What Are The Best Substitutes For Coffee Filters?

coffee infographic for filter

Many people want a cup of coffee in the morning to get their day started. In reality, some coffee drinkers cannot go a day without a cup of coffee.

If you need a cup of coffee every other day or two or three cups to keep your energy levels up, running out of coffee filters early in the morning or when you’re desperate for coffee will be the last thing you want to be doing.

The great news is that you can make coffee—even fairly awesome coffee—without using a filter!

What do you do if you are out of paper filters and it feels like a big deal?

First and foremost, remain cool.

Second, try to assess what you actually do have. If you’re out of beans as well, go to the closest local cafe.

1. Make use of A French Press

Substitutes For Coffee Filters
French Press

Why French press is better that coffee filter machine?

There are no coffee filters in the house? Don’t be worried. Your French press maker is a friend. It’s quick to use, and you’re almost guaranteed to make a great cup of coffee. One benefit of using a French press is that it provides a more aromatic cup of coffee. The oils that are dissolved or removed in a paper filter and add to the flavor of coffee are not absorbed by using a French press.

2. The Vietnamese Coffee Drip

Substitutes For Coffee Filters

If you have this coffee machine, then you will never need a filter!

Why Vietnamese coffee drip saves money and time?

The Coffee Drip used in this process is thought to be able to hold the coffee’s flavor and also, it’s the quicker and simplest way to use! A Phin, a traditional Vietnamese coffee maker and filter, isn’t needed. By soaking coffee grounds in hot water, the French press imitates the Phin.

Why the Vietnamese coffee drip is environment friendly?

The little metallic lid cup that holds the coffee is re-usable and by that method its more eco-friendly so you don’t have to throw away filters every time while making coffee! It is more reliable and environment-friendly as it can be used over and over again.

*Check our coffee drip recipe to learn how to use it or why its worth to buy and saving a lot of money while you wont need paper filter ever again!

3. Reusable Teabags

reusable teabags
Tea Bags

Another eco-friendly way!

While this isn’t a great option for most of us, if you’re a big tea drinker, you might have reusable tea bags at home. These tea bags can be used for coffee as well, and they should produce a great tasting brew. Just fill in your tea bag and dip it in hot water like you would do exactly with your tea! Smart right?

4. Paper towels

paper towels

Paper towel is an incredibly simple, but also quite difficult, choice for filtering coffee that many of us have at home. Fold a full-size sheet of paper towel in half, and in half again to make a coffee filter. Shape a small pouch (with both the edges wider than the middle) to carry the beans with this method and the rest of the alternatives following.

Be careful though to have cleaned paper towels!

When using paper towels, make sure they are washed and natural without chemical compounds. The last scenario you want are chemicals draining into your coffee. Paper towels have the ability to weaken when exposed to hot water, so bear that in mind too though.

5. A thin T-Shirt

thin tshirt

If you like the 2021 trend of tie dye then you will love this!

Since you’re on the topic of cloth, a worn t-shirt seems to be a perfect choice for filtering your coffee. Just make absolutely sure the shirt is washed, and don’t intend on wearing it again until you’ve used this to filter your coffee unless you like the new trend of tie dye shirts!

6. Sheet Made of Cotton

Substitutes For Coffee Filters

You’ll need a cotton piece of fabric or a small sheet for this solution.

As long as the cotton sheet is properly clean, you can replace it for the coffee filter. Try to wet the cloth before using it since it collects a few of the substances that make up the coffee’s aspects. Softening the fabric improves flavoring exchange.

7. Stockings and Socks

For Coffee Filters

Clearly, you’ll need a pair of socks for this alternative.

All you need is a pair of socks, as the title suggests, and they should be fresh and clean, as you don’t really want your coffee to smell like sweat. Simply put it in your mug and pour hot water through it.

8. A Thrown Away Paper Filter

This choice makes good sense mostly because you only were using your last filter and did not discard it (or compost it). Most paper filters can be used one or two times so just wash it, let it dry, and then use it.

9. Paper Tissues

You’ll need 2-3 high-quality tissue papers on top of each other for this alternative.

Tissue papers are simpler to use than napkins because they are soft and comfortably fit into the cup. Since it is thin, coffee runs quicker and has a richer taste. However, it is not as successful because it can break and make a spill. But don’t worry…just secure it with an elastic band!

10. A Wire Mesh Filter

Although this will not help you in an emergency, if you prefer to be cautious, get a thin metal filter to use in the future. This sort of filter is easy to clean and reusable, and it filters your coffee very well.

Furthermore, you will never be running out of paper filters again.

What exactly is a wire mesh filter?

Market wire cloth, also known as wire mesh cover, is a woven metal fabric with squared or rectangular “work gaps” porous filter media, which are ideal for separating particles from gases or liquids, between wires that is created on large woven machines known as tides.

11. Handkerchief

Substitutes For Coffee Filters

What is a handkerchief?

A handkerchief is a type of bandana or scarf that is usually a stitched square of thin material that can be held in a purse or handbag.

If you have a handkerchief or other fine towel lying around the house, it can most likely be used for a coffee filter. While using some kind of cotton as a filter, simply cut out a square or two that is approximately the correct size to make a pocket for the beans (as I said above with the paper towel method).

12. Paper Cupcake Cups


You’ll need two pieces of cupcake paper for this replacement.

All these little pieces of paper that keep cupcakes in place can also be used as an espresso stream alternative. Simply spill the water over the espresso beans and start detaching them. Bear in mind that you’ll need to pile cups on top of one another for a more reasonable sifting.

13. Kopi Tubruk Method

Kopi Tubruk, or mud coffee, is a famous brewing technique in Indonesia. And, like many brewing ways Kopi Tubruk can produce a fantastic cup of coffee if the correct rules are followed.

To make a tasty mug of coffee simply add 2 teaspoons of coarse or regular ground coffee and hot water to your mug and pause for the coffee grounds to soak before they reach the bottom.

Only don’t drink the clay at the bottom of the container. With your spoon, just whisk it a bit lightly and wait for the coffee to settle down for 2 mins.

14. Mud Coffee

What is the mud coffee method?

The “mud coffee” is another excellent coffee filter choice. Simply put 1 cup of ground coffee in the base of your cup, spill in hot water, and mix just enough. The ground should even out. Allow a few minutes for them to settle down, and you should be able to drink almost all the way down to the bottom without having powder in your mouth.

If you want milk in your coffee, add it after it has set. If you swirl the coffee after it has settled, it will become dusty. The best coffee is ground coffee!

15. Sieve with a Fine Mesh/Tea Strainer

Fine Mesh/Tea Strainer

What is a fine mesh sieve?

Most commonly used for grinding texture and removing tiny pieces or seeds.  Tea strainer, also known as a superfine sieve.

A fine-mesh sieve is needed for this replacement.

If you bake regularly, you should have it in your kitchen. Use a tiny one, as a big one cannot stain correctly and can leave bits of grounds in your coffee. It is easy to use it and operate with.

16. Cloth for Cheese

A cheesecloth is needed for this replacement.

Cheesecloth is being used to make cheese, but it can also be used as a coffee filter. It has a perfect, delicate fabric that prevents particles from escaping. Fold it as per its width, allowing only the liquid to move through.

17. Coffee In A Can

coffee in a can

Probably the easier way!

Using instant coffee is yet another solution to stop using coffee filters. Utilizing instant coffee, you can make a cup of coffee easily. To make a cup of coffee, all you really need is warm water.

18. Metal/Wire Mesh Reusable Filters

Reusable filters all the way!

Help the environment via small changes in your routine.

Why metal mesh filters are better than paper filters?

If you’re sick of buying paper filters, a metal mesh reusable filter will solve your dilemma. It is lifelong and will save you a significant amount of money. You will be doing something good by saving a few trees. A metal mesh filter, like coffee paper filters, is simple to use. Simply put it on top of your cup, add 3 tablespoons of medium or thick coffee, and then pour boiling water over the grounds.

Last Thoughts

You have more than enough solutions to coffee filters if you’ve run out, forgot to buy any while on holiday, or don’t really want to waste extra cash to buy more.

And then you’re in your car for an exhausting ride to the shop the next time you catch yourself in this scenario, consider one of the above suggestions for a good cup of filtered coffee.

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