When gardening, compost is a necessity that helps keep your plants well-fed and healthy. However, it is also expensive, which is why some people skim on it. On the other hand, gardening also produces a lot of plant waste that you can’t just leave lying around, and most people just collect it all and send it to the landfill.
But why would you do that, when you can just use a composter and kill two birds with one stone? With the best compost tumbler, you can turn all your waste into black gold that you can use to feed your plants and save yourself a lot of trouble and money. It’s a win-win deal.
In this article, we’ll go over why a compost tumbler is such a game-changer when it comes to gardening, and we’ll provide you with an overview of the best products on the market right now.
Why Buying a Compost Tumbler?
Now, most of you probably know why compost is important. Some of you might even be using your waste to make it already, piling it up in the open or inside bins, waiting for it to decompose and turn into the valuable substance that your plants require. However, those are rather inefficient methods that only prolong the time needed to get there – using a compost tumbler is better for a few different reasons.
For starters, it just makes the whole process a lot less messy. The piles, as they get bigger, also get unsightly – they start to smell terrible and spread that smell to the entire surrounding area while attracting a lot of nasty insects and other pests that come to feast on the decomposing matter. Some people with weaker stomachs might not be able to handle it. Compost tumblers get rid of all that, as they keep the pests out while keeping the odor in.
You might think that compost bins do the same, and yes they do, but there’s a key difference between them and tumblers. Turning the piles of compost over as they get bigger and heftier can become a real chore. With a compost tumbler, this is as easy as turning a crank a couple of times, unlike a compost bin where you still have to do it by hand.
The most important part, probably, is that it makes the whole process faster. Keeping all the waste in a contained space allows it to heat up better and degrade quicker, while the ability to turn it and mix it easily speeds up the process as well. It’s just good stuff all around.
However, not all compost tumblers are the same, and some are just flat-out better than others, while some are almost useless. Nabbing a good one when going shopping can be difficult, but that’s why we wrote this article – to assist you with that. We’ve gathered some of the best products out there today, compared them to each other and added some user reviews as well, for added info. This should help you spot a good composting tumbler when you see one. Let’s look at our top picks right now.
Meet the Best Compost Tumblers
The Good: It offers decent capacity, good durability and has a great design.
The Bad: It’s extremely difficult to assemble, and the instructions are bad.
The Bottom Line: This tumbler is difficult to assemble, but if you can get past that, you get a great composter for an amazing price.
The Good: Durable, easy to use and has decent capacity.
The Bad: Expensive and the lid has problems staying shut.
The Bottom Line: Despite being a decent product, it struggles to justify its high price due to smaller design flaws.
The Good: Amazing capacity – this tumbler features two chambers for compost.
The Bad: Heavy to use and operate, expensive, and not easy to get the compost out.
The Bottom Line: This tumbler is huge, but its capacity and double chamber still don’t justify its price.
This is just a quick overview – for detailed info, head on down below.
All of the Factors Considered
Compost tumblers might seem rather simple, which is why it might be hard to notice the difference between the best compost tumbler and a rubbish one before you even buy it. Picking the right one for you and not a useless piece of trash is important, so we are here to help. These are the most important aspects you should consider when buying a compost tumbler, and the reasons why you should be looking at them.
Since composters are machines meant to be used for a long time and stay outdoors, it’s paramount they are made of sturdy materials that can withstand a lot of punishment. This is doubly important for compost tumblers which have a lot of moving parts that can easily break under the weight of the compost. Getting a cheaper compost tumbler might seem good at first, but if it breaks rather quickly and you have to buy a new one before you get even one batch of compost done with it, you have just wasted your money. Don’t be afraid to pay extra for a quality-built unit – you’ll need it.
Compost tumblers come in a few differing types, each with its unique features:
Sealed drum compost tumblers, as their name says, are completely sealed, allowing no moisture to drain from them, and they hold in heat to make the process quicker. It can also be equipped with a drain to draw off the “compost tea” that forms and that can be used as fertilizer down the line. They work slower than some other types though.
Aerated drum composters contain built-in air vents, as good air flow speeds up the decomposing process. The air vents can be different in shape and size, some even being spike-shaped, working to bring the air to the center of the compost heap inside the drum. They are usually smaller than other types because they work faster.
Dual-bin types are ingenious in their design. They have two chambers that can be rotated together and they are thickly insulated, keeping the heat in and speeding up the decomposition process. But, they also contain openings that can provide aeration, if opened. The best part here is that you can have almost finished compost in one chamber, while adding new waste to the other, being able to have two piles decomposing without having to buy an additional composter.
You should look at the upsides and downsides of each type carefully, before making your final decision.
The capacity of a compost tumbler is important for obvious reasons – the more compost you can put into it, the more use you can get out of it. However, bigger isn’t always better, especially if you don’t have a lot of material to make compost with. In that case, getting a big composter can be a downside, since if the material is too loose and not packed tightly enough, it will take a longer time for it to decompose properly and turn into compost. So, consider how much material you would use with it and pick accordingly.
Be aware – when it comes to Dual-bin type, the capacity refers to both compartments combined. Take that into account when buying one.
Ease of Use
Compost tumblers are meant to make your job easier and to make composting faster. Being easy and effortless to use is a big selling point, and if it’s not, there’s not much point to it. So, it’s important how easy a compost tumbler is to turn while full or nearly full; does it comes with a stand that it can be put on or do you have to find a place for it; how big are its doors and how well placed they are so you can quickly fill it up, and so on.
After listing all the important aspects, let’s see how we ranked our top picks.
In-depth Reviews of 3 Compost Tumblers
With a body made from recycled polypropylene and a sturdy steel frame, this composter is guaranteed to last. The plastic is UV inhibited and resistant to damage from direct sunlight, while the galvanized steel is not prone to corrosion.
Two-chambered Tumbling Composter
Having two chambers means you can have one side that is finishing cooking while adding fresh materials to the other, meaning you don’t have to wait for one batch to finish to start another one or buy multiple composters. You can simply have an uninterrupted supply of rich compost for your garden.
The amazing capacity of this compost tumbler, measuring 37 gallons, ensures that it will always be spacious enough to take in all the waste you might want to put into it.
Easy to Turn
Using this is simple, and it requires turning only a few times every few days, which you can do using convenient built-in handholds. It has its own frame meaning it doesn’t need to be put in an elevated position. It has one sliding door for both compartments. It’s also aerated with adjustable air vents all over the body.
Who Should Buy This Product
This tumbler is great for people who are on a budget and looking for a cheap, yet effective and quality alternative to more expensive products. It offers decent capacity, handy two-chamber aerated design and is made from quality, durable parts, meaning that it will last.
What to Watch Out For
The worst part about this product is the assembly process. It has a lot of parts, and the instructions aren’t helpful, meaning you will have to figure out most of it yourself, and that might take a lot of time. If you’re not extra careful, you might even break something and end up with a worthless pile of parts instead of a compost tumbler.
This is just an overall good product, offering great specs for an affordable price. The capacity is decent, and it has a great two-chamber design with adjustable air flow to the inside of the tumbler. It’s easy to turn and made from durable materials. The only problem is that it comes in pieces and it is extremely difficult to assemble. It’s still a great product, but you need to get through that hurdle to start using it.
This compost tumbler is constructed from materials that are resistant to rust, protected from UV damage and food safe. It’s made to withstand harsh conditions for years on end, meaning that you will get a lot of good use out of it.
That much capacity ensures that this compost tumbler will be able to take in whatever you need and keep having space. You will be able to make tons of compost in almost no time at all.
Produces Solid and Liquid Compost
With a solid, sealed drum and five drainage holes in the bottom of it, this compost tumbler can produce great solid compost. It also has a compost tea maker in the base, collecting excess liquid for fertilizing.
Simple to Use
It’s easy to turn because of the grooves on the surface of the drum while fitting nicely in a plastic podium. It has a large door, meaning you can put tons of waste in it at once for easy composting.
Who Should Buy This Product
This is a durable piece of kit with great capacity that will be fit for homeowners with a medium amount of waste that they could turn into compost. With something like this they won’t have any problems getting it done even if they are new to making compost. For beginners, this is a godsend.
What to Watch Out For
There are some design flaws that honestly should have been ironed out before mass production, but here we are. The biggest problem is the lid – it is difficult to close, and even when you might think you have it closed it could be slightly open. This means that the smells will get out, while the pests will be able to get in. You might not notice it right away, but you will in time.
This compost tumbler is rather decent for lighter use at home, and it features a design that makes it easy to use, but also highly durable. It also looks nice, which is a nice bonus. However, it is expensive, especially for its size and has a host of design flaws that could have long-lasting consequences on its performance. It’s still a fine product, but that’s something to consider.
Made to Last
Created from recycled polyethylene, resistant to damage from UV rays and with dense walls that can’t be broken through easily. It can do its work and last for years on end, through any abuse or harsh weather.
This composter features an astounding capacity of 82 gallons or 11 cubic feet. With that much space, it’s almost impossible to run out, and you will be able to create a massive amount of compost with this unit.
With a sealed dual-bin design and two massive bins, this compost tumbler is sure to ease your work and make compost in no time. With two chambers you will never have to stop creating compost or buy another composter – just get a steady stream of that black gold for your garden.
The large openings and lids are made so that animals and children can get into the bin and the odor can’t get out. Massive grab bars on the barrel are designed to make it easy to grip and turn.
Who Should Buy This Product
People who have a huge amount of waste they want to turn into compost and don’t want to buy multiple composters to do it should look at this product. It not only has a massive capacity it has two chambers meaning that it’s like two units in one, always making compost for you.
What to Watch Out For
The problem with its massive size is that it’s difficult to turn even when only half full, and its design doesn’t help at all. The massive grip bars are hard to get a hold of, and a lot of strength is required to turn it even when you do. In addition to that, it also lacks a compost tea collector, meaning all of that is going to waste and your compost might be a soggy mess inside.
It does offer a lot of things that other similar products do not, and is especially notable for its huge capacity that seems almost unrivaled. However, it is expensive, difficult to use and lacks a lot of the extra features that make compost tumblers so useful. With that in mind, it’s difficult to recommend, even though it has some great specs.
The Best Pick – Yimby Tumbler Composter
There are plenty of compost tumbler models out there, more than we can count, and each one offers something slightly different than the others, making them a good fit for different people. Picking just one as the best one is difficult – but not impossible. For us, the best one is the Yimby Tumbler Composter, and here’s why. It’s just the best value for the money – while other models presented here offer some neat features, they are just incredibly expensive, and the Yimby product offers comparable quality at a much lower price. It’s just a no-contest, it wins hands-down.
That is our best pick, but it doesn’t mean the other products in this article are not worth buying – far from it, they are all top quality products, and some of them might even fit you well. It’s up to you to decide, and we can just hope our article was at least of some help to you when it comes to that. If you think there are others who might find all this information useful, please, share this article with them. Have a good day and good luck composting.