6 Best Composting Toilets Reviews & Buying Guide 2023
A composting toilet is a type of dry toilet that treats human waste by a biological process called composting. This process leads to the decomposition of organic matter and turns human waste into compost-like material. Composting is carried out by microorganisms under controlled aerobic conditions.
- Types: Slow composting (or moldering) toilets, active composters (self-contained), vermifilter toilets
- Position in sanitation chain: User interface, collection/treatment (on-site)
- Management level: Household, public, shared (most common is household level)
- Application level: Household, neighborhood
Composting toilets get the job done, whether you’re off the grid on a boat or in a stateroom, enjoying the freedom of tiny house living, or want to upgrade your old traditional water-hog toilet. They use little or no water and do not require a connection to a sewer system, so they work by allowing the natural process of aerobic decomposition to occur.
- Push of a Button Electric Mixing
- Smallest Footprint on Market 15" Deep x 16" Wide
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- Urine Level Sensor
- 2.4 gallon urine bottle and 25-30 use solids bin
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- Item Category: Toilet Seat
- Item Trademark: Nature's Head
- manufacturer: Nature's Head Inc.
- Item shape: Foot-Spider
- Composting,Waterless,Urine diverting, off-grid,...
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Some are permanently installed with ventilation to the outside, while others are portable, so they are easier to set up and can be moved to another location if needed. While many people build their own using the “humanure” system, also known as the bucket and sawdust method, some great options on the market offer convenience and less mess.
While no organization sets functional requirements for these products, some manufacturers seek NSF International certification. This independent organization verifies that consumer products meet basic standards, such as being odor-free and capable of handling their advertised capacity.
1. Best Overall: Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet
This self-contained toilet features stainless steel hardware, a built-in 12-volt fan, and a hose to vent to the outside and is made in the USA. The agitator for mixing materials is operated with a space-saving spider handle, but you can also get it with a standard crank handle. Peat or coir works best as a filler or substrate for processing waste.
There is virtually no odor, making it ideal on a boat or RV. Many people say that liquids need to be emptied every few days, but solids can last for months—the company estimates about 60 to 80 uses before you need to open.
Two veteran sailors designed the bathroom in 2007. The company supports charities like the Unchained Movement, which combats domestic sex trafficking, and Warrior Homesteads, which provides homeless veterans with sustainable housing on farmland.
Because there is a wide variation in how these units work and are installed, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing them.
Most of them don’t require a ton of woodwork or special skills to install. But in some municipalities, you may need to obtain a permanent installation permit, so do your homework in advance to be aware of local regulations.
2. Best Separation: Separett Villa 9215 Urine Diversion Toilet
This toilet has been made in Sweden since 1976 and happens to be the brand founder Graham Hill has in his Maui home. The Separett separates urine and solid waste to reduce odor and volume to handle.
When you sit down, a screen covers the solid waste container and, at the same time, rotates it so that the contents are evenly distributed. There is also a child seat that can be purchased and placed in the middle for the little ones.
It comes with a fan that has AC/DC adapters. You can use a biodegradable bag placed in the container to simplify cleanup. There is no need to add bulky material, so it looks and “feels” more like a regular toilet. The company supports projects to improve sanitation in China and Peru.
Composting toilets are not maintenance-free, so follow your manufacturer’s recommendations to keep everything running smoothly and odor-free. Finally, remind all guests to be seated during use; otherwise, the units will not separate liquids and solids properly. Which helps prevent odors.
3. Best Compact: Sun-Mar Compact Waterless Electric Composting Toilet
If you’re looking for a mid-capacity toilet, this low-profile unit is compact and more affordable than many other models. It plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet and is designed for seasonal use for up to three adults or one adult for residential help.
Use the handle to mix and aerate the materials in the three-chamber holding drum every other day the unit is used. You will also need to add one cup of cargo material per person per day. The customer service isn’t the greatest, but it’s easy to install and eliminates the hassle of septic problems in rural areas.
4. Best Budget: Loo’s Lovable Starter Kit
If you need a simple and inexpensive solution for your off-grid camping, this low-tech option is the answer. It requires no electricity, water, plumbing, ventilation, or chemicals. It’s a bucket inside a wooden box with the toilet seat attached.
You will add sawdust to cover the waste after each use. You can add the contents to your outdoor compost bin or pile when the container is complete. The simple concept of this product has been promoted for years by Joe Jenkins, a humanure advocate.
5. Best Automatic: BioLet 65 Composting Toilet
This closed-system toilet, made in Sweden, breaks down waste materials in the bathroom itself. It’s expensive, yes, but it’s fully automatic: sitting down opens the hatches, and closing the lid activates the mixing arm to break up the paper and distribute the moisture in the upper chamber.
A fan recirculates the hot area under the compost. The afloat switch activates heat if the excess liquid is detected.
The dry material falls into the lower chamber, where an LED light indicates when it needs to be emptied. The only additional expense is a compost mix, which must be added to the toilet to jumpstart the process.
It’s worth the price if you’re very squeamish about maintaining other types; additionally, it is designed for families of four for full-time use and six for part-time help.
6. Best for Multiple Users: Envirolet MS10 Self-Contained Waterless System
Envirolet is another popular composting toilet, Design Editor Lloyd Alter owns. This all-in-one design features a wide box for air circulation around the compost.
The unit, manufactured in Canada, has dual fans to create a high volume of high-velocity airflow and a heater to evaporate liquids. You won’t have to spin anything to mix the content, so it’s easier than some systems.
Its large capacity means it’s a good choice for families or those who receive many visitors. It can accommodate up to eight people per day for vacation use or six people for continuous use.
Types Of Composting Toilets
Make sure you are working on your location before purchasing a composting toilet. There are two types – standalone and split/central systems – and while they both break down waste, they work differently and have different requirements.
The compost toilet compost system consists of a small toilet with a detachable tank and a liquid drain to remove waste. Some standalone systems are portable, suitable for camping trips or boat rides, and can be placed where plumbing does not reach, such as a workshop or garage.
The entire composting process takes place in the toilet, hence the name. When finished, remove the hopper and empty the manure. These systems sometimes have freshwater tanks or supply lines to flush the wastewater into the chamber below.
Shared system or central system
Composting toilets that work with shared or central systems are similar to traditional bathrooms. They connect to a pipe system that feeds waste to a central bio-drum, hopper, or composting hopper.
The hopper compacts waste, allowing it to decompose while discharging odorless gases. When the tank is full, empty it like a standalone toilet.
A split compost toilet system is much more expensive than standalone composters as they require a hopper, usually installed underneath the toilet. Hoppers are an advantage as they significantly increase the compost they can hold.
They may be an attractive solution for off-grid permanent or eco-friendly homes, but the setup makes these composting toilets a poor choice due to their portability.
Buying Guide For The Best Composting Toilets
Keep the following points in mind to make the best compost toilet choice for your needs.
Composting toilets take up slightly more space than a traditional toilet and do not require an additional container for feces. Look for a compact composting toilet with a smaller waste container for a small house or boat.
If space is available for a split system, it is worth the increased capacity investment. Areas such as garages and cabins sometimes have the option of adding a hopper. In warmer climates, mounting the tank outdoors is an option.
Portable vs. Composting
A portable toilet and a composting toilet may seem similar, but some very significant differences. Composting toilets use bacteria to break down human waste.
They separate solid and liquid waste, allowing bacteria to feed on the organic compounds. After the composting process, a person can strengthen the lawn or garden. A by-product of the composting process fertilizes the soil and provides the plants with nutrients.
The portable toilet does nothing of the sort. In portable toilets, everything goes to one waste container, in which no liquids are separated from solids.
Even after pouring enzymes and deodorant into the tank to break down the solids and balance the unpleasant odor, the end product still has to end up in a sewage system or septic tank. So, while a portable toilet may be helpful for camping and boat trips, it may not be the best choice for permanent residences such as mobile homes and small apartments.
When looking for the best composting toilet, how many people will use it should decide how large a tank is required. Manufacturers often break this down into family size and appropriate use.
For example, a split system with a large capacity tank could handle waste from three adults or a family of five, while a standalone composting toilet with a 5-gallon tank would be sufficient for one adult. The idea is that, with the right tank size, the waste will have enough time to break down into manure before the tank is full.
Some composting toilets use electricity to run a fan that draws air into the tank and through the waste. The atmosphere is rich in oxygen, which fuels the aerobic bacteria that break down waste. It also exchanges the carbon dioxide produced by the bacteria, releasing it into the air. Many work with a home 110V system, while some work with both 110V AC and 12V DC from a car or RV battery.
A composting toilet may also require a water connection. Though counterintuitive, composting toilets that use water use very little with each flush – much less than a standard residential toilet. Waterless and non-electric models are also available, so consider your utility configuration and household budget when choosing the bathroom that will work best.
The gases produced by the bacteria in the composting toilet must be removed. Otherwise, odors may build up, or the bacterial performance may suffer from a lack of fresh oxygen.
Some models’ fans suck air into the tank and push gases through the vent, removing unpleasant odors. After each use, organic materials such as sawdust to the top of the waste can block the smell while allowing bacteria to break down the solids.
What are the drawbacks of a composting toilet? List of Cons for Composting Toilets
- Not every composting toilet contains the odor well. …
- It may be difficult to use. …
- They don’t always save space. …
- People will talk about it. …
- Single units may require extra compost maintenance. …
- A special permit may be required to install it.
Can you pee in a composting toilet?
In a composting toilet that has two Chambers, one is for feces and one is for urine. You can pee in the toilet with absolutely no problems at all. This is because the toilet diverts urine into its own chamber.
Do composting toilets stink?
Does composting toilets smell bad? When people consider the new idea of compost toilets, they assume the toilet would stink up the house. They donít. In fact there, there is very little odor at all, and what little smell you get is similar to the smell of wood or mulch.
How often do composting toilets need to be emptied?
Generally, two people full-time people’s usage will require emptying approximately every three weeks; additional people will shorten the time. Using just on weekends with two people can extend the time to 2 months or more. Just a couple of days of non-use extends the period.
What are the disadvantages of a composting toilet?
Disadvantages of a compost toilet include more maintenance than standard toilets. Improper or poorly maintained systems can lead to odors, insects, and health hazards. These toilets usually require a power source, and the end product must also be removed.
Do compost toilets smell?
Pro – If you maintain a composting toilet properly, there will be virtually no smell. Con – If your composting toilet isn’t maintained correctly, it can get pretty smelly.
Are composting toilets sanitary?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes a composting toilet as “a well-ventilated container that provides the optimum environment for unsaturated, but moist, human excrement for biological and physical decomposition under sanitary, controlled aerobic conditions.
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6 Best Composting Toilets Reviews & Buying Guide 2023
Last update on 2022-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API