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If you’re a daily user of the Chemex, I’m sure you’ve started to notice that the cost of the original paper filters quickly adds up. So I ask you, do you want to save a few bucks? If I’ve piqued your interest, I suggest you stick around because I have some great alternative options that I think you’ll love.
What you need are reusable Chemex filters. Don’t worry, you’ll still get that smooth, balanced, and flavorful coffee that comes from the pour-over brew method, but at a reduced cost.
The one-time investment and the decreased impact on the environment make reusable coffee filters a win-win.
Our Top Pick: Best Value
In this article, I have gone out and done the hard work for you and picked out a selection of what I think are the best reusable Chemex filters.
I am confident that once you brew with your Chemex using one of these, you will ditch those expensive paper alternatives and never look back.
Chemex Filter Alternatives
Since the appearance of the Chemex in the 1940s, this classic coffee brewer has been reliant on heavy, thick paper filters. Back in the day, this type of filter was pretty much standard.
However, the world of coffee brewing has come leaps and bounds since then. You can now find a selection of compatible coffee filters for the Chemex manufactured from metal, cotton, hemp, and even titanium.
Some of these Chemex filter alternatives do a better job than others at keeping sediment from passing through, and others are easier to clean.
Cloth will be the closest experience to paper you will get from a reusable filter. But, the downside is they tend to be slightly more challenging to clean.
Metal cones are the best overall, and they excel in the flavor department and at being fast and quick to clean.
Best Reusable Filters For The Chemex
Below I have listed filters for the Chemex that I think is the best of the bunch. There are quite a few in the marketplace, but I have dwindled down our long list to just these.
Not sure if you want cloth or a metal-style filter? I suggest choosing a metal cone if you want a long-lasting, durable Chemex filter alternative.
Able Brewing Kone for Chemex
Our first recommendation is one of the best Chemex filter alternatives that I think you’ll love. Every detail in the design has been done with the Chemex brewer in mind, so it’s no wonder it fits perfectly.
The Able Chemex filter has been manufactured from a single piece of etched stainless steel.
The process of creating this filter is pretty futuristic, with photo-etched and injection molded being some of the terms described to make this coffee filter.
A neat design feature is that the Able Kone doesn’t actually touch the glass. This allows for far better coffee extraction.
The cone’s rim has a plastic supporting ring, and this is only one part of the Able filter that touches the glass of the Chemex.
This plastic ring also makes removing and lifting the cone a breeze, and if you like to give your coffee a quick swirl during your pour-over routine, as I do, this heat-proof plastic ring helps you do that too.
A minor gripe I have in this product is the micro-cut laser filter holes that travel all the way up to the lip of the Kone.
If you’re not careful, this can allow the water to seep out of the sides without coming into contact with the coffee grounds.
The Kone has been made in the USA, and it’s evident from the craftsmanship that it has been made to stand up to rigorous daily coffee routines.
It’s slightly more expensive than some of the other alternatives, but if you enjoy the bold flavors the regular Chemex paper filter gives you, it will be a worthy investment.
CoffeeSock Organic Cotton Chemex Filters
If you’re looking for a reusable substitute for your Chemex filters that act and feel like paper, the CoffeeSock Organic Cotton filters are a great solution.
Compared to paper filters, the CoffeeSock filter material allows more of the flavorful oils found in the coffee to flow into your final brew and slightly less sediment to seep through when compared to metal filters.
The brewed coffee is clear, crisp, robust, and rich in flavor minus the paper taste associated with paper filters but with all the boldness and richness of French Press coffee.
The cost of the Coffeesock is affordable, and you actually get two with each purchase.
Also, because they can be washed, dried, and reused, they make for an excellent alternative to the paper Chemex filters but require slightly more work to clean than metal cones.
The cotton fabric is organic and sourced from sustainable suppliers, plus they have been manufactured in the USA.
The organic CoffeeSock ticks all the boxes: reusable, chemical-free, organic cotton, and cheaper than regular Chemex filter papers.
Barista Warrior Reusable Gold Titanium Coated Filter
The Barista Warrior Chemex filter looks very similar in design to the above Able brewing Kone. However, the Barista Warrior actually has to filter walls.
The internal filter has been manufactured from a super-fine flexible mesh, and the outer layer is a more durable stainless steel.
Both of these filters have a gold and titanium coating. The goal of having double filtration is to completely eliminate any sediment from entering your final brew.
In theory, this sounds great, but it does allow for more clogging, which means more thorough cleaning.
This can be avoided if you give the filter a good rinse and shake after each use rather than allowing the filter to sit and dry on the side while you enjoy your coffee.
Priced roughly the same as the Able Kone, it comes down to which you prefer, the double-walled design of the Barista Warrior or the single filter micro-etched Able Kone design – as they both perform exceptionally well and produce great tasting coffee.
Bolio Organic Hemp Cone Pour Over Coffee Filters
Bolio reusable Chemex filters are another eco-friendly cloth product that’s been manufactured from hemp.
Like any cloth coffee filter, they do require slightly more cleaning and maintenance than metal filters but are more like paper in the way they perform.
Users have commented that this material can easily clog, and it can be challenging to filter your coffee through.
To combat this, you need to adjust your Chemex coffee grind – a slightly more coarse ground coffee will more than likely eliminate the clogging.
The Bolio Chemex filters are sold as a square version and a No.4 (more traditional shape). Both of these fit nicely in the 6, 8, and 10 cup Chemex glass carafes.
They’re an excellent product for those of you looking for a more eco-friendly alternative to a disposable filter for your Chemex. Hemp will last for up to several years longer than cotton and has a lower carbon footprint to grow and process.
I’m sure they will also interest others looking for a more cost-effective solution to those expensive original Chemex paper filters.
These are some of the cheapest reusable filter solutions for the Chemex, but you do get what you pay for in terms of quality, and I recommend a more durable metal coffee filter alternative.
But, it depends on what style of pour-over coffee brewing you prefer – the cloth, hemp fabric is more realistic and comparable to paper.
How To Clean A Reusable Coffee Filter
Obviously, there is more cleaning and maintenance needed with a permanent coffee filter. But, if you’re saving a big chunk of change by not buying those paper alternatives, a bit of additional cleaning won’t break you.
Here are our quick and easy recommendations to ensure that you keep your new Chemex filter in tip-top shape.
Metal Cone Chemex Filter
You will soon realize that metal filters tend to clog quickly. This is actually a pretty common complaint.
It’s not a design fault of the filter itself but in-proper cleaning that causes the micro holes to clog with oil and sediment. A good thorough clean after each use should prevent this.
Removing the used coffee grounds can be slightly tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
For cleaning, I suggest soaking the metal cone in hot soapy water and giving it a forceful tap to ensure that any residue is removed from the holes, then allow the filter to air dry.
If you find that the holes are clogged with stubborn debris that won’t come out, no matter how hard to try, I suggest using a mixture of vinegar and water (1:2 ratio) and leave the filter soaking overnight.
Rinse and wash as usual, and your Chemex filter should be like new.
Cloth Style Coffee Filter
With a paper filter, you dump the whole thing in the trash once you’re done. With cloth filters doing that will become expensive very quick.
Instead, you need to somehow remove the used coffee grounds and then clean and rinse the filter and allow it to dry before you can reuse it.
The quickest and most straightforward way to clean a cloth filter is the stand over your trash bin and carefully turn the cloth filter inside out. Emptying the spent grounds in doing so.
Once the bulk of the grounds has been removed, wash with warm soapy water and allow to dry.
Every 6 to 8 weeks, it’s best practice to boil the cloth filter in fresh water to release and remove any oils and residue that have worked their way in the cloth fabric.