Composting Toilet Reviews

Everyone knows the great benefits of using compost in gardens to grow healthy foods, flowers, plants and more. Having said this, everyone also knows how hard it is to make your own compost and how expensive it is to buy it from stores.

But a new eco-friendly solution is here: composting toilets. These great toilets let people make their own compost in a cost- and time-effective way, while also preserving the environment since they don’t use any water. Composting toilets are not only an amazing alternative for homes, but they are also super convenient for RVs, cottages, cabins, boats, rural homes and more. They are very easy to set up and use, without requiring access to water.

Once you know about these toilets, you only need to decide which type is best for you and your needs, what to look for, and which factors to consider before you make your purchase. Do you need an electric or non-electric one? Small or large? We have taken the time to do extensive research for you, so you can quickly understand the types of self-contained composting toilets currently available, and what other users are saying in reviews and the feedback they are providing.

Composting Toilets – Top 4 in 2020

We have focused our efforts in the top 4 composting toilets for 2020 since we want to share information on the best options currently on the market. We looked at their key features and customer reviews, so you can know what people who have used them are saying. If you go through the information below, you will be a composting toilet expert and will know exactly which one to buy to meet your needs, whether it is for your home or elsewhere. We have also created a “detailed buying guide” with a lot of additional details and information as well. Enjoy and happy composting toilet buying!

This composting toilet is great in size and height, which solves the challenge with some of these toilets that have smaller and lower seats. It really is one of the most comfortable toilets in the market, and similar in experience to using a regular non-composting toilet. It has a full-sized elongated seat and an average height frame, so many people select it over other models.

Another desirable feature is that this composting toilet is on the lighter end of the spectrum, weighing only 28 lbs. This allows for convenient setup in whatever type of floor that you want to use it on, without having to worry about a larger weight. It is also very efficient with its electricity usage, creating a great composting environment at a very low usage cost.

The manufacturer claims that this toilet doesn’t have the foul odors associated with all other holding tank systems. The low volume air circulation fan built into the head provides the added benefit of recycling the air in your bathroom which helps make your whole environment smell better.

Various customers have also mentioned that it is very easy to setup and disassemble for emptying, that the customer support service is readily available and responsive, and that they really appreciate the 5-year warranty as a peace of mind for buying this toilet which is a bit on the expensive end of the spectrum.

Features: Nature’s Head Self-contained Composting Toilet

  • Seat Shape: Full-size elongated
  • Capacity: Good for 2 people full-time or more on weekends
  • Made in: United States
  • Fan: built-in low-volume air circulation
  • Vent hose: included
  • Dimensions: 22” x 20.5” x 21.7”
  • Weight: 28 lbs
  • Wattage: 0.72 W
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Warranty: 5 years

Overall, this is a great buy due to its ease of setup, comfortable use, customer service, and warranty.

Pros: Nature’s Head Self-contained Composting Toilet

  • Full-sized seat
  • Lightweight
  • Low voltage/wattage
  • Self-contained
  • Long warranty
  • Built-in circulation fan

Cons: Nature’s Head Self-contained Composting Toilet

  • A bit expensive, but worth it.

2. Separett Villa 9215

While large composting toilets may be more comfortable, many people require compact versions that can fit certain types of homes, cabins, RVs, and other places with reduced spaces. This toilet has been ranked as the best compact composting toilet currently on the market, so you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Also, this toilet is known for how easy and fast it is to setup. Everything you will need is included with the toilet, saving time and money as there is no need of having to buy extra parts. Along with this setup is another desirable feature of being able to connect it to an electrical outlet or use it while it is battery powered, which can be very convenient in rustic areas or limited power supplies.

Like other composting toilets, this one is on the more expensive end of the spectrum but it comes with a convenient 5-year warranty for any issues/parts that may require support by the manufacturer, so you can shop with confidence and piece of mind.

Features: Separett Villa 9215 Composting Toilet

  • Capacity: 3 weeks for average family use
  • Fan: One-speed 12V (<30 db)
  • Vent hose:
  • Dimensions: 18” x 26.5” x 21.3”
  • Weight: 47 lbs
  • Wattage: 2.5 W
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Power consumption: 06kWh/24 hours
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Includes all necessary parts for mounting, battery cable and power adapter
  • Concealing view screen

Pros: Separett Villa 9215 Composting Toilet

  • Compact, convenient size
  • All necessary accessories are included
  • Battery operated
  • Long warranty
  • Ventilation fan

Cons: Separett Villa 9215 Composting Toilet

  • Expensive

3. Sun-Mar Excel

This toilet is great if you have a larger family or expect to entertain various guests because it has the largest capacity of all composting toilets currently available on the market. This also makes it larger in size and heavier than others, so it is not recommended for certain types of floors or surfaces, and it is harder to transport and move it around. Having said this, this toilet can easily handle three or four people full time and up to eight people for a few days, so many people love this feature and capacity.

Another desirable feature is that it is non-electric, hence it doesn’t require any electricity. This makes it super cost-effective to run and compost, and also one of the easiest toilets to install due to the lack of an electric hookup.

Features: Sun-Mar Excel Composting Toilet

From a warranty perspective, it covers a bit less than other toilets since it has a 5-year warranty on the toilet body and a 3-year warranty for all other parts.

Pros: Sun-Mar Excel Composting Toilet

  • Easy to install
  • Large capacity
  • Long warranty

Cons: Sun-Mar Excel Composting Toilet

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

4. Sun-Mar Compact

This composting toilet is very compact and minimalistic, which is great if you are looking to set it up in a smaller space and it will be used by a smaller number of people. It really doesn’t take up too much room, and it is easy to set up in tight spaces. Also, while this toilet is connected to electricity, it has an efficient composting capability, which is praised by many users.

Another very desirable feature is that it is one of the safest composting toilets in the market because it has a built-in emergency drain. This avoids the need to clean up big messes if the toilet were to overflow, which is useful due to its smaller size and capacity.

Features: Sun-Mar Compact Composting Toilet

  • Self-contained
  • Pest proof
  • Venting kit Included
  • NSF/ANSI certified
  • Capacity: 1-2 adults
  • Dimensions: 33’’ x 21-1/2’’ x 28-1/2’’ (low-profile)
  • Weight: 90 lbs
  • Average power use: 125 W
  • Power source: 110 V
  • Warranty: 5-year (fiberglass), 3-year (parts)
  • Includes variable diameter bio-drum
  • Emergency drain for extra protection

From a warranty perspective, it covers a bit less than other toilets since it has a 5-year warranty on the toilet body and a 3-year warranty for all other parts.

Pros: Sun-Mar Compact Composting Toilet

  • Compact size
  • Easy to setup in tight spaces
  • Venting kit included
  • Emergency drain
  • Pest proof
  • Long warranty

Cons: Sun-Mar Compact Composting Toilet

  • Small capacity
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

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8 Comments

  • What a great composting toilet. We ripped out the old manual salt water head, and it’s smelly lines, and disgusting holding tank on our cruising sailboat. A week in, and NO SMELL. Ahh. We can leave the head door open again! Easy to use. Easy to install. Yes, it’s taller than a normal toilet. We bought a two step step stool so our 3yo can get to it “all by myself.” She loves it. Fits her little seat, and she knows exactly how to use it. She opens the lid, puts her seat on, opens the hatch when she does #2, closes everything, and even spins the handle. That is literally how easy it is to use…a 3yo can do it. So very very happy.

    I also wanted to take a moment to talk up the company. We had a question on our install so I emailed the company. Got a response in 20 minutes and my wife spent 30-45 minutes on the phone with them on a saturday. Just a good old awesome company to work with.

  • So far, so good. I do wish it was easier to see when urine needs to be taken out, but it isn’t entirely problematic. I was disappointed in the quality of the product for the price (I mean, it’s a plastic toilet). It should probably be half of what I paid for it.

    This toilet came with the Humanure Handbook; if you read that book, it specifically states not to use a toilet like this one. In fact, after using the Nature’s Head toilet for over a year and then building our own for about $50, my wife and I only wish we had done it ourselves in the first place.
    By generally following the design of the toilet that the author made (also here, if you don’t want to read the book: […], we made a toilet that was FAR less expensive, a much simplier design, easier to maintain, a good height (Nature’s Head will make you tippy-toe), and, most importantly, bug free (we could never get rid of the gnats)!

  • I’ve been living in a tiny house with a Separett toilet for 2 years now. As “composting” or dry toilets go, this one is hard to beat if you’re at all squeamish about dealing with human waste. (Water/moisture is what makes toilets and their contents smell. The whole point of a dry/composting toilet is to separate the two so that each component can be dealt with separately.) It’s a bit more expensive, but it has features that make the price worthwhile. There’s a fan inside that works continuously; this keeps any potential odor from developing, though if you’re using it properly that shouldn’t be an issue. You never actually see the inside of the solids bin, and the liquid hose takes care of the liquid separately. There’s no turning the solids bin every day (or whatever) or lugging a container of pee to dispose of. I researched pretty much every option out there, and I couldn’t find anything better than this. (Incinerators might be a good option in a few years when they get around to making units that don’t eat up so much electricity, for example.) If you’re looking for a well made (in Sweden) dry toilet that has all the best features of a regular toilet and then some, this is the one to get.

  • We bought this toilet believing it would fit in our RV, but it did not actually fit. we used the documented dimensions to determine that it should fit. However, when you receive this toilet it does seem to be bulkier than the documented dimensions. When we returned this item, the reseller charged us a restocking fee over $100. I think that’s a little ridiculous considering the packaging was in perfect condition when we sent it back. So for the seller I say shame on you especially in this time of hardship, but the toilet itself is a high quality toilet and hopefully it will work in your situation if you read this review.

  • The Sun-Mar Excel NE is a wonderful product that works very effectively and easily. After installing mine about six years ago, I have installed three more for friends with no difficulties and they all continue to work well. Since it does sit high due to the drum, I have recessed the base about 10″ with a flip up floor in the front to access the composting drawer and to provide a space for the peat mix.

  • If you are looking for a composting toilet stay well away from this one. We have had nothing but problems with it since the first day it arrived. This unit is far too small for 2 adults to use. The first thing that happened when we installed it, as directed, was it leaked. The design of this toilet is a nightmare. The drum is too small and the drawer at the bottom sticks. It has a short rubber strip that is suppose to suffice for putting it open! You end up levering it open. When we turn the drum, as directed to do every 3 days it gets so jammed inside with that I have to empty the drawer at least twice a week. This does not leave enough time for the

  • I don’t know where the negative reviews are coming from, I am totally pleased with my unit, so decided to post. I bought this unit in 2009, intending to use it in a cabin I was building. Stuff happened, and the toilet sat in the box unopened until June 2016, when we finally finished the cabin. We installed it, followed set up directions, and started using it. It has performed flawlessly with two people full time. Is there noise? A little, a gentle hum no louder than the white noise masker I use every night. We got used to it within hours. There is zero odor, even when the deed is being done. No candles, no spray, no nose holding…It is not gross, it is not difficult, there is no outside odor that we have been aware of. We did install the vent pretty high, so that probably helps. It melds very well with the other fixtures in the bathroom and doesn’t scream composting toilet. We also have a Natures Head, and this Sun-Mar so outperforms that unit (which in fairness is also a good toilet) that it is night and day. I would heartily recommend this unit to anyone wanting a composting toilet

  • I understand why there are so many negative reviews on this product. Its not easy to figure out how to use properly.

    We ‘remodeled’ the outhouse at our off-grid cabin by lining it with cedar planks and covering up the hole in the ground (after first filling it with cedar shavings.) Then we installed the Sun-Mar Excel (which we bought used for $450 in excellent condition.) We power it with one of those 12v solar chargers. We only run the fan when we are in the outhouse and we never use the evaporator because it isn’t necessary and it uses too much power.

    We drain all the liquid from the Excel into the cedar filled hole underneath the outhouse through 3/4″ PVC. We found that the waste takes too long to composite inside the toilet so we empty it completely once a month into our Loveable Loo compost pile.

    My only complaints are the fan wears out too soon and the little footstool is worthless. We replaced the fan with a computer fan and the footstool with a sturdy handmade cedar step. Oh, and the MSR price is not cost-effective.

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