain out. Garden News writer, Geoff, says, "Pressure-treated wood will last longer than dipped wood."

Pros of wooden compost bins:

• Slats allow ventilation

Cons of wooden compost bins:

• Doesn't retain heat very well
• Open to the rain

Best beehive wooden composter

Rowlinson’s Beehive Composter is attractively styled to fit into any garden space and can also be used as a planter. This pressure-treated, FSC-certified wood is manufactured from sustainable sources and is ready to ensure durable protection against rot and the UK’s weather. We like this one.

Customer Review: “Love it, once constructed I was surprised how much it held. I have become a born-again composter preparing it as I would any victoria sponge, each layer carefully chopped and different ingredients, including the Amazon cardboard, chopped-up kitchen waste, dead leaves and weeds. It looks good and I can't wait to use the end product.”


  • Pressure treated
  • Removable bottom panel


  • Fiddly assemby

Best rustic wooden compost bin

If you are an avid gardener, the Slot-Down Compost Bin from Forest Garden means you to make use of your kitchen scraps. The slot-down design makes accessing your compost much easier than a regular bin. This composter holds approximately 650 litres, which is impressive.

Customer review: “The timber of this composter is fine. The problem with the assembly is that the slots on the corner posts need to be 3 mm deeper to prevent the screws from being too close to the edge. This causes problems with assembly. Once assembled and set in-ground, it is fine.”


  • Rot resistant
  • Large capacity
  • Rustic style


  • Fiddly assembly

Best budget wooden compost bin

A brilliant way to turn your household and garden waste into compost, this large, wooden slat composter is a brilliant piece of equipment. Plus, it will blend beautifully into any garden. This pressure-treated composter comes in an easy-to-assemble flat pack kit that slots together.

“Easy to put together and excellent quality. My old plastic compost bin was banished to recycling. Looks great in the corner of my garden. I wish they did some sort of lid to cover it. Hubby made one!”


  • Easy assembly
  • Excellent quality


  • No lid to cover, so you would have to get a sheet

Plastic compost bins

Plastic bins are generally made a little smaller than other compost bins but are well-suited to most households. They have features like a lid and a door at the bottom to remove the finished compost. However, organic matter in plastic bins tends to dry out a little more, so be mindful of that.

Pros of plastic compost bins:

• Lids will retain heat
• Protected from the rain
• Often have a door to remove compost

Cons of plastic compost bins:

• Compost may dry
• On the smaller size
• Door can be small and narrow

Best Overall

The Blackwall 330 Litre Black Compost Converter is designed to provide a good environment for your compost to thrive in. Like other plastic compost bins, this Blackwall model retains heat to encourage moisture and produce a healthy mixture of microorganisms. Not only that, but this bin is also recyclable. Result!

Customer Review: “Arrived earlier than expected and started composting straight away.”


  • Recycled plastic
  • Retains heat well
  • Good budget buy


  • Could dry out compost – requires checking

Best large plastic compost bin

The Eco-King Composter (made from recycled material) offers a fast-composting capability and can also be used all year round. Neat and efficient, this composter can easily tackle large quantities with a sizeable 600L capacity. Featuring an easy locking system, you can assemble this with no sweat and fill it immediately with the two, large hatches. This is a good option for your garden.

Customer review: “This is the second compost bin from this manufacturer. I was so satisfied with the first that I purchased this second bin to compost more of my waste.”


  • Rapid composting
  • Easy lock system
  • Large hatches


  • Self-assembly required

Hot Composters

As expected, hot composting is a method of decomposition at higher temperatures, meaning these bins typically are well-designed, better insulated and able to tackle even cooked food. They're generally very robust.

Want more information on hot composting? Keep scrolling for some composting science.

Pros of hot composters:

• Robust and many years of use
• Year-round composting
• Well-insulated and weatherproof

Cons of hot composters:

• Can impact microorganisms
• Time and effort
• Can be a fire hazard

Top pick

Made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, the Green Johanna is a top-performing hot composter. With an expected lifespan of 10 years or more, this composter turns food waste - including cooked food, meat, fish and dairy - and garden waste into quality compost within months. With a great design to ensure efficient and ventilated composting, you can’t ask for a better bin than this.

Customer Review: “This is a simple, easy, odour-free composter for all kitchen waste. We've had ours for 10 years, and it has happily taken everything we can throw at it. No problem with rodents, always alive with microbes, worms, beetles and other insects it produces a nutrient-rich compost for the garden.”


  • Sliding hatches
  • Secure, twistable lid
  • Efficient airflow system


  • May be too big for some gardens

Best all-round hot compost bin

If you’re looking to start hot composting, this is another excellent option as it is an efficient method. We love the addition of an internal lung inside, which means that there is no need to turn your compost. Therefore, it stays more compact to hold the heat in. With this Aerobin’s thick insulation system, you can create the most nutritious compost in as little as 90 days!

Customer review: “This is working very well. With minimal fuss, it is churning through a mix of household and garden waste.”


  • Thick insulation
  • Leachate hose extension kit
  • Modern design


  • Smaller capacity

Best small hot compost bin

Sun or shade, the HotBin Mini composts all year round to recycle your house and garden waste. With this bin, composting takes just 90 days, running at 60°C. The lid is airtight to reduce smells and keep out vermin. The aeration valve is there to moderate temperature and the walls are insulated to keep heat in. Plus, there’s an easy-to-remove hatch door to take out mature compost.
This makes a great, compact option for smaller outdoor spaces.

Customer Review: “Good service and delivery.”


  • Has three specialised layers to optimise your composting
  • Looks great in even the most space-conscious of gardens
  • Works 32x quicker than cold composting


  • Needs an even surface

Bokashi Bins

Bokashi bins are designed for composting animal-based food items and cooked food. Geoff says that bokashi is “not a true composting process, as it uses anaerobic fermentation to ‘pickle’ your waste". However, this method should be regarded as an essential first stage, a pre-compost. Then, it can be either buried in a hole in your garden or popped into a conventional composting bin as we’ve listed so far.

Pros of Bokashi bins:

• Relatively quick
• Can be kept indoors

Cons of Bokashi bins:

• Ongoing costs with bacteria-inoculated bran
• Ideally, you need two bins

Best for sleek and smart design

This Bokashi composter produces rich pre-compost, creating micro-organisms to enhance the quality of your garden's soil. It takes about two weeks to break it down into nutritious, compostable matter. Go with this Blackwall twin pack and you will have more than enough pre-compost to rebuild the soil quality in your garden. Plus, this comes with 3-4 month supply of the Bokashi bran.

Customer Review: “Love my new bokashi and its minimal design!”


  • Composts all food scraps so it is incredibly convenient
  • It has an air-tight seal to prevent flies or bugs from entering
  • Small, compact, and stylish to fit into any kitchen


  • Need to top up supply of bokashi bran

Best easy to use

Why not opt for this Hozelock Bokashi? With this model, you can transform all kitchen waste into nutrient-rich compost within days. It’s such a simple way to recycle and reduce food waste at home. Like other Bokashi’s, you can compost meat and fish – with no smell. Perfect for under your sink.

“Easy to set up, with clear instructions. Compact. Fits nicely in the cupboard under my sink, replacing the bin I had there before for food waste. Composts quickly and is great for preventing unneeded waste. Doesn't smell that great when open but doesn't "seep out" smell. 12kg bran lasts well.”


  • Airtight
  • Compact
  • Quick


  • Will need attention a lot due to small size

Best compost bins FAQs

Why should we compost?

Not only is garden compost good for the soil, but it is also useful for those gardens with light, sandy and heavy, clay soils. Therefore, it makes good mulch when potting and planting out new vegetables and flowers. So, a compost bin keeps all that heat and moisture in for quick, efficient composting.

As Garden News writer, Geoff, says, “Recycling and composting our plant waste is good for us, our gardens and the environment.” We couldn’t agree more. Happy soil, happy plants.

How does hot composting work?

Efficient, hot composting will "break down organic waste far more quickly than a regular compost bin in as little as three months," says Geoff. Clocking in at 50-70 degrees Celsius, these higher temperatures will also tackle disease spores and weed seeds. Hot composting can come in handy.

However, hot composting needs some effort. You can't pop some organic matter into your composter and expect it to work right away. You need to make sure conditions are optimal for hot (and efficient) composting.

Geoff suggests that "a good ratio of materials, a good amount of moisture, air circulation and a good container that retains the heat" will do the trick. You can crank the heat up by placing the computer in a warmer, sunnier spot in the garden. Though there are some downsides to hot composting, they are very durable and efficient to have.

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Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Modern Gardens Magazine, an all-rounder. When she’s not writing about houseplants, she’s tending to her own growing collection…

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