The best kitchen compost bins help us protect our environment. Throwing your food scraps in the trash may not be enough. That's because over 70 billion pounds of food waste enters landfills every year, according to a November 2020 United States Environmental Protection Agency news release.
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"The lack of oxygen in landfills prevents organic materials from biodegrading. Instead, (they) sit there releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change," Laura Wittig, a sustainability expert and the founder and CEO of the sustainability platform Brightly, tells LIVESTRONG.com
But, composting can help you get rid of waste responsibly. "Compost is like a multivitamin for your soil: It encourages healthy plants, new growth, strong roots and bountiful blooms and fruit. Creating compost is not just good for your garden, it's also great for the planet," says Aditi Biswas, Nutritionist and former microbiologist.
A compost bin is designed to speed the process of organic matter decomposition (breakdown) through proper aeration and moisture. By placing food scraps into the container, it will turn into compost over time. Adding a set mixture may be required for certain compost bins, while others thrive by simply continuing to pack in those food scraps such as skins and stems from produce, egg shells and coffee grounds (organic waste).
To get you started, here's a list of the best kitchen compost bins on the market.
- Best for Odor-Control: EPICA Stainless Steel Compost Bin ($29.95, Amazon.com)
- Best Easy-to-Clean: Oxo Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin ($32.99, Amazon.com)
- Best Countertop: Chef’n EcoCrock Counter Compost Bin ($39.27, Amazon.com)
- Best Eco-friendly Material: Bamboozle Food Compost Bin ($44.99, Amazon.com)
- Best for Durability: iTouchless Compost Bin ($39.99, Amazon.com)
- Best for Fermentation: SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter Kit ($63.95, Amazon.com)
- Best Budget: Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel Compost Bin ($23.99, Amazon.com)
- Best Indoor: Simple Human 4 Liter / 1.06 Gall Compost Caddy ($49.99, Amazon.com)
- Best Indoor Worm Composter: Biovessel Eco Living Composter ($199.00, Amazon.com)
- Best Overall Design and Function: Pela Lomi Composter ($499.99, meetlomi.com)
How We Chose
We chatted with sustainability experts to understand what's most important in a quality indoor compost bin and how to find the bin that is ideal for you. Our top picks are based on the following criteria:
- Odor control
- Easy to clean
1. Best Odor-Control: EPICA Stainless Steel Compost Bin
If you are looking for a solidly built, ideal size and odor-free solution, look no further than the EPICA stainless steel compost bin. This 1.3-gallon compost bin is small enough to fit on your counter, but has the capacity to hold several days worth of kitchen scraps.
This bin has an activated charcoal filter to prevent odors from escaping. "Other bins don't eliminate odor nearly as well," Jeremy Yamaguchi, Founder and CEO of Lawn Love, says. "And because your kitchen bin is indoors and in a heavily-trafficked spot, you really don't want to deal with any bad smells."
Stephanie Cole, renewable energy expert and eco blogger for TheRoundup.org, agrees. "(It) has a charcoal filter which is brilliant at trapping and controlling odors," Cole says. But, the low cost of this bin doesn't end with a single purchase. "The charcoal filters can't be rinsed and need to be replaced regularly, so that can be costly. The good news is that the charcoal is compostable."
It's also easy to clean, resists rust and has a well-fitting lid to prevent leakage.
• Charcoal filter for trapping odors
• Easy to clean
• Resists rust
• Prevents leakage
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $29.95
2. Best Easy-to-Clean: Oxo Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin
This 1.75-gallon compost bin is designed to keep bags tugged well inside its smooth, easy-to-clean interior. It has a versatile lid for immediate usage and proper sealing for odor-control.
"Oxo compost bin is a brilliant design with a locking mechanism," says Alan Duncan, green energy and renewable energies expert and founder of Solar Panels Network. The lid not only seals well to trap in odors, but also has a stay-open mechanism for tossing in scraps as you work.
If both looks and practicality are a must, Oxo is a great choice. "It is aesthetically pleasing with a simple design and rounded edges for easy cleanup and storage," Duncan says.
• Compact design
• Easy to clean
• Small capacity
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $32.99
3. Best Countertop: Chef’n EcoCrock Counter Compost Bin (Ceramic)
"The Chef'n EcocCrock Compost Bin is a countertop bin that has a removable inner bucket and utilizes carbon filters to help reduce odor. I like that the bucket is removable and easy to clean," says Ashley Petrie, RDN. "I also love the look of this compost bin. It's small and fits nicely on the counter without seeming intrusive."
Petrie mentions, though, that mold can be of issue with this product because the holes on top are too small to allow enough moisture to escape. "To resolve this issue, I recommend storing (the compost) in the freezer or taking daily trips to your compost pile and keeping the inner bucket clean," she says.
• Easy to clean
• Carbon odor-reducing filters
• Aesthetic appeal
• Holes aren't large enough to prevent mold
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $39.27
4. Best Eco-friendly Material: Bamboozle Compost Bin
This product from Bamboozle is a small compost bin that will fit nicely on your countertop, and if you are looking for a bin that's both eco-friendly in purpose and design, this may be the bin for you.
"Of course, you want a compost bin that does its prime job: helps you turn food scraps into nutrient-rich organic material that can be used in your garden," Wittig says.
"Another important factor to keep in mind is what that compost bin is made of. That's why I love Bamboozle: All pieces are made from biodegradable bamboo fiber. Not only will it last for years, but its end-of-life impact is much lower than options made from materials that aren't as eco-friendly."
• Aesthetic appeal
• Entirely biodegradable material
• Small capacity
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $44.99
5. Best for Durability: iTouchless Compost Bin
What makes this compost bin ideal is its highly durable structure — it's made with titanium stainless steel — and its ability to resist fingerprints and smudges. It has an elegantly polished surface, plus it's easy to clean and rust-resistant.
Its AbsorbX Odor Filter System keeps odors at bay (and it comes with a filter upon purchase). It's sleek, affordable and "perfect for a small indoor living space," says Melissa Collins, a chef and household expert.
• Rust-free, smudge-proof surface
• Easy to clean
• Odor-filtering system
• AbsorbX Odor Filters can be costly
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $39.99
6. Best for Fermentation: SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter
This compost kit includes a 5-gallon tan compost bin and a 2-pound bag of Bokashi Bran by SCD Probiotics.
"Bokashi composting allows you to compost indoors with the flexibility of being able to add (almost) whatever you want," sustainability expert Eva Petruzziello says.
"Most Bokashi bins will fit neatly under your kitchen sink. You can add meat, cooked food, dairy products and your fruit and vegetable waste to the bin. The only thing you shouldn't add to your bokashi bin is very oily food and liquids," she says.
"Plus, Bokashi composting utilizes a special group of anaerobic microbes to ferment organic waste. When that fermented waste is eventually buried, it disappears in about 10 to 14 days."
• A complete kit with bin and compost starter mix
• Odor-reducing Bokashi Bran
• Fits under the sink
• Requires you to bury compost for the final step of the process (you'll need yard space)
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $63.95
7. Best Budget: Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel Compost Bin
This 1.3-gallon compost bin is made from durable stainless steel and comes in Silver, Black or White so you can find the one that best suits your kitchen decor.
Like many countertop compost bins, it uses a charcoal filter to reduce odor. It washes easily with soap and water, and its charcoal filter can be soaked in soapy water then rinsed thoroughly to remove residue.
This sleek, compact compost bin is also our most affordable choice at under $25.
• Charcoal filter to reduce odors
• Durable, sturdy
• Choice of color
• You will eventually need to replace charcoal filter for optimal use
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $23.99
8. Best Indoor Compost Bin: Simple Human Compost Caddy
This compost bin has a magnetic dock to hang neatly on the side of your trash can or detach easily for use on your countertop making it a versatile choice for your kitchen space needs.
The soft-seal lid is breathable while keeping bugs out. Magnets allow the lid to easily stay opened while in use. The removable inner bucket has a handle for easy cleaning and transfer of contents.
"It's made from stainless steel which is an inherently sustainable material. Stainless steel can be recycled an infinite number of times without any reduction in quality. So at the end of its life, it can be recycled and not just disposed of in landfill," Cole says.
The manufacturer states this device is easy to clean and that its invisible silver-ion coating resists fingerprints (and spread of germs).
• Sleek, compact design
• Magnetic dock
• Easy to clean
• Removeable Inner Bucket
• Uses custom-fit proprietary liners
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $49.99
9. Best Indoor Worm Composter: Biovessel Eco Living Composter
Following natural parameters and ergonomic principles, this compost bin was scientifically designed for kitchen use to suit both its "inhabitants" (yes, worms) and users. But not to worry, it is designed specifically to contain those creatures.
Petruzziello says that worm composting can be quite suitable for indoor spaces. "Once you are managing your bin correctly, your indoor farm should never smell. If your worms are trying to escape, it means something went wrong."
The Biovessel starter kit includes the vessel, inner structure, a cork lid, 3 top caps and a bottom cap, a moisture/light/ph probe, a fertilizer scoop and a sprayer. You will need 7 liters of bedding soil with 500 to 600 grams of composting worms to activate the vessel.
It's a lovely, nature-inspired, eco-friendly design, but unless you are an avid gardener or have an interest in worm composting, this may not be for you.
• Aesthetic appeal
• Eco-friendly design
• Includes a Biovessel starter kit
• Not for those who fear creepy crawlers
• You must manage your bin correctly to avoid disfunction
Buy It: Amazon.com; Price: $199
10. Best Overall Design and Function: Pela Lomi
The elegantly-designed Pela Lomi compost bin is instantaneous and will make your compost at the touch of a button.
"Lomi is a revolutionary (and chic) kitchen appliance that turns household waste (food, bioplastics, bones, cloth and more) into nutrient-rich compost within 24 hours," says Matt Bertulli, CEO of Pela.
"Globally, waste management is a $2 trillion Industry and Pela is pioneering the first non-governmental movement around one of the worlds' largest issues," Bertulli says. "Since launching in April 2021, the Lomi units sold thus far have been said to have the equivalent impact of: 107.6 million trees planted each year, 1.6 million fewer pounds of coal burned and 3.6 million less miles driven."
"I can honestly say it's one of the best choices I've ever made. Not only have I greatly reduced my carbon footprint but it's really helped improve the enjoyment of my life," says Daniel P. Craig, chef and founder of KitchenDeets.
"The composter fills up in 3 to 6 days thanks in part to its bucket's ability to soak up odors," Craig says. He also adds that he's never had any leaks using this product.
• Chic design
• Quick waste turnover to compost
• Odor control
• Ease of use
Buy It: Meetlomi.com; Price: $499.99
Things to Know Before You Buy
When you're ready to buy a composting bin for your kitchen, there are a few things you should consider, first.
Size and Space
You will need to determine the amount of space you have in your kitchen for a compost bin and consider how much food scraps your household produces. This will help you figure out what size bin you need to buy.
Most indoor bins have a means for odor control. You'll need to determine which one you prefer (i.e., activated charcoal filters).
Finding a model that will have lasting value includes how it stands up over time. Stainless steel and titanium are durable options.
How much can you afford to spend on a compost bin and what extra costs may arise, such as filter replacements or composting mixes, are important factors to think about. If there is a model you feel is fitting, but costly, you may consider it as an investment.
Since the indoor compost bin may be living on your kitchen countertop, you'll want to find the model and design that suits your style and the aesthetics of your kitchen space.
Composting Time and Upkeep
If you aren't invested in careful, regular upkeep or special mixes to add, you may want to consider a compost pin that's as simple as fill and dump.