Expert User Reviews for 3 Popular Worm Bins
You may be interested in purchasing a worm composting bin because you want to save time, get started worm composting quickly, or you like the look of the worm bins on the market. But, which commercially available worm bin is right for you? These worm bin reviews will help you make the right choice.
I have used and reviewed a few of the worm bins that are on sale now. The below worm bin reviews are based on my personal experience with each worm bin.
Worm Bin Reviews
Worm Bin Reviews: Worm Factory 360
This is my favorite worm bin available for purchase. Like many worm bins, the Worm Factory 360 uses a tray system that allows for ‘flow through’ worm composting. Each tray has many different holes in the bottom to allow the composting worms to move up and down the system while keeping the vermicompost in the tray. Once the bottom tray in the stack has been fully processed by the composting worms, it is time to remove that tray, use the worm compost, fill the empty tray with fresh worm bin bedding, and add it to the top of the system.
Since composting worms live in the top few inches of bedding, they are constantly moving upward through the holes in the trays to find fresh worm bin bedding and food, leaving their valuable worm castings behind in the lower trays for you to easily collect. This system also includes a valve at the bottom so that you can easily remove excess worm bin leachate. If you are going to purchase a worm bin this is the one I recommend.
What I like about the Worm Factory 360:
- The trays are large: Because red wiggler composting worms like to live in the top few inches of worm bin bedding, the surface area of your worm bin is more important than depth. If you want a larger worm herd that can process food scraps into worm castings faster, you need to optimize the surface area in your bin.
- It comes with 4 trays. In my opinion flow through worm bins work best with 4 trays.
- The lid: unlike some of its competitors, the Worm Factory 360 includes a lid with a screened air vent that fits snugly on top of the system.
- The height of the system: You can easily fit a collection container under the valve to collect the worm bin leachate.
Worm Bin Reviews: The Worm Factory
This is the first worm bin that I ever purchased and I was happy with it until I found the Worm Factory 360.
The Worm Factory relies on a tray system that allows for a ‘flow through’ design and easy worm casting harvesting. It includes a tap at the bottom for easy worm leachate removal.
What I like about The Worm Factory:
- Sturdy base and plastic: The base feels very sturdy even when the system is full. Overall the system and trays are made of very sturdy, thick plastic.
- The ability to purchase extra trays. I purchased 5 total (as many as I could) when first purchasing this unit. while it is nice to have an extra tray or two to work with for harvesting and other worm composting activities. They system can only really handle 3 trays at a time.
What I don’t like about The Worm Factory:
- Limited surface area. Each tray on the worm tower has a surface area of 210.25 square inches. As we know, bedding surface area is more important than bedding depth.
- Too many trays. I mentioned above that I like having an extra tray or two to work with (storing worm compost or using one as a filter) but I learned quickly that using all 5 at one time on The Worm Factory does not work. It gives the worms too much depth of bedding and food scraps. They ended up moving upward too soon and not fully processing the lower trays of food and bedding.
- Worm leachate tap is too close to the ground. The drain valve is only 5.5 inches from the ground, making it more difficult to fit some collection containers underneath.
- The lid. The lid on The Worm Factory is a single piece of plastic that nest inside of the top most tray. While this lid does its job of blocking light, it does not seal as well as the can o worms lid or look as nice.
Worm Bin Reviews: The Worm Wigwam (affiliate link, thanks)
The Worm Wigwam is a much larger worm bin. It is a good fit for small business or schools. I purchased The Worm Wigwam for work to help compost food scraps from a meals-on-wheels program. The Worm Wigwam has a ‘flow through’ design but does not use trays. Instead fresh bedding and food scraps are continually added to the top of the system while worm compost is harvested from the bottom.
The worm bedding sits on a grate with a blade attached to it. A crank on the side of The Worm Wigwam moves the blade across the bottom of the worm bin bedding scraping off the bottom layer of worm compost and allowing it to fall down through the grate into the collection pan. Because the composting worms move upward to eat, the worm compost that you harvest from the bottom should be free of worms.
What I like about The Worm Wigwam:
- The Harvest bar. This makes it very easy to collect valuable worm compost whenever you need it.
- Capacity. The Worm Wigwam is one of the few medium to large scale worm bins available on the market.
- Insulation. There is a thin layer of insulation sandwiched between the two plastic walls of the bin. This insulation is very helpful. My only wish is that there was more of it. I keep my wigwam outdoors under shade and more insulation would help keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
What I don’t like about The Worm Wigwam:
- Price. The wigwam is expensive. Check it out here (Worm Wigwam sale page).
- Assembly. Because it is a large system, more assembly is required of the user.
- Air flow. I found that the system could use better air flow. I ended up drilling small holes in the lid to allow for greater air flow.
- Productivity claims in the marketing. The wigwam marketing claims it can process 10-15 pounds of food scraps and bedding per day. And, that it can produce 45-60 pounds of finished worm compost every week. I have not found this to be true. I practice a low maintenance worm farming approach. Perhaps if I worked harder to make the worms lives easier, the wigwam would approach its marketing claim numbers.
Remember, you can always build your own worm bin. But, if you want quick start, relatively attractive, low maintenance worm bin, give one of these a try. These worm bin reviews will help you make the right choice for your situation.