Hundreds of years ago, passing waste was a matter of digging a hole somewhere and letting go. Through time, of course, humans have evolved and learned how to pass waste hygienically through the use of toilets.
Toilets are facilities that allow convenient and safe collection of human feces and urine. These have developed from the cesspits that were dug into the ground to the earliest forms of the water closet, and then to the modern flush toilets today.
Beyond merely getting rid of waste, though, modern toilets have developed further. These toilets now provide a more eco-friendly, unique way of handling human waste. Unlike the modern dual flush toilets, composting toilets do not require sewer, plumbing, or septic connections. They are at the edge of a small-scale revolution as they are becoming more and more popular.
This increasing popularity can be attributed to the various benefits of using a composting toilet. Using it allows you to save water as you do not need water to flush. It helps you save money as well as contribute to a green lifestyle.
We have compiled a list of the best composting toilets available in the market today. If you are looking for one, read these reviews and choose one that best fits your needs.
Best Composting Toilets: Top 5 Picks
|Image||Product Name||Dimensions||Weight||Latest Price|
|Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet||22 x 20.5 x 21.7 Inches||28 pounds||Check Price|
|Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet||19.8 x 20.8 x 20.5 Inches||27 pounds||Check Price|
|Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet||33 x 21 1/2 x 28 1/2 Inches||90 pounds||Check Price|
|Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Toilet||36 x 36 x 28 Inches||90 pounds||Check Price|
|Separett Villa DC/AC Composting Toilet||18 x 26.5 x 21.3 Inches||47 pounds||Check Price|
1. Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
Nature’s Head is an established manufacturer of composting toilets that have a lot of products in the market. It is a compact toilet that can be used in vacation cabins, barns, trucks, and even RVs. Its elongated comfort-sized seat makes it a very comfortable toilet to use.
Being a composting toilet, it does not need water to operate. Before using it, fill the toilet with 2 gallons of peat moss. The spider-shaped handle is used to mix the moss with the waste whenever the toilet is in use. Just give the handle a few turns. It has a urine collection bottle that needs to be emptied every other day. The toilet itself needs to be emptied after 80 uses, so you can use it for a while before having to empty it.
- It is a very comfortable toilet to use.
- Its compact size makes it usable even in tight spaces.
- The toilet can be used in harsh environments.
- It has a ventilation fan that removes unpleasant odor.
- It does not use water to operate.
- It will function properly in any temperature.
- It has a short vent hose, making it difficult to vent it to the roof of standard homes.
- The urine separator needs to be emptied every two days.
- The urine sometimes overflows, causing a mess.
This self-contained composting toilet is suitable for use in extremely cold weather. The steel fittings and the cast plastics give it a sturdy look, making it a very durable toilet. The spider-shaped handle sets it apart from most other toilets. The handle is designed in a way to make the toilet fit into small spaces.
2. Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet
Nature’s Head was founded by two sailors who needed a toilet that was suitable for use on their boat. They now have different toilets in the market and Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet is one of their best. It comes with a crank handle unlike the spider handle in the Self Contained model.
This composite toilet is a good fit for your cabin, home, RV, boat, and other survival applications. It is a waterless toilet with a urine-diverting system. The stainless steel hardware makes it durable and user-friendly. You have the option of using a ventilation fan that blows out foul odors through a 5-foot pipe. This pipe, however, is too short for use in a standard home. Liquid waste is separated into different containers reducing the danger of waste leaking out.
- Water is not needed for its operation.
- It is a comfortable toilet to use.
- It is durable and lightweight.
- This toilet is easily disassembled for cleaning.
- It has a ventilation fan that blows out any foul odor.
- It is more affordable than most other toilets.
- It does not have a slide-out door at the bottom.
- It has a short pipe, making it less suitable for use in standard homes.
- The toilet is made a little tall, so short people will find it a little difficult to use it.
Nature’s Head Dry toilet keeps the moisture levels adequate, making hygienic decomposition easy. The crank handle is quicker and easier to use than the spider-shaped handle. The trade-off, though, is that the handle takes more space than the spider-shaped one. It is lightweight, making it easy to transport. No wonder it does pretty well in composting toilet reviews.
3. Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet
Composting toilets are used in place of flush toilets because they are easier to transport and can be used in smaller spaces. A top quality toilet that makes a visit to the restroom comfortable is the toilet. Its simple design and small size make it a popular choice among users.
This toilet does not use water, so you do not have to worry about pollution. It is made compact using Sun-Mar’s Bio-drum. It has a unique shape, too. The diameter of the rear is bigger than the front. The toilet uses an agitator handle, unlike some other waterless toilets. This handle contributes to its elegant design. Take note, however, that this toilet uses household current, so it is not suitable for places with no access to electricity.
- It does not use water.
- It has a very small size, making it ideal for small spaces.
- This toilet gives off no odor.
- It has a simple and elegant design.
- This toilet is quite durable.
- It has an elegant design.
- Its capacity is too small for use by more than one adult.
- This toilet makes a humming sound that some people may find unpleasant.
- Some users have complained of the urine leaking to the floor.
- It uses electricity.
The Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Toilet has a handle that recesses back into its body, making it smaller. This is one of the features that make it one of the best composting toilets today. Also, the bio-drum has a varying diameter and the recessed handle makes the processing of compost easy.
4. Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet
Sun Mar is one of the leading brands in the waterless toilet market today. The Sun-Mar Composting Toilet is another of their very popular models. This toilet comes with two different bins — one for solid waste and the other for liquid waste. Looking at this toilet, it is obvious that it was made with compact spaces in mind. It does not give off odor even over time and it is quite durable. The installation of this toilet is as simple as hooking up the vents.
A mixture of microbe and peat is put into the compost bin before the toilet can be used. It is highly rated in most waterless toilet system reviews because of how comfortable it is to use.
This toilet is one of the tallest, though, making it quite difficult to transport and difficult to use by short people. It does have a stepping stool that can be used to improve the comfort.
- It does not use water.
- It has separate bins for liquid and solid waste.
- It does not use electricity, so it is useful in remote areas.
- Its compact design makes it suitable for use in small spaces.
- It does not produce an odor even when used for a long time.
- It is easy to install and maintain this toilet.
- It is one of the longest lasting toilets in the market.
- Some users complain about the drum handle breaking after a few months of use.
- The overflow drain sometimes clogs with debris.
- Some users have complained about the base cracking after a few months of use.
Sun-Mar excel composting toilet can work fully without electricity. It is a great choice for anyone planning on going off the grid. The toilet has NSF certification. This toilet was tested continuously for 6 months at its maximum capacity in order to gain this certification.
5. Separett Villa 9210 DC/AC Composting Toilet
Separett is a Swedish company that has been making toilets for over a decade. This is one of their leading products. It is a waterless toilet that is perfect for people living off the grid.
Its electric fan can be powered with both AC power and a 12 volt DC battery, making it suitable for use in remote locations. This is the main reason why it is highly rated in a lot of water-less toilet system reviews.
This toilet is very compact as it does not have a handle that takes up a few extra inches of space. Most electric composting toilets have the drawback of being difficult to empty. The Separett Villa 9210 is different, as it makes it very easy to empty the waste. It is one of the most versatile toilets and can be used in any location.
- It is suitable for use in remote locations where there is no electricity.
- This toilet has a small size that makes it fit into small spaces.
- The waste is mixed automatically, so it does not require a manual handle.
- It has a sleek design.
- This toilet is lightweight, making it easy to transport.
- It gives off no offensive odor.
- Some users have complained that it is difficult to get a unit of this toilet.
- It is not as cheap toilet.
The Separett Villa 9210 has a seat that is sensitive to pressure. If you sit on it, the solid waste bin that is usually closed will open. It also mixes the waste automatically, making the decomposition process fast and easy. There is a compostable bag that holds solid waste. This compostable bag can be removed after a few weeks and it makes disposing of the waste much easier than in most other waterless toilets.
Frequently Asked Questions on Composting Toilets
1. What is a composting toilet and how does it work?
A composting toilet is a toilet that does not use water for its operation. Instead of water, sawdust or peat moss is mixed with the waste and the mixture becomes harmless fertilizer. This property of toilets makes it the number one choice in areas where there is limited or no water supply. They are environmentally friendly and they become even more useful if you are leaning towards a greener environment.
These toilets have a pretty basic theory of operation. The waste in the toilet is decomposed just like the waste in a garden composter. In order for your toilet to function efficiently, there are three important things that are needed. The first is a vent system. Since human waste contains about 90% water, this water needs to evaporate without causing any odor in the house.
Also, the decomposition must take place in a suitable environment. If your environment supports decomposition, the process goes faster.
Finally, you must be able to handle the finished compost easily and safely. Self-contained waterless toilets in the market today are built in a way that all these three conditions are met easily.
Most people do not plan for their toiletries when going camping. This makes a toilet important because passing out waste is inevitable and using a composting toilet will make it comfortable and easy.
2. What are the different types of composting toilets based on the technology used?
There are different types of composting toilet systems and you can be sure of getting one that fits your needs. All these different systems have some basic features in common. They have a ventilation fan, a composting container, and an access door used for emptying the toilet. True composters and dry toilets are two types of composting toilet systems.
True composters are built in such a way that the best decomposition and ventilation can be achieved. They are also referred to as active systems. They usually have features like fans, heaters, and mixers.
Dry toilet systems need to be maintained more often. In order for decomposition to take place in these systems, additional heating elements or some other features are required. They are also referred to as passive systems and composting usually takes a longer time. Apart from these two, you can also find the continuous composters and the batch composters.
Continuous composters generally contain one chamber. They are also called single composters. All the composting materials and excrement usually go to the top of the toilet. They are then removed continuously from the bottom.
Batch composters are also known as double composters. They generally have at least two containers. The composters in this system are usually left for a while before other materials and excrement are added.
There are also self-contained toilets and non-self-contained ones. Self-contained toilets have their composting unit as a part of the toilet. The composting unit of toilets that are not self-contained is usually separate from the toilet.
3. What are the benefits of using composting toilets?
They are becoming more and more popular today. Their flexibility and versatility are the top reasons why people use them. They are also easy to use and transport. They come in handy when you are going camping or just going somewhere remote. There are numerous benefits to owning a toilet, including the following:
- They do not use water. The biggest difference between composting toilets and other toilets is the fact that these toilets do not use water. This is one of their major selling points. Owning one means you can save up on water and save some cash.
- Composting toilets are used in places with little or no water supply. It is undeniable that there are still places with no adequate supply of water. It doesn’t make sense for people in these places to have to use the little water they have to flush their waste. A composting toilet solves this problem as you do not have to use water that could be used for other things to flush the toilet.
- They provide fertilizers. These toilets are good sources of manure for your garden. As a farmer, owning a waterless toilet offers you huge benefits. You can use the waste you get from the toilet as a fertilizer, adding nutrients that will boost the growth of your plants.
- They are inexpensive. Composting toilets are quite cheap, especially when compared to modern water closets. They offer great restroom service to people that cannot afford the more expensive toilets.
- Composting toilets are eco-friendly. For people who care about the environment, owning a composting toilet is a must. With the shortage of freshwater worldwide today, its conservation has never been more important. A composting toilet is a good way of conserving water as it does not use water to flush waste.
- They are easy to transport. Toiletries usually form a huge part of our plans when going on a trip or going camping. They offer a comfortable way for you to expel waste without worrying about sanitation. Their small size means they will fit into your boat, RV, and other small spaces. With a composting toilet, you no longer have to worry about going to the bush when nature calls.
4. Where are composting toilets used?
Composting toilets are generally used in places with limited water supply. The fact that these toilets do not need water is what makes them popular among users. If you are living in such a place, you do not have to worry about getting water to flush the toilet. All you need is to install a unit of toilet and you are good to go.
These toilets are also used in remote areas. Sometimes when you go camping with your family, one thing that becomes an issue is how you will pass waste. Camping out in the woods can be dangerous if you wander away from the group. Taking a composting toilet camping would solve this problem.
Basically, composting toilets can be used anywhere there is a need for a toilet. They can be used in the house, on a boat, and even in your RV. The fact that they are compact makes them easy to use in small spaces. This is one advantage they have over other toilets and it contributes to their increasing demand.
What to Look out for When Buying a Composting Toilet
Buying a composting toilet goes beyond selecting the first one you come across. There are things you have to consider while making a decision on which toilet to get.
Before you buy a composting toilet, make sure you do enough research to know about the policies governing its use in your state. They are still relatively new, so some states may not recognize its use as legal. If there is a law against the purchase of toilets, buying this product could land you in trouble.
However, if you are a landowner in a rural environment and you plan to use a toilet on your property, you do not have to worry about anything.
Even though your waterless toilet is small and does not need as much space as other toilets, it still needs a reasonable amount of space. People who live in tiny homes appreciate the importance of space, so they use composting toilets.
Before you buy one, you should find the amount of space the toilet will need for comfortable use. Compare this value to space you have available in your home, RV, or anywhere else you are going to put it. This way, you can be sure that you are getting a toilet that will fit right into the space you have.
Do not make the mistake of buying it first before measuring the space as some people do. Even though you may be able to return it if it does not fit, you should not put yourself in that situation.
The capacity of the toilet you choose is very important. It determines how many people it can serve and how often you should dispose of it. The capacity required for two people is different from that needed for six people. Pay special attention to this detail when choosing.
Apart from the number of people that will be using the toilet, you should also consider how long you will be using it. Figure all these things out and you are one step closer to getting the perfect toilet for you.
Unlike other toilets, most composting toilets need a source of electrical power to run. Before purchasing one, make sure there is electricity where you plan to use this toilet. The Separett Villa 9210 toilet can use DC power, so if you do not have access to AC power you can get it.
Note that lack of electrical power should not be a deal breaker because most models of composting toilets have versions that can be used without electricity.
Installation and Maintenance of the Composting Toilet
After getting a composting toilet, it is important you know how to install and maintain it. This will have an impact on how long you will be able to use the toilet before you need to replace it.
Before installation can be done, you need to ensure that there is enough space for the waste bins to be removed. There has to be enough space for the handle to be turned comfortably, too. Most models come with brackets that are used to attach them to the floor. It is important that the ventilation hose is run outside to carry any odor.
A ventilation fan may be needed depending on how the ventilation shaft is. If it is very long and it has bends, you will have to install a fan. These fans usually work on 12-volt power and they help improve the ventilation.
The installation kit comes with the unit, though the outside vent is not usually included. The installation kit usually contains:
- A spray bottle
- A 5-foot long hose for the vent
- Allen wrench for installing the handle
- Two mounting brackets
- Four mounting bolts
- Fuse and fuse holder
- An 18-inch long single pin cable for installing the fan
Fill the composting toilet with two gallons of coconut fiber or peat moss before using it. The moss should be damp but not too wet. Proper installation spells the beginning of a long-lasting composting toilet. Make sure then that you follow the instructions carefully.
Maintenance is a very important part of a system. The amount of effort put into the maintenance of a product such as the composting toilet determines how efficient it is going to be and how long you will use it for. It is very important that proper maintenance is carried out on your toilet regularly.
There are some things you need to remember regarding the maintenance of the toilet. The first thing to note is that you should always turn the handle whenever solids are added to the bin. Doing this increases the rate of composting by mixing the moss mixture and the waste.
Pay attention to the solid and liquid bins, too, when undergoing maintenance. Make sure these bins are emptied at the right time. The liquid bin should be emptied every other day because its capacity is usually limited to two gallons. The solid bin lasts much longer, so you can take your time with it. All these, however, depends on how you use the toilet and how many people it serves.
Every time you empty the solid bin, fill the bin with peat moss mixture. Most toilets share the same maintenance procedures, so any experience you have with one toilet will be applicable to another.
Always follow the instructions guiding the maintenance of your toilet. To avoid spending money on new composting toilets every few months, proper care needs to be taken when handling them.
Toilets are one of the most important facilities in the world today. It is really impossible to do without them because of the need to pass out waste hygienically. Since they are facilities that are used daily, it is important that they are made easy to use and comfortable. A facility that offers relief like the toilet should not be built to stress people out.
These toilets are a new trend in the toilet market. Their small sizes and simplicity have made them popular choices among users. There are places where a standard water closet cannot be used. If you are on a small boat, in an RV, or anywhere a water closet cannot be used, a toilet will do a job fitting in.
If you have been putting off that camping trip because you do not have a way to solve the problem of passing waste, you should try getting a composting toilet. There are different toilets with different features. Take a look at our composting toilet reviews, compare the features, and pick one that best fits your needs.