Pros and Cons of a Compost Tumbler: Should You Use?

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In Brief: Pros and Cons of a Compost Tumbler

Compost tumblers are used to quicken the compost production process, but they’re not fault-free. Like most products, a compost tumbler has it’s advantages (like faster composting) and disadvantages (like their cost). In this guide, we dive into the pros and cons of using a compost tumbler and why you should or shouldn’t use one.

Compost tumblers are making waves at the moment. We’ve seen a couple of them that roll in the floor as well as others that are supported by a base.

Considering the amount they cost, we have a few questions. What are compost tumblers and are they really helpful? What are their upsides and downsides?

In this article, we will be taking a look at the benefits and disadvantages of using compost tumblers.

What is a Composite Tumbler?

A compost tumbler allows you to put waste materials from your kitchen into use. The machine transforms organic waste into composts that are used as an organic manure for farm produce.

Compost tumblers are mostly built with plastic barrels and are supported by a base.

It’s their turning effect that decomposes wastes by providing aeration they lack when piled up. The base lifts the tumbler off the ground, thereby keeping it out of reach for small pests, especially rodents.

Compost tumblers have a large capacity, and they’re mostly used by gardeners, farmers, and lawn care specialists.

This video will guide you on how to make compost with a compost tumbler for the first time:


Benefits Of Using A Compost Tumbler

It’s obvious that using a compost tumbler speeds up composting. The aeration it receives from frequently turning this machine triggers rapid microbial activities.

However, there are other advantages this machine has over other alternatives, and we’ve mentioned them below.

Source: Homedepot

No Pest Can Creep In

A compost tumbler is completely sealed. Leaving no space for the tiniest of all rodents to gain access. Its body design means rodents such as rats are unlikely to climb up.

Not only is the tumbler slippery, but it’s also hard to burrow through.

Secondly, the environment around the tumbler is mostly clean, thereby minimizing possible pest buildup.

Odor Control

The biggest issue with using a compost bin is that the composts are piled up and exposed. They aren’t confined in a container; hence, it’s easy for the odor to fly around when they start decomposing.

The sealed nature of the compost tumbler, on the other hand, prevents the offensive smell from escaping except when the lids are opened.

This way, it’s easier to prevent offensive odor from traveling as far as your neighbor’s house.


A compost tumbler is easy to use, especially in terms of turnability. You won’t need to bend down to turn thanks to its base, which adds extra height.

You can turn by using the crank or simply roll by turning the rod. However, the more compost you have in there, the harder it’s to turn.

Faster Composting Than Piling

It takes more time to compost heaps of waste if you simply pile them up. With a compost tumbler, you get the right amount of heat and moisture to decompose those wastes.

While it will normally take months to create compost, with a compost tumbler, this can be done in weeks. In some cases, three to four weeks will do.

Temporary Storage For Your Greens

When this tumbler isn’t used for composting, you can store unripe fruits, leaves, and vegetables. It’s a good option for homesteading since it won’t take up a lot of storage space.

It can sit in the balcony as well as tight corners around your home. The fact that it is manually operated means you won’t need a strenuous maintenance procedure.

Sources: Way fair

Cons Of Using A Compost Tumbler

Compost tumblers aren’t trouble-free. In as much as they save you time and energy, there are a few drawbacks to using this machine, and we’ve mentioned a few of them below.

Expensive And Hard To Maintain

While manual composting will take a lot of time and effort, they will empty your wallet. A compost tumbler is twice as expensive as a compost bin.

Of course, the price tag depends on the type of tumbler you go for. Keep in mind the size and build material.

Larger compact tumblers tend to be more expensive than smaller one because they have large cubic space for holding more volume.

Large Ones Are Hard To Turn

Many websites are quick to mention how easy a compost tumbler is to turn. However, you should know that this depends on the amount of compost you have in the tumbler.

Heavier devices filled to the brim are hard to turn. In a case where the barrel is made from cheap materials, the rolling rod might crank up.

Hence you want to consider how much compost your strength can support.

Composts Made With Tumblers Aren’t Rich

There’s a significant difference between composting manually and using a tumbler. The former balances the right type of moisture in addition to trapping a few microbes, such as worms.

With a tumbler, you can add worms, but once the temperature in the tumbler heats up, they will die. So all the nutrients worms add to compost in the field are missing here.

And the result? The compost lacks nutrients.

However, if you want to learn how to supercharge your compost making process by adding worms, this video will be your guide:



What can go into a compost tumbler?

You can only decompose organic foods because this is what microorganisms will feed on. The list includes leaf scrapes, lawn clipping, garden waste, etc.

Where should your compost tumbler be kept?

In an open space, especially where it will be exposed to sun and air. The ideal place should be your garden, backyard, or balcony.


Compost tumblers have the upper hand over compost likes or bin.

They produce a larger amount of compost in less time.

Also, it will require minimal effort, but compost piles trap more nutrients due to worms’ activities.