7 Best Composting Toilets – Reviews and Top Picks

composting toilet

Composting toilets are highly preferred by eager adventurers that enjoy traveling, camping, boating, etc.

They are practical units that have the comfort and characteristics of a traditional toilet while being environmentally friendly.

Depending on your needs and specifications, there is definitely a product on the market that is likely to be ideal for you.

Best Composting Toilets 

We took the liberty to review the best composting toilets on the market, by assessing their most critical characteristics. This should make the shopping process much easier for you!

Model

Size

Weight

Fresh Water Tank Size

Links

Thetford 9260


(Our Top Pick)

18 x 18 x 16 inches

10 pounds

4.2 gallons

16.5 x 14.5 x 14.3 inches

11.2 pounds

3.7 gallons

14 x 16 x 15.5 inches

10.8 pounds

2.5 gallons

17.5 x 17 x 16 inches

11.4 pounds

4.2 gallons

36 x 36 x 28 inches

90 pounds

It doesn’t use water

19.8 x 20.8 x 20.5 inches

27.2 pounds

It doesn’t use water

22 x 20.5 x 21.7 inches

28 pounds

It doesn’t use water


1. Thetford 92360 Porta Potti 550E – The Best Powerful Portable Toilet

Whoever said that composting toilets look bad definitely didn’t see the minimalist, polished look of this unit.

Among the features that make it worth the investment is its comfort rating. We believe that the excellent craftsmanship and design play a role in this respect, as well.

As a matter of fact, we could argue that it is just as comfortable as a home toilet – which is quite important.

The large bowl size and the increased height are premium characteristics, as well. To be more specific, this is a really tall portable toilet.

Moving on, the flush is battery powered, which makes it really powerful. In truth, it is one of the most powerful ones we’ve tested so far.

Concurrently, the waste tank has a 5.5-gallon capacity, whereas the freshwater tank’s capacity is of 4.2 gallons. Evidently, this diminishes the urgency of emptying the tanks regularly.

Another design feature we liked was the water tank carrying handle, which makes it easy to transport the tanks. Plus, the toilet paper holder is a nice addition.

The Good

  • Comfortable
  • Smart design
  • Powerful flush, powered by 6 AA batteries
  • Leak-proof
  • 1-year warranty

The Bad

  • Some customers encountered issues with the flush motor

What's the Bottom Line?

Overall, this is an excellent option for a portable toilet. On a different note, it can be the right choice for anyone looking for a dependable composting bathroom for traveling.


This unit is both lightweight and efficient, and thanks to its smart design, you don’t have to worry about unwanted leakage incidents.

Thanks to the multiple flush water reservoir, you can rest assured that the waste won’t get stuck.

Additionally, this toilet’s flushing mechanism ensures that it gets thoroughly rinsed with every flush.

Furthermore, you get a generous water storage addition to the holding tank. To be more specific, it accommodates 3.7 gallons of water.

That means you get roughly 4 full flushes per tank fill-up.

At the same time, the holding tank keeps approximately the double of that amount, which is really practical.

When empty, the toilet weighs 12 pounds only, making it easy to transport and carry around.

A potential inconvenience of this toilet is that it should be used on a flat, firm surface, otherwise it won’t work accordingly. This might not be possible if you plan on using it on an RV, and the parking spot is slightly inclined.

The Good

  • Durability
  • Leak-proof, odor-proof design
  • Piston-type flushing system
  • Good water storage

The Bad

  • It might be too short for some people
  • It should be used on a flat, firm surface

What's the Bottom Line?

Overall, we believe that the experience provided by this portable toilet is a good one. It combines versatility with flushing power and smart design.


3. Camco 41541  – Best for Boating

To start with, this toilet has quite a large holding tank – namely of 5.3 gallons. The detachable design comes as a great advantage, allowing you to simply remove the tank in order to dispose of the waste.

Being quite large, the entire family can use it on lengthy boating trips, and not only.

Essentially, its durable, sturdy construction consisting of high-grade polyethylene plastic means that the toilet will remain in top shape after years of use.

We all know that portable toilets tend to be quite uncomfortable. Nevertheless, this isn’t the case for this particular one.

At the same time, the unpleasant odor is safely secured due to the sealing valve that locks the toilet tank.

It goes without saying that this also prevents any other leakage or spilling from occurring. Since it is relatively lightweight and compact, it easily fits even the tightest spots, which is mandatory for portable toilets, if you ask us.

The Good

  • Easy to maintain
  • User-friendly
  • Comfortable
  • Great for small spaces

The Bad

  • It might be too small for some people
  • The rinsing pressure could be more powerful

What's the Bottom Line?

In summary, this is a user-friendly, comfy toilet. It is odorless and easy to dispose of whenever you hit the road while being ideal for tight spaces.


4. Thetford 92853 Porta Potti 550P – Best for Outdoor Adventures

Thetford is among the most reliable producers of high-quality portable toilets. Its sizing makes it comfortable for most people to use; however, some users might still find it a tad too short.

At the same time, the seat is sturdy, accommodating adults of all sizes. As a matter of fact, larger adults have tested this toilet and assessed that it was comfy.

Moving on to the piston flush, it is one of the most powerful we’ve tested – we couldn’t expect anything less from Thetford.

Thanks to the sliding valve, the waste is sealed, deterring spillage. No one likes a portable toilet that is a drag to clean.

Happily, this is far from being the case with this particular toilet. Due to the detachable lids, the cleaning process is significantly improved; this way, all the surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

The Good

  • Robust construction
  • Versatile, especially great for outdoor use
  • Fully sealed
  • Modern, comfortable design

The Bad

  • Some people might find it too short
  • List Element

What's the Bottom Line?

On the whole, this is an excellent toilet whose sizing makes it ideal for most users. Essentially, it is fully portable, user-friendly and versatile for a wide range of applications.


5. Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric – Best for High-Capacity Use

The main thing there is to like about this toilet is that it’s created for a medium for high-capacity use. That is to say, it can easily accommodate the waste of up to three people. If the duration of the trip is shorter, namely just for the weekend, it might hold the waste of seven people.

Furthermore, you should note that this is a self-contained unit and the venting kit accompanies the toilet. The 4-inch venting kit does a decent job at dissipating the odors.

At the same time, the step-up stool attachment facilitates easier access to the toilet seat, due to the extended size of the bio-drum.

After testing the unit, we’ve established that maintaining it doesn’t pose too much trouble. That is to say, it is really easy and time-efficient to clean.

Nonetheless, the black water removal process might imply more work on your behalf.

We believe that this unit would be a great option for the houses that need an outdoor toilet. You also have the alternative of reusing the compost in the growing season, without worrying about disposing of the outhouse pit.

The Good

  • Ideal for high-capacity use
  • It includes a venting kit
  • Maintaining the toilet is fairly easy

The Bad

  • It could be sturdier
  • The step-up tool isn’t the best option for larger folks

What's the Bottom Line?

If you’re looking for a cost-effective and portable toilet that gets the job done, you won’t be disappointed by this unit.


6. Nature's Head Dry Composting Toilet – Best Versatile Waterless Toilet

To start with, although this unit is designed to be fully portable, it resembles the model of a traditional toilet. It could be an excellent option for a wide range of applications such as camping, RV’s, the marine – you name it.

We believe that one of its strongest points is its user-friendliness.

You can use the crank agitator for the composting process. Conversely, you get a 12v power plug that comes in handy especially if you have solar energy.

Since the unit’s operation is waterless, it removes all the water waste, while storing the waste separately.

Since the peat moss is included with the composting, you’ll notice that due to the elimination of water, the toilet’s capacity is unbelievable.

What is more, considering that there isn’t a holding tank, you don’t have to worry about possible emergency pump outs.

The Good

  • User-friendly
  • Easy installation
  • It incorporates a 5-foot vent hose
  • Removing the seat is easy

The Bad

  • When fully loaded, it is difficult to handle
  • The lid and chamber flap aren’t fully airtight, which might let flies in

What's the Bottom Line?

On the whole, this is a highly affordable unit that works as expected; it works well while significantly reducing your water usage. The fact that you can connect it to a 12v battery is definitely a pro.


The main reason why many people prefer to equip their RVs with composting toilets is that they don’t require black tanks. Therefore, by getting such a unit, you don’t have to worry about the black tank maintenance that comes with the territory.

At the same time, if you’re environmentally aware, the fact that this unit doesn’t use water in order to break down the waste is another consideration.

You may choose from various composting medium choices, such as sphagnum peat moss and coco coir.

And, contrary to popular belief, composting toilets don’t have any unpleasant odor – this is primarily due to the exhaust fan.

The role of the exhaust fan is to keep the inside of the toilet dry, thus, diminishing the likelihood of mold. And this particular fan does quite a decent job.

The Good

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
  • Great customer service
  • Extended use without the need to eliminate the waste

The Bad

  • The vent fan isn’t the most powerful
  • Indicating when the urine reservoir is full can be difficult in a poorly illuminated space

What's the Bottom Line?

All in all, this is a high-quality portable toilet that has received a lot of positive reviews. It disassembles in seconds, being easy to maintain, whil being environmentally friendly.


Choosing a Composting Toilet - Complete Buyer's Guide

Now we’d like to enumerate the most important considerations when you’re shopping for composting toilets.

dry toilet

Local Laws

Considering that composting toilets are quite unknown, there are specific municipalities and states that didn’t update their regulations regarding the hygienic treatment of human waste. That is to say, in certain locations, you might get a fine for using a composting toilet.

On that note, make sure you double check the regulations. As a rule of thumb, though, if you live in a rural area and you own your own land, you shouldn’t worry too much. If you live in an urban or suburban area, the situation is entirely different.

Capacity and Maintenance

It goes without saying that your own attitude and approach towards the maintenance process of a composting toilet shouldn’t be overlooked. For instance, some toilets require you to empty them more frequently than others, depending on their capacity and specifications.

At the same time, you should factor in how many people will be using the toilet as well as the amount of time. For example, perhaps you want a composting toilet for camping, or you need one for your RV. Each scenario requires a different type of composting toilet – so do assess your needs beforehand.

Space

Space is another important consideration. Therefore, you should check the item’s weight and dimensions before purchasing it, especially if you want a portable composting toilet. As for waterless composting toilets, they might occupy some space as well, so measure the place where you intend to use it.

Electricity

Distinct from most indoor fixtures, composting toilets might necessitate an electrical hookup. Nonetheless, this isn’t the case for all the models, as some units may be powered by solar light.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Composting Toilets

If you’re uncertain whether a composting toilet is a right option for you or not, you should assess the pros and cons associated with such a unit. Let’s have a careful look at the most notable ones.

Advantages

Eco-Friendly

In lines with this source, a household of four utilizes approximately 400 gallons of water daily – toilet flushing comprising one-fourth of that total. The fact that some composting toilets provide a waterless operation comes as a major pro for those who are environmentally aware.

In other words, if you want to diminish your carbon footprint, picking a waterless composting toilet is a great place to start.

Cost Efficient

Another great benefit of getting a composting toilet is that it costs significantly less than installing a septic system. This is the primary reason why those who have a small house or people that travel a lot with their RVs prefer them.

Safe

As long as you follow the necessary precaution measures, composting toilets are definitely safe. In other words, you should make sure that you take into consideration the recommended oxygen, temperature and moisture levels. Moreover, time is of the essence. To be more specific, the more time, the better – since this diminishes the survival rate of harmful pathogens.

Disadvantages

The Liquid Tank Must Be Emptied Frequently

In comparison to the solid tank, the liquid tank has to be emptied more frequently. Of course, this will depend on the number of people and frequency of use. However, as a rule of thumb, if two adults use a composting toilet, the liquid tank should be emptied every four to five days.

The Smell

It goes without saying that emptying a composting toilet doesn’t smell like roses. So, discarding of the waste tanks is far from being a pleasant experience.

Mold Issues

Moving on, another problem with composting toilets is that the solid tank might develop mold. This is likely to happen if the tank is too moist after the emptying procedure. Therefore, it is critical to avoid putting too much water in the composting medium for the re-hydration process.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, the market abounds with plenty of options for composting toilets that offer a lot of features. If you find that such a unit is the right one for you, you couldn’t go wrong with either one of our recommended products.

As long as you know that you can deal with the disadvantages linked to composting toilets, you’ll be on the path to significantly reducing your carbon footprint.


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