Chemex Vs Melitta: Which Pour Over Coffee Maker Is Best?

While I love my morning brew, I hate setting up a massively complicated machine or having to clean one. A simple pour-over coffee maker seems right up my alley, but which is best, the stylish Chemex or the bare-essential functionality of the Melitta brewing cone?

Chemex Vs Melitta
Chemex is an elegant and simplistically designed pour-over coffee brewer

Whether you choose a brewing machine that works as a simple pour over design or a more advanced funnel design, selecting the best one for your home is essential for a coffee lover. I considered the Chemex vs Melitta coffee brewers and this is what I found.

Chemex Vs Melitta: A Brief Overview

The Chemex is an elegant and simplistically designed pour-over coffee brewer. It is hourglass-shaped with the hot water being poured into the filter that sits in the top chamber and coffee percolates to the bottom collection chamber. The Chemex can be placed on a glass-top or gas-burning stove, which allows me to have a great hot and toasty cuppa glory in the morning. 

Contrasting to this already bare-essential design, the Melitta is simply a brewing cone that fits over your mug or flask, or with the more advanced models, it comes with its own brewing pot for larger quantities.

Barista is making coffee using Melitta
Melitta is simply a brewing cone that fits over your mug or flask

Both are really basic to use. Both produce a nice morning filter cuppa, but which is best? Let’s find out.

Chemex And Melitta Key Features



Manufactured from non-porous borosilicate glass, the Chemex is odor-proof and easy to clean.

Manufactured from plastic, which although easy to clean, can absorb odors and flavors. 

Being made from glass, the Chemex isn’t suitable for hard handling, and it can potentially break or crack easily.

The Melitta is way more durable, and I just pop mine into the dishwasher to clean.

Pour-over coffee maker

Pour-over coffee maker

No assembly required; best used at home.

No assembly required; portable and can join your travel mug for a great cuppa at work.

Uses a wide range of filters from paper and fabric to steel. 

Uses a Melitta paper filter only.

Very affordable price.

The basic model is half the price of your travel mug.

What Does Melitta and Chemex Have in Common?

Both Chemex and Melitta are pour-over coffee brewers. Essentially, they work in the same way, with the hot water going in one end, percolating through the coffee grind, and hot tasty coffee coming out the other end.

Chemex Vs. Melitta: The Differences

If you are starting out in-home coffee brewing, a simple pour-over design like the Melitta is ideal, and it won’t break the bank. Caring for it is easy—simply pop it into the dishwasher or hand wash with a good scrubbing. 

The Chemex is a bit more delicate, and as a bonus, it won’t absorb any flavors or tastes that you don’t want in your coffee (the Melitta is plastic, which potentially can add an unexpected residual flavor). 

Cleaning your Chemex is also a bit more involved as you need to ensure it doesn’t crack or experience any sudden falls. I do pop my Chemex into the dishwasher too, but I am extra careful about the temperature settings and ensuring I don’t crowd it on the rack. If you like this post, you might enjoy our guide on the best coffee for a Moccamaster.

What’s Better About the Chemex? 

I love that I can experiment with the Chemex and try different coffee brews with the same maker—all it needs is a good rinse. With the different filters available, I can also experiment with paper, cloth, and stainless steel.

Each gives a different flavor to my coffee as paper removes excess oils and sediment, while a cloth or stainless steel filter has different brewing properties that relate to filtration rate and more.

In contrast, my Melitta doesn’t give me that freedom of choice, and I’m stuck with drinking the same coffee (even when I’ve changed grinds) since there is a slight taste transfer with the plastic. 

What’s Better About the Melitta?

When I hit the road, having a Melitta is a real pleasure. I can brew my own filter coffee anywhere with the Melitta. It’s lightweight, break-resistant, and it doesn’t add to my luggage weight if I fly somewhere. 

If I don’t dilly with removing the coffee filter once the coffee has percolated through, I find it also helps keep the flavor absorbing into the plastic to a minimum. Rinsing the Melitta as soon as I’ve used it is also a great way to preserve the fresh taste of future cups of joe.

Who Should Get the Chemex (and Why)?

a man holding Chemex while pouring coffee to a cup
Chemex is affordable enough to try without feeling the buyer’s regret

If you’ve had a little brewing experience, then the Chemex is a nice step-up for your home brewing, and you’ll look like a real connoisseur when you dole out delicious cup-fulls with the sleek designed Chemex coffee maker. It’s affordable enough to try without feeling the buyer’s regret. 

Who Should Get the Melitta (and Why)?

Anyone can try the Melitta, from a high-end traveling exec to a stay-at-home mom who’s scared her three-year-old will pull down the empty coffee maker from the counter when her back’s turned. It’s virtually indestructible, so you can buy a few and enjoy wherever you are.

Chemex Comparisons

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