A composting toilet has, traditionally speaking, been a sensible alternative to ordinary toilets in places where plumbing is hard to come by – such as on campsites or houses that lay a long way off the grid.
But there’s no reason that someone trying to live a more ecologically friendly life shouldn’t choose to install a composting toilet in their home.
You see, flush toilets not only use up huge amounts of water but they also tend to drop “raw” sewage into the wastewater which hasn’t been treated and can thus, spread unpleasant bacteria, etc. to the environment.
BEST COMPOSTING TOILET
For Real World Use
Made in the USA with a 5-year warranty. This is a nicely priced starter composting toilet perfect for small spaces.
The Advantages Of Composting Toilets
By contrast, a compact composting toilet takes both human solid and liquid waste and then it adds some organic-based material and a few hungry bacteria and this then breaks down the waste into useful compost and any surplus water will either be evaporated from the collection facility on the toilet or removed and emptied by the owner.
They don’t smell bad, either.
You’ll find that the best composting toilet tends to have a ventilation fan or pipe system that’s meant to keep noxious niffs down to a minimum. Solid waste and toilet paper aren’t pleasant to smell if the solid waste container isn’t kept well ventilated.
How To Choose A Composting Toilet
You won’t need any plumbing skills when it comes to installing most composting toilets as the toilet won’t be connected to your water supply nor to your wastewater outlet. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to realize that as the vast majority of composting toilets are meant to be portable – they tend to be very light in weight.
However, they are bigger in terms of floor area as they need to contain the waste matter for a period of time while it composts and they also require a “cranking system” (to get everything to move around the toilet efficiently) and a ventilation system.
You also need quite a bit of space from the toilet for the ventilation pipes to run effectively, otherwise, things will get unpleasantly stinky.
So, when you measure up for a composting toilet – you need to be very certain about the dimensions of the space that you’re using and, if needed, that there’s enough room for privacy functions to be installed in the same space.
Be Prepared For Less Aesthetically Pleasing Options
Composting toilets aren’t, usually, designed for use in the home they’re meant for outdoor use and that means they place a lot more emphasis on form than they do on function.
They tend to be made from colored plastics though the better models also incorporate some metal components.
Make Sure You Can Get To The Crank
The crank handle requires regular turning by you, the toilet user and owner, to keep it producing compost effectively.
That means you need to be able to get to it when you need it. The crank churns the compost allowing the bacteria to breathe and get to all parts of it to break it down.
They can run from the cheap – say $600 for a toilet designed for a campsite all the way through to about $2,000 for the high-end designed for the home models.
Best Composting Toilets
Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet
Our top pick is one of the cheaper choices and it’s very well-designed so that it fits into a tight space. So, if you’re struggling for room to put your composting toilet – start your search here. This Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is as good as other composting toilets and much better value than many.
One thing we really liked about it was how easy it was to empty because you know, that’s the ickiest part of owning one of these toilets.
The toilet seat is really comfortable and the waste tank is excellent which makes it one of the best composting toilets in our book. If you’ve heard that composting toilets smell bad, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise – many composting toilet systems, including this one, a really good at removing unpleasant odors.
It’s also made in the USA and super easy to construct and to disassemble if you need to.
The 5-year warranty is a good sign of quality.
You can find the Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet online.
Villa 9215 AC/DC Composting Toilet
Villa have been making composting toilets for a while and this is one of their newer models. It’s solar powered or battery powered and that means it can be used in an energy efficient manner just about everywhere.
We found that it was super easy to install and the compact size definitely makes it appealing for an occasional use toilet.
The only downside with this model is that it’s a bit more expensive than we would like.
But sometimes, you get what you pay for, right?
You can find the Villa 9215 AC/DC Composting Toilet online.
Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self Composting Toilet
If you can’t rely on the power supply, then you might want to consider the Sun-Mar Excel which doesn’t use fans or heaters. It’s a great RV composting toilet for the composting process and doesn’t need a septic tank for human waste.
Though you can install a fan if you want to and run it from a battery. It’s very well built, and the long warranty is a nice touch. It is, of course, a fairly waterless toilet.
However, there are some complaints that this compost toilet can get clogged up with long-term use.
You can find the Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self Composting Toilet online.
Interested in learning more? Check out our guide to composting at home.