Filter coffee is a classic method of brewing coffee but when you’re using paper filters, you tend to generate a lot of waste that adds up over time.
Paper coffee filters are not as bad as coffee pods, since these are paper which is fully biodegradable and those are plastic, which is not. Still, if you don’t want to throw out paper every time you brew coffee, it’s worth looking into getting reusable filters.
We’ve done extensive research and found that the best reusable coffee filter is the GoldTone Filter. It can be used to brew 8-12 cups of coffee using your favorite drip brewer.
Best reusable coffee filters: 5 picks
1. GoldTone Coffee Filter
GoldTone are some of the most popular reusable coffee filters currently on the market. They fit a very wide variety of coffee machines as long as they accept #4 filters.
The biggest advantage to permanent stainless steel mesh filters is not having to worry about running out of paper filters! Of course, you generate a lot less trash, too, and at this price point, the filters will pay for themselves in a month or two.
The filter is really easy to clean, is dishwasher safe, and super convenient.
One disadvantage is that the holes in the mesh filter sometimes let finer grounds sneak past, so you’ll need to grind your coffee just a touch coarser than usual if you experience this.
2. #4 Cone Shape Permanent Coffee Filter
This is a classic coffee filter that fits any coffee maker that uses #4 filters. It’s made from high quality surgical grade stainless steel, and is dishwasher safe.
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You can get it either as a single filter or a set of two(if you run your dishwasher late in the day and want to brew twice). You can also hand wash it.
Some people argue that stainless steel changes the taste of coffee. Personally, most of the brewing methods I use have stainless steel filters(french press, espresso) and I don’t notice an objective difference in taste from this to paper. If you do feel like there is a weird taste, I’d suggest thoroughly washing the filter – preferably in a dishwasher – before brewing with it.
3. Medelco #4 Cone Permanent Coffee Filter
Like the filter above, the Medelco is another generic #4 coffee filter that will fit any coffee maker that uses this size for their filter.
It’s made of high quality stainless steel and is dishwasher safe.
You don’t really need to wash it in the dishwasher every time, though, as you can simply rinse it well and let it air dry. I would recommend washing it in the dishwasher the first time when you receive it, as you want to get any dirt/dust collected in manufacturing/warehousing/shipping to be washed away.
4. Bolio Organic Hemp Coffee Filter
While the top three in our list of the best coffee filters were stainless steel, this choice is rather bold and interesting considering it uses organic hemp!
Hemp filters are already quite popular with cold brew immersions, so it’s no surprise that manufacturers have tried to apply the same principle to drip coffee as well.
The Bolio filters are available in a variety of sizes from 01 to 04 and are also available either as cone shaped or flat bottomed filters.
Overall, it’s a pretty decent filter. You simply wash it out, dry it, and it’s good to go again. The filter is also available in packs of two so you can have one ready while the other one dries.
The manufacturer rates this filter for 100 uses before you have to throw it out. Hypothetically, you can push it beyond that too, but you’d have to be mindful of whether your coffee develops any undesirable flavors.
5. Hide and Drink Coffee Sock
The Coffee Sock is made from a high quality Guatemalan cotton called Manta Cotton. Each filter is hand sewn and the quality is evident.
Interestingly, cotton is just as good, if not better than paper at filtering coffee. You just have to wash the filter and it’s ready to go a second time. Hypothetically, you could use it indefinitely.
One problem with cotton is that it had a tendency to absorb odors, so you have to be very quick with rinsing it out and drying it. Otherwise the odors will stick and may transfer into future cups of coffee.
You could also rinse it out right after using it and then toss it in the washing machine for a thorough cleaning.
Be careful not to put in in the dryer as it may shrink!
Reusable Keurig pods
So we’ve seen you can save money if you’re using paper filters. You also most definitely save money by using reusable coffee pods, too.
Keurig, Nespresso, and other single serve coffee pods are quite expensive, and the costs really add up, especially if you drink more than one cup per day.
The average cost of a K-Cup is $0.50 per pod. In just 16 cups, the cost of the filter will have paid for itself!
If you added the cost of coffee, say $10 per 500 grams, and you’re using 15 grams per pod, that works out to $0.30 per cup. Combining the cost of the filter and the cup, you’re still going to save in the long run.
Using reusable pods will not only help you save money and reduce the amount of trash you generate, but it will also help make your coffee taste better as you can start using freshly ground coffee rather than the months-old coffee in the pre-made pods.
Di ORO K-Carafe Reusable K-Cup for Keurig 2.0
The Di ORO reusable K-Cup is compatible with all Keurig 2.0 K-Carafe brewers. The mesh is coated with 24 karat gold. Gold is extremely unreactive and will actually help in brewing a really good cup of coffee as it does not absorb any flavors whatsoever.
This filter is also free from BPA, lead, and a whole host of other harmful materials. It’s also eco-friendly because you can use it over and over again and you don’t have to spend extra money on disposable pods. You also get to choose whichever blend of coffee you wish to use.
Keurig My K-Cup reusable coffee filter
This is the classic reusable K-Cup from Keurig themselves. This filter won’t fit Keurig 2.0, so if that’s the machine you have, you’ll need to get the one I have listed above.
Coffee hack: reuse regular paper filters
Did you know that the regular paper filters you use for dripped coffee can be reused? The paper is remarkably strong, so once you brew your coffee, simply throw out the coffee grounds(or reuse them too) and rinse the paper filter well.
You won’t be able to restore the color back to the way it was, but rinsing it well to remove any coffee grounds does the trick. After rinsing, let the filter fully dry and it will almost be as good as new save for some coffee stains.
Now you can repeat this process 4-5 times, extending the life of each paper filter many times. I am not entirely sure how many times you can reuse the filter, but it’s worth experimenting to try and see how much you can push it!
If you don’t want anything to do with paper at all? In that case, you can pick up a fine mesh stainless steel filter, too.
Conclusion: can you save money with reusable coffee filters?
At the start of this post, the motivation we mentioned for switching to reusable filters was that you can be more environmentally friendly.
Paper filters require trees and water to manufacture(a lot more water than you’d think) and though they’re biodegradable, you’re still throwing out a little extra trash.
Have a look at these paper coffee filters:
By comparison, you can get a reusable coffee filter:
As you can see, the reusable filter costs much less than the paper filter, and you’d already start saving money once you cross 150 brew cycles.
Note: If you decide to reuse paper filters as I mentioned the post, you can obviously make it last much longer and the math would change.
Frequently asked questions
Are reusable coffee filters good?
Some people prefer paper filtered coffee as it does tend to be cleaner than coffee made from a reusable filter. However, metal filters are more economical in the long run and some people may not mind the slightly different taste.
What are reusable coffee filters made of?
Reusable coffee filters are typically made of a fine stainless steel mesh, but they are also made from hemp and cotton.
What can I use if I don’t have a coffee filter?
Any fabric is fine! You can get away with a sock or handkerchief, too. Just make sure it’s clean!
Last update on 2020-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API