Best Composting Toilets On The Market

Gary Johnson
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If you live in a small space, are eco-friendly, or just want more independence from an outhouse or septic system, you’ll love a composting toilet.

Think of it like a do it yourself home-built facility. With a composting toilet in your home, you can stop flushing and start composting!

Composting toilets are great and getting better. They are now more comfortable, cleaner, more efficient and more versatile than ever.

Some even come with fans for odor-free operation.

You must be thinking how do they work? Well, a composting toilet is a dry toilet system which consists of a large compost bin, a urine separating device, and a drain field.

A composting toilet produces a high aerobic (which means bacteria can break down the organic matter rather than leaving it to become methane gas which is polluting the environment).

Generally, you separate your toilet waste in an external compost bin from your organic garden waste which gets turned in next to it on the ground.

The process is called “composting” because organic matter remains intact as it breaks down decomposing into smaller and smaller pieces and is consumed by the microorganisms.

NameCategoryProduct
Nature's Head Dry Composting ToiletBest OverallNature's Head Dry Composting Toilet
Nature's Head Self Contained Composting ToiletBudget PickNature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
Villa 9215 AC/DCUpgrade PickVilla 9215 AC/DC

1. Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet

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Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Biodegradable waste material dehydrates quickly
  • Air lovers! No odors!
  • Fast enough to consider composting toilet suitable for urban camping.
  • Crank handle to spin flies and odor away
  • Spacious enough for hut-to-hut adventures.

Cons:

  • Large, multi-person usage
  • Need to be disposed of
  • Nature's Head weighs over 100 pounds
  • Use special bags with composter to make it affordable

The Nature's Head composting toilet is claimed to separate the liquids and solids after use. So basically, users only have to "empty" it at the end of their trip, instead of daily. The company also claims the composting toilet can be used for a year (self-cleaned) before the waste needs to be dumped, given the user is aware of how this toilet works.

The Nature's Head is heavy too – the toilet weighs over 100 pounds. Because of this when you include the weight of the contents you are going to physically be carrying, your load might be over 110 pounds. Most people will not be able to carry this waste on their own and will need to split the load with others. This size becomes a problem when used in huts/cabins with a few other people.

2. Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

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Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Great for tiny houses or when you’re living off-grid
  • Made in the USA
  • Handles waste efficiently. Recommended by many health experts

NHPTC-34-SL-AG.

The Nature’s Head composting toilet is perfect for people who want to eliminate toxic chemicals from their lives, but still want to experience the comfort of their own bathroom. This squatty toilet is designed to serve one person, and it’s meant to go into tiny houses or basements. However, some people choose to use it in a stand-alone application.

One feature we absolutely love is the close quarters design, which is great for providing a comfortable experience for people who want to live off the grid or in a tiny house. However, one reviewer noted that the flush handle is placed close to the opening. This can cause a little bit of discomfort. It’s not unbearable, by any means, but it could be better.

3. Villa 9215 AC/DC

Our rating: 8 / 10

Villa 9215 AC/DC

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Pros:

  • Fits flush with regular toilet seats
  • Includes ventilation flaps and a carbon filter to remove odor
  • Perfect for temporary housing and travel
  • Works seamlessly with larger composting systems
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Can’t handle large quantities of waste in a single day
  • Will need to be emptied after heavy use
  • Fresh water flushing only

This sewage system is the most advanced composting toilet on the market. It’s suitable for use in smaller homes or as a backup toilet. It’s also a great option for permanent homes that need a composting toilet but don’t want to install one of the traditional forms of composting toilets.

What’s really cool about the 9215 is that it comes with a removable tray that you can use to dispose of your waste. This ensures that your finished waste will be able to dry out and decay for a few days until you’re able to empty it into your larger composting system.

4. Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet

Our rating: 2 / 10

Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet

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Pros:

  • Ideal for use off-the-grid
  • Don’t require a water hookup
  • Solid design and performance
  • Doesn’t take up much space….can be installed in small storage areas as well
  • Also available in a model for advanced composting
  • Option to choose between electric and nonelectric models
  • Sturdy construction
  • Nearly silent when it’s in use
  • Easy to clean (and only takes 2 minutes to operate)
  • Comes with a year warranty

Cons:

  • Slightly less convenient to use (compared to traditional toilets)
  • Does not work with a septic system….you’ll need to have a drain for this toilet
  • Can’t be used with a water hookup
  • Can be noisy
  • Does not include a toilet seat

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are composting toilets any good?

In our work at the Green Living Idea Center, we have reviewed several composting toilets, so our recommendation is based on several years of hands-on use. Composting toilets rely on dry (rather than liquid) decomposition to produce a usable end product.

Why do we recommend composting toilets? Because it is environmentally responsible to convert human waste into useful soil. By using a composting toilet, you are recycling the organic matter that your body produces, rather than releasing it into the environment to effect runoff and water pollution, or to rot as landfill.

While composting toilets are generally more expensive than other types, their maintenance is minimal and in most situations they cost less than traditional sewage treatment. Usable compost end product is easy to make. And you can use your own compost pile!

What are some of our top picks for composting toilets?

The Sun-Mar Excel Multiflush — this is our absolute favorite composting toilet.

How do I choose a composting toilet?

Composting toilets are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly answer to your toilet needs. The use of a composting toilet has several distinct advantages over conventional pit latrine-style toilets, some of which may win you over even if you believe you'll never want to use a composting toilet.

To choose a toilet, keep these points in mind:

The toilet capacity or bowl. The bowl size is one of the most important features to consider, as the volume determines how many people you can comfortably house in your shelter. The longer the bowl, the more comfortable it will be for those seated. It's very important to consider this factor if your goal is to have the toilet provide service for families with small children.

Can you pee in a composting toilet?

The term composting toilet is a broad description. There are three main types of composting toilets that are on the market. All are considered composting, but all work in different ways. The main difference is how the waste is broken down. The first type of composting toilet utilizes internal composting where the waste is broken down into compost in the tank of the unit. The second type uses an external composting container where the waste breaks down in a separate container and is periodically emptied out. The third type uses a composting mixture where the waste breaks down with the assistance of bacteria in a composting mixture. The third type utilizes biodegradable kitty litter, peat moss, or pellets.

Do you need electricity for a composting toilet?

If you have to use an electric-powered composting toilet such as the Luggable Loo, Biolet, or Nature's Head, then you will want to buy an inverter (or power inverter). An inverter will allow you to convert your car's battery power into the AC power needed to operate it. They're relatively inexpensive and you should probably have one even if you don't have a composting toilet.

With the exception of the Self Contained Composting Toilet (SCAT) (which is purely manual and uses only water), all of the composting toilets that we tested require electricity. That means that you will need AC electricity to run them and, in a grid down situation, you might not have the electricity you need.

However, it's important to remember that composting toilets still have the potential to work without electricity under the right conditions. You just need a water supply and a handy place for the compost.

Conclusion

Whether you’ve got a smaller mobile home/trailer or a camper van, it’s always a good idea to put a little thought into what you want from your toilet experience. Like every other aspect of your life, you can either plan ahead or bring a little chaos into what can be a relaxing moment. But what are composting toilets? Are they worth investing in? Do they have downsides? Or are they simply the ultimate germs-free solution for the discerning human camping out in the woods? Let’s digest a little of the wisdom that the world of composting toilets has to offer.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Nature's Head Dry Composting ToiletBest OverallNature's Head Dry Composting Toilet
Nature's Head Self Contained Composting ToiletBudget PickNature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
Villa 9215 AC/DCUpgrade PickVilla 9215 AC/DC