The Best Compost Tumblers

The Best Compost Tumblers

As someone who has a passion for maintaining backyards and lawns, I recognize the significance of composting in both waste management and gardening. Composting is a natural process that transforms organic waste into nutrient-rich soil, benefiting both the environment and our gardens. One effective tool for composting is a compost tumbler. In this article, I will guide you through the world of compost tumblers, providing helpful suggestions and reasons for my choices.

Understanding the Basics of Compost Tumblers

What is a Compost Tumbler?

A compost tumbler is a container specifically designed for composting. It consists of a drum or chamber that can be rotated, allowing for easy mixing and aeration of the composting materials. This controlled environment promotes faster decomposition and eliminates the need for manual turning.

Compost Tumblers

How Does a Compost Tumbler Work?

Compost tumblers rely on a simple principle: regular turning promotes oxygen flow, which accelerates the breakdown of organic matter. The rotation mixes the composting materials, ensuring that oxygen reaches all parts of the pile. This aerobic environment speeds up the composting process, producing nutrient-rich compost in a shorter time compared to traditional composting methods.

Advantages of Using Compost Tumblers

  • Speed of Composting: Compost tumblers expedite the decomposition process, producing usable compost within weeks or months, depending on the tumbler and the materials used.
  • Ease of Use: The rotating drum of a compost tumbler eliminates the need for manual turning. Simply spin the tumbler to mix the contents, reducing physical effort and making composting more convenient.
  • Pest Control: Compost tumblers provide a contained environment, deterring pests and critters from accessing the composting materials. This is particularly advantageous for those living in urban or suburban areas.

The Best Compost Tumblers

The intelligent design, user-friendly nature, and impressive efficiency of these compost tumblers have garnered enthusiastic acclaim, as they swiftly and effectively transform organic waste into top-notch compost.

FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter

  • FCMP Outdoor IM4000 Dual Chamber Tumbling ComposterDimensions: 36 x 30 x 28 inches
  • Weight: 27.9 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year

Discover the remarkable features of the FCMP Outdoor IM4000, an innovative compost tumbler designed to revolutionize your composting experience. With dual 37-gallon chambers, you can effortlessly compost multiple batches simultaneously. The strategically placed deep fins not only serve as convenient handholds for spinning the tumbler but also act as agitators, expertly breaking down clumps within. Its spacious removable door ensures hassle-free loading of kitchen and yard waste, as well as convenient access to the finished compost.

By utilizing the two chambers, one can be dedicated to decomposing while the other receives fresh scraps, allowing for continuous composting and a consistent supply of nutrient-rich compost for your garden. The adjustable aeration holes enable optimal oxygen flow, while the heat-absorbing black frame accelerates the decomposition process. When placed in a sunny location and turned every few days, this efficient tumbler can yield finished compost in as little as two weeks.

Crafted for durability, the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 boasts a robust barrel constructed from BPA-free recycled plastic that effectively absorbs sunlight without succumbing to UV damage. This allows you to confidently position the tumbler in sun-drenched areas without fear of degradation. Furthermore, the rust-resistant galvanized steel frame ensures longevity even when exposed to heavy rainfall and snowfall. Embrace the longevity and efficiency of the FCMP Outdoor IM4000 as you embark on your composting journey.


  • Dual chambers for continual composting
  • Large built-in fins act as hand holds on the outside and break up clumps inside
  • Removable door for easy loading and unloading
  • Adjustable air vents
  • BPA-free, so no chemicals leach into compost


  • Assembly can be difficult
  • Doors can freeze shut in cold temperatures

Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler

  • Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost TumblerDimensions: 25.6 x 32.3 x 23.6 inches
  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

Experience the exceptional convenience of the Miracle-Gro Dual Chamber Compost Tumbler, a compact yet spacious addition to your yard or patio. With two chambers, each accommodating a generous 18.5 gallons, you have the flexibility to create compost simultaneously. Individually rotating chambers enable you to cook compost in one while continually adding new scraps to the other, eliminating the need for excessive physical effort.

The user-friendly design features large sliding doors for effortless waste addition and compost removal, securely sealing to prevent pests and contain odors. Utilize the grooves on the sides or front of the tumbler to effortlessly spin the chambers. The clever hexagon shape prevents waste from adhering to the sides, while internal mixing bars in each chamber enhance material blending and air circulation.

Notably robust, this compost tumbler boasts a galvanized steel base and reliable side-locking mechanisms to ensure steadfast stability. Crafted from UV-resistant plastic, the chambers retain their vibrant appearance and structural integrity, even when exposed to various weather conditions. Enjoy peace of mind with the included two-year warranty, covering all components of this remarkable compost tumbler.


  • Dual chambers for continual composting
  • Each chamber turns independently
  • Side-locking mechanisms
  • Large openings for loading and unloading


  • A bit small for large quantities of organic waste
  • Doors can stick

Mantis CT02001 Compost Tumbler

  • Mantis CT02001 Compost TumblerDimensions: 42 x 33 x 43 inches
  • Weight: 60 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

Discover the innovative Mantis CT02001, a large-capacity compost tumbler that offers an effortless solution for those concerned about maneuvering a fully loaded unit. Featuring a unique crank handle design, this barrel-shaped tumbler, situated on a sturdy frame, enables easy rotation even when brimming with its remarkable 88-gallon capacity. Equipped with gears, the crank handle ensures smooth operation and enhanced user convenience.

Constructed with a galvanized steel drum and BPA-free plastic caps on either end, the Mantis CT02001 showcases a spacious latchable door, allowing convenient loading and secure closure during composting, effectively deterring pests. The top of the drum features an air vent to facilitate oxygen circulation, while the door incorporates drainage vents to release excess liquid. Positioned beneath the drainage vents, a container can be placed to collect valuable “compost tea.”

To aid in the breakdown of compost, the chamber is equipped with mixing fins, diligently breaking up clumps and preventing materials from adhering to the sides. Distinguished by its sage green color, the Mantis CT02001 offers a unique aesthetic that seamlessly integrates into your backyard or garden setting. While it may not absorb heat as effectively as black tumblers, it effortlessly blends in with its surroundings. Depending on outdoor temperatures, expect compost to reach completion within approximately four to six weeks.


  • Can hold up to 88 gallons
  • Side crank handle for easier spinning
  • Drainage vents on door
  • Sage green color blends into natural environments


  • Heavy 
  • Expensive

Good Ideas Compost Wizard Jr. Compost Tumbler

  • Good Ideas Compost Wizard Jr. Compost TumblerDimensions: 22 x 23.5 x 30 inches
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year

Experience the exceptional features that set the Good Ideas Compost Wizard Jr. apart from other compost tumblers. Stand out aspects begin with its near-complete assembly, requiring only the placement of the composting barrel onto the base and the twisting of the lid onto the barrel. Moreover, its low-to-ground design ensures discreteness and enhanced stability during storms, reducing the likelihood of toppling.

With a spacious 12-inch mouth, the Compost Wizard Jr. allows effortless addition of substantial loads into its 52-gallon capacity chamber. Simply load your materials, securely twist the lid to deter pests, and utilize the built-in handles to spin the tumbler on its base at least once a week. While the barrel features aeration holes on the side, additional drilling may be necessary in areas with limited airflow.

Convenience was a key consideration in the design of the Compost Wizard Jr. Its base is equipped with wheels, facilitating easy movement of the tumbler to different locations. When it comes time to utilize the finished compost, simply roll the barrel off the base and effortlessly transport it to the desired area in your backyard. Additionally, the all-black recycled material effectively absorbs heat, accelerating the breakdown of organic materials, resulting in compost production in as little as 14 days.


  • Ready to use right out of the box
  • Low profile is discreet and difficult to tip over
  • Wheeled base for easy transport
  • Made of 100% recycled plastic


  • Might need to drill more aeration holes
  • Only one chamber

Miracle-Gro 18.5-Gallon Tumbling Composter

  • Miracle-Gro 18.5-Gallon Tumbling ComposterDimensions: 24.09 x 21.57 x 4.72 inches
  • Weight: 10.74 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

Experience the versatility of the Miracle-Gro 18.5 Gallon Tumbling Composter, a remarkable compact tumbler designed to fit seamlessly in any space, be it a patio, small garden, apartment balcony, or condo deck. Its lightweight construction allows effortless relocation, while the small size ensures easy spinning. Whether you face space constraints or generate a modest amount of organic waste, this tumbler presents an excellent solution.

Embodying the design principles of its larger counterparts, this mini compost tumbler features a hexagonal shape to prevent material adherence to the sides. It incorporates air vents and mixing bars to facilitate the breakdown of organic matter. Crafted from BPA-free, UV-resistant material, it stands atop a robust resin base, enabling year-round outdoor use without concerns of weather-induced damage.

Operating the composter is a breeze. Simply open the green door, secure the chamber in place using the side-locking mechanism, and introduce a mixture of green and brown waste. Close the door to seal the chamber, allowing it to sit and periodically spinning it to promote material mixing and oxygen circulation. Within a matter of weeks, expect to harvest finished compost. To collect the compost, position a container beneath the tumbler, open the door, and watch the compost effortlessly pour out.


  • Compact and lightweight
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Easy to spin
  • Durable


  • Small size is not suitable for large quantities of organic waste
  • Air vents can leak materials

How to Use a Compost Tumbler

Composting with a tumbler may appear deceptively simple. Just fill it with organic waste and give it an occasional spin, right? However, composting is a scientific process that requires careful attention. Achieving excellent compost hinges on maintaining a well-balanced ratio between nitrogen-rich green waste and carbon-rich brown waste.

Green waste encompasses fresh plant matter like fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings, and recently trimmed leaves. Brown waste consists of dry materials such as dead leaves, cardboard, paper, sawdust, and wood chips. Strive to layer your compost tumbler with equal proportions of both types. Should you observe excessive moisture, add more brown waste. Conversely, if it appears dry, incorporate additional green waste.

waste inside compost

Heat and aeration are critical factors to consider. Position your compost tumbler in a sunny location to maximize heat absorption. Additionally, ensure you turn the tumbler at least once a week to promote mixing and oxygen circulation. Under optimal conditions, finished compost can materialize within two weeks, although the average timeframe ranges from four to six weeks. Embrace the art and science of composting as you harness the potential of your tumbler.

What to Look For in a Compost Tumbler

  • Durable Construction: When seeking a compost tumbler, prioritize models crafted from resilient, robust materials. The last thing you want is a tumbler that cracks or provides easy access for pests. Look for options made of durable plastic or galvanized steel. Opting for BPA-free plastic ensures chemical-free soil enrichment. If selecting a metal tumbler, choose a powder-coated variant for rust resistance.
  • Single vs. Dual Chambers: Compost tumblers commonly feature either a single chamber or two chambers. A single chamber design entails loading the tumbler and awaiting decomposition before reloading. Dual chamber tumblers allow one side to decompose while fresh waste is added to the other. If you consistently generate organic waste, a dual chamber tumbler proves ideal.
  • Size Considerations: Naturally, the amount of waste determines the required composter size. However, bear in mind that larger tumblers are harder to spin and demand more space. If you have concerns about maneuvering a hefty tumbler or face space limitations, consider a smaller dual chamber model or a compact tumbler that better suits your needs. Prioritize convenience without compromising on composting efficiency.

smaller compost tumbler

Final Thoughts

Discover a selection of exceptional compost tumblers in this comprehensive guide. These top-rated models showcase distinctive attributes that enable swift and efficient decomposition of organic waste. Selecting the ideal tumbler for your needs entails considering factors such as the volume of waste you aim to compost, the desired composting frequency, the available space for a tumbler, and your personal capacity to handle the weight during spinning. Delve into the variety of options and find the perfect compost tumbler that aligns with your specific requirements.

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