This article was written to help you understand the differences between the Separett Villa and Separett Tiny waterless, compost toilets. Information and specifications are correct at the time of writing (August 2023).
When Separett launched the all-new Tiny in 2021, some people thought that this would ultimately be a replacement for the Separett Villa (which was launched around 2001). This isn’t the case as the Tiny and the Villa are quite distinct in terms of who their target audience are, as well as there being some functional and physical differences.
Historical note: Prior to 2022, there were three models of the Villa – the Villa 9000, the Villa 9010 and the Villa 9020. The Villa 9020 was renamed as the Villa Extend (not covered in this article). The Villa 9000 could only operate from 230v AC mains and consumed around 11 watts. The Villa 9010 was re-specified with a better fan and was renamed the ‘Villa’ to replace the Villa 9000 and Villa 9010 – it was capable of running from 12v DC or from 230V AC mains with the included adaptor.
Let’s start with the obvious difference, that of the overall size.
The Villa is 67cm deep (front to back), 45cm wide, and has a seat height of 44cm (the total height comes in at 54cm as the ventilation fan is mounted high, at the back of the toilet).
The all-new Tiny is just under 50cm deep, 40cm wide and has a seat height around 45cm (maximum height is 47cm including lid).
So we can see that compared to the Villa, the Tiny is saving you 17cm on the depth, but more than that, the Tiny can be mounted flush against the wall behind it, whereas the Villa needs to be slightly off the wall, so the Tiny probably saves you around 20cm on the overall depth.
Both the Tiny and the Villa offer a standard seat height of around 45cm, which is comparable with traditional toilets, so both will be comfortable and familiar to use.
Styling / Appearance
The Separett Villa has a more traditional style and feel to it. It doesn’t look out of place compared to a standard, traditional toilet with its sloping front (meaning the base has a smaller footprint that the top). The ventilation pipe is 75mm diameter and comes out of the top of the toilet, so is visible. In the majority of installations, the pipe turns through 90 degrees and runs through the wall behind the toilet. It comes with a white toilet seat and lid.
The Separett Tiny has a more contemporary, modern aesthetic. Apart from the curved front (which follows the curve of the lid), the lines are clean and straight, although it does slope slightly inwards to the base at the front. The ventilation pipe is 50mm diameter and comes out towards the base of the toilet. From here, it can it run straight down (through the floor), to the back or to either side. This means it’s possible to install it with no visible pipework, making for a clean overall look. The Tiny doesn’t have a separate seat – the top of the toilet (once you open the lid) is the seat, meaning it simpler to clean.
Both the Tiny and the Villa look like flushing toilets, which removes the anxiety some people might have about using compost toilets which are too basic and rustic! Both are made from high-gloss, recyclable, polypropylene (similar to modern baths and shower trays).
The Separett Villa has never offered any storage for urine within the body of the toilet. The original design was intended for use in Scandinavian cottages where the urine could be run from the toilet directly into a soak-away pit (see our information on soak-aways and dealing with urine), or other external urine storage tank/solution.
The Separett Tiny is available in two versions, one which diverts urine to the outside (like the Villa), and one with a 7 litre, easily-removable urine container. The Tiny with the urine container is therefore suitable for mobile dwellings such as caravans, motor homes, boats or places where it’s simply not possible or desirable to run urine into a soak-away pit.
The 7 litre urine container could provide several days worth of capacity depending on use (a typical person passes between 1.5 and 2 litres of urine per day, depending on their fluid intake), however, urine does have a habit of scaling up in containers where it is stored, so we would recommend emptying the urine container and rinsing it on a daily basis if possible.
Models of the Tiny that divert urine to the outside, along with the Villa, have no upper limit on the urine throughput capacity (assuming the soak-away pit or external storage is sized accordingly).
The Separett Villa has a 23-litre circular solids container within the toilet. In addition, the container rotates a few degrees every time the user sits on the toilet, which alters the ‘drop zone’ and ensures the capacity is maximised. Depending on the amount of toilet paper placed in the solids container, you can expect up to 60 ‘solid’ uses before it needs emptying (although you can empty it at any time you choose).
The Separett Tiny, being physically smaller and having to potentially share the internal space with a urine container, has a much smaller solids container with a capacity of 14.5 litres. Due to the container being tall, but narrow (relative to the Villa container), it can fill up quite fast, especially if people use a lot of toilet paper, which adds a lot of bulk. Typically, you can expect around 20-25 ‘solid’ uses before it needs emptying.
Due to the efficient ventilation systems, together with the automatic concealing flaps over the solids containers, none of the models require sawdust, wood shavings or other cover materials. so are extremely simple to use.
All models of the Tiny and Villa since 2022 can operate either from 230v AC mains (with the supplied plug-in power adaptor) or from a 12v DC circuit such as those on boats, yachts, motorhomes and off-grid buildings.
They consume under 2 watts of power (2 watts for the Villa and 1.5 watts for the Tiny), which makes them very inexpensive to run from the mains and very practical to run from a 12v power source (for example a 12v battery and solar panel). The fan on both models runs all the time and is designed to remove 100% of odours and excess moisture (which could lead to condensation).
Solids Area Concealing Screen
Both models have a mechanical flap/screen that covers the view of the solids container when the user opens the lid of the toilet. As the user sits down, the screen automatically opens, and then closes as they stand up.
On the Villa, the concealing screen is a single piece unit that operates mechanically from the weight of the user at the front of the toilet seat. On the Tiny, the concealing screen incorporates the fan filter housing and stays in place when you open the top of toilet (so the solids container remains covered when removing and emptying the urine container if fitted). Due to more limited space, the concealing screen on the Tiny is in two pieces and it’s operated from pressure at the rear of the toilet seat.
The concealing screen mechanism on the Tiny was substantially upgraded in June 2023 so it operates more quietly and with less pressure required.
On the Villa, the mechanism that opens the concealing screen when the user sits down, also turns the solids container a few degrees. The means that you don’t end up with a ‘poo mountain’ in one place as the contents are distributed evenly.
Urine Storage and Emptying
As mentioned previously, the Villa has no option for storage of urine within the toilet, so must be connected to a greywater drain, soak-away pit, or other external storage tank. The Tiny comes in two versions, one like the Villa which has no internal urine storage, and one with a 7-litre easily-removable urine container.
The Tiny urine container has an air-inlet valve which enables extremely rapid emptying of the contents without the ‘glugging’ other containers might subject you to. Under the urine inlet is a deflection baffle which helps stop any liquids coming out of the container when in transit – useful for boats and camper vans.
Finally, the Tiny with Urine Container has a sensor that lights up the Separett logo on the toilet when the container is nearly full.
Which one is right for me?
The first question is whether you need to have urine storage within the toilet (for example because you’re fitting it to a boat or motorhome etc). If you do, then the Separett Tiny with Urine Container is your choice!
If you can run the urine to a soak-away pit or external container, then either the Villa or Tiny with Urine Extraction would work. It then comes down to the required capacity – for occasional or low-use toilets, the Tiny would be perfect (in a garden office for example), but for family use in a dwelling, then the Villa (with it’s much greater solids capacity) would be a better choice.
If you’re unsure, why not give us a call or get in contact? We’re happy to run through your situation and give our advice.