Composting toilets are an environmentally friendly and economical choice when it comes to installing a toilet without a sewer nor septic tank. The waste can be re-used as a hygienic fertilizer further adding to the environmental aspect of these toilets!
For anyone who has used a toilet in a state park, chances are you have already experienced a composting toilet.
If you dream of or are currently living off the grid then a composting toilet is one of the only options for you. There is no need for water or a connection to a septic system so this is the best option.
Composting toilets are also highly recommended and ideal for caravans RVs & even boats as they are very practical. In the following post I’ve done my best to highlight the best composting toilet options for those looking into this green alternative.
How Do Composting Toilets Work?
Composting toilets are a natural way to process and decompose human waste. If we take a look at human waste it is 90% water which is very easily evaporate and released to the atmosphere. The solid component left can be re-used for fertilizing soil.
If you imagine a home compost for food scraps then this is almost the same concept as a composting toilet.
With the optimal balance in the composting chamber the perfect environment can be created for bacteria to convert waste into fertilized soil that can be re-used.
The processing chamber is designed to effectively break down human waste. Many toilets divert urine from faeces so the urine can be emptied easily.
When properly done the fertilized soil will contain no pathogens or viruses as the bacteria has effectively broken these down.
In a nut shell there are 3 key elements that a composting toilet must successfully achieve:
- Break down the waste and toilet paper with no odor
- Promote sufficient bacteria to break down the solid waste
- Evaporate the liquid component of the waste.
Now that we have an understanding of how they work let’s take a detailed look at the best composting toilets!
Best Composting Toilets
Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
- Proudly made in the USA
- All stainless hardware
- Full size elongated seat for comfort
- Disassembles in seconds for emptying
- Vent hose and fan included
Natures Head Self Contained Composting Toilet is reliable, portable, self contained, water free toilet. This toilet was originally designed for long time sailors and to withstand the marine environment.
- Ideal for RVs, cabins, trucks, boats, home
- Stainless steel hardware
- Urine diverting
- Air circulation fan
- Small footprint
- Spider crank handle to turn waste
- Option to add a vent hose
As this composting toilet is plumping and electricity free you can use it anywhere you need it.
Not only limited to your home but also suited for RVs, vacation cabins, workshops, trucks and boats – the possibilities are endless.
Made from stainless steel hardware the Natures Head Self Contained Composting Toilet is sturdy and user friendly.
This is a waterless, urine diverting toilet that is lightweight and odorless which makes this a dry composting system. By separating the liquids from the solids the absence of liquid further stops any odor escaping or leaking.
By the time it comes to empty the solids tank the waste appears just like ordinary dirt. This makes the task a lot easier to manage in my opinion!
There is a low volume air circulation fan that is inbuilt which also works to recycle the air in your bathroom.
Measuring in at 22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches this toilet is small and will fit into any small space.
This model features a spider crank handle which allows you to turn the waste and compost material as needed.
It is recommended to start your composting section with hydrated peat moss.
The manufacturer states it will last for 90 uses before you need to empty it although many customers have attested to it lasting up to 6months before requiring an empty.
This does, however, depend on the amount of people using it. The top of the toilet or the area where the seat is completely removes for ease of dumping the fertilized soil.
Simply attach the vent hose and any odor will be eliminated from your bathroom. This along with the fan works extremely well. The fan requires a 12V power supply to power it.
This toilet comes with excellent customer reviews who are extremely happy with the product. No issues of smell and no issues with the durability with seem to be focus points for many.
The Natures Head Self Contained Composting Toilet also comes with a 5 year warranty. At a solid price point it offers great value for money – it’s easy to use, clean and service.
Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle
- Hand crank agitator in base for fast composting
- User friendly
- Easy installation
- Features a molded design
- Includes 5' vent hose, bottle cap, 12v power plug
Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle is similar yet different to the initial composting toilet reviewed. This model was for quite some time their most popular but the spider handle has now overtaken this one!
- Urine diverting
- Lightweight & compact
- Solid, durable design
- Standard handle design
- Ventilation hose included
The standard model is definitely still worth looking at and considering. Designed with a urine diverting tank this model is waterless meaning it can be used anywhere.
It is lightweight, compact and odorless making it a great choice for many applications including tiny homes, RVs, boats and workshops.
Included with the purchase is a 5 inch ventilation hose as well as a bottle cap and a 12V power plug for the fan.
Made from stainless steel hardware this composting toilet has been designed to withstand years and years of use.
As mentioned the key difference between this model and the first is the handle – this offers a standard design whereas the other is a spider crank handle.
It’s hard to overlook the excellent customer reviews with the Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet! Natures Head have a strong emphasis on customer service and this model comes with a 5 year warranty.
Villa 9200 AC
- waterless toilet
- urine diverting toilet
- off the grid toilet system
- lightweight, odorless & compact
- 5-year Warranty, Easy to Install
The Villa 9200 AC composting toilet is a waterless, urine diverting toilet that makes it ideal for tiny homes, boats, RVs and much more.
- Looks like a standard toilet
- Requires full time power
- Two speed fan for ventilation
- Urine diversion tank
- 5 year warrranty
A distinguishing feature with this toilet is that it’s as close in appearance to a traditional or standard toilet.
The Villa 9200 requires full time non- inverted power so are intended for use on the grid.
If you are off grid or plan to run your home from solar power and an inverter then it is recommended to try the Villa 9210.
Included with the Villa 9200 are the required plugs for use with either DC/battery power – or with standard AC power.
Two waste containers both with lids are included along with everything else needed to get started.
The AC unit features a two speed fan for ventilation purposes as well as a 3 inch vent pipe.
Urine is captured and diverted to a plumbed grey water system or holding tank. Any solid waste and paper are contained within a compostable liner bag.
The fan works to air out the solid waste which accelerates the drying process and removes any odor.
The compostable liner is said to last up to 3 weeks for an average family.
After which you can remove it from the holding area and place it into your composter or incinerate it. The Villa 9200 AC also comes with a 5 year warranty.
Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- NSF CERTIFIED - First self-contained, composting toilet to be certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.
- ZERO ODOR - A 2-inch vent in the back runs out of the house, which keeps your home clean and odorless.
- USES NO WATER - This is a completely water-free system, saving the planet while saving you money.
Sun Mar were the original forerunners with composting toilets so they still get a mention. I must say that in terms of value for money the previous models offer better value but it is still worth looking at the Sun Mar model.
- Original design
- Large capacity
- Bigger design
- 2 inch vent
- National Sanitation Foundation Certified
- Drum tumbling technology
As you can probably tell from the image, this toilet is fairly large and bulky and even requires a stool to use. This can be seen as both good and bad – good because it has a large waste storage but bad because it won’t fit into space restricted areas.
The Excel model was actually the first ever self-contained composting toilet to gain the National Sanitation Foundation certification.
Tried and tested this toilet will no leak nor smell and will produce a clean and safe compost.
A 2 inch vent is attached at the back of the toilet which can be installed through the wall to outside.
This toilet will evaporate liquids although there is a 1″ emergency drain at the rear which Sun Mar recommend attaching if used residentially.
As these are the original creators there are plenty of customer reviews to back up the longevity of the toilets.
What really sets the Sun Mar composting toilet apart is that it uses a drum for tumbling the compost. This is the only toilet to do so as they have an international patent on the technology.
The real issue with the Sun Mar toilet is the higher price point. I really don’t think the extra money is really worth that much more than the other models in this review.
Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet
|EAN List||EAN List Element: 0773624014011|
|Item Dimensions||Weight: 9000|
|Product Group||Home Improvement|
|Product Type Name||OUTDOOR_LIVING|
|Title||Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet, Model# Compact|
|UPC List||UPC List Element: 773624014011|
If you are looking for a medium-capacity composting toilet, then you can select this model from Sun-Mar. It is designed to fit into small cabins and can work well for one person in a residential setting.
- Detachable footrest
- Measures 33 x 21.5 x 28.5 inches
- Great for cabin use
- Compact size
- Low profile
- 100 % non-polluting
- Bio-drum with recessed handle
This toilet carries the day for its compact size. If you are considering getting a composting toilet you can fit into your RV or a tiny house; then this is the right choice for you. It has a unique shape that makes it functional in the tightest of spaces without the need for vital installations.
The low profile design makes it useful in different bathrooms without breaking the theme. It has a brilliant white color finish that makes it stand out from the other fittings. The toilet comes as a complete set with the seat lids fitted in place. These are manufactured using high-quality materials to ensure they can last long .with regular use.
The composting toilet does not need any water to function as expected. With the variable diameter bio-drum, you can efficiently process the waste into useful compost. The bio-drum has a recessed handle which makes it easy to use. The compact size is functional for medium use and can serve a group of three to four people all through a weekend.
For daily use, this composting toilet is recommended for one-person use whereby it has enough capacity for practical application. It has a detachable footrest that makes it easy to use for everyone. It meets the minimum standards and comes with an emergency drain for liquids. It is the right size for a small bathroom and proves to work well for a few users.
Villa 9215 AC/DC
- Composting,Waterless,Urine diverting, off-grid, toilet
This composting toilet from Villa is one of the new advanced models in the market today. It was designed to replace the old Villa models and increase efficiency. On this note, it is trouble-free and easy to use for everyone.
- Waterless and urine diverting
- Single-speed fan
- AC and DC adaptors
- One waste container with a lid
- Measures 18.5 x 23 x 27.5 inches
This composting toilet is an excellent choice for both on the grid and off-grid living. It can work well in an RV, tiny houses, cabins, etc. the toilet has a waterless and urine-diverting system which makes it pretty useful in composting. The design of the bowl holds the urine in a drain and later plumbed into a grey water system or holding tank. This makes it easy to compost solid waste and last a long time before clearing.
This toilet is designed to work for both standard households and on-grid. You can either AC or DC with battery or solar power availability. The design features a single speed fan which comes with adaptors for both AC and DC for venting up to 20 feet. The toilet comes with all the parts required for direct vent and drains application taking away the hassle to find compatible parts.
When using this toilet, the solid waste and paper only are contained within the solid waste holding area in a compostable liner. The vent fan pulls over the waste holding area which helps to dry the solid waste and eliminate any odor.
It can last up to 3 weeks in a family set up after which you have to remove the solid waste holding area and deposit into the composter. The design of this toilet eliminates the issues that arise while attempting to compose the waste in the toilet entirely.
Sun-Mar Corp CCES-01601W SPACESAVER
- Package Quantity: 1
- Excellent Quality.
- Great Gift Idea.
- Satisfaction Ensured.
- Produced with the highest grade materials
The Spacesaver Composting Toilet is designed to work in situations where space is a problem. It is a compact toilet that works well in RV’s, cabins, tiny homes, or for temporary camping use.
- Compact size
- 22 x 19 inches
- High-quality turbofan
- Compact bio-drum
This composting toilet looks more like the compact model from Sun-Mar but in a smaller size. It is so tiny that it can fit in a closet or a little corner. This makes it an ideal choice for use as a temporary toilet or in small cabins. The 22-inch depth and 19-inch width are small enough to pack the toilet in the smallest space you have.
This toilet comes with the same kind of high-quality turbofan as the other electric units. As much as it is tiny, it has the functionality of a full-size composting toilet.
That makes it ideal for use by one person efficiently. The holding area is large enough to accommodate plenty of solid waste. On this note, it comes with a step-platform to allow comfortable use for every member of the family.
The design of this composting toilet features a small bowl with fitted lids to match the design of most other composting toilets. It has almost the same size bio-drum as the compact version from this brand. That makes the composting capacity almost similar and therefore useful in different situations.
However, the evaporation is limited by the small heater and the evaporating surface since this is smaller than the compact. That means that you would have to connect safety drains to ensure proper handling of the liquid. That said, it would need a little more installation procedures, but once it is all done, you can comfortably use the toilet.
|Item Dimensions||Weight: 1500|
|MPN||SUN-MAR DRY W|
|Part Number||SUN-MAR DRY W|
|Product Type Name||HOME_BED_AND_BATH|
|Title||Dry Toilet, White per 1|
This model from Sun-Mar Corp is an excellent choice for someone that is looking for a regular composting toilet in a simple yet functional design. It is built for durability and comes with the right fixtures to ensure proper use.
- 15 inches seat height
- Requires AF waterless kit
- Bowl liner
- Durable and sturdy Fiberglass
- Suitable for RVs, cabins
The toilet is designed for use with waterless Cetrex 2000 systems and Centrex 3000 systems. On this note, the toilet requires an AF waterless kit which is sold separately for practical use. This will ensure adequate composting of waste continually allowing you to use the toilet for longer.
This specific model of composting toilet comes in a white or bone color. You can select any of the two to match the style of your bathroom or improve the current condition.
The shape of the toilet is unique and comes as a one-piece which makes it easy to install and clean. The best part is that the bowl is at the top-most level which makes it pretty easy to use for everyone.
The toilet has a seat height of 15 inches. This design is considered comfortable for use by everyone and matches the regular toilet sizes. It is not too low for use by the elderly neither too high for kids to use it comfortably. More to this, the seat is of a regular size making it ideal for residential use without feeling the difference in the type of toilet.
This toilet includes a bowl liner that fits beneath the seat. It can easily be removed to allow easy cleaning and replaced quickly. This bowl liner gives the toilet a small lift in style while ensuring the underneath surface is protected from dirt and spills. The toilet is manufactured from durable fiberglass to last an extended period.
Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- Non-electric model; ideal for applications off the grid
- Low profile unit complements any bathroom
- Uses no water
- 100% non-polluting
- Includes variable diameter bio-drum with recessed handle for processing compost
If you are looking for an ideal composting toilet to use off the grid, you might want to consider this model from Sun-Mar. It is designed for application where electrical power is not readily available but still provides the functionality of the typical composting toilet designs.
- Low profile unit
- No water use
- 100 % non-polluting
- Variable diameter bio-drum
- Recessed handle
This model was designed to provide functionality to people that live off the grid either permanently or occasionally. The non-electric version makes it easy to install in cabins upcountry or vacation spots such as camping sites. It can also work well as a composting toilet for an RV on the go.
The toilet comes as a regular composting toilet matching the size of the common toilets for comfort. As an upgrade, this toilet was given the more rounded look and added the recessed drum handle. More on the design, this composting toilet does not come with a heater or fan for the simple reasons it is not connected to an electric power source.
However, it operates well using a 4-inch vent that is mounted at the top rear of the unit. This vent acts like a chimney on a wood stove which means it eliminates the entire odor upwards for a smell-free environment. On this note, you should ensure the vent is installed vertically 2-3 feet above the peak of the roof. That way, you will ensure proper removal of odor from the toilet base.
The toilet has a variable evaporating capacity, and it comes with a 1-inch drain at the rear. This drain needs to be connected to an approved drain pit, container or authorized facility. If the toilet is used heavily, you can add a 12-volt fan in the vent stack for efficient odor removal. The fan can use solar power or a 12-volt marine battery.
Nature's Head Composting Toilet with Spider Handle by Nature's Head
- No one - and I mean no one - will beat my customer service and individual support
- Easy to install by any reasonably handy person.
- Absolutely No Odor. No Maintenance. 5 Year Warranty.
- Huge Capacity. 2 people using full time will empty every 4-6 weeks. Easy empty in 5 minutes.
- A vast improvement over older composting toilet designs. This one works!
This composting toilet comes in a unique design that stands out from the usual ones you will find on the market. It is built for easy installation, and you can practically use it in any space. It works in small areas and has a considerable capacity for convenient use.
- 12 volts plug
- Easy installation
- Huge capacity
- Improved design
- Spider handle
- 5 x 19 inches
- Perfect for RV use
The composting toilet comes with a 12 volts plug. For people that use 110 volts power, you might need to add the 12 V adaptor for convenient use. This will ensure you are using the right amount for the effective function of the toilet. The toilet is compact and lightweight and therefore easy to install.
It comes with mounting brackets, a fuse, a fuse holder and agitator. Also, the package includes a handle, an inside vent flange, and a 5-feet venting hose. This hose comes with attaching ends which makes it easy to fit on the toilets and the outside. It is useful in eliminating any odor upwards ensuring you have a clean and comfortable living space.
The toilet is ideal for use by two people on a full-time basis. In such a state, it would need emptying between four to six weeks for proper functions.
It is a compact size but with a huge capacity and high quality composting power. The emptying process is easy, and you can comfortably do that in five minutes or less. One thing you will love about this composting toilet is the low maintenance.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Composting Toilet
Size of the Toilet & Space
Composting toilets are quite bulky and require a dedicated space for installation. Although the only type of piping is the vents so that at least simplifies the process somewhat. Measure up where you want to install it and make sure the toilet you select fits these dimensions!
When it comes to the toilet you’ll need to consider how many people are using it and how frequently it’s going to need emptying. If it’s just for 1 or 2 people then a small toilet will be fine but for a family then the larger the capacity the less time you’ll spend emptying it.
Not all but some composting toilets need an electrical source to work properly. THis is mainly for a fan to run over the waste for ventilation. If you do opt for one of these models you’ll need to ensure you’ve got an adequate power source to run it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Composting Toilets
If you’re considering purchasing a composting toilet then you probably have a few questions on your mind. In the following I’ll try to clear up the most frequently asked questions I get in regards to these environmentally friendly toilets.
Q. Do they smell?
When maintained and properly taken care of a composting toilet should not smell. If it does then there is probably something wrong with it. No one wants a permanently stinky bathroom, shed, boat, caravan – any place you intend to use the toilet. Composting toilets are designed with a vent and fan to draw air into the toilet and exhaust it outside. Be wary of toilets that don’t include a vent.
There can be a bit of odor outside where the vent is located but if you are worried then a urine diverting toilet will minimize this even more. Don’t place it near a door or window and worst case you can run the vent up to the roof.
The correct or normal smell you can expect from a composting toilet is an earthy smell which would be comparable with the gardening area in your local nursery.
Q. Do they require special toilet paper?
No. You don’t need to buy specific toilet paper for composting toilets, everyday toilet paper is totally fine. What’s more – you can even place the cardboard roll when it’s finished into the toilet as well.
Q. Are they legal?
This can vary depending on your state and municipality. Be sure to check in with local regulations before investing into a composting toilet. As these types of toilets are new there aren’t many laws about what to do with hygienically treated waste. If you live in a rural area or have a lot of land then chances are you will be fine. If you are in suburbia then there may be issues.
Q. Are they easy to install
Yes! They are very user friendly and easy to put together. The composting toilet you purchase will include step by step instructions for how to put it together.
Q. What is the best bulking material?
Bulking material is important to use after each number 2 in the toilet. It can be bought but there are also home materials that work just as well. Bulking materials can include:
- Sugar cane mulch
- Hemp stalks
- Any organic material
- Wood shavings
Bear in mind you should avoid cedar, eucalypt and tea tree wood shavings as they can natural antibacterial properties.
One last thing – always keep the toilet lid down to reduce any insects and bugs from getting in.
Composting toilets are a very economical and environmentally friendly toilet that are easy to maintain and use. Growing in popularity along with the tiny homes movement these toilets are becoming increasingly popular. As far as models there aren’t a huge amount offered but in this review I have covered the most popular and reliable toilets.
When it comes to a composting toilet there are a few things you’ll need to consider including, space, power vs non powered and bulking material to name a few. Finding the most efficient toilet possible for your needs is imperative so be sure to read through the detailed reviews before deciding on the right one for you.
Best Composting Toilet
Composting toilets are the perfect solution or addition to a tiny home or RV or your vacation home in the mountains. With the proper system you can have a highly effective, odor free, energy free and water free toilet system.
- Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
- Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle
- Villa 9200 AC
- Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- Villa 9215 AC/DC
- Sun-Mar Corp CCES-01601W SPACESAVER
- Dry Toilet
- Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- Nature's Head Composting Toilet with Spider Handle by Nature's Head