There are many different types of coffee filters on the market these days, but not all of them are created equal. Some are more environmentally friendly than others, while others are safer for your health. Here I will explore the best non-toxic coffee filters available.
When it comes to coffee filters, there are two main types: disposable and permanent. Disposable filters are usually made of paper, while permanent filters are made of metal or other materials.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of filters. Disposable filters are more convenient, as you can simply toss them out after use. However, they are not as environmentally friendly, as they end up in landfills. Permanent filters are more eco-friendly, as you can reuse them over and over again. However, they’re obviously more difficult to clean.
The kind you choose is completely up to you. I have options for both in this article.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
Are Coffee Filters Toxic?
This is a common question with a simple answer: no, coffee filters are not necessarily toxic. However, some are better for your health than others because they are made from safer, non-toxic materials that haven’t been treated with chemicals.
This is because disposable coffee filters are sometimes bleached, which is not great for anyone’s health. The bleaching process can release harmful chemicals called dioxins into the air and water. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and other health problems.
That being said, it’s important to note that the minute quantity of dioxins and other potentially harmful chemicals that may be in a coffee filter are not likely to cause health problems for you alone, even if you use them on a daily basis.
They can, however, be harmful to the people involved in the manufacturing of the filters, and they’re harmful to the environment too.
Permanent and reusable coffee filters, on the other hand, are usually made of metal, cloth, or a mixture of other materials. Though they’re not bleached, you still need to pay attention to the materials they are made of. Some permanent filters are made from non-toxic materials, while others may contain dangerous chemicals or metals.
Are Unbleached Coffee Filters Better?
The safest paper filters are made of unbleached paper. Bleaching paper filters with chemicals can make them less safe for you.
Disposable coffee filters are usually bleached (which is why they’re white), so if you’re using disposable filters, be sure to choose unbleached ones.
Unbleached coffee filters are better for the environment too. That’s because the bleaching process creates toxic chemicals that end up in our air and water supply.
Permanent and reusable coffee filters, on the other hand, are usually made of metal, cloth, or a mixture of other materials.
Are Disposable Coffee Filters Biodegradable?
Disposable coffee filters are made of paper, so they will eventually break down and be absorbed back into the environment. However, it can take a long time for them to decompose fully.
If you want your coffee filters to break down more quickly, you can purchase compostable coffee filters.
Composting is when you bury organic material in a designated area and allow it to decompose so that it can be used as fertilizer.
Not all coffee filters are compostable, however. Be sure to check the packaging before you buy to make sure the filters are designated as compostable.
The Best Permanent Non-Toxic Coffee Filters
If you’re looking for a permanent, non-toxic coffee filter, I recommend the following:
The CoffeeSock is made of 100% unbleached organic cotton, so it’s safe for both you and the environment. It’s also super easy to clean – just rinse and hang dry, and it will be ready for you the next morning.
CoffeeSock has a ton of different shapes and sizes too, so no matter what kind of coffee maker you have, you’ll likely find a CoffeeSock to fit it.
This filter is made of durable & high-quality stainless steel and food-grade silicone. It’s dishwasher safe and great for those who prefer the taste and quality of pour-over coffee. It’s a great option if you have a Chemex glass carafe.
Other Stainless Steel Coffee Filter Options
Even if you don’t have a Chemex, you can likely still find a stainless steel coffee filter to fit your coffee maker. Just try to find one that’s 100% stainless steel if you can. Some metal coffee filters have plastic components that you should stay away from if you can.
I found this one on Amazon, and it’s a perfect fit for Krups, Cuisinart, and Hamilton Beach coffee makers.
And if you love the convenience of a Keurig machine (or you have one at work), you can purchase reusable stainless steel coffee filters for the Keurig too!
The Best Disposable Non-Toxic Coffee Filters
Brewing with metal coffee filters can be an acquired taste because they allow more sediment and oil to seep into your cup. If that’s not something you’re used to, you may prefer a disposable non-toxic coffee filter until you’re ready for a metal one. In that case, I recommend the following:
These coffee filters are made of unbleached, chlorine-free paper. They’re also compostable and biodegradable, so they won’t stick around in landfills for centuries. And I love how easy they are to find in all different sizes.
We have an assortment of them here in our grocery stores (H-E-B), and you can also purchase them from Thrive Market and Amazon.
~By the way, if you don’t already have a Thrive Market subscription, you should get one. I save SO much money buying our organic groceries from them, and you can get a huge discount on top of their already low prices when you make your first order.~
Beyond Gourmet is another great option for disposable non-toxic coffee filters. Like If You Care, they’re made of chlorine-free paper and are compostable and biodegradable.
You can find Beyond Gourmet non-toxic coffee filters at most grocery stores (we have them here in H-E-B), as well as on Amazon and Thrive Market.
P.S. Thrive Market will price match if you find them cheaper anywhere else!
There you have it – the best non-toxic coffee filters on the market today. No matter what kind of coffee maker you have, there’s a safe and healthy filter option out there for you. So go ahead and enjoy your cup of joe, knowing that you’re not harming yourself or the environment in the process. Cheers!