Nature Loo USA

Self-Contained vs Split Systems

Researching different types of composting toilets means learning the jargon. If you’ve contacted us regarding our composting toilet systems, you may have heard our staff refer to a split or self-contained system. This is one of the main categories that we use to differentiate between different compost toilets, and it’s the quickest way to narrow down a set of options to meet your requirements. 

So, what do these categories mean? What’s the difference between them, and how do you know which one is right for you?


Split Systems

As the name suggests, the toilet is in two parts: the pedestal in the bathroom and the compost chamber located below the floor connected by a waste chute. A split system will always require underfloor clearance, the minimum clearance for the Nature Loo Low Profile is 500mm, which is just over the 450mm height of the chamber. 

One of the benefits of a split system is that the waste is kept entirely out of your bathroom, so there is no transporting waste (dry, composting, or incinerated) through your house. Also, as the chambers sit underneath the bathroom floor they can be much larger than self-contained systems, resulting in a more efficient composting process and easier long-term maintenance.



A self-contained unit is just that; everything contained within the pedestal. These units tend to be much smaller than the split systems but can fit easily into most spaces, especially when space is a precious commodity. 

Chambers are limited to the dimensions of the pedestal, which is why they tend to be smaller than split systems. Unfortunately, this means that they are often not composting toilets as there is not enough space and time to actually compost the waste before it has to be removed. Hence, these toilets are often referred to as collection toilets or dry toilets. 

The space you have to utilise is only one part of your journey for a sustainable loo. At least now when you hear: "do you have underfloor space?" you know why we are asking and why this is so important to finding the best toilet for you. 

If you have any questions, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fill out our contact form.  

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