How Much Does A Yard Of Compost Weigh (Formulas Included)

How Much Does A Yard Of Compost Weigh
The weight of a cubic yard of compost is about 800 lbs (362 kg), while that of wet compost can weigh up to 1500 lbs (680 kg).

Compost weight depends on its moisture content, and the wetter it is, the heavier it gets.

Some sources suggest that compost weight also relies on the number of composting materials used but, in reality, finished compost looks like dirt.

Microbes break down every ingredient in your kitchen waste into a uniform texture that’s hard to recognize the basic structure. 

Store-bought compost is also more reliable for large yard projects like landscaping than homemade compost.

Your compost bin cannot produce enough organic matter for the entire garden, which would require frequent soil amendments to accommodate the inadequacy.  

Finally, the weight of commercially bought compost mixed with soil depends on the moisture content and type of soil used. 

How Much Does a Yard of Compost Weigh

You mustn’t confuse a yard with a cubic yard to get proper compost for your gardening space. 

A yard measures in two dimensions, including its length and width. On the other hand, a cubic yard comes in three sizes: length, width, and height. 

The weight of a cubic yard of compost is about 800 lbs (362 kg), while that of wet compost can weigh up to 1500 lbs (680 kg).

Dry compostWet compost
800 lbs (362 kg)1500 lbs (680 kg)

What About Wet Compost

Dried finished compost is surprisingly light and easily transportable in large quantities using your pickup truck. 

On the other hand, wet compost is pretty heavy because of the high moisture content, and a cubic yard can weigh up to 1500 lbs (680 kg).

How Heavy Is a Bag of Compost?

The exact weight of a bag of compost depends on its moisture levels during packaging. 

Wet compost is about 15% heavier than dry compost. 

Compost is also packaged in different-sized bags measured in liters which have varying weights, including:

10 L Bag

A 10-liter bag of compost weighs about 16 lbs (7 kg). This amount of compost is suitable for small-scale vegetable gardens in your backyard. 

40 L Bag

The 40-liter compost bag is large to medium size and weighs about 65 lbs (29 kg). These bags are suitable for large-scale gardening or backyard soil amendments. 

50 L Bag

This is the largest bag you’ll find in garden centers and is typically used for massive projects such as landscaping.

10L bag16 lbs (7 kg)
40L bag65 lbs (29 kg)
50L bag81 lbs (36 kg)

How Much Does a Cubic Yard of Compost Weigh (Bag Equivalent)

A cubic yard of compost without soil can way up to 1500 lbs (680 kg). This weight is equivalent to about 24 bags of the 40-liter compost package or about 14 bags of the 50-liter compost sack.

cubic yard compost1500 lbs (680 kg)

How Much Does One Cubic Foot Bag of Compost Weigh?

One cubic foot bag of compost weighs about 40 lbs, with the bags containing more moisture being heavier than the dry sacks. 

If your compost is too heavy, oxygen levels in your soil will be low because there isn’t enough aeration. 

How Many Yards of Compost Will You Need? 

You must convert your cubic yard calculation into square feet to determine how much compost your garden needs. 

Measure the length of the target yard and multiply it by the width to get the square footage area on which you will spread your compost. 

Multiply your garden’s square footage by the inches of compost you need, and then multiply by 0.003 to get the cubic yards required. 


Square feet (length x width of the yard) X desired depth of compost X 0.003 = Cubic yards

You need at least 2 inches of compost for vegetable gardens and flower beds to provide sufficient nutrients to the plants and protect your soil from depletion.

How Much Is 1 Cubic Foot of Compost?

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

How Much Does a Cubic Meter of Compost Weigh?

A cubic meter of compost weighs about 950 lbs/430 kg on average. 

How Many Bags of Compost Are in a Cubic Yard?

When dealing with one cubic foot bag, multiply the required cubic yards by 27 to get the number of compost sacks you need for the garden

# Cubic Yards NeededBag size
.75 Cubic Feet
Bag size
1 Cubic Foot
Bag size
1.25 Cubic Feet
Bag size
2 cubic Feet
1/2 Yard18 bags14 bags11 bags7 bags
1 Yard36 bags27 bags22 bags14 bags
3 Yards108 bags81 bags65 bags41 bags
10 Yards360 bags270 bags216 bags135 bags

How Many Cubic Yards of Mulch Will Fit in a Pickup Truck?

A full-sized pickup truck can carry up to three cubic yards of mulch at a time, while a smaller-sized truck can hold up to two cubic yards. 

Mulch weighs less than compost; thus, more bags can fit into a pickup truck. 

The type of truck and the size of the carrier also matter in this scenario. 

How Big Is a Cubic Yard of Dirt?

A cubic yard of soil measures 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet in dimensions.

A yard of topsoil weighs about 1800 pounds/ 816 kg and can be packed into about 28, 40 lbs bags. 

How Heavy Is a Wheelbarrow Full of Dirt?

It depends on the contents of the dirt, including the type of sand, moisture levels, and amount carried. 

The average wheelbarrow is about 5 cubic feet and can, thus, weigh about 540 pounds when filled with sand. 

What Is Heavier Sand or Gravel?

Sand is heavier than gravel when both are made of the same minerals. 

Dry gravel weighs about 1500 kg, while dry sand is about 1600 kg per cubic meter. 

However, pea gravel can weigh more per cubic meter due to its high density compared to dry loose sand. 

Can You Plant Directly Into Compost?

No. While it may seem tempting to plant directly in organic compost, it’s usually a bad idea. 

Compost material is too light to support plant growth and will drain water too fast. 

The soft texture can’t support plant roots causing the crops to topple and die. Also, excess nutrients in pure compost are toxic to plants.

Combining an inch or two of your compost with topsoil is best to give your plants the best growth conditions. 

What’s the Difference Between Compost and Topsoil?

Compost and topsoil are by-products of decomposed organic matter and excellent additions to your garden due to their high nutrient content. 

Still, these two products are different despite sharing many organic attributes. 

Compost comprises organic matter broken down into a fine texture, whereas topsoil is technically dirt mixed with organic matter.

You can use compost as top-layer fertilizer for your plants or as a soil amendment agent. On the other hand, topsoil suits projects such as landscaping as a filler. 

Does Compost Need to Be Mixed With Soil?

You don’t have to mix compost with soil, but doing so can benefit your vegetable gardens. 

Soil blends well with compost to provide a higher nutrient content for your plants, improve aeration, introduce microbes, and promote better retention, among other benefits. 

You can also add wood chips to improve aeration and facilitate better water drainage. 

Yet, adding too much compost to your soil for amendment purposes can harm your plants. There’s a required ratio to which you should combine soil with compost for the best results. 

Qualities of High-Quality Compost

Good compost should have the following qualities:

  • Dark brown/black
  • It should have an earthy smell and not any ammonia-based odor
  • It should have a pH of between 7.1 and 7.9
  • High moisture percentage of about 70 percent
  • It shouldn’t be sticky when touched
  • Free of any pests or insects


Discovering composting as a way of life or even better, as nature’s way of recycling, Ana dedicates her time to trying out new methods of composting at home. Her goal is to share everything that she’s learned in the hopes that it will help others discover the amazing rewards of composting.

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