Around 30% of all waste that we throw away is organic and therefore compostable. Organic waste in landfill produces a lot of methane when it decomposes, which isn’t great for the environment. A more environmentally friendly way of disposing of your household organic waste is through vermicomposting using a worm farm.
This guide aims to help you decide which worm farm is best suited for your own home composting needs. From total beginner to seasoned worm farmer, all of these products will help you to reduce the amount of food waste going in the trash. Better still, by starting a worm farm, you’ll be creating nature’s best organic fertilizer for your garden. Say good-bye to expensive chemical fertilizers for good!
Read on to begin your vermiculture journey and find your ideal worm farm for your home.
Top Products: An Overview
The Urban Worm Bag version 2
A well-ventilated, continuous-flow type worm farm sporting a unique design.
Worm Factory 360
A versatile, stackable tray design worm farm with great instructional content.
The Hungry Bin
Another continuous-flow style worm farm with huge processing potential.
Vermihut Plus 5-Tray Worm Composter
A new design from Vermitek that boasts a lot of useful features.
Tumbleweed Worm Cafe
A great medium-sized worm farm for beginners. Uses a tiered-tray design.
Hot Frog Essential Living Composter
A stylish, indoor worm farm that comes in a number of different colors.
Maze Worm Farm
The perfect indoor worm farm for beginners that’s well-suited for apartments
Best Basic Worm Farm for Beginners: Worm Cafe
Read our full Worm Cafe review here.
The Worm Cafe is an easy to use, well designed container for recycling organic waste to be used as compost in your garden. The container itself is made from durable recycled plastic using a three tray system. The base tray collects any liquid that drips from the compost whilst the remaining trays house your worms.
We believe it to be the best basic worm farm for beginners as it’s a simple to use worm farm that is quite affordable compared to other products. It is suitable for households that produce around 10-13 lbs of kitchen waste per week. Its rotating tray system will ensure that you have a constant supply of rich fertilizer to use in your garden. It really is a great product for those of you just starting out on your worm farming journey.
- Eco-friendly – It’s made from 100% recycled plastic which is great for the environment.
- Easy setup and clip on legs – The the legs can easily be attached or detached depending on your setup are also designed to prevent ants from climbing up into the bin.
- Eye pleasing design – The Worm Café is a simple, yet classy looking worm composter.
- Only has three trays – Other options allow for additional trays to be added if need be.
- More hands on worm farming – Rotating the working trays can be more difficult as they get heavier since you only have 3 to work with.
Best Continuous Flow Worm Farm: Hungry Bin
Read our full Hungry Bin review here.
The Hungry Bin is an efficient, continuous flow style worm farm that is great for households with a lot of organic waste. It uses a tapered design which means the worm castings flow down to the bottom of the bin and are slowly compressed from the contents above. The worms keep moving to the surface to feed, meaning your castings should be worm-free.
It also comes with a sturdy frame complete with wheels to make moving the bin easy, especially since it can get quite heavy when full of castings. However, due to its size, it is one of the more expensive products on the market.
Overall, the Hungry Bin is a great worm farm for those who have a lot of organic waste to recycle and are looking for a hands-off approach. Having wheels to move the bin around more easily is also definitely a bonus.
- Long lasting – It uses 15% recycled, food grade polypropylene meaning this bin will last, especially in outdoor settings. Zinc plating on the legs will also protect the metal and help prevent it from rusting.
- Huge processing potential – The Hungry Bin can process up to 4 lbs of kitchen and garden waste each day. This makes it a great choice for large households with lots of waste, or people with large gardens in need of fertilizing.
- No layers or trays – By using a continuous flow system, you won’t have to constantly rotate the working trays, meaning less work for you.
- Wheels – As mentioned above, this makes it easy to move around, especially when full.
- Expensive – Yep, this worm bin fetches a hefty price tag when compared to other popular products.
- Can get heavy – The size of the Hungry Bin means that when full, it can get heavy. The wheels do help out a lot, but you may need to take care when moving it around.
- Ventilation – Due to the Hungry Bin’s solid plastic design, you may have some issues with keeping your compost well aerated.
The Best Indoor Worm Farm: Maze Worm Farm
Read our full Maze Worm Farm review here.
Maze, an Australian company, designed this worm farm for everyday use at home. The container is made from recycled plastic and uses a two tray system. It also has a unique worm saver tray to prevent any worms from ending up in the liquid that collects in the bottom tray. A 1/2 gallon liquid collection tray also comes included.
Due to its size, it is a great option for those who live in an apartment with limited space and only weighs around 14 lbs when full. It can be fitted with legs (sold separately) to raise it a little higher off the ground for easier access. Overall, it is a great indoor worm farm for beginners and all for a fairly reasonable price. There are certainly some larger, more impressive worm bins on the market, but for those starting out or with limited space at home, the Maze Worm Farm is an ideal choice.
- Compact – This product can fit anywhere inside, or outside your home. Its compact size makes it a perfect choice for small apartments.
- Eco-friendly – The product is made from recycled plastic that has been diverted from going to landfill.
- Easy to clean and maintain – The fact that it is small makes it easy to dismantle and clean. The trays are easy to remove and rotate which is what you want from a worm farm of this design.
- Lightweight – It’s easy to carry/move around even when full. Great for starting out when you may need to spend some time finding a spot with the right conditions for your worms.
- Too small – Whilst great for apartment living, if you produce a lot of kitchen waste in your household you may find that the worm farm is just not big enough to process all your scraps.
- Worms can escape – A few people have found that the lid is not sufficient to prevent worms from escaping the worm bin. If you keep your worm farm healthy, this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Legs sold separately – This isn’t an issue if you have somewhere raised where you can place your worm farm, but it still would have been nice to have legs included as standard.
Best Value Worm Farm: Vermihut Worm Farm
Read our full Vermihut Plus review here.
The Vermihut Plus Worm Composter is the latest worm bin model from manufacturer Vermitek. It builds upon the success of its previous Vermihut worm farm with an updated design and some neat new features. A worm saver tray, improved lid and ant resistant design are just some of the great improvements you’ll see. As far as composting goes, it uses the same principles as the original model meaning that you’ll be able to create great fertilizer from your food scraps in no time.
It comes with 5 working trays and a collection tray at the bottom for liquid drainage. Each tray has holes to allow the worms to move freely between the trays to access the food. The 5 trays can house up to 10 lbs of worms which can process up to 5 lbs of food each day. For those looking to get the best bang for your buck, you can’t look past a Vermihut Worm Farm.
- Size – The small footprint and vertical stacking trays means the VermiHut plus is great for small apartments, or being kept indoors.
- Ant traps – Rest assured that no ants will be climbing up your worm farm with the ant traps in place. Simply place them underneath the legs and fill them with water to keep the critters out.
- Good aeration – Vermitek have gone to great lengths to re-design their classic VermiHut worm farm to allow for better aeration. More oxygen means better quality compost!
- Comes with coconut fiber mat – A coconut fiber mat is included to help keep moisture in the bin and protect your worms.
- Some people found it tricky to set up – The addition of new components can make assembly a little bit confusing. The M-board and V-board are great design additions, but just remember that the V-board has a handle on it and goes in the top tray. The M-board has no handle and is placed on top of the liquid collection tray at the base.
- Worms escaping – If the conditions inside your worm farm aren’t great, your worms may try to escape. Unfortunately they can climb out from the gaps between the trays and leave a mess for you to clean up.
- Short legs – The legs are quite short and you may find you need to prop it up if you wish to place a larger container underneath to collect the leachate.
Most Stylish Worm Farm: HOT FROG Composter
Read our full Hot Frog composter review here.
The HOT FROG essential living composter is a worm farm brought to the market by FCMP Outdoor. Building on the success of its predecessor, the original Classic living composter, this device offers similar and improved design characteristics, at an affordable price. Highly functional and of the highest quality, this piece of kit is sure to last for years. With a beautiful modern design and plenty colors to choose from, this composter can even be kept indoors without looking out of place.
Made fully from recycled polypropylene plastic, this device is BPA free and UV inhibited. This means that it is fully safe to the touch, non-toxic and can be placed outside in the sun, without the fear of degradation, discoloration and brittling over time. It comes in a range of different colors to choose from so you’re bound to find one that will work with the aesthetics of your home.
- Eco-friendly – The HOT FROG composter is made with safe and durable plastic that is 100% recycled
- Attractive design – This is perhaps one of the more stylish worm farms available on the market and comes in four different colors: green, black, grey and plum.
- Compact – the product is tiny meaning it can fit anywhere inside, or outside your home which is great for small apartments.
- Legs come included – Definitely an advantage over the Maze worm farm which has legs sold separately.
- Price – The new essential living version is around $20 cheaper than the previous version, putting it right up there in terms of competitiveness for cost.
- Too small – Whilst great for apartment living, if you produce a lot of kitchen waste in your household, you may find that the worm farm is just not big enough to process all your scraps.
- Worms can escape – Due to the lid design, some people have noted that their worms sometimes escape. This shouldn’t be a concern if you take the time to ensure the conditions inside the bin are favorable for the worms (e.g. sufficient food, not too dry/wet, out of direct sunlight etc).
Best Stackable Worm Farm: Worm Factory 360
Read our full Worm Factory 360 review here.
The Worm Factory 360 is brought to you by American company Nature’s Footprint and offers a lot of versatility when it comes to worm farming at home. It features a sturdy design that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. For its price, the option to expand it up to 7 working trays puts it ahead of the competition in terms of recycling ability. Simply keep rotating the trays to harvest the casting and keep the fertilizer flowing! That’s why it’s our recommendation for the best stackable worm farm available.
You’ll find that there is good aeration with the Worm Factory to keep odors at a minimum and a 5 year warranty from the manufacturer. As an overall package, the Worm Factory 360 is a great choice for both beginners and experienced worm farmers alike. You’ll be recycling like a pro and feeding your garden the very best in organic fertilizers in no time at all.
- Eco-friendly – The Worm Factory 360 is made with safe and durable recycled plastic. Great for the environment, and your peace of mind.
- Easy to setup – It’s quick and easy to set up and use, only requiring around 15 mins of maintenance each week.
- Expandable – This makes it great for those who produce more household organic waste but don’t want to purchase a more expensive worm farm like the Hungry Bin.
- Great instructions – Since it comes with its own 80 page online manual, you won’t need to waste time researching how to get the most out of your Worm Factory. It’s all included.
- Multiple colors – Take your pick of either black, green, or terracotta.
- Can get heavy with lots of trays – If you choose to expand your Worm Factory to the full 7 trays, keep in mind that you will be needing to lift more trays to access your ready-to-use castings in the lower trays.
- Not fully sealed – Since the stackable trays can leave gaps around the side, this makes it easier for worms get out and create a mess around your worm farm.
- Spigot can get clogged – If your castings are quite wet, they can make their way into the collector tray and block the spigot.
Best Ventilated Worm Farm: Urban Worm Bag version 2
Read our full review of the Urban Worm Bag version 2 here.
Based in the US and created by a veteran, the Urban Worm Bag has a well-earned reputation of being one of the best vermicomposters available on the market. It sports a rather unusual looking design, but make no mistake, it is just as effective as some of the other worm farms we have reviewed on this site. It uses a metal frame to support a breathable, yet sturdy bag, made of 900D oxford fabric that is also water-resistant.
One of the key features of this vermicomposter, is the “continuous flow” design. Not only does it make sure that the the bag is continually in use, it also ensures that each compost harvest is virtually worm free, allowing for a cleaner harvest. New waste is added to the top of the bag, with the ready compost located to the bottom of the bag, ready to be collected using the conveniently designed closure and drawstring. No manual mixing of the castings is required, allowing for a cleaner, more hygienic experience.
- Free from bad odors – The Urban Worm Bag is odorless and can be kept inside. This is due to the improved aeration of the bag by using fabric.
- Easy to use – The continuous flow system is simple and doesn’t require any contact with compost – throw in waste, take out compost.
- Budget friendly – The Urban Worm Bag is only 1/3 of the price of the Hungry Bin, its main competitor, yet still process a decent amount of waste when compared to the more common stacked tray designs.
- Lifetime warranty – Made with good quality materials that are set to last. If you store your Urban Worm Bag v2 in the proper conditions (i.e. indoors) then the Urban Worm Company will offer a lifetime warranty for the product. Not bad at all.
- Can get a bit wet – Since the bag doesn’t contain a spigot to drain the leachate produced by the worms, moisture can build in the bottom of the bag and get messy.
- Harder to check on your worms – The bag doesn’t have any windows or openings except at the top and bottom, which makes it more difficult to check the state of worms and compost.
- Flat surfaces only – The original frame can twist and bend if not situated on a perfectly level surface which limits the places you can store it, especially if you plan to keep it outside.
What should I consider when buying a worm farm?
This is one of the key decision making factors when it comes to choosing the right worm farm for your home. A large bin with huge composting potential may be great for homes that produce a lot of organic waste or have large gardens in need of fertilizing, but not so great for small apartments.
The most common worm farms consist of a rotating tray design, meaning they come with a number of stackable trays for your worm castings. The other is a more hands-free, continuous flow style worm composting bin that requires very little maintenance. All you need to do is collect the castings as they flow through the container via gravity. These are usually larger than the tray style worm farms.
Indoor vs Outdoor
Most worm farms are suitable for use indoors, however a few products are designed specifically to look good in your home. Outdoor worm farms should ideally be made with UV resistant plastic for durability ad any wooden components should be treated to ensure they withstand the elements. If you plan on storing your worm farm indoors, make sure you look for a lid with a tight seal. This will help prevent your worms from escaping and making a mess in your home.
Worm farms can seem like a costly investment with the average price for a unit being in excess of $100, however, it’s important to remember that you’ll be saving in the long run as you’ll no longer need to purchase commercially available fertilizer for your garden. You’ll be making it yourself at home, and better yet, it will be 100% organic!
Some Frequently Asked Questions
What can I feed my worms?
Composting worms will eat just about anything organic from kitchen food scraps to yard waste. They have no teeth so cannot chew through the food scraps. Rather, they rely on other micro-organisms to break down the food first. Chopping your food scraps into smaller pieces can help expedite this process. Try not to feed them too much of any one kind of food at a time and be careful if you plan on feeding them any citrus, onions, tomatoes, or anything too acidic. All beware of any garden waste that has been treated by chemicals that may harm the worms.
Why does my worm farm smell?
The most common cause of bad odors emanating from worm farms is an imbalance in the pH level. A more acidic environment will produce more bad smells and is a sign that the health of your worm farm is not what it should be. Fear not though, all you need to do to balance the acidity is add more carbon, such as shredded newspaper or compost conditioner, and refrain from overfeeding your worms or giving them anything too acidic.
Can my worms survive in very hot or cold conditions?
Worms ideally thrive in temperature ranges from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter and they will become very uncomfortable and may even try to escape your worm farm. Make sure that you position your worm farm out of direct sunlight where possible. If you live in a cold climate, simply move your worm farm into a warmer spot, such as your basement or your garage.
How do I keep my worms alive if I go on vacation?
Worms are quite hardy, and can survive for a few weeks without having their food topped up. If you’re going away for an extended period, simply give them a little bit of extra food before you leave. You can also leave a few sheets of moist newspaper on top which they will eat if when they run out of food scraps.
Where can I buy my worms from, and how many do I need?
Worms will self regulate their population to suit the size of their home. Generally, though, around 1/2 to a 1 pound of worms is enough to get most worm farms going. Many companies that sell worm farming products also sell composting worms. Check out our worm farm supplies page for more information.
Well, that completes our worm farm buyers guide. We wish you all the best in your worm farming journey! Keep checking back as we will be updating this site with plenty more tips and guides to help you along the way. Happy composting!
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