As when buying oil, sacrificing quality for cost on filters is a false economy, especially as there are many counterfeit items on the market. Buy filters from a quality supplier, using well-known brands that are known to equal the original manufacturer quality at least.
Unlike engine oil, there is no specification that you can check, but trusted brands include Bosch, Coopersfiaam, Fram, Mahle, Mann, Purflux and Sogefi, as well as aftermarket specialists such as Blue Print and febi bilstein. Main dealer-supplied oil filters can be surprisingly good value, too. While low-cost alternatives may look the same on the outside, they may boast less filtration medium, which may be made from an inferior and cheaper material, as well as poorly-made canister spin-on type filters omitting anti-drain flaps (the result of which is increased engine wear on start-up) and ineffective, or missing, pressure valves.
Filter manufacturer, Mahle, has concerns about poor-quality oil filters made of cheaper, low-grade materials, such as an inadequate, or poorly-folded, paper filtration mediums. Mahle also discovered metal burrs and shavings within the tested spin-on filter housings, due to ineffective machining and a lack of quality control, as well as an absence of glue to retain the filter body to the metal internals.