Best Worm Composter Reviews 2019 - Our Top 5 Picks
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The 5 Best Worm Composters Money Can Buy

Are you looking to start your own compost heap but don’t know where to begin? Vermicomposting uses worms to break down leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen waste and creates fine compost perfect for your garden.

But what is the best worm composter? There are plenty of worm composter reviews online but knowing what to look for and find the best vermicomposting bin for your home or garden can be a challenge.

We’ve put together a buyer’s guide and rated some of the top-quality composting bins to help you choose.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Worm Composters for 2021

  PRODUCT FEATURES  
Worm Factory 360 - The 5 Best Worm Composters Money Can Buy Worm Factory 360
  • Capacity: Depends on number of trays
  • Location: Indoors/outdoors
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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Urban Worm Bag - The 5 Best Worm Composters Money Can Buy Urban Worm Bag
  • Capacity: 120 pounds of compost
  • Location: Outdoors
  • Warranty: 30 days
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Hungry Bin Flow Through Worm Farm - The 5 Best Worm Composters Money Can Buy Hungry Bin Flow Through Worm Farm
  • Capacity: 4.4 lbs of food waste per day
  • Location: Outdoors
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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Basic Worm Composting Farm - The 5 Best Worm Composters Money Can Buy Basic Worm Composting Farm
  • Capacity: Unavailable
  • Location: Indoors
  • Warranty: Unavailable
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Maze Worm Farm Composter - The 5 Best Worm Composters Money Can Buy Maze Worm Farm Composter
  • Capacity: 2 litres of worm tea
  • Location: Indoors
  • Warranty: Unavailable
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Why You Can Trust Us

At Backyard Boss, we are experts on all things backyard. And we share this knowledge so that you can be the boss of your own backyard. Using a worm composter is an excellent way to get the most out of your food waste while making the worms do most of the work for you.

I remember as a young child feeling so useful when my mom would ask me to take the food waste to the DIY worm bin. While that bathtub setup has been doing the hard work for decades, it wasn’t practical for my own living situations as I grew older and left home.

For this reason, over the years, I’ve tested out a number of worm composters. From expensive, compact systems that fit on an apartment balcony to the simple DIY solution I use on my homestead today. The options are endless.

So I sat down, put my internet sleuthing hat on, and combed through countless customer reviews and online forums to bring you the best products available on the market today.

Best for Collecting Worm Tea

Worm Farm 360
    The Worm Factory 360 has the largest volume of any home composter and expands to fit your needs.

      Pros:

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Why We Like It: This product extends from the standard four tray setup to an eight tray setup, doubling the capacity of the composter.

There is also a “worm tea” collection tray with a spigot for easy collection. This means you can get the most out of your worm’s hard work in the easiest way possible.

Who Should Buy It: People who are serious about collecting worm tea. The collection tray and spigot make it super simple to collect.

The option for extending the capacity of the bin also makes this a great choice for those who are just starting a family and are anticipating a rise in food waste in their household in the years to come. If you produce too much food waste for your worms to handle, maybe a compost tumbler is a better fit for you.

Best for Outdoor Use

Urban Worm Bag
    Easy to use worm composter that eliminates the need to manually sort worms from compost

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Why We Like It: The emphasis here is on ease of use. The whole product snaps together easily and can be assembled in under five minutes.

Making things easy doesn’t stop there. The unique design of this product means that you don’t have to spend any time separating worms from finished compost when the time comes. Simply unzip the bottom, let the finished compost fall into a receptacle of your choice, and close the zip once you start seeing unfinished compost. Easy.

Who Should Buy It: Anyone who is new to vermicomposting and wants to get started right away.  Since it’s made out of strong, durable materials, this composter is suitable for outdoor use. If adding worms to your composting arrangement seems like too much work, maybe a regular composter is more up your alley.

Best for Quality Materials and Craftsmanship

Hungry Bin Flow-Through Worm Farm
    Continuous flow through vermicomposter for worm tea and worm castings

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Why We Like It: The flow-through system means you don’t have to sort through worms when you are harvesting your compost. With many systems I’ve had in my lifetime I spent most of my time trying to separate the worms from the finished compost. With the flow-through design this is unnecessary because the separation happens naturally.

This compost bin is also on wheels. So if you live in a harsh climate you’ll be able to move the composter around with the seasons and keep your worms alive and happy.

Who Should Buy It: For those who are serious about quality and will pay for it, this is the worm composter for you. Also good for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of separating worms from their finished compost.

Best for Indoor Use

Basic Worm Composting Farm
    Basic four stacking tray with simple set up

      Pros:

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Why We Like It: Simple, straightforward, no gimmicks. This worm farm isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel (or wormery). These simple trays stack together to create a small and convenient worm bin.

Due to the simplicity of this product, there might be a steep learning curve for the novice vermicomposter.

Who Should Buy It: People who know what they need, and want nothing else. The simple, expandable design is great for those living in an apartment who want to reduce their food waste. If used correctly, this setup will bring your worm composting indoors.

It would’ve worked for me during my apartment living days because of its compact size and no frills operation. Perfect for a balcony.

Best for Kitchen Scraps

Maze Worm Farm Composter
    Compact worm composter fit for the kitchen counter

      Pros:

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Why We Like It: Compact and stylish, this product won’t look out of place on your kitchen counter. Amaze your friends and family when you tell them it’s full of worms and composting food waste.

Who Should Buy It: If you like the idea of having your worms living and working right there with you in the kitchen, then look no further. Also if you live in an area with a harsh climate and need to keep your worms indoors, this one’s for you. If you don’t like the idea of worms in your kitchen, maybe a kitchen composter is a better choice for you.

What Is Vermicomposting?

A pair of male hands holding soil with worms over a worm composting bin.
Image credits: Maze via Amazon

Vermicomposting is using earthworms to break down compostable materials instead of leaving them to mother nature. The worms eat the leftovers and as it passes through their body leaving behind “casings” which are nutrient-rich and make excellent soil.

How to Get the Best From Vermicomposting

Make sure your worms have everything they need. By this, I mean don’t just open the top of your compost heap and dump worms on top then expect them to be happy and start munching their way through your waste. Add them into the middle of your pile gently and make sure the compost or materials already in place are well mixed and ventilated. There should be plenty of room for your worms to wriggle about in.

Your heap should be at least eight to twelve inches deep and the surround of your bin should be made from wood or a hard-wearing material.

Add in bedding material that is damp but not wet. Worms like a home that is about 75 percent water and the rest waste. This doesn’t mean you can dump gallons of water on your compost heap and hope for the best, but definitely worth remembering in the summer that you have living creatures in your compost and they would like some moisture. The best sort of bedding material is shredded newspaper or cardboard. Worms also don’t like lots of noise or vibrations, if you can put your bin in an area that is quieter and away from traffic noise or other nuisances.

You should also add gritty materials like sand and crushed eggshells to your compost heap as this helps the toothless worms break down the composting materials. And be sure to wear some really good gardening gloves to prevent the spread of dirt, germs, and things like E.coli or salmonella.

What to Look for in the Best Vermicomposting Bin

Male hand pulling the worm collection tray from the bottom of a vermicomposter.
Image credits: Maze via Amazon

Added features on some composters include trays that separate out the castings from the compost materials and even a little tray to collect “worm tea” which is the liquid left behind after vermicomposting. These are well worth investing in if you can as they make the process much lower maintenance.

Location: Indoor

The first thing to think about is if you have space and where you are going to store your bin. If you want it to be inside your home, think about where it will go and whether you want it to be tucked away or part of the furniture and decor. If it is going to be on display, it might be worth investing in a well-designed and attractive-looking bin to make sure it fits into your home. Also, worth thinking about is odor. An indoor composter will smell a little it as the worms do their thing but you can get models with odor control to lessen this effect.

Location: Outdoor

Outdoors, you want to make sure the bin you choose suits the size and shape of your garden. If you want it to blend in, choose a dark green model and perhaps plant some shrubs around it or a black version tucked into a nook or corner will melt out of sight.

Materials

Material is also very important when you’re investing in an outside bin. As most of us don’t want the hassle of trying to move a full compost bin (complete with worms!) into the house or garage through the winter months, finding a sturdy bin that will survive extremes of temperatures is really important. Choose a strong plastic or resin that is specifically designed to withstand freezing or heat to make sure your bin is ok to stay outside all year round.

Ventilation

Another thing that really helps worms get to work is ventilation. Make sure your compost bin has holes running through it or a domed lid to encourage ventilation and ensure your little worms are getting enough air.

Added Features

Added features on some composters include trays that separate out the castings from the compost materials and even a little tray to collect “worm tea” which is the liquid left behind after vermicomposting. These are well worth investing in if you can as they make the process much lower maintenance.

How Many Worms Will I Need?

A good rule of thumb is to get about 2,000 worms for every pound of food waste. As 2,000 worms weigh about two pounds, try to have around half the amount of worms for your waste products. If you start out with a small number of worms, you can just add less to your bin until they increase and you can add more.

How We Picked

As this guide was focused on the home composter, we chose a set of criteria that would help you get the most out of your worm’s hard work. These criteria included ease of use, size, portability, and practicality.

Ease of use: We made sure all of these products are relatively easy for a home composter to use. Nothing too fancy or anything that requires specialized equipment.

Size: For many homeowners, space is at a premium at home. While some of these composters are on the larger side, they will still easily fit into most backyards or outdoor spaces. Some are even small enough to fit on the kitchen counter.

Portability: The time will inevitably come when you have to move your worm composter. Most of the products are easy to use once empty and don’t require being permanently fixed to a surface. Some even have wheels.

Practicality: For you to actually use a product every day, it needs to be practical. There are some products on the market that come from amazing ideas but are just not practical for everyday life. Especially when it comes to living worms and decomposing food waste.

Our Worm Composting Verdict

The best worm composter has to be the Worm Factory 360 WF360G Worm Composter. Not only does it have four trays as standard, but it can also be extended to hold up to eight trays. The instructional DVD and manual help even a composting novice get the best out of their worm composter. It is low maintenance and the trays help you harvest the compost with no fuss. A spigot will let you drain off “worm tea” easily and use it in the garden. This bin doesn’t take up too much space and is designed well so it can be tucked away and become a seamless part of your garden. It holds a large volume of compost so it can be used for even the biggest households.

If you found this article helpful in your quest for the best worm composter, or if you had any questions, feel free to comment and share below!

*You might also enjoy reading: A Guide to Mulch

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