10 Best Coffee Filters In 2021 and Beyond – Nothing More Than Coffee in Your Cup

best coffee filters - cup of caffeine

Making a great cup of coffee is no simple task. To begin, you’ll need some great coffee beans. You’ll also require a decent coffee machine and proper cleaning techniques for your equipment. However, to turn your grounds into delicious caffeinated nirvana, you’ll need high-quality coffee filters as well.

Coffee filters not only keep the grounds out of your coffee but also contribute to absorbing the oils of the coffee beans. This coffee oil is responsible for the coffee’s bold flavor and is absorbed by the paper or cloth filters—absorption results in a loss of flavor, meaning more absorption, less flavor. 

If you brew your own coffee at home, you’d probably be using a machine or coffee maker that requires a filter in it. Sure, any old paper filter will suffice, but why not invest in one that performs correctly? 

These best coffee filters keep annoying grinds out of your drink; they don’t break when you dispose of them and offer a better flavor every time. 

How Does A Coffee Filter Work?

You know what they say about the things you don’t want in your coffee? Grounds, that’s all! A coffee filter is usually composed of disposable paper. It allows the liquid coffee to flow through by trapping the coffee grounds. Paper filters reduce oily components called diterpenes, which have anti-inflammatory effects and are present in unfiltered coffee.

The goal of a coffee filter is rather simple: after the hot water has dissolved the coffee bean flavors and absorbed their taste, color, and aroma, the filter separates the liquid from the grounds. This filter is frequently (but not always) composed of disposable paper—thick and permeable enough to allow liquids through but not tiny coffee grains. Essentially, a filter traps undesirable particles that should be excluded from your beverage. The type of filter you use determines what goes into your coffee and what stays out.

Coffee Filter Types – All The Deets

So, your best friend is coming over for coffee. And you want to make sure that they have the best tasting cup of joe possible, without any lumps or sediment in it. So what do you do? You head out to your local grocery store and look at all of the different options available to you. There are paper filters, metal filters, nylon filters, cloth, and even gold-plated filters! Which one should you buy?

It’s hard to say; each type has its pros and cons (not just size!). Read on to find the difference between each.

Paper Filters

Paper coffee filters are extremely common and are designed to fit specific sizes and shapes of coffee maker baskets. The thickness of paper filters may vary. Paper filters are made from bleached or unbleached paper

You can easily find them at any grocery shop in town. Note that the cheaper varieties of paper filters will be manufactured from thinner paper (usually 100 grams per square meter), allowing for less oil filtering. They’re available in multi-packs in cone and basket shapes and should only be used once.

Metal Filters

Metal coffee filters provide a different experience than paper ones. The mesh inevitably has larger pores, so it doesn’t block as much of the natural oils or small grounds of coffee beans, even though metal is more porous than other materials–meaning some particles and residue will get through. This may not necessarily be bad because you’ll still have a cup that’s rich in taste.

Made of finely woven metal mesh – mainly its stainless steel coated with gold plating – often referred to as ‘gold-tone.’ The metal mesh removes grounds but no oils yielding a more robust, flavorful cup of joe. They usually last longer and are available in both flat & cone-shaped styles.

Nylon Filters

Nylon coffee filters are cheap, durable alternatives to metal ones. They’ve more or less similar filtration capability as metal, and can be found in a cone or flat-bottomed styles for your preference! The Nylon versions are typically less expensive than their heavier counterparts but they aren’t much durable. However, if you take precautions when cleaning and handling them, they’ll surely last a long time.

Cloth Filters

If you’re looking for a more natural brewed cup of coffee, then cloth filters should be your best bet. Fabric-like cotton or muslin is used in making them and it allows finer particles through while blocking larger ones from going into the machine with an opening that’s smaller than what we call “cloth.” 

Cloth filters are finely-weaved, enough to capture all of the coffee grinds from your brew, but not tightly enough to trap the flavorful oils of your coffee grounds. 

So what’s the best coffee filter? Paper, metal, nylon, or cloth filters – it totally depends on your preference. But if you don’t want to deal with all of this hassle then just know that a good middle ground is ‘Cloth’ and they last about 30 brews before being washed clean again but can be used up until 100 safely!

10 Best Coffee Filters On The Market Today

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all coffee filter. Each type of filter has advantages and disadvantages when used with different brewing methods. You are free to use whatever works best for you. To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best coffee filters perfectly suited for each brewing technique.

Best Reusable Coffee Filters

1. Barista Warrior Pour Over Coffee Filter – Best Metal Coffee Filter

Specs: Brand: Barista Warrior | Material: Stainless Steel | Shape: Conical | No of Pieces: One

This metal cone filter is an excellent choice for a wide range of pour-over makers. This metal filter is custom made for Chemex and Hario V60 owners, providing a customized fit. It may also be used with many ceramic pour-over makers, although the design may not be ideal for coffee machines. 

The Barista Warrior Reusable filter has a dual filtering mechanism, with stainless steel mesh on the outside and a laser-cut filter on the inside. Both of which function to reduce the amount of grounds that go through the filter and eventually into your cup while still allowing tasty oils to pass through.

 This product is also backed by a 6-months manufacturer’s warranty, which shows the manufacturer’s confidence in its creation. So, if you are dissatisfied with the product and want your money back, simply ask for a refund, and the whole amount will be refunded to you with no questions asked.

 The OVALWARE Stainless Steel Coffee Filter is a great alternative in comparison to Barista Warrior for those who want a similar design and compatibility but at a lower price. It’s also available in Titanium Gold and Titanium Copper, but it comes with a three-month manufacturer’s warranty.

2. GoldTone Reusable Basket Coffee Filter – Best Basket Metal Coffee Filter

Specs: Brand: GoldTone | Material: Stainless Steel, Plastic | Shape: Basket | No of Pieces: One

This premium GoldTone’s Reusable Basket Coffee Filter is an eco-friendly alternative to paper filters and fits most 10-12 cup basket-style coffee brewers. Its surgical-grade stainless steel mesh allows greater coffee flow, resulting in a more balanced brew.

They’re non-absorbent, allowing only the purest coffee to pass through. Secondly, the cleaning and maintenance of this reusable coffee filter is extremely simple and straightforward. Once brewing is completed, rinse the filter off or pop it into the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning. It’s even equipped with a foldable handle, allowing you to remove and insert it into your coffee machine easily.

The GoldTone is also available in a more like V-shape, also called Funnel Shape. The design choice is compatible with most 12-cup machines like the Delonghi BCO series, Ninja Speciality Coffee Maker, Kenmore Coffee Maker, Capresso Coffee Makers, and the Krups SAVOY Coffee Maker. 

GoldTone Brand Reusable No.4 Cone Style Replacement Coffee Filter replaces your Cuisinart Permanent Coffee Filter for Machines and Brewers (1 Pack)

As far as the versatility and compatibility go, this one is considered the best of its class. Although it’s dishwater safe, hand-cleaning will extend its life.

3. Bolio Organic Hemp Cone Pour Over Coffee Filter – Best Fabric Coffee Filter

Specs: Brand: Bolio | Material: Hemp | Shape: Cone | No of Pieces: Three

Moving forward to something different from metal ones, i.e., hemp. As hemp plants use less water to grow and are stronger than cotton, this hemp coffee filter makes an exceptionally environmentally responsible product, requiring less water during production. So say goodbye to those cloth and paper filters, thank you very much.

Hemp filters are more tolerant than steel or paper filters, ideal for those with less technical equipment. However, some oils go through, but not as much as with a metal filter. Additionally, it provides the same level of filtration as a paper filter.

To clean the Bolio Organic Pour Over Coffee Filter, simply rinse the filter with some hot or medium water and then let it air dry. It comes in 3 varieties #2, #4, Chemex, and Cold Brew. 

4. IpartsPlusMore Gold Plated Mesh Filters – Best Reusable Pod Filters

Specs: Brand: IpartsPlusMore | Material: Stainless Steel | Shape: Pod/Basket | No of Pieces: Four

Using refillable K Cups is a great solution to K Cups’ harmful environmental effect. These reusable pod coffee filters are compatible with every K Cup brewing machine, including the new Keurig 2.0 models. 

Furthermore, these refillable k cup filters are 100% BPA-free featuring a food-grade stainless steel mesh. They are 100% dishwasher safe, and you can easily make tea and coffee with them. Just slide it into the place where k cups usually sit and follow the same steps that you’d do with your prefilled K cups. Finally, to clean them, simply toss them into your dishwasher, and that’s pretty much it. The exciting pink-purple plastic makes these filters aesthetically appealing as well.

To sum up, reduce your carbon impact by reusing your Refillable K-Cups while still enjoying your favorite Coffee brewed in your Keurig machine!

Best Paper Coffee Filters

5. Hario V60 Paper Coffee Filters – Best Conical Paper Coffee Filter

Specs: Brand: Hario | Material: Paper | Shape: Cone | No of Pieces: 100

Backed by more than 24,000 positive customer reviews, the Hario V60 is compatible with coffee makers that use cone-shaped filters. These filters are environmentally sustainable and are available bleached and unbleached.

Each pack of Hario V60 contains 100 disposable filters, and you can choose them between 3 different sizes (#1, #2, and #3). Designed and manufactured in Japan, these coffee filters feature spiral ribs alongside the filter for optimum flavor expansion. It comes with a single large hole at the bottom to speed up the water flow and the coffee maker’s efficiency. 

The company claims if you want a “delicious cup of coffee” every morning, it can only be made with their filter.

6. Miletta #4 Cone Coffee Filters – Runner Up for Paper Coffee Filter

Specs: Brand: Miletta | Material: Paper | Shape: Cone | No of Pieces: 480

These Melitta Coffee Filters are more suited for automatic brewers. Although these filters are conical in shape but not exactly like the above recommended one. They do not feature a pointing tip at the bottom; instead, the two sides of the paper taper a shorter line (probably not as long as the diameter of the upper opening).

These filters are also equipped with some unique features. They include markings to assist you pour the appropriate quantity of coffee, as well as micro-perforations to enhance the flavor of your cup. Their #4 size is perfect for most electric/automatic coffee makers and some manual Pour-over coffee makers.

Melitta Coffee Filters are composed of 100% natural, unbleached paper pulp and are entirely biodegradable. Melitta makes annual contributions to the American Forests Global Releaf Fund each year, in addition to creating products with better production methods that are good for the environment.

7. Rupert & Joffrey Basket Coffee Filter – Best Basket Paper Coffee Filter 

Specs: Brand: Rupert & Joffrey’s Trading Co. | Material: Paper | Shape: Basket | No of Pieces: 500

These basket coffee filters from Rupert and Joffrey arrive unbleached and are the perfect choice for individuals looking for a natural way to prepare their coffee while reducing the environmental impact. They are compatible with all 8-12 cup coffee makers that use basket coffee filters. 

They’re sturdier than typical store brands, so the sides won’t collapse after being saturated during a brew cycle. They are also 100% biodegradable and compostable so that you can enjoy your morning jolt with zero guilt. You can order a 500 pack at a very reasonable price of $11.99. These 500 packs of filters won’t acquire much space and will stop you from ever running out of coffee filters.

Last but not least, as these coffee filters are unbleached, it’s always a good idea to rinse them under the tap before utilizing them. Otherwise, you might notice a slight papery flavor in your coffee. Although many individuals don’t notice it, I believe it’s something worth being aware of.

Best by Brewing Techniques

8. No Mess Cold Brew Nylon Coffee Filters – Best Cold Brew Coffee Filters

Specs: Brand: HomyHee | Material: Nylon | Shape: Basket | No of Pieces: 120

Cold-brew is another popular type of coffee beverage amongst coffee fanatics. According to Statista, cold brew ranks at #7 on their list of top coffee brewing methods in the United States.

Most cold brew coffee makers come with their own metal mesh filters, but most cold brew jars also brew great coffee with disposable filter bags. As of now, I’d recommend the HOMYHEE No Mess Disposable Filters for cold brew the best. These coffee filters are composed of strong, natural, compostable corn fibers that are built to last. They are biodegradable and compostable, meaning you can quickly dispose of them in an eco-friendly way. Furthermore, the drawstring on these filters is made of 100% woven cotton thread. The seams are pretty robust and guarantee not to tear apart quickly.

Here are a few quick steps to make delicious, flavorful cold brew coffee without a lot of fuss. Simply fill the filter bag with around 100g grounds of cold brew beans or whatever quantity your coffee tastes demand, then place this filled bag in a container full of water. Allow it to steep for 12-24 hours (again, depending on your preferences), and you’re done. Wow, you simply can’t expect any coffee brewing method simpler than that.

Despite being so simple to use this filter, the company also offers a 100% money-back guarantee within 90 days of purchase. So after the bags arrive, suppose if anything goes wrong, the HOMYHEE Customer Support Team is at your service!

9. Chemex Classic Coffee Filters, Squares – Best Chemex Coffee Filter

Specs: Brand: Chemex Store | Material: Paper | Shape: Cone | No of Pieces: 100

On our list of best coffee filters, the Chemex ones are the most versatile so far. You can use them with a variety of coffee makers, both manual and electric.

Chemex filters arrive in pre-folded squares or circles & unfolded circles. Their filters are made of heavy pulp to maximize flavor extraction, and it’s supposedly the best coffee filter on the market. The company also patents these filters, and only Chemex can produce them.

You can get a 100 piece set for as little as $16 (at the time of writing this review). One major downside we noticed with the Chemex filters is that they also eliminate most of the oils and fats from your grounds, producing a more clear cup of coffee. These fats and oils are responsible for the coffee’s robust flavor.

10. Replacement Filters Pack by Aeropress – Best Disk Coffee Filters For Aeropress

Specs: Brand: Aeropress, Altura | Material: Paper, Metal | Shape: Disk | No of Pieces: 700, 01

We can’t leave Aeropress out of the discussion on the list of best coffee filters. Aeropress brewing is a great way to brew that perfect cup of coffee in under a minute. But you simply can’t make a rich-tasting cup without the proper filters. 

Generally, the brand’s own paper filters are the most recommended ones. These Aeropress Paper Filters are entirely biodegradable and compostable, and they are explicitly designed for Aeropress. 

Those wanting to have a more robust and thicker cup may also try the Metal Aeropress Filter by Altura. Its Stainless Steel mesh lets the oils and fats pass through quite gently, which normally have been filtered out by paper ones. This filter is great for outdoors, allowing you not to worry about paper filters anymore. 

What To Look For When Choosing The Best Coffee Filter?

Whether you drink AeroPress, pour-over, or drip coffee, you’ll need a fantastic coffee filter to ensure the best possible outcome in your coffee cup. If none of our top-rated coffee filters pique your interest, there are a few pointers we can offer while you continue your search for the best coffee filters to fit your ideal requirements.


The type of filtration will determine the final flavor of the brewed coffee. Filters made of absorbent fibers, such as cloth or paper, soak up more coffee oils and substances. Cloth filters allow greater permeability than metal “gold tone” filters because they have a looser weave.

However, if you enjoy a robust cup of coffee that allows you to detect the bean’s tastes and delivers maximum caffeine and java intensity, a plastic filter or a metal “gold tone” filter with less absorbent will provide comparatively better results.

Cleaning Convenience

The Biggest advantage of Disposable coffee filters is nothing else than their disposability. There’s no need to wash them after they’re finished; in fact, you may effectively finish brewing your coffee and trash the grinds and filter altogether.

On the other hand, reusable coffee filters are emptied and cleaned after each usage. Depending on the type of coffee you brew, your reusable coffee filter may require gentle brushing.

Environmental Impact

A single-use filter or paper coffee filters are biodegradable, but they’ll eventually end up in a landfill. Furthermore, many paper coffee filters are made of bleached paper, which undergoes extra manufacturing procedures that require chemicals and have a worse effect on the environment. If you’re buying paper, go for unbleached (more on this below).

Filters that can be reused, i.e., metal ones, do not need to be changed for a long time. However, the impact on the environment will depend on the type of material used. Pick a high-quality filter with a long life span when purchasing reusable.

The Shape Of Your Filter

1. Conical Filters

Conical or cone-shaped filters are the best coffee filters for pour-over brewing methods. They come in two varieties, one of which is shaped like a party hat. The second style has two sides that taper into a shorter line (not as long as the diameter of the top opening) instead of ending at one point at the tip. The first type is primarily utilized with manual brewing equipment, while the latter is more commonly used with permanent filters for automatic brewers. Regardless, they both function more or less the same way.

2. Basket Filters

A basket filter is the first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions a ‘coffee filter.’ These filters, which are sometimes known as cupcake-or-flat bottom filters, resemble cupcake wrappers with folds around the edges and buckets with smooth edges. Their tops can be larger than the surface area at the bottom, but their difference isn’t quite as great as conical filters. They are made to fit nearly every model of a basket coffee maker

3. Disk Filters

Last but not least, the ‘Disk filter’. These are mostly used for AeroPress and can occasionally be used in place of French Press as a substitute for filters. Disk filters are significantly smaller than the other two we described above, and their size varies depending on the coffee maker with which they will be used.

Cone vs Basket Filter

You might be thinking, will the flavor of your coffee change if you switched from a cone to a flat bottom, i.e., basket coffee filter. Well, according to UC Davis Coffee Center researchers, the answer is yes! They recently completed a study on this very topic. 

They teamed up with Breville, a company that makes some of the best coffee machines and is also the manufacturer of the great Precision Brewer (which can brew with either a cone or basket filter). They tried both methods and kept all other variables constant, such as water temperature, roast level, and flow rate.

Participants in the study were able to determine the differences between the coffees. They noted distinct flavor characteristics depending on the shape/form of the filter.

This is mainly due to because the basket filters feature wide, flat bottoms. As the grinds are more widely dispersed, uneven extraction can occur. Even with a shower head designed to distribute the water, streams tend to go straight down, leaving gaps of under-extracted coffee, yielding a less flavorful coffee.

On the other side, conical filters make the hot water flow through grounds more effectively. They are usually more expensive, but the increase in flavor is well worth the money.

A Word On Cost

Paper coffee filters might seem like a cheap option in the short term, but those low prices add up over time. You’ll end up spending more money on wasteful paper that’ll only last you for so long before it starts wearing out and needing replacement–especially when reusable options cost about $10 at most!

On the other hand, Reusable coffee filters are the way to go if you care about your wallet. They’re not just cheaper in long-term terms; they can also save paper from getting wasted and protect our environment by reducing waste pollution all at once. What more could someone want?

A quick search online showed that reusable filter kits start around $10-$60 but often last up to seven years or longer – which means this one (small) initial investment pays off very quickly AND helps keep things like landfills full less frequently too!

Bleached vs Unbleached Paper Coffee Filters

Many people swear by unbleached coffee filters, while others claim that bleached ones are superior. There are undoubtedly just as many, if not more, who think that bleached filters are far better or that there is no difference at all. The major distinction between buyer assessments is how they’re made?

Bleached Paper Filters

Brown is the color of natural, unprocessed paper. The white color of white coffee filters has been derived using one of the two methods.

Chlorine Bleaching: It takes a small percentage of chlorine to remove the brown tinge from wood pulp. Chlorine bleaching takes longer during manufacturing and has a worse environmental impact by generating more toxic wastewater and air pollution.

Oxygen Bleaching: This type of bleaching technique requires less manufacturing and has less harmful effects on the environment. 

Consumers might look at the packaging to determine the manufacturing process used in white coffee filters. Filters that are labeled with the “TCF” designation are without chlorine bleaching.

Does bleaching affect the taste of coffee? No, many individuals believe that using a bleached coffee filter will change the flavor of their final brew, and they are often shocked to find out that isn’t the case. The reality is that it makes no difference between oxygen and chlorine-bleached filters in any manner.

Unbleached Paper Filters

Paper filters that have not been bleached are naturally brown and have not gone through the bleaching process. I believe unbleached coffee filters are the obvious choice! Unbleached filters are more environmentally responsible

With that said, some individuals claim that unbleached coffee filters may leave a little paper flavor in your cup. If that’s your concern, here’s the solution:

  1. Place the filter at its residing position.
  2. Pour hot water over and through the filter until thoroughly moistened (this water should be discarded later).
  3. Fill the filter basket with coffee, and complete the brewing procedure.

So, if you’re using paper coffee filters, hopefully, this will persuade you to go with unbleached paper filters instead.

Let’s Discuss Size

It’s crucial to pick a filter that can hold the number of cups you need to brew. The size of cone filters is determined by numbers, depending on the quantity of coffee they are designed for.

There are four types of filters: #1, #2, #4, and #6. Each number indicates with which tools they can be used with.

  • #1 Filter: For Single-Serve Coffee Makers
  • #2 Filter: For 2-6 cup electric & 1-2 non-electric coffee makers
  • #4 Filter: 8-12 cup electric & 8-10 cup non-electric coffee makers
  • #6 Filter: Perfectly fits 10+ cup pour overs/ non-electric coffee makers

The #2 and #4 paper filters are the most frequent sizes, which will satisfy the needs of most brewing techniques. 

Basket filters are also available in various sizes, with the most popular ones fitting into regular coffee baskets. However, if you only need to make Six or fewer cups of coffee, you’ll need to search for junior-size basket filters.

Debunking Coffee Filters: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Paper Towel as a Coffee Filter?

Yes, you certainly can. You can use your old college roommate’s method for a quick fix when you run out of coffee filters and badly need your morning caffeine boost. The only negative aspect is that they are not as sturdy as actual coffee filters, so they may be stacked to prevent a catastrophe.

Which coffee filters are the healthiest?

Paper filters are the healthiest you can get. They eliminate most oils from your coffee, including cafestol. This Cafestrol is responsible for raising cholesterol levels. Due to this, some medical experts believe that paper coffee filters are a more healthier choice than metal ones.

Are disposable filters 100% biodegradable?

Disposable coffee filters may or may not be entirely biodegradable. The quality of the paper, the filter’s processing, and the filter’s maker’s recommendation for biodegradability of waste disposal determine whether your coffee filter is fully biodegradable or not. There are only a few totally biodegradable coffee filters on the market, but many may be reused after being used for their intended purpose.

Can you compost a coffee filter?

Yes. The coffee filter and used coffee grinds can both be composted easily. Decomposition is quick, especially if the filter is buried instantly after use rather than kept near the top where it may dry out. Also, if the decomposition of your filter is your primary concern, then always opt for the unbleached paper filters to keep the compost fully organic.

Will coffee filters filter water?

Yes, if the water is dirty, it will eventually become clogged and not pass through. That’s when you need a new filter! Even after filtering, there are still pathogens that can make you sick, so be sure to boil your drink before drinking for the best results.

Final Verdict

To sum up the discussion, note that bleached and unbleached coffee filters won’t alter the flavor of your coffee, but choosing between disposable paper and reusable metal will. Cone filters produce better saturation and extraction eventually better results whereas the disk filters are for AeroPresses and French Presses. No matter what filter type or size you choose, coffee is everything you want it to be.

Wow, isn’t it incredible how much there is to learn about coffee filters? I hope I’ve addressed all of the coffee filter types and things you should know before making the purchase, but if you have any more questions or ideas, simply let me know in the comments below. 

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