The best composting toilets that are easy to use (2023)

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The best composting toilets that are easy to use (1)

A composting toilet is similar in function to a traditional toilet. However, unlike traditional toilets, these toilets do not use water and therefore do not need to have a water pipe or be connected to a septic tank or sewage system. Instead, aerobic bacteria turn human waste into compost-like material, which can then be used as fertilizer if local laws permit.

"Composting toilets work through evaporation and natural decomposition." Because of their environmental benefits, they're becoming more common in the home," says Allison Harrison, co-owner of Goodbee Plumbing, which serves the New Orleans area. While composting toilets are often found in off-grid places like national parks, golf courses, and music festivals, as well as on boats and cabins, they're growing in popularity in cities too.

There are different types of composting toilets, but generally each has a tank or bin that holds the waste, which will eventually decompose. After using the composting toilet, the next step is to add carbon-rich materials to break down the waste — Harrison recommends sawdust, peat moss, or coconut. "These toilets don't have a flush, so you have to scatter the material after use to reduce odor and make room for oxygen, which can get into the waste to start the composting process," she says.

Some composting toilets separate solids and liquids to speed up the composting process. "You have to flush the toilet," says Harrison, "[but] the frequency depends on the capacity and usage of the toilet."

To select the best composting toilet for your family's needs, we have selected toilets that are efficiently designed and durable for off-grid use.odor minimization, and easy to install!

Our first choice

Overall the best

Nature's Head Composting Toilet with Spider Handle


The best composting toilets that are easy to use (2)

What we like

  • No installation

  • Ventilator

  • Low maintenance

  • Lightweight yet durable

What we don't like

  • On the more expensive side

  • Some reviews mention liquid diversion to the fixed tank

If you're looking for an easy-to-use, stand-alone composting toilet, the Nature Head lightweight toilet is for you. Our range of compostable toilets are perfect for small homes, RVs, RVs, boats and cabins, or any other space that doesn't have access to a sewer or septic tank.

"It's a great option because of the stainless steel parts, built-in fan and hose," says Harrison. As a waterless toilet, it directs liquid waste into a separate container that users should empty daily or every two days. Slowly rotate the spider handle to screw the solid waste into the tank. The toilet can be used regularly by two adults and only needs to be emptied after 4-6 weeks. You can safely dispose of toilet paper in it, but the company recommends using single-ply paper as it breaks down more easily.

To aerate and speed up the composting process, there is an electric fan that uses 12V electricity. It can also be connected to a solar valve or you can buy a transformer from the company to connect it to a 110V household socket. At most, the toilet smells slightly earthy, which means that it is properly composted.

Price at time of publication: $1,030

Dimensions:22 x 20,5 x 21,7 mm |Material:Plast |The picture:Rectangular |Capacity:26 Liter

Best budget

Stansport portable toilet

The best composting toilets that are easy to use (3)

What we like

  • Affordable

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Robust construction

  • Integrated handles

What we don't like

  • Must be emptied often

  • Some reviewers find it small

If you're looking for an affordable, hygienic and convenient travel toilet that you can use for a few days, then the Stansport camp toilet is the perfect companion for your fishing, hiking and camping trips. It's a smart short-term alternative to an expensive composting toilet, and more practical than building a DIY composting toilet from recycling a bucket. It is also recommended by Harrison, who praises the low cost. "While it's not the best option for a full-fledged composting toilet, this is the best choice if you have a short-term need, like a weekend getaway," she says. Place a biodegradable waste container in the toilet and empty as needed.

What we like about this toilet is the sturdy construction and full size seat and lid. It's made of durable plastic and can support up to 350 pounds without tipping over. However, some reviewers found it a bit too compact for adult use. Some customers recommend putting some high-carbon material at the bottom of the bin (and every time the toilet is used) to prevent odor. However, keep in mind that this will add weight and bulk.

Price at time of publication: $65

Dimensions:14 × 14 × 14 inches |Material:Plast |The picture:Square |Capacity:1.3 Gallon

Best for the smell

Self-contained composting toilet Sun-Mar Excel

The best composting toilets that are easy to use (4)

What we like

  • Ventilator

  • Thermostatically controlled heating

  • Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation

  • Removable footrest

What we don't like

  • On the more expensive side

  • Tung

  • More cracks to clean

If you're concerned about odors permeating your home, choose the Sun-Mar Excel waterless freestanding composting toilet. Designed for odorless decomposition, this composting toilet features a bio-drum, evaporation chamber and finishing drawer. It features a thermostatically controlled heater that quickly vaporizes liquid waste and is assisted by a rear fan that draws air into the vaporization chamber before forcing the air (along with any remaining odors) out the vent shaft. In addition, this composting toilet is certified according to the compostability standard 41national sanitation foundation,This means it's been confirmed to meet the set standards - including the absence of any unpleasant odours.

This sturdy toilet seats three adults (or a family of five) and can easily be used in homes, barns and cabins. Available in white or beige colors, it also has a removable footrest for your comfort, behind which the last drawer is located.

Price at time of publication: $1,899

Dimensions:22.5 × 33 × 32 in |Material:Fiberglass |The picture:Oblong |Capacity:Residential: 3 adults or families of 5/ Seasonal: 6 adults or families of 8

Best high capacity, non-electric

Sun-Mar CENTREX 3000 NE (non-electric)

The best composting toilets that are easy to use (5)

What we like

  • High capacity

  • Not electric

  • Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation

What we don't like

  • On the more expensive side

  • Tung

  • Gravity flush not included

  • Optionally, a ventilation fan can be installed

If you live off the grid or in an area with low power supply, the Sun-Mar Centrex 3000-NE high capacity central composting system is a great non-electric option that will stand up to heavy use. This is a continuous flow system where the rotation of the drum moves the waste along and turns it into fertilizer which then falls into the collection chamber at the end.

It is a fully assembled unit that can be connected to an ultra-lowGravity flush toiletthat use half a liter of water or less to flush. You also have the option of installing a 12V fan, which is recommended if you expect heavy use. It can easily be used by five adults or a family of seven in one unit and eight adults and a family of ten on weekends without blockages. And if one toilet is not enough, you can also install several in this powerful system.

Price at time of publication: $2,189

Dimensions:71 × 27 ½ × 29 ¼ in. |Material:Fiberglass |The picture:toilet not included |Capacity:Residential: 5 adults or families of 7 people / Seasonal: 8 adults or families of 10 people

Best laptop

Sun-Mar GTG Portable electric waterless toilet

The best composting toilets that are easy to use (6)

What we like

  • Compact size

  • Portable and mountable

  • No installation

What we don't like

  • The chambers must be emptied regularly

The Sun-Mar GTG Portable Electric Waterless Toilet is an ultra-compact solution that is convenient, portable and low-maintenance. Easy to install, it is an evolution of portable camping toilets, but lacks the composting chamber found in heavy-duty composting toilets. Instead, it works more like a cassette toilet with two compartments for solid and liquid waste. These units can be removed when full and reinserted when empty. The liquid waste can be simply dumped out while you can use a bag or liner in the solid waste container. The company recommends adding carbon-rich material to the solid chamber after each use.

This toilet also features an integrated 12V fan to speed up evaporation and eliminate odours. The toilet can be placed virtually anywhere as long as you have easy access to the chambers hidden in the floor - and it also comes with mounting brackets.

Price at time of publication: $699

Dimensions:24 x 15,75 x 19,8 mm |Material:Plast |The picture:Oblong |Capacity:Liquid chamber: 2.6 gallons, solids chamber: 6 gallons

The 8 Best Toilet Seats in 2023

Best automated

BioLet Compost toilet 65

The best composting toilets that are easy to use (7)

What we like

  • Fully automatic with fan, thermostat, LED display, mixer etc

  • Easy to clean

  • High capacity

What we don't like

  • Expensive

If dirty hands have kept you from investing in a composting toilet and budget is not an issue, consider the fully automatic BioLet 65a. This impressive toilet features an advanced liquid control sensor, thermostat, fan and automatic stainless steel mixer that does all the heavy lifting for you. The sleek design has no hard-to-reach places and comes with a detachable toilet seat for easy cleaning.

If you use it seasonally, you only need to empty the hummus tray in which the compost is placed once a year. And if you're going for more than two days, the company recommends turning off the BioLet 65A. In addition, this Swedish-made biological toilet won an awardthe Swan-Label,indicates that it complies with strict environmental regulations.

Price at time of publication: $2,970

Dimensions:32 x 25 ½ x 26 inches (required floor space: 22" W x 54" D) |Material:polystyrene ABS plastic |The picture:Oblong |Capacity:Residence: four people/seasonal: six people

Final Verdict

Freestanding composting toilet from Nature's Head with spider handle designis our range of stand-alone composting toilets, characterized by their ease of use and low maintenance. Our selection of odor minimizing toilets isSun-Mar Excel electric waterless composting toilet, a solid option that comes with a thermostatically controlled heater and is assisted by a fan at the top rear to quickly vaporize liquid waste.

What to look out for in a composting toilet


The types of composting toilets currently available are split systems and stand alone systems. "When deciding which composting toilet is best for you, be sure to determine the space you have and the type of flow you want," says Allison Harrison, co-owner of Goodbee Plumbing, a company that serves the New Orleans area.

  • The split system:Similar to traditional toilets, this type consists of two sections: a base and the central tank or drum to which it connects. This type of toilet is often best suited for high-traffic purposes as it has a larger capacity and requires less maintenance. The waste is washed out into a tank, hopper or biobarrel where composting takes place. These are generally more expensive than stand-alone toilets.
  • Self-contained system:Ideal for small homes or areas with limited space. This is a relatively affordable option. This compostable toilet features a base, removable tank and liquid drain, and the composting process takes place inside the toilet. Some self-contained systems may also have a water tank or water line to flush out debris, as well as a fan to keep the oxygen flowing. Some compact, standalone composting toilets are portable and can be installed in an RV, boat, or cabin.

Size Considerations

Composting toilets can be larger than oneconventional toilet, and there are various systems used for composting toilets - for example, a unit may be fitted with an aeration fan or have a larger tank to hold waste. Consider these factors, especially if you have limited installation space.

tank capacity

Before investing in a composting toilet, consider how many people will use it and how regularly. "On average, a composting toilet will last about 60 to 80 times," says Harrison. A larger tank always means a smaller onecleaningand more time to break down waste.

electricity and water requirements

Some composting toilet models require an electrical connection or water supply to operate. For example, some composting toilets require a 110V electrical connection or even a solar powered system to power a fan in the toilet to increase the flow of oxygen to feed the aerobic bacteria. Some composting toilets also have a water tank or connection to a water line for waste disposal.

odor management

There is a legitimate concern whether a composting toilet will cause a strong odor. However, with a well-functioning composting toilet, the risk of odor nuisance is negligible due to the way it is designed and how it works. Ventilation is key to avoiding odors and gases generated during the composting process. Some composting toilets come with a fan that helps circulate oxygen into the tank and push out the used air. This starts the composting process as aerobic bacteria need oxygen to convert the waste into organic matter.

Another handy tip is to add carbon-rich material regularly. "The best way to combat odor with your composting toilet is to be careful to place the carbon-rich material over the waste after each use," says Harrison. "These materials eliminate odors and allow for a faster composting process, creating a win-win situation."

Why trust grandma?

Neeti Mehrais a researcher and consultant and committed to a mindful life. During her career she has edited three magazines on a wide range of subjects. She writes about sustainability for The Spruce.

For this article, Mehra researched a wide range of composting toilets and addressed customer feedback. For insight into the best composting toilets, she spoke upAllison Harrison, co-owner of Goodbee Plumbing, which supplies the New Orleans metropolitan area andKelsey McWilliams, CEO of Point of Shift, a company that scales technology and develops systems for circular sanitation solutions.

The 10 best toilets for your home in 2023


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