In this guide we’ll take a look at the best wormeries for the UK market.
I’ve compared size, design, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Wormery?
More Detailed Wormery Reviews
The Wormcity 100 litre wormery is the best one around because it’s big, easy to use yet sold at a bargain price.
This top-of-the-range UK made wormery measures 43x43x100cm and has four large composting trays. It’s 36% bigger in terms of surface space than others with the same dimensions.
You’ll get the wormery complete with a tap to drain away liquids, coir bedding, worm food, and 500g of composting worms. It’s all you need to get started composting right away.
This wormery is big enough for a large family and its four-tray design means you’ll start getting that magic compost quickly.
Once the bottom tray is full, use the compost and then put the empty tray on top of the stack. Worms work their way upwards through the wormery so you won’t run out of room. Don’t worry if you haven’t used a wormery before because the instructions are excellent.
If you don’t fancy black there’s a green option. Both are made from UV protected English recycled plastic, so that’s a double whammy for the environment. There’s a rain protection gabled roof and feet to keep it dry too.
There are some really great reviews for this wormery and I highly recommend it for the sheer size, durability, and ease of use.
The VidaXL wormery is an eco-friendly four tray wormery with a spigot (that’s a tap) to drain out nutrient-rich worm liquid.
This one has four trays which is the best size for a family creating a fair amount of kitchen waste. It means you can keep more worms and get your compost faster.
The VidaXL is made from HDPE plastic and measures 42x42x60cms. It’s a good size to tuck away in a garden or keep in your shed as it won’t take up all the room.
If you choose to keep this wormery in the garden it’ll blend right in as the plastic is green. It has a gabled roof and feet to keep your worms happy and dry too.
This is one of the best wormeries around. Reviewers don’t have anything bad to say about it because it is top quality and designed by someone who knows about keeping composting worms, and their owners, happy.
This Green Tiger Rainbow Wormery is a great starter wormery for those you who want to start out making compost but don’t want to spend a lot.
This is a complete set up at a good price. You get a wormery made from plastic, with a spigot to drain away liquids. This is an essential feature as it prevents your worms drowning in their own waste.
There are three stacking trays, so as the worms migrate upwards you take out the lower tray of compost, use it and re-stack on top. Three trays are enough for a small household and will provide enough compost to keep a compact garden topped up all year round.
This one is made from green plastic and it’s waterproof with a gabled roof and damp-proof feet.
This is one of the best wormeries for beginners as it comes with everything you need including tiger worms, coir bedding, and lime in case the contents get too acidic.
The Ansel worm factory is a great plastic wormery for those of us who like to compost but don’t have a lot of time.
It’s four trays create a decent sized surface area for worms to live and breed, and if you leave the liquid-draining spigot open you barely need to pay attention. Just pop a bucket beneath so you don’t lose all that wormy goodness.
The Anself worm factory measures 42x42x60cms so it’s a good size for indoors and hiding away in the garden.
It’s made from green tone durable plastic, but one thing I would recommend is keeping this wormery in a sheltered location.
Although the roof is gabled, some reviewers have reported rain dripping inside as the roof doesn’t overhang much. This isn’t a problem if you plan to keep worms undercover.
There’s lots of room for worms and lots of room for food waste – you can’t go wrong with this top-notch wormery.
Here’s something a bit different! If you’re not keen on the dull green and black wormeries check out this bright pink version.
This wormery should be kept indoors if you want retain the vibrant pink. Sunlight will cause discoloration – but it can still be used outside.
It’s made from durable plastic and measures 41x41x75cms – a good in-between size for a family of four.
This pink wormery comes with the labour-saving multi-tray system and a spigot tap to drain away liquids.
Composting worms, bedding, and food come as part of the price. It’s a great starter kit and one of the best wormeries for a modern family with its ‘wow’ colour and tough plastic.
Wormery Buying Guide
So you want a wormery? Good! Everyone should compost their kitchen scraps. It’s great for the environment and your flower beds.
Let’s take a look at some of the essential features.
Wormery design will depend on how easy you want composting to be and how much you want to harvest.
A home-made wormery means you have amazing black gold compost that’ll feed your plants for months, but a shop-bought one with trays and a tap allows quick and simple composting with the option of draining off fertilising liquid too.
You’ll need to choose between wood and plastic
Wood is a natural material that worms enjoy. It keeps out light, holds moisture, and looks natural. Wooden wormeries are popular with traditional gardeners.
Plastic is a more modern take on the wormery and it’s longer lasting. Plastic is durable and easy to maintain because it doesn’t rot. It may degrade in sunlight though and will heat up faster than a wooden wormery.
Whichever material you decide on you need to keep it somewhere cool and dark because worms don’t like too much heat. At best they will slow down, at worst they will die.
The best wormeries also have well-fitting lids to prevent rats, mice and foxes stealing the scraps.
Wormeries are available in different sizes to suit your household.
If you’re a single person wanting to compost household waste then the smallest size at around 18 litres should be enough. A family of four could go for 30-100 litres depending on how much waste they get through.
To get a decent amount of compost you need about 500g of composting worms in a large wormery.
Number of Trays
Trays can make a big difference to the simplicity of keeping worms.
If you have a dustbin composter then you’ll need to remove the worms each time you take the compost out.
Trays have holes in the bottom and because worms climb towards the heavens, they migrate upwards to your food scraps and their poo (the compost) naturally falls down.
When the bottom tray is full of compost you can use it and replace the empty tray at the top of the stack.
Four good size trays hold a lot of surface area and it’s worth going for the biggest you can accommodate. It only takes a few minutes to remove the compost and restack the wormery if you do it weekly.
Worm-wrangling is simple stuff with a tray system!
Benefits of a Wormery
Apart from getting free compost that’s full of nutrients, owning a wormery helps balance your carbon footprint.
Food waste that would otherwise go to landfill is recycled, and if you’re one of those unfortunate people who have to separate food waste in that tiny useless bucket the council provides, a wormery will seem like heaven in comparison.
The flies don’t get in if you put the lid on properly and you can leave it outside 24/7.
I use the council- provided food waste bin to collect my day’s scraps and tip them into the wormery!
Wormeries are educational tools for kids too. Watching worms go about their composting business is a great way to introduce children to the natural world, science, and recycling in a fun way.
Families with pets might be interested in a pet poo wormery.
Any wormery can take a certain amount of cat or dog poo, but specific poo wormeries have tighter odour control. If you do recycle animal waste in a wormery, don’t use it on crops you plan to eat.
How To Set Up A Wormery
First, choose a suitable location.
Some folk like to keep their wormery in the garage or shed for easy access in the winter. Worms are quite happy indoors as the temperature is usually stable. They hate getting too hot or too cold.
If you don’t mind taking your kitchen waste into the garden each day, choose a cool sheltered site where it won’t blow over.
It’s a good idea to pop your wormery on a paving slab as they can get heavy and sink into the grass. Next to your patio is a good option in the winter months when you won’t want to head outside into the dark and wet at 4.30pm.
Next up, put the wormery together. My recommendations come with instructions but they are fairly self-explanatory items.
Once it’s constructed put in the bedding material. Worms don’t live in the food waste, but in a damp, cool bed.
The best material is the compost they arrive in and the compost they create, but you can use a deep layer of coir or shredded newspaper too. It’s not as good, but it’ll do in a pinch.
Next – worms!
You can’t dig up earthworms for the purpose of composting as they are the wrong type and will just die.
What you need are composting worms. Some of my recommended buys come with worms, but if not you’ll need to source dendrobaena worms or brandlings. Brandlings are better known as tiger worms as they are stripy.
A small wormery of around 30 litres needs about 0.25kgs of worms whereas a bigger wormery such as the ones above need 0.5kgs for best results.
Add only 10cms of food to the surface and wait until it’s going down before putting in any more.
How Does a Wormery Work?
Composting worms eat your scraps and poo out a nutrient-rich compost called vermicompost – there’s no polite way of putting it!
Vermicompost is natural and it’s much cheaper than buying compost from an over-priced garden centre!
Wormeries with spigots drain out the liquid worms create from all your water-rich fruit and veg. This stuff is magical and can be used on all plants, including houseplants. It’s a concentrated fertiliser that works wonders.
Wormery structures work on a simple premise too.
Dustbin type wormeries are an all-in-one system. Worms live at the base in their bedding and come to the surface to eat the scraps you drop in.
To empty it you need to remove the worms. This is easier than it sounds as worms tend to be active near the surface during the day. Take out half to 2/3rds of the contents, pop it in a bucket then take out the rich compost layer from the bottom. Pop your worms back in – simple!
A tray system is cleaner and less hassle which is why they are so popular.
As we’ve seen worms head upwards to eat the food popped into their home. Their poo falls down into the bottom trays – so when the bottom tray is full, remove it, and put it back on the top of the stack.
You don’t need to touch the worms or their compost at all.
How to Build Your Own Wormery
Buying a plastic tray-stacked wormery is my preference because it’s just so simple, but you can build your own very cheaply.
All worms need are air, darkness, moisture, consistent temperatures, and a steady supply of food.
Here’s how you can DIY it:
- A plastic lidded box
- Worm bedding
First, take your plastic box. The bigger it is the more compost you’ll get.
Then drill plenty of holes into the base of the box about a centimetre in diameter. This helps with air flow.
Pop the box on several bricks or slabs so air can circulate beneath it.
Put a sheet of newspaper inside the box to stop your worms falling out. The birds will be happy, but you won’t if you miss this step!
Drill centimetre-wide holes in the lid and a few in the sides of the lidded box.
Then add worm bedding. This can be shredded newspaper, coir, or shop bought compost. The best bedding is worm compost, so keep whatever your worms turn up in. Ensure there are a good 4cms of bedding and make it damp to the touch.
Then add some food, but not too much because they need to settle in.
Cover the food layer with newspaper or cardboard to keep out light and trap moisture.
Finally, put it somewhere sheltered otherwise rain will fall through the drilled holes and drown your worms, or if it’s too hot in direct sunlight they will cook.
Check to see if the food waste is going down over the next few days. If it is, start adding more and get ready for compost!
Do Wormeries Smell?
Many people think wormeries smell terrible. They don’t.
If you’re doing it right wormeries have no bad smells – they have a rich, earthy scent instead.
In any case, you should make sure the lid is always secure to keep out flies and unwanted visitors like mice!
Composting your kitchen waste in a wormery is a self-sufficient environmentally-friendly way to create free rocket-fuelled compost and help save the planet. If everyone did this our carbon footprint would shrink.
If you’re a beginner the best wormery is a plastic tray system. This cuts out the need to get interactive with your worms and processes plenty of waste.
I’m seriously thinking about ordering the pink wormery to go with my original Worm City. I think that’ll look perfect in my shed!