Bean bag chairs are a fun and inexpensive seating solution for many types of room. They are simple, comfortable, available in a range of different styles and are easy to move around.
Here we offer some top tips to help you select the best kind of bean bag chair to meet your needs.
Which type of bean bag chair is best?
There are a variety of shapes that you can choose when looking for a bean bag seat. Some of the more commonly available ones are:
This is the standard design of bean bag and the most widely available. When set out, these bean bags are shaped kind of like a ball. They mold to the size and shape of the person sitting in them.
This style can be used in any kind of room. However, they might not be your best option for the living room if you are looking to use them in place of your main living room furniture. Not only are they the most casual-looking type of bean bags, but they also don’t fill the space in quite the same way as regular chairs and sofas do.
Square bean bag chairs are more similar in design to a regular living room chair complete with arm and backrests.
The benefit of these types of chairs is that they provide more support, and so might be a better option for adults. This more traditional looking seating solution can look better in place of living room furniture than round ones.
These types of bean bag chairs are structured like office chairs. Their ergonomic design means that they offer great support for the back, neck, and arms.
Some contemporary ones even come equipped with speakers for a more immersive gaming experience.
In addition to being suitable for use in a space dedicated to gaming, this type of chair can also be placed in a study, workspace, or even in an office environment.
Long bean bag chairs are simply ones that are rectangular in shape. The dimensions vary depending on what is required of them.
These types of chairs are great for use in two ways:
- To fully recline.
- To provide seating for more than one person.
If you wish to use your bean bag for the latter, you might consider opting for one with a backrest, and possible even armrests. These sofa-looking beanbags are an excellent alternative to a couch in, particularly, smaller spaces.
Selected perhaps more for their aesthetic properties than their functionality, novelty bean bag chairs are available in a range of different shapes.
These are generally more suited to a child’s bedroom and can be blended into a specific theme depending on the child’s interests - for instance, a racing car, dinosaur, or donut.
However, they could also be used to bring a little fun into the décor of a living room or family space.
What size bean bag chair do I need?
As well as the shape, you will also want to consider the size of the bean bag chair. If you are purchasing a bean chair for one, the size you opt for will depend, of course, on the size of the person using it.
- For kids up around 4’2”, the seat will only need a circumference of 110 to 120 inches.
- For teens or adults below 5’2”, you should select one with a range of 130 to 140.
- For adults up to 6’0”, a circumference of 150 to 160 will be most comfortable.
- Oversized bean bags are available for anyone over this height, or multiple users.
What are the best types of bean bag chair filling?
You may have thought that all bean bags were filled with the same type of beads, but that is not the case. In fact, there are multiple options available to you. Each of them has its pros and cons, which should be considered when making your selection.
Expanded polystyrene beads are probably the most common option that you are likely to come across. This man-made material is an affordable choice for most types of chairs.
EPS is both lightweight and able to easily retain its form – which is essential for the structure of the beanbag. It is also resistant to moisture and heat.
However, these types of beads are not biodegradable. Yet they can be both recycled and repurposed. For example, they can be used as soil filler in potted plants.
Expanded polypropylene foam has several advantages over EPS. These strong, durable beads can withstand crushing better, returning quickly to their original form. This means that you won’t have to replace the filling as often.
However, the downside of this tough material is that it is also quite heavy, meaning that it will be harder to move the chairs about as much as you would like. They are also firmer, which means that the chair is likely to be less comfortable.
Furthermore, EPP is not fire resistant and so could pose a fire risk if exposed to open flames.
More commonly known as ‘memory foam,’ this type of filler is relatively new in the world of bean bag chairs, although it is quickly gaining in popularity.
This manufactured polyurethane provides a comfortable experience as it responds to warmth, quickly molding to accommodate the shape of the body. The firmness of the material offers excellent support for your back and neck.
While this is a great option for some, others may prefer beads that let you move around and snuggle down into the bean bag chair. It is also more suitable for individual use as after a while, the foam may stop reverting to its original shape.
Beans, Rice, and Other Natural Fillers
Although the use of natural materials fell by the wayside with the creation of specially adapted man-made beads, they are making quite a big come back – especially for more eco-conscious individuals.
A particularly popular option for natural fillers is buckwheat hulls. While the firmness of these may make them seem like an unlikely choice, placed inside a thick lining, they can actually be quite comfortable.
The issue with this kind of filling, however, is that it can make the bean bag chairs quite heavy, meaning that they would be better left in one place.
What is the best material for a bean bag chair?
The fabric of your beanbag will depend on how you are planning to use it and where. Again, there is an assortment of options out there with different strengths and weaknesses, including:
Vinyl is quite often used for bean bags chairs. In fact, it seems to be the go-to option and for good reason. The material is cheap, versatile, and easy to maintain. In addition, the range of colors available means that they can fit in with pretty much every kind of décor, plus children will love them.
The issue with this material comes if you live in a warmer climate; they can get quite hot, sticky, and uncomfortable.
Being comfortable, breathable, and affordable, cotton can seem like a perfect choice for a bean bag chair. Be careful though, it is not stain resistant, absorbs liquids quickly, and takes a long time to dry.
This all means that it probably isn’t a great seating solution for children’s bedrooms or anywhere where it might fall foul of dropped food or spilled drinks.
Corduroy is a sturdy fabric that can be pulled around in all directions without tearing. As well as this, it is super soft and comfy. This can make it a suitable choice for use in a place where it will get used very often, such as a family room or study.
Just take care as some types of corduroy are dry clean only.
Leather is a very durable and stylish option that would look good pretty much anywhere. It is also easy to clean and maintain and comes in a range of bright and attractive colors.
However, it is a more expensive choice, so you probably wouldn’t want to opt for these materials if you are on a budget or if you are selecting bean bag chairs as a cheaper alternative to regular ones.
Nylon is probably the very best kind of material to choose if you want to be able to use your bean bag chair outside. The reason for this is that the material is both mold-resistant and water repellent.
In addition to this, these kinds of bean bag chairs are incredibly comfortable and make a great option for a child or teen’s bedroom furniture.
The appealing texture of microsuede makes it a desirable choice for that ultimate cozy feel. This type of material would work great in an adult’s bedroom or in a study or another place where you might want to settle down with a good book.
Be cautious, though, this type of fabric is very hard to clean. So you are going to want to be careful about bringing foods and drinks near it, and you definitely aren’t going to want to take it outside.