Composting toilets are a great alternative to the conventional flush toilets. Most campers who set up their adventures in the wilderness have heard about composting toilets. They do not require water or plumbing for flushing waste. Instead, the waste is mixed with microbes and peat moss and then left to turn into fertilizer. So, they are far more environmentally friendly.
If you have an RV, a holiday cabin, a tiny house, or you are highly conscious about your environmental impact, then one of these best composting toilets could perfectly suit your lifestyle. People who live in an area without water supply and no drainage system tend to opt for these toilets as they are great for when there is no water source nearby. Plus, they are incredibly cheap to run thanks to their low power consumption, seeing as they do not need to use a sewage system. If you spend most of your time on the road or boat, then a composting toilet is also ideal.
Most compost systems have two different containers for solid and liquid human waste. The solid bin containing the compost mixture can be left for months with zero unpleasant odor. So, if you are keen on gardening, then this an excellent composting method for helping your crops. You don’t have to spend time and energy in the process of making compost for your plants. Plus, the composting toilet eliminates worries about sanitation.
If you are also tired of spending heavily on water bills, you can also opt for a composting toilet. Fortunately, these toilets save up to 30% of your water use, allowing you to save significantly on your water bills.
Choosing the right composting toilet can be quite challenging due to the numerous brands and models on the market today. But, you can rely on this detailed guide to simplify the process for you. Keep reading this review as your guide to the best composting toilets.
If you are looking for the best composting toilet currently on the market, you have come to the right place! Whether you need one to take along on your next camping trip or you want to outfit your home with a composting toilet system, you will find something in the reviews below. By the way, for a wider range of camping toilets after reading this review you can also check our guide – 9 Best Camping Toilets.
After countless hours spent researching, reviewing customer reviews, and talking to several experts, we’ve narrowed down the top best five products to ensure that you get the perfect composting toilet. The composting toilets we are about to review feature modern designs that offer maximum environmental impact with minimum effort on the part of users. Our top choices are well-constructed, easy-to-use, and they provide users with the best value for their money.
Below, you’ll find that we’ve reviewed five of the best composting toilets on the market. Additionally, to help you make an ideal choice, we’ve compiled a buyer’s guide to arm you with the knowledge needed to make a perfect choice.
- Self-contained composting toilet
- Fan and vent hose included
- Complete construction with stainless hardware
- Elongated toilet seat
When nature calls, Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet answers! It is one of the best-rated models on the market with its Close Quarters Spider Handle design. In light of its superior rating, it comes as quite a surprise that this unit is one of the cheaper toilets of this kind on the market. Don’t panic. When it comes to this composting toilet, a reasonable price does not in any way equal substandard quality.
As a self-contained toilet, the central composting unit is part of the commode, and this space-saving design means that this model is ideal for tight spaces. Thanks to this innovative design, this unit is also suitable for an RV or boat. In fact, this toilet was initially designed for the rugged nature of life on a boat, so you’ll discover that it is most likely the most durable product on the market.
We also considered that this self-contained toilet doesn’t require a sewage connection or water supply so that you can expect an easy installation. All you have to do is connect the unit’s hose to the outside for ventilation, and then connect an electricity supply for powering the fan. This is made even easier by the fact that Nature’s Head brand ships this toilet with everything you need already included, except the outside vent.
To empty waste, you only have to unhook the clips located on either side of the liquid tank, and you can drag the whole unit up using the handle. This unit comes with a solid waste container that has a peak moss starter for decomposition. As a result, it can withstand ninety (90) uses before it needs to be emptied. But, some consumers with verified purchases testified that the container could last for much longer.
Now, let’s talk about the spider handle situated at the side. This agitator handle is specifically designed for tight spaces, and it is used to mix the compost. Another interesting feature of this model is that the ventilation hose and the handle can be mounted on either side.
- Very easy to install and disassemble
- Perfect for tight spaces
- Versatile – it can be installed in cabins, RVs, tiny houses, outhouses, boats, and many more
- Robust and sturdy construction
- Highly durable
- Comes with a full 5-year warranty
- Some users reported difficulty with the side latches
- Waterless, urine-diverting toilet
- On-grid and off-grid use
- Comes with one waste container with lid and 10 compostable bags
- Intertec ETL Certified
- AC/DC power
The Separett brand is one that is renowned for its high-quality waterless toilets. After its release in 2018, this Separett Villa 9215 has been gaining more and more attention. It is designed to replace all the older Villa composting toilet styles with more advanced technologies and incorporation of the most current discoveries in waste management.
Users also appreciate that this unit can be used for on-grid and off-grid living. It is waterless and urine-diverting, operating on either AC (on-grid and standard household) or DC power. With the DC power function, you can run this unit with either solar power or battery power. But the AC power enables you to power the unit with standard household hookups. What’s more, this unit comes with a single-speed fan that works on both AC and DC and supports up to 20 feet of venting. Here’s another good news, everything you need for drain and direct vein application comes with this toilet.
Now check out the unique design of this toilet’s bowl. It comes with one waste container with lid and 10 compostable bags. Its design allows the commode to grab the liquid waste and redirect it from the drain into a holding tank, while solid wastes are directed into a compostable liner bag. Another impressive feature is the vent fan, which pulls air over the waste holding area. Thus, the solid waste remains dry, and users don’t have to battle with odor. The toilet is compact and able to fit into most small spaces. Plus, it is specifically constructed to meet the standards of most building codes.
We should also mention that assembling and installing this unit is very easy. The entire toilet is pre-assembled, excluding the tubes and connections. Once the toilet is received, the user just has to hook up the power to a solar panel, household plug or battery to start the fan.
- Compact size
- Sleek design
- Comes with a 5-year warranty, and a separate 3-year warranty on the fan
- All necessary parts and accessories are included in the package
- Its price is a bit on the high side
- If you want to use the toilet in a high-roofed trailer or an RV, you have to buy additional parts such as an extension tube for the urine hose.
- Self-contained toilet
- Standard crank handle
- Separate containers for liquid and solid waste
- Waterless toilet
- Fan and vent hose included
- Polyethylene construction
Another superior option from Nature’s Head is the Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle. This model is innovatively designed to be self-containing and urine-diverting, and zero compromises are made on the value this unit offers users. Thanks to its waterless operation, this toilet comes in handy in multiple places. Compact, lightweight, and odorless, this toilet is ideal for the home, workshop, remote cabin, or boat. Even more, you can withstand harsh outdoor conditions as a result of its stainless-steel construction. This construction also gives this toilet a fantastic appearance.
At the very bottom of this model, you’ll find a hand crank agitator that enables super-fast composting. This Standard crank handle makes this model distinct from other Nature’s Head composting toilets. This handle is also easy and quick to use. This handle poses no problems during installation, unlike some other toilets that need technical knowledge. Another exciting aspect of this toilet is that users have the option to use an electric fan, which can come in really handy for the ventilation shaft. This fan draws only a little power, but you have to use an adapter if you are operating with 110V.
Just like the previously reviewed Nature Head’s composting toilet with the spider handle, this model is ideal for RVs thanks to its space-saving design and durability. Plus, it is equipped to cope with life in transit, a significant requirement for an RV toilet.
- Super-fast composting
- Complete lack of smell
- Sturdy and reliable
- Easy to install
- All necessary accessories are included
- Its molded and stainless-steel design gives it a better appearance
- Comes with a full five-year warranty
- It does not include a guide on the installation of the vent
- Non-Electric composting toilet
- 4” vent stack
- Venting kit is included
- NSF/ANSI certified
The first Excel toilet was launched in 1981 and over the past 38 years, it has been a go-to-model for off-grid users. Today the brand has refined this model to include more advanced and user-friendly features.
Take, for instance, the attention paid to the fact that it is sometimes completely impossible to access electricity, especially when the main goal is to stay off the grid. And in such cases, an electric-powered toilet won’t be an option. So, it set out to design a fantastic alternative – the Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composing Toilet. Like all other composting toilets on our list, this commode has a high performance, but in its case, you don’t need a battery or electric connection.
Its engineering mimics that of a chimney with a vent designed to be vertically installed and extend 2 to 3 inches above the top of your roof. Venting is achieved with a 4-inch vent that exhausts through the rear of the toilet. Another noteworthy aspect of this unit is its clean, sophisticated, and 100% non-polluting design, which makes it ideal for eco-conscious off-grid users who do not want any compromise on quality. This unit is compact and low-profile, and it can go into any bathroom without causing clutter.
This Sun-Mar commode processes compost with its easy-to-operate variable diameter bio-drum. With its recessed handle, this unique bio-drum ensures that waste is broken down more quickly in the composting toilet. Users, especially farmers and gardeners, also appreciate that this unit composts human waste into soil fertilizer, all without emitting an unpleasant odor. Fantastic!
If you’ve ever had issues with the toilet seat being too low, you’ll appreciate this Sun-Mar toilet even more. The company designed the toilet with users’ comfort as a priority, and the toilet height testifies this. This height guarantees that you won’t have to sit too low to the ground. Even more impressive, a footstool is attached for small users. Did we also mention that this commode lasts for years, and up to seven people can use it at a weekend cabin? Even in a residential setting, about 2-3 people can comfortably use this unit.
- Built for medium to large capacity jobs
- Lasts for years
- Easy to use
- The maintenance of this unit is made easy by its accessible compost tray.
- No worries about powering up
- You need to add a 12V fan if you want to include a curve to the vent pipe
- Central composting toilet
- Comes with an AF vent system
- AF Waterless kit is required for operation
- Used with waterless Centrex 1000 and Centrex 2000 systems
- 18 inches high
- Elongated seat
- ADA compliant
Contributing to the environment by saving water seems to be the talk of the town these days. And what is the better way to do this than by going completely waterless and keeping the 30% water used for toilet purposes? The Sun-Mar Dry Toilet is an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional flush toilets. It is one of the most popular and renowned in the industry of composting toilets, with about 40 years of experience. So, you can trust that this model meets the high-quality standards of Sun-Mar toilets.
This Sun Mar Dy model is not self-contained. It is designed to be used with the waterless Centrex 1000 and Centrex 2000 systems. While using the Centrex system, you have a choice between the one-pint flush unit or the dry toilet. You cannot use both. This unit is a dry toilet, and the Centrex system is to be situated directly underneath the unit.
It comes with a vent system that draws down air continuously to ensure users don’t suffer bad odor. Like all other Sun-Mar units, users’ comfort is paramount in the design of this unit. It comes with an elongated toilet that ensures that users can seat comfortably while going about their toilet business. Even the ADA-compliant seat height at 18 inches is designed to provide maximum comfort.
Manufactured in highly durable fiberglass, this unit will last for years without giving you any issues. What’s more, as a waterless toilet, there is a bowl liner fitted beneath the seat. But what is really beautiful about this model’s bowl liner is that it can be removed easily, meaning that cleaning and maintenance won’t be a problem. You should also note that this toilet system in itself does not use electricity, but when hooked to a Sun-Mar Centrex system, it requires 115 vac or 250 vac.
- Very easy to clean as you can remove the bowl liner
- Robust and durable
- This commode is not self-contained. It is designed to operate with the Sun Mar Centrex systems, which are sold separately
- Requires professional installation
Now that you’ve read through our detailed reviews of the top five composting toilets on the market, you might still have questions regarding the ideal toilet before final purchasing. Regardless of whether you have questions or not, you should still take a look at this buyer’s guide.
Here, we will provide information that will help you narrow down your choices and make the right decision. After all, you do not want to spend money on a unit, only to discover that it’s not suitable. So, take your time going through this buying guide, and if needed, you can take a second look at the above reviews.
Self-Contained or Central Composting System?
There are two types of composting toilets – the self-contained and the central composting commodes. And choosing between either of these two is one of the first steps you have to take before purchasing a composting toilet.
With a self-contained style, the toilet contains, processes and converts wastes into fertilizer directly inside the units. They don’t have to move the waste from one location to another, and so no flushing system is required. This design makes them appear bulkier than regular toilets, but they actually do not take up too much space, and most like the Nature Head’s NH-SPH can fit into tiny spaces.
To speed up the decomposition of the waste and eliminate odors, self-contained toilets function with bulking materials such as sawdust or peak moss. You’ll find that the Nature Head’s toilets come with a peak moss starter for decomposition. Even more, self-contained electric toilets feature a heater for speeding up the composting process and a fan for ventilation. The best part about these commodes is that they can be used at home with zero plumbing. Also, you should note that self-contained toilets are ideal for limited use as their waste storage is smaller and requires frequent emptying. Most of the toilets on our review are self-contained electric toilets, except the non-electric Sun Mar Excel model.
Central Composting Toilets
On the other hand, the central composting toilets are designed for far more prolonged use with a separate waste tank where composting occurs. The waste storage tends to vary in size, and it can either be stored underground or outside.
However, this central design means that they require a flushing design for moving waste. The flushing method also comes in two subtypes – micro-flush and waterless toilets. Micro-flush toilets operate with a small amount of water, used for pushing the waste from the commode to the waste tank.
Meanwhile, as the name suggests, waterless toilets do not use water in their flushing mechanism. Instead, the waste is sucked via a vacuum into the composting unit. This is a fantastic option for locations with little or no water, and for eco-conscious users. However, the waste storage has to be installed beneath the toilet, and this can make the process of compost extraction challenging. The Sun-Mar Dry W Toilet is an instance of a waterless central composting toilet.
Urine Diverting Vs Non-Urine Diverting
There are two different methods with which composting toilets deal with solid waste and liquid waste. The separation system is crucial to preventing the waste from turning into sewage and producing horrid smells.
In a urine-diverting toilet, the urine is collected before it is mixed with solid waste. As its name suggests, the urine is diverted to an outlet, where it is released into proper drainage or a container. This ensures that the composting area maintains its correct moisture levels.
On the other hand, a non-diverting toilet waits until both the urine and solid waste are in the composting chamber before separation. Some use mesh or screen to separate, while some others use air and heat movement to evaporate moisture.
This refers to the size of the toilet. Before purchasing any unit, you have to first consider the number of people that will be using it, and how often they do so. These two factors determine the toilet size you should get. If you intend to use the toilet for a hike or a day trip, then a small size should be sufficient. However, daily use and a high number of users require a bigger toilet.
Plus, if you use a large capacity in a small household, you’ll enjoy less frequent emptying. For instance, you can use the Nature Head’s NH-SPH Self-Contained Composting Toilet up to 90 times and even more before you need to empty it.
Another thing you should also factor in here is your bathroom size. You should check the size of the toilet against your space. Fortunately, most of the toilets we reviewed can fit into tiny spaces, RVs, and boats. In this same vein, you should know that some units are ideal for use on recreational vehicles while others are not. For a commode to be travel-ready, it has to be able to handle jarring or violent motion without getting damaged.
Q: Can I use toilet paper having a composting toilet?
A: You can use toilet paper that dissolves quickly like Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper. Thicker toilet papers can hinder the process as they don’t break down easily in the composting tank.
Q: Does a composting toilet give off bad smells?
A: A properly installed and fully functioning composting toilet shouldn’t have issues with odor.
Q: How often do I need to empty the tank?
A: The size of the tank determines how often you’d need to empty it as some models fill up quickly, and need to be emptied frequently. You should also note that you can only empty the tank when the waste has turned into fertilizer fully.
We hope you’ve been able to make the ideal choice from our list of best composting toilets. We made sure to review everything each of these commodes has to offer. We also included a buyer’s guide, which contains information that will help you through the process of selecting the best composter toilet. When making your final decision, remember to keep your needs at the forefront of your mind.
All in all, we consider the Nature Head’s NH-SPH Composting Toilet to be the most versatile toilet on the market currently. Constructed entirely with stainless steel, this toilet was initially designed to be used in the harsh marine environment, so it is very sturdy and durable. It can withstand adverse conditions and extreme weather. However, it can also be used at home. It has an inbuilt air circulation fan that recycles your bathroom air and keeps your space smelling clean and fresh.
People rate this Nature Head’s self-contained unit very high, especially because it separates solid waste from liquids. It further helps with the solid composting process with a peat moss starter. Users also love its narrow spider handle, which saves space. With this commode, you are sure to get the best composting toilet for any of your needs!