Portable Toilet for Home Use – Buyer’s Guide

portable toilets

Looking for a portable toilet for indoor use? Here’s our Buyers Guide to choosing the best portable toilets for home use. Whether you’re remodeling your home, coping with health issues or simply need an extra bathroom without the expense of additional plumbing, having a portable toilet is a useful and convenient solution. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best portable toilet for use in your home.

What Is A Portable Toilet and How Do They Work?

There are several different types of portable toilets. They range from portable camping toilets like commode chairs and bucket toilets to RV toilets and flush toilets. However, for indoor use, the most convenient type is the portable flush toilet.

Portable flush-type toilets usually come in two parts. The toilet and clean water flush tank sit on top and the waste holding tank sits on the bottom. They are held together by latches that allow for easy removal and emptying of the waste holding tank.

A manual or battery-operated pump is used to put water into the bowl. After use, a flush lever is pulled that allows the waste to move from the bowl into the waste holding tank. A valve is used to seal in odor and prevent leaks.

Chemicals can be added into the waste holding tank to break down the waste and prevent odors.

How to Empty A Portable Toilet?

To empty a portable toilet, remove the waste holding tank and empty into a commode or septic system.

What Are the Common Issues With Portable Toilets?

While portable toilets are easy to use, they are different from regular toilets. Here are some tips for resolving common issues.

Weight Issues

Portable toilets tend to be lightweight and easy to move. They come in different sizes with different tank capacities. A large waste tank is convenient and can go for longer periods before emptying. However, as they fill up, they can get heavy quickly. You may want to empty them before they get full so that they are easier to handle.

Ensuring a Proper Seal

Portable toilets are created to be leakproof. Yet, it’s always best to test your portable toilet with clean water before use.

To ensure a proper seal, check that the lids on the tanks are threaded correctly. They should screw on easily and fit snugly.

Also, make sure that the rubber seals on the lids are fully seated. Simply push the rubber seals flush against the back of the cap until they fit securely.

Avoid Surprises – Be Aware of Pressure Build Up

Portable toilets with waste holding tanks can build up pressure. This can occur due to changes in temperature or altitude. Pressure build-up can cause the tank to spray up when flushed.
To avoid this, vent the holding tank before flushing. To vent the tank, slowly pull the flush lever, opening it a just little bit to release the pressure. Always make sure the toilet lid is closed before venting the tank to avoid spray.

Pressure build-up is more common when traveling with a portable toilet or using it outdoors. It’s far less common in a temperature-controlled environment like a home. However, it’s still something to keep in mind.

Our Top Picks for the Best Portable Toilet for Home Use

The best portable toilet for home use is durable, easy to use and comfortable. Based on these criteria, here are our top five picks for the best portable toilets for indoor use.

Palm Springs Portable Camping Portable Toilet

The Palm Springs Portable Camping Toilet is a self-contained manual flush portable toilet. It has two tanks held together with side locks for easy waste removal. The tanks are one-piece, leak-proof tanks molded from high-density polyethylene. A double-sealed drain valve protects against leaks and odors.

At 16.5” tall, the Palm Springs Portable Camping Toilet is similar in height to a regular toilet. It’s more comfortable for people with mobility issues. Molded handles make it easy to carry and empty. It has a manual bellows-pump flush and pull handle slide valve for easy flushing.

The five-gallon waste tank makes it ideal for frequent use. Just keep in mind that the tank gets heavier as it fills. You may want to empty it before it fills to make it easier to handle.

Some customers said the bellows-pump flush was difficult to push and didn’t flush all around. Others said the pull handle slide valve sticks occasionally. Using petroleum jelly on the pull handle and gasket of the drain valve help it to move smoothly. One customer said to make sure the lids for the tanks are threaded correctly to create a leak-proof seal.

Pros & Cons

• Height of 16.5” tall
• Molded tanks easy to clean
• And molded handles for easy carry
• Detachable 5 gallon waste tank
• Manual flush
• Some customers said bellows-pump flush difficult to push
• Pull handle slide valve sticks occasionally
• Make sure lids for tanks are threaded correctly

Camco Standard Travel Portable Toilet 41541

The Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541 is one of the most popular portable flush toilets. It is available in two different sizes: 2.6 gallons and 5.3 gallons. The Camco Standard 41541 is sturdy and durable. It has a detachable waste holding tank with a cap for easy emptying. Two side latches secure the toilet and waste tank together. It’s easy to carry with integrated handles on both the top and bottom sections.

The Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541 has a bellow-type flush system. It’s easy to flush with a manual pull slide on the front. A sealing slide valve opens for waste and closes for an odor and water-tight seal.

If you’re looking for a compact toilet that will fit into small spaces, the 2.6-gallon version is the shorter of the two at 12.38” high. The 5.3-gallon version is 15.5” high and closer to the height of a standard toilet. Both versions have a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds.

Some customers said that the side latches wouldn’t latch firmly. Others said that the 5.3-gallon waste tank gets heavy quickly as it fills up. You may need to empty it more often to make it easier to handle.

Pros & Cons

• 2 sizes available – 2.6 or 5.3 gallons
• Detachable waste tank
• Integrated handles
• Weight capacity of 330 pounds
• Manual flush
• Height of 15.5” for 5.3-gallon size
• Some customers said side latches wouldn’t latch firmly
• 5.3-gallon waste tank gets heavy when full – empty more often

Camco Premium Travel Portable Toilet 41545

The Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet 41545 is the newer, updated version of the Camco Standard 41541. Like the Standard model, the Premium 41545 also comes in two different sizes: 2.6 gallons and 5.3 gallons. The waste holding tank detaches for easy emptying. It also has a sliding gate valve prevents leaks and odor. For easy cleanup, the inside of the holding tank has a slick surface and improved pump flush action.

The Premium model has several updates. They’ve improved the pump flush action and coated the inside of the holding tank with a slick surface for easy cleanup. A spring-loaded latch on the back has replaced the side latches. Instead of just one, the Premium model has three spray rinse nozzles and the flush pull is now located on the side. It also has a swivel pour spout on the waste holding tank to make emptying even easier.

To avoid leaks, one customer recommends checking the rubber seal rings before use. To make sure they are properly seated, push the rubber seal rings down until they are flush with the back of the cap. Make sure they line up correctly so they will seal securely when tightened. There are three seals to check: the clean water reservoir, holding tank drain cap and the pump handle.

Some customers said that the swivel pour spout made it hard to clean. Also, having the pull lever on the side of the toilet may be hard to access in smaller spaces.

Pros & Cons

• 2 sizes available – 2.6 or 5.3 gallons
• Detachable waste tank
• Manual pumping flush action
• Spring loaded latch for easy removal
• Height of 16” for 5.3-gallon size
• Some customers said pour spout made it hard to clean
• Pull lever on the side not suitable for some small spaces
• Make sure rubber seal rings are correctly seated before use
• More expensive than 41541

SereneLife Portable Toilet SLCATL320

The SereneLife Portable Toilet is a popular portable toilet for both indoor and outdoor use. Sturdy, compact and comfortable, it has a 5.3-gallon waste holding tank and a double-sealed drain value to protect against leaks and odors. The SereneLife SLCATL320 also has extra features that make it easier and more convenient to use.

The manual piston pump flush and 3-Way flush nozzle provide a strong, thorough flush. A wastewater tank level indicator lets you know when it’s time to empty it out. Cleaning is easy with the detachable waste tank and rotating no-splash pour spout. With a height of 16.9”, it’s similar in height to a regular toilet.

One difference is that the toilet seat must be in a closed position to pump the fresh water. When the seat lid is up, it’s in the way of the piston pump. Some customers found the waste tank hard to empty completely.

Pros & Cons

• Height of 16.9” tall
• Manual Piston Pump Flush
• 3-Way Flush Nozzle
• Detachable waste tank
• Waste Water Tank Level Indicator
• Splash-free rotating pour spout
• Toilet seat must be closed to pump fresh water
• Some customers found it hard to empty the waste tank completely

Thetford Porta Potti 365 Portable Toilet

The Thetford Porta Potti 365 Portable Toilet is the most expensive on our list. It’s made by the Thetford Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile sanitation products. Compact, durable and user-friendly, it has a 5.5-gallon waste holding tank and a sealed valve to prevent leaks and odors. A level indicator on the waste holding tank lets you know when it’s time to empty the unit. To make emptying easier, it has a rotating pour-out spout and vent button to prevent backsplashes.

With a 4-gallon fresh water tank, the Thetford Porta Potti 365, has a piston pump flush for a quieter and stronger flush. The freshwater tank and wastewater tank are held together by a recessed latch in the back of the unit. The latch is sturdy but easy to unlatch when it’s time to empty.

It’s built for comfort with a height of 16.60”, an oval seat and deeper bowl than some other models. If you wish to further secure the toilet in place, a secure kit can be purchased separately. Some customers wanted the bowl depth to be deeper.

Pros & Cons

• Height of 16.60”
• Manual Piston Pump Flush
• Detachable waste tank
• Removable seat and cover for easy cleaning
• Wastewater holding tank level indicator
• Rotating pour-out spout
• Sealed valve to prevent leaks and odors
• Secure kit not included, can be purchased separately
• Some customers wanted the bowl depth to be deeper
• Pricey


Out of our top five picks, our best-rated portable toilet for home use is the SereneLife Portable Toilet SLCATL320. It’s dependable and affordable with just enough extra features to create a more comfortable experience.

Similar in height to a regular toilet, it’s accessible even for those with mobility issues. It flushes easily with the manual piston and 3-way flush nozzle. The wastewater tank level indicator and rotating no-splash pour spout to make it easy to empty and to know when you should. With its rugged construction, it’s corrosion-resistant and easy to clean.

These are our top picks for the best portable toilet for home use. We based our choices on durability, ease of use and comfort. While each of these toilets will do the job, the best portable toilet for use in your home is whichever one works best for your own personal situation.

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