Are you looking for a sustainable and convenient solution for your bathroom needs, whether on the road or off the grid? If you have decided on a composting toilet, you will need to figure out which one to buy.

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet might be what you’ve been searching for.

You might be familiar with Nature’s Head if you have watched any YouTube videos or googled the word “composting toilet.” It is a very popular and well-known name in the off-grid toilet world. 

But aren’t all composting toilets the same? Nope!

Stick around to find out what makes this bad boy an awesome choice, no matter your on or off-grid need. 

So, let’s dive into why this toilet is making waves in the industry. Our comprehensive review of Nature’s Head Composting Toilet will leave no stone unturned. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I can earn commissions. If you decide to purchase through my links, it is at no cost to you.

What is a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet?

A Nature’s Head Toilet is a composting toilet that separates liquids and solids, doesn’t need water to flush, and eliminates the need for a black water tank. Big YAY! 

It provides an eco-friendly and odorless way to manage human waste. Manage human waste – did you ever think you would need to learn about this?

learn more

Learn more about human compost in the Humanure Handbook.

Unlike regular toilets that use water to transport waste to a sewage system, a composting toilet processes waste on-site, turning it into a non-smelly compost. 

How does a composting toilet work?

Most composting toilets work by separating urine from solid waste. The Nature’s Head toilet has this setup. Once a person uses the toilet, the waste is directed into separate compartments.

Liquid in the front and solids in the back. The solids compartment has a little handle to open before you use it. 

Solid waste is collected in a dedicated solids compartment mixed with a composting medium such as coconut coir or peat moss to aid in decomposition. There is a handle to mix your fresh solids up with the rest of the mixture for a little composting action.

The attached exhaust fan will help remove the moisture from the composting chamber and take any potential poop smell away.

When the solids container is full, you will remove some bolts and remove the whole toilet to empty it every time. It is a bit of a pain, I will be honest. Luckily, it only needs to be emptied every few weeks. 

The liquid is collected in a urine container you will empty more often. You won’t have a smelly situation if you keep the urine and solids separate.

Interestingly, you can learn to empty one before the other. It was easy for me to quickly learn which muscles do what to learn which muscles do what quickly. 

If you get a whiff of an unpleasant smell 🥴, I can guarantee it comes from the pee container. You may have to empty it a little more often. 

Pro Tip: Keep a spray bottle filled with 50/50 water and vinegar mixed with a drop or two of essential oils near the toilet. Use the spray bottle every time you use the toilet. It will help keep the urine smell down by rinsing any residue into the liquid container. 

Who created the Nature’s Head Toilet?

The Nature’s Head Toilet was developed in 2006 by two long-time sailors who wanted a more eco-friendly, user-friendly, and hardy solution for waste management.

The headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, and the toilets are proudly made in the USA. 🇺🇸

The toilet quickly took off and is now seen in various settings, including RVs, Camper Vans, and tiny homes.

Top 4 Benefits of the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

  • Water & Black Water Tank Savings: No flushing and complex sewage systems mean less water and cost-savings.
  • Versatility and Durable: Ideal for off-grid, water-based, mobile, or on-the-go lifestyles.
  • Eco-Friendly Benefits: Produces nutrient-rich compost for gardening.
  • Convenience: Self-contained and without external sewage hookups, making it travel-friendly.

Image Source: Amazon

Best Features of the Nature’s Head Toilet

1. Waterless & Eco-friendly

Never mind that a flush toilet wastes millions of gallons of water each year, you are also just flushing money down the toilet when you don’t have to. 

This toilet is waterless, so it is more eco-friendly and versatile for scarce water. You’ll feel good about conserving this precious resource to do your part for a greener earth. 

ProTip: Do not dispose of feminine hygiene products in the solids compartment.

2. Separates Liquids from Solids

I promise you that separating the urine from solids works. It is when those are combined that causes the smell.

Natures head composting toilet

Having no smell is especially important in a small space. Sometimes you are pooping 💩 right next to your kitchen or bed. You have to make sure you get the right substance in the right spot!

Pro Tip: The liquids container is over 2 gallons, but keeping it from filling up 75% is best to avoid overflow.

3. It uses Compost material to mix with Solids

The spider handle allows you to do a quick turn to mix the compost medium in the solids. It only takes about 2-3 turns.

use caution

If you will use peat moss, do not use Miracle-Gro peat moss!

The mixing process works the fresh solids in with the compost material and helps to distribute moisture.

This also helps speed up the decomposition process. 

Pro Tip: If you store the compost material in a gallon bag, you will need 3 to refill the solids container, which should be enough to cover the spider agitator handle in a horizontal position. 

4. Allows you to be off-grid in small spaces

Anywhere you want to go is where you can use this toilet. You can put this toilet in your home, a boat, an RV, a backyard ADU, a remote cabin deep in the woods, or any other alternative place you want to live.

This toilet wins the versatile award. No water, no problem. No septic, no problem. You can even put the toilet in a shower space or wet bath to save space. 

Pro Tip: If installing the toilet in a wet bath, you can cover the toilet unit or drill two holes in the liquid container holder (not the liquid container itself!). The small holes will allow any possible water that would fill up to drain. 

5. The electric fan and vent help remove smells

The Nature’s head toilet comes with a built-in fan. The vent hose you attach helps carry out any smells. It is not recommended for the vent pipe to be over 20 feet long. 

Here is a list from the Nature’s Head website on the fan and vent for the toilet for a few different setups. 

Pro Tip: Don’t install your vent pipe to the floor or near a door or place where you will be relaxing outside. 

Nature’s Head Toilet Pricing and expenses

You have a few costs involved and some supplies you will need for this toilet. Here is what you are looking at:

Biggest initial expense:

  • The toilet will be the biggest expense at $1,000+ and comes with a standard handle or spider handle (same price).
    • Standard – It is larger and takes up more space but is easier to grip and turn.
    • Spider – smaller handle and takes up less space to use.

Ongoing expenses:

Other accessories/ items you may need to purchase are:

  • 12V to 110V AC adapter (depending on installation)
  • Compost storage container (if desired)
  • Extra Hose lengths – 1 1/4″PVC (optional and not recommended for more than 20 ft)
  • Small spray bottle for spraying after each use – add some essential oils
  • Child Seat adaptor (if needed) 
  • Small stool for children to use (if needed)

See some of my favorite supplies on Amazon

Nature’s Head Pros and Cons

Pros ✅

  • Great for Boondocking and off-grid tiny houses or Vanlife. 
  • Very few electric parts fail, and the fan can be powered with a DeepCycle Marine Battery if needed
  • The urine bottle holds about 3-5 days of liquids, so there is no need to empty it daily
  • No need to search for dump stations – just empty the solids in a regular kitchen trash bag
  • Compost medium like coco coir will help remove smell from the solid matter
  • The built-in toilet seat is sturdier than a removable one.
  • The solids container is sized to have a regular kitchen garbage bag fit over to make it easier to empty.
  • The handle to open the solids compartment, the handle to turn the compost, and fan housing can be installed on either side. The spider handle versus the standard handle will save about 2 inches of space.

Cons ❎

  • Possible bug issues if the compost material stays too wet or gets too wet. 
  • Won’t fit under a seat or bench and must be installed about 2 inches from the wall to be able to open the lid to remove the base.
  • The space needed to turn the handle may limit the space it can be installed in (opt for the spider handle vs standard handle and save 2 inches)
  • Compost storage will take up space
  • Some don’t care for the earthy smell of the compost material
  • Have to have compost material on hand – so it could be harder to find if you run out while remote
  • Entire toilet needs to be removed to empty the nature’s head toilet – kinda awkward to be seen carrying an entire toilet around
  • Some don’t care for the translucent liquid container.
  • Guys should sit down for #1

Install, Dimensions, Airflow Diagram and User Guide

Initial installation of the toilet is an easy and quick process. It is a few brackets and a connection to the vent hose. Read the entire user manual.

The toilet dimensions are:

  • Depth = 19 inches
  • Height = 21 inches
  • Width = 21 inches (standard handle) or 19 inches wide (spider handle)
  • Distance from Wall = The toilet should be about 2 inches from a wall to allow space for the lid to open to remove the base
  • Space around = Allow at least 2 inches (shoot for 3 inches) on the right side (when sitting) to remove the lid from the base.

–> You can read more about installing the unit on a water vessel.

Pro Tip: To get the toilet cover off the base, slide it to the left about 2 inches. Ensure you install the L brackets with the bracket facing the toilet so they are underneath the base. 

Image Source: NaturesHead.net

Step-by-Step Guide to Emptying the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

Emptying the Liquids Container

  1. Unlock and lift the toilet seat unit. There is a latch on each side of the toilet. 
  2. Attach the cap to the liquid container to avoid any spills (if you want).
  3. Grab the liquid container’s handle and take it out.
  4. Lower the seat unit back into place.
  5. Pour the liquids out of the tank.
  6. You can rinse the tank out if you have a water source or mist a mix of vinegar, water, and essential oils inside the container.
  7. Lift the seat, put the container back, remove the cap, lower the seat, and lock it back.

Emptying the Solids Container

  1. Take out the liquids container if you still need to.
  2. Detach the vent hose and power connector.
  3. Loosen the knobs on the unit’s mounting brackets.
  4. Ideally, take the entire toilet outside to empty it. 
  5. Unlock the seat unit, slide it off, and set it aside.
  6. Stretch a 13-gallon trash bag (preferably compostable) over the solids container’s top, ensuring it covers the rim tightly.
  7. Carefully flip the base unit to let the contents fall into the bag. Optionally, you can clean any leftovers with gloves and a towel, but it’s unnecessary.
  8. Refill with coconut coir or sphagnum moss and assemble everything. Remember to reconnect the fan and vent hose.

Composting Toilet Cleaning & Troubleshooting

Cleaning is so simple because you will take the entire toilet out to empty it. This makes cleaning all around the toilet easy. The liquids container needs a rinse with water, dish soap, or simple green.

➡️ Here is a more thorough guide on cleaning a composting toilet

➡️ Here is some useful information on composting toilet troubleshooting.

Register your Nature’s Head Toilet

The materials and quality of your toilet and its parts come with a five-year warranty, starting when you buy it. Be sure to register your toilet

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet Alternatives

Nature’s Head Composting toilet vs. Cassette Toilet

The cassette toilet has a small black tank and still needs a water source. The black tank will need to be emptied at a dump station. Some users of this type of toilet will not go #2 in their cassette – so there is that. 

Nature’s Head Composting toilet vs. Incinerating Toilet

An incinerating toilet burns the waste vs using a compost medium. The incinerating toilet will use much more energy but does not need a compost medium. An incinerating toilet is also typically more expensive.

Nature’s HeadComposting toilet vs. Bucket Toilet

While drastically cheaper, most people want to use something other than a bucket toilet for an extended time. It could spill, smell, and be messy in general. 

Nature’s Head Composting toilet vs. Dry Flush Toilet

A cassette toilet is cheaper than a composting toilet, but all the waste goes into one compartment. It will need to be emptied more regularly but is more portable. It is like an adult diaper genie. 

Other Composting Toilets

There are other composting toilet options: Air Head, Separett, Sun Mar GTG, OGO.

See how these options compare –> The 4 Best Composting Toilets for RVs and Camper Vans

My Experience Using the Nature’s Head Toilet

I used this toilet for the first time during a two-week stay at a friend’s tiny house a few years ago. 

I’ve heard about composting toilets, but experiencing one firsthand is a different story.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of smell. I thought my friend had just gotten used to the smell, but it was surprisingly neutral. Throwing toilet paper in a separate trash can container (which we emptied daily) helped. 

I will honestly say it’s a little intimidating, hoping I got the right thing to go into the right hole. I was a quick learner! You learn to scoot forward to make sure the liquid goes in the right place and then scoot back to get the solids to their spot. 

Now, let’s talk about the emptying process. I got to be part of this task not once but twice. 

The first time I emptied was a planned cleaning, and the second time was after one of the neighbor’s sons did not use the toilet properly, and let’s say the solids container had some liquid in it. Luckily, we caught it quickly.

The guys need to sit down on this one!

Refilling the solids container with the compost medium was pretty easy, too.

We took a coconut coir brick and broke it up in a bucket. We had to dampen it just a little until the consistency was right and then put enough fresh compost material so it came up to the level of the agitator. 

Overall, it was a good experience.

Fast-forward a few years and many conversations later with those at the tiny house festivals, and I am still a huge fan of this toilet. I saw it in a lot of Skoolies and Vans.

Sure, it has cons, but overall, it’s a beast. 

So, Should You Buy a Nature’s Head Toilet?

The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is a reliable and eco-friendly option for managing human waste. Its separation of liquids and solids, ease of use, and environmental benefits make it popular for those seeking sustainable alternatives to traditional flush toilets.

Whether living in an RV, Camper Van, or tiny home, choosing the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet can provide a practical solution while minimizing your ecological footprint. 

So, choosing the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is smart if you’re looking for an efficient and environmentally friendly toilet option.

Ready to pull the trigger and get this for your space? 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should the toilet be emptied?

It depends on usage. For a group of four, the solid waste chamber should be emptied every two weeks.

What should be done with the solid waste?

The solid waste collected can be added to a compost bin. It should be mixed with other organic materials and allowed to decompose over time. 

What can cause odors in a composting toilet?

Often, odors in a composting toilet result from improper ventilation and mixing liquids and solids.

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Author
  • Erin Hybart

    Meet Erin, a real estate enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge and an insatiable curiosity for all things Real Estate and living with intention. She passionately advocates for alternative, affordable, and eco-friendly housing solutions. She believes in pushing the industry's innovation boundaries and thinking outside the box. As a licensed real estate agent in Louisiana, Erin dedicates herself to assisting clients in buying and selling properties and mentoring fellow agents to succeed in their own Real Estate businesses. In addition to her professional pursuits, Erin channels her expertise into captivating house-flipping adventures.

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