Best Composting Toilet for Off-Grid Sustainability

Just because you don’t have a septic solution doesn’t mean you can’t have your sanitation covered. Many people off-grid or in tiny homes simply don’t have the resources, options, or room. If you don’t have your toilet situation figured out yet, it may be time to move on from your cat hole and upgrade to a composting toilet. There are many types and models of composting toilets to pick from.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best composting toilets, compared them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a portable option, and a vehicle option. If you need a composting sanitation solution, one of our picks will handle your business.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Nature's Head Composting Toilet

The Best Composting Toilet

Nature’s Head Toilet

High Capacity, Odorless, and Durable

A reliable and easy-to-install composting toilet with plenty of capacity paired with virtually no maintenance.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

This simple and effective contraption separates urine, composts waste, and hides odors with a clever design and a powered fan. Once you prime it with peat soil, it is pretty easy to manage by emptying the urine reservoir weekly and the composted waste every five weeks.

All of the features and parts are easy to manage and durable, making it ideal for off-grid or compact living. Don’t skip any steps when installing it- be thorough in your seals and setup so that this throne will last a lifetime.

Here is what you get with the toilet:

  • 12V DC power
  • Max weight: 300 pounds
  • 2.2-gallon urine capacity
  • 21″ x 19″ x 21″
  • 28 pounds

It’s a reliable, effective, and durable solution so it’s easy to see why the Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet is the best.

Boxio Portable Toilet

Portable Composting Toilet

BOXIO Portable Toilet

Simple, Inexpensive, and Portable

A throne that brings a composting sanitation solution in the form of a convenient on-the-go box.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

It looks like it’s just a crate and that’s kind of the point. BOXIO is relatively new but has entered the ring swinging with an affordable, nondescript toilet that gets the job done.

It’s a true urine-diverting composting toilet developed by German camping enthusiasts (still made in Germany today). It does not use a fan or exhaust for odor so it relies on hemp or other desiccant to control odor.

Here is how the BOXIO measures up:

  • Max weight: 330 pounds
  • 1.5-gallon urine capacity
  • 16″ x 12″ x 12″
  • 6.2 pounds

If you are looking for an inexpensive and simple option to take on the go, the BOXIO Portable Toilet is what you need.

OGO Compost Toilet

Vehicle Composting Toilet

OGO Compost Toilet

Compact, Effective, and Quality

This well-constructed toilet is on the smaller side making it ideal for RVs, tiny homes, and other tight spots.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

This small and compact composting toilet has an electric agitator and plenty of capacity to let it hang with the bigger models. It ends up being perfect for campers, RVs, or other small spaces where you want a sanitary toilet solution without the full profile of a larger toilet.

Here are the full specs:

  • 12V DC power
  • Max weight: 500 pounds
  • 2.4-gallon urine capacity
  • 16″ x 15″ x 19″
  • 28 pounds

If you are looking for a compact and complete solution, grab an OGO Compost Toilet.

Everything We Recommend

Nature's Head Composting Toilet

Nature’s Head Toilet

A reliable and easy-to-install composting toilet with plenty of capacity paired with virtually no maintenance.

Where to Buy

$1,030* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Boxio Portable Toilet

BOXIO Portable Toilet

A throne that brings a composting sanitation solution in the form of a convenient on-the-go box.

Where to Buy

$229* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

OGO Compost Toilet

OGO Compost Toilet

This well-constructed toilet is on the smaller side making it ideal for RVs, tiny homes, and other tight spots.

Where to Buy

$985* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Toilets We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several brands and types of toilets that we compared: Nature’s Head, Sun-Mar, OGO, BOXIO, Seperatt, Thinktank, Envirolet, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of toilet brands and types. Composting toilets span several capacities and sizes to cover a wide range of customer needs.

We’re always looking for new and better solutions, so if you have a composting toilet that you swear by, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested equipment annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best composting toilets have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Effectiveness
  3. Odor Control
  4. Maintenance
  5. Durability

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a toilet that will separate and manage your sanitation needs with ease. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the composting toilets that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a toilet shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. Composting toilets are not cheap and are typically part of larger projects like tiny homes, RVs, off-grid homesteads, and other endeavors.

You never want to spend too much money on one thing when it comes to sustainability gear. It’s better to diversify your projects and budget to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.


How well the toilet composts and manages your excrement can be measured in many ways. Ease of use and capacity are some of our larger criteria in determining how effective composting toilets are. Larger capacity toilets will require emptying less often for both the urine reservoir and compost container.

How well a toilet composts is also a function of the agitation (or turning) of the compost, which in turn helps with odor control.

Odor Control

Odor is just something you don’t want to contend with when it comes to a toilet. Many composting toilets are used in tight spaces, so you don’t want to stink up your entire RV, tiny house, or camper.

One of the better odor controls for composting toilets is the powered exhaust fan on our top pick.

Other models rely on absorption materials like hemp and peat moss, as well as sealing the waste area when not in use to keep smells at bay.


Besides emptying reservoirs and containers, most composting toilets are low maintenance.

You may need to clean the components occasionally and fix specific problems as they arise. The fewer moving parts and components, the better since that keeps the systems relatively simple.


All of the composting toilets we compared had high weight capacities of at least 300 pounds. Size would become an issue well before weight. Still, not all of the toilets were made equally when it came to durability.

The more durable models had much thicker polypropylene construction. Our portable pick was surprisingly durable and doubles as a strong seat with the lid closed even when it’s not in use.

How to Use a Composting Toilet

Composting toilets are relatively simple, but they do require emptying at intervals. One of the main features of a composting toilet is how they separate urine and store it separately. This keeps your waste dry, which is important for plenty of reasons including odor control.

On most standard-sized composting toilets you will need to empty the urine reservoir at least weekly (depending on the number of users) and the composted waste at least every 5 weeks.

You will also need to add peat moss, hemp, or some other absorption material to kickstart the composting process. The manufacturers have specific recommendations for their models.

On most models, you manually agitate the compost by turning it with an outside lever. Our vehicle pick does this electrically, but needs a 12V automotive power source (or adapter).

Matt does a great job of explaining composting toilets and specifically walks through our top pick:

Who Needs a Composting Toilet?

While sanitation is important for everyone, a composting toilet isn’t an ideal solution for most people. It is a niche product that helps process excrement with limited resources (ie: septic field/tank, or urban plumbing).

Composting toilets are suggested as part of a sanitation plan for this kit:

You will also find us suggesting composting toilets for certain bug-out vehicles:

If you opt to get a composting toilet instead of roughing a typical toilet into a plumbing system, you’ll have a lot more versatility since they are all relatively portable, self-contained, and even have some resale value (believe it or not).

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best composting toilet are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Anand, C., et al. (2014). Composting toilets as a sustainable alternative to urban sanitation – A review. Waste Management. Volume 34. Issue 2. Pages 329-343. (Source)

Anand, C., et al. (2011). Economic and environmental analysis of standard, high efficiency, rainwater flushed, and composting toilets. Journal of Environmental Management. Volume 92. Issue 3. Pages 419-428. (Source)

Redlinger, T., et al. (2001). Survival of Fecal Coliforms in Dry-Composting Toilets. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Volume 67. Issue 9. Pages 4036-4040. (Source)

The Final Word

Sanitation is important but rarely sees the investment and attention that it deserves. Composting toilets can handle off-grid sanitation needs easily and comfortably.

Here are a few other guides and reviews our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet to be the best option given its value, effectiveness, odor control, maintenance, and durability.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

You’ve Been Missing Out

Join the 2+ million preppers that rely on our prepping advice by subscribing to TruePrepper.
  • Practical guides and tips
  • Useful survival giveaways
  • Free, forever
  • < 0.4% of people unsubscribe
Thanks for subscribing, reading, and welcome to the club.


The Best Composting Toilet

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

2 thoughts on “Best Composting Toilet for Off-Grid Sustainability

  • The two top ones are more than 40% off as of this comment!

  • Check out Creek Stewart’s home made sawdust toilet in his book “The Disaster Ready Home”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *