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Top 5 Composting Toilets for Tiny Houses

In this article you’ll find what I believe are the top 5 composting toilet options for tiny houses, cabins, or even if you just want to put a toilet somewhere without plumbing and/or electric. It could be your garage, shed, or travel trailer.

If you’re here, you should already have a general idea about composting toilets as an alternative to water-hungry flush toilets. If you’re new to the idea, and interested in learning more, I highly recommend The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins so you can learn exactly how it all works.

If you’re interested, but not that interested… You can learn about composting for free in this post I put together a while back on how general composting toilets work and what you have to do in regards to owning and operating one.

Otherwise please continue by enjoying the top 5 composting toilet options for your current or future tiny house project. Whether it’s a cabin in the woods, or a tiny house on wheels in your backyard.

Top 5 Composting Toilets for Tiny Houses

1. Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle

Nature's Head Composting Toilet

natures-head-composting-toilet-with-crank-handle-02

  • Costs about $960
  • Hand crank agitator
  • Easy to install
  • Slip hinge for easy seat removal
  • Molded design
  • Includes 5′ vent hose, bottle camp, and 12v power plug
  • Built in urine diversion
  • 13 inches wide x 17.75 inches front to rear and 20 inches tall

Learn more: http://amzn.to/1Nq8oUw

2. Nature’s Head Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle

Nature's Head Composting Toilets for Tiny Houses

Nature's Head Composting Toilets for Tiny Houses

  • Costs about $960
  • Great for areas with no electric or plumbing
  • Low volume air circulation fan built into head
  • Comes with 5 year limited warranty
  • Separates urine with built in diverter

Learn more: http://amzn.to/1aT116Y

Tips/Extras for Nature’s Head Toilets:

solar-kit

urine-tank

3. Sun-Mar Excel Non-Electric Self-Contained Composting Toilet

Sun-Mar Composting Toilet

  • Costs about: $1750
  • Non-electric model is great for off-grid
  • Low profile unity
  • Doesn’t use any water
  • Weighs about 90 lbs
  • Dimensions: 33″ (L) x 22 1/2″ (W) x 32″ (H)

Learn more: http://amzn.to/1Fxfo8I

4. Reliance Products’ Luggable Loo 5 Gallon Toilet

Luggable Loo Portable Composting Toilet Bucket

  • Costs about $40
  • Go ultra simple with a 5 gallon bucket toilet
  • Economically priced and portable
  • Traditional snap on lid
  • Perfect for hunting, fishing, camping, or an outhouse
  • Keep it simple, and save lots of money

Learn more: http://amzn.to/1DvsUN1

5. DIY Bucket and Sawdust Composting Toilet Option

You can always just build one yourself! This book shows you how. But it’s pretty simple! It’s the bucket and sawdust DIY option and will only cost you anywhere from $25 to $50 to build it yourself. Or it might be free for you if you have all the materials already laying around. Below is an example of what that might look like:

DIY Humanure Toilet

DIY Humanure Toilet

Learn more with this book: http://amzn.to/1aAPrNl

Images © gtzecosan

If you found this information on composting toilets helpful you can share it with your friends and family for free using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks.

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Jamey April 11, 2015, 11:41 am

    Why not include Joe Jenkins’ info. If I recall he is selling his kits and/or complete units under the name ‘lovable loo’ or similar.

    Kinda fair since he is considered the grandfather of the craze.

  • Donatella April 11, 2015, 11:46 am

    I would have a separate bucket for urine only – dump that daily into the garden. Bamboo is very nutrient-hungry and you could grow your own building supplies with the compost if your climate cooperates. A dedicated area of the yard with full sun exposure would decontaminate and decompose the solid waste pretty fast, or just burn it with a fresnel lens or other technique. The government has made this particular necessity far more complicated than it needs to be, given that we now know about germ theory.

  • Hank April 11, 2015, 11:51 am

    This one sounds good to me. be interested in what others think about it.

    https://www.separett-usa.com/index.php/waterless-toilets.html

    • LC April 17, 2015, 2:00 am

      Hank, I’ve been watching this one for awhile now. It’s the only one with consistently high reviews across the board. Nice thing, too, is that the urine can be diverted into a shallow leach line so you never have to dump it.

  • christee April 11, 2015, 12:08 pm

    I sure wish there could be something in between $1000 and a bucket. sigh

    • Alex April 11, 2015, 5:43 pm

      I agree, Christee, there definitely should be something in that price range. And I’m definitely open to other people’s recommendations/links.

    • Heather April 12, 2015, 9:28 pm

      Why don’t you take a look at the new dryflush? It’s only $450 and runs on a battery and no need to deal with a mess or plumbing etc. we originally wanted the Natureshead but now are considering the dryflush.

      • christee April 13, 2015, 6:38 am

        I have seen DryFlush and LOVED it until I got to 2 parts..the first, the plastic casings are not biodegradable making this more like a Diaper Genie, as opposed to a composter…but I did see that they are working on creating a liner that composts…so that’s good. But the big turn off was the $50 refill price. And since each liner cartridge is only good for 17 uses..my family of 3 would need to replace the cartridge every day. By the end of the month I could have bought a $1000 Natureshead. 🙁

    • Shawn April 13, 2015, 9:57 pm

      There is Christee and I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned, Look up C-Head Composting Toilets. They’re pretty impressive considering their attractive price $600’ish dollars. 😉

    • Rhonda September 22, 2015, 5:08 pm

      Try C-Head composting toilet…we just got one…

  • Jane Dwinell Jane Dwinell April 11, 2015, 12:29 pm

    The Nature’s Head is the best. Have had one in both our tiny house and our boat. I wouldn’t bother buying the extra urine container, but definitely buy a second base, so your first batch of solid waste can compost in the base for the time it takes to fill up the second one. It turns into lovely compost, and no odor.

    • Alex April 11, 2015, 5:44 pm

      Thanks for the tips Jane! Hope you guys are doing great. -Alex

  • Forest April 11, 2015, 1:15 pm

    Has NOBODY seen the cuaproducts.com “Sanitizer” toilet? (that’s Clean Up America)
    It is very quiet, very energy-efficient, and turns waste into DUST and blows it away. No flushing, (no water!), no covering, no removing. Just a tiny, quiet fan and an electric heating unit.

    • Alex April 11, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Interesting! Thanks for sharing Forest!

    • Susan April 12, 2015, 8:32 am

      Hi Forest,
      How much does one of these cost, how long have you had it? and can something other than kitty litter be used? Thanks!

  • Nicole April 11, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Did a DIY based on the Humanure Handbook about two weeks ago and so far so good. Most challenging part was finding sawdust for coverall material, found out about wood pellets for stoves which can be found at Lowes for about $6 for 40lb bag. Since our water restrictions in CA are in force I feel good about doing my part to reduce water usage. Love the Tiny House Newsletter!

  • Ted Knight April 11, 2015, 2:14 pm
  • Brenda April 11, 2015, 3:27 pm

    As a truck driver. I pee into a large plastic cup ( like the kids kind you buy potato salad in at Walmart with the lid) just empty the fluid into a larger plastic or glass jug empty it in the weeds. #2 line a bucket with a plastic bag, after roll it up throw it away like a diaper. I’ve heard of some using kitty liter sprinkled ontop.

  • alice h April 11, 2015, 3:35 pm

    I’ve been using a luggable loo lid on a taller bucket (easier on old knees) with pine shaving animal bedding for cover material for about 8 years of part time use (one person at least 8 or 10 days of the month). No urine diverter, but the shavings are very dry and it works well. If you have bad knees it’s well worth making a little base to get a taller toilet or use a taller bucket. I used to make sure the toilet was empty whenever I left but for the last few years I haven’t bothered and there is a slight smell in the bucket if I’ve been away for too long but adding enough shavings to cover takes care of it right away. It is preferable to empty the bucket before it’s full right up to the top just to make it a lighter chore. A bucket takes me about two solid weeks to fill and I’m a serious tea drinker. I keep the bag of shavings in a rectangular garbage can and fill a smaller bin as needed. The shavings come compressed and a large bag lasts me for months.

    Originally I kept getting new buckets with lids free from a neighbour(his old wine concentrate buckets) and sealing up the old ones but now I just rotate between 3 buckets that get emptied into a cheap plastic compost bin a short distance away and the smell has never been a problem. When that one is full I’ll get another and leave the first one to mature. The old buckets will get emptied around some trees some time when I’m not so lazy but are neatly stacked and stored for now. It is better for them to compost aerobically with the aid of soil micro organisms but the anaerobic method just takes longer. A neighbour used to empty hers into a plastic 45 gallon drum but the people there now installed a flush toilet and hauled away the drum someplace.

    Once I get my new shack built I’m probably going to get the Nature’s Head. My son has one at his place and he’s impressed.

  • Ryan M April 13, 2015, 5:14 pm

    Thanks for the review. Half way through my build, I’m looking at an electric Natures Head Model right now. However no one really mentions the beat ways to dispose of the urine in an urban area. I plan to park on someones property. What if they are uncomfortable with me disposing or diluted urine on their property?

  • Jordan April 13, 2015, 5:50 pm

    Another alternative to the Nature’s Head toilet is the C-Head portable composting toilet http://www.c-head.com
    It is very similar to the Nature’s head but less expensive and the man who created it designed it to keep the cost down for replacement parts (i.e. empty milk jug for urine catchment container). He also has several designs to fit into odd-shaped spaces like angled walls of a boat and cut-away pedestal floors like in some trailers. I don’t own one or know anyone who does, but I really appreciate his ingenuity and dedication to making his product from simple, inexpensive, easy to find / replace parts. When I can afford to spend more than $50 on a portable, composting / environmentally friendly toilet, I will be looking seriously at the C-Head – especially since he also makes a “shorty” version for shorties like me.

  • Jeannette April 13, 2015, 7:13 pm

    What I have is a C-head. Made right here in Fl. The fellow who makes them is named Sandy. Has a web site. I am very happy with mine. Around $500.00 cost

  • brian kemp April 13, 2015, 8:49 pm

    i picked up a natures head on craigslist for $60 i don’t think the guy knew what he had !

  • Joanne Cabe April 17, 2015, 12:03 am

    Thank You Forest & Ted! Here is the link for the Sanitizer & E-loo
    http://cuaproducts.com/the-sanitizer-toilet/ I have been going between these & Natures Head & You are the first person [Forest] I have heard a real life review from.

  • adrienne April 18, 2015, 3:28 pm

    Alex,
    Is there a way to make a “bucket toilet” with a crank similar to the Nature’s head compact one? I know that I can get a diverter/separator but I’m not sure how to put it all together. I’m still not sure weather I’ll get an RV trailer home, class B RV, or a camper or convert a van. Could you show some camper dwellings that aren’t self built? so that I can see what ‘s out there other that the Manufactures web pages. Time is running out for me and I’ll have to do something very soon that I could call home for the long term. I’m looking at using flexible solar panels, an alcohol stove, wall heater/wood stove and on demand water heater. Do you have anything or seen anything?
    Thanks
    Adrienne

  • Christine July 16, 2015, 12:04 pm

    Thanks to this great article (and a comment from Brian Kemp). I just bought a used (very clean) Nature’s Head toilet off of Craigslist for $300 (not as good as $60, but still a great savings! :). The seller posted the ad just six hours before I queried. He said it was only used a few times “at deer camp in West Texas”. I’m excited to try it out in our tiny house this summer (we are renovating a 200 sq ft garden shed original to our main house).

  • Faith Hazelwood April 23, 2016, 8:24 am

    Alex, where do you dump a full bucket of waste when you’re on the road traveling in your Tiny House on Wheels?

    • Alex April 25, 2016, 10:14 am

      If you’re traveling, the easiest way that I know is to install an RV-style flush toilet and use RV campgrounds for dumping, just like RVs do.

    • Sandy Graves May 29, 2016, 5:43 pm

      If you use a urine diverting toilet, put the solid waste in a 5-gallon bucket with a locking lid (Home Depot <$5 inc tax) with a cup of chlorox and throw it in a dumpster. Pour the urine in a public restroom toilet. Add some CampaChem to your urine collection jug to keep it from smelling our you will stink up the restroom.

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