A composting toilet is a type of dry toilet that serves as a temporary human waste management system. It practically decomposes the waste into usable manure.
When used appropriately, these products have a horde of benefits to offer. For instance, they save on water and energy. These toilets are environmentally friendly and offer a safe portable waste management solution.
Unlike flush toilets, composting toilets do not need to be connected to sewer systems or septic tanks. Such toilets are often used in rental homes, national parks, tourism resorts, and in off-grid homes.
In order to make the right choice, you need to consider such aspects as energy source, capacity, portability, composting rate and design of the toilet.
To make the choice easier for you, here are reviews of five of the best composting toilets today.
- 1 The Best Composting Toilets for 2019
- 1.1 1. Camco 41535 Premium Portable Travel Toilet – Best Overall
- 1.2 2. Porta Potti Curve Portable Toilet – The Best Portable Composting Toilet
- 1.3 3. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Toilet – The Most Affordable Composting Toilet
- 1.4 4. Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet – The Best Dry Composting Toilet
- 1.5 5. Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet – The Best Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- 2 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Composting Toilet
- 3 Our Final Verdict
The Best Composting Toilets for 2019
|Camco 41535 Premium Portable Travel Toilet|
|Porta Potti Curve Portable Toilet|
|Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Toilet|
|Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet|
|Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet|
1. Camco 41535 Premium Portable Travel Toilet – Best Overall
Owing to its compact design and lightweight, the Camco 41535 composting toilet is considered to be ideal for camping, road trip, boat trips and hunting adventures.
As compared to its competitors, this product offers a relatively larger capacity of 2.6 gallons. The product features a fresh water holding tank and a fairly powerful pump flush system. This system ensures the bowl is rinsed thoroughly after each use.
Other than that, this product has several other beneficial features to offer, including:
Being a portable model, you will probably be carrying this toilet along with you most of the time—even after using it. You do not want the odor to leak into your car or RV, right? To prevent this from happening, the unit features a secure latch system.
Once the spring-loaded latch has been secured in place, no odor is able to escape from the holding tank—even when the tank is filled up. Again, the latch mechanism used on this product makes it easier to remove the flush tank and lid for the purpose of cleaning.
Enhanced Ease of Use
The Camco 41535 Premium Portable Travel Toilet is specifically designed for use on the go. As such, it only has a limited capacity and may not be used to hold the waste for long. After the trip, you will have to empty the toilet and clean it.
As such, the unit comes with biodegradable add-ons to help break down the waster at a faster rate. You will also find this product to be comparatively easy to assemble and disassemble while cleaning. The automatic sliding valve gate on the toilet makes things even easier.
The valve will open while you are using the toilet to allow the waste to pass to the holding tank. Once you are done, the valve will close; offering an air-tight seal. This prevents to odor from leaking from the holding tank.
2. Porta Potti Curve Portable Toilet – The Best Portable Composting Toilet
The award-winning, innovative and top-of-the-line Portta Potti Curve Portable Toilet is renowned across the globe for looks and performance.
The product features a sleek, home-like modern design that features an ergonomic carrying handle.
With regards to design, the product also features a tank level indicator and an integrated toilet paper holder.
With Porta Potti Curve Portable toilet, your sanitary concerns are addressed as well. Some of the things you will come to love about this product include:
For a portable composting toilet, this unit offers decent tank capacities. The tank for holding flushing water, for example, can hold up to 4 gallons of water. This large volume of water is capable of sustaining several flushes, up to 56 flushes.
The waste holding tank, on the other hand, has a capacity of about 5.5 gallons. This waste holding tank is designed for enhanced ease of use. As such, you will find it fairly easy to separate, empty and clean. This tank is also equipped with a level indicator.
The indicator, along with a battery-powered flush system, is concealed behind the toilet seat.
3. Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Toilet – The Most Affordable Composting Toilet
One of the things users love about this toilet is its generous capacity and an efficient flushing system.
With regards to capacity, the product is offered in two main variants; an 18-liter toilet and a 24-liter model. The product is equipped with a powerful piston pump system that delivers a dual-directional rinse performance. So, what makes this product superior to its competitors?
This Sanitation Equipment product is built to remain intact following years of use in the outdoor environment. In addition to helping it withstand wear and tear, this tough construction makes it possible for the toilet to carry larger loads of waste.
Although the manufacturer does not specify the waste weight this unit can withstand, you can safely carry 300 lbs of waste on the toilet. This is a heavy load, bearing in mind that the toilet is made of plastic. Even with years of use, the unit will never give out under such weight.
Longer Pour Spot
In order to prevent spills or coming into contact with the waste as you empty the tank, the manufacturer fitted this unit with a long directional spout. In this regard, the Visa Potty features a directional feature that may be used to direct the waste as you pour it out of the holding tank.
Now that the product is made of solid opaque material, how will you know when the waste holding tank is filled or when you are running out of water for flushing? Pretty easy, the Visa Potty toilet features water and waste level indicators.
These indicators are mounted on the front part of the toilet for enhanced visibility. With the help of these indicators, you can easily tell when the waste tank is almost full so that you can empty it. Similarly, the water level indicator will let you know when you are running out of fresh water.
4. Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet – The Best Dry Composting Toilet
This may be the most expensive composting toilet in this guide, but it is definitely worth every cent. The Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting toilet is rated one of the best urine-separating dry composing toilets in the market today.
It is worth noting that the product was designed by two sailors who were after a more intuitive and durable composting toilet.
As such, the product is built to withstand harsh outdoor conditions associated with marine environment. So, what makes this product worth the price tag?
Stain-free and Durable Construction
One of the aspects that make this product stand out is its all-steel construction. For enhanced durability, this toilet is entirely made of stainless steel. As such, it is capable of withstanding the toughest of outdoor conditions.
Intuitive and Functional Design
This composting toilet features an appealing design that is functional. The fan and vent hose components used on this product, for instance will ensure that no odor is leaked from your toilet. This being the case, the unit will deliver an impressive odor-less performance even when used in confined spaces.
5. Sun-Mar Excel Self-Contained Composting Toilet – The Best Self-Contained Composting Toilet
With regards to design, the Excel unit features a low profile. As such, it has been proven to augment any bathroom décor.
Again, the composting toilet may be used almost anywhere, including in cabins, residences or even for light commercial applications. The Sun-Mar Excel is actually one of the best high-end composting toilets you can buy today.
The product offers unique convenience and performance features to justify the high price, including:
In-built Bio Drum
Being one of the best self-composting toilets available today, the product is equipped with a bio-drum to help decompose the waste. In this regard, the toilet will convert human waste into safe and nutrient-rich fertilizer without leaking any odor.
As you may have noticed, this composting toilet is comparatively larger in size. This also goes for its waste-holding capacity. As such, the toilet will suffice for six to eight people for one weekend before it needs to be emptied.
Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Composting Toilet
Now that you understand the many benefits a composting toilet has to offer, you probably are shopping for the right one.
Rather than depositing human solid and liquid waste into a sewer system, this toilet will break it down and decompose it into nutrient-rich and usable compost
While on the search for the best compost toilet, you must have come across numerous makes and models of composting toilets.
This leaves many property managers and homeowners wondering, which is the best composting toilet?
In order to ascertain which product is best suited for your intended application, you just have to weigh the benefits and downsides of each model. Throughout this guide, you will learn how a compost toilet functions and the various considerations you need to make while choosing one.
How Do Compost Toilets Work?
As mentioned earlier in this guide, composting toilets are specifically designed to decompose human waste.
In its functioning, the toilet separates urine from the solid waste and then uses the urine to produce ammonia—a plant nutrient.
By removing the liquid waste, the toilet shrinks the solid waste amount by about 90 percent. Composting toilets separate liquid and solid waste in different ways, depending on the type of toilet you are using.
In some toilets, the urine and solid waste are collected separately before they mix. In other models, the separation occurs in the storage container. The remaining solid waste is then decomposed aerobically—using oxygen. The final product is nontoxic and ready for use on plants.
How to Choose a Composting Toilet
Do you need a composting toilet for use at home or one that you can use on the go?
It does not matter, you need to ensure that your preferred option is efficient and of the best quality. Again, there are those units that are designed to use water and or electricity.
In case you do not have a water supply at the location of use, you should get a model that does not require any water to function.
Similarly, there are several other considerations that you need to make while shopping for the best compost toilet, including:
1. Composting Toilet Type
To begin with, you have to ascertain the type of compost toilet that will be ideal for your intended use.
The various composting toilets available today may be grouped into 5 broad categories based on how they work.
While choosing the right toilet, these are the 5 main compost toilet types you should consider:
- Waterless/Dry Toilets
These are the composting toilets that do not require any water to function. Even the dry composting toilets that have a flushing system use a negligible amount of water. Such products have been proven to be odorless.
As such, they are considered to be ideal for indoor application, such as household interior.
- Self-Composting Toilets
These feature a compact and more portable design. With regards to design, self-decomposing toilets have the compost system just below the bowl. Such a product is best suited for hiking or camping application. Self-composting toilets are essentially designed for use on the go.
- Electric Composting Toilets
With such toilets, the composting system features electronic appliances that need electricity to run. For instance, most of the leading models have an electric fan to continuously circulate air in the composting unit. Some of the electric composting toilets require a connection to a mains outlet.
However, there are other models that run on batteries. The various electric composting toilets are known to be more efficient and faster at decomposing human waste. However, such products are comparatively expensive to buy.
If you are not connected to the grid and do not have a generator to run the toilet, you should consider getting a battery-operated unit. Alternatively, you should go for the non-electric models, described below.
- Non-Electric Composting Toilets
As compared to the electric composting toilets, the non-electric models are relatively cheaper. In their functioning, these products use an alternative source of power, such as a wind turbine. For the composting process to continue normally, most non-electric toilets require you to manually mix the waste using a built-in crank.
These products are also slower and less efficient at composting human waste, as compared to the electric models. While this is the case, they are a great choice if you look forward to going green.
- Remote/Central Composting Toilets
Rather than encompassing the composting unit below the bowl, these toilets channel the waste to a composter—often separate from the toilet. Remote composting toilets are a great choice if you would like to use several toilets in the same location.
In such a case, you can connect several central composting toilets to one composter.
2. Toilet Capacity
How much waste can your composter hold? This will mainly depend on the size of the composter.
The right composting toilet capacity mainly depends on the intended application. Toilets meant for use on the go, for instance, do not need to have a large capacity.
Though lightweight and more portable, toilets with smaller capacities need to be emptied more frequently. This is because an increase in capacity makes the toilet heavier to carry from one place to another.
Again, you also need to consider the number of people who will be using the toilet. If the toilet will be used by a large number of people and more frequency, you will need a model with a larger capacity.
3. Zoning Requirements
Basically, there are no national laws governing the suitability and application of composting toilets in the country.
However, there are different zoning requirements imposed at the state, county and municipality level. Such requirements differ from one zone to another.
Before you buy a composting toilet, you need to ensure that it meets the zoning requirements in your area. You may as well contact your county or local government to inquire about the building laws that may affect the use of these products.
4. Bulking Material
In order to maintain the composting process, some toilets require you to add bulking material.
In such a case, the bulking material has to be purchased separately. In the long run, this will definitely increase the cost of compost production.
Bulking material is essential for breaking the waste down to allow for free air circulation.
However, there are toilet models that do not require the use of bulking material. Using bulking material in such a toilet may end up damaging it.
As such, you should seek to understand whether a toilet requires bulking material or not before buying.
5. Bowl Closure & Toilet Trap Mechanism
Regardless of where you will be using your compost toilet, you need to worry about the sanitation as well as odor. To maintain the best sanitation and prevent odor, you should get the best compost toilet trap.
Different toilets have different mechanisms for locking the composting receptacle/ waste line from the bottom of the basin. If you do not want to operate the closure mechanism, you should opt for the models that use an automatic trap closure mechanism.
Other models feature a manual valve that needs to be operated manually. Regardless of the case, you need to ensure that the closing mechanism on your preferred toilet is durable, effective and not prone to malfunctioning.
Our Final Verdict
Composting toilets are essentially designed to be used temporarily when you cannot access a conventional toilet. They save space, require minimal maintenance, and remove the need for expensive plumbing repairs.
However, these units are unique in that they help convert the waste into usable fertilizer. They are also cheaper and faster to install than traditional toilets.
While in some areas you may require a permit to install a composting toilet, such toilets reduce water consumption and can save up to 20 gallons of water per day, per person. That’s 7,000 gallons per year!
Before making your final decision, evaluate all your options, including installing a traditional toilet. This way, you’ll ensure you choose the best toilet for your home or commercial venue.