Best Composting Toilet 2018
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 with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design
- 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.
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
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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
- High capacity unit can be used just about anywhere, including residences, cabins or light commercial applications
- Low profile unit complements any bathroom
- Uses no water
- 100% non-polluting
- Bio-drum for processing compost
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.
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 Compostable 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.