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Bodum vs Chemex: Which Pour Over Should You Choose?

Bodum vs Chemex

Are you wondering if you should buy a Bodum or a Chemex pour over coffee maker? At first glance, these brewers look very similar: they’re both glass carafes with leather ties. But your experience brewing with them won’t be the same — and one of these brewers will work a lot better for you than the other.

Which coffee maker should you buy? That’s what we’re here to find out! We put these brewers head to head so you can find your perfect model. Get ready to enjoy your coffee brewing experience!

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All About the Bodum

Bodum Pour Over cork

Bodum is better known for its classic French presses, but it makes a high-quality pour-over brewer as well. This brewer, straightforwardly called Bodum’s Pour Over, is a carafe made of borosilicate tempered glass. It features a choice of a silicone handle or a cork handle held on with a leather strap. And one of its best features is the stainless steel permanent filter, which will save you from having to buy paper filters — if you can handle a little silt in your cup. This brewer also includes a plastic lid to help maintain heat after you remove the filter.

Another of the Bodum Pour Over’s best features? Its price, which is surprisingly low. You can choose among three sizes (17, 34, and 51 ounces), and the brewer is fully dishwasher-safe.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • High-quality tempered glass and handle
  • Eco-friendly stainless steel permanent filter
  • Three sizes available
  • Choice of cork or silicone handle
Cons
  • Some silt in your cup
  • Less elegant design
  • Lacking health benefits of oil-free coffee

All About the Chemex

Chemex coffee maker brewing

The Chemex is an iconic pour over brewer with an elegant design. This brewer is so beautifully designed that it’s on display at the Museum of Modern Art!

Made of borosilicate tempered glass, this coffee maker has a removable wooden handle and a rawhide leather tie. To use it, you’ll need to buy Chemex’s patented paper filters, which are extra thick and absorb all of the natural oils in your coffee beans.

The Chemex isn’t as affordable as the Bodum, but it is available in a range of sizes, including large 8- and 12-cup models. You can brew smooth, complex coffee for a crowd! Plus, it makes a great vase.

Want to know more? Read our full review of the Chemex.

Pros
  • Beautiful, classic design
  • Many sizes available
  • Smooth, clear coffee
  • High-end feel with wood handle
Cons
  • More expensive
  • Doesn’t come with a permanent filter
  • Must buy special paper filters

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Factors to Consider

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of both brewers, it’s time to take your pick! Here are a few major factors to consider:

Price

On this factor, the answer is clear: the Bodum costs about half as much as the Chemex. If your budget is small, that may be your best option.

chemex coffee brewing
Image Credit: Pixabay

Appearance

At first glance, these coffee makers look nearly identical. They’re both glass carafes with handles held on by leather straps. But there are a few differences: the Chemex has a wooden handle, while the Bodum’s handle is cork. The Chemex also has a distinctive glass bubble to mark the halfway point.

Chemex brewed coffee

Coffee Quality

Both of these pour-over brewers will produce complex, tasty coffee — but the mouthfeel will be different. The Chemex uses thick paper filters that catch all of the natural oils and fine coffee grounds. The result is a cup of very clear, smooth coffee. On the other hand, the Bodum uses a permanent metal filter that allows oils and sediment to come through. This results in a richer, somewhat more aromatic cup of coffee with a heavier mouthfeel.

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Bodum vs Chemex: The Bottom Line

Time for the big decision: should you opt for a Bodum pour-over or a Chemex coffee maker? If your budget is particularly tight or you want a compact coffee maker, you may prefer the Bodum. If your priority is an elegant brewer with a high-end feel that makes clear, complex coffee, we’d recommend the Chemex.

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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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