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The bean bag chair. It’s that classic squishy chair we all know and love from our childhood years. That’s why plenty of people are ecstatic that bean bags have been making a comeback in recent years. There’s something about sinking into that super soft couch filled with millions of beads that make us feel like a child again.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this intriguing piece of furniture. What are those tiny round pellets that give bean bags that cozy quality? How long has it been around? What makes them so comfortable to lounge on? And since they are becoming popular again nowadays, what are the qualities you need to look for in one? And of course, we’ll also give you the rundown of the best bean bag chairs you’ll see on the market today!
It is a large round seat cushioned with billions of beans made of soft material. It is filled with beans about three-quarters of the way so that when you sit on it, the beans have some space to move around in, giving you that iconic comfortable feeling. It was all the rage in the ’70s and is now starting to resurface in many homes.
How To Choose the Best Bean Bag Chair
Nowadays, you’ll hardly ever see a modern house without at least one of these innovative pieces of furniture. Apart from being super comfy, a bean bag chair also adds a quirky twist to any home. These mobile seats are so edgy and unique that even business establishments use them to brighten up their space.
If you’re planning to get one for your home, know that you have to consider a few factors before doing so. Bean bag chairs nowadays come in a plethora of sizes, shapes, and colors, but there is more to it than that. Other qualities go into a good bean bag chair, and you certainly don’t want to miss them.
If you don’t want to end up regretting your bean bag chair purchase, equip yourself with knowledge. Before you head to the nearest furniture store to get your very own bean bag chair, first check out this buyer’s guide. It will help give you more insight into what to look for when buying one. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get the best bang for your buck.
It has to have an inside bag. Imagine what happens when your kid pokes a hole into your favorite chair, or if your dog scratches the fabric to no end. If your bean bag does not come with an inside bag, the next time you sit on it, you’ll notice that it’s not as packed with beans as before. Then, you’ll start to see little white pellets oozing out of your chair.
That’s why it’s essential to get a bean bag with dual bags. An inside bag made of elastic textile will prevent its beads from spilling on the floor in case it rips or tears. This feature will also allow you to remove the external bag from time to time to have it cleaned.
It has to be the right shape and size. Gone are the days when bean bags are exclusively round. They now come in a myriad of shapes, and you have to pick the one that’s ideal for your home. To determine the best bean bag chair for you, you have to identify where you’re going to put it.
For instance, if your house has limited space, a rectangular bean bag will fit nicely into any corner or in between sofas. Individual bean bag chairs even come in the shape of a sofa – switch things up in your living room and grab some of those modern couches!
If you have a spacious room, you have an option to get an oversized bean bag that you and your family could comfortably sprawl on.
If you plan to carry the bean bag around the house, get the kiddie-sized kind. These small bags come in different shapes and have a handle for easy pickup.
Apart from the most popular round bean bag, they also come in pear, L-shaped, sofa, and pouf! All these crazy shapes will add a contemporary feel to your space.
Check the fabric! Because bean bag chairs come in a plethora of cute designs, sometimes people forget to consider its fabric. Don’t be one of those people! Pay attention to what the bean bag is made of, because depending on your living situation, some materials may not be as ideal.
- Bean bags are typically made from soft polyester and nylon. These are perfect for indoor use. They’re waterproof and resistant to mold and fading. And, they’re also easy to clean, so they’re great if you live with kids or pets.
- Other bean bag chairs are made from artificial leather, which is excellent for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s an ideal choice if you have a pet because animal hair won’t stick to it. Plus, it’s easy to wash.
- Another standard fabric in bean bag chairs is vinyl. While it’s very durable, it’s not the right choice if you live in a warm climate because it gets sticky and hot in high temperatures. Also, if you’re from California, these bean bags are a no-no because vinyl is considered as carcinogenic. If you choose a vinyl bean bag, go for one that does not contain lead.
- Cotton bean bag chairs are an excellent alternative to vinyl. But, while they’re incredibly comfy and breathable, they’re also prone to staining. So, if you live with uncontrollable toddlers or clumsy adults, you may want to pass on this.
- If you’re looking for a statement bean bag, get one in leather. It’s fashionable and durable at the same time. If you have money to burn, it might be worth investing in a leather bean bag chair.
- Microsuede is another super soft material that will add comfort when you rest on your bean bag. Its exciting texture will also add a unique style to your room. But, just like cotton, microsuede is highly susceptible to stain, so it’s not the right choice if you have kids around.
Consider where you’re putting it. If you’re going to put it outdoors, get stain-proof bean bag chairs since you’ll likely use them for snacking with guests. You also might want to get multiple bean bag chairs instead of just one – to give your space that complete look. While you’re at it, you can also get a bean bag-table to complete the set.
If you’re going to place it indoors, consider how big or small your space it. Big bean bag chairs may look fabulous, but not so much if you’re going to cram it in a small area.
If you’re buying a bean bag chair as an accent piece, it’s likely not going to be used a lot, so it won’t matter what material it’s made of. For this purpose, you can choose whatever material or design fits best in your space!
If the bean bag is for your kids, pick a material that’s stain-resistant, like polyester or vinyl. The best bean bag chairs come in various designs and patterns – choose one that your kids will love.
If it’s for your gaming room, get one with more filling than usual because you’ll want to sit more upright when gaming. If you usually invite guests to your gaming room, why not buy two chairs? It will add a chill and cozy feel to your hideout.
The Beans. Bean bags don’t all come in the same filling. Bet you didn’t know that! Here are the most common bean bag fillings and their advantages and disadvantages.
- EPS (expanded polystyrene) beads are the most common among all bean bag fillings. It’s a lot like styrofoam, but it’s not. It’s the same material used to make disposable cups and other packing materials. They’re a popular choice in bean bags because they’re rigid, lightweight, and heat and moisture resistant. They’re usually 3-5 millimeters in diameter.
- EPP (expanded polypropylene foam) beads are plastic polymers that have the same function as EPS beads. However, they’re stronger, more durable, and don’t absorb the bad odor. The only problem with them is that they’re not fire-resistant, which is why EPS is still the more popular choice.
- Microbeads are the least popular type of filling because they’re not environmental. We expect these beads to go extinct soon, as some areas in the USA have already banned them. These 1-milliliter beads are usually found in neck pillows, but some bean bag chairs also have them.
- Compressed foam is an up and comer in the bean bag chair industry, and it’s doing pretty well. It’s trendy in pillows and mattresses because it can go back to its original shape despite long periods of compression. They’re also perfect for travel because they’re compressible. But, while memory foam bean bags feel so good, so sit on, they don’t give the same feeling you get from regular ones because of their bigger chunks.
Pro-tip: If you have pets in the house, you might want to fill your bag with wood shavings instead. Don’t worry – they’re very comfy and won’t poke your behind!
Consider the zippers and stitches. Apart from the material, it’s also vital to check the bean bag’s construction. For instance, the stitching in both inside and outside bags have to be tight. You don’t want those beans to ooze out from the bag! And while you can stitch torn fabric, it’s not that attractive to look at.
As for the zippers, look for bean bags with crowded teeth. Also, the zippers should be covered by fabric so they won’t scratch your floor.
If you think that bean bag chairs are just for kids, you’re highly mistaken, my friend. Especially now that bean bags come in a wide array of shapes and designs, there’s at least one bean bag that will suit your home. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting one:
- They’re mobile. Yeah, so are other chairs, but bean bags are exceptionally lightweight. You can take it with you anywhere in the house effortlessly. So whether you want to use while watching TV, or use it to chill in the backyard, go ahead! They’re flexible, too, so you can squeeze them into any small space without difficulty.
- They fit your body perfectly. Bean bags are so comfy because of the millions of minuscule beans inside them. The moment you sit or lie on one, you’ll automatically feel the beads adjust perfectly with the curves of your body. It’s a lot like lying on memory foam in a way because the beans cradle your body as you sink into it.
- They’re great for any age. That a bean bag is only for kids or teenagers is a common misconception. I mean, I’m an adult, and I love bean bags! While there certainly are bean bags specifically for kids, there are thousands of bean bags out there that cater to oldies as well.
- They’re adjustable. While some folks love that feeling of sinking into a bean bag, others don’t. And that’s okay because bean bags are 100% adjustable. It’s just a matter of adding and removing the filling to suit your taste. If you want it firmer, add more filling so that the beads have less room to move. Just take note that over-filling the bean bag might put excess stress on the stitches. So, only do this technique if your bean bag has double stitches.
- They’re meant for long periods of lounging. The primary complaint that bean bags get is how it’s hard to get up once you’ve been swallowed by the chair. Remember that scene from Friends, when young Monica couldn’t get up after accidentally sitting on a bean bag? That may have been a funny scene – but it’s a legitimate concern when it comes to bean bags. But the thing is, they’re meant to be sat on for long periods. The goal is to make you feel relaxed as you read a book, play a game, or watch a movie. So yeah, getting up might be a challenge, but by the time you need to, you’d be so relaxed you wouldn’t care!
- They’re easily revivable. Unlike other furniture that needs lots of cash to fix or replace, it’s relatively easy to refresh a bean bag. Once they start going lumpy or uncomfortable to sit on, all you need is to refill them with beans! And, these beans are incredibly inexpensive so that it won’t cost you much at all.
- They’re versatile. If you think you can only put them in your home, think again. There are so many varieties of bean bags nowadays that there’s no place you can’t put them. For instance, if you feel like lounging in the pool, there is a waterproof bean bag for that. Bean bags will look great in your backyard, too. And, your pets can join the bean bag fun as well, because there is now such a thing as a bean bag dog bed.
If your bean bag is starting to feel flat and less cozy than usual, it’s time to give it a little refill. Don’t worry, a fresh bag of beans is all it takes to restore your beloved chair. Here’s how to do it:
- Get an aptly-sized funnel – one that will allow the filling to flow smoothly.
- Unzip the bean bag slightly – just enough to fit the funnel’s spout.
- Pour the beans carefully, and fill the bag ⅔ of the way.
- Take out the funnel and zip the bag back up.
And voila, you’ve brought your bean bag back to life!
Bean Bag Chairs: A History
Over the centuries, bean bag chairs have become so popular that they’re now considered an excellent alternative to classic living room furniture. Today, even doctors highly recommend the use of bean bags for their ergonomic qualities. They’re also used in clinics as a form of therapy for children with autism. But, have bean bags always been this beloved? In this section, we will delve into how it all began for this versatile and durable chair.
Historians believe that Egyptians invented the first bean bag back in 2000 BC. These bean bags were thought to have been small, round, and made of leather. Dried beans and pebbles served as their fillings. They were used primarily for games and recreations, such as juggling.
Evidence suggests that Native Americans used bean bags as well. Tribes such as the Blackhawks used to stuff pig bladders with dried beans and use these to play an older version of Cornhole or bean bag toss. The old version of Cornhole involves a board with a hole at the center. Players take turns tossing the bean bag towards the hole. Whoever reached 21 points wins the game.
In the 12th century, Ancient China also used bean bags as training tools for tai chi, a martial art that develops your internal power for health and self-defense. Tai chi masters filled small fabric pouches with small rocks, sand, or dry beans; and used them to practice slow and graceful movements. They would toss the bean bag into the air using different parts of their bodies to prevent it from falling on the ground. It is believed to be the inspiration for the footbag, which is more commonly known as Hacky Sack, the trademark brand that carries the product.
The bean bag’s transition from being a sports device into household furniture did not begin until the 1960s. William Roger Dean, an employee of the Royal College of Art, invented the Sea Urchin Chair in 1968. While it wasn’t technically a bean bag because its filling was blocks of foam, not beans, it is still considered a vital predecessor of the bean bag chair we all know and love today.
A year later, Italian designers, Piero Gatti, Franco Teodoro, and Cesare Paolini, released the Sacco. It came out of a desire to create an aesthetically pleasing, unique, and comfy chair. Their invention marked a vital part of the Italian modernism movement, where designers used new materials and technology post-war to create state-of-the-art products. During this revolutionary period, the use of products such as plastics and polystyrene became popular.
The trio intended their chair to be shapeless, but they wanted it to have a distinctive Italian flair, so they made it with leather. The use of the material formed a pear-shaped chair. The chair was a big hit among European hippies, because of its laid back vibe.
The bean bag chair’s popularity spread even more by the 1970s. You wouldn’t see a First World household without one. Manufacturers also started to use materials other than leather, such as polyester and nylon. They also explored other filling materials and discovered that EPS is a lot more durable and resilient than the usual PVC.
During this period, bean bags exclusively came in the shape of spheres. They had vibrant colors and cute designs. Unlike the Sacco, they used cheap and low-quality materials to make the product more affordable.
Its popularity declined in the ’80s and ’90s when reports of infant deaths due to bean bags surfaced. This resulted in the release of manufacturing safety standards in Australia, Europe, and the USA. According to the standards, bean bags must have a safety mechanism to stop children from opening the bag, climbing inside, and suffocating from the filling.
As of today, the best bean bag chairs are perfectly safe to use. As such, it is once again becoming increasingly popular. Unlike in the ’70s, bean bag chairs now come in a slew of different shapes, sizes, and designs. Some of them even look like traditional chairs and couches. Some are built for outdoor use, as well. And, they are now made with sturdy materials, to boot.
The Best Bean Bag Chairs of 2019
Whether you want to reminisce childhood memories or want to add a fun and stylish feel to your space, buying the best bean bag will be able to achieve both.
If you are on the hunt for the best bean bag chair, you have come to the right place. There are so many styles and designs to choose from; it could be quite challenging to pick the right one for you. If you want nothing but the best bean bag for your living room, gaming room, or kid’s room, check out the list of our top choices below.
Fatboy the Original
- Filling: polystyrene beads
- Fabric: cotton
- Dimensions: 70 x 55 x 8 inches
- Comes in various colors
- Price: $219
For almost two decades, Fatboy has continuously delivered quality furniture to its customers. It has earned a great reputation from its high-quality lounge chairs and bean bags that offer style and comfort.
This Fatboy original bean bag chair is made of 100% cotton, hence, and an ultimately comfortable seat. With its mattress-like design, people of all shapes and sizes could rest nicely on it. Its stonewashed surface is water-resistant and dirt-repellant, so you won’t have to worry about stains and spills with this chair. Its cover is removable, so you can machine wash it anytime you want. This makes it an ideal chair for watching TV while munching on popcorn and sipping soda. Considering all these features, it’s not bad for $219.
- Strain-resistant fabric
- Easy to clean
- 6-month warranty
Chill Sack Bean Bag Chair
- Filling: shredded polyurethane foam
- Fabric: microsuede fiber
- Dimensions: 60 x 60 x 34 inches
- Price: $161
This Chill Sack Bean Bag Chair is one of our favorites because of its unique filling. Its foam is a lot fluffier and less dense than regular foams. It is soft to the touch and less lumpy than other bean bags. Aside from being super comfy, it’s also stylish to boot.
Don’t be misled by its shape, too. Just because it looks like a rock doesn’t mean it’s as uncomfortable to sit on as one. The moment you sit on it, you’ll immediately sink into its soft, loving foam. Plus, its hand-selected fabric also adds another layer of softness and comfort that’s perfect for lounging.
The Chill Sack Bean Bag is filled with polyurethane memory foam. With this high-quality filling, you can say goodbye to flat bean bags! Its zipper – only the highest quality. And, it’s cover – soft, microsuede fiber. Its fabric is double stitched, which guarantees strength and durability. With this bean bag, you won’t have to worry about leaks and breakages.
We also love how huge this bean bag is! With a 60 x 60 x 34 inch-dimension, you can cuddle comfortably with loved ones while enjoying your favorite Netflix shows. For only $161, it’s undoubtedly a worthy purchase.
- Memory foam
- Removable and machine-washable cover
Big Joe Aloha Chair
- Filling: 100% Ultimax recyclable beans
- Dimensions: 28 x 28 x 34 inches
- Price: $84.32
First of all – hats off to whoever named this brand and product. It’s so catchy that the name alone will make you want to get one for your home! But, aside from that, there are several excellent reasons why we think you should get this bean bag chair.
Apart from the usual comfort that every bean bag gives, the Big Joe Aloha chair stands out from the rest because it lets you sit upright effortlessly. This chair is for you if you don’t like lying down while watching, snacking, or gaming. This big bag chair has an arm and backrest – so it offers that lovely back support an ordinary sofa has. A bean bag that’s configured like a chair – now that’s interesting.
This bean bag chair is perfect if you’re a college student who wants to relax but needs to sit upright while working on your thesis. It’s ideal for a relaxing night with friends over a few bottles of beer. And, it’s excellent for that Netflix and chill night with your lover. It even has a carrying handle at the back, so you can quickly move it around wherever you want.
Another fantastic thing about this chair is how you can easily refill it if it loses its fluff, not like you’ll need to do it often or at all. All you need is to unzip it and pour more filling. The filling is 100% recyclable, too, so it’s highly-environmental.
This bean bag chair is so good that other customers also agree – it currently has a 4.1-star rating on Amazon.
- Arm and backrest
- Removable double-stitched cover
- Two safety-locking zippers
Tuft and Needle Pouch Bean Bag Chair
- Filling: adaptive foam
- Fabric: quilt
- Dimensions: 48 x 48 x 48 inches
- Comes in three shades of grey
- Price: $395
The Tuft and Needle Pouch Bean Bag Chair made it to our list because of its long-lasting material and stylish design.
A typical bean bag will only last 2-3 years at most. Do you even remember what happened to your old childhood chair? It was most likely dispatched because it’s been torn, lost its fluff, its beans have spilled all over your room, or because it no longer matches your room’s interior. Whatever the reason may be, the point is – these bean bags aren’t made to last.
But, the same can’t be said for the Tuft and Needle Pouch Bean Bag Chair. It has a high-quality quilted cover and a durable inside bag – so you won’t ever need to worry about tearing or bean spillage. And, no matter what your room looks like, it will fit perfectly because of its neutral, albeit stylish design.
The quilt cover is not only durable; it is soft and comfortable as well. And, the chair is big enough to fit a couple. It even has a 3-year warranty! While it’s quite expensive at $395, but for all the features it offers, we say it’s worth the price.
- Stylish, comfortable and durable quilt cover
- Removable and machine-washable fabric
- 3-year warranty
GoMoji Emoji Kids Bean Bag
- Fabric: polyester
- Comes in various designs
- Price: $34
Kids are one of the most avid fans of bean bags, so it is fitting to have a kiddie bean bag on this list. And when it comes to kids’ chairs, the GoMoji Emoji is our top choice. For only $34, you get a comfy chair that is so adorable your kids will surely fall in love with it. And, since it is incredibly affordable, you won’t even mind if your kids play with it roughly.
If you want to add a pop of color and personality to your kid’s bedroom, this one is a perfect choice. It’s just big enough to fit a kid but can support up to 200 pounds of weight. This also means it’s lightweight (less than 5 pounds), so you can bring it outside the room if you wish to. If your little boy or girl is having a playdate in the living room, you can easily carry it for all their friends to enjoy.
Plus, did we already mention how cute the chair is? With its vibrant yellow and charming emoji face, it will surely be a hit to kids of all ages.
- Charming Emoji design
- It’s a kiddie chair but can support up to 200 pounds
Bed Bath and Beyond Microsuede Bean Bag Chair
- Fabric: faux-suede
- Filling: polystyrene beads
- Comes in five colors
- Price: $46.99
If you’re looking for a bean bag chair that’s soft, big, and affordable, then look no further. The Bed Bath and Beyond chair offers ultimate comfort without burning a hole in your pocket. Who says you can’t own a good-quality bean bag chair for only $46.99?
The bean bag comes in a traditional round shape and has various colors to choose from. It has a faux-suede cover and polystyrene beads. It gives you exactly what you’re looking for in a classic bean bag. And because it’s affordable, it won’t be a big problem if your kids want to treat it roughly.
It is also easy to refill if it starts feeling a little flat. You can buy these refill beans separately at a low price.
Lumaland Luxury Bean Bag Chair
- Fabric: microsuede
- Filling: shredded foam
- Many colors to choose from
- Dimensions: 28 x 48 x 28 inches
Out of all the bean bag chairs on this list, we deem the Lumaland Luxury chair the most comfortable. With its odor-free and easy-to-remove microsuede cover and shredded foam filling, you’d be surprised to learn that it costs less than 200 bucks.
The Lumaland comes with a high-quality zipper that allows for easy removal and replacement of the cover. Meaning, the cover will be a breeze to clean. Its filling is made of foam, which means that it’s a tad heavier than EPS bean bag chairs. So if you only have one specific place for your bean bag, the Lumaland is the one for you. But, if you want a chair that you can carry around the house, then you might want to keep looking.
The bean bag chair comes in many color options, as well. Some are more neutral, while others are more vibrant. So we’re sure you’ll be able to find a design that perfectly suits your home’s interior.
We have tested this chair for over four weeks, and it showed zero signs of flattening whatsoever.
- Easy to remove and machine-washable cover
Big Joe Dorm Bean Bag Chair
- Size: Below 3 feet
- Fabric: Nylon-polyester
- Filling: EPS beads
We love Big Joe so much we’re featuring a second bean bag from their line-up! The eco-friendly brand markets this chair for college dormers, but it’s so small (3 feet), we also think it’s perfect for kids.
Like the Aloha, the Dorm Bean Bag Chair also has an arm and backrest, perfect if you prefer a structured seat. It is firm enough for college kids who need a chair for studying, but not too firm that kids won’t find it comfortable. Because of its structure and firm built, we think it is the perfect chair for gaming. It may not be as squishy as regular bean bags, though, so if that’s what you’re looking for – then you might want to opt for another chair.
Because it is so small, the chair is also lightweight. It even has a handle that makes lugging it around effortless. Its nylon-polyester cover is not only durable but stain-resistant and waterproof as well. So if you want to bring it outdoors, go ahead!
Aside from its size, what makes this chair perfect for kids is its double zippers. With this chair, you don’t have to worry about your kids choking from its beans. And while the cover is not removable, you can still clean it by using a water and detergent mixture.
This chair uses Megahh Beads as fillers – Big Joe’s very own eco-friendly brand of polystyrene beads. These beads are fully recyclable. So if your chair starts to lose some of its fluff, you can purchase them separately for less than 20 bucks a pack.
For only $60, this chair is a versatile and durable option for young kids and college students alike.
- The small size makes it great for kids and teens.
- Bottle holder
- Lightweight and mobile
- Waterproof and stain-resistant fabric.
The best bean bag chairs are not only great at adding a quirky and fun vibe to your space, but they also help show your personality. That’s why when you get a bean bag chair for your home, it is also vital that you pick the one that suits your uniqueness as well. With the plethora of choices to choose from, you are bound to find one that you can relate with the most. We hope that you found something in our list that fits your identity, expectations, and budget.