Update: I recently received the new Lomi Bloom and have included additional notes on the bonus features of this updated device in my review below. Long sorry short, I love the new mossy sage color and the view window at the top.
It’s safe to say there’s no gardening gadget or device I love more than the countertop compost machine I’m sharing with you today. Instead of keeping a stinky compost bucket under your sink, then plopping into a heap outside, Lomi’s countertop compost machine can turn scraps into compost in just a few hours. When I first saw it as a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, I practically tore open my wallet and said, “Take my money!” Now it’s out into the wild, and I’ve been singing its praises to anyone who will listen.
Want to compost last night’s dinner overnight and have it ready by morning? That’s what Lomi‘s countertop compost machine does, and I’m totally in love with it. In states like Vermont where composting is required by law, but you have bears that enjoy a good compost heap, it’s a no-brainer!
The Lomi countertop compost machine makes turning kitchen scraps into compost the easiest thing ever. Just fill to the designated line with table scraps, eggs, chopped-up paper, coffee grinds, even meat, and Lomi dehydrates it and turns it into compost. You can also use their tablets that activate important bacteria in the compost to break it down, but I find it works fine without using them too, unless you’re breaking down compostable plasticware. If you want to buy it, I went to the folks at Lomi and begged them to give me a discount to share with you guys, so if you buy directly from Lomi, you’ll save 5% with our code FGN2023.
Still have questions? Let’s dive into some of the questions I had, and see if I can answer them for you in the process.
How many scraps can you put in the Lomi?
The bucket inside of the Lomi is 3 liters, though you’re only supposed to fill it 3/4 of the way. This is somewhat limiting if you want to use it after a large barbecue, but not for everyday use. What I love about it, is that after it runs though, it’s going to turn your scraps into about an inch of material. I just leave it in there and keep refilling and re-running until it’s full. I’m not sure if that’s the proper way to do it, but it’s pretty efficient and less work for me!
How does it turn scraps into compost?
Lomi calls the end product “dirt,” but it’s really just finely ground dehydrated compost. The compost is heated up and dehydrated, then mixed and crumbled into this “dirt” which you can sprinkle over your garden, or add to your potting soil mix. The device also comes with “Lomi Pods” which are “a proprietary blend of probiotics that improves the speed of degradation, the reduction of smell, and most importantly help to create the most healthy output to add to your gardens/lawn/planters,” however I rarely use them so I may have less quality “soil” as a result but I get to run it whenever I need to, and it still works perfectly fine.
Does the Lomi stink when you run it?
The Lomi countertop compost machine doesn’t stink at all. There was one time I forgot to run it before going on vacation for a couple weeks, and came home to mold inside of it, but you couldn’t even smell it in the kitchen, and honestly I just ran it rather than cleaning it out. There is a replaceable carbon filter on the device that takes care of any odors that might try to creep out.
How DO you run it?
It’s the easiest device on the planet—there is just one button. You need 110 volts of electricity in the U.S. or Canada, then you just need to pick a mode:
Eco-Express Mode: This runs three to six hours, and is the mode I use almost exclusively because I’m usually just composting food scraps, which are easiest to break down. That’s another perk, by the way, no need to perfect the ratio of green to brown matter in my experience. This mode is sort of a waste of a Lomi Pod because it works at a higher heat to process the compost fastest. Eco-Express mode uses less than 0.60 kWh of electricity.
Lomi Approved Mode: In five to eight hours, you can even compost Lomi-approved compostable bioplastics and packaging. That said, you can’t just fill the bin up all willy-nilly; the bin should be filled with mostly organic materials and less than 10% of these approved items. Lomi Approved mode uses less than 0.75 kWh of electricity.
Grow Mode: For the best “dirt” at the end of your cycle, this mode takes 16 to 20 hours, but it works at a much lower temperature so that you don’t kill off all the beneficial bacteria from your Lomi Pod. If you want the best result, this is the mode to go with! Grow mode uses about 1 kWh of electricity.
Once you pick a mode, it goes to work, and it will continue until it’s done or until it gets jammed, which only happened to me in the beginning from not tearing up coffee filters before adding them.
Is it hard to clean?
I’ve never had to clean the bin, because it sort of cleans itself after it runs, since everything is dry. The only thing I have needed to clean is the inside of the lid, which is just a quick wipe to get rid of any residue, and I still do this only occasionally—it’s a compost bucket for Pete’s sake!
Is it big?
It’s not my smallest kitchen appliance, that’s for sure. It weighs 20 pounds and stands 12 inches tall by 16 inches wide, with a depth of about 13 inches. It’s about the size of a countertop pressure cooker, but wider. That said, 100% worth it in my opinion.
What can you put in the Lomi?
Anything you can put in a traditional compost heap, and more. Though, personally, I try to avoid nut butters and oils, mostly because I feel like they might make me need to clean it more often, and as of now, I’ve had it a year and haven’t had to clean the bucket at all. You can put fruits, meat, veggies, rinds, peels, grains, coffee grounds, soft shells, food scraps, paper products, yard trimmings, house plant cuttings, and there is even a setting for plastic compostable goods.
I also love that you can put in eggshells raw without needing to bake them first, because the Lomi is already “cooking” the compost which will kill off any pathogens you don’t want in your compost.
Items you shouldn’t put into the Lomi include: bones, butter, oils, conifer branches, cooked potatoes (I’m curious on this one), pits, human or pet waste (ew), whole kernels, seeds with hard shells, styrofoam, and liquids. Pretty no-brainer stuff, which seems to boil down to super sticky things that are impossible to clean, and super hard things that are hard to break up.
Will the Lomi “dirt” rehydrate in the rain?
No! That was my big worry. The FoodCycler by Vitamix, for example, is the only real comparable device. While slightly less expensive, the FoodCycler doesn’t create “dirt” like the Lomi does. It just sort of crumbles up the food, which rehydrates into larger pieces in the garden. This is OK, maybe, if you’re creating your own potting soil, but not if you want to use it directly in your garden.
Any big issues with the Lomi?
This is hardly big, but I prefer to use the Eco-Express mode, so I’m probably not getting the best “dirt” from my usage, but I am reducing waste, which is just as important. Sometimes I also have trouble with paper products, particularly coffee filters. It’s easily solved by just ripping them up or tearing them a bit before putting them in, otherwise they tend to get jammed, and the Lomi will turn off. Other than that, it has worked perfectly for me, and I’ve used it at least three times a week since I got it. One other thing is that Lomi says the device requires 500-watt capacity, so if you have solar panels, you may be tying up the lines for several hours, depending which mode you’re running in.
What’s the difference between the Lomi and the Lomi Bloom?
I have to say that going into this second version, I wondered how it could possibly be improved; it seemed pretty perfect to me. But the two most noticeable features right out of the box are that there are now color options: black, white, and sage and I LOVE the sage-green version I recieved. It also has a viewing window at the top, which I find both fascinating and a little gross as the cycle progresses, but mostly fascinating.
Functionally, there are improvements to the speed and efficiency of cycles, which are noticeable.
- Lomi Approved = 5 to 7 hours
- Eco-Express Mode = 3 to 5 hours
- Grow Mode = 14 to 16 hours
But my favorite new feature functionality-wise is the cleaning cycle (1.5 hours) which will keep the bucket clean. I’ve actually always been impressed at how clean the bucket tends to be. The drying cycle keeps it pretty clean all on its own, but having this extra option is definitely a nice bonus feature.
The biggest update is that it is connected via wifi to a new app. The app helps you track your impact, and you earn “rewards” every time you run the Lomi, which can be redeemed for rewards from Lomi and other great brands like Ooni, Hexclad, and Qalo, with every cycle. I don’t find this to be the most useful improvement to the device because I just run the device at night while I sleep, and won’t likely use it, but I enjoy all the other improvements.
Overall, the Lomi countertop compost machine is my favorite device in the kitchen, hands down. It’s incredibly easy to use, and removes the stink and sludge factor that comes with composting completely. You’ve never seen someone so excited to compost until you’ve seen me first chop an onion and then remember I have the Lomi and don’t need to stink up the kitchen with my scraps. If you want to get it (and I highly recommend it!), use our code FGN2023 to get a 5% discount.
Have you tried a Lomi or a similar device? What’s your experience?