Bean bags are quite popular in kids rooms or adult living rooms, since they are a fun choice to relax in.
However, bean bag chairs often lose their shape, following which the beans need to be refilled. And to use the best bean bag refill, we will recommend only eco-friendly options. While styrofoam and polystyrene are top choices, they add to the ever-growing waste, which is best avoided.
But if you choose wool, wood shavings, natural beans, latex, rice, and other materials, you can avoid artificial materials altogether without compromising on comfort.
If you’re wondering how to make a bean bag with old recycled materials, let us tell you it is pretty easy. Just fill it up with the materials we have mentioned in this next section and sew the bag.
Another question that consumers ask is, “for XXL bean bag, how much filling is required?” You will need around 4 liters for the job and to know more about bean bag fillers, keep reading our guide.
Types Of Organic Bean Bag Fillers
1. Natural Latex
If you are looking for an eco-friendly beanbag filling, natural latex can be a great option, suitable for bean bags, mattresses, and other types of furniture. It is made from rubber tree sap, which is extracted, whipped, and molded into the required shape.
Moreover, natural latex is lightweight and can hold its shape, making it perfect as a bean bag filling. You can also find recycled latex or leftover latex being used in beanbag chairs, which is even more eco-friendly.
There are many brands that sell these products, and you will easily find them online. Just remember to opt for GOLS-certified organic materials since they are of the best quality.
2. Bio-Foam Beads
Made from natural biopolymer that is extracted from plants, bio-foam organic bean bag fillers are another excellent alternative. The material looks like styrofoam or polystyrene beads, but they are a lot safer for the environment. Also, these beads are lightweight and can retain their shape for a long time.
They are CO2 neutral, non-toxic, vegan, and entirely plastic-free, making them a hygienic option for babies, kids, and pets. And while they might not be the least expensive option, they are a worthwhile investment, thanks to their durability.
You can find recycled, sustainable bio-foam beads being used by brands to make bean bags chairs of different types. If you are looking to make DIY bags, purchase 60 liters of bio-foam beads and use them to fill any old bag that you have.
Wool can be used as a natural filler, but it may not last for a long time. You can use this material for a flat bean bag chair or a floor pillow, while it is also sustainable and will not cause harm to the environment. It is even better if you can find recycled wool for refilling bean bags.
4. Organic Cotton
The most environment-friendly option for a bean bag chair is recycled cotton because it is so much better than styrofoam beads, and it can always be recycled. Also, it is soft and perfect for a pet bed, but a cotton bean bag can lose its shape over time. You may need to replace the old filling with more organic cotton, in such a scenario.
5. Rice And Beans
If you own a bean bag chair, the chances are that it is filled with styrofoam beads or polystyrene beads. These are not natural materials, and you will often need to replace them, so you can purchase rice or other organic materials to fill the bag.
Even coffee beans can be a good option if you find a substantial amount; just make sure they are clean and dry before using. Beans and rice are natural materials, and they are best used untreated.
The only issue is they are not as lightweight as the other options, and you may not want to fill them in bean bags that you move around frequently.
6. Buckwheat Hulls
Buckwheat hulls are commonly used for making meditation cushions and pillows for resting. They are a non-toxic, earth-friendly option that can be easily found online. And even though the material may not be lightweight like latex or bio-foam, it is completely organic and safe.
7. Cedar Shaving And Saw Dust
If you are looking for a different kind of product, cedar shavings, sawdust, or wood chips can be a good choice. They are resistant to decay, and the filling can last for ten years or more; that’s why a lot of people use these materials to reduce waste. In fact, you can try shifting to a zero-waste lifestyle by refilling bean bags with them.
8. DIY Filler
Do you own a bean bag chair and do not want to purchase costly materials for fillers? Then you can recycle materials from old things that can be found in the house itself to make your own bean bag filler.
Not all of these materials will be organic, but since you are recycling them, it makes them a perfect choice. You can take the wool out of old toys and furniture to add it to the bean bag, while packing items can be used, although they might be slightly flat.
Some creative minds even use recycled plastics, worn out clothes, fillings from old chairs, and old shopping bags to fill the bean bag. On that note, check for toxic foam and discard harmful materials, as you would not want your kids or pets to fall sick.
Cork is known to be slightly bouncy and can be one of the best natural fillers. It is also firm enough to hold your weight and retains its shape, which makes it the ideal option for kid and adult chairs.
10. Organic Kapok Fiber
Kapok fiber is extracted from kapok tree seeds and is similar to cotton or wool since it provides good cushioning. It can be used as an organic bean bag filler and consumers can find this material online, perfect for stuffing an old chair and restoring its quality.
Top Brands For Bean Bag Fillers
If you are looking for a CertiPUR-US certified product that makes bean bags for kids and adults, the Ultimate Green Store has some great options. The company uses low-VOC foam without any TCEP, PBDEs, or TDCPP.
While you may be reluctant about purchasing artificial bean products, let us tell you that these bean bags have recycled polystyrene beads and shred foam. Also, they have Eco Super Fill options wherein natural latex has been used to fill the bean bags.
Bean Products is dedicated to creating a healthy home and manufacture organic bean bags, dog beds, and other furniture. The organisation is located in Chicago and has been around for more than 30 years, known for making quality handmade products.
It uses organic cotton hemp, organic latex, non-toxic recycled beans, and shredded foam padding. You can purchase an entire bean bag or just the cover or the filling as required.
3. Pottery Barn
Bean bag chairs from Pottery Barn are GREENGUARD Gold certified, and that means they are free from toxic and artificial substances. You can choose from several bean bag options in various shapes, sizes, and materials. There are solid colors, cute animals, and faux fur choices, and some of them have a certified Fair Trade tag as well.
That being said, you should know that these bean bags are not made of organic or natural materials per se. But they are definitely eco-friendly and made from recycled polystyrene or polyester. You can safely use them at home for your furry friends and kids.
If you are looking for a large classic beanbag, CloudMakers has some excellent options. They use the perfect blend of cotton and eco-friendly linen, with the products available in various patterns, like cats, horses, and bees.
However, you should know that the bags do not come with a filing, and you will have to buy filling materials separately.
5. Looping Home
For chunky knit lovers, these bean bag chairs are an amazing choice, while the brand even manufactures pouf ottomans and loungers. All the items are handmade from recycled cotton, and you can find a number of neutral colored options.
Also, there are bean bags that are made with polystyrene, so you can only purchase the cover and later fill it with eco-friendly material.
But if you want to opt for other brands, you will find good options from Brentwood Home. They make their foam with 20% plant-based materials, like castor beans and soy corn. And though the products have some amount of synthetic foam, they are non-toxic in nature.
Tips To Purchase
When looking for a good bean bag filler, we will recommend that you buy organic beans from a brand that makes sustainable products. Natural latex and bio-foam are very good choices since they are lightweight and last for a long time.
Also, do not opt for the cheapest option just to save money, as the cheapest bags usually use artificial foam, which can be toxic for kids. We would suggest buying eco-friendly fillers to do your bit for the environment while keeping your family safe.
Eco-Friendly Bean Bag Filler Final Words
Remember that some bags might be bouncy while others may be flatter, but both have their advantages.
If you fill a lot of beans into a bag, the bean bag will provide more support, but that can make it heavier. Sometimes heavy bean bag chairs are a better option if you do not plan to move them around much. Even the filling lasts longer, and you will save money in the long run.
On the other hand, bouncier bags contour to your body shape better and deliver optimum comfort. But whatever you do, always opt for a non-toxic option to reduce health risks for your family or loved ones.
We will soon be back with more interesting guides. Until then enjoy your bean bag chair!