If you are looking for the best home composter, in this article you will find my reviews, my opinions and a guide to choosing.
The ideal way to make your own compost is to use a composter. The domestic composter is a perfect system for recycling food waste and obtaining excellent humus, rich in nutrients. In fact, domestic humus is perfect for enriching the soil of the pots of your seedlings, both at home and on the balcony, and improving their nutrition.
What is a domestic composter
A home composter is a small container, similar to a crate or bin, which is used to make compost. The definition “domestic” is mainly due to its size and the possibility of being placed under the sink or on the kitchen terrace. The home composter must be made to be able to be in the kitchen, or inside a living space such as the balcony, without creating annoyance.
Among other things, both for convenience and to facilitate maintenance operations, compost at home is best done with a double container. A first bin, which acts as a waste bin, is used to deliver the daily rubbish immediately, as in any recycling bucket. A second container, on the other hand, to be moved to a more airy area, such as the terrace or a balcony, is used to start the process of transforming the waste into compost.
Best domestic composters
1. KICHLY Stainless Steel Compost Bin
The KICHLY compost bin is a very convenient kitchen accessory. Made of stainless steel, this domestic composter is very easy to clean and sanitize and is small enough to be placed on the countertop. Let’s see its aspects.
The structure of KICHLY Compost Container is in high quality 201 stainless steel. Its satin silver color makes it a sober and pleasant object. Its shape is that of a small cylindrical bin, equipped with two side knobs to which a semicircle, also in steel, is attached, which acts as a handle. The lid is circular and domed. It is also made of steel, and is equipped with some round ventilation holes.
The activated carbon filter is independent from both the lid and the structure. Its circle shape adapts perfectly to the inner circumference of the compost bin and covers the waste making it transpire. The KICHLY filter is made with a steel ring-shaped support, in which to insert the filter fabric. This support can be placed in the dishwasher, while the filter fabric must be washed in a basin, with warm water and soap.
Capacity and size
KICHLY Compost Bin holds up to 5 liters of waste material. Its height is 35.6 centimeters, including the lid. Its external diameter is 20.3 centimeters, equivalent to the footprint of the base. On the other hand, the maximum space that this bin for biological waste occupies in width, and therefore complete with the knobs, is 22.9 cm. Its weight, when empty, is 1.18 kilos.
How to use KICHLY Container for Compost
KICHLY Compost Bin is made to hold the remains on a temporary basis, but cannot be used to mature compost. Before putting the remains inside, you must insert a waterproof compost bag inside, to be replaced every time you put the contents in the balcony or garden composter.
2. SILBERTHAL Stainless Steel Compost Basket
The SILBERTHAL Compost Bin is made of stainless steel, silver-colored edged with black plastic. Aesthetically pleasing, this kitchen composter is compact enough to be placed on the countertop, or in the under-sink compartment, but can only be used for collecting leftovers and not for transforming them into compost. Let’s see the features.
The structure of this domestic composter is made of high quality stainless steel and is rectangular. A feature that allows you to hook it to the door of a kitchen cabinet or to fix it firmly to the wall, thanks to a rectangular support supplied. The composter is equipped with a removable internal basket to which the bag for table waste must also be added. The bags, among other things, are inserted in an internal space, placed at the bottom and equipped with a slot to easily extract them.
The SILBERTHAL Compost Bin filter is integrated into the lid and is easily replaceable. It is a sheet, made with highly effective activated carbon fibers, which you must insert in the dedicated space, which you find in the lid of the composter.
Capacity and size
This model has a capacity of 3 liters. Its height is 21cm, while the container measures 26cm by 14.5cm. The inner basket, on the other hand, is 21 cm deep and the base is 23 x 12 cm. Its resistance to the weight of the contents, when used suspended on the hook, is more than a kilo of organic material.
3. VeoHome Kitchen Basket with Activated Carbon Filter
The VeoHome Kitchen Basket with Activated Carbon Filter is small enough to be placed on the sink surface and is aesthetically very pleasant. The quality of its steel is excellent and it is very resistant to rust. Let’s see how it is done.
The structure of VeoHome is 100% stainless steel. Its shiny silver color makes it a truly elegant object. Its shape is cylindrical, with two side knobs to which a handle is attached, also in steel. The lid is circular and is perforated to facilitate the aeration of the remains. This domestic composter does not have an internal basket and is not suitable for fermentation for long periods.
The activated carbon filter of the VeoHome Kitchen Basket is a circle and adapts perfectly to the internal circumference. In fact, it is enough to place it on top of the waste, after having placed it in the compost bin. The filter can be washed in a basin with warm soapy water, but must be replaced when its effect wears off.
Capacity and size
This kitchen basket holds 5 liters of leftovers. Its height is 29.4 centimeters, while its diameter is 21 centimeters. The maximum space instead, that this bin for biological waste occupies, including the knobs, is 21.2 cm and weighs about 1 kilo.
4. GYCC Balcony Fermentation Container
The GYCC fermentation container is a home composter that you can place on the balcony or in any other ventilated room. It is a plastic bucket, equipped with a compost processing kit and a tap for collecting decanting liquids. Let’s see the features in detail.
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The structure is made of recycled plastic, very resistant. Its shape is rectangular and is slightly raised from the support surface, thanks to a support that also acts as a collector for decanting liquids. At the bottom there is a drainage grate which serves to separate the leachate from the humus. The lid is also made of plastic, can be completely removed and is completely sealed. The handle is also made of plastic and is anchored to the side edges, solid and resistant, and is of the same line and color as the lid.
The characteristic note of this composter is the tap located at the bottom, in a recess of the support foot, which is used to collect the decanting liquid. As for the equipment you will find, in the package, also a mold to crush the remains, a shovel and a rake to turn them and a glass to collect the drainage liquid.
The GYCC fermentation container does not have an activated carbon filter because its lid is double and is completely sealed. In fact, in this domestic composter it is the particular microorganisms of the activation bran, to be purchased separately, to prevent the remains from fermenting causing insects and bad smells. And it is thanks to this bran, mixed with biological remains, that an excellent compost is obtained, much faster than with the normal process, together with an excellent concentrated liquid fertilizer.
Capacity and size
The container holds 15 liters of material, is 41 cm high, the lid is 29 x 29 cm wide, while the base is 22 x 22 cm. Therefore it can be placed without problems in any corner of the balcony. The accessories of the starter kit do not take up much space, and can be stored nearby or in a box, next to the composter.
How to use the GYCC fermentation container
Using the GYCC fermentation container is quite simple. Before placing the waste in the bucket you need to put a measuring cup of bran on the grid at the bottom and remember to add it every time you put more organic material. Every now and then you have to empty the liquid tank as well, using the suitable glass. This leachate can be diluted 1: 200 with water and used as a liquid fertilizer. Or you can dump it pure in the septic tank to regenerate it. Generally the maturation in compost in this type of composter takes about a couple of months.
How the home composter is made
We have already seen how the most convenient solution is to divide the process into two separate spaces, and then use two containers. A first to keep in the kitchen, for the daily storage of organic waste, and another, or a series of others, to be placed on the balcony. Generally in domestic composters you will find an external container, the collection bucket, the lid, the filter, the liquid collector.
1. External container
The external container, especially in the domestic model, must be aesthetically suited to the furniture of the kitchen or the balcony where you are going to place it. The best are those in stainless steel, which are easier to clean and sanitize. Among other things, steel is perfect because it does not release foreign elements into the compost even when it ferments. Plus, especially if it’s the size of a pot, you can wash and sanitize it in the dishwasher. But often the most capacious models, to be kept in ventilated spaces such as the veranda or the balcony, are made of resistant plastic in a dark color, to facilitate the development of heat.
2. Collecting bucket and compost bag
Inside the bin there is a bucket that is used to collect the remains. In many cases it is used to move them into the compost bin, in others it can be used to let the compost ripen directly inside it. If you use it only for collection then the bucket can also be unperforated and without a collector for liquids. If you also make compost with it, however, it must be drilled, or made with a net, so as to let the material air and let the leachate settle.
In both cases you can put a bag in the inner bucket, which must be waterproof if you just have to collect the material. While, in case you also have to start the fermentation process, the bag must be breathable and permeable. In the event that, as often happens, the waste bin is not equipped with a collection bucket, then you will still have to use a compost bag instead, to be placed inside the bin.
The lid of a domestic composter must be easy and sufficiently airtight. The best solution is the totally independent lid, because it allows you greater convenience in the operations of pouring and cleaning the bin. However, when it is placed, it must also be very adherent to the edge of the bucket, in order to prevent insects and bad smells from escaping. However, the lid of domestic composters, unlike that of a normal waste container, must also be equipped with an activated carbon filter in order to absorb the odors of fermentation.
4. Domestic composter filter
The home composter must have an activated carbon filter. Its presence is essential or the bad smells caused by fermentation will fill the kitchen and the terrace. It may happen, it is true, that there are models of waste bin for sale without a filter. Generally these are simple trash cans that, if you use to collect food remains, must be emptied and cleaned daily.
Obviously making compost in these containers is quite risky. The filter, in fact, not only eliminates bad smells but, when properly treated, also avoids the excessive development of larvae and insects. The activated carbon filter must be placed under the lid and be easily removable, both to be washed and to be replaced when its effect wears off.
4. Liquid collector
When you ferment the biological waste, the liquid part separates almost immediately and drips to the bottom. The fermentation liquid collector is used to prevent them from ending up on the floor or at the bottom of the basket. If you use the bio bucket only to collect the remains, to be transferred daily to the composter, then the liquid collector is not essential.
If, on the other hand, yours biological container it is also used to make compost, so the liquid collector is essential. In fact, even if, as is desirable, you place the composter on the balcony, you cannot leach the sewage on the ground, but you must collect it and eliminate it in the black water as frequently as possible. These liquids, in fact, are an excellent litter for the larvae of worms and flies, which you do not want to have at home.
How to choose the home composter
The size of a composter depends on where you plan to put it. If it’s about the biological container to be kept under the sink generally does not exceed 40 centimeters in height and 30 in width. If you are referring to the domestic composter to keep on the balcony then it can even reach 80 centimeters or one meter. Consider that the most convenient solution is to mount more than one, in order to differentiate the maturation times of the compost. In any case, before taking it, check that the space you have available is sufficient to accommodate it.
The bio bucket from under the sink it can be round to drum, or square. The round one is less convenient for optimizing the use of space but certainly easier to clean. The composter to be placed on the balcony, on the other hand, is generally square or rectangular.
There domestic composter for under-sink it is generally made of plastic with a metal outer part. Steel ones are the most hygienic but also the most expensive. Those for outdoor, unless you want to put a battery of small containers, are made of UV resistant plastic. All models dedicated to composting have a container for collecting liquids which is good, for hygiene reasons, which is made of acid-resistant metal, preferably aluminum or galvanized iron.
How to maintain and clean the composter
Both the bucket for bio compost that the domestic composter for balcony they must always be kept clean. The compost bucket, which you empty every day, you must clean and disinfect it completely with a suitable product. The balcony composter, on the other hand, can only be cleaned outside, but it is essential that you regularly empty the leachate from the liquid container and rinse it thoroughly under running water. As for maintenance, however, you must always keep the compost and air it regularly, every one or two weeks.