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What Can You Use As a Coffee Filter Substitute? 8 Amazing Ways to use


Everyone likes coffee and appreciates the pure joy of waking up to a steaming cup in the morning. What transpires, though, if your coffee filter becomes clogged? Or even worse, when the coffee in your pot starts to taste sour?

Coffee filter substitute paper towel
Credit: americasrestaurant.com

What can you use as a coffee filter substitute? If you’re like most people, you’ll grab the closest substitute for a coffee filter, whether it’s a thin towel, cheesecloth, socks, cloth napkin, paper towel, or cheesecloth.

Although these alternatives are effective, they in no way do the coffee filter justice. To assist you in choosing the best alternative for your needs, we’ll examine eight of the best coffee filter alternatives in this blog post.

What Can You Use As a Coffee Filter Substitute?

Coffee filter substitute paper towel
Credit: americasrestaurant.com

We discovered that filtered coffee may be especially good for heart health, as reported by the NY Times.

According to a new long-term study published on Wednesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, coffee is not only good for your health, it may even lengthen your life—but only if you prepare coffee using a filter.

If you don’t have a coffee filter, you can choose from some substitutes. There are several coffee filter substitutes that you can easily find in your kitchen and of course, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

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Here are some ways to use coffee filter substitutes that you can try:

No Filter

Even though it might seem apparent, check to see if one of your deepest kitchen cabinets contains a French press.

If so, it’s time to get it out and give it a good cleaning as a French press has a built-in mesh filter that only requires coffee (and if you run out of that, this article won’t be much use anyway) and doesn’t require any additional supplies.

How to Use

Coarsely ground coffee, a burner or other heat source, and a small to medium-sized pot are required.

Bring a cup’s worth of water to a boil in your small pot on the stove.

Then, for every cup of water added, add 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds and let it steep and overheat. Take the coffee off the heat after three minutes and let the grounds settle at the bottom of the pot.

Once everything has settled, pour the coffee slowly into a cup. The slower you pour, the less ground will fall to the bottom of your cup.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are a cheap substitute for coffee filters, but they have a few shortcomings that deter some from doing so.

You can create an improvised coffee filter that perfectly fits your pour-over by folding the paper towel for coffee filter use into a little pouch.

Before using it, you must first consider several things, one of which you must know whether tower paper contains bleach.

How to Use

One paper towel is folded in half, then the sides are folded up slightly to create a conical shape.

2 tablespoons of medium-fine ground coffee should be added to the handcrafted coffee filter in the pour-over maker.

Water should be boiled before being poured, taking care not to overfill the temporary pour-over coffee filter.


Cut a piece of cheesecloth to the right size to double as an emergency coffee filter because cheesecloth comes in much larger chunks than a filter.

How to Use

When using a pour-over, cut a piece of cheesecloth that will fit into the brewer when folded over twice.

Pour boiling water from a gooseneck kettle over the coffee grounds after adding 2 tablespoons of the alternative coffee grinds to the filter. Be careful not to overfill this replacement for a coffee filter.

Cotton Sock

Contrary to popular belief, thick cotton socks have long been used as an alternative to paper filters.

Make sure they are clean, and if you still feel an “ick-factor” about them, go get a fresh pair. For this purpose, reusable coffee socks are even available.

How to Use

In your coffee sock, add 2 tablespoons of medium- or coarse-ground coffee.

Either insert the sock directly inside the pot and let it steep for 3–4 minutes or hold the sock over the pot as you pour the water, letting it seep through into the pot.

Fine-mesh sieve

If you’re out of coffee filters but have a fine-mesh sieve, you can use that in place of the filter in almost exactly the same way.

How to Use

In the bottom of a glass cup, add two tablespoons of medium-ground coffee beans. Add one cup of boiling water on top.

Once stirred, steep for five minutes.

Put your mesh sieve over an empty mug and pour the freshly made coffee into it.

Cloth Napkin or Thin Towel

Dish towels, or even better, cloth napkins, are the simplest Chemex filter substitute that you are certain to have at home!

While this method for making coffee without filter papers works reasonably well, be sure to pick a towel or napkin you don’t care about because it will probably still have coffee stains after a thorough wash.

How to Use

Put the towel or napkin in the pour-over in one layer. Pour boiling water over the 2 tablespoons of medium-ground coffee as normal. Lift the napkin out of the pour-over after that, discard the additional grinds, and place it in the laundry basket.

Reusable Tea Bags

Reusable tea bags can be used as temporary substitutes for coffee filters if you enjoy both coffee and tea.

Since teabags are paper filters made to keep tea slivers out of your cup, this no coffee filter approach works fairly well and won’t leave any unwelcome grounds in your cup.

How to Use

In a reusable teabag, add 2 teaspoons of coffee grounds.

Place the bag inside your cup once it has steeped for four to five minutes in hot water.

Take the bag out, then savor your coffee.

Instant Coffee

Look back in time to learn the exact steps for brewing coffee without a filter because instant coffee, a mainstay in the 1970s, is still available today.

Instant food is not everyone’s cup of tea, but some people can’t get enough of it. One thing is certain: it’s useful!

Your closet may include a tub of instant coffee that may keep you going for one or two days until you can visit the grocery shop to restock on coffee filters.

How to Use

Add hot, boiled water to a mug after adding 2g of instant coffee. Enjoy your cup after fully dissolving the crystals with a spoon.


You will understand the various coffee filter alternatives that are available after reading this blog and which one is appropriate for your needs. Be sure to test out many filter alternatives to find the one that works best for you.

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