Most of us spent more time at home in 2020 than we would in any “normal year,” and one positive aspect of this is the healthy purging we have done.
We have cleaned out closets and given items to those in need; we have forced ourselves to use up the ingredients in our pantries and freezers (perhaps inventing some new favorite recipes along the way), and we have read the books on our shelves that may have been collecting dust for years.
One healthy new habit that you may have overlooked while making changes to your routine (or while binging Netflix, because let’s face it: we are human!) is the simple yet incredibly impactful act of composting.
If the word composting immediately made you crinkle your nose and think of foul odors and fruit flies, rest assured we have you covered.
These handy and attractive bins will make collecting compost materials from the kitchen a breeze, without an unbearable stench or pesky pests to worry about, thanks to their smart designs.
Composting newbies should read below about the products we have reviewed for more helpful tips and FAQs when it comes to kitchen composting.
(Do note that some of these bins may not be available in the UK. We’ll follow up with a best kitchen compost bins post for the UK shortly.)
1. Our Favorite Overall: Utopia Kitchen Compost Bin
This kitchen composting bin gets our highest marks as it covers all of the important bases for us. First and foremost, this bin is dishwasher safe, and it also comes with a replaceable charcoal filter (this is where the composting bin “traps” the odor, so it does not permeate your kitchen).
The carrying handle makes it easy to transport your compost to the backyard or simply place the bin out of view when needed. Chances are, you will not mind leaving this one out in plain view, thanks to its sleek and simple stainless steel design.
It will blend right into most kitchens, and the compact size of the Utopia Kitchen Compost Bin means you will not have to give up too much of your valued counter space.
2. Our Small Spaces Winner: Minky Homecare Food Compost Caddy
Few kitchen composting bins are as pleasing to the eye as the Minky Homecare Food Compost Caddy, and its compact design makes it an outstanding choice for small spaces. Available in a pleasing palette of soft colors as well as basic white, this petite composter can still make a big impact in small kitchens.
The nonslip feet keep the lightweight caddy sturdy on your counter, and the removable liner can be used with or without biodegradable bags. A stay-open lid is useful for busy chefs who want to toss various scraps in as they prepare meals, and the sturdy handle makes it easy to tote the caddy out to the compost pile in your yard.
Users give this caddy high marks for its ability to control odor, which is one of our top requirements in any kitchen composting bin.
3. Our Pick for Larger Capacity: Full Circle Breeze Fresh Air Odor-Free 1.5-Gallon Kitchen Compost Collector
If yours is a particularly busy kitchen (perhaps you have a large family…or just a really hungry one!), you may prefer a larger capacity in a composting bin to avoid taking constant trips to your back yard empty it.
The Full Circle Breeze Fresh Air Compost Collector is a reliable choice for those who are less concerned about counter space and more focused on capacity.
The smart design of this bin is not only attractive but also set up so that air can move through to prevent the buildup of unpleasant odors.
The push-button top makes it a breeze to toss your items in, and the bin uses compostable bags as well. This is a great bin for anyone who wants to start kitchen composting, but especially for those with a large volume of scraps.
4. Best for High Style (and Big Spenders): BelleMark Kitchen Compost Bin with Lid and Acacia Wood Box
If your kitchen counters are typically covered with cereal boxes, day-old breadcrumbs, sticky residue of an unknown origin, and the remnants of a toddler play-dough war, this may not be the bin for you.
However, if yours is a kitchen that looks as if it could grace the cover of a magazine and you entertain guests with home-cooked meals but somehow never have even the slightest mess on your counters, meet your perfect composting bin.
The BelleMark Kitchen Compost Bin is proof positive that absolutely any household object can be transformed into a work of art. This bin will look so elegant on your countertop and your guests may never guess it is a composting bin.
Fortunately, it was also designed with practicality in mind, which means the liner portion and lid are both dishwasher safe. It is also smell-proof and rust-proof. It is made with sustainable acacia wood and food-grade stainless steel.
5. Best Bang for Your Buck
OXO is a trusted brand in kitchen products, and for 30 years, they have created products to make our meal prep easier. So, it is no surprise their composting bin earns our rating as the best value for the money.
A simple and attractive design ensures the composting bin blends seamlessly into your kitchen, and the stay-open lid is useful during meal prep and also fully removable for emptying.
The internal bucket of this compost pail can be removed easily and is dishwasher safe, making cleanup and maintenance a breeze. We also love the fact that OXO supports environmental nonprofits by donating one percent of their annual sales as part of the 1% for the Planet community.
You can not only feel good about the fact that your composting helps the environment, but the product you purchase to do it helps, too!
6. Best Bin for Bags: BioBag Kitchen Counter Food Scrap Bin and Compostable Bag Kit
While this composting kit may not be the ideal solution for those seeking something compact and discreet to leave out on the counter, it does present a great option for those who want to compost a higher volume of scraps in a lightweight and affordable container.
The Biobag kit comes with 25 fully compostable bags, and the bin is made entirely of recycled plastic, making it a conscientious choice for shoppers as well.
The breathable system means that your food waste dries out quickly, reducing kitchen odors. The Biobag bin is also dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup.
7. Our Favorite Design: Norpro Ceramic Compost Keeper
Few people would step into your kitchen and guess that this stylish and simple canister is actually a functioning food composter.
The clean design and bright white finish make this an attractive composter in any style of home décor. You can also find this compost crock available in black, a floral blue and white, and red colors.
Not only is the design attractive, but it is also strong and durable and will look beautiful displayed on your kitchen countertop. It includes an odor preventing filter in the lid that can last up to six months, depending on us. The sturdy stainless-steel handle also makes this ceramic compost bin easy to carry.
8. Our Favorite Biodegradable Bin: Bamboozle Food Compost Bin
When it comes to the most environmentally friendly way to compost in your kitchen, you would be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Bamboozle Food Compost Bin. The bin itself is made of finely ground fibers from bamboo, with the result being a bin that is itself biodegradable.
You do not have to sacrifice practicality, though, for this kind of conscientious approach: the Bamboozle is also dishwasher safe and durable.
Replaceable carbon filters absorb odor, and the attractive design of this bin makes it another sound choice for those who do not want an eyesore on the kitchen counter.
Composting Tips and FAQs
Once you have chosen the perfect composting bin that meets your needs, you can get started on what we hope will become a lifelong habit.
Composting is not only good for the environment by conserving space in landfills, but it is also good for your own garden as compost enriches your soil and protects plants from droughts and freezes.
Once you get the hang of it, composting is easy and almost effortless, as long as you understand the basics. Here are some of the most common questions from composting newbies:
Can I Put All of My Food Scraps in the Bin?
That all depends.
If you plan to use your compost in a hot compost, and you are sure you can get your compost hot, then you have more options.
If you don’t think your compost will get hot, then you might want to avoid animal waste, meat and cooked food.
Things you can safely compost from your kitchen scraps:
- Tea leaves
- Teabags (remove staples)
- Coffee grounds
- Coffee filters
- Outdated herbs and spices
In addition to these common kitchen scraps, you can also add to your compost pile:
- Leaves, grass, and brush from your yard
- Dust from vacuums or brooms
- Dry dog or cat food
- Dryer lint
Is There Any Other Household or Yard Items I Can Compost?
There are a number of other items you can add to your composting as long as you keep in mind these will take longer to break down.
- Shredded paper, including newspaper, paper bags, and anything printed on a non-glossy paper
- Tissues or cotton balls (as long as they were not soaked in anything like nail polish remover (or used to soak up any kind of fat or grease)
- Used textiles from natural fabrics (like bamboo and cotton)
- Twine or string made of natural fabrics
- Wood chips
- Corn cobs
- Pits from peaches, plums, avocados, etc
- Wine corks
For a more complete guide, see What can you compost?
Will My Composting Bin Stink?
As long as you use a compost bin designed to eliminate smell, and empty it fairly regularly, your bin should not smell.
The bins we have reviewed and recommended are all designed to minimize odor, but if the smells start to bother you, it is definitely time to empty and clean the bin!
Can I compost in my kitchen compost bin?
The bins in this post are designed for collecting compost to be used in an outdoor compost system.
To find out what to do with all those collected scraps, check out our guide to home composting.