In 2023, peat free products have never been so important. Compost is used for all kinds of jobs in the garden, so finding the right one is really important. We provide a selection of the best sustainable compost solutions on the market.


Read more about the recent peat ban here.

What is compost?

Compost is a mixture of organic matter used as a growing medium in pots and to fertilise and improve garden soil. It is made up of decomposed plants and food scraps and is rich in the nutrients needed for plant growth. There are hundreds of different kinds on the market, so it can be hard to work out what the best compost is. Firstly, it is important to know what the different types of compost are and consider what you will be using it for.

What are the different types of compost?

Traditionally, many composts were made using peat. Peat comes from peatlands, which are an important carbon store and habitat. The extraction and use of peat is very damaging to the environment, so now it is more common for gardeners to opt for peat free alternatives. Peat free compost can be made of a range of different materials such as composted bark, coir and green compost mixed with grit or sand. There are also different types of compost mixes for different gardening jobs. For potting up plants, sowing seeds and general garden tasks a peat free multi-purpose might suffice. There are also speciality mixes for different gardening jobs and we have summed up some of the best composts for these below.

Best compost to buy in 2023

Best potting compost

Dalefoot Wool Compost for potting

This organic, peat free compost is one of the best options for raised beds, hanging baskets and container planting. It’s fertile, sustainable, and now comes with added comfrey – packed with nutrients, which means you don’t need any extra feeds or fertilisers. Dalefoot were recently nominated for Product of The Year at RHS Chelsea 2021. They are a leading retailer of sustainable, peat free, wool based composts.

For Peat’s Sake peat free compost

This sustainable product has proved to be very popular. An affordable alternative to other peat free composts, this compost comes as a block of dehydrated coconut coir, which you just add water to and marvel as it grows to an impressive 11 litres in size. Ideal compost for potting or repotting plants, it helps encourage healthy root growth and helps plants flourish.

Melcourt - SlyvaGrow, peat free compost

Another peat free compost, that is both organic and sustainable. Made up of a special blend of fine bark, woodfibre and coir, it is perfect for potting. Use for potting plants or young seedlings in containers, or in the broader garden.

Best houseplant compost

Houseplant Focus - Repotting Compost Mix

This professional peat free houseplant potting compost mix provides your houseplants with all the nutrients they need to flourish indoors. It's designed to provide up to nine weeks worth of nutrients to help encourage healthy growth, and is made here in the UK with the finest high-quality materials including sterilised soil, coir, composted fine bark and wood fibre.

Miracle-Gro Premium Houseplant Potting Compost Mix

Specifically created to help houseplants thrive, this rich mix has a blend 14 vital minerals and vitamins that are essential to healthy indoor plant growth. This blend has been designed to retain water, and features Patented Fibre Smart™ natural wood fibre, which encourages a balance of air and water to enable healthy root growth. You can have added peace of mind when using this at home as it's both child and pet friendly.

Peat free botanical coconut compost

Supplied in a handy resealable pouch, this botanical compost is made in the UK from sustainable coconut coir and is completely peat free. The formula has been specially balanced to be pH neutral and free-draining. A 4L pack will be sufficient to repot up to two houseplants, and each pack comes with handy instructions.

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Best seed compost

SylvaGrow John Innes Seed Compost

A solid choice for all your seed sowing gripes - this formulation is perfectly suited for seed growing and propagating cuttings, as it encourages healthy germination. Featuring the original John Innes blend, this peat free seed compost comes in an 15L bags.

Biochar Carbon Gold Seed Compost

Carbon Gold's biochar seed compost is made with natural coir and enriched biochar. It is 100 per cent peat free, enriched with mycorrhizal fungi, trace minerals and beneficial bacteria and is certified for organic growing. Biochar locks carbon into the ground permanently, making it good for the environment as well as to your plants.

Peat-free Wool Compost For Seeds

Bracken and sheep’s wool are blended together to make this very fine-textured peat free compost. Designed to enable young seedlings to flourish, the added wool provides naturally high levels of nitrogen which slowly releases nutrients, and helps encourage water retention. Plus, it’s been approved by the Soil Association.

Best multi-purpose compost

Coco Grow + peat free all purpose compost

For an all purpose compost, Coco Grow + is an ideal option with this compressed blend of 80 per cent natural coco coir brick and 20 per cent perlite. This is perfect to use for sowing seeds and potting, rooting cuttings, or potting succulents. But it’s also suitable for general planting in the garden.

Levington Peat Free Multi-Purpose Compost, with added John Innes

This peat free multi-purpose suits all your gardening needs. It comes in an extra large bag, and has added John Innes which enables extra growth thanks to its natural ingredients. This compost is perfect for planting beds and borders, and could also be used for containers.

Miracle-Gro Premium All Purpose Peat Free Compost

Miracle-Gro Premium is an all-round multi-purpose compost that provides brilliant results. Ideal for beds, seedlings, patio pots and even houseplants too. Packed with 14 Vital Minerals, this compost has been designed with Fibre Smart technology, which provides a perfect balance of water and air to enable maximum root growth. The large 10L bag provides up to three months feed.


Make your own compost

If you'd also like to try making your own at home, we have plenty of advice on how to get started, from the best compost bin to choose to how to compost in a small space.


Katie BealeEditorial & Digital Assistant

Katie is Editorial & Digital Assistant on Gardens Illustrated