Permanent Coffee Filter or Paper Filter: Pros and Cons

One of the most common ways of making coffee is the filter drip method. The method makes use of a coffee filter that removes coffee grounds right after brewing thus preventing over brewing. Coffee filters have been around since early 1900’s when they were used to prevent coffee from going bitter. Today, we have two main types of coffee filters, permanent reusable and paper coffee filters. Below we take a closer look at each and find out which their advantages as well as disadvantages.

Permanent Coffee Filter or Paper FilterPaper Filters

Paper filters are meant for a one-time use and should be disposed of after brewing. They are known to remove or rather absorb oils from coffee leading to a richer coffee experience. Recent studies have also paper filters remove a compound called cafestol, contained in coffee beans, that increases the levels of cholesterol in the body over a long period of time. Though a new one is used every time, paper filters are cheap and cost pennies though the cost does add up with time. Below are the pros and cons of paper filters:


  • Easy to clean up- All you have to do is throw it away after brewing. No more kitchen messes trying to remove all the grounds.
  • Environmental friendly- Paper filters are naturally biodegradable since they are made up of fibers that decompose.
  • Removes oils from coffee- While some may argue that paper filters remove rich tasting oils, it all comes down to preference whether you like it that way or the other way.
  • Sanitary- Permanent filters are prone to have bacterial growth especially when stored dirty and in the wrong place. This may cause health issues in the long run. Paper filters on the other hand, are not stored.
  • Cheap in numbers. You can purchase over 40 paper filters for as low as 8 dollars.
  • Paper filters do a great job at capturing fine sediments that tend to pass through other filters.


  • Flimsy- Occasionally you’ll find some paper filters may tear when handling them or brewing thus ruining your coffee. This can be easily avoided by going for the quality paper though they tend to be a bit more expensive.

Permanent Coffee Filter or Paper FilterPermanent Filters

Permanent coffee filter are usually washed then reused, over and over again. They are usually made up of gold, stainless steel or nylon. They can last for several years before replacement.


  • Long term use- With proper care, permanent filters can be used for years.
  • Richer Flavor- Unlike paper filers, permanent filters don’t remove oils which some say results in a richer aromatic cup of coffee.
  • Green- Since they don’t involve cutting down trees or produce waste, it can be said that permanent filters are the best option of those of use eco-friendly.
  • Save Money- One of the main reasons many prefer permanent filters is that they save you money in the long run. A single filter costing around 30 dollars can go for as long as 5-10 years if well maintained.
  • Space Savers- It can be argued that permanent filters take up less space in your kitchen cabinet compared to paper filters which are normally stored in bulk.
  • Sturdy and Firm- You won’t find permanent filters tearing up when brewing or being difficult to work with. This allows you a stress free coffee experience.


  • May let fine sediments through- It’s not uncommon for gold filters to let through fine sediments which may result in an unpleasant last sip or sludge at the bottom of your cup.
  • Must be cleaned every time- This goes without saying that they require more attention since you have to clean after every use.
  • Prone to bacterial growth- In case stored wrongly or dirty, they tend to harbor bacterial growth which may be lead to health issues in the long run.
  • Cholesterol Pigments- If you are uncomfortable with the cholesterol increasing compound in coffee then you’ll want to use paper filters.

Permanent Coffee Filter or Paper FilterCloth Filter

Cloth filters are usually made from fabric, hemp or natural cotton. Cloth can be reused but wear out with time. They borrow from both permanent and paper filters. Their pores are naturally larger than those of a paper filter but smaller than a permanent metal filter.


Final Thoughts

With this information, we’re sure you can now make a uniformed decision. In the end, it boils down to personal taste. If you like your coffee complete with rich oily flavors and are looking to save some cash, then permanent filters are for you. If you are concerned about cholesterol, health issues and don’t mind less oily coffee, then paper filters are for you. For those looking for a bit of both then cloth filters are for you.