The trick to handle food waste is using a composter explicitly made for indoor use like the best kitchen compost bins I review in this guide.
Stick around to learn details about the essential features and pros and cons of each kitchen composter model.
I also share the answers to many frequently asked questions about kitchen composters, so you can choose the perfect model and start recycling your kitchen waste.
Best Compost Bins For Kitchen Scraps
Bokashi Living Bokashi Composting Starter Kit
The Bokashi Composting Kit is a top pick due to the dual bins that allow you to compost kitchen waste without downtime.
Bokashi composting uses a fermentation process to break down food scraps (even meat!) in just four to six weeks. The kit comes with enough bran to last an average family at least four months.
I like the size of the bins, which are large enough to hold plenty of waste but compact enough to fit inside a cabinet or in the pantry. I also appreciate the handy troubleshooting guide that explains ways to avoid common composting mistakes.
I really like this kitchen compost system for the ability to contain odors and easily compost material you normally would have to send to the landfill.
- Bokashi system allow you to compost meat, bones, and other material you normally cannot compost
- A full rest-cycle bucket provides plenty of compost tea to feed your plants and share with others
- The kit comes with all essential tools so you can begin composting immediately
- Top-quality construction and materials prevent leaks
- Handy built-in spigot makes fluid removal a breeze
- The plastic bin tends to hold onto odors
- Although a good overall value, some people may find the initial cost of the kit too pricey
If you’re new to Bokashi composting, this composting kit gets our top pick as the best kitchen compost bin because it includes everything you need to get started.
Compostizer Stainless Steel Kitchen Compost Bin Kit
The Compotizer is a cute and affordable kitchen composter perfect for any size space.
I like how this composter kit comes with double-carbon odor-reducing filters not found in other systems. This kit also comes with plenty of replacement filters for up to two years of use.
Durable stainless steel outer bin and removable inner bin are dishwasher safe, making clean-up between batches simple. I also appreciate the compost thermometer so that you can monitor your bin progress.
I give this kitchen composter the number two spot on my list for several reasons.
- Looks more like a decorative canister than a composter
- Small size fits nicely on the countertop for convenient scrape placement
- The top can be hard to remove
- Doesn’t hold as much as it appears/inner liner is very small
- Hard to locate replacement filters
One, the smaller size is ideal for those who rarely cook or have limited kitchen space, but still, want to compost. The free book on composting is informative, and the filters do a great job at containing odors.
Full Circle Fresh Air Odor-Free Kitchen Compost Bin
The Full Circle kitchen compost bin is another affordable option that makes the list for overall functionality. I especially like it for those who live in areas where they pick up compost materials with the trash and recycling.
The sleek shape and design looks great on your countertop or fits perfect under the sink. I like how easy it is to open by pushing a button, and the liner bags make removing compost waste clean and efficient.
The composter size is large enough to handle plenty of kitchen waste, while the patented oxygen-flow system keeps odors to a minimum and reduces the potential for attracting pests.
- Dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
- Made from environmentally-friendly recycled plastic
- Comes with five compostable bags for immediate use
- Low odor makes it convenient to leave on the counter until full
- Liner bags are easy to insert and remove
- Doesn’t make compost within the container/it’s more of a “holder” for recyclable waste until you compost it elsewhere
- Bags take a long time to break down in a household outdoor compost pile
- The ring that holds the bag is flimsy and could break
- Need to purchase compostable bags which adds to the overall cost continually
While this kitchen compost system is recommended for industrial composting systems set up by municipalities, it makes my list at number three for size, convenience, and low odor. I do suggest placing the whole unit on a tray to catch potential drainage and use it for plant food.
Polder Silicone Kitchen Composter
The Polder kitchen composter features a unique design that begins to decompose your kitchen scraps until you’re ready to add them to your outdoor compost pile or bin.
This affordable kitchen composter requires no removable bag or liner. Tip the unit and push the base inside out to empty the container. Your hands never need to touch the contents.
The non-stick materials and durable construction hold up to continual use and cycles through the dishwasher. The lid is adjustable to control airflow so that you can keep odors to a minimum.
- The cool design looks great sitting out on the counter
- Portable and lightweight, so it’s easy to carry outside
- Holds a good amount of food scraps, so you don’t have to empty it every day
- Very easy to use and empty which eliminates frustration
- Pests may get in through top air vents
- Silicone could absorb odors
- Size may not be enough for larger families
I had to put this kitchen composter at number four due to the innovative design that makes it fun to use. While the size may be prohibitive for those who create a lot of kitchen waste, the touch-free design and ability to control air-flow by twisting the lid make this very user-friendly.
Chef’n EcoCrock Counter Compost Bin
The Chef’n EcoCrock kitchen compost bin wins for cuteness but also delivers serious results.
The substantial ceramic outer container looks attractive and is weighty enough to prevent the composter from tipping over. The convenient inner liner lifts out to make the removal of food waste to your garden a simple task.
I like the carbon filter inside the lid that reduces odor. The container size is perfect for a single person or kitchens with limited space.
- Can also use it with compostable liners for municipal compost pick up
- The oval shape makes it easier to load food scraps
- Comes with two carbon filters you can rinse, dry, and reuse
- Size is ideal for placing near food prep area for direct placement of scraps
- The lid design can allow pests to enter
- Some inner bins are a bit too tall so the lid won’t seal tightly without trimming it down
- Scrap container size may be too small for serious cooks
This kitchen composter comes in at number five since it holds the least amount of food scraps. I love the look of this crock, with the green stem lid handle that makes it easy to grab and use. The composter tucks away nicely underneath upper cabinets when not in use and is very easy to clean.
Do You Really Need A Kitchen Compost Bin?
While nobody needs a kitchen compost bin, I believe the benefits of using one outweigh the negatives for those who care about their impact on the environment.
A kitchen compost bin is an ideal solution for composting food waste through your own outdoor home composting system, or through municipalities that offer compost recycling programs.
Most kitchen compost bins hold a week or two of kitchen scraps.
When the container is full, you remove the material to another place where the decomposition process finishes.
This system is perfect for those who want to recycle their kitchen scraps properly.
These little composters also work to reduce stinky kitchen garbage and pest issues that wet food scraps create in a standard trash receptacle.
Do you want to recycle your kitchen food scraps, but don’t have plants or a garden?
No worries! Many community gardens, plant nurseries, or even one of your neighbors may welcome food scrap donations.
For those with an abundance of indoor plants or a garden but don’t have space for a traditional compost pile, consider a Bokashi composter.
This system allows you to directly bury the contents in your garden and use the “compost tea” as plant food.
Things To Watch Out For
Before you purchase a kitchen compost bin, you need to consider your needs and understand the things to watch out for, so you choose the right model.
Next, I go over some crucial factors so you’ll have a better idea of what it takes to compost and recycle kitchen waste successfully.
Which types of food scraps you would like to recycle determines the type of kitchen composter you select. Most kitchen compost bins are made to only collect fruit and vegetable peelings, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
Related | Are Coffee Filters Compostable?
Other kitchen compost systems allow you to compost meat scraps, bones, and fish parts.
Some bins require simple steps like open the lid, toss in scraps, replace the cover, empty when full. Other containers need a liner or require a dose of composting medium after each addition of wastes.
Think about how much money and time you want to spend using the composter, so you find the system that fits your needs.
Most kitchen compost bins have a tight-fitting lid you need to remove to add scraps.
If you don’t want the hassle of prying off a lid, consider a model with a push-button or lever, which is much easier to operate.
Some bins have a drainage system to collect the fluid that forms as the food scraps decompose.
This fluid makes an excellent plant fertilizer. If this appeals to you, look for a bin that automatically collects it for super-convenient removal.
Many people give up composting kitchen scraps the first time they open a lid and find ants or flies inside their bin.
Kitchen compost bins that require oxygen flow will have holes or vents that could allow pests like flies or ants to enter if you are not careful.
Look for a kitchen compost bins with holes or filter systems that keep bugs from entering and multiplying while in your kitchen. Also, look for lids that seal completely to prevent pests from entering.
While decomposing food scraps create an odor, a kitchen compost bin should never be stinky when the lid is on.
The best way to reduce foul smells emanating throughout your kitchen is to purchase bins that feature carbon filters and lids that seal tightly. Never overfill your container, which prevents the lid from closing properly.
Kitchen Compost Bin FAQs
What Size Compost Bin Should I Buy?
To determine the size of compost bin to buy, you must know the average amount of food scraps you create in a day. Try to purchase a bin that can hold at minimum a week’s worth of waste.
The biggest complaint about kitchen composting is having a bin that is too small, which means you need to empty it several times a week.
Pictures can be deceiving, so check the bin capacity (typically in gallons), so you can avoid purchasing the wrong size bin.
Also, think about where you plan to locate your bin. Bins come in round, oval, and square shapes.
Do you expect to put it in a pantry, under the sink, or on the countertop? Measure where you want to place your bin so you can buy a model with the correct footprint.
What Can I Compost From The Kitchen?
If you purchase a traditional kitchen composter the most common items you can put inside are:
- Scraps from vegetables and fruits
- Coffee grounds/tea bags
- Paper napkins and towels (used)
- Bread and Counter crumbs
- Cooked pasta
For Bokashi kitchen composters, you can also add meat, fats, bones, fish, and dairy products, which reduces kitchen food waste.
How Long Do You Store Compost In The Kitchen?
As a general rule, you should empty most traditional kitchen composters every week or two. This schedule reduces the chance of odors and pest infestations.
For Bokashi kitchen composters, you’ll need to let your full bin “rest” for ten to twenty days.
During this time, the decomposition process relies on the removal of excess liquid, so the moisture balance inside the bin is optimal for fermentation.
Most people who use the Bokashi method have two containers they use in rotation, so they always have a place to put kitchen scraps.
Can You Put Cooked Food In A Kitchen Compost Bin?
The type of compost method you use will determine whether or not you can compost cooked food.
For traditional kitchen compost bins, the answer is no! You should not add cooked food to your container.
Your composter needs to create high heat to handle meats and other cooked food. Bokashi systems can do so, as they are anaerobic, and such bacteria and fungus that thrive in this type of environment can quickly break down meats and dairy.
I’m a huge fan of composting. Not only does it reduce my overall landfill impact, but it also creates some magical fertilizer for my indoor and outdoor plants.
I love the convenience of being able to compost most of my kitchen waste, which is why I recommend the Bokashi Composting Starter Kit from Bokashi Living. However, you will have to take extra steps to add a handful of bran after every addition to the bin.
For those on a budget not looking to compost meat or dairy, I think the Full Circle Fresh Air Odor-Free Kitchen Compost Bin is a great choice. I really like the push-button lid and the removable liners, which makes this kitchen compost bin very user-friendly.
No matter which kitchen composter you select, once you master the techniques for using it, you’ll love how simple it is. Better yet, you are doing your part to help the environment and the plants in your yard or your community!