If you live in a tiny house, you have to be creative in how you use the space. The bathroom is a crucial consideration especially if you do not have access to the regular sewage or septic system. Luckily, there are many alternatives currently in the market that you can consider. One of the best options is using a composting toilet instead of your typical toilet. Most of them can naturally decompose the waste into compost that can be reused.
In this buying guide, we cover the two best composting toilets for a tiny house. They are compact, lightweight, and well-designed, so that they are perfect for a small house. Here is a quick guide.
This is a dry composting toilet that has a standard crank handle. It has an innovative design to ensure that you get the best value for your money. To take care of your sanitization needs, the toilet is self-contained, is urine-diverting, and can allow waterless operation for convenience.
It has a hand crank agitator on the base to ensure composting is fast. It is easy to use, as it is user friendly and easy to install.
They are made in a molded design and feature a five-inch vent hose, a bottle cap, and a 12v power plug.
It is compact, lightweight, and also odorless, making it a perfect fit for any setting. The toilet is rugged with stainless-steel hardware, robust construction, and user-friendly so that it can withstand even the harshest condition.
- Product Dimensions: 17.75 x 20.75 x 21.5 inches
- Product Weight: 28 pounds
- It is user friendly and easy to install
- It is compact and lightweight
- It is odorless
- It is rugged and durable
- Some users found emptying the unit a hustle as you have to dismantle the toilet
- Some users did not find the toilet comfortable as the seat was very high
- It is expensive
This is an excellent self-composting toilet. It is a urine separating dry toilet. Although it was initially designed to be used in a marine environment, it can be used in other areas as well. It is so easy to install that anyone can do it. Contrary to what you might think, it is odorless. Hence, no smell from the holding tank system. It does not need any maintenance and also comes with a 5-year warranty.
Unlike many toilets, it has a huge capacity and can be used by two people on a full time basis and emptied every 4-6 weeks. It is easy to empty, and that can be done in five minutes.
It is easy to use and clean. It has an all-stainless-steel construction, which ensures that it is very durable.
- Product Dimensions: 22 x 21.7 X 20.5 inches
- Product Weight: 28 pounds
- It has a huge capacity
- It is versatile and can withstand any environment
- It is easy to install and use
- It is odorless
- It comes with a 5-year warranty
- It is easy to empty, and that can be done is five minutes
- It is easy to clean
- It has a stainless-steel build making it sturdy
- Some users complained that the urine needs to be emptied often
- Many found that it works better for a single person as opposed to many people as it needs to be emptied often
- Some complained that emptying the compost is not well-conceived
- Some users found it messy to clean
If you need to choose one of the two, then this section is for you. We focus on the specifics to help you in decision making. Here is a quick look:
Most significant capacity: If you need a toilet that has a big size, then we recommend Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet as it has a big size, and hence it can be used by two people.
Fast composting ability: If you are looking for a toilet that can compost fast, then we recommend the Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet as it has a hand crank agitator in the base for fast composting.
Our overall recommendation: The best toilet will depend on your needs. If you need it to be used by more than one person, then we recommend Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet as it has a big capacity that can be used by two people. If you are a single person and do not mind about the capacity, then we advise you to go for Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet as it is a good size and has a hand crank agitator for fast composition.
How composting toilets work
As much as you may have already chosen a compost toilet, it is also good to know how it works. As mentioned earlier, composting toilets convert waste into compost manure that can be used for other purposes.
For a compost toilet to work effectively, it will need a ventilator, urine diver, and a bulking material such as sawdust. The ventilation is to get rid of any additional moisture that may interfere with the decomposition process. The urine diverter is to divert the urine since it has high water content, which, when mixed with solid waste, will lead to a pungent smell. Bulking material is for creating an air gap that will help in the decomposition process.
Types of composting toilets
Since you already know how composting toilets work, it is vital to know the different types of composting toilets on the market. Composting toilets can either be slow composting or commercial active composting.
Slow composting toilets are also known as homemade composting toilets. They are the basic types, and they simply consist of a bucket and toilet seat rim. Since they are basic, they do not have any additional ventilation or a system to process the waste’s breakdown. Most of the time, they are cheaper, though you will have to deal with the waste more often. They are also likely to have odors unless they are adequately sealed or cleaned.
Commercial active composting toilets are an advanced version of the other basic ones. They both have a traditional toilet seat and a composting chamber for the waste. Most have a urine diverter for the urine so that it separates the matter successfully. They are pricier since they are advanced and look like other regular flush toilets.
How to choose a composting toilet
Since you already know a bit about composting toilets, it is good to know how to choose one so that you end up with the best one for your needs. Some of the factors to consider when you are looking for a composting toilet include:
Where will it be used?
It is good to consider the size of the space you have, and where you plan to use the toilet. It needs to be just the right size for your space such that it is not too big or too small.
Frequency of using it
Do you plan to use the toilet part-time or full time? That can help you choose the best one. It is also good to consider the number of people that will be using it. More people mean that you need a big capacity toilet so that you don’t have to change it so often.
Mode of operation
Composting toilets can either be manual, semi-automatic, or fully automatic. It all depends on what you prefer. Some units will also require more attention as compared to others. Small units, for example, need more frequent emptying.
Different units have different operational requirements. Some are electric, non-electric, or solar operated. If they are electrical, you need to consider the voltage used. The standard options are 120V, 12V, solar, or none.
When it comes to cleanliness and maintenance of the toilet, it depends on the unit. The frequency of cleaning, emptying the compost, and operating the compost mixing feature, etc. depends on the design, frequency of use, toilet capacity, etc.
When it comes to bulking material, different toilets have their requirements. The common materials used are sawdust, moss, peat, and wood chips. It is good to know before the compost material that can be used.
Features of the toilet
Different systems have different features. It all depends on your requirements for your house. There are even those that have an inbuilt ventilating fan. Some types have continuous processing while those that do batch processing. Different toilets have different toilet bowl closure techniques. The bowl and the composter have different separation techniques, and that influences a lot of other things such as the odor.
It is good to know if there is any legislation regarding compost toilets in your area so that you are not found on the wrong side of the law.
Compost Toilets come at different prices depending on the features that come with it. The more advanced and more features, the more expensive it will be. Many advanced types usually are more expensive.
When you go through user reviews, you will get a glimpse of what experience the unit gives, and that can help you know if it will suit your requirements. If many customers had a good experience with the toilet, you are also likely to have a good experience.
Electric Vs. Non-electric Toilets
Most electric compost toilets have an inbuilt heater that aids in the composting process. They also have a ventilation system and a system that can mix air and compost to aid in the aerobic breakdown of the waste. Some non-electric toilets have a ventilation system, but for sure, they will not have a heater and automated mixing.
Part-time vs. Full-time toilets
Part-time or full time does not depend on one’s definition but instead, how long one plans to use the toilet. A full-time toilet works as the main toilet for the house as it is used throughout the day. On the other hand, a part-time toilet is used only a few hours of the day or as an emergency toilet.
Water and electricity for toilets
Contrary to expectations, not all composting toilets are waterless. As much as there is the waterless type, there are also low water or foam flush types. If you go for a water model, you will need a water source. For those that are electrical type, they will need electricity or a 12V battery. There are also those that use solar power and the basic type that uses nothing. If you want the advanced kind with fans, automatic mixing, and aeration, you are obliged to go for the electric type.
Composting toilet process
Composting toilet processing is in different stages, mainly worm processing, micro-organism processing, and dehydration through evaporation. The composting process can either be in a batch process or a continuous system. The batch system is where when the composting department is full; it is emptied. Continuous composting is whereby waste is continuously taken to a single container. The composting process will reduce the waste volume, and the compost container can be emptied after a long time.
Maintenance of a composting toilet.
When it comes to maintaining a unit, it depends on the type that you settled for. The basic manual types that do not use any heater or aerator will need more maintenance as they are likely to have more liquid accumulation, insects, odors, etc. The advanced units are much better as they have automated mixers, have fans, heaters, etc.; thus, you don’t have to do much. Of course, you will be obliged to do a maintenance check from time to time to ensure that everything works well.
A composting toilet will serve you well only if you settle down on the right one. When you do a research and comparison and have the above information, then you are likely to find what you need.