The 5 Best Indoor Compost Bins


For a majority of my adult life, I have lived in dorm rooms, apartments, or small houses. While this is incredibly normal and something that I personally have enjoyed, it makes certain tasks, such as composting, quite difficult.

I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat, so I’ve decided to compile a list to help you decide what type of indoor compost bin is best for your lifestyle. Living in a small space doesn’t mean that you can’t be eco-friendly or compost your used food items and materials, and I plan on proving just that to you.

But, before I give you some specific examples of products you could purchase for composting in an apartment, I’m going to talk about how to pick the best indoor compost bin and some important tips to keep in mind.

If you just want my quick picks, here they are…

If you’re okay with worms…

Worm Factory 360

Worm Factory 360

If you want to ferment and compost quicker…

Bokashi Composter

All Seasons Bokashi Composter

Picking the Perfect Indoor Compost Bin

When deciding which indoor compost bin you would like to purchase, there are several things that you should consider.

  • How much room would you like to dedicate to it?
  • What is your budget?
  • How fancy would you like your indoor compost bin to be?

A compost bin is an investment, and you want to make sure that you are picking one that will work in your home and be useful for you. Let’s start this selection process by going more in depth into the different things you should be considering.

What Size Compost Bin Do You Need?

The first thing that you should make sure to carefully think about is how large you would like your compost bin to be. While some compost bins are compact enough that they can fit underneath kitchen sinks, others require larger amounts of space, and should instead be placed in pantries or closets.

Additionally, do you plan on being able to pick up and carry your compost bin to a larger composting area, or would you like it to be completely self-sustaining and semi-permanent?

Many of these questions will be answered by your living constraints, but it is important that you have these answers before you start officially looking for one to purchase.

How Much to Spend on an Indoor Composter?

Most indoor compost bins cost anywhere from $40 to $300. Before you begin shopping for one, you should make a point of deciding how much you would like to spend, and what features you are willing to pay extra for.

If you know you will be composting a lot, splurging on a fancier system that is self-sustaining may be worth the investment.

However, if you are new to composting, and you are not sure if you will be able to stick with it, purchasing a basic plastic composting bin may be your best bet. It’s all about knowing yourself and your lifestyle.

Extra Features to Look For

Finally, when picking your ideal indoor compost bin, it’s essential that you decide what features you would like it to have. Some compost bins rely on worms to break down the food, while others rely on the process of fermentation. Worms have been heralded as one of the best ways to quickly break down food without it smelling, but some people do not like the idea of having these critters in their home.

On the flip side, many gardeners do not like the process of fermentation, as they believe it takes too long and runs the possibility of being smelly.

Other compost bins have the ability to break down meat, fish, and dairy. The ones that are able to do this are generally much more expensive than others, so you will have to decide whether or not this extra expense is worth it for you. I personally tend to have a lot of meats and dairy in my diet, so I don’t mind spending a bit more for this feature. I have friends that are vegetarians or vegans, though, so this option would be rather pointless for them.

Some bins even have multiple drawers and layers, while a majority of them consist of one large bin. Depending on how you would like to go about composting your food and if you would like to separate it or not, it is worth considering purchasing the tray option.

Buyer Beware: Compost Collector vs. Composters

Another major thing that you must keep in mind while shopping for composters is that there is a difference between a compost collector and a composter.

A compost collector is simply a bin that individuals place food scraps in, and then empty into an outdoor composter where the food is broken down.

A composting bin, however, does the entire process, either through fermentation or the use of worms.

Pay careful attention to which one you are buying, because you don’t want to be disappointed or caught off guard!

Also, compost toilets are different than compost bins – don’t confuse them!

Potential Downsides to Composting Indoors

The two main issues that can occur when composting inside are potential leakage and an unpleasant smell.

I can’t say enough amazing things about indoor composting, but I’d be lying if I said these weren’t drawbacks. Fortunately, they’re both pretty simple to fix.

I recommend making sure that you have your indoor composting bin in an area that is out of the way, just in case leakages or unpleasant scents do wind up occurring. Additionally, if you are faced with these problems, try adding dry bedding to the bottom of your bin, as this will help to soak up any liquids or scents, and prevent them from seeping outside of the bin.

Plus, to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place, you can always add the dry bedding to the bottom of the bin when you install it/set it up in your apartment.

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, it’s time to given an overview of the pros and cons of some of the best indoor composting bins in the market.

The 5 Best Indoor Composters

All Seasons Indoor Bokashi Composter

SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter, Easy Start Countertop Kitchen Compost Bin with Bokashi...
  • EASILY LOWER YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. Recycling would-be food...
  • COMPOST ANYTHING INDOORS. Unlike other kitchen countertop...

The SCD Probiotics K100 is a classic composter that is perfect for the average apartment. Here are some of its pros and cons:

The Good

  • Very affordable for beginner composters
  • Does not smell at all
  • Uses bokashi method to break down materials quickly

The Bad

  • Sludge can accumulate in the bottom, so it needs to be drained frequently

Check Prices >

Worm Factory 360

Worm Factory 360 WF360B Worm Composter, Black
  • The Worm Factory 360 has a standard 4-Tray size which is...
  • The redesigned lid converts to a handy stand for trays while...
  • Includes Manual and a Warranty included after product...
  • The accessory kit provides basic tools to make managing the...
  • Built in "worm tea" collector tray and spigot for easy...

Don’t let its name scare you away- the Worm Factory 360 is one of the best composters currently available for purchase. Here are some important things I noticed about it when I tested it out:

The Good

  • It’s easy to set up and the kit comes with all required materials.
  • Has a higher capacity than other indoor composters.

The Bad

  • I don’t mind worms being in my home, but some of you may not be as fond of the idea.
  • Sometimes it can be difficult for the worms to “climb through” the trays.

Sunwood Life Bokashi Compost Kit

Sunwood Life Bokashi Compost Kit
  • 5 gal bucket made from recycled plastic with EM ceramic...
  • 2.2lbs (1 kg) of Bokashi bran Made in U.S.A.
  • Air-tight lid ensures anaerobic fermentation process
  • 3/4 gal Kitchen Compost Pail included for kitchen waste...
  • One piece of tea cup and one piece of compactor are included

Perfect for beginners, the Sunwood Life Bokashi Compost Kit includes everything that you could ever possibly need to get started. I strongly recommend you consider this one if you don’t own any composting materials yet. A few things I noticed about this composter:

The Good

  • Both the collector and composter are great sizes for small homes and apartments.
  • Meats and dairy can be composted as well.

The Bad

  • The spigot can occasionally be difficult when trying to drain the system.
  • The main bucket can oftentimes fill up quickly if the entire household is using it.

Food Cycler Indoor Composter

Food Cycler Platinum Indoor Food Recycler and Kitchen Compost Container
  • NEW AND IMPROVED - Now with Filter Monitoring System - Never...
  • All in one food composter makes composting kitchen waste a...
  • Kitchen Compost Shredder Composts to a viable soil amendment...
  • Odorless and environmentally conscious kitchen compost...
  • No venting, draining or additives required

Now, I know what you’re thinking- that price tag is TERRIFYING. But, if you end up sticking with composting and become very serious about it, it’s worth it. This is an electric food composter, which is an exciting new category that will make your life so much easier, and it will last you for forever, too. Here are the pros and cons I found about it:

The Good

  • Takes up very little counter space
  • Dries food out instead of the traditional fermentation process
  • Can compost meat and dairy products as well

The Bad

  • Takes approximately 4 hours per load
  • Pretty expensive

My Final Verdict

And there you have it- the five best indoor composters for apartments and small homes! Out of the many options that are currently on the market, I personally believe that the bokashi and worm composters are the best choices all around.

As always, make sure to let me know which composter you wind up liking best!

Or, if you have a personal favorite that is not currently on this list, comment that below as well. I’m always on the lookout for new indoor composters, and feedback is greatly appreciated.

The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Kevin Espiritu

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Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API