Bodum vs Chemex (Coffee Vases Go Head To Head)

by Scott Deans | Last Updated: November 19, 2020

As much as I love a firey shot of espresso to get the blood pumping each morning there are other brewing methods that also excite me. Pour-over coffee has got to be one of the most under-rated and delicious brewing methods that you can easily make at home even if you are nowhere near the barista level.

I’ve been slowly working my way through all the different pour-over options available and have come to the conclusion that two stand out in the crowd.

These two options are the bestsellers: Chemex and Bodum. Their pour-over coffee makers are both a welcome addition to a coffee lover’s home but if you’re trying to choose one over the other then we need to take it back to basics.

These two coffee-producing vessels are about to go head to head in a once and for all, coffee standoff, and only one will come out on top.

I’m going to compare all their similarities and differences and by the end, we will know who makes the best coffee.

There’s no hiding now, only one can win so let’s get started!

bodum vs chemex

Design

Let’s be honest here, when it comes to coffee making equipment, aesthetic just has to be up there in the most important factors to consider. Of course, there is an element of personal preference that dictates what looks best to you.

The Chemex is sleek, sophisticated, and the smooth wooden handle is not only nice to look at. It’s a lovely texture to hold onto and the high-quality piece looks at home in any coffee station. You can also get a handle-free option for the minimalist look.

The Chemex is permanently on display at the museum of modern art in NYC so it’s not just me, the design of this piece really stands out.

The Bodum is not ugly. It just can’t really compete with The Chemex. It’s short, squat, and neither the cork nor silicone handle options can compete with the wooden Chemex design.

Where the Bodum wins out is due to the fact that there are multiple color options for the silicone sleeve. This is better suited to a more modern kitchen or student halls where you’re looking to add a splash of individuality to your coffee making equipment.

Size

When it comes to sizing, Bodum and Chemex list their options in cups or ounces. Straight away, Chemex has a wider range of size options but Bodum does have three options to suit different needs.

Chemex has developed 3 cup, 5 cup, 6 cup, 8 cup, 10 cup and 13 cup size options.

Bodum has 17 ounce (4 cup), 34 ounce (8 cup), and 51 ounce (12 cup) options.

The only size that traverses both coffee makers is the 8 cup option so this is often used for comparison’s sake.

Glass

The glass is the main element in both these coffee makers as this is what contains the delicious brewed drip coffee.

As it turns out, both the Bodum and the Chemex are made from borosilicate glass. This is glass that will not expand and crack under thermal pressure so it can handle the hot water. It’s noted to be lead and BPA free so very safe to use when brewing a perfect cup of coffee.

The Chemex is a little thinner than the Bodum but not significantly so. They do also offer one that is handblown which gives a crystal clear coffee brewing experience.

Filter

Now let’s compare the filters needed for a Bodum vs Chemex. The coffee filter is important as it doesn’t simply hold the ground coffee. It can actually help hold back the bitter-tasting and unpleasant oily components whilst allowing through the rich and delicious caffeine goodness to produce the best coffee every time.

The Bodum uses a permanent filter that fits into the wider neck design of this pour-over. It’s a stainless steel mesh filter and this is a really eco-friendly option. It cuts down on waste and saves you money on buying new paper filters. The issue is that it also cuts down on brew time.

The water passes through the metal filter and the wider neck of the funnel into the glass carafe much quicker. This results in less contact time between the hot water and ground coffee beans and gives a weaker cup of coffee with more sediment.

The Chemex uses a specially designed Chemex paper filter which is thicker than the standard paper filters. This acts to slow the brewing process and removes more sediment and coffee oils resulting in a great cup of coffee in both taste and texture.

Design Options

The Bodum comes in 3 size options and cork or silicone handle. You can pay extra to get a model with a double glass wall to insulate and keep your coffee warm. There are also loads of color options for the silicone handle. The reusable filter is included when you buy the coffee brewer so you’re all set to brew straight away!

The Chemex has loads of design options. There’s the glass handle, handblown and classic series. All these come in various size options but you do need to purchase filter papers as well.

BODUM POUR OVER COFFEE MAKER WITH PERMANENT FILTER

Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter
  • Stainless steel reusable filter included
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Choose between sizes of 12 Ounces, 17 Ounces, 34 Ounces, or 51 Ounces
  • Accepts paper filters

PRICE & REVIEWS

CHEMEX POUR-OVER GLASS COFFEEMAKER

CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker
  • Heatproof glass
  • Gorgeous design
  • Choose between a wide range of sizes
  • Uses unique Chemex filters

PRICE & REVIEWS

Coffee

The resultant best pour really comes down to how you like your coffee. The Chemex pour-over glass coffeemaker is rich, sweet, and smooth. It’s the most popular pour-over coffee by far and will leave coffee lovers weak at the knees.

The Bodum pour-over coffee maker produces a weaker, potentially more bitter cup of coffee. The resultant texture is more similar to a French Press and it takes a bit of fiddling to get the grind size correct on your coffee grinder so you don’t end up with too much sediment.

The Final Verdict?

The Chemex wins out in design and coffee taste for me. It’s a sleek and elegant piece and when I bring it out to brew coffee it really makes me feel like someone what has got their act together.

The Bodum is a bright and cheerful little number and is a cheaper option overall. The coffee brew is just not as nice for me and so this one takes second place.

Other Pour-Over Coffee Makers

It’s not just Bodum and Chemex out there! There are lots of other pour-over coffee makers available in all shapes, materials, and sizes. Here are a few examples that may interest you.

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Best Chemex Alternatives

Best Coffee Makers For Coffee Snobs

Best Stovetop Gooseneck Kettles

Best Automatic Pour Over Coffee Makers

Can you guess what keeps me up at night? You guessed it! Copious amounts of coffee beans. What? I brew them first.