Best Compost Toilets of 2023 (Yes, there are eco-friendly toilets too!)
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I love composting my food scraps. I find it a clever and effortless way to turn waste into soil. But, what about the toilet? Are there advantages to change to a compost system?
Investing in a composting toilet is one of the best ways to save a ton of money on your water bill and help out the environment at the same time. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start looking.
If you’re keen to pick up the best compost toilet around, then you can’t go wrong with this well-designed, easy-to-use composting toilet from Nature’s Head. If you’d prefer to have a browse first, then be sure to read through our list of the top composting toilets below.
The Best Compost Toilets of 2023
Best Overall – Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Spider Handle
Nature’s Head is well-known for crafting some of the best composting toilets on the market, and this product is one of their best. The toilet is fully self-contained, but you also have the option of installing extra ventilation pipes. This can reduce the time it takes for waste and toilet paper to decompose and is a great idea if you’re using the toilet in a permanent location.
Nature’s Head Composting Toilet has a large capacity, making it a good option if they’ll be a few of you using the product. The capacity also means the waste has more time to decompose, and you’ll receive a higher quality of compost as a result.
Overall, this Nature’s Head toilet is an amazing choice for anyone who needs an eco-friendly toilet alternative. It could even be the best composting toilet on the market. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the other composting toilets challenging this product for its crown.
Best for Luxury – Sun-Mar Compact Self-Contained Composting Toilet
The toilet does come with a substantial price tag, but you’ll struggle to find another option with quite this much functionality. The composting chamber is particularly well-designed, breaking down waste quickly and trapping all odors inside effectively.
The product comprises two main fiberglass pieces – a material that offers plenty of strength and durability. All the moving parts work smoothly and are very easy to use. Portable toilets have an unfortunate reputation for not being built to a high standard. Still, every element of the Sun-Mar Compact Toilet feels high-quality and as though it would last a lifetime.
This compact toilet does not separate liquid and solid waste. Instead, it claims to offer a “full composting” experience that breaks both types of waste into the soil. This makes the toilet much more pleasant to empty and avoids the difficult task of urine disposal.
In summary, the Sun-Mar Compact is an excellent product that is well-deserving of our “Best For Luxury” award. If you can justify the price tag, then we highly recommend this toilet.
Best Budget – Pikkuvihrea Waterless Composting Dry Toilet
When you first start looking into buying a composting toilet, the price of many products can be quite offputting. In general, composting toilets is quite expensive, thanks to the high-quality materials they need and their complex functions.
However, if you know where to look, there’s always a bargain to be found. The Pikkuvihrea Composting Toilet is a great example of this, coming in at a fraction of the price of its competitors. It’s complete with all the functions you’d expect and has an attractive design to boot.
This toilet makes use of a cool ventilation system that works to speed up the composting process. As a result, you’ll be able to empty the chamber more regularly, which is ideal if you’re taking the toilet on a camping or road trip.
The product’s simple but effective design also makes it easy to maintain and look after. If you need a basic composting toilet that will not cause you any problems, the Pikkuvihera Waterless could be the way to go.
Best Compact Toilet – Separett Villa Composting Toilet
This Separett Villa model has clearly been designed for use in the home. Aside from the sewage pipe, you can also add a ventilation tube to speed up the composting process. That said, its compact nature also makes it suitable for taking on the road if you’d like.
The toilet also features an electric fan to encourage aerobic bacteria into the composting chamber. This fan can operate on A/C if plugged into the wall or D/C power if you’re staying off-grid. Many users like to hook the toilet up to a solar panel to get even more eco-friendly.
Setting up the Separett Villa device is simple and stress-free. The build quality is also excellent, and you can easily imagine this toilet lasting for years to come. With the range of features on offer, this product stands out from other composting toilets and is definitely one to consider.
Best for Portability – Sustainable Village Sun-Mar GTG Portable Compost Toilet
This is the second Sun-Mar product on this list, showing just how good this brand’s products are. In fact, Sun-Mar has become one of the leading names in the composting toilet world, and this recognition is definitely well-deserved.
Like the Separett Villa toilet above, this Sun-Mar product is extremely compact. However, unlike the Separett Villa, this device is more geared towards portability rather than home use. Everything is self-contained within the toilet unit, so there’s no need for any complex plumbing or installation.
The toilet separates solid and liquid waste into two compartments to make disposal easier. The solid waste container is where the composting happens, whilst urine is diverted into a separate container. This also works to improve the quality of the compost.
The Sun-Mar GTG Toilet is the perfect choice for your next camping trip. Its ease-of-use makes it suitable for the whole family, and it can be a lifesaver if your campsite doesn’t have a toilet block.
Best Value for Money – Reliance Luggable Loo Portable Toilet
The Luggable Loo might not look like much to the untrained eye, but it is actually a great way to get into composting toilet systems. At its core, it’s simply a toilet seat screwed onto the top of a large container, but when used correctly, it really starts to shine.
If you will be using the Luggable Loo for composting, we’d recommend having some wood chips on hand to cover the waste after every use. This will trap the odor inside the chamber whilst encouraging aerobic bacteria to start decomposing the waste.
Sometimes, a simple product is all you need. The Luggable Loo is very impressive at its price point and would be a fantastic addition to your next road trip.
Best for Quick Composting – Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank
If you need a toilet that can be emptied regularly, then this Dry Composting Toilet will fit the bill. The hand crank is used to rotate the composting chamber, allowing aerobic bacteria to access human waste.
The toilet is extremely lightweight, making it easy to install anywhere you need it. Customers have reported using this toilet in the home, in an RV, at a campsite, and even in a boat! Despite its portability, the toilet is extremely durable.
If you’re using the toilet on a more permanent basis, then you’ll have the option to install a ventilation tube for the composting chamber. This will allow the toilet to decompose liquid and solid waste even faster than before, and you’ll have usable compost in a matter of days.
What to Consider When Buying a Composting Toilet
When you first start looking into buying a composting toilet, it’s understandable that you might feel pretty confused. There are many different types, sizes, and price points to navigate, and it can be tough to know where to start.
However, by making a few simple considerations, you can ensure that the process is infinitely more straightforward. To help do this, we’ve put together a short buying guide. We’ll go through each of the important categories associated with composting toilets so that you can make a more informed decision on your purchase.
Centralized vs Self-Contained
The first to think about is the style of composting toilet that you need. There are two main types: centralized and self-contained. Although they both use a similar composting process to dispose of human waste, several key differences make them suitable for different roles.
A self-contained composting toilet is where all the key parts of the toilet are contained in a single, movable unit. This usually means that the composting chamber is attached directly to the toilet bowl base, and there’s no need for any complex piping.
On the other hand, a centralized system is more akin to a proper septic tank setup, where the toilet is connected via pipes to a large underground chamber. Centralized systems are much more expensive than self-contained devices, making them more suitable for commercial settings.
In our list above, we focused on self-contained toilets since most people are looking for them. However, if you are a business owner and would like to install something more permanent, then a centralized system is definitely worth looking into.
When you’re investing in any product, your budget is something that you should always be considering. By restricting yourself to what you can actually afford, you’ll be able to narrow down your options and make the buying process much more simple.
Luckily for us, there are some great options available at every price point. In fact, even some of the best composting toilets are considered to be “budget” options, so don’t be put off if you feel like you’re working with a smaller budget.
Of course, as you spend more money, you’ll probably receive more features and functionality from your composting toilet. But if you’re looking for something that gets the job done, then you really don’t need to break the bank.
Another thing to think about is whether or not you have the space for a composting toilet and where you’re going to put it. Most composting toilets aren’t as compact as a standard toilet, so it’s important to measure up before buying.
A big benefit of a composting toilet is that it doesn’t require lots of complex plumbing to work. In fact, many of the toilets are completely free-standing and can actually be moved around in a “portable” fashion. This means your toilet is never tied down to a particular wall or location in the bathroom.
The capacity of your composting toilet’s tank is going to determine how often the toilet needs to be emptied. When it comes to capacity, it’s important to make sure that it’s large enough so that the waste can stay in the toilet long enough to break down. If you have to empty the chamber too often, it’s likely that the waste won’t have decomposed fully, which can be fairly unpleasant!
Many standard-sized composting toilets will have to be emptied after 80 uses or so. The time that this takes will depend on how many people are using the toilet regularly. If more than 2 or 3 people are using it, then it might be worth looking for something with a larger capacity.
The biggest assumption that most people make when they hear about composting toilets is that they must smell bad. You’ll be glad to know that this really isn’t the case! If used correctly, a composting toilet will produce little to no unpleasant odors.
If you are worried about your toilet creating a smell, then the best thing to do is to cover any solid waste with wood chips or peat moss after every use.
Not only will this trap any odors inside the toilet chamber, but it will also create air pockets around the waste that aerobic bacteria will thrive in. It is these bacteria that break the waste down into compost. Find out more about how composting toilets work here.
Although it’s true that composting toilets really don’t require much maintenance, it’s still important to look for one that is going to be easy to look after in the long run. It’s always worth checking that the toilet chamber is simple to empty, as well as easy to clean.
Since it’s a waterless toilet, you’ve got no chance of running into maintenance problems that come with a standard toilet. You won’t have to worry about blocked or burst pipes, for example.
We’d recommend looking at some customer reviews if you’d like to know how easy the composting toilet is to maintain. Customers are usually more honest than manufacturers in this instance, and it’s always good to hear a perspective from a real-life user.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best composting toilet on the market?
There are countless options on the market for composting toilets, and it can be almost impossible to work out which one is the best. In our list above, we named the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet as the “Best Overall” choice, and this is definitely a toilet that we recommend.
That said, everyone has different requirements – some people might want a composting toilet to take on camping trips, whereas others will be looking for a permanent device for their bathroom. As a result, the best option for one person might not be great for another.
Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide above if you’re struggling to decide which toilet to buy. We delve into all the key features you should be looking out for, and it should help you make a more informed decision on your purchase.
What are the benefits of using a compost toilet over a traditional flush toilet?
One of the biggest benefits of using a composting, waterless toilet is financial savings. For the vast majority of people, their toilet is their largest water expense. In fact, a standard toilet uses 5-7 gallons of water PER FLUSH.
Aside from saving money, the decrease in water usage is also great for the environment. Installing a composting toilet is a straightforward way to reduce your environmental impact without having to make any sacrifices on your lifestyle.
Another advantage is the fact that the compost produced from solid waste can be used in your garden. Using compost is one of the best ways to enrich the soil and improve general health. There are many more benefits that we don’t have time to go into here, but these are a few of the most impressive ones.
Do composting toilets smell bad?
By far, the biggest misconception about composting toilets is that they smell bad. In reality, when used correctly, a composting toilet won’t produce any unpleasant odors and might even smell better than a traditional toilet!
One way to ensure that a compost toilet stays scentless is to cover any waste with wood chips after every use. This traps odors around the waste and provides a space for aerobic bacteria to thrive and quickly decompose the waste.
How does the composting process work?
When the solid waste falls into the toilet’s composting chamber, naturally occurring bacteria start to break it down into a substance called humus. Over time, this substance becomes soil-like and indistinguishable from standard compost.
Some people add worms to the composting chamber to speed up the composting process. The worms work alongside the aerobic bacteria, accelerating the breakdown of the waste. Once the compost has been made, it can be used for agricultural purposes or disposed of.
Last update on 2023-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API