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The Best Composting Toilet: Comparing the Top Brands

Searching for the best composting toilet? You're in the right place! We’ll break down the top options for different needs, from RV travel to off-grid living. Find out which models excel in performance, ease of use, and sustainability.

Best Composting Toilets

Key Takeaways

Best Composting Toilet For Homesteading:

Sun-Mar Excel: High capacity, built-in fan and heater, continuous composting. Green Toilet by Waterless Toilet Shop: Batch composting, durable, suitable for larger families.

For Off-Grid Cabins:

Occasional Use: Nature’s Head, Oz-E Pod by Waterless Toilet Shop, or Laveo Dry Flush for easy waste disposal. Full-Time Use: Sun-Mar Excel for high capacity, Nature’s Head for compact spaces, Green Toilet for outhouse-style use.

For RVs or Vans:

Nature’s Head: Robust design, compact. Laveo Dry Flush: Ultra-portable, no ventilation required, holds a charge for 300 flushes.

For Compact Spaces/Tiny Homes:

Nature’s Head: Small footprint, easy to use. Separett Villa: Streamlined design. Sun-Mar Compact: Fits smaller bathrooms. Tiny Pod by Waterless Toilet Shop: Durable and compact.

For Vacation Homes:

Separett Villa: Easy to use, high capacity, no bulking material required, user-friendly design.

Composting Toilet that feels most like a traditional toilet:

Separett Villa: Easy to use, high capacity, no bulking material required, user-friendly design.

Intro to Composting Toilets

A composting toilet might just be the game-changer you haven’t considered yet. It’s an odorless, waterless system that transforms human waste into compost, a stark contrast to traditional flush toilets which require gallons of water and complex sewage treatment. Sustainable living is not just a trend but a necessity, these toilets offer an ingenious solution to a problem as old as civilization itself—the disposal of human waste.

As tiny homes and RV living become more than a new trend, the demand for composting toilets has soared. With roughly 4 million Americans living without a flushing toilet, it’s clear that the traditional bathroom setup isn’t accessible or desirable for everyone. Let’s explore how these eco-friendly toilets are making a significant impact on how we think about waste.

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Understanding Composting Toilets

Composting toilets are an epitome of green technology. By separating liquid and solid waste, they facilitate a natural process where human waste is broken down into nutrient-rich compost. Unlike traditional toilets, composting toilets operate without water, saving this precious resource and allowing for installation in places where plumbing might not be an option.

The beauty of these systems lies in their simplicity and environmental benefits. They’re 100% green and help reduce the ecological footprint of our most basic human need—sanitation. Whether it’s a tiny house or a sprawling homestead, composting toilets offer a sustainable and efficient waste management solution.

Separett Composting Toilet

Who Uses Composting Toilets?

Who exactly uses composting toilets? The answer might surprise you. Composting toilets are used by:

  • RV and Van owners seeking freedom on the open road
  • Eco-conscious individuals building their tiny homes
  • People who value sustainability and want to reduce their environmental impact
  • Those living off the grid, where traditional utilities may not be available or reliable
  • People experiencing Mobility issues that need a toilet in an untraditional space (i.e beside their bed)

How Composting Toilets Work

At its core, a compact composting toilet is a marvel of simplicity and efficiency, making many people wonder how does a composting toilet work. It separates liquids from solids, with urine typically diverted to a front canister or urine drain and solids collected in a bucket at the back. The secret to a well-functioning compost toilet system is ventilation—using a fan to circulate air and control humidity, thus preventing odor and facilitating the drying process.

The composting process thrives on balance—heat, oxygen, moisture, and organic material all contribute to a natural decomposition that turns human waste into compost. With proper maintenance, a composting toilet produces a nutrient-rich material, devoid of sewage smell, ready to nurture the soil. It’s a beautiful cycle that reflects the natural processes of the Earth.

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Different Types of Composting Toilets


Urine Diverting

A Urine Diverting Composting toilet generally has two openings, one in the front to divert the liquid and a larger opening in the back to handle solid waste. Generally the liquid is either caught in a container that will fill and need to be emptied, or will have a drain that can be diverted to another container or a trench. Urine is sterile, so it is not unsafe, however it can cause odor if not handled correctly.

The Solids bin will usually have compost bulk material that mixes with the solid waste which allows for the compost process to happen. The solids will turn into soil and should have an earthy smell (because it's soil) and will not smell like human waste. 

Continuous Composting Toilet

Batch Composting

A Batch Composting Toilet will have one large opening that both solid and liquid waste go into. There will be drainage at the bottom of the bowl/container to allow excess moisture to drain out and there will be a drain tube to allow it to leave the toilet. Urine will actually speed up the composting process, so allowing it to pass through the waste can be a great thing. You will need to add some composting bulk material to the bowl as well, such as coco coir or sawdust.

Once the composting container is full, you can place the lid on the bowl and put it in a shed or out of view to allow the composting process to finish. Then you just place the fresh composting container in the toilet to continue use. 

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Continuous Composting

A continuous composting toilet is an eco-friendly type that composts waste continuously in a single container. Unlike batch systems, where you swap out full containers, a continuous system lets you add new waste on top while older waste breaks down at the bottom. This design allows you to remove composted material from one end, usually the bottom or front, while adding fresh waste from the top or back.

These toilets manage moisture, vent to prevent smells, and often separate liquid and solid waste. This setup boosts composting efficiency, making the toilets usable for longer periods without needing frequent emptying.

Comparing Urine Diverting Models

Price $1030 $1030 $766 $1099 $989 $999
Dimensions Height: 20" Width: 19" Depth: 17.75" Height: 17" Width: 18" Depth: 17.75" Height: 19.8″ Width: 15.75″ Depth: 24″ Height: 19.7" Width: 13.8" Depth: 20.9" Height: 21.3" Width: 19" Depth: 26.5" Height: 18.5" Width: 15.7" Depth: 19.6"
Weight 28 lbs 26 lbs 25 lbs 31 lbs 42 lbs 18.7 lbs
Electricity Requirement 12 V fan with optional 110V adapter 12 V fan with optional 110V adapter 12V dc fan 0.6W (110V, 240V) 12V fan with 110V adapter 12V fan with 110-240 V universal adapter 12V fan, 110-240 V adapter
Self Contained or Collection Self Contained Self Contained Collection Collection Collection Collection
Capacity 6.5 Gallons. 2 Full time users will fill the solids bin in about 3 - 4 weeks 2 Full Time users will fill the solids bin in about 2 weeks 6 Gallons. Empty Compostable bag when needed. 3.96 Gallons. Empty Compostable bag when needed. 6.1 Gallons. 4 people can use it for about a month. 3.8 Gallons.
Special Features Easy to Use Agitator Handle Even more compact than the original Nature's Head Portable, can be used at a campsite etc. Ultra Compact. Has an LED Light to indicate when liquids container is full Solids area opens automatically when you sit Can use a Urine container or Drain. Super compact.
Bulking Material Required? Yes Yes Yes (as covering material) No No No
Urine Container or Drain Container Container Container Container Drain container or drain

What's the difference between a Self Contained or a Collection Urine Diverting Composting Toilet?

A self contained urine diverting composting toilet means that the waste material gets composted within the toilet with your bulking material. When it's full, the material will be ready to add to your lawn or garden.

A collection urine diverting composting toilet means that the waste is collected in a bin within the toilet that is lined with a compostable bag and you empty it when its full. You then place the bag into your compost pile to let the waste finish composting.

Some people choose to add bulking material to their waste bin each time they go so they can simply throw the bag in the garbage when it's full.

Top Brands of Composting Toilets

When it comes to the best composting toilets, several brands have made a name for themselves with their reliability and innovative features.

  • Nature’s Head
  • Waterless Toilet Shop
  • Separett Villa
  • Laveo Dry Flush
  • Sun-Mar Excel

Nature's Head Composting Toilet

The incredibly popular, compact & durable urine diverting composting toilet

  • Stainless-steel hardware
  • 12V electric fan
  • Designed to handle the demands of up to four users with ease
  • Compact design, often used in Vans, Tiny Homes and Cabins
  • Waterless system that separates liquids from solids (Urine Diverting)
  • Requires a composting material like coconut fiber or peat moss to aid the process
  • Simply Crank the tumbler to get oxygen into the compost after each use
  • Easy to Empty
  • Urine is caught and will need to be emptied once container is full
  • Compost container gets emptied once full, can throw it in the garbage or use the compost in the garden

Installation is a breeze with secure L-brackets and a single hose for ventilation, making it a favorite among RVers and tiny house dwellers alike. And when it’s time to empty the tank, the process is straightforward, ensuring a clean and hassle-free maintenance routine.

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The Waterless Toilet Shop

The Waterless Toilet shop started in Finland over 30 years ago, then expanded to Australia and now have expanded to the United States. They have a fabulous reputation for durability and innovation. They are known for their Green Toilet, which uses a batch composting system and replaces the need for an outhouse. They have a large variety of composting toilets, urine diverting compact systems, batch composting systems for longer use and larger crowds, as well as continuous composting systems. Whatever you need, they have a composting toilet for you!

The Green Toilet

  • Most commonly used in outhouses for larger families or crowds
  • Can be used in Tiny Homes & Cabins
  • Comes with a spare container for easy switch outs to allow the composting process to complete while still using the toilet
  • Designed with durability in mind. There are no easy to break parts, so even in public use, the Green Toilet will last.
  • 3-5 people part time/seasonal use, or 1-2 people full time use. If the use will be higher, all you need to do it buy an extra container to switch it out when full.

RV Pod

  • Compact Size for Vans, Tiny Homes and RV's
  • Urine diverting toilet
  • Compostable bag for easy solid removal once full
  • 12V Fan and a chamber screen to prevent any odours
  • LED light liquids indicator to see when it's full
  • No bulk agent or covering material needed. When solids container is full, it's emptied onto a compost pile and should be buried by 4 inches of compost or covering material.
  • When 2 people are using it regularly, the solids chamber will fill in about 2 weeks of use
  • Made in Australia
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Separett Villa Composting Toilet

The Separett Villa composting toilet stands out with its user-friendly design and sophisticated urine-diverting system. It offers the following features:

  • User-friendly design
  • Sophisticated urine-diverting system (drained out, not collected)
  • Using it feels like a regular toilet
  • Waste hiding flap opens automatically once you sit, no need to open it yourself
  • No Bulking Material Needed
  • No Cranking or Tumbling necessary
  • Easy maintenance
  • Odor-free operation
  • Internal fan for ventilation and dryness
  • Low power consumption (17 watts)

With these features, the Separett Villa provides a convenient and odor-free composting toilet solution.

Whether you’re living off-grid or simply want to reduce your environmental impact, the Separett Villa is a reliable and efficient choice. Its compact size allows for easy installation in a variety of settings, from cabins to mobile homes.

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Separett Villa Composting Toilet

Laveo Dry Flush Portable Toilet

Although the Laveo isn't a Composting Toilet, I thought it would be a disservice not to include it for those looking for an off-grid toilet solution. For those on the go, the Laveo Dry Flush Portable Toilet is a game-changer. Its unique features include:

  • A bagging system that seals waste with each flush
  • Incredibly portable design
  • Waterless operation
  • Odor-free design
  • No bulking material or tumbling required
  • Can hold a charge for 300 flushes, so no need to keep it plugged in
  • No Venting Required

These features make it an attractive option for campers and road trippers.

The Laveo’s maintenance is as simple as its use: wipe down the exterior, and you’re done.

Thanks to its innovative design that keeps waste contained and out of sight. Its compact size and the ability to hold up to 500 lbs make it a robust choice for nearly any adventure.

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Laveo Dry Flush Portable Toilet

Sun-Mar Excel

The Sun-Mar Excel Composting Toilet is a super popular choice. It uses a patented Bio-Drum Technology that allows it to be self contained and easy to use.

  • Patented Bio-drum Technology: Features a rotating drum that facilitates composting by mixing and aerating waste material.
  • Two-Chamber Design: Allows for continuous composting; one chamber is in use while the other composts.
  • Self-Contained System: Does not require plumbing or water connection, making it versatile for different installations.
  • Continuous Composting: Waste is composted continuously with the rotation of the drum so you can easily remove the ready to go compost without needing to empty the whole toilet.
  • Non-Electric Option Available
  • Perfect for Cabins, Off-Grid Homes & Homesteads
  • Residential/Continuous - 3 adults or families of 5
  • Seasonal/Vacation - 6 adults or families of 8
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Best Composting Toilets for Homesteading

For the homesteaders who are deeply rooted in sustainable living, the Sun-Mar Excel and the Green Toilet by Waterless Toilet Shop are two top contenders.

The Sun-Mar Excel features a high capacity and a built-in fan and heater for rapid decomposition, perfect for handling the demands of a busy homestead. It's also self contained, easy to use and only needs to be emptied every couple of months. It's a continuous composting system, so the ready to go compost just falls into the finishing bin which makes it a breeze to empty.

Alternatively, the Green Toilet by The Waterless Toilet Shop feature's a unique batch composting system that allows you to take the compost container out, and leave it to finish composting while you put another container in and continue to use the toilet. It's large capacity allows it to be used more like a long term outhouse than a regular composting toilet. You can also use these systems inside your home as long as you have the room and accessibility under the floor.

Best Composting Toilets for a Homestead

Best Composting Toilets for a Cabin

Living off-grid brings unique challenges, and having a composting toilet that is sustainable and low-maintenance is crucial. Your choice will really depend on how often you'll be using it, if you live in the cabin full time or if it's a vacation spot, also how many people it needs to accommodate. 

Occasional Use

For occasional use, any of our Urine Diverting smaller systems like the Nature's Head or the Oz-E Pod by the Waterless Toilet Shop which uses batch composting would work well. You may also want to consider the Laveo Dry Flush Toiletif you want to dispose of the waste after the weekend and don't want to teach your guests about adding bulk material like coco coir to the waste bin. 

Full Time Use

If you live in the Cabin full time, you'll need to consider a few things. If you are able to install the toilet inside, then the Sun-Mar Excel is a great option as it has high capacity and continuous composting, so it only needs to be emptied a few times a year, however this toilet is a little larger.

If you can install inside, but are tight on space, then the Nature's Head composting toilet is a great option. It's easy to use, compact and easy to empty. The solids bin needs to be emptied about once every two months with two people using it regularly, the liquids container will be emptied more often of course.

Best Composting Toilets for a Cabin

Best Composting Toilet for an RV or Van

The nomadic lifestyle of RV and van dwellers requires a toilet that’s not just compact but also efficient at waste management.

Nature’s Headoffers a robust design that’s perfect for the tight spaces of mobile homes. It's also easy to empty and uses a urine diverting system so the solids bin only needs to be emptied every couple of months with two users full time.

The RV Podby the Waterless Toilet Shop was specifically designed for RV's with a compact size and sleek design. This system places your solid waste into a compostable bag that is easy to remove and add to your compost pile, so the waste doesn't compost in the toilet (which means no bulking material needed).

For those looking for an ultra portable option, the Laveo Dry Flush toilet requires no ventilation or bulking material and can hold a charge for 300 flushes, so no need to keep it plugged in. 

Composting toilets for RVs are essential as they allow travellers to extend their journey without worrying about water supply or finding dump stations. 

Best Composting Toilet for a Van or RV

Best Composting Toilets for a Compact Space or Tiny Home

In the cozy confines of a compact space, every inch counts. Here are some compact toilets that are perfect for tiny homes where space is at a premium:

Best Composting Toilet for a Compact Space or Tiny Home
Price $1030 $989 $2060 $749
Dimensions 20 (H) x 19 (W) x 17.75 (L) 21.3 (H) x 18 (W) X 26.5 (L) 28.5 (H) x 21.5 (W) x 33 (L) 19.3 (H) x 13.8 (W) x 20.5 (L)
Weight 28 lbs 42 lbs 45 lbs 30 lbs
Power Requirements 12V or 110V for fan 12V or 110V for fan 110V for fan and heater None
Type Of Composting Toilet Urine Diverting Urine Diverting Continuous Composting Batch Composting

Installation Tips for an RV or Camper

Secure installation is paramount when it comes to fitting a composting toilet in an RV. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Fasten the toilet to the floor to prevent any movement during travel.
  2. Ensure proper ventilation
  1. Keep maintenance and emptying in mind when chosing where to install your composting toilet

Best Composting Toilet for a Vacation Home

If you are placing your Composting Toilet in a Vacation Home or Air BNB you are going to want it to be EASY to use and durable, and ideally the closest possible thing to using a traditional toilet. If you are installing it inside, I would recommend the Separett Villa.

  • Looks similar to a traditional toilet
  • No bulking material needed
  • No Tumbling or Cranking required
  • Flap over the solids bin that hides the waste and opens automatically when you sit down
  • Urine is drained out, not caught, so no emptying is required
  • High Capacity, with 4 users it should fill in about 4-6 weeks
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Common Problems and Solutions with Composting Toilets

Like any system, composting toilets can face issues, but fear not—solutions are at hand. Odors, often caused by excess moisture or clogged hoses, can be managed by ensuring functional ventilation and regular maintenance. Bugs and pests can also be deterred with proper care and a sealed system.

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Waste Disposal

There are a variety of composting toilets to choose from, each offering their own unique way to dispose of waste.

Composted waste is safe to discard in the trash or simply add it to your lawn or garden.

Managing Bugs and Pests

Managing Pests

If your composting toilet has a vent, be sure to cover it with mesh to prevent pests from coming in.

Aside from that, composting toilets are generally pretty sealed so just keep your lid closed and you should be good to go.

Odor control

Odor Control

Generally composting toilets can sometimes have a slight earthy smell from the compost, they shouldn't smell like urine or waste if they are being handled correctly.

Check the instructions of your model to make sure you're cleaning and maintaining it correctly.

Installing your composting toilet


Each composting toilet will have different installation instructions, but generally they include mounting to the floor and installing a vent.

A few models can be completely portable with no vent install needed, so if that's what you need, it is available.

Maintenance Tips

Routine maintenance is essential for keeping your composting toilet in top condition.

Natural cleaners like vinegar are your best friend when it comes to keeping the system clean and hygienic.

Regular checks on the urine container or urine diverting system are always a good idea as urine is generally the biggest culprit of odors. 

Composting Toilet Considerations at a glance:

Composting toilets that don't require Tumbling or Cranking:

Separett Villa, Separett Tiny, Oz-E Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop, RV Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop, Green Toilet by The Waterless Toilet Shop, Laveo Dry Flush Toilet

Batch Composting Toilets:

Oz-E Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop, Green Toilet by The Waterless Toilet Shop, Tiny Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop

Continuous Composting Toilets:

Sun-Mar Excel Sun-Mar Excel NE (Non Electric), Sun-Mar Compact Composting Toilet, Sun-Mar Spacesaver

Composting Toilets that are the most like using a regular toilet:

Separett Villa

Composting toilets that can handle large crowds:

Green Toilet by the Waterless Toilet Shop, GL 90 by the Waterless Toilet Shop and Sun-Mar Centrex

Composting toilets that only get emptied once or twice a year:

Sun-Mar Excel, Centrex Central Composting Toilet System by Sun-Mar, Green Toilet by The Waterless Toilet Shop

Composting toilets that are completely portable:

Laveo Dry Flush

Composting toilets that don't require electricity:

Sun-Mar Excel NE, Laveo Dry Flush (holds a charge for 300 flushes) and Tiny Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop. Most of the other compost toilets can hook up to a solar panel or battery as well

Composting toilets that can fit in a tiny space:

Nature's Head Composting Toilet Tiny Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop, Separett Tiny, Sun-Mar Compact

Composting toilets that don't require emptying urine:

Sun-Mar Excel (evaporates urine), Separett Villa (empties through tube and leaves your home), Oz-E Pod by The Waterless Toilet Shop (empties through tube and leaves your home), Laveo Dry Flush Toilet (contains all waste in self sealed bags and is disposed of), Green Toilet by The Waterless Toilet Shop (works like an outhouse)

Composting toilets that don't require bulking material:

Separett Villa, RV Pod by the Waterless Toilet Shop, Laveo Dry Flush Toilet

Frequently Asked Questions

How do composting toilets handle toilet paper?

Composting toilets can handle toilet paper, especially if you use single-ply paper as it breaks down more easily. Just make sure to use toilet paper that is safe for composting.

Can composting toilets really be odorless?

Yes, with proper maintenance, ventilation, and moisture control, composting toilets can be virtually odorless.

Is it difficult to install a composting toilet in an RV?

Installing a composting toilet in an RV is generally straightforward if you have some DIY skills, as it involves securing the toilet to the floor and ensuring proper ventilation.

What happens to the waste in a composting toilet?

The waste in a composting toilet is broken down into compost with the help of bulking materials like coco coir or peat moss. This natural decomposition process turns the waste into usable compost for gardening or landscaping purposes.

Are composting toilets legal in all areas?

Composting toilets are legal, but you should check the local regulations when it comes to disposal of waste. The composted waste should be totally safe to add to your lawn or garden, or simply dispose of in the garbage.

The Best Composting Toilet For You

Composting toilets are a smart choice for anyone looking to live sustainably. Whether you’re on a homestead, in a tiny home, or traversing the country in an RV, there’s a composting toilet that fits your needs.

By embracing this eco-friendly option, you’re contributing to a healthier planet and a more resourceful way of living. We would love it if you would make your purchase through our family run shop, Wild Oak Trail. It really means the world to us!

Call us at 1-844-WILDOAK (945-3625), email at customersupport@wildoaktrail.com or chat in on our website. We'd love to hear from you!

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