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AeroPress Paper vs Metal Filters: Should You Switch?

Set up AeroPress

When you buy an AeroPress coffee maker, you get 350 of the company’s specially designed paper filters. But after a year of delicious coffee, you might start wondering: should I get a permanent metal filter instead of buying more paper?

Here’s what you need to know about paper vs metal AeroPress filters. There are major benefits but also serious detractions to making the switch. Keep reading to see what will work best for you!

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AeroPress Metal Filters: At a Glance

  • Inexpensive & long-lasting
  • Eco-friendly
  • Don’t have to buy regularly
  • More full-bodied, rich coffee
  • Will alter the flavor
  • Allow sediment into your coffee
  • Don’t remove potentially unhealthy oils

Does AeroPress sell metal filters?

The AeroPress company doesn’t design or sell any metal filters. According to their website, this is because paper-filtered coffee consistently wins in taste tests. Paper filters also remove oils and other compounds that can raise your cholesterol levels.

For that reason, if you want a metal filter for your AeroPress, you’ll have to get it from a separate company. Keep in mind that using another company’s filter can void your AeroPress warranty.

Rinse the AeroPress filter
Rinsing the AeroPress paper filter

How do AeroPress paper filters work?

The AeroPress brewer is designed to work with paper filters. For regular brewing, you place a single filter in the filter cap and attach it to the main brewing body. Then you add the ground coffee on top of the filter. The paper filter is important because it holds the water back, allowing your coffee to steep before you press the plunger.

Do paper vs metal AeroPress filters work differently?

Metal filters made by companies like Able and JavaPresse also fit into the filter cap, in the same place you’d put the paper filter. They are round metal disks that you can rinse and reuse over and over.

Able disk Aeropress filter
The Able Disk permanent AeroPress filter

The Able filters are small, flat sheets of stainless steel dotted with tiny holes. Able makes two versions of AeroPress metal filters: original and fine. The finer version is designed to combat sediment, one of the biggest problems with metal filters. They do this by making the holes much finer — about 6 microns instead of 8. This limits the amount of sediment you’ll find in your cup, but it doesn’t eliminate it.

The JavaPresse version, on the other hand, is a sheet of stainless steel mesh surrounded by a solid ring. It leaves less sediment in your cup than the Able filter, but still more than the original paper filters.

Both of these metal filters are easy to use — just put them into the filter cap and brew as usual — and fairly simple to clean. Take a look at our guide to cleaning reusable coffee filters!

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Paper vs Metal AeroPress Filters: The Bottom Line

So should you switch to AeroPress metal filters? If you’re a big fan of full-bodied French press coffee and hate buying paper filters, you may want to try a permanent metal filter for your AeroPress. It will alter the flavor of your coffee a little, and you’ll have to contend with sediment in your cup. But you won’t have to worry about restocking, storing, and disposing of a pile of paper filters.

On the other hand, if you like your AeroPress coffee the way it is, we recommend sticking with the paper filters. They are inexpensive and fully compostable, and you’ll get a clean, flavorful cup of coffee. Plus, you can avoid those cholesterol-raising oils! These are the main differences between paper vs metal AeroPress filters — and the good news is that you’ll get a tasty cup of coffee no matter which you choose.



Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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