5 Best Coffee Filters For Coffee Lovers

Choosing the right filter matters since it directly impacts the flavor and mouthfeel of your brew. Learn about some of the best coffee filters on the market.

Best Coffee Filters
Coffee filters greatly influence the flavor and mouthfeel of your brewed coffees

The type of coffee filter you use will most definitely influence the flavor and mouthfeel of your coffee brews. While one type of filter will provide you with a full-bodied and rich cup of coffee, another will deliver clean and crisp brews.

Coffee drinkers who are not enjoying the coffee they’re getting from their coffee machines or pour-overs may need to take a closer look at the type of filter they’re using. 

Read on to learn about what to look out for when you’re shopping for coffee filters. I also provide a list of some of the best coffee filters I’ve come across.

What To Look For In Coffee Filters

Coffee filters come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. Ideally, you want to find a coffee filter that provides you with delicious coffee just the way you like it. In addition, the type of coffee filter you opt for should, of course, also suit your budget, especially if you’re buying disposable ones.

It’s important to remember that taste is subjective. While I may enjoy a metal filter since I like my coffee strong and full-bodied, you may prefer a paper filter because you want a lighter and crisper brew.

A few factors apart from personal taste need to be considered when shopping for paper filters. The filters, for instance, need to be the right shape for your coffee machine and the correct size.

How To Pick The Best Coffee Filters

uses-for-coffee-filters
Select the best coffee filters based on several factors

To help you pick the filter that’s right for you, it may be helpful to break down the various factors that will influence your choice.

Shape

Coffee filters mostly come in two basic shapes: a cone or a basket. As the name implies, cone filters have a cone shape with a tapered bottom. The shape of this cone causes the water to land up in a central location where the coffee grounds are, which makes for even saturation.

On the other hand, a basket filter has a wide and flat bottom. The benefit of basket filters is that they come in bigger sizes, and you can therefore brew larger quantities of coffee. However, these filters' flat and wide bottom may cause uneven extraction, resulting in weak brews that lack flavor. 

You will have to go for the filter shape that fits into your machine.

Size

Filters also come in different sizes. If your coffee machine takes basket filters, it’s easy since there are only two sizes: standard, which provides 8 to 12 cups of coffee, and junior, which can yield 4 to 6 cups. 

Things become a bit more complicated with cone filters, which come in the following sizes:

Size Electric Coffee Makers Manual Coffee Makers
#1 Single cup Single cup
#2 2 to 6 cups 1 to 2 cups
#3 8 to 12 cups 8 to 10 cups
#4 N/A 10 + cups

Material

You have a choice of three materials for coffee filters: paper, metal, and cloth. These three materials yield different cups of coffee. 

Of all three filters, paper filters remove the most sediments and coffee oils, resulting in clear, crisp, and less intensely flavored brews. The downside of paper filters is that they are the least sustainable option since they are discarded after one use.

On the other hand, metal filters can be used for a long time, and rinsing them after you’ve brewed coffee is not cumbersome. As opposed to paper filters, metal filters hold back most sediments but allow the coffee oils through. The result is a richer and more flavorful brew with a thicker mouthfeel.

Cloth filters fall somewhere between paper and metal filters. While they let more coffee oils through than paper filters, they tend to hold back more micro-sediments than metal filters do.

These filters provide flavorful cups of coffee with a medium body, but they require the most maintenance. You can’t keep them indefinitely, but they’re suitable for about 100 brews if you clean them properly.

Bleached Or Unbleached

If you’re going for paper filters, you have one more choice: bleached vs. unbleached filters. Bleached filters are the white paper filters that most coffee drinkers and coffee shops use.

The reason they’re so popular is that they’re cheap, readily available, and also don’t impart any papery taste to your brews.

However, of all the filters, they’re the most damaging to the environment due to the chemicals used in the bleaching process.

Brown filters have not been bleached and are a more sustainable option, but they are more expensive and harder to come by. In addition, some coffee drinkers complain that these filters leave a papery taste in their brews. To prevent this, rinse these filters with hot water before using them.

The Best Coffee Filters For Coffee Lovers

Are bleached coffee filters safe?
Coffee filters

1. GoldTone Reusable Filter

Since metal coffee filters are a super sustainable choice and yield richer cups of coffee, I am quite partial to them. For this reason, I have tried and tested quite a few metal coffee filters in my life.

One of my personal favorites is the GoldTone filter. They are BPA-free, durable, affordable, and provide full-flavored brews.

These stainless-steel mesh filters come in both basket and cone shapes, so you don’t need to worry that they won’t fit into your coffee machine. They come in various sizes and are even available as 1-Kup single-serve filters.

Pros

  • They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes
  • They are BPA-free
  • You get strong and full-flavored cups of coffee
  • They are affordable

Cons

  • Since it’s a metal filter, it needs to be rinsed
  • The filter is not as durable as some of the more expensive options on the market
  • The coffee brews you get with this filter may be too intense for some
GOLDTONE Reusable 8-12 Cup Basket Coffee Filter fits Mr. Coffee Makers and Brewers, Replaces your Paper Coffee Filters, BPA Free
  • FITS MOST MODELS - GoldTone Basket-style Mr. Coffee coffee filter with Solid bottom. Fits most Mr. Coffee 10-12 cup basket-style coffeemakers. Replaces your paper coffee filters!
  • EASY TO CLEAN - This washable filter cleans easily under running water. Dishwasher-safe
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - This BPA-Free Reusable golden-mesh filter helps conserve natural resources and protect environment. These rigid plastic coffee filters are built to the highest standard.
  • FULL FLAVOR - Lets the coffee flavor through for richer tasting coffee.
  • MADE IN USA - GoldTone reusable Filters are precision crafted in the USA using surgical grade stainless-steel woven mesh

2. Hario V60

Although Hario V60 paper filters are made specifically for the Hario V60 pour-over, you can use them with other pour-over brewers. The Hario V60 has cult status in the world of pour-overs because of its elegance and effectiveness, as well as for the delicious pour-over coffee it provides. Hario V-60 filters are also of superior quality.

You can get bleached and natural versions of these filters. I recommend the unbleached ones since they are the more sustainable option. 

Whether you opt for bleached or unbleached filters, you'll receive crisp and vibrant cups of coffee. These filters come in three sizes: #1, #2, and #3.

Pros

  • They provide clear, sediment-free cups of coffee
  • They are available in different sizes
  • You can choose between bleached and unbleached filters

Cons

  • These filters are discarded after one use
  • They are a bit more expensive than many other paper filters on the market

3. Green Barista Hemp Coffee Filters

If you prefer to make a more eco-friendly purchase, Green Barista Hemp Coffee Filters is a good choice. These are cloth filters made from hemp, which means that you can reuse them. Apart from the fact that you don't discard these filters after one use, hemp adds another layer of sustainability because hemp requires less water to grow.

Another plus is that these cloth filters provide the goldilocks of coffee brews. Although the brews are rich and flavorful, they are also clean and crisp. 

In addition, one of the biggest benefits of choosing hemp cloth filters is that they require less maintenance and cleaning than cotton filters do. Hemp is naturally mildew and bacteria-resistant, so you don't have to work so hard to keep it clean.

Pros

  • These filters provide full-flavored yet clean cups of coffee
  • They are an eco-friendly choice
  • Hemp cloth filters need less maintenance

Cons

  • Although they are made from hemp, these filters still need to be cleaned properly
  • They are only available in two sizes: #2 and #4

4. Melitta Paper Coffee Filters

Despite the bad rap that paper filters receive, they are still popular for many coffee drinkers. This is because they are affordable, convenient, and easy to come by. One of the better options on the market is Melitta Coffee Filters; apart from their superior quality, you have a wide range of choices with these filters.

The brand offers white, brown, and bamboo paper filters. They are also available in both basket and cone shapes. In addition, these filters come in various sizes, so you will find filters that fit your machine.

If you don't mind paying more, invest in Melitta Gourmet Paper Filters. They allow for more flavor and are also stronger.

Pros

  • These paper filters are of good quality
  • They provide crisp and clean cups of coffee
  • You can choose from a wide range of products

Cons

  • Paper filters are the least sustainable choice
  • These filters are not a good option if you like stronger and more intensely flavored brews

5. Cilio Gold Filter

If you don't mind splurging on a coffee filter, invest in a Cilio gold coffee filter. For a bit of extra money, you'll receive a superior coffee filter that will last you a long time. 

Gold coffee filters should not be confused with gold-tone filters. While the latter is made from stainless steel, gold coffee filters feature a plating typically made from 23- or 24-karat gold. The gold is not just for show; since it's a chemically neutral metal, gold imparts no metallic taste to your brews. 

In addition, gold also doesn't oxidize and is super durable. Cilio gold filters feature a 24-karat gold plating. They are cone-shaped and available in #2 and #4 sizes.

Pros

  • The filter imparts no off-flavors to your brews
  • It's durable
  • You can pop this filter into the dishwasher

Cons

  • It's an expensive filter
  • The filter is available in two sizes only
  • As it is a metal filter, the brew may be too intensely flavored for some
Frieling/Cilio #4 Cone Coffee Filter, 24 Karat Gold Plated
  • 24 karat gold foil filter designed for most coffee makers using No.4 cone filters (not Bonavita).
  • Highest quality gold plated foil over stainless steel won't alter taste or absorb flavor
  • Taste the coffee, not the filter
  • Designed with a fold down handle and collar adaptor for larger machines
  • Upper rack dishwasher safe

Testing Criteria

Choosing five of the best coffee filters is challenging if one considers the wide range of options available on the market. I decided on a few main criteria to help me sift through the multiple filters I tested.

For me, the first and utmost consideration was taste, but we all know taste is subjective. To remain as fair and objective as possible, I included filters that provide different types of brews. Regardless of whether the filters provided weaker or more intensely flavored coffee, I looked for quality brews.

I considered whether the filters provide value for money, are freely available, and have their environmental impact.

Why You Can Trust Me

Although I am not a barista, I have been a passionate and dedicated coffee drinker for most of my life. My love for coffee has motivated me to buy multiple and diverse coffee brewers over the years, which means that I have used many different types of filters in my life.

Since I am also interested in how different filters deliver different brews, I have experimented extensively.

The Best Coffee Filters: The Final Word

The type of filter you opt for will depend on various factors, some of which you have control over and others not. To a large extent, your coffee maker will determine the shape and size of the filter you need. However, you may have more freedom of choice regarding the material you go for.

The choice you make in this regard will be dictated by your taste. Have some fun experimenting with different coffee filters until you find the ones that deliver brews that you enjoy.

Author

  • Born and bred in South Africa, Niki B now does her writing from the distant shores of South Korea. A self-proclaimed coffee addict by day, and a writer by night, she gladly shares her knowledge with fellow coffee lovers.