Looking for the best compost bin to become even more eco-friendly? 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 outdoor 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. They’re 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
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
- 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
- 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
- Easy assembly
- Excellent quality
- No lid to cover – 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
The Blackwall 330 Litre Black Compost Converter is designed to provide a good environment for your
- 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
- Rapid composting
- Easy lock system
- Large hatches
- Self-assembly required
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
Made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, the Green Johanna is a top-performing hot composter. With
- 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
- 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
- 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 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
- 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
- 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 planting 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…