Do you wish you were doing more for your environmental impact? A worm compost bin might be the place to start. Composting is something that can be done at home, and there are many different types to get involved in.
Worm composting is a type of composting that uses worms to recycle your scraps of food. Once the worms eat the food, they produce specialized soil that can grow plants.
We've taken a look at some of the best worm composters for gardeners. Whether you're just starting out or supplementing an existing compost setup, there's something here for you.
Top 8: Best Worm Composters
Best Indoor Compost Bins
This compost setup has a sustainable design that's ideal for anyone concerned about their environmental impact. The standard model comes with five trays. These can be used to create soil on multiple levels. You can also add additional trays if you want.
The design also makes use of a component called an M-board. This allows for fresh air to flow through the model for better overall efficiency. It also saves your worms by giving them more access to oxygen.
A V-board component has been built into the lid. Along with a coconut fiber, this component helps to vent the air so that odor is released. It also helps to control interior moisture and the fruit flies.
The model has ant traps that keep ants from starting a colony among the worms. The liquid tray and the base come in one piece to make assembly easier. Each purchase comes with a manual and a starter kit to help you get going.
Using the model is super easy. All you need to do is fill the tray with worms, scraps of food, and bedding. Once the worms finish composting the food, they will naturally begin working upward toward the next tray. Soil will be left behind.
If the worms are kept in ideal conditions, two pounds of worms can consume about one pound of food every day. The 5 tray model can hold up to 10 pounds of worms. If you use the design at its full capacity, you can work through 5 pounds of food every day.
The stackable design gives it a small carbon footprint, since it uses vertical space instead of horizontal. It's a great choice if you have limited space in your yard. The design is also almost odorless because the worms consume the bacteria before it creates an odor.
Because the design is so odorless, you can actually use it indoors as well as outdoors. Most other composters can only be used in your yard and garden.
The moisture control is also unique. The coconut fibers help to keep the interior moist enough for the worms without drowning them. You don't need to worry about your worms drying out in the heat.
This is another vertical composting option. It comes with four trays, but you can add another four trays for a total of eight trays. When using eight trays, this has the largest volume of the home composters available on the market.
While you are harvesting your compost, you can use the lid as a stand for the trays. This convenient option allows you to harvest the soil more easily without needing to hold the tray yourself.
Each design comes with a manual that shows you how to put the product together. It also gives you tips to make the most of your setup. You get a warranty from the manufacturer after you register the product.
Also included with the package is an accessory kit. This comes with a variety of tools to make it easier to manage the setup. Because of this, it's a good choice for people who are just getting started with this type of composting.
There is also a collector tray that lets you collect the "worm tea." A spigot makes it easy to drain this material.
This is one of the easiest composters to maintain. In fact, you don't need more than 15 minutes every week. If you don't have a lot of extra time to spend on home maintenance, this option will appeal.
In addition to the instructional guide, the package has a DVD that walks you through management and setup. The kit includes the bedding material for the worms. You just need to start with one tray, the bedding, and the worms.
Once the worms have filled the first tray with soil, you can stack another on the top. Since the tray bottoms are gridded, the worms can migrate upward and climb into the next tray.
As the waste breaks down, moisture moves through the soil. It picks up dense nutrients along the way. This is what creates the "compost tea" that you can harvest with the spigot.
You don't need to feed the worms every day, but you can if you so choose. As long as the environment remains healthy, the worms should maintain the same population.
This compost tower can be used indoors as well as outdoors. That makes it a good choice for people who live in colder climates but want to keep working in the winter. You can move it into your apartment or garage when it gets cold outside.
The extra flow of oxygen helps to prevent odors from escaping.
Each tray weighs about 12.5 pounds when it's filled with soil. This low weight makes it easy to lift, remove, and rearrange different trays. The first tray will become full in about three months.
Countertop Compost Bins
This worm composter was designed by a company in Australia. The manufacturers use a variety of different recycled materials to make the product. Like the previous two items on the list, this design uses vertical shelving to allow composting without taking up too much space.
Each model comes with two trays that can be rotated. Since you can rotate the trays, you don't need to use more trays. Simply harvest the materials from the full tray and then place it on top of the tray that's in use.
The base and the trays both use ideal air flow. The worms have access to oxygen, and the extra air helps prevent odors from building up. Since the base has an open drain, the compost liquid is automatically drained without you needing to harvest it manually.
The drain also improves the air flow. Air moves upward from the bottom of the device and through the soil, reaching the worms.
There is also a Worm Saver tray. This tray prevents the worms from slipping into the bottom of the device and drowning. You can easily remove this tray and clean it so that the air and liquid both flow well.
The collection tray below the farm collects the liquid that drains. Many other models use a spigot, but that's not the case here. Since the collection is automatic, you don't need to worry about heavy duty maintenance.
This is the second version of the composter that was originally created by Urban Worm. With this design, you don't need to sort the worms manually from the compost, which makes it much easier to harvest the soil.
This helpful design is built for people who live in cities. It allows you to turn your food waste into odorless worm castings. The soil can be used in your garden and plants, so you don't need to get extra potting soil as you garden.
You feed the worms compost through the top of the bin. Then you collect the castings at the bottom of the design. You don't have to remove worms from trays or worry about stacking different trays. The whole design is super functional.
Instead of being built with gridded plastic, this compost bin uses fabric. The 900D fabric is breathable, allowing for air flow through the soil. It is also resistant to tearing and weather. With that said, your worms should be kept at comfortable temperatures to avoid freezing.
The continuous flow of compost keeps the worms happy and encourages them to keep producing. You don't have to disturb them as you harvest your materials.
This is also one of the easiest products to assemble on the market. In fact, you can assemble the entire thing in under five minutes. You don't need any glue or tools. You also don't have to follow confusing setup instructions.
The manufacturer also offers some tips for how to make the most of your new composter.
One great tip is to learn what your worms like to eat. Worms will typically eat any organic waste that isn't meat or dairy. But they might like certain foods more. Get to know what kind of waste they like to eat and what foods they avoid.
Another tip is to keep the bedding consistent. Worms eat food, but they can't survive on food alone. They also need waste that's rich in carbon, like cardboard and shredded paper. You can use shredded paper and cardboard around your home to create bedding.
When you have a lot of bedding, you also help to control the moisture levels in the habitat. You control the odor, and you ensure that the pH is balanced.
One important note is that the bag should be balanced on a level edge. The frame is durable and has reinforced connectors. But the surface should be flat, like the surface of your patio or balcony.
Seed Starting Mixes
This is a great choice for teachers, other educators, and anyone who wants to view the composting process as it happens. Instead of hiding the process from sight, this design uses see-through walls to let you see exactly what's going on.
Science teachers can use this to teach their students about environmentalism and decomposition. The design comes with three separate compartments. Each has an ideal air flow to allow for natural decomposition and provide air to the worms.
If you put different materials in each compartment, you can have your students predict how each will decompose. This is a great choice if you want to have hands-on experiments in the classroom that really keep your kids engaged.
The aerated lid helps to control any foul odors from the decomposition. As such, you can keep it in your classroom instead of needing to have it outside while you work.
The product also comes with three thermometers, one for each compartment. You can track the ways that the soil changes as items decompose.
Included in the package are the three containers, three thermometers, and a guide that includes cool facts and ideas for science projects.
This is also a good idea for parents who are teaching their kids from home. It helps keep your kids engaged in the learning process even if they aren't in a classroom.
This option from Hungry Bin allows you to keep a continuous flow worm farm. Like the other continuous flow farm, it doesn't use trays. You don't need to worry about constantly emptying and rearranging different trays as your soil builds up.
Unlike the previous continuous flow option, though, this choice is rated for use both indoors and outdoors. It can hold up to 20 gallons of materials, including soil, bedding, worms, and food waste. The lid helps to seal in any bad smells when being used indoors.
Conventional composters require you to stir, mix, and turn the soil. But the continuous flow design lets you avoid that. The composting continues even when you aren't performing maintenance. The worms continuously move upward through the food waste, leaving soil below.
Another ideal feature is the wheels. Since this bin has wheels, you can easily move it from place to place even while the worms are inside. That means you can bring it in during cold weather and then take it back out when the sun comes back.
This is a versatile design that creates both worm casings and compost tea. Depending on the number of worms you use, you can process more than 4 pounds of waste every day. Since the model doesn't attract flies or smell, it can be placed by your kitchen door.
Just flip up the lid to put your scraps inside. You don't need to worry about lifting heavy trays. When you're ready for the casings, you can harvest them.
The model also doesn't use a spigot. You don't have to manually harvest the tea. Instead, it drains into a tray at the bottom. The filter at the top keeps the soil from dropping down alongside the liquid.
The bin is environmentally friendly. It uses organic coloring and is built using food grade plastic. It also comes in a food grade package for stability. All of the plastic is made using 5 to 15 percent recycled materials from the manufacturer's defective models.
Every purchase comes with a lifetime guarantee. Since the components are so durable, you can get a repair or replacement if they ever break down. Every piece of the product is completely recyclable.
Best Lawn Sweepers
This basic composting farm is a great choice for people who are just getting started. It features four trays and simple instructions for setup. Every product is manufactured in Oregon, so it's a good choice if you want a US-based choice.
It's easy to make bedding for the worms. You can dry leaves from your yard and then moisten them, shred paper, or use cardboard. Many people use a combination of these materials. The manufacturer offers tips for how to make the bedding as efficient as possible.
There is a collection base at the bottom that collects the "tea." You'll need to use the spigot to remove the moisture that collects. Once you're ready, all you need to do is flip the lever.
A worm ladder allows the worms to crawl up through the trays. As the trays become full, you can remove them and empty the soil. The lid of the farm helps to protect the worms from exposure to the elements.
Miracle-Gro is known for making garden soils that help your plants grow. This composter is meant to help you create your own soil. The compost bin has a single chamber and can hold 18.5 gallons of compost at a time.
Even though the product can hold a whopping 18.5 gallons, it also has a small footprint. If you don't have much room on your garden or porch, it's not a problem. You can compost wherever you are.
The aeration system turns food waste into compost in about six weeks, even if you don't use worms. The interior has mixing bars that help to speed the decomposition process, breaking down the food waste faster.
The rolling compost box can be used throughout the year. The design uses side locks that make it easy to load your waste and unload soil without spillage. In addition, the model is free from BPA plastics. It is made with food-grade plastic protected from UV rays.
Also included in the package is a pair of gardening gloves. These gloves are free of latex and water resistant. The gloves also have non-slip grips that make it easy to work with slippery items both indoors and outdoors.
The best worm composter for you will vary depending on your needs.
If you're looking for an option with trays, we recommend the sustainable VermiHut compost bin. This choice comes with five stackable trays that can be easily removed and emptied when full.
If you want an affordable continuous flow design, we recommend the Urban Worm option. If you have a little extra money to spend, the continuous flow design from Hungry Bin can be used both indoors and outdoors. That one also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Worm composting is a type of composting that uses worms to make soil.
Worms love to eat organic food waste. As long as it doesn't come from animals, worms like to eat it. With a worm farm, you can give the worms the food waste from around your home. They eat it and leave behind worm casings, which are nutrient-rich soil options.
Gardeners often use worm compost farms because they are a great way to create nutrient-rich soil without needing to buy it. This form of composting creates better gardening soil than naturally letting your waste decompose.