The Lomi composter is one of the newest products in the composting and at-home waste management space. This review explains the main benefits and drawbacks of Lomi composting units, as well as explains to whom these home appliances are best suited.
Overall, this Lomi review is quite positive. The machine is easy to use, accepts a surprising amount of food scraps and everyday household waste, and delivers on its promise of reducing waste volume and producing a natural soil amendment for plants. The only significant drawback is the price, as these units are quite expensive. That said, the price is comparable to alternative products and the benefits can make this machine a worthwhile investment, especially for those looking for convenient ways to reduce household waste.
Read on to see all the review details about the new Lomi composter.
Disclosure: This Lomi unit was gifted to me by Pela, the manufacturer of Lomi.
When Pela provided a Lomi Composter for review, the whole family was excited to test it out. After using it almost daily for 6 weeks, everyone in our household still looks forward to filling up the bucket with food scraps, choosing a cycle, and checking out the end product after each cycle.
The number one benefit of Lomi has been to reduce the mess and odor of our food scraps and plate scrapings. Secondary benefits include the educational value (especially for our children), avoiding icy trips to the outdoor compost bin, and not worrying about animals being attracted to our outdoor green bin. And because we almost always run the machine on Grow Mode, our green bin rarely has to go out to the street for collection (and we get an extra source of plant food for the houseplant collection).
As of 2022, the Lomi Composter unit costs $499 USD. On top of the unit purchase price, there are also reoccurring expenses to run the machine, including electricity costs (see below for estimates) and replacement orders for filter charcoal and LomiPods (proprietary additives from the manufacturer). The 2-year subscription for filter charcoal and LomiPods costs $39 every 3 months. Lomi comes with a 3-year extended warranty. You can also find Lomi on Amazon.
Does Lomi go on sale?
Lomi very rarely goes on sale due to limited stock combined with high demand. There have been very limited sales of ~$70 off when units were briefly available for $429 USD. Typically it makes sense to purchase Lomi units when they are available to ship rather than waiting for a sale.
How does Lomi work?
Lomi combines physical grinding, heat, and beneficial microorganisms to create an optimal environment for the aerobic decomposition of food waste. The machine does the grinding and heating, while the microorganisms are mainly supplied by adding the Lomi pods to the cycle. The addition of the Lomi pods is one of the main differences when comparing Lomi vs the Vitamix composter (The Vitamix FoodCycler), which is the closest comparison countertop composter in most Lomi reviews. You can reach out to Lomi directly (getlomi on Twitter or Instagram) for additional questions on how the unit functions.
Pros & cons of Lomi compost machines
There are numerous benefits (and also some notable drawbacks) to the Lomi Composter. Let’s look at these pros and cons in-depth as part of this Lomi review.
Pros of Lomi Machines
- Setting up the machine is very easy (see these Lomi Setup tips).
- The machine looks great with its contemporary design and simple user interface.
- Lomi accepts most food scraps and plate scrapings. Only a select few items are excluded. See my article on Lomi Basics for a detailed list of what can (and can’t) go into Lomi.
- Trimmings from houseplants can go straight into the bucket.
- The composting process occurs right in the compost bucket, avoiding transfer to a larger heap.
- Leftovers can be turned into Lomi Compost plant food if they don’t get eaten.
- Lomi brings composting into the house as a kitchen appliance, avoiding extra trips outdoors.
- The end product dirt from Grow Mode can be mixed with potting soil and added to the garden or used for repotting houseplants as a homemade fertilizer.
- The bucket is dishwasher safe (and also quite easy to clean in the sink).
Cons of Lomi machines
- Lomi is expensive. The unit costs $499 USD plus $39 every 3 months for 3 years to cover replacement filter charcoal and LomiPods (see details).
- The machine can seem quite large if countertop space is limited in your kitchen. It may have to be placed in a nearby room or utility room with more available surface area.
- Lomi composters don’t accept hard food waste like fruit pits (avocado, mango, et cetera) or bones.
- Lomi composters don’t accept cooking oils or sugary liquids (juice, soda, et cetera).
- Dense food waste and plant matter (corn cobs, flower bulbs, et cetera) must be chopped up prior to adding.
- The unit makes a quiet but audible noise (a bit like a printer) that can be distracting.
- There is no mute setting to silence beeps (especially important for sleeping babies & zoom calls)
Cost of Lomi
Lomi composting units cost $499 USD as of 2022. There is also the re-occurring cost of replacing the filter charcoal and buying new packs of LomiPods (which go into most cycles). The 2-year subscription for the filter charcoal for the carbon filters and LomiPods costs $39 every 3 months.
The cost of a Lomi unit appears to be appropriate in comparison to alternative electric composters on the market. The most direct comparison product, the Vitamix FoodCycler, has a slightly smaller bucket capacity than Lomi and costs about a hundred dollars less than Lomi. Breville’s FoodCycler (Australia) also has a smaller capacity and a similar price. The new Tero Composter has a slightly larger bucket capacity than Lomi and a similar price. The larger in-home electric units (Oklin GG-02, Zera Food Recycler, Kalea) have more capacity but tend to be at least twice the price of Lomi.
Great non-electric composters also aren’t cheap. The top-of-the-line Jora Composters range from about $400 USD to over $900 USD for residential compost tumblers.
“There are a couple reasons for Lomi’s price point. Lomi is the ONLY appliance on the market with a mode to break down Lomi Approved bioplastics. Our heating and abrasion mechanisms are top-of-the-line and we manufacture in a Carbon Neutral facility with exceptional standards for workers. Comparable home food composters cost $800+ and offer less convenience and functionality than Lomi.”About Lomi, Pela Support
Who is Lomi best for?
Lomi is best for at-home composting or for composting in a small office or classroom. It works well for those wishing to reduce their carbon footprint, bring composting in-house, and do so without too much disruption to day-to-day life. Lomi is not suited to large industrial composting or for off-grid households with limited available electricity wattage. Lomi is currently available in the USA and Canada (where Pela is headquartered) but will be available for international shipping in autumn 2022.
Composting in apartments
Lomi is perfect for households living in an apartment, condo, or townhouse without an outdoor space for composting. Rather than having to take food waste out to the green bin before it starts to smell (or keeping a bag of food scraps in the freezer to reduce the odor), the Lomi unit deals with the mess and takes care of it inside the home. Best of all, the metal bucket is dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up.
Lomi is a wonderful device for households living in cold or hot climates where outdoor compost can be a hassle. In cold weather, trips to an outdoor compost tumbler can involve an icy walk. Food scraps take a long time to compost outdoors in cold temperatures and may also attract pest wildlife if natural food sources are limited in the winter. In hot temperatures, outdoor composts and green bins can smell quite bad and also become attractive to pest animals. Composting indoors with Lomi makes dealing with food waste easy no matter what season it is (or how active the microbes are given the temperature).
Making plant food in-house
Lomi is also great for gardeners. It can be quite satisfying to grow your own food, make a meal with vegetables you’ve grown, compost the food scraps from the meal, and then add the finished compost (and its nutrients) back into the garden. Lomi makes this possible because it accepts mixed plate scrapings (including meat) that might not be ok for an outdoor composter.
Many gardeners do their main annual composting work in autumn by making leaf mold compost from fallen leaves. Keeping food scraps separate makes leaf mold easier to “set and forget” your big compost batch in the fall without having to worry about turning food scraps into an active compost heap. There is also the potential benefit of composting with significant micronutrients (in addition to the main plant macronutrients) due to the diverse mixed nature of household food waste.
Interested in learning how to use Lomi to make Lomi Compost for your plants? Here are my top tips for making and using Lomi Compost as plant food.
Lomi’s energy use
Lomi’s energy use is comparable to other household appliances, such as fridges, toasters, dishwashers, blenders, and breadmakers. Energy use varies between cycles and different modes but is generally around or less than 1 kWh of electricity per cycle. Assuming the October 2021 US Average Price of Electricity (Residential) of 14.11 cents per kWh (source: US EIA), running one Lomi cycle should cost less than 15 cents.
Eco-Express Mode uses the least amount of total electricity per cycle. The manufacturer states it uses less than 0.60 kWh of electricity per 4-hour cycle (source: Pela Support). Given the US average price of 14.11 cents per kWh, one Eco-Express Mode cycle likely costs about 8 cents to run.
Lomi Approved Mode uses less than 0.75 kWh of electricity. Given an electricity cost of 14.11 cents per kWh, running a cycle of Lomi Approved mode would cost about 11 cents.
Grow Mode uses about 1 kWh of electricity per 20-hour cycle. Given an electricity price of 14.11 cents per kWh, a cycle of Grow Mode might cost about 14 cents on your electric utility bill. While this cycle uses the most energy, the consumption is very small overall and the consumption per hour is lower. You’re also not putting that material into the green bin where it will have to be composted further in an industrial facility using additional energy.
There are a few alternatives to Lomi in terms of electric, indoor, and high-performance composting units. Here are some other options to check out in comparison:
Other indoor electric composters
- FoodCycler by Vitamix
- Tero Composter
- FoodCycler by Breville
- Zera Food Recycler by WLabs
- Electric Tumbler Composter by BeyondGreen
- Small-Scale GG-02 Electric Composting Unit by Oklin
Non-electric indoor composters
- Worm Factory Indoor Composting Bin
- Bokashi Indoor Microbial Composter