The 3 Types Of Coffee Filters (Which Is Better?)

Last Updated on November 15, 2021 by John Moretti

If you want to brew the best-tasting coffee, it might be worth considering the type of coffee filter that you are using. With so many different types of coffee filters on the market, it might be hard for you to choose the one that gives you the best-tasting coffee. So, how many different types of coffee filters are there?

There are three different types of coffee filters for your coffee brewer, and these are more commonly made from paper, metal, and cloth. In the realm of paper filters, these can also be further separated into bleached paper filters and unbleached paper filters.

If you wish to know more about which coffee filter is better, read on, and I will guide you along, helping you to choose the best type of filter for your coffee.

Which Coffee Filter Is The Best?

When brewing the perfect pot of coffee, it is not only the coffee bean that goes into making a coffee taste great, but it is also how the coffee is brewed that produces the best tasting coffee. 

To increase the flavor and the taste of your coffee and give it a more “full-bodied” taste, you may want to consider the type of filter that goes into your coffee brewer.

Before we begin to look at the various types of filters available on the market, let us first understand the role of a coffee filter in brewing the perfect cup of coffee! 

The coffee filter is easily one of the critical components in brewing your coffee. When making your filter coffee, the filter is placed into your brewer, and hot water is poured through the coffee grounds, and the filtered coffee then makes its way into the coffee pot or the base of the coffee brewer. 

The coffee filter is usually made from paper, but it is also made from either metal or cloth. Your coffee filter traps the coffee grounds and any other impurities from the coffee bean itself. Once this process is complete, only the flavorful and aromatic black coffee remains for you to enjoy. 

The type of filter that you choose influences the final taste and the end product of your coffee. Now, let’s examine each of these types of coffee filters individually and see how each of these filters enhances your coffee’s flavor. 

1. Paper Coffee Filters

paper coffee filter

This type of coffee filter is one of the most popular and widely used coffee filters that we know. These filters are used in drip coffee brewers and are highly absorbent, and the fibers of these filters are tightly woven together to filter out any excess impurities. Thicker paper filters are more expensive than thinner filters, but they filter your coffee better.

Now that you know about Paper filters, you need to make the next decision to choose between a bleached paper filter or an unbleached paper filter. What sets these two types of paper filters apart? 

A bleached paper filter is white. The bleached white color is achieved by using either chlorine or oxygen to bleach the paper that makes the filter. Chlorine bleaching produces toxic chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. 

The benefit of using a bleached paper filter is that there is no taste of paper in your brewed coffee, even if you do not pre-rinse your filter. Bleached paper filters are safe to use for your coffee since only a tiny amount of bleaching is used in the filter. 

Oxygen bleached filters produce no toxic chemicals and are therefore suitable for the environment. The oxygen bleached paper filters are regarded as a higher quality filter to use.

unbleached coffee filter

So, what about unbleached paper filters? How are these produced, and how good are these filters for my coffee? Unbleached filters are good for the environment as no bleaching chemicals are used on the paper. They have a distinctly brownish color, which is paper’s natural color before any bleaching chemicals are added to it. 

If you use an unbleached paper filter in your coffee brewer, you must first wet the filter before using it to brew your coffee. When using an unbleached filter, place the filter into your coffee brewer, and then pour hot water over the filter. 

The water will soak through the filter, and you can throw out the remaining water from your coffee brewer. Once you have wet the filter completely, you can begin brewing your coffee as you would typically do. Although paper filters are disposable, they are harmful to our environment, as they do pile up in the rubbish dumps.

When considering the cost of an unbleached filter versus a bleached filter, the unbleached filter costs slightly more than the bleached filter.

2. Metal Coffee Filters

metal coffee filter

Metal coffee filters are not disposable, unlike paper ones, and can be used a few times before needing to be replaced again. The metal coffee filters have larger holes than paper ones, allowing more natural coffee oils and some coffee grounds to filter through, providing a much richer quality and better-tasting coffee. 

A fine stainless-steel mesh is used for the metal coffee filter that removes most coffee sediments, allowing only the coffee bean’s natural coffee oils and tiny sediments into your cup. 

The paper filter removes certain coffee flavors which are only present in the coffee oils. Your metal filter preserves these essential coffee oils, thereby locking in the intense flavor and taste of the coffee bean.

It would help if you cleaned your metal coffee filters regularly to avoid any unnecessary coffee grounds clogging up the metal pores of these filters. An excellent daily wash with soap and water will keep them sparkly clean and extend the life of your filters. 

If your filter does get clogged up with any unwanted coffee grounds, you can either give it a quick rinse or pluck out the coffee grounds from the pores of the filter with a pair of tweezers.

3. Cloth Coffee Filters

cloth coffee filter

And lastly, we come to cloth filters, which are the least known of coffee filters. These coffee filters are made from cloth, which has far more benefits than traditional paper filters. They do not trap the coffee oils as the paper ones do, and they also lock in all of the natural goodness of the coffee grounds. 

When using a cloth filter to brew your coffee, you get a fuller flavored cup of coffee without the unwanted coffee sediments or any of the tiny grains leftovers from the coffee bean. These cloth filters are reusable up to about 100 brews before needing to be replaced. 

As long as the filter is washed, cleaned, and dried regularly, you should have no problems with these cloth filters. The cloth filters should not become too moist or dry, or the filter’s fabric will deteriorate. If you take care of your cloth filters, they will give you a good return on your investment in the longer run.


Now that we have looked at all of the different types of coffee filters, we must decide which coffee filter is best to use. If you are looking for cost-effective filters that get the job done, you should consider buying paper filters. 

If you want to go for the slightly more expensive filters that are more reusable and less harmful to our environment, then the metal filters are probably a better option to go for. The metal filters add more flavor and aroma to your coffee, which you need when brewing your coffee.