Complete Guide to the Modern Toilet

The Complete Guide to the Modern Toilet

Ready to smash that buy button?

Here’s the best toilet in the following categories: standard, smart, and compost. 

You’ll need to keep reading to find out everything we liked (and some things we didn’t like) about each one of these toilets, but for now, here’s what you need to know.

Have you ever been sitting around with friends and tried to guess the greatest invention in history? Here at RAVE Reviews, we’ll just go ahead and say our answer: the toilet. 

How much is there really to know about toilets? Their business, after all, is simply helping you do yours. Straight forward, right? Wrong.

Turns out, there’s a lot to know about toilets. So, without further ado, here’s your complete guide to buying a modern toilet, according to some of America’s best plumbers and construction professionals.

Once upon a time, there were really just a few things your toilet needed to do, and it only needed to do those things well. These days, toilets feature everything from nano-technology to no-touch flushing, and that can make buying a toilet complicated.

What features do you need, and what features can you do without? 

RAVE Reviews sorts this out for you.

What to Look for in a New Toilet

If you’re shopping for a new toilet, stick to the basics, like comfort height, which is a new modern standard for toilets, says Joe Wood of Boston Standard Plumbing Company, a large, independent plumbing, heating, and cooling company based in Massachusetts. 

Comfort height, also called “right height,” refers to the toilet bowl sitting between 17-19 inches high. This height makes sitting on toilets easier on the knees and back, and it’s better for tall people, older folks, or anyone with mobility issues.

Next, check each toilet on your list for its water consumption. Of course, you want the water consumption to be low, but how low? 

1.6 gallons per flush (GPF) has been federally mandated since the mid-’90s. These days, however, the GPF is even less. According to Boston Standard, those old efficiency standards aren’t cutting it anymore.

“Any 1.6-gallon toilet is a waste of water,” Wood says. “In this day and age, any toilet not designated as a high-efficiency toilet is something that you want to avoid.”

Maybe you’re old enough, though, to remember flushing low-flow toilets a couple of times just to get them to work.  That system is better now, with design improvements like larger trap-ways and flush valves making low-flow toilets more powerful.

Another popular feature of many modern toilets is soft-close seats.

What is a soft-closing toilet seat? I mean, we’re busy these days, but are we really so busy we can’t close our own toilet seats? 

The answer, it seems, is yes!

Soft-close toilet seats have special toilet-seat hinges that control the velocity at which the seat drops after just the lightest push, closing slowly and with very little sound.

“Once you try a soft-close seat, you will never go without one again!” Wood says. Night lights and bidet seats are also great features to look for in any modern toilet, he says. 

Furthermore, smart toilets are following the smart-home platform, allowing consumers to personalize a toilet to meet their needs. Self-cleaning toilets have also become all the rage, Wood reports. “Who wouldn’t love that feature?” he says.

Nano-technology has come to the world of toilets as a coating applied during the glazing process, which is a feature that makes the toilet-cleaning chore virtually a thing of the past.

Wood points out that the coolest new feature to hit the market is a sensor that you can wave your hand over, causing your toilet to flush for you. “No-touch flush is coming to a bathroom near you,” Wood says. 

The next choice you’ll need to make when shopping for a toilet is whether you want a standard toilet, a smart toilet, or maybe even a composting toilet. 

Kelson Carter, licensed plumber and owner of Carter’s My Plumber, a family-owned plumbing contractor servicing the Indianapolis area, tells us what we need to know about these different kinds of toilets. 

Standard Toilets

If you choose to go with a standard toilet, Carter says look for something that has a high gram-per-flush rating, and be sure to check the warranty, since they vary widely from brand to brand.

Also, be sure you can easily find parts for the toilet at your average hardware store. This will make any future repairs cheap and easy.

Carter recommends any toilet with dual-flushing capabilities, which saves water. And stick with white porcelain, “as colors can be either trendy or change,” Carter says. Plus, different colored porcelain makes it difficult to find a matching toilet seat.

Smart Toilets

The most important thing to look for in a smart toilet is its ease of installation, Carter says. 

Look for something that is easy to clean as well, and do some research on how easy the toilet is to repair or how available its parts are for when it breaks. 

As with any toilet, be sure to examine the warranty and what it covers, Carter adds.

Composting Toilets

A composting toilet is the kind of purchase you’ll make only once or twice in your lifetime, Carter says, so before making a purchase, work closely with an expert.

First, make sure the product is legal in your area of residence, Carter says. 

Jesse Silkoff from MyRoofingPal, a service that consults on all aspects of the construction process, agrees.

“Some areas require a permit to have one,” Silkoff notes, so check with your city council or HOA, if you have one, before buying a composting toilet.

With toilets coming with all sorts of features, how do you know what you need and how do you know what you can do without?

Here’s what to avoid in a modern toilet.

“A lot of people just go for the newest, flashiest model,” Silkoff says. “Sometimes that’s counterproductive and not at all conducive to what your home and family actually needs.”

Silkoff cautions that many modern toilets require parts to be purchased from the manufacturers. 

“They price gouge for it because they can – you have nowhere else to buy the parts. It might be aesthetically pleasing, but it isn’t worth it to your wallet.”

There’s also been a trend recently to buy toilets in colors other than white, Silkoff continues.

“It should go without saying, but don’t do this. You need to be able to use heavy-duty chemicals, like bleach, to clean them thoroughly, and that’s just going to strip the color out anyway.”

Joe Wood from Boston Standard says always start with a brand you’re familiar with. “If it’s not a brand you already know, don’t buy it!”

Now, let’s take a closer at the best toilets, whether they’re standard, composting, or smart. 


When researching this complete buying guide to the modern toilet, we at RAVE Reviews wanted to present as complete a picture of the modern toilet as possible. 

We broke down the modern toilet into three categories: standard, smart, and composting.

We then gathered input from some of the nation’s leading plumbers and construction professionals, asking them what to look for and what to avoid in a modern toilet, as well as any new features to consider or trends the average consumer can do without. 

We also asked the experts to name their picks for the best toilets on the market, comparing these products against other similar lists and rankings from all across the internet. 

We didn’t just take their word for it, though – we conducted our own research, too, analyzing consumer reviews and product specifications.

We evaluated each toilet on the following:

  • Functionality
  • Price
  • Size
  • Capacity
  • Warranties
  • Brand reputation
  • Availability

In doing so, we feel confident in our results, and we can’t wait to present the best toilets on the market. Let’s get started!

Best Standard Toilet


The American Standard Cadet

The American Standard line of toilets are Boston Standard’s go-to for a standard entry-level toilet. “These workhorses are available with comfort-height seating,” Joe Wood points out, as well as slow-close seat hardware and compact configurations to suit every homeowner’s needs, making this one of the most space-saving toilet designs out there.

In addition, the Flowise technology ensures the highest level of water conservation possible, at only 1.28 GPF. There is also a 2 ⅛-inch glazed trapway and oversized three-inch flush valve, which only adds to the flushing power.

It makes sense, then, that this toilet is Watersense certified, and the EverClean feature inhibits growth of stain and odor-causing mildew. RAVE Reviews loves the PowerWash rim, which scrubs the bowl clean simply by flushing the toilet.


  • Comfort-height seating
  • Slow-close seat
  • Flowise Technology


  • Mild installation issues reported

TOTO G-Max Promenade

Next up is the TOTO G-Max Promenade, part of TOTO’s G-MAX line. The G-MAX is recommended by Boston Standard for high-end performance at a variety of price points, making these toilets suitable for any budget.

Boston Standard points out these toilets have class-leading features, such as larger flush valves for quick, powerful, and quiet flushing, as well as fully glazed toilet surfaces to help avoid pesky clogs. What RAVE Reviews loves about TOTO’s G-Max Promenade is the low water consumption, at 1.6 GPF. That’s only at the federally mandated minimum, however.

Furthermore, many toilets in the G-Max line also include TOTO’s dual-flush technology.

There’s a gravity flushing action, as well, and a tank with a lid, fittings, and a chrome-plated trip lever. The Promenade comes in cotton white with a round bowl and universal height. The seat is sold separately.


  • Low water consumption
  • Larger flush values
  • Full-glazed surfaces


  • Dual flush not included with all models
  • Durability issues reported


The SANICOMPACT toilet from Saniflo is next up in our ranking of the best standard toilets. This product installs quickly and easily anywhere in the home, with no venting required. In addition to handling toilet waste, this toilet pumps water away from any nearby sink, saving space through a sleek design that measures 14.5 inches wide and 21.5 inches deep.

The unit also combines a macerating pump and a tankless toilet bowl into a single fixture. Macerating toilets use an upflush toilet system, sending waste to a unit behind the toilet, which is usually a large container or inside the wall itself. High-powered blades then liquefy the waste, pumping it out of the unit through a pipe that is directly tied to the main drain line.

“That is why this technology is often referred to as ‘above-floor plumbing,’ and why it is used to create bathrooms where no conventional, below-floor drainage exists,” John O’Reilly of Saniflo tells RAVE Reviews. “Installation is easier, faster, and less costly,” he says. Maybe best of all, these toilets are incredibly water efficient, operating with only 1.28 GPF, using nearly 40% less water than a standard toilet.


  • Macerating function
  • Installs quickly
  • Water-efficient


  • Upper/mid-range price
  • Flaw in plastic mold reported
  • Seat adjustment issues reported

Kohler Cimarron

Fourth in our ranking is the Kohler Cimarron. This two-piece toilet features 1.28 GPF with comfort height and chair-height seating, making it a timeless addition to any bathroom, according to Boston Standard.

What RAVE loves is the elongated bowl that adds room and comfort, and the Kohler Cimarron is single-flush, using the force of gravity and a precision-designed tank, bowl, and trapway to create a stronger-than-average siphon. Making the flush even more powerful and effective is the AquaPiston canister, allowing water to flow into the bowl from all directions,

The toilet comes with a left-handed, polished-chrome trip lever, but seat and supply line are not included with purchase.


  • Comfort Height seating
  • 1.28 GPF
  • Single-flush


  • Seat not included
  • Supply line sold separate
  • Loud flush reported

American Standard Champion

Fifth in our ranking is the American Standard Champion. “This model moves 70% more mass than a standard toilet,” Boston Standard tells RAVE Reviews. The unit also boasts EverClean technology to help keep things clean.

In addition, there’s a PowerWash rim for added cleanliness. The Champion is also a High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) with ultra-low consumption, only 1.28 GPF, utilizing 20% less water than many other toilets. This meets the EPA WaterSense criteria.

Lastly, with an elongated bowl, this two-piece toilet is ADA compliant, and what RAVE Reviews loved most of all is that it’s protected by a ten-year warranty.


  • Everclean Technology
  • PowerWash rim
  • Low water consumption


  • Water too low for some
  • Height issues reported
  • Shipping issues reported

The Delta Foundations

The next toilet in our ranking is the round-front The Delta Foundations C43913. Available only at Home Depot, this toilet is a lifetime warranty model with SplashGuard technology “to keep the deck clean,” says Boston Standard.

What caught RAVE’s eye are features like slow-close seat technology, to help prevent slamming, and the unit is WaterSense rated at 1.28 GPF. In addition, there’s exceptional flushing power, with clog-free performance. The toilet is also ADA compliant, with an elongated bowl, offering a more comfortable sitting experience, and a two-inch, fully glazed trap tray.

Best of all, the Delta toilet kit comes with the tank, bowl, toilet seat, mounting hardware and wax ring – something not offered by all toilets.


  • SplashGuard technology
  • Slow-close seat technology
  • WaterSense rated 1.28 GPF


  • Sold only at Home Depot
  • Weak flush reported
  • Bowl-glazing issues reported

Western Pottery

The seventh pick in our ranking, Western Pottery is the perfect choice for anyone looking to conserve water. With a shockingly low 1.0 GPF, this toilet uses 40% less water than other “water-saving” units.

Furthermore, the bowl has round front, with a Sani-Glaze trapway for consistent, trouble-free performance. There’s also a full-size water surface and trap seal for a clean and sanitary bowl.

What RAVE Reviews loves most of all is the Quick-Install tank to bowl fittings, saving time, reducing potential leaks, and saving money on installation. As a final note, the seat is not included with purchase, and the toilet comes in both white and cashmere.


  • 1.0 GPF
  • Full-size water surface
  • Quick-Install tank


  • Seat not included
  • Not sold on Amazon
  • On the tall side of height

Kohler Santa Rosa – K-3810

The next pick in our ranking is the Kohler Santa Rosa, a one-piece model with comfort-height seating and AquaPiston technology. The toilet offers 1.28 GPF, and a quiet-close seat is included with purchase, as is a standard left-hand trip lever.

Flush power and effectiveness are increased by the AquaPiston canister, allowing water to flow into the bowl from 360 degrees, while the flush valve’s 3:2 ratio maximizes the force of gravity to further optimize flush performance.

RAVE Reviews also appreciated the durable canister design, with 90% less exposed seat material than a three-inch flapper, helping to keep the toilet leak free.


  • AquaPiston technology
  • Quiet-close seat included
  • Durable canister design


  • Flush handle issues reported
  • No self-closing lid
  • Toilet seat issues reported

Toto Drake

Toto Drake

The next choice in our ranking is a great option for older individuals shopping for a toilet,  according to Boston Standard. That’s because the G-Max flush system with elongated seating and ADA compliance makes this a go-to model for all, especially seniors.

On the downside, while this high-profile, elongated-close coupled toilet is low consumption, at 1.6 GPF, it barely meets the minimum federal standard.

But there’s also siphon-jet flushing action, a fully glazed trapway, and a large water surface. Another plus is that the Drake has a flush valve that is 125% larger than other toilets, and a soft-close seat or Washlet is available as an upgrade.


  • G-Max flush system
  • Siphon-jet flushing action
  • Large water surface


  • Not comfortable height
  • Water use higher than average
  • Barely meets consumption standard

American Standard VorMax toilet

Available exclusively at Home Depot, this model is American Standard’s premier flushing model and the cleanest, according to Boston Standard. Keeping the bowl clean and smelling fresh is the result of the VorMax jetted scrub and Lysol working together, and RAVE Reviews loves that two VorMax Plus FreshInfuser packs are included with purchase.

Maximizing the power of water with each flush are the dual-injection flush valves and 2 1/16-inch trapway. Otherwise, this high-efficiency toilet has 1.28 GPF with an elongated right-height bowl, meeting ADA standards. Also notable is the Cleancurve rim design, tackling those hidden, hard-to-reach surfaces.

There’s also the super easy-to-clean, antimicrobial, EverClean surface and slow-close, quick-release seat. What’s more, we appreciate the thorough warranty protecting the product: lifetime for the Chinaware, ten years on the mechanical parts, and one year on the seat and VorMax Plus FreshInfuser housing.


  • VorMax jetted scrub
  • Cleancurve rim design
  • EverClean surface


  • Scented infuser
  • Toilet seat not easily replaced
  • Not bidet compatible

Best Smart Toilets


The TOTO Neorest

The TOTO Neorest takes the top spot in the smart toilet category, with seat-warming features and a built-in bidet and air deodorizer.

“This beauty also has a nightlight for those middle-of-the-night bathroom trips,” says Joe Wood from Boston Standard. “And if those are not enough smart features for you, the Neorest is also self cleaning with the push of a remote button.”

The TOTO Neorest is available “bowl only,” with a skirted design and CeFiONtect ceramic glaze to minimize debris and mold. The product comes in cotton white, with a corded-electric power source and siphon-jet flush type.

This product is ADA compliant and available in universal height. It is important to note, though, the Neorest is for potable water only, not recycled water.


  • Self cleaning
  • Warming features
  • Bidet and air deodorizers


  • Uses potable water only

The Duravit Darling New

Second in our ranking of the best smart toilets is the close-coupled Duravit Darling New, a beautiful addition to any bathroom, says Boston Standard. What Boston Standard loves in particular about the Duravit Darling is the SensoWash toilet seat, available as a Slim or Starck.

We appreciate the antibacterial ceramic glaze, called HygieneGlaze, effectively killing bacteria and germs, and the unit is top flush, using 1.6 GPF.  We also appreciate that the Duravit Darling New comes with the WonderGliss option, helping the ceramics stay smooth and aesthetically pleasing over repeated use.

Another feature that caught our attention is that the unit comes with the vario connector set, including offset or the vario connector bend for vertical outlets.


  • Close-coupled
  • SensoWash toilet seat
  • HygieneGlaze


  • High cost

The Toto Aimes

Taking third in our ranking of the best smart toilets is the Toto Aimes. Boston Standard recommends pairing the unit with a S550e washlet toilet seat so the bowl opens automatically. This also adds bidet functionality.

This elongated, one-piece, skirted-design toilet is also known for a very powerful flush, courtesy of the patented Tornado Flush system with a powerful centrifugal rinse. Water use is only 1.28 GPF, with universal height. In addition, the unit’s CeFiONtect glaze helps prevent substances from adhering to the surface, which helps to keep surfaces extra clean and hygienic.

Something RAVE Reviews particularly appreciates about the Aimes is the one-piece skirted-design minimizing the threat of leaks. This also helps to keep the toilet clean and maintenance easy and convenient.


  • CeFiONtect glaze
  • One-piece, skirted design
  • Universal height


  • High cost
  • Only one-year warranty

The Dyconn Faucet Aqua Tankless

A newcomer to the world of smart toilets, the Dyconn Faucet Aqua Tankless is packed with features, says Boston Standard. For example, the one-piece, 110-volt, elongated, tankless toilet comes with a built-in smart bidet, and water usage is shockingly low, at only 1.15 GPF.

The model also features a soft-closing lid and a built-In LED nightlight for those late-night trips to the loo. Other features that caught the attention of RAVE Reviews are the stainless-steel bidet hinges, as well as the automatic sensor-heated seat to keep you warm during use.

Conveniently, the dual-wand nozzle is replaceable, and you’ll love the instant warm-water cleanse function. While the Faucet Aqua isn’t cheap, if you’re able to invest, this smart toilet will pay off.


  • Low water usage
  • Heated seat
  • Replaceable dual-wand nozzle


  • High cost
  • Strong spray reported

Toto Vespin II 1G toilet

The next smart toilet recommended by Boston Standard is the Toto Vespin II 1G toilet with Washlet Bidet Seat. After carefully examining the product, we wholeheartedly agree. What we liked most of all about the Vespin II is that the unit is specially designed to hide the Washlet water supply and power cord, keeping your bathroom aesthetically pleasing.

There’s also a Premist function, which occurs before you use the toilet. This helps prevent any waste or solid matter from adhering to the bowl, helping to make cleaning especially easy and convenient. For comfort, there’s front and rear warm-water washing offering five adjustable temperature and pressure controls, including both an oscillating and pulsing-stream option.

In addition, there’s a heated seat and warm air dryer with variable settings and an automatic air deodorizer to keep things smelling fresh. Best of all, water use is an incredibly low 1.0 GPF, and flushing is powered by 1G technology with the Tornado Flush system, while the CeFiONtect glaze reduces bowl friction.


  • Premist function
  • Washlet water supply and power hidden
  • Adjustable pressure and temperatures


  • High cost
  • Manual flush

Toto Maris

Toto Maris

Sixth in our smart-toilet category is the Toto Maris, recommended by Boston Standard.  This close-coupled, front-skirted bowl-and-tank set uses a Dual Max cyclone flushing system for a powerful flush. And while water consumption is a low 1.28 GPF and the toilet is WaterSense certified, there are smart toilets available with better water-consumption ratings.

What we liked most about the unit is its SanaGloss, which is a smooth, ion-barrier glazing that cleans your toilet bowl every time you flush. The toilet is corded-electric powered and has an elongated bowl, though the seat is not included.


  • Cyclone flushing system
  • SanaGloss
  • WaterSense certified


  • Seat not included
  • Flush-power issues
  • Cleaning issues

Kohler Veil

Recommended by Boston Standard, the Kohler Veil is the first wall-mounted smart toilet in our ranking. The Veil is a one-piece toilet offering integrated cleansing functionality, with an elongated bowl for additional room and comfort.

Something notable is that this model’s mounting hardware is completely concealed, which makes cleaning the unit easier and helps keep your bathroom looking sleek and modern. The Veil also offers dual-flush capability, meaning you’ll have the choice of 0.8 or 1.6 GPF.

In addition, the stainless steel wand can be adjusted for spray shape, position, water pressure, temperature, and pulsating or oscillating functionality.

Buy this battery-powered, WaterSense-certified unit and you’ll get an in-wall tank and carrier system, a wall-hung compact elongated toilet bowl, touchscreen LCD remote control, and docking station. There’s also a touchless, manual faceplate flush actuation system and integrated elongated bidet seat. Best of all, batteries are included.


  • Dual-flush capability
  • Adjustable wand
  • Concealed mounting hardware


  • High cost
  • Battery powered
  • Heavier than other units

Kohler Eir

The next smart toilet in our ranking is the innovative Kohler Eir. Featuring an automatic bowl mist to help keep your toilet clean over time, the Kohler is dual flush, ranging between .8 and 1.0 GPF, so it’s very water efficient. And if toilet height is an issue for you, consider the Eir due to its elongated bowl and ADA-compliant, taller seating surface.

The Kohler also looks great, with all the features expected from a smart toilet, like  hands-free opening and closing, a heated seat, customizable cleansing, nightlight, automatic flush, and a touchscreen remote.

Furthermore, the tankless unit with skirted design combines with a back-to-wall installation, allowing for concealed connections. If that weren’t enough, the Eir model offers fashion lids available as an upgrade.


  • Fashion-lid upgrades
  • Taller seating surface
  • Automatic bowl mist


  • Bolts, line, and ring not included
  • High cost
  • No adjustable wand

Duravit ME by Starck

Duravit ME by Starck

The Duravit ME by Starck is the next floor-mounted unit in our ranking. While Joe Wood of Boston Standard recommends any smart toilet by Duravit, he especially likes the Duravit ME model 216959.

“Duravit makes classy, European-style toilets that work great,” Wood says, and they’re remarkably easy to keep clean with features like SensoWash. Conveniently, the connecting elements for SensoWash, with concealed connections, come included with purchase.

ME by Starck also comes with WonderGliss coating, helping the unit stay smooth, attractive, and clean. With that being said, this unit does require an in-wall tank and actuator plate for installation.


  • SensoWash available
  • WonderGliss Coating
  • SensoWash elements included


  • In-wall tank required
  • Cord powered
  • Limited availability

The Kohler Numi

Does a toilet with a heated seat, foot warmer, and Bluetooth audio feature sound good to you? If so, then consider the Kohler Numi toilet, the last smart toilet recommended by Boston Standard. “Not only is it a completely cutting edge design with dual-flush technology, but it even has multiple ambient lights,” Boston Standard reports. “The main problem you’d have with this toilet is finding a reason to leave the bathroom.”

Otherwise, this compact, streamlined one-piece toilet comes with an integrated bidet. The unit also features comfort height, as well motion-activated, hands-free opening and closing. The unit is dual-flush, providing a choice between 0.6 or 1.28 GPF.

Also notable is the power-save mode, monitoring usage and adjusting heat settings to save energy. We love the emergency flush function, too, which supports up to 100 flushes in the event of a power outage.


  • Foot warmer
  • Bluetooth
  • Emergency flush function


  • High cost
  • Durability issues
  • Flushing mechanism issues

Best Composting Toilets


The Separett Villa

Recommended by the plumbers at Boston Standard, the Separett Villa is our pick for Best Composting Toilet.  The toilet is waterless and urine diverting, operating on either AC for standard household use or DC for battery or solar power. “This composting toilet will get the job done and look pretty good doing it,” says Joe Wood, and with two separate compartments for composting, this toilet composts efficiently while also eliminating odors.

“The Separett Villa is the best composting toilet to reduce water usage!” Wood adds. Here’s how it works: urine is caught in a drain and plumbed to a greywater system or holding tank, then solid waste and paper are caught in the solid waste holding area in a compostable liner bag. After that, the vent fan airs out the solid waste holding area, drying out the solid waste while venting any odor. About every three weeks, the compostable liner bag is removed from the solid waste holding area and is deposited in an approved solid waste disposal area or incinerated.

All parts required for direct vent and drain application are included with purchase, and the venting matches U.S. pipe sizing. The toilet comes with ten compostable bags and one waste container with a lid. A child seat is available as an accessory, and the product comes with a five-year guarantee against manufacturing defects.


  • Bags and container included
  • AC/DC adaptable
  • Parts for direct vent included


  • Toilet seat not replaceable

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

The next composting toilet in our ranking, Nature’s Head Composting Toilet, also comes to us from Boston Standard.  Made in the USA, the Nature’s Head Self-Contained Composting Toilet features close-quarters, spider handle design. And with all stainless hardware, the toilet also delivers comfort, with a full-size elongated seat.

Perhaps best of all, the toilet easily disassembles when it’s time to empty the storage. Vent hose and fan come included. RAVE Reviews also loves how light the toilet is, at just 28 lbs. It operates at 12 volts, with a five-year limited warranty, but it comes in only one color: granite.


  • Self-contained
  • Stainless hardware
  • Hose and fan included


  • Must be emptied frequently
  • Urine overflow reported
  • Limited color options

Sun-Mar Compact

What sets apart the next pick in our ranking, the self-contained composting toilet from Sun-Mar, is the new variable-diameter Bio-drum. The Bio-drum is small at the front and large at the rear, giving the toilet a very low profile.

The unit’s average electricity use with the heater on only half of the time is 125 watts, and the unit weighs 48 lbs. Another notable feature of the Sun-Mar is that it comes in two colors: white and bone.

For residential or continuous use, the Sun-Mar can accommodate a family of two; for seasonal or vacation use, the unit can accommodate three adults or a family of four. The toilet is protected by a five-year warranty on the fiberglass and a three-year warranty on all other components.


  • Bio-drum, low profile
  • 2 color options
  • 5-year warranty on fiberglass


  • Urine cleaning challenging
  • Refund issues reported
  • Smell issues reported

Weekend 7010

The next composting toilet recommended by Boston Standard is the Weekend 7010, manufactured by Separett. This urine-separating compact toilet is a good choice wherever space is an issue.

Something RAVE Reviews loves in particular about the product is that the toilet comes with a DC connection ready to go, but battery power or an AC adapter are also options, making this a versatile unit.

It’s important to note that the top of the unit needs to be removed completely when emptying the solid waste, as opposed to some models with hinged lids. The urine-separation system, though, does reduce the frequency that liquid waste needs to be emptied and also helps minimize smell.


  • Good for small space
  • AC/DC and battery options
  • Urine-separation system


  • No hinged lid
  • Not recommended for daily use
  • Solid waste visible

Sun-Mar Excel

Fifth in our ranking of the best composting toilet is the Excel, a non-electric, self-contained composting toilet from Sun-Mar. The Excel, recommended also by Boston Standard, is ideal for off-grid application, with a low-profile, and it’s able to operate without any water.

What RAVE Reviews likes most of all about the Excel is that without any chemical use, the waste from the toilet can be raked into soil, and without any risk of contamination.

The toilet comes complete with a variable diameter bio-drum and recessed handle for easy compost processing.

On the downside, the Sun-Mar Excel is a little heavier than other composting toilets, at 90 lbs., and it comes in only one color: white. The unit does plug directly into a 110-volt outlet and incorporates a two-inch vent with an internal electric fan and a thermostatically controlled heating element.


  • No chemicals needed
  • No water use
  • Variable diameter bio-drum


  • Smell issues reported
  • Overflow-drain clogging
  • Base durability issues

Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

Up next in our ranking is the dry composting toilet from Nature’s Head, recommended by Boston Standard. What we liked most about the toilet is the hand crank agitator for fast processing. What’s great, too, is that the handle can be installed on either side for both left- and right-handed use.

Made with stainless steel hardware, this composting toilet is easy to install,  self-contained, and urine diverting, with waterless operation.

Furthermore, the toilet is lightweight, odorless, and very compact, making Nature’s Head a great choice when space is an issue. RAVE Reviews also appreciated that this composting toilet doesn’t require a liner of any kind and disassembles easily.


  • Hand crank agitator
  • Urine diverting
  • Waterless


  • More expensive than similar units
  • Liquid empties frequently
  • Uncomfortable for some


The seventh spot in our ranking of the best composting toilets goes to the Sun-Mar GTG. What stood out to RAVE Reviews about the highly-portable GTG is the easy-to-remove seat and separator.

There’s also a dual-chamber system design, separating liquid from solid waste neatly and efficiently. And don’t miss the built-in fan and integrated vent, helping to keep things smelling clean and fresh.

At just under 32 lbs. and being easy to install, the GTG doesn’t consume much energy.

With a small, compact, and highly-portable design, however, this toilet is only suited for seasonal or occasional use, as in a cabin or RV.


  • Easy-to-remove separator
  • Built-in fan and vent
  • Low energy use


  • Suited only for seasonal use
  • No returns or refunds

Villa 9215

The Villa 9215 makes our ranking on the recommendation of Boston Standard. This AC/DC model composting toilet made by Separett is waterless and urine diverting. Like many composting toilets, urine is caught in the Villa’s drain and is plumbed to a greywater system or holding tank, while solid waste ends up in a holding area in a compostable liner bag. The single-speed fan then pulls air over the solid waste, helping to mitigate odor.

For average use, the Villa’s bag should be changed only about once every three weeks. Also notable is that the toilet carries Intertec ETL certification, meaning the product is in compliance with North American safety standards. One possible drawback of this unit is that its seat is not easily replaced.


  • AC/DC model
  • Integrated fan
  • Intertec ETL certification


  • Non-replaceable toilet seat
  • Fan durability issues
  • More expensive

Clivus Multrum M54 Trailhead

If money is not an issue, then consider the ninth pick in our ranking of composting toilets, the high-end Clivus Multrum M54 Trailhead. The M54 Trailhead is the go-to model for the highest-quality composting toilet in public settings, according to Boston Standard, and appeals to residential consumers as well.

Accommodating a massive 22,000 uses per year, these units are for high-traffic areas and can be delivered as a kit or pre-built. There are single- or double-stall building layouts available, and the ventilation fan is solar powered, helping keep things odor free.


  • High capacity
  • Kit building options
  • Solar-powered fan


  • High cost
  • Large frame
  • Only 2 building layouts

Incinolet Model CF

The last composting toilet recommended by Boston Standard is the Incinolet Model CF.

The CF is an incinerating toilet, using electric heat to burn waste into bacteria-free ash, remaining odor free and operating with very little water.

This toilet can easily accommodate four people for full-time use, making it a good choice for families. It operates at 120 volts, or 2,000 watts, and it’s important to note the unit must be installed on a 20-amp dedicated circuit.

RAVE Reviews also appreciates that the toilet comes with one box of 200 liners, and your purchase is protected by a two-year warranty. Another nice feature of the Incinolet is its color combinations, including white, rose, sand, blue, and yellow. For an extra fee, the unit can come with a white shell.


  • Incinerating
  • Accommodates 4 people
  • 200 liners included


  • High cost
  • Heavy frame
  • Needs 20-amp dedicated circuit

Related Rankings

Still deciding which toilet is best for you? These FAQs will help make up your mind.

What Is the Best Toilet Paper in the World?

After picking out your toilet, the next thing to do is buy some toilet paper. Toilet paper is a simple product with an important function, but how do you know your toilet paper is the very best? That’s, of course, going to depend on your own personal preferences, but here’s a quick rundown on how to rate your two-ply.

We came to our conclusion by evaluating each toilet paper brand on the following criteria:

  • Strength
  • Softness
  • Septic Breakdown
  • Residual lint

Here are the results:

  • Budget – Not everyone can spend a fortune on TP, but there are great picks at any price. For a quality option that won’t break the bank, we recommend Kirkland Signature.
  • Eco-friendliness – Minimizing wastefulness while effectively dealing with your waste is on everyone’s mind, now more than ever. For an eco-friendly TP, we suggest Silk’n Soft Bamboo Toilet Paper.
  • Luxury Pick – Perhaps you won’t accept anything but the cushiest toilet paper. For the comfiest tissue, look no further than Quilted Northern Ultra Plush.

With all of that said, if you’re here to find the overall best toilet paper in the world, we have answers for you. Our choice for the best overall toilet paper is Cottonelle. Cottonelle scores high in other toilet paper rankings based on strength, absorption, lack of lint, and overall consumer ratings. 

How Does a Toilet Work?

When shopping for a toilet, it’s important to start with the basics. Put succinctly, toilets work because of gravity. There’s more to their functions than that, but gravity is fundamental. 

Now on to the details – let’s start with the parts of a toilet. Understanding the parts of a toilet goes a long way toward understanding how it all works.

  • The Bowl – Probably the most recognizable part of the toilet is the bowl, the part you sit on that’s full of water and when not in use is ideally covered by a lid – that is, if you remember to close it.
  • The Button or Handle – Here’s where the magic happens. Push the button, or pull the handle,  and the water in the bowl, and all its undesirable contents are whisked from sight, never to be heard from (or smelled) again.
  • The Tank –  Sometimes called the cistern, the tank is where the water is stored. In the tank are several important parts of the toilet, including the float ball, which is just what it sounds like: a ball that floats when the tank fills with water. There’s also something attached to the float ball called a float rod. As the float ball rises with the water level, the float rod presses against the inlet valve; the tank fills up, the rod presses against the inlet valve, and the water switches off.

Now let’s put all the pieces together:

Pulling the flush lever opens a plug; water then flows out, filling the bowl. Here’s where gravity comes into play. When the basin is adequately full, the water begins to flow out through a bend in the pipe, called an S trap, which prevents the water in the bowl from overflowing. 

When you’ve done your business, you press the handle. Pressing the handle then causes a lever inside the tank to pull the piston up, which forces water through the siphon, creating suction. The remaining water in the siphon U tube follows. 

A plastic membrane covers the piston, which gets displaced by the water as the siphon empties. This allows the rest of the water to rush past the piston and over the top of the siphon, which empties the rest of the tank. The piston membrane returns to its proper position, and it’s ready to happen all over again!  

How Much Does a Toilet Cost?

Now, let’s talk numbers and cents. If you need to replace a toilet, several factors can affect how much you’re going to shell out to get the job done. 

When budgeting for a new toilet, keep these variables in mind:

  • Type of Toilet – The more basic the toilet, the less it will cost. Add-ons like heated seats and no-hands flush features will naturally drive up the price.
  • Efficiency – Consider the flushing power: the more powerful the flush, the more the toilet will cost. In the U.S. there are two primary types of flushing systems: gravity flush and pressure assist. There are also dual-flush systems, known for their water conservation, as well as no-flush waterless toilets, which are for portability or a situation where access to plumbing is an issue. 

It’s important to note that while some conversation features might cost you a little extra up front, they could end up saving you money down the line on your water bill. 

  • Labor – Unless you’re able to install the toilet on your own – and we urge you to be careful if you choose to do this – you’ll need to pay someone to do it for you, and this will cost you. Something that can drive up the cost of labor is whether you select a one- or two-piece toilet. Two-piece toilets will take longer to install, and therefore you’ll pay more in labor costs. All those extra features will also increase your labor costs. Furthermore, if you need to reconfigure your plumbing to install the toilet, that will drive up your costs, too. 
  • Brand – Like many other kinds of products, certain toilet brands cost more than others. Sometimes it’s worth it, but other times you might be able to get a comparable toilet from a different manufacturer, so shop around.