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How to Make Coffee Filters at Home (4 Easy Ways)

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DIY Coffee Filters

If you use reusable coffee filters, then you have probably felt the pain of trying to make your morning coffee and realizing you have no more filters.

You don’t have to begrudgingly face the day without your java. There are several common kitchen items that can replace your coffee filters in a tight pinch.

Paper Towels and Napkins

Paper towels are commonplace in most kitchens. If you find you have run out of coffee filters, then those paper towels will come in handy. 

In a pinch, you can filter your coffee through paper towels by lining the area where your filter would normally go. If your paper towels are thin, make sure to double them up so the coffee grounds don’t break through. 


  • Commonly available
  • Cheap
  • Keeps filter grounds out


  • Can fall apart easily
  • Chemicals can alter the taste

Fine Mesh Sieves

Sieves are not as common as paper towels but will work as a filter in a pinch if you have them. You want to use the finest meshed sieve you have to keep coffee grounds from passing into your coffee cup

Even with a fine sieve, if your coffee is already ground to be a fine consistency , some of the coffee grounds will slip through. They can be a bit difficult to clean, but they can be reused and don’t absorb the oils from the coffee beans giving your coffee a richer taste. 


  • Reusable and environmentally friendly
  • Lets the coffee oils through


  • Fine ground coffee can slip through
  • Hard clean up
  • Not as common

Cloth Napkins or Towels

This works like the paper towels, except you can reuse it multiple times. Just place it in the area your filter would normally go and put your coffee grounds on top. 

Make sure to not use a towel you like because the coffee will stain it permanently. After each use rinse it out with cold water and hang dry it to prevent mildew. 



  • Reusable and environmentally friendly
  • Tough and long-lasting


  • Coffee stains the cloth permanently
  • Can transfer test if washed in detergent
  • Absorbs coffee oils.

Reusable Tea Bags

This is a great way to filter your coffee. If you are an avid tea drinker as well, you will already know how to use it. Just place the coffee grounds inside the tea pouch and steep it in hot water. 

The coffee will be very strong using this method. The big downside is reusable tea bags aren’t very common unless you really like tea. 


  • Makes very strong coffee
  • Keeps coffee grounds out of your cup


  • Uncommon


No need to panic about being out of filters and no need to rush out to grab filters in a hurry. I have personally had to use paper towels, and as long as they aren’t made with a lot of chemicals, it won’t affect the taste too much. 

All of these options work great, but if you never want to worry again about running out, then you should consider getting an actual reusable coffee filter.

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