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Nature's Head Composting Toilet: A Comprehensive Review



The Nature's Head Composting toilet is an innovative product that revolutionises sanitation solutions, especially for off-grid living spaces or areas with limited water resources.


Composting toilets provide an alternative to traditional septic systems and flushable toilets.


These ecological toilets use the natural process of decomposition to turn human waste into nutrient-rich compost that can be safely used in gardening or soil amendment projects.

Of course, don't use the fertiliser from the toilet on anything that's growing something you want to eat later! I will mention this a few times in this post so you don't forget!


What makes these particular toilets so popular?


The unique design of the Nature's Head offers many advantages over other composting toilet systems.


The big one is that it's self-contained and has a much smaller footprint than many of the clunky, complex composting toilets on the market.


It also uses anaerobic decomposition which means that there is minimal odour or mess to worry about - at least that's how it's advertised.

The Nature's Head is also quite user-friendly and intuitive.


It features a winding handle to turn the compost and keep things moving. It has a large waste door allows for easy disposal of solid waste, and a urine tank that is relatively easy to clean. The external vent and fan system help to keep odours in check.


The biggest thing that people love of course, is the fact that it's eco-friendly. That's certainly the main attraction to all composting toilets.


Before we go much deeper into the review though, a good litmus test for a toilet's true user experience, is often found the reviews a product garners on Amazon from. So let's take a look those.


Nature's Head Composting Toilet Reviews From Amazon


Overall, this toilet rates higher than many of the other composting toilets on the market.


Here's how their reviews look on Amazon as of August 2023...



While 4.2 out of 5 is better than many others, the devil is in the details.


Let's take a look at couple of mid-to-low range reviews to learn what people don't like about the toilet.


This is not an effort to destroy this toilet at all. People sometimes leave bad reviews because they're just angry that the product got lost in the mail, or it arrived with a broken part.


What we've done below is isolate what seem to be genuine problems with the design or usability of the toilet.


Remember, the overall rating of this toilet is 4.2 stars so it IS a good product if you're particularly sold on a composting toilet.






So what exactly are these poor reviews saying?


Rather than choosing reviews where the writer just isn't happy for a general reason, we've extracted very specific problems that users have experienced that resulted in the poor review.


Mostly they relate to the design of the toilet, the way the composting works, and the reality of cleaning and maintaining the system.


These are all direct quotes taken from just the three Amazon's reviews above.


All of them are from real people who have bought and used the Nature's Head composting toilet.


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"The solid waste does not have time to compost between daily use (even after using it for 8 weeks), and so what you really end up with is poop mixed with peat, maybe desiccated from the exhaust fan, maybe not desiccated (and so still obviously poop mixed up with peat)."


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"At this point, 8 weeks, I just now need to empty the poop container, and I'm NOT looking forward to that since it's mostly damp poop."


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"I ended up with some urine in my poop section, so the flap that closes the poop section, and is supposed to direct any urine to the urine bottle is not 100% functional, result is the poop area begins to smell like Ammonia and so likely disrupting the composting process."


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"I'm not thrilled with the urine collection system. Not all urine drains into the jug. Some remains in the bowl area and does not go down either of the 2 holes. As well, the urine area under the bowl, above the bottle, is not ever cleanable, and will become mineral encrusted and will super-stink if not for the exhaust fan."


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First, its not compost. We have added compost accelerants also. There are "formulas" on the internet or you can use one of the pro variety. Still 8 or so weeks to empty and you have poop mix, not compost. So, one way or another you have your hands in poop.


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The urine bottle isn't that much better. This is our second one. Even if you clean it (we use hot water + small amount bleach/detergent and we've also tried water + baking soda). It will get dark and eventually hard to tell full level. We just make it habit now to switch/dump every 3 or 4 days.


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The fan is not strong enough to keep odours out of the 21’ trailer. The smell is of “earth” but it’s dank and not a needed smell in your tiny house. The urine collection is not sealed and not related to the fan so it produces it’s own problems. Sometimes you don’t notice it’s full and the trailer moving around means it needs to be emptied before it’s full.


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So while we all would love to be as eco-conscious as possible, when it comes to dealing with sewage and sanitation, there are lines that some people are not willing to cross.


Composting toilets are good for the environment but they may be very challenging for those who value a clean, smell free, toileting.


I for one do not want to be carrying my own urine in a jug, emptying it somewhere and then be faced with cleaning out the residue constantly.


And that's just urine. I cannot fathom having to deal with the semi-raw poo from myself and others who use the toilet.


These are (and always will be) part of life if you buy a composting toilet of any kind.


Is it environmentally friendly?



As already stated, the Nature's Head Composting toilet is an excellent choice for anyone looking to reduce their environmental footprint, so long as they are OK with the associated smell and cleaning issues.

It does have a clever design for a composting toilet and it is self-contained.

How do they work?


Unlike traditional toilets, the Natures Head toilet does not require a water connection or any traditional plumbing. Instead, it separates liquids from solids, permitting composting to occur.


The solids mix with a composting medium (such as peat moss or coconut coir) in the main chamber.


Over time, aerobic decomposition transforms the waste into nutrient-rich compost that can be safely returned to the environment.


At the same time, liquids are diverted to a separate tank (the urine jug) keeping the two separated. At least in theory.


As you read above, composting takes time and in some cases, users report pooping faster than the composting occurs so you really just end up with a poo-y mix of peat and poop which can be unpleasant to deal with when it come time to empty.


By way of comparison, here's a short video showing you how simple and clean our Laveo Dry Flush toilet is.


This is why so many people who were previously convinced that a composting toilet was the only toilet they'd consider have switched to a Dry Flush.


Just push the button and you're done. No smell. No cleaning. No composting. No urine jugs to carry. Just none of the complexities or yucky parts of composting toilets.



Vents, fans and power...



A Natures Head toilet has a unique design that does require venting and a fan.


That means three things:


1) Power

2) Installation

3) Space

Its venting system does a pretty good job of preventing the release of odours and its removable compost container is designed to be emptied without making a mess.


Plus, it has an efficient fan motor that helps maintain ideal temperatures for optimal decomposition.

While the high-point is the fact that it's eco-friendly, the Nature’s Head does require some installation which can be a challenge for some.


If you're comfortable with a few basic tools it can be installed in less than an hour. Plus, it comes with detailed instructions that cover all of the necessary steps for proper installation. Any reasonably handy person could manage it.


Again, if you compare it to our Dry Flush toilet, you have none of these issues. Just open the box, set it down anywhere (with no vents or power and no installation) and you're good to go.

What are the main benefits of a Nature's Head composting toilet versus other composting toilets?



Nature's Head Composting Toilets are an ideal solution for those looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly way to dispose of their waste that is self contained and has a relatively small footprint.

The key advantages to this type of toilet are:


  • DIY Installation - Unlike many traditional toilets, Nature’s Head can be installed in less than an hour with just a few basic tools

  • Low Maintenance - Nature’s Head is designed to make maintenance simple so long as you're not easily upset by the smell of wee and poo. Its venting system minimises odour release and its removable compost container can be emptied without making too much of a mess. Its fan motor keeps temperatures ideal for optimal decomposition.

  • Environmentally Friendly - Nature's Head Composting Toilets help reduce water consumption and return nutrients to the soil as fertiliser.

  • Durability - Nature's Head Composting Toilets are made from durable materials and feature a corrosion-resistant coating that helps ensure its longevity.

It is these benefits that no doubt keep the overall Amazon ratings in the relatively high range of 4.2/5.

How should I properly maintain my Nature’s Head Composting Toilet?



Maintaining your Natures Head Composting Toilet is relatively straightforward and requires only a few basic steps:

  1. Empty the compost container regularly - depending on the number of users, this can be done every 2-6 weeks.

  2. Monitor the moisture content - ensure that your compost is not too wet or dry for optimal decomposition.

  3. Clean out any debris from the fan on a regular basis - This should usually only need to be done annually.

  4. Replace any worn parts as needed - Nature’s Head toilet sellers generally offer replacement parts.

  5. Clean the urine container constantly.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your Nature’s Head Composting Toilet running smoothly with minimal effort. Additionally, most composting toilets such as this one come with detailed instructions for use and maintenance that should be followed carefully.

What other features does Natures Head composting toilet offer?


The Nature's Head toilet is designed with a range of features that make them suitable for many applications. These include:


  • Odourless Technology - The fan motor keeps odours down while simultaneously providing ventilation for optimal decomposition. While not completely odourless, it's quite a feat that it doesn't smell worse considering what it processes!

  • Low Maintenance - The compost bin is easy to access and only needs to be emptied once every few weeks. This is not the only solution on the market that is low maintenance though.

  • Easy Installation - Even novice DIYers can install a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet with minimal effort.

  • Minimal Water Usage - The Nature's Head toilet does not require any water for flushing, making them a great choice for areas prone to water shortages.

In short, the Nature’s Head toilet offers a range of features that make them both easy to use and environmentally friendly.

Whether you’re looking for an off-grid solution for a cabin, something for a boat or motorhome, or you're in one of the thousands of Tiny Homes popping up all over the country, this could be a great choice for you. These days, some people are just trying to reduce their water usage.


Where are Nature's Head toilets made?


A Natures Head composting toilet is manufactured in the USA, ensuring high standards of quality control and ethical labor practices.


Naturally, this is reflected in their price as they're quite a bit more expensive than cheaply made Chinese alternatives.


Here in Australia, they are only slightly less expensive than our Dry Flush toilets.

If you can look past the smells and the icky process of dealing with urine and poop mix on an ongoing basis, this toilet is reliable which is important because the last thing you what is your toilet breaking, especially if you're using the unit full time and you have no other plumbing!

When it comes to toilets, you can't put a price on reliability. The last thing you want to be doing is emptying sewage from buckets manually, or over the side of your boat or having to run off into the bushes!

Material Composition


The Natures Head Composting toilet is largely made of durable, high-quality stainless steel and polymers designed to withstand the test of time and use.


Other materials used are recyclable and non-toxic, ensuring that these toilets are safe and eco-friendly.

These quality components are reflected in their price.

Everything from the comfortable moulded seat to the easy-to-empty urine holding tank and vent hose system is made really well.

Speaking of urine, this is one of the downsides that many owners of these type of toilets don't like (any system that separates urine from solids). They are yucky to empty and you cannot claim that there is absolutely no odour. There is!

Given that it's being sold into the Australian market, it isn't what we would call "rugged marine grade" but it is certainly up to the task for a variety of uses ranging from the humble backyard shed to a horse float, motor home or even a day boat.

As a self contained composting toilet it's definitely one of the better ones on the market and a good choice for something like Tiny Home where traditional plumbing may be a challenge.

A final summary of strengths and weaknesses...



One of the significant strengths of the Nature's Head Composting toilet is its eco-friendliness and compact waterless design.

It conserves water and transforms waste into useful compost although it's important to note that you should never put by-products from toilets onto plants that are edible.

This quality toilet is a vast improvement over many less expensive options on the market and is portable, relatively easy to install, easy to use, and requires minimal (although yucky) maintenance.


Any reasonable handy person can manage this system and it's way better than many older composting toilet designs.

Some of the drawbacks are that it doesn't have huge capacity and some users do find the initial setup slightly complicated. Moreover, regular emptying and cleaning of the liquid bottle might be inconvenient for some users.

And remember, like most portables, remaining odourless is a challenge.


Finally, because of the vents, pipes, and mounting brackets, it's not great for narrow spaces. It's quite bulky and does require cutting into floors and walls.


Pricing


There are a lot of places selling composting toilets and the Nature's Head self contained system is not the cheapest by a long shot.

The price also varies because there are two different handle options and importantly, different retailers run at different margins, so shop around!

Generally speaking, this self contained composting toilet retails for between $1,700 - $2,100 in the Australian market, which might be a considerable investment for some but in the context of Tiny Homes, plumbing costs, council approvals, and the fact that it turns raw sewage into a useful byproduct, it could be the right choice if you're in the market today.

Before you purchase one, do your research, read the reviews, and try to purchase from a local company if you can!

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