Dry Flush vs Composting Toilet: Which One Should You Pick?

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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dry flush vs composting toilet

Waste disposal is not a pleasing topic, especially when you’re having meals. However, you need to deal with it as a result of eating. You have to know about dry flush vs composting toilets, although they both don’t need water.

A dry flush toilet is a portable container that needs a bag to catch the waste. You have to know the proper disposal of the waste when it reaches its limit and think about bag refills.

On the other hand, a bulking agent like sawdust is essential in composting toilets. It covers the waste with air gaps to encourage aerobic bacteria that break down waste. This process is also used in composting food scrap.

Know more about these toilets, their usage, and pros and cons as you continue reading.

The Comparison: Dry Flush Toilet vs Composting Toilet


You now know about the advantages and disadvantages of using these toilets. They may be similar to incinerating toilets with pros and cons but there are still differences. At this point, let’s weigh factors that may be your concerns in using either of these toilets.

1. Odor

Both dry and composting toilets won’t make you sniff the waste odor. However, it can be an issue if the latter’s system is not installed correctly.

2. Maintenance

The dry flush toilet is easier to maintain than the composting toilet. You’ll only need to get rid of the cartridges and be aware of proper disposal. In the case of composting toilets, you have to do the maintenance and upkeep manually.

Failure to do so will have consequences such as terrible odor and health hazards. Monitoring the temperature, air circulation, pH level, moisture, and biological organisms in your compost box is a must.

3. Usage and convenience

Both these toilets are easy to use. The strength of the dry flush is its portability and convenience. You can take it wherever you go so it’s in RVs, mobile homes, and camping sites. Sitting comfortably on a toilet at home can be experienced on a composting toilet though.

What is Dry Flush Toilet?

A dry toilet is a dry, portable container with a bag-like liner that you need to get rid of when full. Dry flush toilet biodegradable bags are also used.

A good example of this is the Laveo dry flush toilet. It needs the power to work so it’s either fed with batteries or charged through a charging cable. A single charging can cope with 300 flushes.

The waste proceeds to the liner first. Then, you have to push a button at the back of the toilet to flush. The waste is taken to the airtight compartment by the liner. There’s a twisting lotion to replace a fresh liner.

It would take around 17 liners before you empty this toilet. Thus, a dry toilet in a camper, RVs, off-grid homes, and cabins is great! You can find this not only in just one review but more.


  • Super easy to clean

Compared to other toilets used in off-grid homes, this is much easier to clean. You can continue to do your business as long as you don’t forget to change the cartridges.

  • Doesn’t require cleaning out

Unlike camping toilets, chemical toilets, and bucket toilets, a dry flush toilet doesn’t require cleaning out. You won’t also fear leaking when changing the bag as the toilet does it automatically.

  • Portability

Portable things like this toilet that weighs 26 lbs. promise convenience. It also means that it’s small. So, apart from RVs and camps, this is a great option for small bathrooms.

  • Allows any kind of toilet paper

A special toilet paper is needed for a chemical toilet, but this dry flush toilet is fine with any kind of toilet paper.


  • Disposal of the waste bag

Although it’s not messy to empty the dry flush toilet, you’ll be bothered with the disposal. You have to ensure that the local regulation allows you to put human waste together with the usual trash. Some may need to bury the bags.

  • Refill cartridges can be costly

Refill cartridges or liner bags can be costly. You can choose the Laveo 3-pack cartridge refill set as it has good quality so you get your money’s worth.

  • Using more toilet paper when peeing

The urine may come out if you don’t put toilet paper that can absorb the liquid. It happens because this toilet releases air when sealing the waste. So, you don’t only need to wipe yourself with toilet paper but use it to absorb pee.

  • Needs to be charged

While there’s no question about how efficiently this toilet can seal off waste, the battery needs to be activated to do so. It will be useless if you have no way to charge it at some point.

3. Cost of Dry Flush Toilet

The dry flush toilet can cost $450 to $600, and it shows that it’s more affordable than chemical toilets and composting toilets as well. You have to include your spending on the cartridge refill and buy a set pack so you can save some money.

What Is a Composting Toilet?


A composting toilet is from the idea of saving water consumption. The waste is mixed with sawdust, coconut coir, or peat moss. There are two types of composting toilets and they are as follows.

1. Centralized system

This system has a large, centralized tank that is installed under a house or just outdoors. All the waste goes into this tank. A centralized composting toilet has many types based on the manner of flushing and the storage chambers. All in all, this system makes you feel that you use the regular toilet at home.

2. Self-contained system

All the components in this system are connected so it works as one unit.

With these two systems, the waste is taken care of in the same way. When flushing the composting toilet, 90% of the waste is liquid.

It means that 90% evaporates and a little amount of solid waste is left and converted into fertilizing soil. The process is similar to garden composter as the aerobic bacteria cause the breakdown. After proper composition, pathogens and viruses are gone for good.

If you’ve already had a plumbing system at home, you can still add a compost toilet. However, it’s the option in some cases like in your area where a septic system is unavailable.

Also, you can choose it if your structure is not linked to a pre-existing septic system. Some people will opt for this toilet if their existing plumbing system is just giving them problems.


  • Water saver

You can save 60% on water usage with a composting toilet. Every person can save 6,600 gallons of water per year. Therefore, the household utility bill is lowered.

  • Promotes productive soil

Compost from your toilet waste promotes productive soil. You can use it to grow food healthily on your own.

Composting encourages the growth of microorganisms that help the soil to keep moisture, reduces plant diseases and pests, prevents from using chemicals from fertilizer and pesticides, and enhances agricultural productivity. It also hinders your plants from absorbing pollutants.

  • Positive environmental impact

Aside from water conservation, it can reduce marine and water pollution.


  • Manually removing waste
  • Exposure to unpleasant aesthetic
  • Limited capacity on smaller units
  • Most systems need a power source
  • More manual upkeep and maintenance

3. Cost of Composting Toilet

The self-contained composting toilet can be around $1,400. Just so you know, a septic system can cost 75% more. However, you can save a big amount if you make the compost yourself.

It can only cost $50. You can find instructional videos online on how to make it. Generally, this project requires plywood, cover material, bucket, assorted hardware, particleboard, and a medical-grade toilet seat.

Important Things to Remember

The importance of dry flush vs composting toilet is to know everything about each toilet. You can choose the one that suits your needs. They’re compared as both of them don’t require water for waste disposal.

The dry flush toilet is portable so you can have it away from home and in off-grid homes. A composting toilet is great for you if you’re into composting and growing plants healthily. Though you need to put a lot of work into it, the return is great for your garden and environment.

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