In this guide we’ll take a look at the best compost bins for the UK market.
I’ve compared air circulation, heat retention, drainage and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Compost Bin?
More Detailed Compost Bin Reviews
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4smile Garden Compost Bin Review
I chose this 4smile Garden Composter for my garden as it is a nice square design and has a hinged lid that makes it easier to fill than round bins. The lid is almost the entire size of the box so it’s really easy to dump weeds, grass cuttings and food waste in the top. It’s the best compost bin available for the money.
The square shape also means you can make the most of a small space in your garden without wasting space round the edge. I have two of them stood next to each other and the square design means there is no wasted space between them.
This compost bin came flat packed and was easy to put together as everything simply clicks into place. It is made up of four sides and a lid. The dark colour helps the contents of your bin warm up, improving the speed at which the waste turns into a useable compost.
This bin has no base, and if positioned on bare earth, this will allow worms and other beneficial invertebrates to get into the compost, speeding up the composting process. It also has plenty of ventilation openings to prevent your compost from becoming slimy and unusable. The bin has a spacious 300 litre capacity meaning you can get plenty of garden waste in before it fills up.
At the bottom of the bin is a hatch which you can remove to access your lovely compost.
The bin is quite light, so you might want to put it in a sheltered place, so it doesn’t blow over. Once you have put some waste inside it becomes more stable though and this is no longer a problem.
This compost bin is easy to use and very effective. I have had plenty of compost from my first one in less than a year and the second bin is filling up nicely ready to provide plenty more compost in the autumn.
For me, this is the best compost bin because it is easy to put together, has a solid, square design and is easier to fill than some other bins.
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Blackwall Green Compost Bin Review
This Blackwall Green Composter is a more conventional plastic compost bin in the ‘dalek’ shape that is quite popular. There is no need to assemble this bin as it comes complete. This sturdy bin is made from recycled plastic making in an environmentally friendly option that will give years of service. It comes in a nice shade of dark green and has a black hatch.
The lid is easy to remove with a simple twist and this design ensures it is not blown off in strong winds. There is a hatch at the base of the bin for the easy removal of compost.
The large 220ltr capacity gives plenty of room for garden waste and is ideal for small to medium gardens. You can buy an additional base plate for this product if you want to place it on a hard standing. However, this will make it harder for worms to get in and may slow down the composting process.
This compost bin provides a no fuss solution for making your own compost at home. If you are looking for a ready-assembled bin with medium capacity this is the best compost bin for you!
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Blackwall Large Black Compost Bin Review
This Blackwall Large Black Compost is the big brother of the smaller Blackwell compost bin. The dark colour helps the bin to retain heat and the secure sides mean that weeds do not grow inside, and moisture is retained. Again, it requires no assembly: just fit the hatch into place, twist on the lid and you are ready to go. A black base plate is also available separately should you require it.
With a 330-litre capacity, this extra-large bin is perfect if you have a big garden and a lot of waste. It comes with a helpful leaflet advising what you should and should not put in our compost bin.
This is another simple, cost effective, no fuss compost bin for your garden. It has an enormous capacity that makes this the best compost bin for larger gardens.
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Easipet Wooden Compost Bin Review
This Easipet Wooden Compost Bin is an attractive beehive shape and is the perfect choice if your bin will be in a visible position in the garden. The bin comes flatpacked and is easy to put together. You will need a Phillips screwdriver and it should not take more than an hour even if your DIY skills are not great.
The bin has a capacity of 328 litres and is made from 15mm kiln dried fir treated with a waterproof stain. I would recommend you reapply preservative every year to get the best life out of this product.
The bin has an opening hinged lid that makes it very easy to use. It also has a removable hatch at the bottom for accessing the completed compost. The spaced slats allow good air circulation which helps to make sure you make good, moist compost rather than a slimy mess.
If you do not have a place to tuck away a black plastic bin in your garden, then I would recommend this as the best compost bin to be visible in your garden. It is a beautiful addition to any garden making a feature out of a necessity.
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Wooden Garden Compost Bin Review
The slatted design of this Wooden Garden Composter permits good air circulation and allows insects to get in to help with the composting process. The wooden materials look at home in the garden, so this is another good bin if you have to place yours in a visible part of the garden.
There is no lid to this bin, so you might want to consider covering it with a piece of old carpet or tarpaulin to keep out the rain and increase the heat within the compost.
This attractive compost bin is constructed from pressure treated wood and is guaranteed against rot for fifteen years. The completed size is 113 cm by 113 cm and 70 cm high, so check you have space in your garden before you buy this one. The bin is easy to construct as it simply slots together; it took me less than twenty minutes to put it together.
The open design of this compost bin means it is easy to turn the compost to speed up the composting process. However, there is no hatch for the removal of compost, so this will need to be dug out when it is ready.
Compost Bin Buying Guide
A compost bin is a must have tool for the serious gardener as it converts your waste into a nutrient rich soil improver for your garden. Using a compost bin saves waste going to landfill and saves you money on buying compost, soil improvers and chemical fertilizers for your garden. In addition, a compost bin provides a place to put garden waste such as grass cuttings and weeds. This saves you the trouble of disposing of them. What’s not to love?
Making your own compost is simple and easy to do as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. With the best compost bin for your garden, you could be using nutrient rich compost in 6 months’ time and never have to buy compost from the garden centre again.
I’ve tested a range of products on the market to help you choose the best compost bin for your garden.
When choosing the best compost bin, you should consider how much space you have in your garden and how much waste you produce. A larger bin will heat up more quickly, speeding up the process, so get the largest one you can fit in your garden. A square design may waste less space and can easily be tucked into a corner.
You may want to consider getting two bins so that you have one being filled and one being emptied at all times. This will provide you with a continuous supply of compost all year round and save a few trips to the garden centre.
While plastic bins are simple and effective, you may want to choose a more attractive wooden one if your compost bin will be on show in the garden. Remember to retreat wooden bins periodically to prevent rotting.
Where should I put my compost bin?
It is best to site your compost bin in a shady or semi shady place in the garden. The micro organisms that convert waste to compost prefer steady conditions rather than extremes of temperature.
Ideally, you would place your bin on the earth so that worms and other helpful invertebrates, as well as microorganisms, can get in. If you do have to site your bin on a hard surface, then add a couple of spades of earth to the bin before you add any waste to get things started.
What waste can I put in my compost bin?
Many organic items can be put in your compost bin including raw food scraps such as fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds.
You can also put annual weeds and grass clippings in your compost bin.
Other household waste you can put in includes shredded paper and fireplace ash.
You should avoid putting cooked food, meat and fish in your compost bin as this may create unpleasant smells and attract pests.
You should also avoid putting in diseased plants and perennial weeds as this can spread the problem around the garden when you use the compost. Most garden composters do not create heat high enough to kill diseases and annual weeds.
The compost in my bin is very dry and fibrous and doesn’t seem to be rotting down. What can I do?
It sounds like you compost is too dry. Try adding more green waste such as grass cuttings and vegetable peelings. You could also add some fresh manure or a sprinkling of blood fish and bone to help activate the compost. You can also buy a compost activator such as ‘Garotta’ which will do the job.