Composting toilets are not typically thought of to be normal. However, having a composting toilet when living off grid is entirely normal and is even common. Using a composting toilet allows you to significantly reduce your environmental impact by reducing your water usage and creating compost to help the environment better.
Many composting toilets look like standard flush toilets, are simple to install and empty, and have interesting features. If you are considering installing a composting toilet into your off grid homestead, these are our top choices for the 6 best composting toilets.
6 Best Composting Toilets
- Lightweight and portable
- It has a large waste tank
- No odor due to the ventilation fan
- Easy to install
- Limited capacity
The Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet is the best overall composting toilet. This composting toilet is easy to use and simple to install. It has a large waste tank which is large enough for two adults to use full-time.
You should only have to empty the toilet every four to six weeks. Located on the side is a spider handle to churn the solid waste inside the tank. The Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet draws in fresh from the electric fan, which helps keeps away unpleasant odors.
The fan uses 12V power, but it can be converted to 110V. This toilet typically uses 12V power because it is energy efficient. It is super lightweight, weighing only 28 pounds. This composting toilet has dramatically improved compared to older designs and will get the job done using less energy.
- Various power options
- Lightweight and compact
- No odors due to the fan
- Large tank capacity
- The toilet must be mounted to the wall
The Separett Villa 9215 is the runner-up for the best composting toilet. This self-contained and waterless toilet has no odor due to the electric venting fan. The Separett Villa 9215 can operate on 110V inside a home or a 12V system inside a motorhome or in a boat.
It is lightweight, weighs only 34 pounds, and is portable. The kit for the Separett Villa 9215 provides adapters for both 110V and 12V power, the toilet itself, and all the parts needed for draining the toilet and direct venting.
An average-sized family of four should have no issues with this size toilet, and it can typically go about three weeks until you need to be emptied. The only downside of this composting toilet is that it must be mounted to the wall. Overall, it is energy efficient and simple to use.
Best Self-Contained Composting Toilet
- Lightweight and compact
- Indicator light for emptying
- Suitable for small families or couples
- Built-in electric agitator
- Not aesthetically pleasing
The OGO Composting Toilet is the best composting toilet that is self-contained. It is highly compact and modern, weighing only 28 pounds.
It is an excellent choice for small spaces. The built-in electric agitator makes disposal easy, as you don’t need to self-churn or crank the waste for removal. The container for liquids is automatically set to last for between 25 to 30 uses before it must be emptied.
An indicator light signals when it is time for you to empty the disposal unit, making it easy to keep track of. The OGO Composting Toilet can accommodate a family of 2 two 3 for up to 50 uses. You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by using the OGO COmposting Toilet.
Best Portable Toilet
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Easy to clean
- It sits low to the ground
The Camco Portable Toilet is the best composting toilet that is portable. It is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 10.8 pounds. The Camco Portable Toilet is ideal for camping, boating, RVing, or living off grid.
This off grid composting toilet is easy to clean and is durable. A sliding gate on the bottom half of the waste tank opens to empty waste and closes to create a water-tight and odor-free seal.
The toilet seat is comfortable for any size, and the toilet can be used for individuals, couples, or small families of 3. Since the toilet is so compact, it cannot go more than three weeks without emptying the waste,
Best Bucket Toilet
- Easy handling
- Durable and UV resistant
- Designed for off grid living
- Easy to clean
- The grip lock bag is flat
The Camco Portable Bucket With Seat is the best composting toilet for off grid living, tiny homes, camping, RVing, and more. There is a handle that is easy to pick up, so you can carry it with you, While the bucket design of this composting toilet is not the most aesthetically pleasing, it works well and makes it easy for you to bring with you just about anywhere.
It contains UV-resistant polypropylene material, which makes it an excellent choice for areas without sanitation facilities or access to plumbing. There is an attached lid, which seals shut, to keep in the odor. It comes with three trash bag liners to collect your poop and urine and are simple to dispose of later on.
Weighing only 4 pounds, this bucket toilet is light and portable. This non electric composting toilet is a great choice and will help you significantly reduce your environmental impact.
Best Macerating Toilet
- Automatic macerator pump
- Low water consumption
- Functions quietly
- East to install
- The handle can stick when flushing
The Sanimove Macerating Toilet with a 500 watt macerator pump is one of the best off-grid toilet options. It contains a high-efficiency automatic macerator pump, which can push waste up to 240 feet horizontally and 24 feet through the discharge pipe.
This composting toilet does not use much water, as it uses 1 gallon for a light liquid flush and 1.28 gallons for a solid flush. Four inlet ports on the pump can connect to a sink, toilet, shower, or bathtub. The Sanimove Macerating Toilet is easy to install and does not need to be connected to any vent.
The 500-watt macerator pump functions quietly due to the stainless steel non-clog blades. When flushing, the handle can stick but should go back up without an issue. This is the perfect composting toilet for cabins, tiny houses, RVs, motorhomes, campers, or any other type of off grid living.
What is a Composting Toilet?
A composting toilet is used to treat human waste through a biological composting process known as composting. They use a completely natural process of decomposition that does not contain any harmful chemicals
How Does a Composting Toilet Work?
Whether your composting toilet uses a central system or is self-contained, it needs the right environment for aerobic bacteria to break down human waste. The toilet must have the right moisture level, temperature, and carbon-nitrogen balance. If these conditions are not met, your waste will not break down properly.
You will need to keep your compost toilet moist but not wet. Many of these toilets have a compartment for liquid waste. With self-contained composting toilets, the liquid will be drained by evaporating the liquid.
Typically, the temperature must be between 60 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for aerobic bacteria. Essentially, you follow the specific instructions of your composting toilet and meet the requirements, so your waste breaks down accordingly. Empty the waste as needed.
What Are the Components of a Composting Toilet?
Composting toilets have several components. The collection unit and the toilet unit make up two chambers, one for composting and the other for an aeration unit.
The toilet is the unit that is usually most familiar to users since it appears to look like a toilet. The toilet’s primary purpose is to be a comfortable place to dispose of your waste.
The composting chamber stores your waste to allow it to decompose correctly. It is typically designed to separate solid and liquid waste.
The collection unit is where your waste is broken down, and the evaporation process begins.
The aeration unit maximizes the decomposition of liquid waste and solid waste effectively.
It is designed to maintain the toilet’s aeration, oxygen, and temperature levels.
Do Composting Toilets Smell Bad?
Composting toilets usually do not smell and can even smell less than a standard flush toilet. Since your solid and liquid waste are separated in composting toilets, it prevents the odor from the sewer that you can usually smell with traditional toilets.
Most composting toilets have built-in fans to carry out the odor or vacuum it. If you smell any odor, it will likely just be fresh dirt, not waste. You can help your composting toilet not give off an odor by adding materials, like sawdust or peat moss, to help the bacteria break down quickly.
Benefits of a Composting Toilet
Composting toilets offer many benefits. They are completely worth the purchase if you are interested in these advantages.
Lowers Power Consumption
Composting toilets are the best off grid toilets since they significantly lower your power consumption. Since composting toilets are dry, they greatly reduce water consumption in your home. Both urine and feces are separated from wastewater, making your waste recyclable.
Many composting toilets only use about half a liter of water to flush, less than the 3.5 to 7 gallons of water that a standard toilet uses to flush. Since composting toilets use less water, it makes them ideal for areas with scarce water or areas that frequently experience droughts.
A home composting toilet is highly sustainable and environmentally friendly. It is excellent to use for off grid living, in rural areas, or for anyone who does not have access to a septic system or plumbing.
Composting toilets dramatically reduces your environmental impact by reducing water supply and recycling your waste. Using a composting toilet can also cut your financial costs since you do not need to pay as much for water or a sewage system. You can cut down your finances even further by using an off grid washing machine, which saves you water and money.
Everything you put into a composting toilet can be recycled, including toilet paper, which reduces the need for commercial fertilizing products.
Free composting is a significant benefit of using a composting toilet for your house. Once your waste is converted into compost, it can be used to fertilize your garden. This is helpful for those living off grid since many who live off the grid grow their food.
The compost can also be used as fuel for your home. When it combines with other organic matter in a methane generator, it creates an odorless gas that can heat your home or be used for cooking.
Once you install a composting toilet in your home, it requires minimal maintenance. The toilet takes care of itself, for the most part. However, you will need to empty your compost bin every few weeks.
Your toilet will eliminate water content and your urine, enabling microorganisms to decompose your solid waste. Therefore, you will not need maintenance or frequent cleaning.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Composting Toilet?
While composting toilets mainly provides benefits, there are some drawbacks. For some people, composting toilets might be difficult to use, especially if they are tall (taller than 6’3”).
You may also need a special permit to install a composting toilet, depending on where you live. Before purchasing a composting toilet, check with your local code enforcement agency to understand which regulations must be followed.
There are many off grid toilet options when it comes to choosing the best composting toilet. Whether you live off grid or want to help reduce your carbon footprint, composting toilets offer many benefits.
Shop around the options available in this roundup and see if you find the right choice for your homestead or off-grid living situation.