FIND THE PERFECT COMPOSTING TOILETS IN MINUTES
We have reviewed our top 10 choices below and also done in-depth reviews by brands, but if you are in a rush:
Here’s our top choice: Nature’s Head Self-Contained (Check Price on Amazon.com)
Composting toilets turn the waste that you and guests or family members create into compost that you can use to fertilize your own garden or dispose of safely outside. While some are more basic in design and do not come with many features, others mimic the look of the bowl that you have in your own home bathroom.
Nature’s Head makes some of the best models on the market today, but the top of those products is its Self-Contained unit (Check Price on Amazon.com). This product has a spider handle on the side with spindles that you can easily grab and twist from a seated position and connections for hooking up a fan and/or vent. It also has a design that separates the solid waste from the liquid waste.
How to Choose the Right One?
How Do You Want to Compost?
Not all models designed for composting work in the same way. Some have dedicated containers that separate liquids from solids because some do not want to use liquids like urine, which are high in ammonia. Others put all waste into the same area, but as the liquids and solids mix, the waste creates a consistency that is easier to pour.
Do You Have Access to Water?
Some of the models that you see require a small amount of water to flush. These products come with a water tank that holds between two and five gallons of water or more. You’ll need to add more water to the tank to keep the product running.
Others are much more basic. Sometimes called dry models, these products let you use buckets to store your waste, which allows you to keep the bowl free for other users. You can then empty the bags right into your compost pile and use the bathroom whenever you want without bringing extra water with you.
How Large is the Holding Tank?
When selecting a bigger model, you need to make sure that the holding tank can hold all your waste. This tank must hold at least three gallons of waste, but to cut down on the time you spend emptying the tank, you’ll want one that can hold five gallons.
A holding tank of this size holds all the waste produced by two people for four weeks or longer. The tank can accommodate a larger group for a few days too.
How Do You Empty the Tank?
With larger products, you’ll find latches and similar mechanisms that you’ll undo to separate the top and bottom. The base will have a small cap that either pops off or unscrews, which allows you to empty the tank and then use some fresh water to rinse it out. With other models, you’ll need to open a compartment in the back and remove a container filled with waste or tie off a bag inside before removing it.
Top Composting Toilets on the Market
1. Nature's Head Self-Contained
Nature’s Head makes it easy for you to get away from it all while still keeping track of your waste with this self-contained unit, which has a separate container on the front that collects liquid waste. All solid waste goes into a container near the back that you can use later as compost. It comes apart in seconds to give you access to that waste.
Designed in the same way as the model you use at home, this unit has an elongated seat that fits most users and a spider handle for moving the waster into the right compartment. You can connect the unit to a vent or fan with the included hose.
Quickly separates liquids from solid waste
Convenient spider handle makes disposing of waste easier
Has hardware for locking the lifting lid down
Comes with a shorter vent hose than you may need
More expensive than other composting models
2. Nature's Head with Spider Handle
With an elongated seat and a large bowl, this model from Nature’s Head looks a lot like the one in your home’s bathroom. Though it looks tall from photos, it’s actually roughly the same size as home models and comes with a spider handle for dropping the waste into the right container in seconds. You can permanently install it in a home or cabin or use it with water that you add to the tank regularly.
Suitable for groups of all sizes, this model has a tank that is large enough to hold the waste that two people produce for up to six full weeks. It features containers for both solid and liquid waste that you can remove and empty in five minutes or less.
Comes with a warranty that lasts for a full five years
Will work with a fan or vent
Large enough to hold waste for up to six weeks before you need to empty it
May move a little each time that you sit down
Can take some time to figure out how to remove the waste container
3. Nature's Head Dry
As a dry model, this product works only with solid waste and not liquid waste. Though it does have a built-in space on the front that holds urine, you’ll need to purchase this bottle from the manufacturer to ensure that it fits this model. It runs off a 12v battery and comes with a power plug as well as a vent hose for venting it away from a building or camper.
Unlike the spider handle found on other models, this one comes with a crank handle that you turn a few times until the waste leaves the bowl. The top has a molded design that features a bowl made from just one piece and a lid that you can lift up to lean back against or drop down to seal off the bowl.
Features a hand crank for quickly or slowly moving waste
Lid drops down to block off the bowl
Runs on a 12v battery
Does not come with a urine bottle
Can attract bugs
4. Nature's Head with Crank Handle
While similar to the last model, this one is a little on the smaller size and may not last as long. It comes with containers that allow up to two people to use the bathroom for up to three full weeks before those containers reach their limits. It also has some pieces made from the same stainless steel used in the marine industry to extend its overall life.
The manufacturer designed this model to use two different containers, which help block some of the odors that might otherwise come out. This also makes it easier to clean and dump the model because you can empty either the solid or liquid waste container as needed or at the same time.
Made with some stainless steel to last longer
Separate containers keep odors from escaping
Containers can last for up to three weeks before reaching maximum capacity
Takes some time to install and set up
Lacks the convenient spider handle found on other models
5. Sun-Mar Dry
Designed to work with different Sun-Mar systems, this dry model is great for those who don’t have access to running water and those who want to cut back on the water they waste. It uses the natural force of gravity to move waste through the bowl and to get that waste down the drain. You can purchase an optional kit from the manufacturer that keeps waste from sticking to the sides of the bowl and to reduce any odors.
Made from fiberglass, this model is more durable than others and mimics the look of porcelain. It has a standard seat on top and has a total height of 15 inches. The bowl liner inside comes out for cleaning the whole bowl too.
Does not require any water to operate
Comes with a bowl liner that you can pull out for cleaning
Made from fiberglass that resembles porcelain
Must buy a separate kit to reduce odors
Only works with certain vent types
6. Earthtec ETEC
The ETEC is a sanitary option that is just as easy to carry as it is to use. You can carry it as-is with both the top and bottom pieces connected, but you can also break it down into the top part with the seat and the bottom part with the holding tank. That holding tank stores up to five gallons of waste, while a water tank holes more than two gallons of fresh water.
A special nonstick coating added to the inside of the bowl keeps your feces and urine from sticking to the sides, and it has an airtight design that actually locks in any smells. This model flushes up to 50 times before it needs more water and can support a user weighing up to 440 pounds.
Can carry it as one piece or after dividing it into two pieces
Features a discharge tube that swings out for faster emptying
Holds 2.8 gallons of water and five gallons of waste
Does not have any warning system to alert you of a full tank
Will not work with all types of toilet paper
7. Camco Standard
This model features a basic design that includes a top part and a bottom part with a latch that keeps the two pieces connected. All waste sent down the drain lands in a large tank that serves as the base, but this tank has a screw-on lid that comes off quickly for dumping that waste. It has a flush tank that holds 2.5 gallons and a holding tank that stores 5.3 gallons of waste.
Capable of supporting users of up to 350 pounds, the Standard has integrated handles for easily carrying it. Those handles also help you dump one tank and fill the other.
Saves all waste inside a separate compartment that you can dump into your compost heap
Secure latch keeps the seat part from slipping off the base
Simple screw-on lid comes off to dump the base
Is not very durable and cannot support larger users
Tends to shake and wobble when using it
8. Palm Springs Outdoors Recreation
This is a nice full size option that is quite similar to the bathrooms you’ll find in homes and campgrounds and stands more than 16-inches off the ground to help you get in the same position you would use at home. A holding tank holds up to five gallons of waste before you need to empty that tank, which is enough to store the waste produced by multiple people over a long weekend or more.
As a composting model, it features a base that acts as that tank, which you can easily remove to reuse that waste. It also has a leak-proof design that contains that waste and a water tank that holds three gallons.
Separate tanks hold five gallons of waste and three gallons of water
Uses a higher quality plastic material that lasts for years
Stands more than 16-inches tall to increase your comfort
Does not have enough water pressure to eliminate all waste
Lid can easily break off
9. Reliance Products Hassock
From Reliance Products comes the Hassock, which is one of the easiest models to take with you and use. This one does not require any water or venting because it’s really just a small self-contained bucket with a lid that snaps on top to prevent odors from spreading. You can take it anywhere and use it as long as you bring along some extra bags.
The contoured seat on top has some padding to reduce discomfort, and it comes with a lid that locks in place on top when you don’t need to use the product. There is also a built-in holder that keeps TP handy. You can use the bags you remove to properly dispose of waste or to use it for composting.
Features a cover to prevent splashes
Includes a built-in holder for your bathroom paper
Has a contoured and cushioned seat on top
Is too flimsy to support everyone
Must change out the bags to empty
10. Reliance Products Luggable Loo
Another option for trips when you won’t have access to fresh water is the Luggable Loo, which features a bucket on the base that holds five gallons of waste and a lid that lifts up to reveal a small seat. As it stands only 13-inches tall, you’ll need to sit closer to the ground and in a squatting position to use it. The manufacturer designed this model to work with all standard size bags.
When using it for composting, you can remove the bags after each use and drop the waste right in your heap or pile. The lid on top actually snaps down against the seat to prevent spills and leaks.
Has a total waste capacity of five gallons
Comes with a convenient top handle for carrying
Works with standard size bags
Only stands 13-inches tall
Doesn’t offer much in the way of support or comfort
Our Winner Is...
Whether you have a cabin in the woods, need a new model for using in a camper or RV or just want to camp far away from modern plumbing, the Self-Contained unit that Nature’s Head makes it the leading product for you. A spider handle near the base allows you to quickly spin the handle to eliminate your waste. The front has a separate container that collects and stores liquid waste, and all solid waste falls into a compartment in the back.
An elongated bowl increases your comfort and makes this one look more like your home unit. It features a lift that lifts up and closes down with a snap on the side for locking the lid in place. You can connect it to a vent and/or fan also.