The Best Coffee Filters (Review) in 2020
Real coffee connoisseurs know that to get that perfect cup of joe, you need to invest in high-quality roasted beans, coffee grinder, and coffee filters. The latter is essential because no matter how good your coffee beans are if they’re not run through a good-quality filter, they won’t come out right. Filters not only keep the grounds out of your cup of coffee, they also absorb more or less natural oils found in coffee blends, thereby determining the strength and flavor of your coffee. To help you find the right coffee filter, we went through dozens of different products, including metal, paper and cloth filters. We also put together a detailed buying guide about different types of coffee filters which should hopefully help you in your selection process. Without further ado, here are the 10 best coffee filters currently on the market!
Best for easy pour-over setups
Strong, practically impossible to burst
Fits well, remains in place
Makes full-bodied and smooth coffee
Delivers incredibly smooth, balanced coffee
Biodegradable, so they can be composted
Strong, non-bursting and easy to use
Can be tossed (or composted) after brewing, so mess-free
Budget-friendly and environmentally-friendly
Super-easy to use and clean
Makes rich, full-flavored coffee
Durable, should last you years
The Best Coffee Filter
If you’re a fan of disposable paper filters, the Hario V60 is a fantastic choice. Sturdy and cone-shaped to fit most pour-over setups, these filters are incredibly easy to use, even if you’re a complete beginner. The pack comes with 100 unbleached coffee filters, sized 01, which is for 1-2 cups.
It’s a great value for money pack that is sure to last you several weeks, perhaps even months depending on how often you drink coffee. Because the Hario V60 is made from thick, quality paper, the flow rate is perfect and some of the natural oils get through for a full-bodied taste, yet te coffee is smooth with zero grittiness. All in all, the best product if you’re looking for a good pour over coffee filter.
Thick, strong paper filters
Cone-shaped for easy fitting
Unbleached, minimally processed
Disposable and compostable
Looking for an affordable reusable coffee filter? Check out GoldTone’s basket-style filter that fits most Mr. Coffee makers and brewers. Made from stainless steel mesh abd BPA-free rigid plastic body, this filter is both budget- and environmentally-friendly as it lasts a very long time (doesn’t increase landfill waste).
It’s also easy to use and clean thanks to its handle and dishwashing safe materials. As a bonus, the product is made in the USA, so if you purchase it, you’ll support the economy. Because there’s no paper, the filter allows plenty of bean oils to seep through, making a rich, flavorful coffee every time. We only wish it fit more coffee makers and brewers!
Reusable coffee filter
Fits most Mr. Coffee 10-12 cups basket-style coffee makers
Made from BPA-free rigid plastic + stainless steel
Specially designed to make the tastiest, most full-bodied cup of coffee, the Perfect Pod EZ-Cup filters are some of the best coffee filters that money can buy. They have a strong burst-resistant design and lid, so they’re mess-free and easy to use. Importantly, they’re also 100% biodegradable, so you can even compost them if you want to – no waste, so perfect for the environment!
The pack comes with 200 filters, and every single one makes a fantastic cup of joe – flavorful, smooth and delicious. We only wish they could be used with any pod (instead of the Perfect Pod only) because they’re that good!
EZ-cup disposable paper filters
Should be used with the Perfect Pod
Burst-resistant design and lid
Made of quality paper that is compostable, these cone coffee filters by Melitta fit all 8-12 cup cone-style coffee makers. They have an advanced but practical design – Microfine Flavor Enhancing perforations plus a crimped filter design; together, these ensure the filter is tough and non-bursting and delivers rich yet smooth coffee.
This possible because the micro-perforations allow some of the oils in the coffee blend to pass through. This makes the Melitta filters ideal for the lovers of strong, full-bodied coffee. Mess-free, you can toss the filters along with the used coffee grounds right to your compost.
Disposable natural paper filters
Biodegradable and compostable
Microfine Flavor Enhancing perforations for richer coffee
Double crimped, non-bursting design
Simple, cheap and effective, the Connaisseur Rockline coffee filters offer the best bang for your buck. The pack comes with a whopping 700 filters, so it will be a long time before you need another one! All filters are made from white paper that is (chlorine-free) bleached and effective at removing sediment.
Despite being thin, the filters are quite strong and do not slant over on the sides, so they’re mess-free and easy to use. As a bonus, they are compostable. They deliver smooth, flavorful coffee at a very affordable price so there’s really nothing to complain about!
Disposable paper filters
Whitened through an Elemental Chlorine-Free process
Budget-friendly 700-filters pack
If you want a permanent coffee filter, one that will last you a lifetime, we recommend E-Prance’s stainless steel coffee filter. This pour-over dripper features a honeycomb design with a twill weave method that completely filters grounds and sediment without clogging.
It’s perfect for making a rich yet smooth cup of coffee as some of the oils remain but even the finest of grinds get filtered through. The filter comes with a silicone handle and separate stand, so it’s safe and easy to use even for complete beginners. The product is easy to clean as well because you can rinse it with warm water after use or simply toss it in the dishwasher. As a bonus, the E-Prance is affordable – one of the best coffee filters, for sure!
Stainless steel coffee filter
Durable, permanent filter with twill weave design
Comes with a silicone handle for easy gripping
Reliable, effective and reasonably priced, Chemex is the coffee filter to get if you don’t want to spend too much time exploring the world of filters. This is one of the most popular coffeemaker manufacturers in the world, so you can always trust the brand to deliver quality products, and these coffee filters are no exception.
They’re quite thick and strong (20-30% thicker than the competition, according to the company!), so they won’t burst no matter what. And with a specialty fiber filter design, they keep the grounds, oils and bitter elements out of your cup, delivering a truly smooth, tasty coffee. They come pre-folded for convenience and will fit most cone-shaped filter makers. These are white, oxygen bleached filters, so there’s no paper smell or taste – crucial for a perfect cup of joe!
White paper filters
Thick and strong, non-bursting design
Prefolded for convenience
Oxygen bleached for clean and pure taste
If you’re looking for simple, affordable paper coffee filters, check out this 300-pack by Rupert & Jeoffrey’s Trading Co. Made from quality paper, white but unbleached, the filters deliver tasty, full-bodied cup of coffee every single time. Importantly, they’re eco-friendly as they’re biodegradable, plus they’re made in the USA, which is always a good thing.
But how are they performing? While thin, filters are quite strong (albeit not 100% burst-proof) and able to remove most oils that accompany coffee blends, so the coffee is always flavorful but never bitter. No grounds or sediment can pass through either, so a nice cup of java is pretty much guaranteed with these filters, whether you’re a seasoned coffee maker or a beginner.
Disposable paper filters
Standard size, fits all 12 cup cone-style coffee makers
White but unbleached
The Yeosen filter is a reusable, durable and efficient coffee filter that is bound to last for decades, even with daily use. It’s made of food-grade stainless steel, so it’s sturdier and longer-lasting (as well as healthier!) than permanent plastic filters.
It preserves natural flavors and oils found in coffee blends, delivering rich, full-bodied coffee that tastes magnificent. It’s also easy to clean as you can just chuck it in the dishwasher, or run it under hot water immediately after use. The Yeosen is high compatible, fits 8-14 cup cone-style coffee makers and #4 pour-over drippers. As a bonus, this metal coffee filter is affordable and environmentally-friendly as it can be used repeatedly.
Stainless steel coffee filter
Reusable, strong and durable
Preserves natural flavors and oils
If you’re after natural, eco-friendly, large coffee filters, definitely check out Bolio’s Organic Hemp Reusable filter. Made from 100% organic unbleached hemp, with a cone-shaped design, this simple and practical filter delivers delicious, aromatic coffee with zero environmental impact.
Hemp is strong, easy to grow, requires very little water, yet makes excellent coffee – so perfect for environmentally conscious folks! The filtration is good as many of the essential oils are retained but no sediment passes through. Furthermore, the filter is also cheap as you can use it hundreds of times with excellent results. As for cleaning, it’s not the easiest but it’s certainly not overly difficult either – all you need to do is rinse the filter thoroughly with hot water after each use and soak it in hot water and soap about once a week.
Reusable coffee filter
Made from organic hemp
Strong, durable and eco-friendly
Filters sediment neatly, retains natural oils and flavor
Best Coffee Filter Buying Guide & FAQ
A good coffee filter is essential for making a great cup of coffee. Besides filtering grounds and sediment, filters also absorb as well as pass through some of the oils naturally found in coffee blends, having the final say in how weak or strong, sweet or bitter your coffee tastes. But finding the best coffee filter isn’t easy – there are many things to consider, including the material of the filter, size, price and so on. Fortunately, you’re in the right place. In this buying guide, we cover everything you need to know about coffee filters, including how to choose the right one for your taste and budget!
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Coffee Filters
The best coffee filters are those that help you make a cup of joe you truly enjoy. For some people those are the filters that filter out even the finest of sediments, oils and bitterness, delivering ultra-smooth and balanced coffee. For others, it’s the filters that allow the natural oils, flavors and even some of the bitterness to remain in the cup. To find the right coffee filter for your taste, consider the following things.
- Material of the Filter
If you like some of the natural oils found in coffee blends to remain in your cup for a richer and stronger taste, then it’s best to stick to metal filters, as paper filters remove more cafestol and kahweol than any other type. Bear in mind that these oils, also known as diterpenes, can increase your total cholesterol, so if you’re concerned about your health, specifically lowering your cholesterol, choose paper filters.
- Impact on the Environment
As an environmentally conscious person would tell you, it’s important that we all do our part in minimizing our impact on the environment. If you want what’s best for the world without sacrificing the quality of your daily coffee, it’s best to choose metal coffee filters. They’re pretty much permanent, or at least reusable for years. If you love paper filters and don't want to switch to other types, then choose biodegradable, compostable paper filters. Most importantly, take the time to actually compost them!
- Ease of Cleaning
No one likes to waste time cleaning their coffee makers, grinders and filters but what needs to be done, needs to be done! If you really dislike washing the filters, it’s best to stick to paper products that you can just toss out after making your cup of joe. If some cleaning is not an issue, then include metal filters into your selection process. Sure, some are dishwasher safe, but if you want to preserve the shape and function of the filter for as long as possible, it’s best to manually wash them, or at least rinse them with hot water after each use.
Types of Coffee Filters
The taste, aroma, and quality of your coffee at least partly depend on the filter you’re using. Here are three main types of coffee filters and the differences between them.
Paper coffee filters are the most popular types because they’re easy to use and clean and they deliver smooth and balanced coffee. Because they do a great job at filtering sediment and oils (diterpenes), they’re the filters to get if you need to watch your cholesterol. There are two types of paper filters: bleached and unbleached (natural). While convenient, many paper filters are not eco-friendly as they’re disposable.
Coffee filters made from stainless steel are permanent filters so they’re better for the environment, as well as your wallet long-term. However, unlike paper, they’re not super-finely waived so they let some of the oils to pass through. This results in a more robust and intense coffee flavor. That said, this is not a negative or positive feature – coffee taste is highly subjective after all.
Cloth coffee filters are usually made from cotton or hemp. They’re more eco-friendly than paper types as they’re reusable, however, they’re not permanent. If you’re not a fan of ultra-smooth sweet coffee that paper filters deliver, nor of the highly rich, robust flavor that metal filters give, choose cloth filters as they give the best of both worlds – a truly balanced cup of coffee.
Bleached vs Unbleached Coffee Filters
Paper coffee filters can be found in bleached and unbleached varieties. Usually, white filters are chlorine or oxygen bleached, where the latter ones are considered safer and more eco-friendly. Today, most white filters are oxygen bleached as this process is better for the environment. Brown filters are natural and haven’t undergone the bleaching process at all, so they don’t contain any chemicals whatsoever.
While many people claim that bleaching affects coffee taste, we don’t find that to be true, at least not in any significant way. If there is any difference in the taste, it’s minimal. That said, some folks actually prefer bleached filters as the natural types seem to leave a slight paper taste in the coffee.
Best Coffee Filter FAQ:
Q: Are permanent coffee filters better than paper?
A: Permanent coffee filters are better for the environment, however, paper filters trap oils (diterpenes) more than metal ones, making them a better option for people struggling with high cholesterol.
Q: What can I use in place of coffee filters?
A: If you’re out of coffee filters but need your cup of joe to start the day, you can use:
- Paper towels or napkins
- Cloth napkin
- Fine mesh sieves.
While none of these things can make a perfect cup of coffee, they do the job!
Q: What is the difference between white and brown coffee filters?
A: White coffee filters are bleached (either chlorine or oxygen bleached), while brown filters are natural or unbleached. There is no better or worse here, however, white filters are typically less expensive and are thought to impart no paper taste to the coffee.
Q: How do I clean my reusable coffee filter?
A: If you own a metal filter, simply run it through hot water after each use and soak it in warm water and soap every few days. If you have a cloth filter, wash it with hot water mixed with just a little bit of gentle soap (nothing too fragranced!).