Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: December 14, 2020
BackyardStyle is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
The fastest way to make compost is tumbler, and that is now recognized by people around the world. Previously, compost bins were commonly used among gardeners, but after the introduction of compost tumblers with the wide variety of features that they offer, many consumers have shifted to these tumblers for their needs. You can easily improve your garden and plants by getting the best compost tumbler.
The following article highlights ten different compost tumblers with each model having its own unique features. More than 35 tumblers were reviewed as part of our research, and the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter has the top spot on our list. This is because of its durability, weather resistance and convenient design. Nine other products were also highlighted to help you choose one that best suits your needs and requirements.
In deciding what makes a good compost tumbler, we considered features like capacity, weight, lids, chambers, and price as some of the most important aspects. After scouring through various online portals and guides, we narrowed down 10 of the best tumblers in a table below, each of which is also briefly yet holistically reviewed in detail to help you make the right choice for yourself. Do not forget to check our comprehensive buying guide after that. Moreover, all frequently asked questions are highlighted below to answer any last-minute doubts that you may have. Lastly, our verdict highlights 3 of the top products from our list, and this should help you understand what exactly you must look for. Browse through our list of products and get the best compost tumbler for your garden and plants!
Among the first manufacturers of compost tumblers were the FCMP Outdoor, and this legacy shines bright in their IM4000 design. The FCMP Outdoor IM4000 is the Editor’s Pick, and it has a variety of features that make it one of the best compost tumblers out there.
One of the most incredible features of the IM4000 is its high capacity of 37 gallons, which is equally divided into two chambers. The first chamber can be filled up and left to decay while the user can put new waste into the second chamber. Furthermore, it also provides a continuous supply of compost, and you won’t be required to open and shut the chamber multiple times during composting.
Compost can be gained in as little as two weeks if the weather is sunny and the ingredients are right. The composter is designed as such that its shape is octagonal, and this prevents the materials from sticking inside the barrel as they turn. However, the assembly is difficult and complicated. In order to keep the oxygen flowing to all parts of the compost mixture, there are many holes across the assembly to let fresh air in.
One of the most aesthetically pleasing tumblers out there, the Hot Frog FCMP Outdoor 37 Gallon Chamber’s compact size and finish make it one of the best small compost tumblers available in the market. It stands at a mere 21.5 high and sits directly on the ground. As it is a small size tumbler, one downside is that it only contains one chamber. One chamber will hold around 35 gallons only, and that accounts for low storage space compared to our other products. However, this composter can turn out to be ideal for small gardens and lawns. Furthermore, you can find here a 17-gallon model, too.
An exciting feature of this composter is it’s inspiring dual system providing two types of compost. This allows the user to remove traditional compost from the main chamber and the liquid tea part from the base. In order to completely empty out the compost tea, one will need to remove the top part of the composter, and it is important to remember that as the composter is knee-high, the user will need to bend down to turn it. The best part is that the composters are BPA-free, and its materials are subjected to 11 stages of filtration process to remove impurities.
EJWOX is one of the most convenient compost tumblers and is slightly larger than some models. The best part is the high capacity as it offers 43 gallons of capacity divided between two chambers. The EJWOX won’t be heavy to turn even when fully loaded.
The body of the composter is comprised of seven panels, and there are doors, metal frames, and ends to assemble too. The assembly of the composter takes around an hour, but it isn’t difficult. For absorbing solar heat, the chamber is black, and there is a choice of colorways for the doors. There is a contrasting option with bright green, and you can also try black for a minimalist approach.
As the doors close tightly, rodents and pets are kept out completely. The chamber doors are also watertight, and there is no soggy compost even when it rains. When you’re done turning it, there is a locking mechanism that holds the chambers in place. It is very easy to fill, and you can assemble it without a divider to have one large chamber.
The Hotfrog is another great compost bin tumbler by FCMP Outdoor. This compost tumbler has a round shape rather than octagonal, which is what differentiates it from the IM4000. There are deep indents that will avoid the material from clumping together, and the sides are not completely smooth either.
This compost tumbler has two compartments of equal size and a total capacity of 37 gallons. On the the outside of composter are deep fins, which provide handholds to turn the chambers smoothly, even when it’s full. ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ are labeled on the chamber doors, and this prevents you from opening the wrong door that could disturb your composting. However, like it’s sister product, the IM4000, the assembly of the Hotfrog is also quite tricky.
Another exciting feature of this composter is that the doors can be removed for your benefit and comfort, and the openings are generous, hence making the composter more flexible to hold a shovel. In size, the composter is also big enough to sit on a back porch. As the doors closely shut, no pest can attack your material.
This is one of the best compost bin tumblers around with a capacity of 7 cubic feet. It is split into two chambers or sections, which come down to 3.5 cubic feet per each.
One of the best parts of the Good Ideas CW-2X Compost Wizard Dueling Tumbler is that it comes fully assembled. It is extremely useful for those that want to start composting right away and do not want to spend hours on end trying to set-up their complicated composter. Another feature is the twist lids that seal the bin and secure the compost.
However, it is a ground-level model and may attract pests, which is a downside of this composter. As the barrel is BPA-free, it is made from 100% recyclable material. The base is big enough to hold up to 5 gallons of compost tea, which adds to the versatility of this mode, and this liquid can be watered down to use as a liquid fertilizer. Many people found it very easy to use as they just simply rolled this composter to the place where they needed to remove it.
This compost is one of the best compost tumblers for small gardens and has many exciting features. Firstly, it is easy to rotate, and the air holes make sure that the composter has the perfect air circulation.
The capacity of the dual tumbler chambers is 43 gallons, and they are very easy to use. One side can be used to start the composting process while the other finishes it. The compost tumbler design is also very effective, and you can easily rotate it without having to dig, turn, and mix the compost by hand. Just open the sliding doors, put the scrap in and rotate the tumbler around 7 times every few days to get the best product.
Moreover, the compost is of super high quality, and the tumbler construction is BPA-free and made of PP. It is very sturdy and has a steel frame. Just like other composting tumblers, assembly isn’t easy and may require more than one person to do it. The maximum load-bearing capacity is 352 lbs, and the compost barrel has improved corrosion resistance and UV proof design.
The Goplus Compost Tumbler has a mammoth 45-gallon capacity and comes with wheels to move it around effortlessly. Another feature of the Goplus compost tumbler is that you can rotate it to increase the speed of decomposition and to balance the ingredients.
It is quite affordable and very easy to use. Just open the removable door and add clippings/scraps. After doing that, the door should be closed, and the compost turned around 5 to 6 times every couple of days. On hot sunny days, the compost can finish in as early as 2 weeks with a proper balance of ingredients.
Many users have complained that the composter is extremely difficult to assemble. On the other hand, the Goplus compost tumbler is designed with some holes on the tumbler that mixes oxygen with the compost making it better and removing some extra heat. Moreover, there is a buckle that can be used to lock the tumbler. It works great to prevent pests from getting inside.
The Algreen Tumbler offers a terrific two-chamber design. In order to add more components and to remove compost with ease, the tumbler comes with a sliding access door. The large holes help with that, too, so any beginner will like this model. A very durable center axel is supporting the chambers, and that makes the tumbling composter fast and safe.
Another exciting feature of this composter is that it can easily hold up 55 gallons of compost material in its dual chambers, and each chamber works independently of the other, allowing you to make your compost continuously. The integrated handles add to the convenience of this model.
One downside of this tumbler, when compared to others in the market, is that the frame of the tumbler is not as durable as we expected. Still, when making compost, having a rodent issue can be a hassle, and the Algreen Tumbling composter has a rodent-proof design. After testing, the airtight door was proven to keep rodents and vermin effectively out.
The Jora compost tumbler is an extremely beneficial option for everyone with a higher compost demand. The Jora compost tumbler is raised off the ground, and you may not be required to kneel down to empty, fill, or turn it like you need to with other tumblers. For those who are old and have back issues and want to compost, they can easily do so with the help of the Jora Compost Tumbler 270.
The assembly, like with many other composters, is difficult and frustrates the users. So it will take some time to put the parts together. Also, some people said that it is not that rust-proof compared to premium models but still is capable of serving at least five years. This tumbler has handles that make the hand turning process easier. The temperature inside the chambers can be increased to more than 160 degrees Celsius, which turns out to greatly aid faster composting. With dual doors, the composter has two chambers, and the total capacity is a mammoth 70 gallons. Each chamber can be used independently, so you don’t have to stop the composting process.
What we liked:
The temperature can be increased for faster composting
There are a lot of features to this model that’ll make you love this tumbler. Produced by plant care aficionados Miracle-Gro, it is a two-chamber model. While the first one has almost finished working, you can fill in the second chamber without any delay.
It has a hexagonal shape, which is highly effective as the materials don’t stick to the sides throughout a rotation with a cylindrical six-sided barrel. The yellow and green twin doors of this Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter make it visually striking, while the sturdy metal legs assure good distance from the ground to make it harder for pests to get inside.
However, this composter is not very reliable. Many owners have reported that this composter started falling apart after several uses after full and heavy load. Not everyone liked the materials used for the construction of this model. Still, you can use that for smaller batches of compost and if you don’t have that high demand.
The chamber doors are very big at about ten inches when the usual size of chamber doors of other composters is about six inches. As each chamber works independently, tipping them and removing the compost when ready is enough.
What we liked:
Dual chambers that work independently
What could be better:
Not very durable
Things to Сonsider
It may be quite difficult to decide which compost tumbler you should buy. There are many factors to consider, and this buying guide will make sure that you understand the process and the way to do just that. We have highlighted many different features that will make your decision easier, and so that you can get the best compost tumbler at the click of a button. Let’s start!
Things to consider before buying the compost tumbler
The different features of a compost tumbler are important. These can be based on the usage of different users, and each user can check the features they deem most significant and choose the product that fits the bill from the list given above. This will help you breeze through buying the best compost tumbler for your garden without any hassle. The various features you have to consider when buying a compost tumbler are the capacity, dimensions, weight, number of chambers, ventilation, material, lid and drains. Let’s have a look at each one in more detail!
Larger capacity is very important, especially if you have a big garden. If you end up buying a small compost tumbler for a large garden, then you’ll cut short your work. Therefore, it is likely that you will invest more money into buying a larger model. You can avoid that by estimating the capacity you want to have. For a large garden, the Jora Compost Tumbler has a capacity of 70 gallons, as well as it can withstand higher composting temperatures to speed up the process. For a small garden, you can go for the Hot Frog FCMP Outdoor 37 Gallon Chamber. If you need a smaal unit, tou may consider a kitchen compost bin.
Number of chambers
Again, if your garden is quite big, it is advised that you go for a composter with dual chambers. This will allow you to constantly continue the composting process, which is essential for large gardens. By the time you’ll be done with the first chamber, you can start filling in the next. The FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter will allow you to do that with the separate chambers.
If your demand is not very high, you can go for composters with a single chamber.
Dimensions are very important, and it’s vital that the compost tumbler is compact and easy to use. Moreover, bigger composters can take too much space and won’t look great in your garden. For example, the Hot Frog FCMP Outdoor 37 Gallon Chamber doesn’t require much space and will fit almost anywhere.
If the compost tumbler is not compact and the bin is too wide, then rotating the bin and moving the tumbler will be difficult when it’s full.
If a compost tumbler is too heavy, then it will again be difficult to rotate and more it around. A heavy compost tumbler will increase your workload and will tire you greatly. Hence, it is important that the weight of the compost tumbler should be lower, but we must keep the durability in our minds, too. You can go for the Good Ideas CW-2X Tumbler, which weighs around 28lbs and offers a variety of features. You can even roll it to the destination place.
There are different materials used for different compost tumblers, and high-quality construction can give the tumbler an edge over its competitors. One of the features most coveted by gardeners is for the tumbler to be BPA-free (for plastic and polymers). This makes the product more eco-friendly, like the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter.
Secondly, if the composter has corrosion, water and UV resistance, this makes the product more consumer-friendly as that provides better usability, like the Compost Master Large Compost Tumbler Bin that offers high performance and improved air circulation.
Composter must be resistant to corrosion and durable to make it long-lasting.
Some tumblers come with removable lids, which make the loading process easier. You can find models with slide doors, twist lids and non-removable ones. It’s up to you to decide which one is more convenient, but you should remember that it needs to shut tightly. This is essential due to the fact that your composter must be pest-resistant.
If your composter has two chambers, it’s a great idea to find a model, such as the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter, that has a separate lid for each chamber. That way, it is going to be easier to use it in case you need to remove one chamber without having to open the second one.
Drains for compost tea
Compost tea can be collected at the base of some compost tumblers and is very useful. It can be sprayed on the leaves or used to water the plant to fertilize them and prevent multiple diseases. Models like the Hot Frog FCMP Outdoor 37 Gallon Chamber, provide a system that helps to collect all compost tea and drain it easily (so-called compost tea brewer). The bin and the tea collecting base both have drains for tea. All you have to do is to remove the bin, open the plug and use it.
There are many additional features that make the compost tumbler more appealing. These features ensure that the compost tumbler is useful and easy to assemble. The wheels on the tumbler can make it easier to carry even if it’s on the heavier side. For instance, the Goplus Compost Tumbler comes with wheels. Also, a compost tea collecting base is an additional feature that sets apart a composting tumbler from its competitors.
Just like with any type of product, you will have to think about the price tag carefully. This article contains a number of products, and the features of each product are an indirect reflection of it’s worth and value.
If you are looking for an optimal model with a variety of useful features. The most astonishing products with regards to price and features is the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter. It has two chambers, durable construction and prevents the materials from sticking. It is reasonably priced at just $80.
For a large garden, you might want to get a model like the Jora Compost Tumbler 270. It has a 70-gallon capacity, but expect to pay more than $400 for this composter.
A compost tumbler offers many different features that you cannot get with a compost bin. Firstly, it is very easy to use, and stirring and mixing the compost material in a tumbler is not difficult. You only have to rotate the chambers seven times every few days. Secondly, many tumblers come with additional protection and are resistant to rodents, water, and UV rays. A compost bin lacks that level of protection. Lastly, the compost tumbler gives faster results compared to a compost bin, and for a large garden, a tumbler is the better option.
The answer to this question really depends on the model since each tumbler takes its own time for the compost to be ready. Also, we must take the size of the batch into account. However, many tumblers in our list are very easy to use, and they ensure that your compost is ready in a matter of weeks. Hence, with the help of those tumblers, your compost will be ready in as little as a couple of weeks. But most likely, you will see the result in 4-6 weeks. All you have to do is rotate the compost material every few days, and this process quickens when the temperature is high in hot and sunny weather.
The recommended amount of rotation for the tumbling composter is around 6 to 7 times every 2 to 3 days. Some tumblers may require more rotation cycles. However, most of the tumblers on our list require the rotation to be around 7 times every few days. Hence, you don’t have to worry and just have to remember to rotate the tumbler on time. Your compost will be ready soon enough without much hassle or effort on your part. For further instructions, it’s a great idea to ask for help some experienced gardeners as the more care you give your product, the better results it will yield.
The three top products on our list are the ones that you should really look out for. Each product has its own qualities and characteristics that set them apart. Let’s look at them.
The FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Tumbling Composter is our Editor’s Choice and is one of the best dual compost tumblers available on the market. The company was one of the first manufacturers of compost tumblers, and they how to do it right! It has a high capacity, removable door, and octagon shape that gives it an edge over its competitors (pun intended).
Secondly, the Hot Frog FCMP Outdoor 37 Gallon Chamber is another great pick. It has a very compact design, which is ideal for smaller gardens. Furthermore, there is a tea collecting base that adds versatility to this model.
Lastly, the EJWOX Composting Tumbler is able to give a high level of convenience. It has two watertight doors, a removable inner divider and a locking mechanism to have easier access.
We hope that this information was useful, and now you are able to find the best compost tumbler for your needs!