Using a bucket toilet seat can be an economical and eco-friendly alternative to installing a flush toilet, especially for applications like camping, tiny homes, RVs, boats, off-grid living situations, and disaster preparedness kits. Choosing the right bucket toilet seat is key though – you want one that is comfortable, durable, easy to set up and clean, and fits the 5-gallon buckets you plan to use.
Table of Contents
Here is an in-depth table comparing the Top 5 Bucket Toilet Seats:
|[Best Portable Seat] Simplehuman
|[Best For Outdoor] Reliance Hassock
|[Overall Best] Camco
|[Awesome!] Palm Springs
|Works with 5 gal
|Made for 5 gal
|Steel & Plastic
|15 x 14 x 17 in
|14.7 x 14.7 x 14 in
|14.5 x 14 x 6 in
|14 x 14 x 4 in
|13 x 13 x 3 in
|Odor Control System, Modern Styling
|Folding Design, Handle
|Locking Side Handles, Gasket Seal
|Outdoor Durability, Locking Lid
|Lightweight, Non-Slip Ridges
|Toilet Seat Style
|Check Latest Price
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|Check Latest Price
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What is a Bucket Toilet Seat?
A bucket toilet seat is a specially designed portable seat that fits on or into a 5 to 7-gallon bucket, effectively turning the bucket into a makeshift toilet. Some seats come with their own buckets while others are standalone seats meant to pair with your own standard 5-gallon utility bucket.
They usually include a toilet seat lid and sealed compartment to hold waste bags and absorbent materials that contain odors and liquids after use. Many models have sturdy snap-on lids that seal tightly onto the bucket for easy transport and storage.
Reasons to Use a Bucket Toilet Seat
There are several compelling reasons to use a bucket toilet seat setup instead of or in addition to a permanent flush toilet:
Portability – Since bucket toilet seats are lightweight and work with common buckets, they can be set up virtually anywhere needed temporarily like camping sites, building projects, tiny homes, workshops, storm shelters, off-grid cabins, and vehicles where installing a flush toilet isn’t feasible.
Affordability – Bucket toilet seats only cost $30 to $200 depending on the quality, versus $200 on up for installing an entire flush toilet and septic system. The simplicity of bucket-based systems also saves significantly on utility bills if going entirely off-grid.
Versatility – Bucket seats adapt well to many locations and situations, making them quite versatile. They can be used full time or part time, indoors or outdoors. The buckets are also useful for non-toilet applications when not in use.
Eco–Friendliness – Unlike flush toilets that consume precious freshwater and require sewer or septic systems to process waste, bucket toilet systems allow natural decomposition in soil (where permitted) and keep contaminants out of watersheds completely.
For these reasons and more, bucket toilets are growing in popularity particularly for sustainable and resilient building projects.
Types of Bucket Toilet Seats
There are two main types of bucket toilet seat products:
- Complete Toilet Kits – These all-in-one kits come with the seat topper, lid, and 5 or 7-gallon bucket with a sealed inner bin to hold either trash bags or absorbent material like cat litter or sawdust to manage waste. Many kits also include toilet paper holders, cleaning brushes, and deodorizers. They offer maximum convenience but the buckets are typically lower quality than what you may already own.
- Seat Toppers – The most basic and affordable option is a standalone seat topper designed to work with standard 5 or 7-gallon buckets. They turn owned buckets into a toilet for short or long term use. You’ll need to line the bucket and provide your own lid, toilet paper holder, pads, and waste bags separately. The versatility and reuse is a major perk.
Now that you understand what bucket toilet seats are and why people use them, let’s look at the many great benefits they offer in detail…
Benefits of Using a Bucket Toilet Seat
Beyond the reasons we outlined already, using a bucket toilet seat has additional benefits that may compel you to get one for your home, boat, camper, workshop, or tiny house project:
Bucket toilet seats snap onto standard 5 to 7-gallon buckets, converting them into toilets within seconds. This portable toilet design means you can easily move the toilet wherever it’s needed and then store it securely out of the way.
Entry-level seat toppers weigh between 1 to 5 pounds and higher end complete toilet kits usually stay under 10 pounds. Light enough for anyone to carry and relocate the toilet.
Such high portability frees you to position the toilet in a comfortable convenient spot without difficult permanent installation. No need to worry about complicated plumbing or septic connections.
Flush toilets require extensive plumbing, water lines, expensive fixtures, and septic or sewer systems to handle waste. The parts, labor, and ongoing water costs add up fast.
Bucket toilets utilize affordable, widely available 5-gallon utility buckets and simple seats to handle personal waste for a fraction of the cost of installed flush toilets. The basic operation has no recurring fees either besides restocking waste bags, absorbent material, and toilet paper.
On average, basic seat toppers cost $30 to $60 and complete bucket toilet kits with integrated buckets and accessories range from $60 up to $200. Once purchased, the bucket toilet lasts for years with proper maintenance and occasional consumables replacement.
The portable, adaptable nature of bucket toilet seats also makes them extremely versatile to deploy in many types of situations temporarily or long term:
- Camping – easy to pack and set up campsites
- RVs/campers – space-saving and self-contained
- Boats – no marine toilet or septic tank needed
- Workshops/garages – handy private toilet option
- Events/festivals – reduces rented porta potty needs
- Off-grid cabins – works without utilities or septic
- Tiny homes – compact and movable toilet option
- Emergency or disaster toilets – preparedness
You can use bucket toilet systems full time or occasionally when needed. Their flexibility fits most lifestyles.
Flushing gallons of precious freshwater down the drain with every use is incredibly wasteful. Centralized sewer and septic systems are also prone to leaks and contamination polluting surrounding land and watersheds.
Bucket toilets employ dry operation (aside from cleansing) and natural waste decomposition through detachable sealed bins full of organic absorbent material. The self-contained dry cycle keeps dangerous pathogens and liquid effluent out of watersheds.
Collected solid wastes in bags can properly decompose underground where permitted or be sealed for safe transportation to waste transfer stations as necessary.
Waterless functionality and decentralized waste collection of bucket toilet systems provide a renewable, eco-friendly personal or family toilet solution for responsible living. Their environmental advantages will only become more apparent as freshwater shortages continue and aging sewer infrastructure keeps failing.
Key Features to Look for When Buying
When evaluating and choosing a bucket toilet seat for purchase, you’ll want to look for these important characteristics and design factors:
Design and Style
- Type – Basic seat topper, seat with integrated bucket, or full toilet kit?
- Size/Shape – Round or elongated bowl? Adult, child or family size?
- Toilet Seat Style – Attaches securely to bucket? Front extending? Top-mounting?
- Lid – Flips up? Detaches entirely? Has seal and latches?
- Built-in Toilet Paper Holder? – Convenient feature
- Aesthetics – Materials used? Color options available? Looks professional?
Consider needs, intended use cases, weight tolerance, tastes, etc when deciding on ideal toilet seat design and styles.
Aim for a product with excellent functionality that looks decent as well. An ugly overly utilitarian appearance may be fine for temporary applications but not ideal for permanent household installation.
Size and Fit
- Fits Standard 5 to 7-Gallon Buckets – Required for versatile bucket sourcing
- Non-Skid Base – Grips bucket edges firmly without slipping
- Centered Position – Distributes weight evenly so no tipping
- Adult-Sized Opening – Comfortably accommodates most users
- Weight Rating – Supports at least 350+ pounds for durability
- Compact Footprint – Fits tight spaces like RVs, boats, tiny homes
You want confidence the bucket toilet seat secures tightly to standard buckets without slipping and avoids spill risks. And capacity to handle adult users comfortably.
Durability and Construction
- High-Quality Plastics – For longevity despite heavy use
- Textured Finish – Provides some “grip” for stability
- Reinforced Edges – Critical stress points for robustness
- Corrosion-Resistant Hardware – Handles humidity well
- Watertight Seal – Prevents leaks from perforated bags
Seeking durable build quality ensures your bucket toilet lasts for years rather than months through rough use, weather, transport, cleaning, and storage cycles.
Cheaper units may degrade, crack, or warp much sooner. Slightly higher cost brings exponentially greater lifespan.
Ease of Cleaning
- Smooth Non-Porous Surfaces – Resists buildup and staining
- Detachable Toilet Seat – Lifts out entirely for cleaning
- Soap & Water Washable – No specialty cleaners needed
- Basic Construction – No nooks and crannies where gunk hides
- Cleans With Toilet Brushes – Included with most kits
Cleaning bucket toilets takes more effort than flushing away waste and grime so easy maintenance is key for sanitation and reducing odors.
Top 5 Bucket Toilet Seats
Now that you know what to look for in an ideal bucket toilet seat, let’s explore some top-rated promising options available and compare their features.
Based on popularity, glowing reviews, smart design, quality fabrication, and overall value, here are our picks for the 5 best bucket toilet seats to consider for 2023:
1. Simplehuman Bucket Toilet Seat– Best Portable Seat!!!
The Simplehuman bucket toilet seat tops many lists due to its sleek, totally enclosed design hiding waste bags and absorbents from view. It looks great and functions reliably.
- Electroplated steel frame with plastic seat and removable inner bin
- Integrated 5-gallon bucket with custom trash bag liner packs
- Locking brace arms and non-slip bucket grip
- 10+ year warranty and 300+ lb weight limit
- Detachable seat for easy cleaning access
- Odor trapping charcoal filter with vent fan
With its modern style and robust steel frame, you’ll be proud to show off this bucket toilet seat in any setting whether camping or for a permanent workshop or tiny home installation. It’s on the heavier and pricier side but built to last.
- Sleek modern enclosed design
- Durable electroplated steel frame
- Custom fitted liner bags help contain odors
- 10+ year warranty
- Easy detachable seat for cleaning
- Expensive price point
- Heavy unit overall
- Liner bags are proprietary only
2. Reliance Hassock Portable Lightweight Self-Contained Toilet– [Best For Outdoor]
This portable hassock toilet folds up into a small briefcase form factor, making it incredibly easy to transport and conceal. The inner bucket includes unique stabilizing bars as well.
- Folding padded toilet seat with telescoping legs
- Rugged molded polyethylene seat and bucket
- Just 5 lbs total weight with handle and snap latches
- Sealed 5.3-gallon bucket with unique stabilization
- Built-in toilet paper holder and side latches
- 1-year warranty
For a super lightweight and packable portable toilet option, it doesn’t get better than the unique Reliance Hassock toilet seat. The compact storage footprint is genius engineering.
- Super lightweight and portable
- Folding design with carry handle
- Molded 5.3-gallon bucket included
- Unique internal stabilization bars
- Built-in toilet paper holder
- Basic style less aesthetically pleasing
- Smaller bucket capacity
- No vent fan or filters
3. Camco Portable Travel Toilet Seat – Overall Best
Camco is the top brand name for RV and boat accessories so this portable seat meets that market’s high standards. It secures tightly to standard buckets with little risk of leaks.
- Textured seat and lid with 5.3 gallon bucket
- Side-mounted locking handles attach firmly
- Gasket seals between bucket and seat
- Built-in toilet paper holder
- Snap-fit latch keeps seat locked during transport
- 1-year warranty
Simple. Effective. Affordable. That sums up Camco’s flagship portable bucket toilet seat. The perfect seamless fit and locking handles set it apart from cheaper instability prone versions. Great for camping, boats, hunters, and household backup needs.
- Renowned Camco brand name
- Tight non-slip gasket seal
- Side locking handles prevent shifting
- Built-in toilet paper holder
- Budget friendly price
- Lid prone to cracks over time
- Gasket can wear out
- No ventilation or odor control
4. Palm Springs Outdoor 5-Gallon Bucket Outdoor Toilet Seat
This top selling outdoor bucket toilet seat comes from a reputable California tiny home builder known for high quality products tested in extreme environments.
What stands out:
- Made for rugged outdoor usage
- UV-protected HDPE plastic seat
- Reinforced snap-on lid with seal
- Adjustable lid clamps lock onto bucket
- Textured base prevents internal slipping
- Can use multiple bucket brands
With robust UV-protected construction and diagonally reinforced stability brackets on the bottom, Palm Springs’ bucket toilet seat is ideal for off-grid outdoor installations like mountain cabins exposed to weather extremes. The durability gives real confidence.
- Rugged HDPE UV-protected seat
- Reinforced snap-on locking lid
- Textured non-slip base
- Durable for outdoor use
- Works with various buckets
- Plain white lackluster style
- Lid seal could be tighter
- May need stabalizer bars added
5. Armaly Brands Heavy Duty Bucket Toilet Seat
Our final pick prioritizes no-frills lightweight durability for the budget conscious.
- Under 2 lbs virtually indestructible HDPE seat
- Designed specifically for 5-gallon buckets
- Non-slip ridge on bottom secures firmly
- Economical sub $20 price point
- 1-year replacement guarantee
- Available in white, bone, almond colors
While ultra basic in design, Armaly’s heavy duty bucket toilet seat gets the core functionality right every time at a very wallet-friendly price. Hard to beat if you already own suitable buckets and lids to pair it with.
- Under 2 pounds super lightweight
- HDPE plastic built to last
- Designed for standard buckets
- Non-slip ridges anchor firmly
- Very budget friendly
- Requires buying parts separate
- No integrated lid or accessories
- Can slide around when lifted
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use regular 5-gallon buckets for bucket toilet seats?
Yes, most bucket toilet seats work perfectly fine with common hardware store 5 to 7-gallon buckets, ensuring easy sourcing when you need replacements. Some may require removing rubber gaskets or built-in stabilization bars first.
How do you manage odors with a bucket toilet?
Using waste bags and organic absorbent materials like sawdust, cat litter, or peat moss reduces odors significantly, as does emptying filled buckets promptly. Some units also include vent fans and charcoal filters to trap smells.
Do I need accessory items like toilet paper holders?
Many complete bucket toilet kits include holders and the needed initial supplies of waste bags, tp, cleaning brushes, deodorizers, etc. But standalone seats require separate accessory purchases – make sure to budget properly.
Can bucket toilet waste go into landfill trash?
That depends on local laws and landfill policies. Most specify contained human waste must be handled and disposed of at approved sanitary waste stations or in onsite composting setups instead where approved. Know your options.
How much waste can a 5-gallon system hold before needing to empty?
Typically 3-4 uses if using sawdust between them. More people or less absorbent material equals faster fill up. Plan accordingly for your particular usage.
Investing in a well-designed bucket toilet seat for a makeshift portable toilet during trips or installing one full time in your off-grid tiny home or workshop brings huge advantages. Specifically the self-contained eco-friendly waste management, water savings, cost-effectiveness, versatility to use anywhere, and ease of relocating the bathroom as needed.