Coffee filters have a lot more to do with the quality of your coffee than you might realize. Fortunately, by taking a little time to learn about how they work and which are the best out there, you’ll be able to find the right filters for the perfect cup of coffee. No matter how you like it—strong, sweet, rich, or otherwise, there’s a filter for the job. Read on to learn about the best coffee filter options on the market and how you can choose the right one for your home brewing needs.
We like the Fill N Save 2 Pack Reusable Carafe K-Cups because it gives you two great filters with high-quality stainless-steel micromesh, a leak-proof lid, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Plus, it can make you feel better about single-serve brewing with a one-time investment that will serve you for years to come.
The Reusable K Cups for Keurig 2.0 & 1.0 Brewers four-pack of filters is our choice for budget-friendly coffee filters, giving you more for your money with a multipack option. Plus, the micromesh keeps grounds out, but lets natural oils through for rich, bold coffee every time.
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Coffee Filters
The Fill N Save 2-pack of reusable cups is specially designed for use with Keurig machines and is highly effective in creating a smooth, residue-free cup of coffee. The pods feature a micro-mesh stainless-steel filter that ensures that the coffee brews perfectly every time.The stainless-steel used is non-reactive, which means it won’t affect the taste of the coffee like some cheaper reusable filters might, and the cups include a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can buy with confidence. If you’re tired of throwing out K-cup after K-cup, this could be a great way to cut back on waste and save yourself a lot of money in the process.
This four-pack of reusable K-cups for Keurig machines delivers all the brewing power you could ask for. If you have a lot of coffee drinkers, want dedicated filters for coffee and other drinks, or even just want a better solution for your office, this multipack is the perfect choice. It also includes lifetime customer support and a one-year warranty with no questions asked.The micro-mesh stainless steel is designed to brew the perfect cup of coffee without clogging or letting any residue or grounds get into your drink while ensuring all the natural oils can pass through. These can save money and help you save the planet by brewing more cups of coffee with less waste. Plus, with four filters included, it’s one of the best budget options on the list.
3. Hario V60 Paper Coffee Filters
The Hario V60 cone-shaped filters are designed to make brewing easier, offering tabbed sides for a secure hold so that no grounds end up in your coffee. These disposable filters come in multiple sizes, with this pack fitting smaller machines. With 100 filters in the pack, you’ll be able to enjoy deliciously smooth coffee for weeks on end.These are designed specifically for the Hario Ceramic Coffee Dripper, which guarantees compatibility and the perfect cup of coffee every single time. All that you need to do is pop open the filter, put it in the holder, and fold the tabs over the edge to hold it in place. Add your coffee and you’ll have a great fresh cup in just minutes!
4. PARTY BARGAINS Disposable K-Cup Coffee Paper Filters
This bulk pack of paper filters for Keurig brewing machines makes an ideal choice for any office, or even for home use when you brew a lot of coffee or want to save money by buying in bulk. As opposed to the reusable K-cup filters, these are disposable and designed for single-use, making them a much more sanitary option for offices and other commercial spaces.This filter pack comes in a convenient storage box, allowing you to keep unused filters protected from the air and potential debris. They're also made of biodegradable materials, limiting their environmental impact despite being a disposable product, and the heavy-duty texture ensures that filters will never tear or lose their shape.
5. CHEMEX Classic Coffee Filters
This multipack of filter squares from CHEMEX is designed to be compatible with a variety of their machines, except the CM-1GH, CM-1C, and CM-1 models. The filters are made of bonded material for premium flavor transparency and will keep grounds, oils, and other elements from affecting the flavor of your coffee.To use these filters, simply fold the square in half and then fold it to bring the corners together. Separate it between the third and fourth layers to create a funnel, and then place it into the coffee maker. Make sure that you have three layers on the groove side to create an air vent, which will help in the brewing process. Finally, add the coffee to the filter and follow the brewing instructions to make delicious coffee that’s light, smooth and fresh.
6. Melitta 3.5 Inch White Disc Coffee Filters
These disposable coffee filter discs are designed for cone machines when used with percolator or regular grind coffee, offering great filtering of oils, grounds, and residues while still allowing all the flavor of your coffee to come through. The pack is reasonably priced and includes plenty of disposable filters for all of your coffee needs.You can buy this in a single pack or as a multipack if you want to save by buying in bulk. Plus, they come from Melitta, which is a leading brand in coffee filters and related products, giving you peace of mind that you’re getting a product that you can rely on.
7. Bunn Coffee Filters
This multipack of coffee filters offer disposable brewing solutions in an affordable bulk package, giving you more value for your money. If you aren’t sure that you want to deal with reusable filters or if you just prefer disposable filters because they’re more convenient, this pack will be perfect for you, with a respectable 100 single-use filters.These coffee filters are designed for most 8-12 cup coffee pots, including BUNN 12-cup decanter-style coffee machines, and can be ordered in a single pack or a two-pack if you want to get even more for your money. These filters also feature taller sides to minimize the risk of runover or residue.
8. Connaisseur ROCKLINE BASKET COFFEE FILTERS
If you want to get more for your money with disposable coffee filters, this set has everything that you need, with an impressive 700 filters. The filters are also highly versatile and designed to fit most models of coffee makers that offer a standard 8-12 cup range. Compatible brands include Black and Decker, BUNN, Mr. Coffee, and Proctor Silex, among others.These filters should be stored in an airtight bag or container away from other foods and heavy odors so that they don’t absorb odors and affect the flavor of the coffee. They are also made of biodegradable materials for minimal environmental impact.
9. Basket Coffee Filters by Rupert and Jeoffrey's Trading Co.
These unbleached coffee filters are preferred by those who want a minimal impact on the flavor of their coffee when looking for the best filtering solutions. You can also count on the tall, sturdy sides that won’t collapse and will reduce the risk of grounds making their way into the pot. Plus, the bulk pack makes a great option for offices, churches, schools and other commercial needs.Even if you’re just stocking up for home use, this pack of unbleached filters will make you feel good about your purchase, offering a natural filtering option that will guarantee an improved flavor while still filtering out oils and bitterness for a smoother pot of coffee. They are made from biodegradable materials and are manufactured in the USA.
10. TITANIUM COATED GOLD Pour Over Coffee Filter
This reusable coffee filter is designed specifically to be compatible with CHEMEX 6, 8, and 10 cup machines, along with the Hario V60 02 and 03 pour-over coffee brewers. The gold and titanium cone guarantees high-quality filtering with no impurities and no effect on the taste.This filter is easy to keep clean with soap and warm water, although the manufacturer recommends de-scaling with vinegar and water every 3-4 weeks for the best results. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee on every purchase, giving you confidence in your choice. A silicone ring holds the filter in place, and it is even dishwasher-safe for added convenience.
11. Melitta Bamboo Coffee Filters
Bamboo is a naturally renewing resource that regenerates at multiple times the speed as it takes to grow trees, making it a great alternative for paper products like these coffee filters from Melitta. This pack includes six units of 80 filters per unit, for a total of 480 filters. The design and high quality paper trap the bitter flavors and oils to give you smooth brews every time.These disposable coffee filters offer easy cleanup and can be tossed in the trash once you are done using them. The sturdy cone-shaped design ensures that they stay in place while you are brewing. Thanks to Microfine Flavor Enhancing perforations and a double-crimped design, you’ll get all the flavor without the risk of runover. Melitta also offers a customer satisfaction promise on all of the filters and other products that it makes.
12. Mr. Coffee Basket Coffee Filters
The Mr. Coffee basket filters bulk set provides you with individual boxes of filters in smaller quantities to keep them fresh and protected from the elements, and also makes them great for splitting up and spreading throughout the office. You get 600 filters in total, which can be tossed after use for easy cleanup. Plus, they are designed to fit most standard 8-12 cup machines, not just Mr. Coffee-branded products.The paper is designed to reduce the flow of oils and residue into the pot, giving you the perfect flavor if you don’t like a strong, bitter taste. This multipack is also affordably priced, making it easier for you to stock up and save.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Filters: Reusable, Disposable, and Other Considerations
There is a lot more to a coffee filter than you might think. While it does need to keep the grounds in and let the liquid out, it can (and should) do a lot more than that. Coffee filters are divided into a few categories, starting with reusable and disposable filters. A lot of people are starting to look into reusable options, but the convenience of disposable filters is definitely not lost on those who prefer them. Keep reading to learn all about coffee filters and learn how to buy the best filter so that you can improve your coffee brewing at home, no matter what type of machine you have.
Reusable vs. Disposable Filters
Disposable filters are typically made of some kind of biodegradable paper that may or may not be bleached. They come in large multipacks and make cleanup a breeze, as you can simply toss them in the trash with the grounds when you’re done. Since most of them are made from basic ingredients and can be recycled, it’s less of an issue of creating waste and more an issue of how much you want to spend on filters over a lifetime.
Even though disposable coffee filters aren’t that expensive, just the hassle of having to include them on the shopping list forever can get annoying.
Reusable filters are available in all shapes, sizes, and styles. They can be used on a variety of coffee machines, with filters available for Keurig machines, standard pour-over coffee machines, percolators, and everything in between. When choosing reusable filters, you’ll want to check what they are made of, whether or not they filter out oils and residue, and how easy they are to clean and reuse in the long term.
Fit and Compatibility
You obviously aren’t going to get any use out of a coffee filter that doesn’t fit your machine. As you can see from the reviews above, filters are typically sold by cup size or machine size. The “standard” coffee pot is an 8-12 cup machine, so most of the filters on the market will be designed to fit those. Of course, for cone-style home brewing machines, a 2-6 cup range is more standard. You will want to make sure that you buy the right size filters for your coffee machine.
Some filters also won’t be compatible with all coffee makers. You should read the specifications to see if you are looking at a universal filter or if there is one for the specific model of coffee maker that you have at home. When you’re buying specialty filters for a machine that requires something specific, make sure that it meets the manufacturer’s recommendations and that the filter itself states that it will be compatible.
Types of Filters
Coffee filters aren’t just made from paper. There are so many different types of filters on the market today and each can affect the brewing process in varying ways. Typically, the most important aspect here is taste, since materials like paper block oils for smoother coffee while metal or stainless-steel filters allow the oils through for those who prefer a bolder roast. Keep reading to learn more about each type and its benefits and uses.
Paper is by far the most common choice for coffee filters. It's cheap, effective, and easy to dispose of. Even though they’re disposable, paper filters won’t make you feel too bad about their environmental impact, because they are biodegradable and won’t generally have much of a lasting effect. The biggest factor to consider here, as mentioned above, is the cost over time. However, that’s often minimal and worth it for the occasional coffee drinker.
Paper filters are preferred by those who drink light roasts or mild coffees since the oils aren’t allowed through and the bitterness is reduced significantly.
Stainless-steel and other metal food-grade filters are a popular choice for those who decide to go with a reusable option. These fine woven mesh filters may also feature gold plating for extra filtration benefits. The perk of this filter is that it will get out the impurities and grounds but will allow the oils through so that you get a fuller, richer cup of coffee. These filters are available for basket-style machines, cone machines, and Keurig and other single-serve coffee machines. Plus, most are dishwasher-safe and easy to clean.
Some reusable filters are designed with a fine nylon mesh instead of metal, offering similar qualities at a cheaper price, since nylon is less expensive to produce. These filters may wear out quicker over time but if you clean them and treat them well, they can still provide you with years of use. They aren’t a popular choice because there are better options, but they do exist.
For those who want the ultimate reusable coffee filter, cloth is the way to go. These are generally made from muslin or cotton and draped into the filter basket with grounds placed on top, allowing the liquid to flow through the openings in the fabric’s weave. The filter can be washed and reused for several months before it needs replaced. It's not as convenient, but it’s certainly economical.
If you have hard water, mineral-heavy municipal water, or other impurities that you want to remove before you brew coffee, you can often find activated charcoal filters for your coffee pot. These filters are designed to remove calcium, chlorine, and more, giving you purer, better-tasting coffee. It does need to be replaced periodically and will usually be more machine-specific, but it’s a worthwhile investment for many.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of cold brew coffee, specialty filters for cold brewing are now available. These machines often use filter bags that are designed to filter the coffee during brewing, along with a traditional straining-style filter to ensure optimal brewing.
Bleached vs. Unbleached Filters
There advantages and disadvantages of bleached and unbleached coffee filters has been a long debated subject. Some people swear by the unbleached style, saying that the bleaching process can affect the flavor of the coffee. However, this also may depend on the exact filter itself. If you’re sticking with disposables, and want to know the real deal, here’s the scoop.
These filters have undergone a process, like a lot of paper products, that give them that classic white finish. Some people may not realize it, but natural paper typically looks closer to a brown than a white shade, which is why it is often bleached for a cleaner-looking finish. These filters will be bleached using either oxygen or chlorine. If you do go this route, look for chlorine-free styles.
The extra steps required in the bleaching process means these filters are not as eco-friendly. However, they are still a popular choice for many people and often are usually the go-to option simply because they are more readily available.
Unbleached or natural filters are becoming more popular in light of the recent interest in eco-friendly solutions. These filters aren’t subjected to the use of additional chemicals or go through the extra manufacturing step required for bleaching, reducing their environmental impact. They also only cost pennies more than bleached filters and will often give you a much better-tasting cup of coffee.
The biggest difference with unbleached filters is that you’ll want to make sure that you get rid of the paper taste before you brew. All you have to do is put the filter in the coffee pot, pour a little water so that the filter is wet before you add the coffee, and then discard the excess water. Add your coffee to the machine and you’ll be ready to brew without the risk of a papery taste.
Important Buying Considerations
These are the biggest factors that will impact your buying decision when you’re in the market for quality coffee filters.
- Taste: Typically, the filter itself won’t affect or impart any taste. However, it can affect how much of your coffee’s flavor makes its way into your cup, so if you prefer a bolder, stronger roast, you’ll want something that allows the oils and residues to get into the coffee pot, like a metal filter.
- Cost: Although cost shouldn’t usually be the determining factor here, it’s important to think about how much you are willing to spend. If you’re sticking with disposables, consider buying in bulk to save money and keep your cost-per-filter lower than if you just pick up what you need from the store here and there. Reusable filters are more expensive, but they are a one-time investment, so keep that in mind.
- Eco-Friendliness: Today, there are so many options for coffee filters that will not harm the environment that it doesn’t make sense to buy anything else. Paper filters, at the very least, are biodegradable and designed to decompose quickly for minimal impact. Reusable filters offer the most eco-friendly choice, since they can often be used for years before they need to be replaced.
- Convenience: With paper filters, it really doesn’t get much more convenient than being able to toss them and grab a fresh one when you’re ready to make the next pot. Reusable filters typically don’t need to be cleaned after EVERY use, but they do need cleaning regularly, making them a little less convenient in that regard. However, they are convenient in that you won’t be running out of filters all the time.
These are just a few of the things that you want to keep in mind when narrowing down your choices for the best coffee filter. Just make sure you also consider anything else important to you, such as the other factors discussed above.