The Chemex brewing system is a simple, elegant way to make coffee at home. So simple, in fact, that all you need to use is your Chemex brewer and good quality beans.

However, the secret to great coffee is often found in the tools you use to brew it, so you can make an argument that using the best filter possible will significantly increase your chances of brewing a delicious cup of coffee.

In this article, I’ll go over the differences between the circle and square Chemex filters. You’ll learn about them, and finally, I’ll talk about my findings as to which of the two is the better buy.

Circle vs. square Chemex filters

Two types of filters can be used with the Chemex. The first is the circular-cut filter, which works just fine, and the second is the square-cut filter, but not all Chemex brewers are compatible with this filter.

The Chemex filters I’m using are compatible with almost all brewers, except the 3-cup version. The 3-cup Chemex requires a smaller filter, so it fits the brewer better.

It’s essential to buy the right filter, so you get the best extraction possible, resulting in better-tasting coffee.

But what are the differences between a circle and a square Chemex filter? Let’s find out:

Let’s talk about the circle Chemex filter

Chemex is without a doubt one of the most popular methods of brewing coffee. This simple glass carafe allows for complete control over the entire brewing process, from the bean to the cup.

I love the Chemex, and it’s one of my favorite coffee brewers. The first cup of coffee I brewed with the Chemex was with a circle filter, and it looks like this:

And I’ve had many cups of coffee since then. But recently, I’ve purchased a new box of filters, which were the square kind.

Have a look below for the reasons why I love the circle filters over the square kind:

  • The circle filter sits better in the Chemex, which makes it easier to pour water into it.
  • Most of the time, you can buy this version for cheaper.
  • Personally, I like the look of this filter, as it appears much cleaner.

Now that you know about my thoughts on this coffee filter, let me introduce you to the square Chemex filter:

Why a square Chemex filter might be better

The square Chemex filter is not much different than the circle filter and looks like this:

However, there are some reasons why you might pick one of the other. Here are my thoughts on the square filter:

  • I like this version better because of the pointy edges. It makes it easier to pick up the filter after brewing without getting your hands dirty with coffee.
  • It is iconic when using the square version, as you see these in most coffee bars.

However, I also have some cons that I would like to talk about.

Because of the edges sticking out on two sides, I found that pre-rinsing the coffee filters were a bit harder, as my kettle kept knocking against the filter, making it harder to get the filter to stick to the sides perfectly.

When pre-rinsing the filter, I also found it harder to throw out the water that had run through.

Tip: Find out why it’s important to pre-rinse your coffee filters in this article.

I always leave the coffee filter in the brewer and just pour out the water through the pouring spout.

When pouring out the water with the square filter, the water has a bit more trouble running through because of the filter piece that sticks out.

And because one of the point edges of the filter is on the triple folded side, it’s hard not to have this problem, or you risk your Chemex vacuuming.

Is there a difference in taste?

So, the last and certainly the most important question to ask is if there’s a difference in taste between the circle and square Chemex filters.

The answer to this is no. There is no difference between these two very different-looking coffee filters.

Because the coffee filters are made in the same way but are simply cut differently, you won’t notice a difference in taste.

This is great because now you know that it doesn’t matter which Chemex filter to buy. Let’s talk a bit more about why you might want to buy one over the other:

Why should you buy one over the other?

Now that you know that these Chemex filters are made the same way, and your coffee will taste the same, you might wonder which to buy and why.

Have a look below at my thoughts on which Chemex filter is the better buy:

  • If you love the aesthetics of the pointy filter and want to ensure you keep clean hands after brewing coffee, the square Chemex filters are right for you.
  • If you don’t mind about these reasons, the circle filter will be the best fit for you, because most of the time, it’s the cheaper buy.

Now that you know about my reasons you might want to buy one over the other.

I personally believe that buying the cheapest Chemex filters is the way to go. Because there is hardly a difference between them, it all comes down to the price and if you prefer the look of one over the other.

Tip: Find out if you can reuse your coffee filters in this article. Over there, I’ll go over three coffee filters and put them to the test.


The Chemex is a beautiful and functional coffee maker that you can use to make your favorite cup of joe.

I’ve talked about the differences between a circle and a square-cut Chemex filter.

The decision will ultimately come down to personal preference, but if you’re looking for some guidance on which one is better suited for your needs, consider these points.

I hope to have given you enough information to decide between these two Chemex filters.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article here to learn more about brewing coffee with a Chemex!

And once you’ve decided which Chemex filter fits you, check out this article to see the best coffee beans for Chemex.

Do you have a favorite Chemex filter? Let me know by leaving a comment down below.

If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

Learn more about coffee

Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.


  1. Joshua Rosenthal Reply

    If one REALLY prefers the Circle over Square and the Square is cheaper, one can always cut the square into the circle shape.

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