The 10 Best Compost Bins for Outdoor, Indoor, and Kitchen Countertop Use

Our favorite indoor composting bin is the Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin. Want one for outside? Pick up the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter.

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BHG / Amelia Manley

Composting is an easy win-win for both plants and the planet, whether you have a large backyard garden you'd like to keep fertilized or you're looking for an eco-friendly way to reduce your food waste. Adding compost to your lawn, garden, or flower beds helps to enrich the soil, increase important nutrients, and even suppress plant diseases.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 30 percent of what we throw away in garbage cans could actually be composted. But starting a compost bin doesn't require a major shift in your day-to-day habits.

The key to at-home composting is investing in the best compost bin for your needs—and there are plenty of options to choose from. You'll want to find a compost bin that is sized to match the typical amount of organic waste your household goes through. It should also include important features like good ventilation and odor control.

Keep reading to learn about the best compost bins for indoor and outdoor use and how to use them.

Best Overall

Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin

Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin


Why You Should Get It: This compost bin has an activated charcoal filter to trap odors inside so they don't escape into your kitchen.

Keep in Mind: The filters are replaceable, but they can be a bit tricky to get in and out of the lid.

This stainless steel kitchen compost bin is a great solution to the fruit flies and unpleasant smells that often accompany indoor composting, making it the overall best compost bin on our list. One of the most affordable options we found, the Epica compost bin is just $30, but it effectively seals out odors and bugs and even looks nice on your countertop.

Its stainless steel construction is made from one piece, so there are no welded edges that could leak liquids or smells. A double-layered activated charcoal filter further absorbs any unpleasant odors, so you won't have to worry about unpleasant scents in your home.

The Epica compost bin holds a little over one gallon of organic food waste, making it an excellent choice for people who want to donate scraps to a community compost pile or add material to a larger compost bin in the backyard. Once you've emptied it, simply wash the interior of the bin with soap and water, then dry thoroughly before adding more scraps.

The charcoal filters last about six months, but they can be tricky to replace. Doing so requires you to fold the filter in half and wedge it into the lid.

Price at time of publish: $22

Product Details:

Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 7.16 x 11 inches | Canister Capacity: 1.3 gallons | Intended Use: Indoor

Best Countertop

OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin

OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin


Why You Should Get It: The flip-top lid seals tightly to lock in odors, yet you can easily open it with one hand to dispose of compost materials.

Keep in Mind: There are no ventilation holes in this compost bin, so it's best for holding scraps temporarily until you can add them to your outdoor compost bin.

Whether you're a beginner when it comes to composting or you've been doing it for years, this easy-to-use indoor compost bin is a no-brainer for temporarily storing food waste. At 0.75 gallons, it's compact enough to store on your countertop or under the sink for easy access, and its convenient handle makes it easy to transport to a larger outdoor compost bin.

It has a removable soft-seal lid that prevents odors from escaping into your kitchen while being easy enough to open with one hand. This makes it super easy to dispose of food waste without having to pry the lid off or risk getting your hands dirty. What's more, the bin's smooth interior walls prevent buildup, so you won't have to scrape gunk out when emptying and washing it.

We wish this compost bin had a few small air holes, as good ventilation is an important part of the composting process. Without airflow, compost bins can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. However, this model mainly functions as a temporary storage spot for food waste rather than a long-term composting spot, so this may be less of a concern to some shoppers who plan to empty it frequently.

Price at time of publish: $23

Product Details:

Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 6.6 x 6.4 x 7.5 inches | Canister Capacity: 0.75 gallons | Intended Use: Indoor

Best Outdoor

FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter

FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter


Why You Should Get It: This composter has adjustable air vents and deep ridges in its sides to prevent clumps from forming.

Keep in Mind: The door to add or remove compost isn't big enough to fit most shovels.

Another important aspect of successful composting is mixing your pile every few weeks to provide the whole mixture with enough heat, moisture, and oxygen to complete the decomposition process. This outdoor tumbling composter makes rotating your compost super easy.

With two chambers that together hold up to 37 gallons of organic waste, the composter allows you to keep filling one side with new materials while the other side "rests." Every couple of days, simply shut the door and then turn the tumbler a handful of times to mix the materials inside. This allows you to successfully rotate the compost without actually getting your hands dirty.

Another great feature of this composter is the deep ridges that run along the sides and body of the bin. The ridges help prevent large clumps of compost building up over time, allowing materials to mix more effectively when you rotate the bin. The air vents on the side are even adjustable, allowing the user to control how much oxygen their compost receives.

According to the manufacturer, the compost can be ready to use in about two weeks with the right weather conditions and care.

Our only complaint is the size of the door—while the rest of the bin is spacious, the sliding door is quite narrow, potentially making it difficult to remove compost with a shovel once it's done cooking. Instead, you'll need to use a hand trowel or a bucket to scoop out compost. You can also rotate the bin with the door open so it empties onto a tarp or into a bucket, but that will disturb any "resting" compost in the second chamber.

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details:

Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 28 x 26 x 36 inches | Canister Capacity: 37 gallons | Intended Use: Outdoor

Best Indoor

Chef'n EcoCrock Compost Bin

Chef'n EcoCrock Compost Bin


Why You Should Get It: The removable inner bucket in this compost bin makes emptying it out super easy.

Keep in Mind: Its small size means you have to empty it quite often.

Compost bins aren't always the most attractive, but you don't have to sacrifice your kitchen's aesthetic to use this contemporary countertop bin. Featuring a tapered white ceramic bucket and a faux plant sprout on the lid, the sleek compost bin looks great on the counter.

The inner bucket is removable, so once you're ready to relocate your food waste to an outdoor bin or a community compost pile, you can easily pop it out and carry it by the handle. While the plastic lid seals tightly to prevent spills if you accidentally knock the bin over, we like that the lid still has a few small ventilation holes at the top to aid the composting process.

Since bad odors can be one of the downfalls of indoor composting, this miniature option has a replaceable charcoal filter in the lid to trap odors and prevent them from escaping into your kitchen. You'll even receive two extra charcoal filters with your purchase that you can swap in every few months.

This indoor compost bin works best as a temporary option for storing food waste or for people who want to start composting on a small scale before committing to an outdoor bin. At approximately eight inches wide by 11.5 inches tall, this bin can't hold very much before it needs to be emptied out. Since compost materials can take several weeks to break down, you'll need to transfer your scraps to a larger compost spot quite frequently.

Price at time of publish: $42

Product Details:

Material: Ceramic and plastic | Dimensions: 7.9 x 11.5 inches | Canister Capacity: .075 gallons | Intended Use: Indoor

Best Compost Machine

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50


Why You Should Get It: This high-tech indoor machine quickly breaks down food waste, including bones and dairy products, which other compost bins can't handle.

Keep in Mind: Animal protein compost should not be used for gardening, and you may want to purchase an additional compost bin to speed up the composting process of the FoodCycler's scraps.

This sleek indoor machine uses grinding and dehydration to quickly process food waste into a fraction of its original size, saving you space in your kitchen and speeding up the breakdown process. The Vitamix FoodCycler is one cubic foot in size, so it's perfect for under the sink. It has a small grinding bucket that can quickly process food scraps into a nutrient-dense fertilizer.

Note that while this machine can break down meat and dairy products to free up space (and prevent odors) in your garbage, you shouldn't add an animal protein mixture to gardens or outdoor compost bins, because it can attract pests and be detrimental to plant growth.

How does this machine work? Fill the grinding bucket with kitchen scraps like fruit peels and coffee grounds (the more variety the better), insert the bucket into the compact unit, and press the power button to begin the breakdown process. After about four to eight hours, the mixture will have been ground down and dehydrated and is ready to add to your garden or a larger compost bin.

We especially like this machine for cold weather when composting is more difficult and scraps can build up in an outdoor bin.

It's important to note that the FoodCycler doesn't technically compost; it dehydrates and grinds up food waste without the bacterial elements needed for literal composting.

Vitamix says that the dehydrated mix can be added directly to garden soil, but that the greatest amount of nutrients won't be available until after the soil has had a chance to further break down the mixture over one to four weeks. To speed up that process, you can add the mixture to an outdoor compost bin.

Price at time of publish: $400

Product Details:

Material: Aluminum and plastic | Dimensions: 12.6 x 11 x 14.2 inches | Canister Capacity: 1 to 2 quarts | Intended Use: Indoor

Best Worm Composter

The Squirm Firm Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin

The Squirm Firm Worm Factory 360 Worm Composting Bin


Why You Should Get It: This method of composting breaks down food waste and cardboard much more quickly than other compost bins.

Keep in Mind: You can't compost dairy, meat, or citrus fruits in this composter.

Though the thought of worms might have some people turning up their noses, worm composting can actually be one of the quickest and easiest ways to break down waste. Designed to work indoors and outdoors, this worm compost bin is a great way to convert your kitchen scraps into fertilizer that supports your garden.

Simply add about one pound of composting worms to the bottom tray of the composter along with the included bedding material, then add your food waste. Over time as you fill the upper trays of this compost bin, worms will be able to work their way upwards through the aeration holes in the container. Worms can convert scraps into ready-to-use compost in about two weeks, and they'll even keep the process going during winter if kept in a frost-free location.

The worms (sold separately) thrive in temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's a good idea to bring the bin inside on extremely hot or cold days. Hesitant about having worms in your home? Don't worry, the Worm Factory 360 has a thermosiphon airflow system that makes it an odorless operation.

You'll want to avoid feeding worms any dairy, meat, or citrus items as these can be harmful to the worms, and they won't be able to compost them effectively. The manufacturer recommends feeding the worms about 50 percent food scraps and 50 percent fiber or paper in order to create the best composting environment. The worms can eat up to half of their body weight per day—but they can also go two weeks without food, allowing you to be away from home for periods of time.

Price at time of publish: $140

Product Details:

Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 17.95 x 17.95 x 14.95 inches | Canister Capacity: 0.5 pounds of scraps per day with 1 pound of worms | Intended Use: Indoor and outdoor

Best Compost Bucket

Exaco ECO 2000 Kitchen Compost Pail, 2.4 Gallon

Exaco ECO 2000 Kitchen Compost Pail, 2.4 Gallon


Why You Should Get It: This weatherproof compost bucket is versatile enough to use under your kitchen sink or outside as a temporary food waste container.

Keep in Mind: The replaceable filter falls off easily.

If you want to minimize waste and give composting a try without committing to a large compost bin in your backyard, this 2.4-gallon option is a great starting point. Featuring a sturdy plastic pail and handle, the Exaco kitchen compost bin makes it easy to transport full loads of food waste to outdoor compost bins.

While it's too small to support the entire composting process, the bin can hold several days' worth of food waste until you can empty it, so you won't have to make as many trips to your local composting site.

As a bonus, you can mount this bin on your wall or inside a cabinet, keeping it out of your way. It's dishwasher safe, has a secure lid, and comes with one carbon filter to minimize unpleasant smells wafting around your home. The bin is even weatherproof, so if you want to put it outdoors, it'll be able to hold up long term against the elements.

The carbon filter is designed to absorb odors from inside the bin as food waste breaks down, but the plastic tabs that hold it in place are pretty flimsy. Over time, the filter can start to fall out more easily and may need to be held in place with tape.

Price at time of publish: $22

Product Details:

Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 9 x 8.5 x 11 inches | Canister Capacity: 2.4 gallons | Intended Use: Indoor and outdoor

Best Kitchen Composter

Joseph Joseph 1 Gallon Compost Bin

Joseph Joseph 1 Gallon Compost Bin


Why You Should Get It: This 1-gallon compost bin has a slim design that allows you to store it in cabinets and tight spaces.

Keep in Mind: The filter doesn't trap odors as well as other compost bin filters on the market, so you'll want to empty this bin more frequently.

Avoid kitchen clutter with this 1-gallon compost bin. Constructed of plastic with a stainless steel handle, it's lightweight yet sturdy enough to carry to and from your outdoor compost bin. The sides of the container have a ventilation system that allows oxygen to circulate without creating too much moisture or attracting bugs. Plus, its sleek matte design means you can keep it on your countertop without it being an eyesore.

We also like the flip-top lid, which opens effortlessly with one hand and closes securely to prevent accidental spills. Due to its slim dimensions (it's less than five inches wide), you'll be able to tuck it away in a cabinet or under the sink.

This kitchen composter even comes with a mounting bracket and screws to install it inside a cabinet. Tip: You can buy a 50-pack of 1-gallon compostable bin liners by Joseph Joesph for $15 to make cleanup quick and simple.

If you're considering purchasing this compost bin for your home, keep in mind that the replaceable filter in the lid doesn't contain odors as well as other models. You'll want to replace the filter and empty the contents more frequently than you might with a different compost bin.

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Dimensions: 4.72 x 11.69 x 6.81 inches | Canister Capacity: 1 gallon | Intended Use: Indoor

Best Single Chamber

Miracle-Gro Tumbling Composter - 18.5 Gallons

Miracle-Gro Tumbling Composter - 18.5 Gallons


Why You Should Get It: This composter quickly breaks down food waste into fertilizer inside its 18.5-gallon chamber without the need for a huge amount of space.

Keep in Mind: The ventilation holes on the sides of this composter can allow compost to leak out when turning.

This single-chamber compost bin by Miracle-Gro is great for composting on small balconies and patios thanks to its compact size; the bin stands just 29.5 inches tall and 23.5 inches wide. Despite its space-saving size, it's still big enough to support up to 18.5 gallons of organic waste, turning your lawn and kitchen scraps into rich fertilizer in just four to six weeks.

Mixing bars, tines inside the chamber, and a rotating design allow you to stir the mixture with minimal effort. Simply turn the chamber over a few times per week to allow oxygen, heat, and moisture to reach all parts of the compost pile. The entire bin is designed to be resistant to rust, UV light, and weather, so you can compost year round.

Bonus: The compost tumbler comes with latex-free gardening gloves to help you tackle a variety of outdoor projects.

While this compact bin has ventilation holes that work great for letting in oxygen to support the composting process, these holes can also allow compost to fall out, especially when rotating the bin. You may want to keep a small tray underneath your composter to contain any escaped debris.

Price at time of publish: $79

Product Details:

Material: Plastic and metal | Dimensions: 23.5 x 17 x 29.5 inches | Canister Capacity: 18.5 gallons | Intended Use: Outdoor

Best Wooden

Greenes Fence Co. Cedar Wood Composter

Greenes Fence Co. Cedar Wood Composter

Greenes Fence Co.

Why You Should Get It: The open top on this container makes it easy to thoroughly mix your compost.

Keep in Mind: It takes longer to turn food scraps into compost in this type of container.

Want a stylish outdoor compost bin? Look no further than this 3 x 3-foot square cedar option, which naturally repels insects and rot. It features an open-top design that provides adequate airflow to your compost and makes it easy to add more food scraps or yard waste to the pile. You'll be able to easily mix the contents every few weeks with a rake or shovel, and you won't have to worry about whether or not your compost is getting enough oxygen.

Large enough to hold 174 gallons of material, the composter takes very little effort to assemble. Simply slide the boards and spacers into place according to the included directions and hammer with a rubber mallet to secure.

Because this wooden compost bin has such a large capacity and doesn't provide the same heat retention that plastic outdoor bins offer, it takes three to 12 months to produce finished compost, depending on your climate. You may want to order more than one bin to stagger compost production, especially if you intend to compost bulk scraps like yard waste. ​

Price at time of publish: $116

Product Details:

Material: Cedar | Dimensions: 36 x 36 x 31 inches | Canister Capacity: 174 gallons | Intended Use: Outdoor

The Bottom Line

Whether you've been composting for years and it's time for a new container or you're just beginning to dip your toes in, finding the best compost bin is key to quickly and successfully creating organic fertilizer.

We chose the Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin as the best compost bin for indoor use, because it can hold up to 1.3 gallons of food waste, its charcoal filter traps odors inside, and it's easy to empty into a larger bin without getting your hands dirty. However, if you're looking for the best compost bin for outdoor use, we also recommend the FCMP IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter, which has two separate chambers and an easy rotating function to effectively mix your compost.

What to Know About Compost Bins Before Shopping


Since some compost bins are made to be used outdoors while others are small enough to fit on your countertop, you'll want to consider where you want to keep your compost bin and what type of elements it'll be exposed to in that location. The best outdoor compost bins are UV- and weather-resistant, so they can withstand harsh conditions, while our favorite indoor composters often have a replaceable filter to keep unwanted smells out of your kitchen.


Depending on how much organic waste your household goes through every few weeks, you'll need to keep storage capacity in mind when purchasing a new compost bin. Some outdoor composters can hold as many as 174 gallons of organic waste, while indoor options will only hold one to three gallons and need to be frequently emptied into a larger bin.


Compost bins come in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and even wood. While plastic models typically conduct heat better (and therefore compost faster), some may consider them to be an eyesore in their yard. Compost bins made of cedar offer a better aesthetic, but keep in mind that they can take several months to produce compost. Indoor compost bins should be made from a rust-resistant metal or a sleek plastic that can be cleaned out without too much scrubbing.


With options available for indoor and outdoor use, there's a compost bin for every type of home and lifestyle. Countertop processors, enclosed bins, and compact tumblers work well for indoor use, while large tumblers and wooden bins are great for outdoor areas.

If you intend to donate your compost to a community bin, you'll want to find a portable option with sturdy handles and easy disposal. For people starting a compost site in their own yard, many dual-chamber bins exist, allowing you to add new organic waste to the pile without disturbing the compost that's being decomposed.

Your Questions, Answered

How do I use compost bins?

Start by placing your bin in a dry spot close to a water source so you can add moisture to the layers of green and brown materials. As a general rule of thumb, you'll want to combine three parts brown matter and one part green matter into the compost bin, but make sure to follow the directions that came with your specific compost bin. Green materials provide nitrogen to the compost while brown materials add carbon.

Once you have a good ratio of nitrogen and carbon matter, add water to your compost mixture until it resembles a damp sponge. Too soggy? Add more dry materials. Then, turn the compost with a pitchfork or shovel at least once a week and patiently wait for the process to be complete.

Depending on your compost bin's size and material as well as the climate you live in, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year for the compost to be finished. The compost should be dry and dark brown in color and smell earthy.

What can you compost?

Composting requires nitrogen, carbon, and moisture: In other words, food waste, yard scraps, and water. The waste that provides nitrogen is referred to as "green" materials and the waste that provides carbon is labeled as "brown" materials. For green materials, add wet items like food scraps, grass clippings, and even used coffee grounds. Dry ingredients like fallen leaves, shredded newspaper, and straw are examples of brown materials.

Does a compost bin need air holes?

Since nitrogen and carbon are necessary elements in the composting process, it's important that you find a compost bin with proper ventilation. Many indoor compost bins have tiny air holes to allow air into the container without also attracting bugs or letting out smells. Outdoor bins will often have slats in the sides for ventilation to aid in decomposing your organic waste materials.

Who We Are

Samantha Jones is an associate commerce editor at Better Homes and Gardens, writing about relevant home topics such as the best stick vacuums, indoor and outdoor hammocks, meal delivery services, and more. To write this story, she spent several hours researching the best methods of composting, different types of compost bins for indoor and outdoor use, and reading product reviews.

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