Making a good cup of coffee is no easy task; it’s an art form. First, you’ve got to have great coffee beans, there’s no getting around that. You also need a decent coffee machine, and you need to clean that coffee machine regularly. However, there’s one last step to brewing the perfect pot of coffee — you also need high-quality coffee filters to transform your grounds into delicious caffeinated goodness.
If you make coffee at home, chances are you use a coffee maker that requires a filter. Sure, you could throw any old coffee filter in there and it will get the job done, but why not invest in a filter that’s going to do it right? The best coffee filters stop those pesky grinds from dripping into your coffee, won’t rip apart when you need to throw them away, and provide a superior taste.
There are two primary types of coffee filters — basket and cone. Basket filters look like big muffin cups, and they are used in your basic budget coffee makers or an industrial machine you’d see at a diner. The good thing about basket filters is that they can hold a lot of coffee. However, the flat base leads to the grounds spreading out across the bottom. This means the grounds have less time to soak and brew, resulting in a weaker and less robust cup.
Cone filters are more popular with coffee enthusiasts. Since the coffee is held at the bottom of the cone, the grounds spend more time soaked with the hot water. This results in a richer cup. Cone filters work with all pour over makers and many drip machines, too. The right kind for you depends entirely on the shape of your coffee maker. Cone filters won’t fit perfectly in a basket coffee maker, and using a basket in a pour-over dripper will result in a big mess (trust us, we’ve tried).
However, there is one more type of coffee filter to consider: reusable filters. You can find reusable options made from plastic or metal, and these products help you avoid unnecessary waste. They also absorb less flavor than paper filters, which results in a more robust cup of coffee.
Keep reading for the best coffee filters available right now. Take your pick and your next great cup of coffee is just around the corner.
1. Melitta Cone Coffee Filters
Melitta’s namesake, Melitta Bentz, invented paper filters in the early 1900s. The brand still makes some of the best filters. These cone coffee filters in Natural Brown #4 fits all eight to 12 cup cone coffeemakers and all pour-over coffeemakers that take #4 filters. This coffee filter is made with microfine, flavor-enhancing perforations that allow the full coffee flavor to filter through, resulting in a rich, flavorful cup of coffee. 100% chlorine-free, these filters brew better-tasting coffee all around.
Pros: A double crimped filter design helps prevent against bursting. Natural brown filters are not bleached, reducing the environmental impact. Designed for full-body coffee flavor.
Cons: Melitta’s filters are often more expensive than other brands. Grinds will sometimes leak into the pot.
2. Melitta Super Premium Coffee Filters
Melitta’s Coffee Filters fit all eight to 12 cup basket-type household coffeemakers and come in a large quantity for a very affordable price. These premium filters make for easy cleanup, leave no aftertaste and are durable enough to last through a full pot of coffee. Although they are white in color, they are chlorine-free and biodegradable.
Pros: These come in a large quantity and will last you a long time.
Cons: The coffee may drain slightly slower with these filters. Filters can tear with especially large pots.
3. Goldtone Reusable Basket Coffee Filter
The Reusable Basket Coffee Filter by GoldTone is an eco-friendly option to paper filters and fits most 10 to 12 cup basket-style coffee makers. These filters are made from quality materials and surgical-grade stainless steel mesh, which allows greater flow for a more balanced brew. These reusable filters provide no loss of fragrant oils, no loss of taste and leave no excess coffee grounds to ruin your fresh brew. Because they are non-absorbent, letting through only the purest coffee flavor. Mess-free, these filters are also dishwasher safe and can be cleaned easily under running water.
Pros: Entirely washable and dishwasher-safe coffee filter.
Cons: This filter works best with coarser ground coffees, as finer grounds may leave too much sediment.
4. Barista Warrior Pour Over Filter
This metal cone filter is well suited to many of the most popular pour-over makers. If you have a Chemex or Hario V60, this metal filter offers a customized fit. It can also fit many ceramic pour-over makers, although the shape may not be suitable for coffee machines. The dual-filtration system helps reduce the amount of grounds that get through the filter and into your cup, while still allowing flavorful oils to pass through. As an added bonus, an E-book with information on pour-over coffee is included.
Pros: Two-step filtration system reduces amount of sediment that comes through, without stopping the natural coffee oils from passing into the cup.
Cons: Can potentially get clogged, resulting in a difficult cleaning process.
5. Perfect Pod EZ-Cup Disposable Paper Filters
Keurig coffee machines are beloved for their convenience, but the plastic pods can be wasteful. These paper filters fit into a reusable pod, and the paper is completely biodegradable. To use, place the paper filter inside the reusable pod. Then, add coffee and cover the top with the attached paper filter lid, then the lid of the reusable pod, and then place it in the brewer. It is worth noting, however, that each order only consists of the paper filters. The reusable Keurig cup, which is necessary to the process, is not included.
Pros: Affordable value-pack consists of 200 biodegradable paper filters. Paper filters have lids to contain the coffee.
Cons: Reusable cup is not included, each order only consists of the filters.
6. Melitta Bamboo Filters #4
If you prefer the convenience and taste that paper filters offer but don’t like the wastefulness, consider these bamboo coffee filters. Bamboo famously grows very fast, making it more renewable than standard paper. These filters are made with 60% bamboo, considerably reducing the amount of paper that is used. The order consists of six boxes with 80 filters each. The #4 filter is the perfect size for most electric coffee makers and manual pour-over makers.
Pros: Made from bamboo, a renewable resource. Micro-perforations enhance the flavor, and the double-crimped seal reduces the risk of the filters breaking at the bottom.
Cons: More expensive than traditional paper filters.
7. Tupkee Basket Style Coffee Filters
Looking for the best coffee filters for the office coffee pot or food service? These coffee filters from Tupkee are made of high-quality, premium paper that’s heavy-weight and chlorine-free. The paper is designed to provide the perfect filter so your grounds turn into a bold, full-bodied brew. They’ve got thick paper and a ridged construction so there’s no mess, tearing or leaking. The coffee filters are environmentally-friendly, 100% biodegradable and compostable so your morning caffeine jolt comes with no guilt. They fit most 12 cup basket-style coffee makers, and 1,000 filters are included.
Pros: High-quality, heavy-weight paper, ridged non-tear construction, environmentally-friendly.
Cons: Not as eco-friendly as reusable metal filters.
8. Rupert & Jeoffrey’s Trading Co. Natural Cone Coffee Filters
These cone coffee filters from Rupert & Jeoffrey’s Trading Co. are unbleached and perfect for someone looking for a natural way to make their coffee and reduce their environmental impact. They’re cone coffee filters designed to fit all 12 coffee makers that use cone coffee filters. They’re sturdy, resistant to tearing and offer a superior taste without any of the oils or micro coffee particles that can turn other drinks bitter. They’re biodegradable and can be tossed out easily with your filters.
Pros: Strong coffee filters that are biodegradable and resistant to tearing, offer great-tasting coffee without the environmental impact.
Cons: Shorter than other coffee filters.
9. Hario V60 Tabbed Paper Coffee Filters
These V60 coffee filters from Hario are tabbed to make it extra easy to grab them during use, and each pack of them contains 100 disposable coffee filters so you’ll be stocked. These are cone-shaped filters, compatible with coffee makers that use cone filters. They’re designed in Japan, and contain spiral ribs along the coffee filter for maximum expansion of coffee flavor. It’s got a large singular hole at the bottom for speeding up water flow and coffee maker efficiency.
Pros: Spiral ribs for flavor, tabs for easy lifting and lowering, large number of filters in each package.
Cons: Larger than standard filters made in the USA.