The 5 Best Chemex Filter Alternatives

Last Updated on October 3, 2021 by John Moretti

If you have recently bought a glass carafe, you are probably on the market for coffee filters and their alternatives. This article provides information and acts as a basic guide to the best Chemex Filter alternatives. It also explains the advantages and disadvantages of each filter alternative and distinguishes between regular paper filters and Chemex filters.

The best Chemex filter alternatives are metal or fabric filters. They perfectly fit the original Chemex carafe. However, each filter type has its specific, and coffee taste and characteristics will change depending on the filter used.

Daily users of coffee makers end up with a lot of paper filter waste, and using alternative reusable Chemex filters is a good way to save on costs. Choosing a coffee filter that aligns with your tastes and preferences is important after considering some factors. A perfect and ideal cup of coffee is one that’s made with the right products and equipment.

Metal Filters

Metal filters are another alternative to Chemex filters, and they are made to fit well in a Chemex system. Metal filters are reusable, so you don’t have to worry about disposal or regular purchasing. They are a lesser wasteful alternative to Chemex filers and an ideal solution for people who don’t like the original taste of a Chemex.

Metal filters don’t keep fats and oils from the coffee beans from mixing with the brewed coffee, which to some is advantageous, and to others, it’s not. The fats and oils add to the natural flavor of the coffee, which results in a completely different flavor.

Metal cones are considered the best alternative overall, and they are magnificent when it comes to flavoring. They are also fast and easy to clean compared to other Chemex filter alternatives, so get it if you look for a durable, long-lasting Chemex filter substitute.


  • Metal filters can be reused
  • They are easy to use and maintain


  • The flavor produced resembles that of a pour-over rather than a French Press.
  • They sometimes let in sediments and coffee fats and oils through which affects the purity of the drink.

Able Brewing Kone

Able KONE for Chemex: The Original Reusable Stainless Steel Coffee Filter
$11.68 ($4.67 / Fl Oz)
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The Able Brewing Kone is one of the most popular and best alternatives for Chemex filters. It is an ideal and permanent solution for coffee drinkers searching for a long-lasting and more robust flavor in their coffee. If you are wary of restocking paper filters, get this device for a bold-flavored and sturdy cup of coffee.

The Able Brewing Kone has a stainless steel filter that can be reused, and it allows coffee oils to filter through during percolation for a fuller-bodied cup. The coffee produced is a fine blend of Chemex and French Pressed brew, and although there are traces of sediments left in the carafe after brewing, that is not a deal-breaker.

The Able Brewing Kone has a detailed design that is in line with the Chemex brewer, and it is made from a single piece of stainless steel. When using this alternative, there are no metal flavors left compared to cheap reusable filter versions.

The Able Brewing Kone has a plastic support ring for convenience when swirling the hot coffee during the brewing process. The ring makes it easy to remove and lift the cone if you want to swirl your coffee during a pour-over routine, as many people do. If you are not careful with the Kone, the laser filter holes let water out through the sides without mixing well with the coffee grounds. This product is suitable for all kinds of rigorous routines and is a guaranteed worthy investment.

It is a perfect alternative for people who prefer full-bodied coffee and those who want to minimize the waste from paper filters. Able Brewing Kone does not necessarily come into contact with the glass, so you are assured of a clean and better extraction process. It has a flat tip design which makes the extraction process easy too.


  • It is sturdy and allows proper coffee extraction
  • It is durable and long-lasting
  • It is easy to clean
  • It doesn’t clog up even after frequent use
  • It produces robust and flavourful coffee


  • It is more costly than other alternatives
  • Filter holes go to the cone’s top

Barista Warrior Stainless Steel Filter

Barista Warrior Stainless Steel filters are a good substitute if you don’t want to restock on paper filters and aren’t an enthusiast of Chemex-style brews.

This filter uses a different filtering system than Able Kone. Hence it’s a cheaper alternative, and you are likely to find traces of some sediment in the coffee.

The Barista Warrior has two walls, with the internal one being a flexible mesh made of stainless steel to prevent the coffee grounds from entering the cup.

The stainless steel filter contributes to durability, and the Barista Warrior is a more affordable alternative for daily use filters.

The interior and exterior walls have a gold and titanium coating and double filtration to completely remove any sediments in the final brew. As much as this is great, it means more and thorough cleaning.

To avoid clogging and slow drainage, use a medium to coarse grind size and ensure you rinse the cone thoroughly after use. This coffee filter lets you make slightly watery and under-extracted coffee or fuller-bodied coffee depending on the extraction flow rate.

The Barista Warrior Stainless Steel Filter is considered a good value for money, and it is one of the best reusable substitutes for Chemex filters. You can choose a preferred design, and the result is great and tasty coffee.


  • It is compatible with all Chemex brewers.
  • It has a double-walled filter system for easier filtration
  • It has gold and titanium coating for more durability


  • It clogs easily due to the double-wall filter mechanism
  • It requires a bit more work cleaning up

Fabric Coffee Filters

The fabric coffee filter is a good Chemex alternative for coffee drinkers who want to make a quick and immediate fix and don’t have any other type of filter.

The fabric used should be thick enough, as long as it allows water to seep through, and you can use several layers of cotton, a cheesecloth, a dishwasher, or a fabric make-shift filter. These filters are more efficient than regular metal filters due to the fine gaps in the fiber used to make the cloth filter.

Fabric coffee filters should be carefully cleaned and dried out to prevent mildew infestation. They are reusable and easy to make with virtually any piece of fabric you have, but the results vary substantially. When using cotton, most of the coffee flavor may be compromised, and this is a deal-breaker to coffee enthusiasts and true connoisseurs who know what a perfect cup of coffee tastes like.

Cloth filter alternatives are more fuller-bodied than Chemex filters, but they are lighter than steel filters. They also leave behind fewer residue grounds and are ideal for coffee drinkers who prefer complex coffee flavors and no sediments. Cloth filters provide the nearest experience to paper filters, but they are challenging when cleaning

This method requires a lot of patience to brew the perfect drink due to the cloth’s thickness which results in a longer and slower extraction. You can use a make-shift fabric filter which is more flexible and shallower as long as you take care not to pour water too fast and make a mess or hurt yourself.


  • Suitable for immediate coffee fixes
  • It’s easy to make and use in the event where there isn’t an alternative filter.
  • Fabric coffee filters are more efficient compared to metal filters
  • They can be reused as long as they are maintained and cleaned thoroughly


  • It requires a lot of time and patience to brew the perfect cup of coffee
  • Pour-over coffee filters are not as durable or thick as Chemex filters
  • It collapses when not handled with care
  • The flavor is weak; it isn’t as pure
  • The flavor is sometimes compromised depending on the specific fabric used

CoffeeSock Organic Cotton

The CoffeeSock is designed for pour-over coffee makers, and it fits the Chemex well. If you are looking for a Chemex filter alternative that is eco-friendly, the CoffeeSock Organic Cotton guarantees you a fuller-bodied and smooth coffee.

The cotton allows more coffee oils to pass through it than Chemex filters resulting in a thicker brew and, compared to the stainless steel cones, there is less sediment and a lighter drink. The CoffeeSock filter alternative is a great solution for a clear, crisp, rich, and robust brew, as it comes with all the richness and boldness of French Press coffee

Cotton is suitable for making coffee filters because it’s made of 90% cellulose without odor or taste. As long as the fabric is cleaned and dried properly, the taste and flavor of your coffee don’t change significantly. These filters are made with organic cotton and are a very eco-friendly substitute for Chemex filters. The cotton CoffeeSock is compostable and quite affordable, and with proper maintenance, they are durable enough to last long and serve your individual needs accordingly. 

Proper maintenance means emptying off the sock and rinsing it thoroughly with clean water, and drying it out in the open to prevent mildew from accumulating. This filter alternative is suitable for sensitive people to even the slightest papery flavors that most paper filters have, so they can still enjoy an eco-friendly, original, and clean cup of coffee.


  • It is an eco-friendly alternative to paper filters
  • It produces fuller-bodied coffee rich in flavor
  • It is compostable
  • Easy to use; wash, dry, and reuse
  • It allows more flavourful coffee oils in the final brew
  • It is very durable with the right care
  • It is an affordable substitute


  • There are risks of mildew accumulation if it isn’t dried out well
  • It’s not suitable for people living in humid areas with low temperatures
  • It results in coffee oil build-up if not properly maintained
  • It gets messy when the filter blocks airflow
  • They require slightly more work to clean than metal cones

Bolio Organic Hemp Cone Pour Over Coffee Filter

Bolio Organic Hemp Cone Pour Over Coffee Filters - Durable, EcoFriendly, Reusable (1, No.2)
$19.99 ($6.66 / Fl Oz)
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Bolio Chemex filter alternatives are reusable, and they are a suitable choice for eco-friendly people. It is a cloth product made from hemp that requires more cleaning and maintenance than metal filters. This material easily clogs even though it functions more like a paper filter, and it can sometimes be challenging to filter coffee through.

When using this product, the Chemex coffee grind should be adjusted to coarse ground coffee to ensure there isn’t any resulting clogging. The Bolio Chemex Filters are square, and they fit well with the 6, 8, and 10 cup Chemex glass carafes.

If you are looking for an eco-friendly substitute for your Chemex’s disposable filters, this product is ideal. The hemp used is durable, lasting longer than cotton, and has a rather low carbon footprint for growth and processing.

The original Chemex paper filters are a bit costly, so this alternative is cost-effective. Depending on the style of pour-over coffee brewing you like, the cloth hemp is more similar and realistic to paper.


  • It is durable
  • It is an eco-friendly option for Chemex paper filters, and it can be reused.
  • It brews natural-tasting coffee.
  • There are a variety of versions available depending on your brew preferences.


  • The hemp fabric used absorbs odors from your environment, which easily pass to the coffee.

Paper filters

Brown versus White filters

The difference between brown and white Chemex filters is that the white ones are bleached using an oxidation process and a series of cleansing hot water baths, and the latter isn’t. The brown filters don’t go through the bleaching bath, so they retain their natural color.

Natural filters leave a mildly more papery flavor in the coffee, so be careful when choosing a filter, as these filters affect the coffee taste. It’s important to rinse the brown, unbleached filter thoroughly in adequate hot water before using it to prevent undesired results and aftertastes.

When using either coffee filter, rinse before adding to the coffee grounds to eliminate paper fibers and dust particles. Alternatively, you can pre-wet the paper using hot water to prevent the initial coffee bits from soaking in and balance the temperature for a better, smoother cup of coffee.

Natural filters are ideal for environmentally cautious people and those with health issues and concerns about using bleached products. The coffee produced has a slight woody tint that otherwise sticks to the white filter.

Pre-folded or unfolded

Pre-folded filters are more common to Chemex owners than the unfolded ones as they are easy to use and come in an applicable cone form. They don’t work on miniature models, while the foldable filters are ideal for use with portable, pint-sized coffee makers and single-cup brewing devices. Most pre-folded filters come in squares or circles, and as they are already in an optimal cone shape, they are more convenient to use.

Square versus round

There is not much difference in the quality of square and round Chemex filters as they are made from the same material. Coffee made from both filters has a similar flavor. There are no noticeable differences in taste, so consider the aesthetic properties and personal preferences if you choose between square or round filters.

However, the square filter is easier to grab as its edges stick up, so it might be preferred more than the round one. Square filters give your kitchen a sophisticated look as they look cooler, and they resonate well with the general look and design of the Chemex carafe.

Pros of paper filters

  • They tear easily
  • They let in water to flow quickly for fast results


  • The flavor of the coffee brewed is weak and impure

What to Look for When Choosing Chemex Filter Alternative

A Chemex can be used with various filter choices and alternatives, but the original double-bonded filter produces the most distinct flavor, a signature of Chemex. When choosing the best Chemex filter, you may be amused by all the choices and their alternatives available, but having the necessary knowledge helps.

Chemex filters guarantee a light-bodied, clean cup of coffee with well-pronounced notes, and as there are no coffee sediments left at the bottom, the coffee is low acid and very smooth. You can use reusable permanent coffee filter versions like cloth filters and stainless steel cones to make a regular Chemex-style drink. If you are on the market for alternatives for Chemex filters, a few options still guarantee a smooth, well-balanced, and flavorful cup of coffee at minimized costs. 

The Chemex filter alternatives are good for keeping away sediment, while others are easier to clean than regular Chemex filters. Due to their increased popularity, you can now get compatible coffee filters for your Chemex carafe made in hemp, titanium, cotton, or even metal. The following is a comprehensive guide on Chemex Coffee Filters and their alternatives.

The Original Filters By Chemex Vs Regular Filters

It’s possible to find yourself in a situation where you’ve run out of Chemex filters in the house, so you end up with standard coffee filters for regular coffee makers. However, these two filters are different in thickness, and the coffee produced might differ in taste and smoothness. You cannot simply put layers of regular filters on top of each other and anticipate the same results.

Chemex filters are made from a unique fiber meant to filter out both the solid sediments and the fats and oils from the coffee beans during the extraction process. Regular paper filters are also flimsier, so you will need to pour in the water very carefully and gently to prevent spillage. If you are too fast, the filter breaks, and instead of a clean, premium-flavored cup of coffee, the grinds fall into the cup and the taste is destroyed.


  • Regular filters are commonly available
  • They are easy to use
  • They produce smooth coffee with the desired flavor


  • They are flimsy and tear up easily
  • Water drainage is very fast, and it could collapse the sides of the filter paper.