What Can I Use as a Coffee Filter? [9 Easy Substitutes]

Are you a coffee lover and have a coffee maker at home? If so, you are probably spending a lot of paper filters to make your cup of coffee. If this is part of your morning routine, there is a good chance that you will run out of coffee filters and not be able to enjoy your favorite drink. Of course, it will ruin your perfect morning.

So, what should you do if this problem happened to you? Don’t worry. There are several items in your home that you can use in place of a coffee filter. This way, you don’t need to feel frustrated in an emergency like the one above.

What can I use as a coffee filter? (9 Easy Substitutes)

9 Things You Can Use as Coffee Filter

To overcome your problem due to running out of coffee filters, here are some items you can use as coffee filters.

1. Paper Towel

Coffee Filter Substitute - Paper Towel

One easy option to replace your coffee filter is by using paper towels. This method is easy for you to try. To use the paper towel as a coffee filter, all you have to do is fold it in half, then fold it back in half. However, make sure the wipes you use are free of harmful chemicals, so they won’t poison your coffee.

2. Cheesecloth

Cheesecloth for coffee filter

Apart from using tissue, you can also use cheesecloth. To use cheesecloth as a coffee filter, you will need to cut it to the size you need. Make sure it’s enough for you to fold it in half or three times. After that, you are ready to use it.

3. Handkerchief


Another item you can also use for a coffee filter is a handkerchief. If you don’t have a handkerchief, you can also use any soft cloth you can find at home. You can cut it as needed, then place it in your coffee machine. Make sure it is large enough to fit into a pocket for your coffee beans.

4. Sock

As strange as it may sound, socks can also be the perfect choice as a substitute for your filter coffee. However, it’s a good idea to use new socks. Of course, you don’t want to feel disgusted when using used socks. Also, the advantage of using socks as coffee filters is that you can wash them and reuse them later.

5. Old T-Shirt

Not only socks, but your old t-shirts can also be another option for you to make coffee filters. Don’t forget to make sure that your t-shirt is clean before you use it. Besides, it will be better if you are not reusing it as clothing after using it as a coffee filter.

6. Reusable Tea Bang

Do you have reusable tea bags at home? If so, you can also use it as a coffee filter. Even though it may not sound like a good idea, by using a reusable tea bag, you can make great coffee too. Besides that, you can use it several times too so it is more economical.

7. Wire Mesh Filter

This one thing maybe not everyone has at home. However, it is a great substitute for a paper coffee filter. What’s more, you can wash it and use it over and over again. This way, you won’t have to worry about running out of paper filters in the future. Therefore, you may want to consider purchasing a wire mesh filter for your future use.

8. Reusable Cloth Filter

Reusable Cloth Filter - Coffee Filter Substitute

When compared to wire filters, according to coffee lovers, cloth filters can produce better coffee. However, the downside is that these types of filters are more difficult for you to clean. However, because you can use them over again, they are still much better than paper filters. Apart from getting a better taste of coffee, you can also reduce household waste.

9. Used Paper Filter

Paper coffee filter

If you haven’t thrown away your used coffee filters, you may still be able to use them again. It is because some paper filters the user can use once or twice. That way, you can clean, dry it, and then use it again. However, first, check whether the paper filter you are using is reusable. In this case, you need to make sure about that to avoid contamination by harmful substances.


Those are some of the things you can use as a coffee filter. You can use things around you. However, make sure that the object is clean and safe from harmful substances. Besides, make sure the filter you choose is neither too thick nor too thin. This way, the coffee you produce will be delicious. Also, it won’t break your coffee machine.

Also, as we discussed above, you may want to consider using reusable filters in the future. In this case, a wire mesh filter and a reusable cloth filter can be perfect choices. If you want a better coffee taste, you can choose a reusable cloth filter. However, if you are looking for a filter that easy for you to clean, a wire mesh filter can be the solution.

Read also: Are Coffee Filters Compostable?