The Best 5 Composting Toilets Reviewed
If you are about to move into an RV or tiny home short term or long term, you might be looking for a composting toilet. Now, don’t let the topic scare you. Advancements in design and technology now produce worthwhile composting toilets without as many issues of smell or dealing with waste products.
First, let’s start with how composting toilets work. Composting uses decomposition and evaporation to reuse human by-products. Many of these toilets now separate the two main types of waste to reduce the amount of work and reduce orders.
Solid waste matter converts to fertilizing soil, which helps to enrich the earth. Meanwhile, urine collects in a separate container to minimize smell and make emptying easier into a septic system.
The composting system reduces pathogens, viruses, enriches plant life, and reduces the need for commercial chemicals. Not to mention, no water to deal with draining into a septic tank. Most of these toilets come with fans to reduce the smell by forcing it out into the open and away from your nose.
We review each model in our roundup in detail below, but for those in a hurry here is a quick look at the toilets we looked at:
Best Composting Toilets
Let’s take a look at the four best options for composting toilets; then, we will answer all of your questions. Here are our picks for best composting toilets:
The Villa Composting Toilet by Separett is quite different from the Nature’s Head toilets above, but both are waterless options for off or on-grid living. First, the Villa doesn’t need any fertilizer, which may make this a better option for people who are dumping in an incinerator. You do still need to buy something, but now it’s bags. Inside this solid white toilet you will find a removable waste bucket. When it’s time to change it, you take out the old compostable bag and add in a new bag then dispose of the old bag. Done!
Second, like the Nature’s Head, this one has a separate section for urine and another for solid waste. You know where the solid waste goes, and the urine goes in a separate bottle that is easy to remove and empty. Third, the toilet comes with a single fan which can use either AC or DC depending on your needs for on or off-grid living. Everything you need comes in the container, including ten compost bags, the waste container, and lid, though you will need to purchase extra standard American piping separately.
The product weighs 34 pounds and measures 18.5 x 23 x 27.75 inches with both a lid and pull up seat. Inside the lid, you will find to sections, one compartment for excreting solid waste and the other for urine. It also comes with a separator to help women pee better in the correct compartment, which you don’t need to use if your household is all men. The air vent pulls smell out of the toilet and your tiny home or RV and out into the clean air where it can disperse.
Lastly, after around three weeks, you will need to change the waste compartment. You will want to pour a half a cup of water down the urine drain after each use. If small children are using the seat, you can purchase a child seat separately. It comes with a five-year guarantee against defects and three years for the fan. Customers loved how little this Scandinavian toilet smells.
- Composting,Waterless,Urine diverting, off-grid, toilet
The Natures Head Self Contained Composting Toilet comes with tons of well thought out features meant to make your life easier when living off the grid. It’s made in the USA with superior parts, including stainless hardware and a full-sized elongated seat for added comfort. It’s about as similar to a regular toilet as you can get.
Don’t worry about taking the toilet apart; it’s not as difficult as you think! In just a few seconds you can disassemble to empty the solid chamber. The urine chamber is even easier as it’s at the front with its own easy to remove bottle because it needs to be emptied more often. Furthermore, the set comes with a vent hose and a fan to send the smell wafting outside instead of inside your living space.
The price may seem a little scary at first, but after the almost four-digit price, you only need to purchase fertilizing soil or Coco Coir every few months. No water bills, no negative impact on the earth, just a clean way to deal with mess. This compacting toilet works perfectly for RVs, campers, barns, yurts, trucks, or boats. All without foul odors with long-standing hold tanks thanks to a low volume air circulation fan built into the toilet to recycle air.
Next, the inside of the toilet has a shifting bar to mix the fertilizer with the waste and compact it down. You don’t need a bag inside the toilet, as this will disrupt the mixing process. It also uses a crank turn to help the process out. One thing you need to be careful about is urinating into the correct section and going number two in the correct section as this toilet works best by separating the waste.
Size matters in small spaces, and this toilet measures only 20.75 inches in width and 21.5 inches in height with a weight of 28 pounds. It comes in a granite color to blend in with any decor. You will need to use a little power as it requires 12 volts and 0.72 watts to operate the fan. Install the seat into the floor, don’t worry, it’s easy to move when you need to empty it out. Finally, the toilet comes with a five-year limited warranty.
- 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
The Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet is almost exactly the same as the toilet above but with a couple of minor differences. One of the differences is this model comes with a spider crank handle. The handle has a spider crank turn-style handle instead of a standard, which means it may be a little less difficult to mix up the waste with the fertilizer. Mind you, the difference is minimal, and both models come with high ratings, and this one with slightly lower ratings.
Otherwise, this seat offers the same elongated seat and only a slight difference in body shape and size. This toilet measures 19 inches in width and 21.5 inches in height, which makes this a better option for those with tighter space in their bathroom. Everything else on the model above is the same for this model, too, including the price. To decide which would work best for you, measure the space as that will probably be the defining factor in your decision.
- Proudly made in the USA
- All stainless hardware
- Full size elongated seat for comfort
- Disassembles in seconds for emptying
- Vent hose and fan included
If you want a smaller price tag on a composting toilet, then check out the Sun-Mar GTG Composting Toilet. It comes with a sleek design, and it’s easy to use. The sleek design and small footprint make this toilet not just an affordable but a compact and stylish option for off or on-grid living. It’s the simplest of the options available with very few pieces and straightforward setup.
Once you open the lid, remove the elongated seat to reach the inside of the toilet container. The toilet seat comes with a urine separator to keep the two containers filled with their respective waste receptacles. Those containers are found under the seat and pull out easily if you pull out the urine collector first. For the waste bin, it’s suggested that you use a bag though you can add in fertilizer or Coco Fiber to help the decomposing stage, but it’s not necessary.
This is a low maintenance option with minimal extras while still getting the job done. It’s also portable for when you are on the go. The toilet also includes a fan and spot for hose to vent to the outside. It’s a 12V DC fan with a cord for 110 or 240V.
In conclusion, the seat measures 19.8 x 15.75 x 24 inches and weighs just 25 pounds. The toilet includes optional floor mounting brackets as well. The heavy-duty polyethylene toilet can support a person up to 300 pounds, liquid of ups to 1.85 gallons, and solid waste of ups to 6 gallons. It comes with a one year warranty.
- COMPACT AND PORTABLE - The efficient GTG is the ideal portable toilet for camping or RV toilet use!
- INSTALLS IN MINUTES - This portable potty for adults (children too) is almost TOO easy to install!
- SOLID/LIQUID SEPARATION - This smart toilet separate liquid and solid waste to separate chambers!
- TINY - The most compact porta potty camp toilet (that doesn't sacrifice practicality) we could find!
- EASY DISPOSAL - The GTG functions similarly to a cassette toilet, making waste management a breeze!
Questions About Composting Toilets
Will I have to deal with smell?
No. Composting toilets come with fans and pipes to take the smell out of your living space, so you don’t have to deal with a stench. You do want to make sure to close the lid of the toilet after every use to help reduce the scent. Using a urine-diverting toilet like the four above also helps to reduce the smell.
Can I do everything I do in a regular toilet in a composting toilet?
Almost everything. You already know you can pee and poop in composting toilets but may wonder about vomiting, diarrhea, and menstruating. Vomiting in a composting toilet is not a good idea as vomit carries harmful acids and bacteria, which will mess with the composting and create a dramatic smell. Definitely find another spot for vomiting. As for diarrhea and menstruating, compost toilets can handle these, and you do not need to do anything special but get it out of your system!
Another point to consider is the dynamic of the toilet. Men should sit down to pee in order to assure the urine will go into the correct compartment as it’s at the front of the toilet. Also, as the lid needs to be shut after each use, you need to make sure to lift it before using, which can be difficult to remember in the middle of the night or in a mad rush to the toilet for an emergency.
How often do I need to change a composting toilet?
The necessity to change depends on usage. If more people use the toilet, it will need to be changed more often. On average, the urine container will need emptying every 2-3 days for two people and the waste bin every three weeks for two people. More people equal more emptying, so plan accordingly with enough composting bags.
On a side note, when emptying the waste receptacle, make sure to carry the bag to the disposal site in the bin as bags aren’t always strong, and that’s not a mess you will want to clean up! As the urine goes into a thick plastic container, you do not need to worry about this step with urine, but do be careful when emptying as you do not want any to splash out on your or your clothing.
Make sure to dispose of both wast containers in a legal and safe manner. Check your local area for proper waste methods. When out in the woods, make sure to follow park guidelines.
Can toilet paper go into the composting toilet?
The Nature’s Head composting toilets suggest not using toilet paper in the waste bins as it can clog up the mixing handles. The others, since they do not mix, can use toilet paper right into the waste bin. However, putting the toilet paper in will make it take longer to compost and will also fill up the waste bin faster. Some customers prefer to use a dedicated mini trashcan with a lid for toilet paper for easier disposal.
Here’s a good YouTube video discussing what it is really like to live with a composting toilet:
Wrapping Up About Composting Toilets
The overall best composting toilet is the Villa 9215, as it offers the best features and design. Customers rave about the use, the design, cleaning, and maintaining this toilet. Though the price can be a little high comes with a decent warranty and is a newer model in a series of composting toilets. The Scandinavian company has perfected their product, and it’s now on the market ready to make your off-grid living easier, less smellier, and much more comfortable without tons of maintenance.
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