Lomi vs Reencle: Which Is the Best At-Home Composter?
We tested and reviewed two popular at-home composters: Pela's Lomi and the Reencle Prime. Here's what we thought!
The way we compost is evolving. Once messy and inconvenient, a modern reimagining of the process is finding form in at-home machines designed to quickly transform your food scraps into usable, nutrient-rich soil with the touch of a button. Sleek, discreet, and simple, the elevation makes composting more possible (and appealing) for those in city settings, and those for whom the entire idea of composting seems too troublesome to take on.
You've likely heard chatter around Pela's Lomi, the buzzy countertop composter that has found fans in the likes of Khloé Kardashian. And now, with the introduction of the well-reviewed Reencle Prime, options are beginning to abound in the high-tech composting space.
If you're interested but not quite sure to direct your dollar, worry not—the Brightly team tried both options, and we're here to break things down for you (just like these handy helpers do).
Here, a look at the pros and cons of both the Lomi Electric Composter and the Reencle Prime.
Trying the Lomi Electric Composter
Cost: From $451
Lomi launched its countertop composter last year, and has since built a devoted fanbase. The machine speeds up the process of aerobic decomposition—breaking down organic materials with the help of microoganisms—by drying, mixing, and cooling your composted items until they transform into plant-ready fertilizer.
When it comes to setup, you can't get much simpler: Just add the activated carbon tablets into the filters and you're good to go. The machine has three modes: Lomi Preferred, Eco Express, and Grow, and can compost produce scraps, compostable paper products, eggshells, and even some bioplastics.
One thing our team (and everyone else) loves about the Lomi is its size and sleek style. It's perfect for any countertop (12" by 16") and doesn't detract from any kitchen aesthetics—if anything, it contributes. It's also quiet, its hum no louder than a dishwasher and not at all grating or intrusive.
When it comes to scent, some of our team experienced a vinegar-like smell when using the Lomi. For others, the smell was a non-issue. Similarly, the machine worked like a charm for some team members, producing ready-to-use dirt, while others were left with results more akin to partially dehydrated food. We imagine that both of these discrepancies have to do with the food waste that you choose to compost (i.e. bones or no bones).
The back of the Lomi gets fairly hot, meaning that setting it against a wall or too close to any other appliances is a no-go. Also, the Lomi calls for bags of activated charcoal and LomiPods (tablets containing microorganisms), and each must be replenished regularly.
Trying the Reencle Prime
Cost: $459 (was $699)
A recent addition to the space, Reencle's Prime composter is currently available for pre-order. The Prime creates usable soil with the help of ReencleMicrobe, second-generation microorganisms developed and dried in an artificial environment.
Unlike Lomi, which requires replacement filters and microorganisms, Reencle's initial microorganism bed can be used forever if cultivated well from the start. The machine does a great job at breaking down food and producing dirt.
Reencle runs continuously, meaning you can add food items as they are produced instead of waiting for enough scraps to warrant a cycle. We're extremely excited about Reencle's addition to the space and can't wait to see how it does in the consumer market.
The Reencle Prime is no more obtrusive than a garbage can, but may be a bit too large for the average countertop (12" by 18"), potentially ruling it out for members of the apartment or studio set. As the machine runs continuously, certain additions or a build-up of moisture can result in a smell once the lid is opened, but the "Dry" and "Purify" buttons can help with that.
Also, as noted above, the initial set-up of the microorganism bed requires a bit of babying—around a week of paying close attention. But given that the cultures last forever if properly installed, this seems like a fair trade.
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