Coffee is a daily ritual for millions of people around the world. Whether you enjoy coffee as part of your morning routine or you rely on it to get you through long days at work, brewing a fresh pot of joe is something many of us simply can’t live without. However, if you use traditional paper filters each time you brew coffee, you may be draining your wallet without even realizing it. A better option is to invest in reusable coffee filters that are easy on the environment and your budget.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll review different types of reusable coffee filters on the market today, discuss their pros and cons, and ultimately help you determine the best reusable filter option for your coffee brewing needs and lifestyle. By making the switch to reusable filters, you can save money in the long run while reducing the amount of paper waste you generate each week. Read on to find out if reusable coffee filters are right for you!
Understanding Reusable Coffee Filter Options
Before diving into specific reusable filter recommendations, it’s helpful to understand the different types of reusable filters available and how they work. Here are the main reusable filter categories:
Cloth/fabric filters: Made from tightly woven cotton, hemp or linen fabrics, these simple filter options are a great eco-friendly choice. They are inexpensive and easy to rinse clean after each use. However, they tend to allow more sediment and oils through compared to paper filters.
Metal mesh filters: Made from stainless steel or bronze, these durable filters feature a fine metal mesh that traps grounds well while still allowing oils through for richer flavor. They require more cleaning than paper but last indefinitely. Some common brands include the Misen and Klean Kanteen.
Ceramic filters: Usually cone-shaped, ceramic filters are durable and produce a clean cup similar to a paper filter. However, they can be more expensive initially than cloth or metal options. Popular ceramic filters include the Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper and the Kalita Wave Ceramic Coffee Dripper.
Reusable paper filters: As the name implies, these filters are made of thicker, machine washable paper that can be reused multiple times before needing replacement. They don’t require rinsing like cloth filters but still produce a cleaner cup than metal filters. Options include the reusable filters from Melitta and Cuisinart.
Permanent gold mesh filters: Made of semi-permeable gold mesh, these filters don’t require rinsing or washing between uses. However, they allow more oils and sediment through than paper filters, resulting in a bolder cup. The permanent gold filters from Goldton are a popular choice.
With the different types outlined, let’s dive into more details about the top reusable coffee filter options on the market today based on materials, features, ease of use and value.
Best Cloth Coffee Filters
Cloth coffee filters are one of the most budget-friendly and eco-friendly reusable filter options. Here are some top cloth filter recommendations:
Genuine Scandinavian Filters – Made from organically grown cotton, these compactly folded filters produce a clean cup while allowing natural oils to shine through. At just $6.50 for a 3-pack, they are incredibly affordable for the quality. Great for pour-over or drip coffee brewers.
Maple Stave Coffee Filter – Made with exceptionally tightly woven cotton, this filter has staves on the sides made from real maple wood to keep its shape during brewing. At $15 each, they are more expensive than basic cotton filters but will last indefinitely with proper care.
Blue Label Trading Co. Organic Cotton Filters – Made from certified organic cotton, these aesthetically pleasing flat filters lay nicely in drip coffee makers. At just $6 for a package of 4, they are a budget-friendly choice.
Cafec Cloth Filters – Made from 100% unbleached cotton, these double-layer filters are highly rated for producing cleaner cups than single-layer options while still allowingoils through. A pack of 4 is around $13.
Kleen Kanteen Stainless Steel Filter – An alternative to standard cloth, this stainless steel mesh nests inside Kleen Kanteen travel mugs for full-immersion brewing on-the-go. At $15 each, it’s a bit pricier than fabric but will never wear out.
While affordable, one downside of cloth filters is they require hand washing in hot water after every use to remove oils and prevent mold growth. For minimal effort, reusable paper filters may be a better pick if you want something easy to clean in the dishwasher.
Best Reusable Paper Coffee Filters
Compared to cloth filters, reusable paper filters are easier to clean, mimic the clean tasting cup profile of disposable paper filters, and are readily available at most supermarkets, coffee shops and online retailers. Here are some top reusable paper filter brands:
Melitta Reusable Filters – Probably the most widely known reusable paper filter, each Melitta filter can be used 30-50 times before needing replacement. At around $5-7 for a 2-pack, they are affordable for the convenience. Just rinse and toss in the dishwasher for easy care. Great for all brew methods.
Cuisinart GoldTone Permanent Filter – Unlike standard filters, this reusable paper option has a thin gold coating that makes it last indefinitely without washing. At $15 each, it’s pricier than a classic Melitta but saves wasting paper over time. Requires rinsing, not washing. Ideal for drip coffee makers.
Handy Coffee Filters – Made from reusable recyclable paper made without any plastic, these BPA-free filters are compostable when no longer usable. At $5.99 for a 10-pack, they offer excellent bang for your buck. Just rinse clean in hot water. Best for pour-over systems.
Starbucks Reusable Coffee Filters – For Starbucks coffee fans, these unbleached, plastic-free filters work well in home coffee makers. At around $1 each or a 4-pack for $4, they are convenient to use with Starbucks ground coffee. Easy to rinse clean.
Uxell Reusable Paper Filters – A Danish brand, these filters have thicker paper than other options for durability. At $1 each or a 5-pack for $5, they offer practicality without much waste. Rinse and air dry between uses. Great for all brew methods.
The key advantages of reusable paper filters is their ease of cleaning in water or the dishwasher versus hand washing cloth filters. They also allow less sediment and oils through than woven cotton for those who prefer a cleaner cup profile.
Best Reusable Metal Coffee Filters
If a rich, full-bodied cup is your priority over cleanliness, metal filters allow the most oils from coffee beans to shine through while preventing grit. Here are some top reusable metal filter recommendations:
Misen Reusable Stainless Steel Filter – Widely considered the gold standard, this finely woven 304-grade stainless steel filter produces balanced cups without debris. At $20 each, they are pricier than paper but will actually save money long-term. Hand wash only.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Filter – Also made from food-grade stainless, Klean Kanteen filters are slightly more affordable at $15 each. They nest perfectly in Klean Kanteen bottles, making them ideal for pour-over on-the-go commuting. Hand wash recommended.
Friis Stainless Steel Filter – Available as either a classic cone shape or a flat design, these Swedish-made filters are crafted from durable, rust-resistant 18/10 stainless steel. Around $20 each but will never need replacing. Easy to hand wash.
BonMac Gold Stainless Steel Filter – For those seeking luxury, this Italian-made filter features a real 22-karat gold electroplated surface to enhance conductivity. Expect to pay around $50-60 per filter but it will retain its glow through decades of use.
CoffeeSock Stainless Steel Mesh Filter – An innovatively designed filter that functions like a drawstring tea bag, this portable filter encloses grounds for mess-free transport. At $15 each, it’s very affordable for the unique on-the-go functionality.
While durable, metal filters require rinsing out after every use to remove oils. Some may also impart slight metallic notes to coffee, though high-quality stainless typically does not. Best for those prioritizing maximum immersion and flavor over a super clean extraction.
Best Ceramic Coffee Filters
For a balance between durability and clean extraction similar to paper filters, ceramic is also an excellent reusable filter material. Here are some popular ceramic options:
Hario V60 Ceramic Dripper – A timeless design favored by professional baristas, this tapered plastic-ceramic hybrid set produces highly refined cups. At $15-25, it’s an affordable investment for specialty coffee enthusiasts.
Kalita Wave Ceramic Dripper – An alternative flat-bottomed design, the Kalita produces an even extraction in the 2-4 minute range with low acidity. Sets run $35-50 but will outlive most equipment.
Chemex Glass Ceramic Coffeemaker – For statement pour-overs, the iconic Chemex is made of heat-resistant glass wrapped in durable ceramic