Chemex vs Bodum: Pour Over Wars

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So I recently got my first pour over coffee maker! It is the 8 cup Bodum pour over coffee maker. It works awesome, and have really enjoyed making my coffee with the pour over method. However this gets me thinking, how does the similarly styled Chemex pour over compared to the less expensive Bodum version?

Bodum vs chemex shown on opposite sides
[Chemex image courtesy of Chemex]

Before we get too far into which one is better, we should definitely discuss why a pour over coffee maker instead of an automatic coffee maker.

I have personally found that I have enjoyed coffee considerably more and more as I have learned the process of making coffee.

It gets even better when you can make it yourself via a manual coffee maker like a pour over.

You should definitely read through this article on Roasty Coffee that goes more in depth on this topic.

Chemex vs Bodum

I will be comparing below the Chemex Eight Cup Classic, and the Bodum 8 Cup pour over coffee maker.

Capacity8 cups (40 ounce)8 cups (34 ounce)
Filter StyleChemex filterReusable metal filter
Coffee Maker StylePour OverPour Over
Color Options8 options1 option
Handle MaterialWoodCork
Glass TypeBorosilicate glass Borosilicate glass 
Height9 inches8.54 inches
Diameter5.25 inches6.3 inches
LinkBuy NowBuy Now

The Main Obvious Differences

Price difference

When shopping between these two coffee makers, it is hard to ignore the fact that the Chemex is over double the price of the Bodum, and the Bodum can be bought even cheaper if you do a little bit of shopping around.

At $21.99 it becomes a quick and easy purchase, however at the $45.50 price point for the Chemex it becomes a little bit more of a thought out process. Maybe that is what Chemex wants eh?

The clear winner in this category is the Bodum, as it is half the price for a rather similar product.

Taste of coffee

My Bodum pour over coffee makes a great cup of coffee (especially when used with my Carter Everywhere Mug).

It tastes similar to the coffee my Ninja Coffee Bar makes, but I honestly think that as I get better at making it, and upgrade to a better kettle it will out do my coffee bar rather quickly.

Based off of what I have read, the Chemex tends to make a stronger brew than the Bodum, which makes sense because of the filter type (which I’ll get to in a moment). So if you want a really strong brew, then maybe the Chemex will be worth the price for you.

The winner of this category for me is honestly a tie, I think you will need to decide for yourself if you want a stronger brew or not. The Bodum does just great for me, and I think as I learn it will get better and better.

Filter style

After spending some time making coffee with my new Bodum pour over coffee maker, I have learned what I think is a big difference between the two coffee makers, more so than the shape of them.

The Bodum comes with a reusable filter, which in my opinion is perfect for what I need.

I would personally prefer to dump out, and wash out a reusable filter, rather than use a new filter every time. On the practical side, this is awesome, and is a big upside to this coffee maker.

As for the Chemex, it has to use a Chemex branded filter that is specific to the coffee maker. While this quickly becomes convenient, I think it also keeps the water in the filter a bit longer, and this is exactly why you would have a stronger brew that everyone is talking about.

I have to place the Bodum as the winner of this category. I think being able to re-use the filter is a great upside that is difficult to get past.

Quality of Materials

This category is where I think the Chemex really shines. It has a wooden handle that is pulled together by some rawhide string. It really looks awesome, and exudes quality.

You can also adjust the drawstring upon order to 8 colors: Original Leather, Kelly Green, Saffron Yellow, Gum Ball Orange, Crimson Red, Royal Blue, Concrete Gray, and Jet Black.

The Bodum on the other hand comes in one color and look. The cork handle also looks great, but just doesn’t compare to having that wooden handle that the Chemex has. While having the reusable filter is awesome, it also breaks up the look of the coffee maker.

This category has a really clear winner, being the Chemex. If you want the best in style, the Chemex is what you need.


This one was a bit of a strange one, both coffee makers are considered an 8 cup coffee maker, however the Chemex is a 40 ounce, while the Bodum is a 32 ounce. I’m honestly not sure which is correct, however there is definitely a difference there.

I personally make a half pot of coffee in my Bodum, and it fills my mug perfectly. I am not sure I would want the larger size.

This doesn’t really have a clear winner for me, because each manufacturer makes smaller and larger versions of this coffee maker… so if you don’t want a big one, just go with a smaller unit and you will be just fine.

Time to make coffee

Both coffee makers take about 15 minutes to make your pot of coffee. That is about 3 times the amount of time it takes to use an automatic drip coffee maker, so don’t think this is going to be similar.

From what I have read, it looks like the Chemex will take a bit longer than the Bodum, as the filter does hang onto the coffee a bit longer.

Remember, this is a specialty coffee maker, and you are aiming for enjoying the process, not to get a quick cup.

Similarities of the two

Now that we have the differences out of the way, lets dig into what the similarities are. They have a lot in common, which is why it makes them direct competitors, and probably why you are reading this article in the first place. They are both a lot of fun, and make great coffee, so let’s dig in.

Pour over method

With only a few small differences in the method, it for the most part is exactly the same. You can learn more about the step by step process if you read my article here about that.

In the end, you boil water and pour that over top of the coffee grounds in the top, then it drips down into the bottom portion of the coffee maker.

You can find a video below with how to use the Bodum specifically! You can of course read this very well done article over at Blue Bottle Coffee as well.

Style of the coffee maker

For the most part, both coffee makers look a lot alike, and more than likely your friends won’t even know the difference. Of course that will obviously frustrate you because you spent hours trying to figure out which one you want, and spend more hours trying to perfect the method.

Glass Material

While you may not think about it too much, the material of your coffee maker is really important. You want to make sure the flavor stays right. Thankfully both are made of Borosilicate glass so that you don’t have to worry about this issue.

Recommended Accessories

Alright, so you have decided you want a pour over coffee maker. Now you can’t just get one of these and be perfectly fine, so I wanted to make sure you are considering the accessories you need to make this work well.

  1. A great mug: I personally am using a Carter Everywhere Mug, however I also really enjoy my Yeti Mug.
  2. A Kettle: Now you can spend quite a bit of money and get something perfect for the job and get Chemex’s Chettle. However it isn’t totally necessary, as you can technically use that normal kettle you probably already have in your kitchen.
  3. Bottle Brush: Thankfully I already had one of these in my kitchen, but you want to make sure you have a bottle brush to clean out your coffee maker after every use. You can’t really fit your hand in to clean it with a sponge.

Conclusion: Final Verdict

I hate to say it, because I don’t really like to give a tie to anything, however this really is up to you as to which you need.

I will say, if you want high quality, design, and stronger coffee, the Chemex is clearly the one you should buy. Just be aware you will have to be shopping for that coffee filter regularly, and it is considerably more expensive.

If you are new to specialty coffee makers, or are on a budget, the Bodum is going to make a great cup of coffee as well and be the perfect pick for you. It also has the big benefit of the reusable filter, which means you don’t have to shop for coffee filters anymore!

I personally feel like more people will opt for the Bodum, as the pros outweigh the cons for what it is. It makes great coffee, is a great attainable price, and still offers a great design.

Now that you have obviously decided which one you want, and you are on your next step to learning about great coffee, it would definitely be worth learning about other types of coffee makers.

Visit my article here to learn about the Aeropress to help you get coffee on the go. Alternatively, this comparison of the Aeropress and Pour over coffee makers.

If you have a huge budget and don’t want to deal with pouring your own water, Ratio Coffee makes their Eight version that makes Barista style pour over coffee, but does it automatically.

Keep Reading: If you liked this article, you may also like to see how the Chemex compares to a bit of a different coffee maker, the Aeropress.