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Best Composting Toilet – Tested & Reviewed (Sep 2021)

As a species thriving on the land, human excreta used to be treated naturally during the early stages of civilization. Not until we invented flushing toilets, human waste used to be treated naturally. But the flushing method has taken a heavy toll on the natural fresh-water reservoir including the groundwater by using up tons of it. However, today, we’ll be discussing a revolutionary invention called ‘Composting Toilet’ that saves a lot of water by treating human excreta in a unique way — composting it into manure.  Both commercial and homemade / DIY composting toilet models are intended to utilize the common deteriorating and decomposition process of balancing nitrogen and carbon ratio without the help of water.

As we can see, this sanitation system has an extraordinary advantage over the regular method by processing excreta in a natural way. It is completed by the microorganisms (fundamentally microscopic organisms and parasites) under controlled conditions. That’s why we also call them “dry toilets” and “eco toilets”.

Nonetheless, if you want to spend your money in this system, make sure you have a full understanding of their mechanism. You have to pay close attention to every detail before buying any model because you wouldn’t want anything but the best composting toilet for your home or your RV since they can cut a big hole in your pocket.

Top Rated Composting Toilets: Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
Our Top ChoiceNature’s Head NH1 Dry CompostingNature’s Head NH1 Dry CompostingCheck Price
Budget-FriendlyNature’s Head NH-SPH Self ContainedNature’s Head NH-SPH Self ContainedCheck Price
Top Compact ModelVilla 9215 AC/DC by SeparettVilla 9215 AC/DC by SeparettCheck Price
Top Non-Electric OptionSun-Mar Excel-NeSun-Mar Excel-NeCheck Price
5thNature’s Head Composting Toilet Spider HandleNature’s Head Composting Toilet Spider HandleCheck Price

Why You Should Trust Us

The ToiletsGuide team consists of a group of experienced plumbers and interior designers who specialize in this field due to their dynamic professionalism. Professional duties gave us access to numerous cutting-edge bathroom fixtures and plumbing tools that was difficult for the general public to access. That is why we are committed to our fellow plumbing community members as much as to the ordinary mass who need to have basic knowledge on different types of bathroom fixtures since they are the real buyers.

We founded this website with a mission to share detailed and reliable information about products in what have our confidence. We do our recommendations based on empirical researches. We rely on our first-hand experience with a particular hand-picked product before placing it on top of our list. Our comprehensive reviews have the data analysis chart open for everyone. It takes time to complete each review as we go through a series of field-testing.

However, it is important to mention that we do not have any connection with any brand or company for the purpose of promotional jargon or whatsoever. We believe that our how-to blogs, reviews, and buying guide speak volumes for themselves and we expect our readers to take time to go through the whole piece before making a buying decision.

How Did We Pick These Products?

As mentioned earlier, we adapted a research protocol that required empirical evidence before drawing a conclusion about a certain product. First, we ran a 30-hour extensive online research when we sifted through hundreds of magazines and expert reviews, user feedback, comparisons, and manuals provided by the manufacturers, to single out 20 most advanced, logically priced, most reliable compost toilet models available on the market.

Then we arranged a series of field-tests on each of the selected units from different brands. For this task, our team needed cooperation from a community-based volunteer group that graciously responded to our calls. Over the intensive testing period that lasted about a week, we collected enough data for categorizing our final candidates.

We ranked the top 5 choices based on their efficiency, ergonomics, capacity, installation, portability, discharging simplicity, build quality, aesthetics, and reliability. Remember, these products are expensive, so we were not able to run experiments on all the available products. Instead, we collected online-based user data of the products we couldn’t test ourselves.

The quest didn’t end there though. We arranged short interviews with the top industry experts and leading plumbing engineers for getting their insights into our listed models. Their suggestions helped us rank our top 5 list categorically.

We worked hard to put together the final list. Hopefully, you will be able to find your dry toilet here.

Top 5 Best Composting Toilets Review

So, what is the best composting toilet? There’s no general answer to this. Keep your eyes glued to the following section as we’ve answered all your questions, including the pros and cons, features and many other eye-catching details there.

01 Nature’s Head NH1 Dry Composting (Our Top Choice)

Nature's Head NH1 Dry Composting

The model introduces the most inventive eco-friendly solution for human sanitation without trading off the brand’s incredible esteem. Credit to goes to the manufacturer for making the entire toilet unit amazingly ergonomic and compatible with household bathrooms.

What’s more, the Nature’s Head model is independent, pee storing and maintains a waterless function. You can easily drain the greywater with this composting toilet. This one of a kind unit enables users to save a lot of water. As mentioned earlier– the unit is absolutely odorless, lightweight and space-saving.

No sanitation system could be more perfect for your motorhomes, little lodges, pontoons, workshops, pool houses, cabins, and airstreams than this fantastic lightweight compost toilet by Nature’s Head. One of the most complained issues about these toilets is that they have smaller seats. While this is not a major issue, it can give you an awkward washroom experience.

It includes a full-sized seat that ensures a straight-up sitting position. The toilet flaunts a strong build housing all treated steel equipment. Its ease of use makes it ideal for physically challenged individuals. It is likewise very simple to set-up and scarcely uses any power to make an ideal domestic composting condition.

Another favor offered by the manufacturer pointed out by customers is that the client support is extraordinary, and supporting staffs are easily accessible and responsive. It additionally offers a five-year guarantee, which will cover everything should any part break down. This is an expensive choice since this is a bit on the costly side. It packs all that you require for a fast and simple installation, making it an extraordinary purchase.

Specifications

  • 5-year warranty
  • Stainless hardware
  • 12-volt voltage
  • 28 lbs weight
  • 0.72 watts wattage
  • A separate solid and liquid containers
  • 19.8 x 20.8 x 20.5 inches dimension
  • Waterless toilet

Pros

  • Self-contained
  • All accessories included
  • Fast composting
  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Our Verdict

Need to know what I adore about this model? It accompanies a hand wrench fomenter located at the base of the item for quick composting. Furthermore, it includes all kits required for easy installation. However, despite being a bit expensive, it defines what an ideal ecological composting toilet should be like and is considered as the best eco-friendly toilet for the money. We are confident that you’d never regret buying this one for your home.

02 Nature’s Head NH-SPH Self Contained (Budget-Friendly)

Nature's Head NH-SPH Self Contained

This item is not only affordable but also a competent composting system. It is a solid build that saves a ton of room. It was initially intended for marine use and packs all the design ideas required for fitting in a small space. Since it does not require a water supply or sewage connecting to it, the installation is actually simple. Just associate the hose to the outside vent for ventilation, and connect a power supply (a solar panel or a battery) to control the fan. The unit ships with everything included that you will require (apart from the outside vent).

The reason that it was intended for the tight spaces and unpleasant living condition in a boat makes it all the more ideal for RVs as well. This is likely the most solid model available.  Also, the model offers people to enjoy the convenience of a hygienic sanitation system in areas where power and pipes are non-existent.

This Self Contained Composting Toilet by Nature’s Head can also be used in tents by campers, workshops, yurts, stables, in excursion cabins and even on trucks. Far better, this humanure composting toilet wipes out the dreadful scents, unlike most other brand’s human waste holding tank systems. The little air circulation fan set on the head does an excellent job of getting rid of the foul air present in the restroom. The air filtration system keeps the washroom smell normal.

Specifications

  • Stainless steel hardware
  • 12-volts voltage
  • 0.72 watts wattage
  • 28 pounds weight
  • 22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches
  • Floor mounted installation method
  • Elongated shape

Pros

  • Easily disassembled
  • All stainless steel hardware
  • Vent and fan hose included
  • 5-year warranty
  • High capacity

Cons

  • A little difficulty with the side latches

Our Verdict

While there are other composting toilets available, this budget-friendly model from Nature’s Head could be ideal for individuals who are into outdoor activities and those without any access to running water.

While it requires customary cleaning and expelling of the waste, it has a structure that looks like the one you used before. It is ergonomically designed aiming to provide a great sitting comfort.

Made in the United States, it has separate holders for your fluid and solid waste. Two individuals can easily use this model for as long as three weeks before either holder needs dumping. So, if you are looking for an inexpensive option. Go for this one without a second thought.

03 Villa 9215 AC/DC by Separett (Top Compact Model)

Villa 9215 AC/DC by Separett

Separett is a well known European producer of pipes apparatuses. This mini composting toilet is one of the best rated models by Separett. The snazzy Swedish commode packs various intriguing features to help you maintain the sanitation norms as guided by WHO without expending a great deal of water.

Smaller than the expected size of the model makes it a great choice for tiny houses. There is a urine separating system used to channel the liquid waste through the pipe directly to the channel’s pit. The Separett Villa 9215 does not let anything break into the holding chamber. It removes the isolated fluids and solids and decreases the dampness of the system using the ventilation system. Discharging is quick, automatic, and simple. After a period of usage, roughly 3 weeks (depending on the number of users), the solid waste is discharged in a compostable bag for easy transfer. It comes with a urine diverting mechanism and is suitable for off the grid living. The pee holder is isolated from the internal composting toilet and emptied in a water tank or draining pipe.

The Villa 9215 is a top rated model that will work on either AC or DC power supply. It includes a separate speed fan with connectors for both AC and DC power supplies. It can provide ventilation for a 20 ft area and has limit of three 90 degree twists. An AC only fan alternative is available for longer vent lengths. Furthermore, you can add a bidet to this toilet to enhance the comfort level.

Specifications

  • 34 lbs weight
  • Polypropylene inner bucket
  • 20ft AC adaptor
  • High gloss polypropylene seat
  • 0.06Kwh/24hrs power consumption
  • 18.5 x 23 x 27.5 inches dimension
  • Child seat accessory
  • 10 compostable bags

Pros

  • AC adaptor & battery adaptor
  • Ideal for a tiny home
  • Long warranty
  • Ventilation fan
  • All necessary accessories are packed including a child seat

Cons

  • It is expensive

Our Verdict

The Villa compost toilet was intended to look and feel like a conventional toilet. It is compatible with AC/DC and even a solar panel setups for the individuals who need to run it in a 12v connection. (240-volt model is on the market, see Villa 9000) You should introduce a vent pipe for the expulsion of smells outside the facility. This is usable in regions with or without power. It is not required to purchase separate toilets for on-grid and off-grid use. The model is ideal for kids too since it provides a child seat with the package.

04 Sun-Mar Excel-Ne

Sun-Mar Excel-Ne

This item is another mind-blowing toilet from Sun Mar meant for people with unstable power supply. Also, the toilet’s odorless function is entirely based on a four inches vent which is mounted at the back of the unit. We found that this vent needed to be installed vertically and around two to three feet below the rooftop for better air dissemination. Additionally, it comes with a self-tilting 12V fan for smooth ventilation.

Another good news is it can handle both high and low volume usage. So, this toilet works well for two to three individuals in a private setting and five to seven individuals during excursions in the weekends. Of course, it does have a separable stool.

What is astonishing about this is the way it handles much of the composting without using power. This is generally because of the bigger size of the waste drum. This absence of an electrical hookup makes it one of the simplest toilets to install. Like most other toilets on this list, this one is covered with a five-year guarantee. But the guarantee just covers the toilet body. In fact, you will get a three-year guarantee for the parts.

Specifications

  • 90 lbs weight
  • 36 x 36 x 28 inches dimension
  • Self-contained
  • 5-year warranty
  • Non electric
  • Include bio-drum
  • ANSI/NSF Standard

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Large capacity
  • 3-year warranty on parts
  • Certified and listed by NSF
  • Venting kits are included

Cons

  • It is heavy
  • It is expensive

Our Verdict

This item is the easiest to use among other units we’ve discussed so far. In addition, it’s a superb unit for basic use, and offers innovative features for ensuring comfort. Moreover, it is an NSF approved composting bio toilet. Plus, its colossal capacity makes it ideal for using indoors. You can get one of these for bungalows, small apartment, and remotely located tourist zones.

05 Nature’s Head Composting Toilet Spider Handle

Nature's Head Composting Toilet Spider Handle

This item is ideal for those who look for easy installation, hassle-free maintenance, and reliable after-sell services. It’s a rather compact model ideal for 2 to 3 persons. You don’t need to be an expert to install this model as the manual is elaborate and the parts are intuitive. Just follow the manual and set them part by part and that’s it.

It’s an odorless facility ensuring that you will never have to worry about bad smell coming out from your toilet. What’s more, there’s no maintenance required for the system. Additionally, you are getting a 5-year warranty with superb after-sell service offered by the company.

If two users use this system full time, we found that it can be used for over a month before the storage tank needs to be emptied. However, the disposal process requires only a few minutes.

This product comes with a new design on the skeleton of the old framework by Nature’s Head. So, it is more reliable now than the earlier models.

Specifications

  • Stainless steel hardware
  • 12-volts voltage
  • 0.72 watts wattage
  • 28 pounds weight
  • 22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches
  • Floor mounted installation method
  • Elongated shape

Pros

  • Easily disassembled
  • All stainless steel hardware
  • Ultimate comfort
  • Vent and fan hose included

Cons

  • A little difficulty with the side latches

Our Verdict

While it requires customary cleaning and more space while dumping the waste, it has a structure that is familiar and user-friendly. The shape of the bowl and the ergonomic design of different parts will please you both visually and tactually.

While there are other composting toilets available, this one from Nature’s Head is specially made for individuals who can’t access a running water facility in their living places. Made in the United States, the product boasts of quality and reliability. Get it without a second thought if it fits your budget and requirements.

How Composting Toilets Are Different

Composting toilets have turned out to be useful in areas with water issues, amid dry territories without running water supply. They have helped individuals ensure sanitation in dried areas and mobile residential units like RVs and portable houses on wheels. So, what is the mechanism of composting and what makes these particular toilets different from the regular flush toilets?

The basic mechanism of a composting toilet involves the use of carbon additives such as coconut coir, sawdust, peat moss, bokashi that are applied after each use. This promotes the aerobic decomposition and lessens the odor by depending on mesophilic composition and this whole biological process reduces pathogens in the septic system. The result is outstanding and at the same time, environment-friendly.

Why use a composting toilet?

As water usage concerns arise, we have to pay attention to the fact that the customary flushing toilet system generally uses up to 30% of a family unit’s everyday water consumption. That’s a huge amount of water if you consider the yearly figure. In the United States, supplanting your conventional toilet with a composting one can spare the whooping 6,600 gallons of water for every individual every year. Now consider the cost of energy spent on piping and supplying that water. In fact, we are on the verge of a global crisis for fresh groundwater, and if we don’t take any effective measures to curb our water usage, soon enough we’ll be facing a global fresh-water crisis. Using composting toilets would be a great leap in this respect.

Consider this for a minute; this type of toilet, except all the advantages referenced above, still guarantees the final result that excludes infections and pathogens. What is more, this guarantees a greener future if used globally. However, you need to know how to use a composting toilet before you buy one.

The name “composting” has become popular for chemical functions. It stands for the oxygen-consuming process that may occur with an expansion in temperature triggered the microbial activity. In cases of moderate or cold composting, the temperature may not have to increase as earthworms does the job (vermicomposting).

These toilets are being used as an alternative toilet due to low water consumption. However, you can point out both the benefits and shortcomings of this system.

First, we will look at the benefits:

  • Environmental friendly
  • Does not use water
  • Easy to install
  • Produces compost for gardens
  • Does not use much of electricity
  • Operation is odorless
  • Does not much space to install
  • Comes with a very decent guarantee coverage

We will not shy away from the shortcomings:

  • Not everyone can afford it because it is quite expensive
  • Has to be manually emptied
  • Can only be used by a few people

Best Composting Toilet: Buying Guide

Composting Toilet buying guide

There are dozens of competent composting toilets for sale. Like any other product on the market, there are many things to be considered before buying one of these. We suggest you check for the points mentioned below:

1. Self-contained vs central units

Based on the storage system, there are two types of composting toilets i. e. Self-contained (active composters) and Central composting toilet system.

Based on the power input, there are two types of self-contained models:

  • Electric
  • Non-electric

There are two types of Central models:

  • Pint flush
  • Waterless

Let’s explain this in an easy and simple way. You can have a unit that can compost the waste inside a tank that is associated with the commode, or get the one which interfaces with a bigger tank in an alternate area. Self-contained composting units are perfect for facilities that do not require frequent use.

Toilets that are connected with a central unit work well for more number of users since they have a bigger capacity. Self-contained units are a lot less expensive and less demanding as they do not require extra tanks.

Benefits of self-contained composting toilets include:

  • Easy to clean
  • Economical
  • Functions better in winter
  • Eco friendly
  • Does not require plumbing works

Drawbacks of self-contained compost loos include:

  • Electrical issues may come up

Other than these two major types, Vermifilter toilet is another type where earthworms facilitate the decomposition process.

2. Capacity

The capacity of any toilet depends on the amount of waste it can compost without flooding. The capacity mainly depends on how often the unit is used by what number of individuals in a certain period.

On the off chance, you might want a toilet for a small cabin that isn’t as often visited, at that point, you should get a small capacity unit. Assuming that you are searching for a toilet for your living place, you may need a bigger capacity toilet as it might be utilized all the more often.

3. Maintenance

The hygiene care of the humus toilets is extremely important, both for the proper functioning and the comfort of the user. The handle should be ergonomically designed and easy to use. Moreover, you should opt for a canister that is large enough to hold waste for a long period of time.

Always choose the toilet with a good solid blending capacity and a receptacle evacuation system, as these two factors are significant to easy maintenance of the toilet.

4. A power source (electric or non-electric)

When setting up this particular sanitation system, you should devise an electrical framework. This framework helps to dispose of the composting manure, by speeding up the composting procedure.

On the off chance that you are searching for a composting latrine for a remote area that doesn’t have electrical hookups, it is better to have a unit that is intended to work without power. This way, the power supply issue for this type of toilet can be resolved in most underdeveloped areas of a country.

5. Local laws

Prior to buying a composting sanitation system, you should check out the local laws for waste management. Composting toilets are new to the market, which is why certain states and regions have not updated their laws on the treatment of human waste. You may be fined in these areas for using a compost toilet for violating human waste management rules.

To solve the problem, contact a legal advisor just to be clear on the issue. Anybody owning a large piece of land shouldn’t be worried. They are made for provincial spots and lodges at any rate. In any case, you can see that most urban and rural areas aren’t going to be ok about a neighbor composting crap in the back yard.

6. Weight & dimensions

Weight is another important factor to consider when buying this type of toilets. A portion of the low capacity models are generally light and could essentially be installed at any place.

Needless to say, a few models are heavy. However, heavy and vast capacity units could be more than 100 pounds. This may not exactly make it perfect for an upstairs space, particularly in a little lodge or camp. Most models are built with porcelain or hardened fiber plastic. The other parts made of sturdy non-corrosive materials.

The size is also important when you are planning to use a unit for different residential options, such as households, and outhouses. In contrast to numerous cutting-edge sanitary solutions, a composting toilet has a moderately stout appearance and some of them look vintage being made on wooden platforms. This is why they are not suitable for small spaces.

7. Ease of installation

Among all other sanitary fixtures, a toilet can be the most unsafe. This is for the most part since you have to seal it legitimately, and on the off chance that you don’t, you will have huge amounts of holes staring you in the face! Being an independent unit, a composting toilet is a lot less demanding once installed properly.

All that you have to do to set them up is following the installation manual coming with each unit. All the fitting parts are usually included. If it’s an electric one, you need to have a power plug holder. Make sure that the ventilation pipe is properly placed with the right height. There is a urine holder for storing the urine separately. The system is modular when it comes to adjusting the parts and you need to place them correctly. This is how you get them fully operational, regardless of your expertise level.

8. Price & warranty

Much like everything else, composting toilets come in a wide range of costs. You won’t find a good model at a cheap price. They are, all things considered, costlier than a traditional flush toilet. This is for the most part since they are specialized system housing carefully engineered modular parts that are built with expensive materials.

When a self mulching toilet is kept up properly, routinely cleaned, and consistently emptied, there is no reason that any piece of it should breakdown rapidly. Still, smart people would go for a model that offers guarantee or warranty coverage.

9. Safety

The safety concerns for a composting toilet can be separated into two areas. The first one is the compost. In the event that you have a defective toilet, you might face a spread of dreadful microscopic organisms or pathogens. The most ideal way to guarantee the wellbeing of this system is to consistently keep up with the toilet.

The second safety concern is the use of electrical parts. These should be normally tested and maintained. You should be more cautious about this part, particularly when the toilet is not used all that frequently, you may experience problems with the unprotected electrical hookup, which can be dangerous.

Best Composting Toilet: Installation and Maintenance

No matter how good your composting toilet is if you do not know how composting toilets work, and how to handle them with care, you cannot expect a great result out of it. Follow proper installation procedures and maintenance steps for prolonging the lifespan of your unit.

In this section, we will be giving you some maintenance and installation tips.

A look at the installation process first

You should ensure there is enough space to discharge the waste tank into, and then turn the fomenter handle to extract the solid compost.  You need to set a ventilation hose in a way that the outer part remains outside.

If the ventilation pipe is excessively long or has twists in it, you can set an electric fan for speeding up the ventilation to process. The fan typically keeps running on 12-volt. All that you need to do for the installation of the main unit is connect it with the outside vent (as these will depend on where you are setting up the facility).

Before using one of these systems it is important to fill it with peat as the ‘priming’ soil. Around two gallons of peat or coconut fiber should be enough for regular tank sizes. Add some greenery and make sure it is not excessively wet. The mixture ought to be clammy. If it is thoroughly dry, add a little water to soak it.

Now the maintenance procedure

The maintenance process of these toilets includes two simple steps. The first is that you have to turn the handle each time you add solids to the receptacle. This enables the composting to process by blending the waste and greenery.

The other step is to maintain the proper hydration of the compost, and ensuring they are cleaned routinely. The fluid container will hold around two gallons of pee, and should be discharged in every couple of days. The solid waste holding tank requires less frequent cleaning. It depends on how frequently the toilet is used. When the solids container is purged you should refill it with peat greenery blend once again before you use it.

This process is applicable for all the composting toilets available on the market. The difference is mostly in the way the solids are blended and how the tanks are evacuated. Make sure you read the user manual carefully before using these toilets.

Final words

Before we conclude, let’s not miss out on some other famous brands that you might want to learn about: C Head, Clivus Multrum, SmartJon, Nature Loo, Mulltoa, Biolan, CM2, Thunderbox, Laveo, Bts, and Natsol Bio Let.

Hopefully, this review covers all the vital points regarding composting toilets. From our end, we did our homework on them and found that there is no single best model that should be ideal for every setting. Keeping that in mind, we ranked our top models based on their unique features and areas they excel way more than their peers.

As the water crisis keeps rising, we will learn how critically important it is to save fresh-water. A little change, such as acquiring a composting toilet, can have a profound impact by saving millions of gallons of clean drinking water per individual every year. It is up to us to add a little improvement in our living conditions for the advancement and the collective wellbeing of humans.

You can check some other toilets here and choose the one that fits you.

  1. Top Up-Flush Toilets
  2. Top Dual Flush Toilets
  3. Top One Piece Toilets

About the author

Kai Michel

Hello, this is Kai, addressing homeowners in need of some help with their home renovation projects. I’ve worked on numerous toilet repair projects over the years that incorporated a wide variety of tasks, from repair to renovation and maintenance. Besides acquiring a degree on the legal codes and procedures, I gathered vast insights into bathroom settings, toilets, showers, fittings, and other household appliances, fixtures, and components. This helps me guide my clients through their home improvement and interior development plans. Since maintenance is my area of expertise, I can assist people in all phases of the actual ‘improvement’ process. To get my messages even further, I contribute to this site through my blog posts. Check my content here for expert suggestions!

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