Are Paper Coffee Filters Healthier Than Metal Filters?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

Are you trying to decide between paper and metal coffee filters? If you’re looking for a healthier option, you may consider switching to paper coffee filters.

This blog post explores the differences between paper and metal coffee filters and their effect on cholesterol levels, cafestol reduction, and other factors. It also looks at the benefits of paper-filtered coffee and the importance of choosing an unbleached filter for a healthier cup of coffee.

Filter coffee and buildings background

Paper-filtered coffee is becoming increasingly popular because it is believed to be healthier than metal-filtered coffee. But what are the facts?

This blog post will provide an overview of the differences between paper and metal filters and their effects on cholesterol levels and other factors. It will also explore the benefits of paper-filtered coffee, why it is important to choose an unbleached filter, and what factors to consider when choosing a filter.

What is Paper Coffee Filters?

Paper coffee filters are used to brew coffee and are made of thick, unbleached filter paper. The filter paper is designed with tiny pores that allow hot water to pass through the grounds while filtering out the oils and sediment that can make coffee taste bitter.

Paper filters also effectively eliminate diterpenes, compounds that can increase cholesterol levels when consumed in high amounts. Brown paper coffee filters are healthier because they tend not to be processed using chemicals. Using a paper filter, you can produce a brighter, sweeter cup of coffee with little or no sediment or oils.

Paper Filters vs. Metal Filters

Paper filters and metal filters produce coffee with very different qualities.

Metal filters provide a more powerful and visibly darker cup of coffee with more oils and, on occasion, trace quantities of cafestol, which can elevate LDL cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, paper filters absorb the oils in coffee that can elevate your LDL cholesterol. Cloth filters fall right into the balance between paper and metal, producing an enjoyable cup of coffee with a unique mouthfeel.

It’s worth noting that paper filters offer a lot of convenience in cleaning up, as all you have to do is fold up the filter carrying the coffee grounds and throw it in the trash.

Metal filters, however, can last a lifetime if you take care of them properly. However, they cost more than paper filters, so weighing your options is important when deciding which filter is best for you.

Paper Filters Reduce Cafestol

coffee grounds on filter paper brewed with hot water

Paper filters are more effective at reducing cafestol levels than metal filters. This is because the cafestol is almost entirely absorbed by the paper and doesn’t make it as far as your coffee cup. Cloth filters are more effective than metal filters but less effective than paper filters at removing diterpenes.

This means that using paper filters can reduce cafestol levels in coffee by more than 90%, providing a healthier cup of coffee. Not only this but the flavor and aroma of paper-filtered coffee are also improved thanks to the increased efficiency of the filter.

Paper Filters and Cholesterol Levels

Paper filters are beneficial when it comes to cholesterol levels. Studies have indicated that boiled coffee raises total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, while filtered coffee may have an undesirable effect on plasma cholesterol and inflammation biomarkers in healthy individuals.

This is because unfiltered brewed coffee contains diterpenes cafestol and kahweol, commonly referred to as lipids or oils, that can elevate LDL cholesterol. Paper filters can block these diterpenes from entering the cup, thus helping to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the body.

In addition, paper filters reduce the amount of cafestol absorbed by the intestines, resulting in lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Therefore, switching from an unfiltered brewing method to a paper-filtered one can benefit those who wish to keep their cholesterol levels in check.

Brown Paper Filters Are Healthier

Unbleached paper coffee filters are better for the environment and your health. Brown paper filters are more environmentally friendly and utilize fewer chemicals in their creation. They also keep more of the beans’ exquisite scent and taste.

Furthermore, research has found that brown paper filters are more effective at eliminating diterpenes linked to high cholesterol levels than permanent or cloth filters. So if you’re looking for a healthier option when brewing your coffee, consider trying out brown paper filters for a richer taste and a cleaner cup of joe.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Filter

When choosing the right filter for your coffee, there are a few factors to consider.


When it comes to material, paper coffee filters are the most popular option. They are made of disposable paper and are easy to dispose of. However, metal filters are more eco-friendly, as they can be washed and reused multiple times.

Also, metal filters are more durable and can last long. They also provide a better flavor and aroma than paper filters since they don’t absorb any of the coffee’s flavor or aroma. Finally, metal filters also require less maintenance than cloth filters, making them a more sustainable option.


Regarding eco-friendliness, paper filters are a great option as they are biodegradable and can be composted. Natural coffee filters are typically made from cloth or paper, which are much more eco-friendly than conventional plastic filters.

Single-use coffee filters, while convenient and traditional, can harm the environment. Thankfully there are some great alternatives available. The good news is that paper filters can go straight into the compost with the grounds!

While metal filters may have an edge on sustainability due to their durability, they still require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure they last as long as possible.

Flavor and Aroma

When it comes to flavor and aroma, paper coffee filters provide a great way to enjoy the natural flavors of your coffee beans.

Paper filters can help bring out the full taste of your beans and make the coffee experience even more enjoyable. When using paper filters, you can also reduce the number of oils absorbed into your coffee, which leads to a more intense flavor and aroma.

As previously mentioned, unbleached paper filters are also better for the environment since they retain more of the natural color and flavor of the beans. For those looking for an even more flavorful cup of coffee, a paper filter can be the perfect way to get that extra freshness and intensity.

Ease of Cleaning

Paper coffee filters make for easy cleanup. Unlike metal filters, they don’t require scrubbing to remove the grounds and can be quickly thrown away or recycled.

A paper filter can also help ensure that the filter and grounds are kept separate, reducing the mess left behind in the carafe. Additionally, paper filters can be used multiple times before they need to be discarded, reducing waste and saving money in the long run.

With these benefits in mind, paper filters are an ideal choice for those who want an easy and environmentally friendly cleanup.


In conclusion, paper coffee filters offer several benefits to coffee drinkers, such as reducing cafestol and potentially helping to lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, they are available in various materials and sizes and are generally considered environmentally friendly.

The flavor and aroma of paper-filtered coffee can also be superior to that of other brewing methods. Finally, paper filters are easy to clean and require very little maintenance. For these reasons, paper coffee filters may be the best choice for many coffee drinkers.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.