5 Best Composting Toilets 2019 (Self-contained & Central)
The composting toilet is one of the most versatile toilets on the market. Unlike the flushing toilet, it does not require water or complex installation procedures. All you have to do is place the composting toilet in a chosen installation space, and you are good to relieve yourself.
Therefore, it is a very flexible toilet, especially for those traveling in an RV.
Advantages of the Composting Toilet
- Easy to use. There is no installation to perform
- Makes compost naturally from human waste
- Automatically separates urine from solid waste and outputs an odorless dry compost
- Easy to disassemble and discard waste
- Prevents bad odors from escaping
Disadvantages of the Composting Toilet
- The price. It is more expensive than a traditional flushing toilet
- Usually taller. Not adapted for people with disability or children
If you are fresh on the market for the best composting toilet for the money, we have you covered.
Below we hand-picked a few popular composting toilet models and give you our impressions. Let’s find out which one you need to buy!
- 5 Best Composting Toilets – Reviews
- 1. Nature's Head NH-SPH – A Composting Toilet the Sacrifices Looks for Functionality
- 2. Nature's Head NH1 – One of the Best Starters Composting Toilet
- 3. Sun-Mar EXCEL NE-WHITE – Small & Compact Composting Toilet for Off-grid Use
- 4. Sun-Mar CSEM-01400WB – Small Size but Big on Functionality
- 5. Separett Villa 9210 – A Composting Toilet that Looks like a Regular Flushing Toilet
- How to Buy a Composting Toilet
- How to Prep and Dump the Composting Toilet
5 Best Composting Toilets – Reviews
1. Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet
A reasonably priced composting toilet that can be dumped in a matter of seconds
2. Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet
Easy to use. Equipped with a large and ergonomic hand crank agitator to the side for mixing waste
3. Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Composting Toilet
Small and compact. Does not take a lot of space in your home or RV
4. Sun-Mar Compact Composting Toilet
One of the most portable electric composting toilets on the market
5. Separett Villa 9210 Composting Toilet
An odorless composting toilet that can accommodate children, adults, and elderly people with ease
1. Nature's Head NH-SPH – A Composting Toilet the Sacrifices Looks for Functionality
Even if Nature’s Head composting toilet is expensive by any standards, it is still relatively more affordable when compared to other types of models in this composting toilet review. Indeed, if the price is an important consideration for you, you should seriously consider this toilet.
What we like about this unit is that it is built from a high-grade plastic that will not corrode, degrade or crack over time. It is also able to withstand heavy-duty use even if the person using it is a little bit on the heavy side. The build construction is simply superb as it is manufactured in the USA and has a lot of quality control going on to ensure that you get a superior composting toilet.
Additionally, you can disassemble the base of this composting toilet in a matter of seconds for dumping. It has a separate compartment for urine and solid waste. You also get a fan as well as a vent hose that will channel any bad odors away from the composting toilet. Since this is a self-contained toilet, this feature is extremely important to prevent the formation of bad odors.
2. Nature's Head NH1 – One of the Best Starters Composting Toilet
This composting toilet is very similar to the model we have just reviewed above. In fact, it is almost a carbon copy with the exception of the single handle at the side that allows you to crank the agitator with greater ease.
It sports the same comfortable full-size seat that is ergonomic and will be able to accommodate a person of any size. Since this is a self-contained composting toilet just like the previous model, you have no installation to do. Simply find an installation space in your bathroom or RV, and you are good to go.
There is also a 5 inches vent hole to the side that allows the composting toilet to evacuate any bad odors. With this purchase, the manufacturer will include a 5 feet vent hose. This hose definitely could have been longer, but it is what it is.
All in all, if you’re looking for a simple, ergonomic and relatively affordable composting toilet, then this model by Nature’s Head is one of the best composting toilets that you can buy. It is extremely easy to use and can be dumped in a matter of seconds.
We recommend it if you have never bought a composting toilet before as it will help you get a better idea how to use this type of toilet while still not spending a fortune right off the bat.
3. Sun-Mar EXCEL NE-WHITE – Small & Compact Composting Toilet for Off-grid Use
The Sun-Mar Excel is a small and compact composting toilet that you can install anywhere, from your bathroom to your RV. It will not take a lot of space and is also built in such a way that it will not develop any bad odors over time.
There is an air vent at the top of the toilet that will allow it to evacuate any bad odors from the waste compartment. The only caveat we note is that there is no hand crank with this composting toilet so you will have to let the Sun-Mar Excel do the work for you instead.
What we like about this toilet is that there is a small footrest after the front so you can use this composting toilet bare feet and in any environment. If you have a small family of no more than 3 people, then this model is one of the best composting toilets for off-grid purposes. This is mostly because of its lightweight and compact size.
On the other hand, if you have a bigger family, then you need to choose another model because the Sun-Mar Excel should not be used as a heavy-duty composting toilet.
4. Sun-Mar CSEM-01400WB – Small Size but Big on Functionality
This composting toilet is very similar to the Sun-Mar model we have just reviewed above. However, this one is even more compact and packs more features. For one, the build construction is superior as this model is made from a high-grade plastic that will not break or crack regardless of the weight of the user.
Additionally, there is a footrest at the bottom, but you can easily retract it when not in use. This will allow you to save even more space when needed. The bowl is not the biggest but definitely big enough so as to accommodate the bottom of a person, whether big or small.
Unlike the previous model, the vent hole is located at the back and not at the top. This allows you to connect your vent hose in a more aesthetically pleasing manner.
But what we like the most about this model is that it is electric powered, so it will do the mixing automatically for you. There is no need for a crank agitator in this device. Taking its size and functionality into account, we recommend this unit from Sun-Mar as the best composting toilet when it comes to portability and ease-of-use.
5. Separett Villa 9210 – A Composting Toilet that Looks like a Regular Flushing Toilet
The Separett Villa is one of the most popular composting toilets on the market. This model has an excellent build construction that makes it very durable and long-lasting. Additionally, it is one of the few models that make provisions for children as it has a child seat that you can attach on top of the main seat.
Also, the bowl of this composting toilet is designed in such a way so that it physically separates solid waste from liquid waste. The solid waste compartment has a deep blue coloration so that you can clearly see it in the dark.
When it comes to dumping the waste, you will have no problem there as this top-rated composting toilet uses a detachable compartment system that will allow you to quickly and easily remove each compartment for dumping. The efficient design of this composting toilet will guarantee that it does not create any bad odors and it even has a vent to channel bad odors away from the toilet.
How to Buy a Composting Toilet
Before finding the best value composting toilet for the money, there are some important factors to take into account. Since this is an expensive bathroom accessory, you want to make sure to consider those various aspects carefully.
1. Self-Contained or Central Composting Toilet
There are 2 main types of composting toilets on the market. Self-contained and central composting models.
Self-contained composting toilet: The self-contained composting toilet usually has the compost tray or composting chamber located at the base of the composting toilet. This base can easily be removed to easily discard the waste when it is full. One of the major advantages of the self-contained composting toilet is that it is more affordable and easier to use when compared to the central composting toilet.
Central composting toilet: On the other hand, the central composting toilet does not have the compost tray inside the composting toilet. Instead, it uses a waste pipe that directs the waste to a separate storage area. This has the major advantage of not keeping waste inside the toilet, and therefore, it prevents odors from building up. The disadvantage is that you need a larger installation space for the central composting toilet and it is also usually more expensive than the self-contained composting toilet.
2. Electric or Manual
When choosing between an electric or manual composting toilet, it simply boils down to ease-of-use. An electric composting toilet has a small motor that activates the mixer which takes care of mixing the waste with the coco coir inside the composting chamber.
With a manual composting toilet, you will find a hand crank agitator that you need to rotate a couple of times to mix the waste. The major advantage of a manual composting toilet is that it is usually less expensive than an electric model. However, if you don’t like mixing the waste with your hand every time you use the toilet, then the electric composting toilet will easily justify the slightly more expensive cost.
Capacity is simply how much waste the composting chamber can store. Of course, if you plan to use the composting toilet frequently or if it will be used by a small family of 3 members or more, then it is better to go with a higher capacity model.
The dimensions of the composting toilet will depend on how much space you have inside your RV or bathroom. Don’t forget to leave at least 10 inches between the wall of your bathroom and your composting toilet. This way, you will have better accessibility to the composting toilet.
5. Easy to Clean
You want your composting toilet to be covered with a material that not only makes it aesthetically pleasing with a mirror shine finish but also easier to clean. Since most composting toilets are made from high-grade plastic and not the common vitreous china you find in a traditional flushing toilet, you must clean it more often.
Since it can be difficult to repair the composting toilet, ensure that the manufacturer offers you a sort of warranty. Most of the time, a warranty period of at least a year is more than welcome. But if you want the extra security, you may want to look for a longer warranty.
7. Easy to Dump
Since you will be dumping waste from your composting toilet after every 60 to 80 uses depending on the capacity, it needs to have a mechanism that allows you to dump both the urine tray as well as the compost tray.
For maximum ease-of-use, you want to avoid a model that requires you to use special tools like a screwdriver to remove the compost tray. In fact, most top-rated composting toilets have a clicking mechanism so that you can remove the trays quickly and easily.
How to Prep and Dump the Composting Toilet
Preparing and dumping waste from your composting toilet is easier than you think. But before we do, here is a short list of accessories that you may need:
- A bag of coco coir or sphagnum peat moss
- Large plastic bag
- Pair of gloves
How to Prepare the Composting Toilet
Step 1 - Disassemble your Composting Toilet
Start by disassembling your composting toilet. Remove the compost tray from the rest so that you can easily work with it. We recommend that you place it on a tall surface like a table so that you can have easy access to the compost tray.
Step 2 – Prepare the Coco Coir
Mix water with the coco coir. Out of the box, coco coir comes dehydrated, so you need to rehydrate it.
However, be careful not to overhydrate it. Do not hesitate to break it into small pieces with your hand. Also, don’t forget to wear a glove while doing this. Once it has the consistency of soil, you can stop and pour the hydrated coco coir in the compost tray of your composting toilet.
Step 3 - Reassemble the Composting Toilet
Once you have added the hydrated coco coir or sphagnum peat moss to your compost tray, you can reassemble the composting toilet, and it is ready for use. A regular composting toilet can accept anywhere from 60 to 80 uses before you need to dump it.
How to Dump the Composting Toilet
Dumping the composting toilet is equally easy. All you have to do is again disassemble the composting toilet so that you have easy access to the compost tray. But before you do, don’t forget to remove the liquid compartment first.
Then, place a plastic bag over the compost tray and turn it upside down such that the waste inside the compost tray falls in the bag. Give it a few taps to help residue that stuck in the compost tray full in the bag.
You are now ready to dump your urine and solid waste in a government-approved area.
Composting Toilet Tips
Here are a few tips when using the composting toilet that will help you use this device more efficiently.
Tip 1: Makes with Coffee Grinds
The base material used in a composting toilet is usually coco coir or sphagnum peat moss. This material tries to hide the odor of your excrement as much as possible. However, it is still not completely odorless. One way to get around this is by adding coffee grinds to this substrate.
It will help absorb bad odors more effectively. You can also use sawdust that you can get free of charge from your local lumberyard instead of coffee grinds.
Tip 2 - Add Worms
Worms that are usually found in the soil helps in breaking down with the waste material into smaller parts.
Therefore, if you add worms in your composting toilet tray, they will help break down your waste faster and more efficiently. Best, the compost tray is made from a plastic material that is non- degradable so worms will not be able to damage it.
Tip 3 – Regularly Clean the Composting Toilet
Due to the material used inside the compost tray, the surrounding of the composting toilet can easily get dirty. Therefore, it will require regular cleaning for hygienic reasons. We recommend you clean in and around your composting toilet every 3 days or so.
Tip 4 – Use Scented Candles
Scented candles are very cheap and yet a highly effective way of keeping bad odors at bay, especially when using the composting toilet. Best, they last a long time as well.
Tip 5 - Use the Hand Crank Agitator
The hand crank agitator in a manual or electric composting toilet is there to help you mix your waist with the coco coir much faster. Many people using the composting toilet usually forget to use this helpful feature.
However, every time you use the composting toilet, you should crank the hand agitator a couple times to give it a good mix.
As we have seen, the composting toilet is superior to the flushing toilet in the sense that you do not have to make complex installations. Simply find an installation space, place it there and you are good to go.
Additionally, it can be installed anywhere that requires a portable toilet, including in the confined space of an RV. This toilet automatically separates liquid from a solid and prevent any bad odors from escaping. It also a natural way of making compost at no cost.
Lastly, our compost toilet review above contains a few popular toilets used by many people on the go. If you have not chosen a compost toilet yet then go through the review again.