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Coffee Maker Permanent Filter vs Paper Filter

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

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Updated August 27, 2022

Brewing coffee can be accomplished in multiple ways, but which is better: coffee maker permanent filters or paper filters? The best coffee makers tend to use one or the other. Keep reading to learn the differences between the two filter types.


  • Permanent or metal coffee filters require only a one-time payment, making them more cost-effective than paper filters.
  • Paper filters for coffee catch most of the sediments and oils for a clean flavor.
  • Consider metal filters as an eco-conscious choice.

Basic Distinctions Between Reusable Filters and Paper Filters

Most permanent filters are made from metal, in either a cone or basket shape. Because of this shape, along with tiny holes in the exterior, some coffee oils and sediments end up in your cup, affecting taste significantly.

Insider Tip

For specific flavor preferences such as a strong brew with texture, metal filers are an ideal choice.

Paper filters soak up said sediments via paper pores. One reason why paper filters are so effective is the weave design, keeping the smallest particles out of your cup.

Here are a few factors determining which option suits you better; permanent or paper filters.


The first clear advantage of metal or reusable coffee filters is that they’re eco-friendly. Individuals and businesses who prefer to be environmentally conscious can use metal filters for many years, as long as they practice regular cleaning and maintenance. Paper filters tend to get thrown away after a single use, making them a drain on the environment.

Insider Tip

When choosing a plastic filter for drip coffee makers, be sure that they’re BPA-free and conform to food-grade regulations.

Overall Efficacy

If you prefer a strong brew with texture, metal filters are an ideal choice. In contrast, when using paper filters, expect a crisp cup of flavorful coffee with mild tones. Not all coffee drinkers enjoy the sediment that can end up in a cup with a metal filter, however. To get the best out of the aromatic hot beverage, think about comparing coffee maker thermal carafes vs glass models.

Speaking of machine types, you might like viewing our lists of the finest cold brew coffee makers and the best pour-over coffee makers.


Paper coffee filters require little clean-up since you only have to discard them in the rubbish bin. Metal or reusable filters, on the other hand, demand some maintenance to eliminate coffee stains and reduce the buildup of mold. Most are dishwasher-safe, so the cleanup process is not too bad. For more information, check out this article on the differences between coffee maker cones and basket filters.


Drinking unfiltered coffee in excessive amounts can raise cholesterol levels by up to 8 percent.


Do paper coffee filters cost less?

The cost of paper filters can certainly add up, especially if you consider how many you go through in a year. By brewing a couple of cups per day, paper filters can cost $50 or more each year.

Which is the healthiest option; permanent coffee filters or paper?

There are no real differences here, as coffee is coffee. Paper filters may be slightly healthier, given the lack of sediment that can collect in the cup.

Are all permanent coffee filters metal?

Outside of metal filters, there are also plastic coffee filters on the market. When deciding on one, be sure that they’re BPA-free and conform to food-grade regulations. Fabric filters are trendy as well, combining features of paper filters and more permanent variations.

STAT: One reason why paper filters are so effective is the chemical layout with creases, keeping the smallest particles, like fines, out of your cup of delight. However, a clinical trial mentioned in ScienceDirect shows that even moderate use of paper coffee filters may lead to a rise in cholesterol levels. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image