How Much Does Compost (Really) Weigh?

How much does compost weigh

If you’re thinking of lugging around some large quantities of compost, it can be helpful to know how much it’s going to weigh.

However, the weight of compost varies according to its moisture content. The wetter the compost, the heavier it becomes.

Commercially sold compost has variable levels of moisture depending on the season. Therefore, it will get bagged whether it is wet or dry. This is why most compost resellers sell by volume and not by weight. Like this, you always get the same amount no matter the moisture level on the farm at the time of harvesting.

If you’re going to collect a large amount of compost, for example, from a local farmer, check the condition of the compost first. A few days of heavy rainfall can soak a compost heap and will make your job more difficult!

Mature compost that has been left to dry can be surprisingly light. But, conversely, soaked compost is very heavy. This is thanks to the fantastic water-retaining properties of compost! (One of the characteristics of why compost is so good for amending soil).

For comparison purposes, compost is generally heavier than mulch but lighter than soil.

Nevertheless, it’s possible to make some reasonable estimates about the weight of compost. Read on to find out more…

Compost weight

The following compost weights were compiled after a comparative survey of several compost suppliers. So this is actual data from well-known sources. The weights are an average of all the quantities from the survey and take into account the range between dry and wet conditions.

This should provide a good ball-park figure for understanding compost weights.

How much does a yard of compost weigh?

On average, one cubic yard of compost weighs 1250 lbs (567 kg).

Strictly speaking, a yard is not the same as a cubic yard. A yard is a two-dimensional measurement, whereas a cubic yard measures a three-dimensional volume. Nevertheless, most gardeners (and farmers) refer to a “cubic yard” as simply “a yard.” 

To help you visualize this amount, remember that a cubic yard is a three-dimensional cube that measures 3 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet high. 

Heavy compost is perhaps the most tricky to deal with in terms of transportation (for both your back and your pickup!).

How much does wet compost weigh?

On average, one cubic yard of wet compost weighs 1370 lbs (621 kg).

How many bags of compost are in a cubic yard?

One cubic yard is roughly equivalent to 15 bags of compost. This is based on a typical bag size of 50 L (liters). Most commercial compost is delivered in bags, so it can be helpful to visualize what a yard of compost represents in terms of the quantity of bags.

How much does 1 cubic foot of compost weigh?

On average, one cubic foot of compost weighs 46 lbs (21 kg).

Tip: There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard. If you know the weight of 1 yd3 to get the weight of 1 ft 3, simply divide by 27.

How much does a cubic meter of compost weigh?

On average, one cubic meter of compost weighs 1640 lbs (743 kg).

Visually, a cubic meter is a larger volume compared to a cubic yard. In fact, 1m 3 is about 120% of 1 yd3.

How heavy is a bag of compost?

Keep in mind that moisture levels in the compost at the time of harvesting on the farm will change the weight of a bag of compost. Wet compost is about 10% heavier than average.

Below are some weights for typical bag sizes:

How much does a 50-liter bag of compost weigh?

On average, a 50 L bag of compost weighs 81 lbs (36 kg ).

50 liters in volume is typically the largest size of bag you’ll find for sale in garden centers.

How much does a 40-liter bag of compost weigh?

On average, a 40 L bag of compost weighs 65 lbs (29 kg ).

This is a large to medium-sized bag.

How much does a 10-liter bag of compost weigh?

On average, a 10 L bag of compost weighs 16 lbs (7 kg ).

This is a typical size for a small-sized commercial bag of compost.

Compost Weights Chart

To sum up, here’s a handy chart showing some of the typical weights by volume for compost. Remember the wetness factor will influence the actual weight of the compost at any particular time. Consequently, these weights should be considered as approximate figures.

Note: If viewing on phone, please swipe the table to scroll horizontally.

​Volume of Compost:

​Weight in lbs :

​Weight in kg:

​1 cubic yard (yd3)

1250 lbs

566 kg​

​1 cubic foot (ft3)

46 lbs

​21 kg

​1 cubic meter (1m3)

1635 lbs

​741 kg

​50 L bag

81 lbs​

​36 kg

​40 L bag

​65 lbs

​29 kg

​10 L bag

​16 lbs

​7 kg

note: the weight of the compost is influenced by its moisture content.

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