Coffee Filter Alternatives (Substitutes For When You Run Out)

Let’s be honest, we all love to start our day with the smell of coffee. Just as you thought about your day ahead is going to start with a cup of happiness, what do you see, there’s no filter left. Now what?

What do you do if you ran out of filters and the nearest shop is half an hour far, plus, you can add the point of being late for work. You don’t have to sacrifice your morning coffee just because you ran out of filters.

Go on and read the article for tips and tricks on how you can use these practical coffee filter alternatives for a day.

Use Household Items For Coffee Filter Alternative

Metal filter Lasts Forever

It seems obvious that we don’t want to spend money on filters because over time they can cause a lot. Why not think about metal filters, they are permanent, easy to use, and most importantly are dishwasher-free.

Fine Mesh Sieve

If you own one sieve, it can save a lot unless your coffee machine doesn’t use fine grounds. It will work very well just like a metal filter. It also can be used permanently use and is dishwasher-free.

Paper Towel

Use a clean paper towel, and just fold it as you normally would with coffee filters. Try to figure out which way works better to fit your coffee maker type. Remember you have to fold the paper towel so many times, so the water pressure doesn’t hit hard and break open itself.


Cheesecloth can be another option to consider, it will be more durable than a paper towel. Fold 2 or 3 times to make sure the grounds stay inside the cheesecloth.

Reusable Tea Bags

If you are both a coffee and a tea lover great because you will be using the teabags as a paper filter. All you need is 2 tsp coffee grounds and a bag. Make sure to seal it up and let it stay longer in the mug. It’s completely mess-free.

Cloth Napkin

The rules of applying cloth napkins as a filter alternative are simple. Fold it as you normally would. Use a rubber band so as not to create a huge mess and lastly, put the napkin into a pour-over coffee maker or drip coffee maker. If the napkin is too thick, stay away because you won’t experience the bold and intense aroma you usually have.

Dish Towel

A dishtowel can be another coffee filter alternative. You should be aware that towels used for dishes are usually more exposed to detergents. Let it sit outdoors for a while before you start using it.

Dish Towels must be crystal clear if you decide to use one.

Coffee Socks

Coffee socks are more useful in Asian countries. They are used in pour-over coffee making or even in a bowl. Coffee socks don’t create a mess and save the environment a hundred times more than a single used paper filter.

Choose Caffeinated Coffee Beverage That Are Already Brewed

Instant Coffee

You can always choose instant coffee over brewed coffee. You are maybe rolling your eyes now, but I can guarantee you are going to thank me later.

The reason for using instant coffee types is obvious. The main reason to choose one is to set you free from the brewing process. The coffee particles in instant coffee are already brewed, so you only have to pour the instant coffee into your mug, and stir with a spoon until it dissolves in the water.

Another reason to pick instant coffee is the caffeine content. Caffeine is the main reason for energy-boosting, if you aren’t informed about the caffeine in instant coffee, that’s a shame. In the quantity of 1 serving which is 6 fl oz (179 g), the caffeine amount is 46.5 mg.

Turkish Coffee

Have you ever wondered about drinking Turkish coffee? Besides being delicious, it can be a great alternative for a coffee filter. You are going to be surprised about how Turkish coffee grounds work.

Turkish coffee grounds don’t harm your body, even if you eat them after you finish your coffee. Yes, I said you can eat after you finish your coffee because the grounds in Turkish coffee don’t need a filter. All the grounds go down to the bottom, they are not water-soluble.

The caffeine content in Turkish coffee is 25 mg per fl oz (84.5 mg per 100 ml). Keep in mind that you usually get a 2 fl oz cup that has a total of 50 mg of caffeine content.

Get Coffee Machines That Don’t Work With Filters

Manual Espresso Machines or Programmable Coffee Machines

The newest espresso machines in the market are so easy to use and are quite modern styled. The filters are placed inside the machine for permanent use. You don’t have to spend extra money on filters.

Chose espresso machines because it helps the environment by creating less waste, saving resources, and providing a rich coffee taste as well.

Drip Coffee Makers

If you are sick and tired of constantly running out of filter papers, why don’t you replace your current coffee-making machine with drip coffee makers? Since the filters inside are permanent.

Drip coffee makers have a permanent ground filter and cut the mess that coffee filters create after. Drip-type coffee makers provide an aromatic and rich taste. Their filter can be plastic, stainless steel, and metal.

French Press

The French press has pretty simple use, it has a plunger instead of a filter, in that case, you don’t need to buy anything extra. It is a proven fact that the french press creates a very bold and intense coffee taste.

The best part above all is that French press machines are at very affordable price points compared with other machines.

Moka Pot

Moka pot is another coffee maker that doesn’t work with filters. They have their own filter from either metal or stainless steel material. Moka Pots act like an espresso maker but in an old-style way.

I’m sure you own a Moka pot at home, stir the old boxes in the basement and you will find one. Enjoy your morning coffee without the need for filter papers.

Further Reading

One of the most popular questions i hear nowadays is “Can you froth creamer“? We answered that question.

We wrote a detailed comparison of the Grosche vs Bialetti moka pot, so if you’re into that, you can take a look. Another interesting on is the Monin vs. Torani comparison.

Are cortados better or lattes? Find out!

Have you hard about blonde espresso? Well, neither had I. We did a direct comparison of blonde espresso & regular espresso, and concluded which is the best and why.

What is niltro cold brew? What is Cold Brew? We explained all of that in our Nitro cold brew vs Cold brew article.