Bean bags are one of the most ingenious innovations created by humankind. They are comfortable, enjoyable, and reasonably priced.
These have been around for decades and come in all sizes and shapes. Plus, a variety of materials are used to make them, with each having its unique appeal.
So, are you planning to purchase a high-quality bean bag? To get your hands on them, it’s crucial to understand how the shape, composition, and covering of each chair affect its overall comfort. People often get confused about choosing a proper bean bag chair. In this guide, we’ll take a look into the concept and go through what are the types of bean bags. Fun fact: did you know there is an entire range of bean bag chairs for dogs?
Bean bags are becoming cozier and more accessible every day, and in this work-from-home era, they make a great point for comfort in your home or office. It can make your boring office work comfortable and relaxed, or it can give your creative work a new direction, whether you paint in your studio or do practice printmaking in the comfort of your home, bean bags are here for you!
Well, without further ado, let’s dig in!
What’s A Bean Bag Chair?
The concept of a bean bag chair is pretty straightforward: large fabric bag-like structures filled with beads and, in some cases, dried beans. The materials used in these chairs vary according to their type. For example, round bean bags are generally filled with beads, while you’ll generally find foam in square bean bag chairs.
The outside cover of these chairs varies as well, with some being made of leather, fabric, corduroy, suede, or even synthetic fur.
Bean bag chairs, in general, are preferred by those looking to save space, as these take less room compared to novelty chairs or couches. And this furniture takes the shape of anyone sitting on it, making it versatile for any body type.
Bean bags are available in multiple sizes suitable for both adults and children. Apart from that, they are differentiated based on the filling, cover material, and purpose of use. So, let’s understand a bit more about these types.
1. Type of Bean Bags by Shape
A. Round Bean Bags
The round-shaped bean bags are the most common type of bean bag chairs. Not only do they offer a comfortable platform to rest your back on, but you can also enjoy activities like playing video games and watching movies while sitting on them.
As we’ve mentioned before, these chairs adjust their shape according to your body curves. Plus, they help relieve body stress and are recommended for people suffering from back pain.
Nevertheless, sitting on these chairs for an extended period can be harmful. These chairs allow you to slouch and sit in abnormal postures, which isn’t the best thing for your spine.
B. Square Bean Bags
These bean bags have a well-defined shape and resemble traditional sitting chairs, while some even have an armrest. Thus, they deliver a traditional sitting experience and are recommended for adults who need back and arm support. People who work from home may benefit from this square bean bag.
Although these are not as popular as round bean bags, you can easily find them on the market.
C. Gaming Bean Bag Chair
Game bean bag chair is high-end furniture that delivers the utmost comfort and support to your neck, arms, and back. Similar to round bean bags, these adjust according to your body curve. Hence, comfort won’t be an issue during those long hours of gaming.
These units are primarily round-shaped and wide at the bottom but narrow down at the end. Compared to traditional computer chairs, they are made of very comfortable material and sometimes come with built-in speakers that you can sync with the computer.
D. Novelty Bean Bags
This one is specially designed for kids and comes in different shapes to resemble animals, flowers footballs, etc. Aside from being appealing and comfortable, these chairs are used as reading chairs, as children may be enticed to engage in academic activities.
E. Elongated Large Bean Bags
As the name suggests, these bean bags are pretty lengthy and can accommodate more than one individual. Hence, they’re viable alternatives for a sofa chair, as they’re supremely comfortable.
F. Corporate Bean Bag Chairs
Bean bags are a great addition to any workspace because they make people feel more at ease. A relaxed state of mind is a key to creativity as we become more insightful and may even generate unique ideas! For that reason, these chairs are becoming a trendy addition to several workplaces.
Keeping your employees motivated and excited to work is as easy as replacing the traditional chairs with bean bags! There are specific corporate bean bag chairs that can add a splash of fun to any monotonous corporate space.
2. Bean Bags Types by Size
Since bean bags come in different sizes, it’s crucial to select a quality bean bag ideal for you. So here are a few types of bean bags based on size.
A. Small Or Kids Bean Bags
If you pick a standard-sized bean bag for your kids, they might struggle to sit or move on the chair, let alone feel comfortable. And to eliminate these problems, it’s important to bring home a bean bag designed especially for kids.
These bags are usually smaller in size and ideal for kids with a height of up to 4 feet and 6 inches. The circumference of these bags ranges from 110 inches to 120 inches.
B. Teen Or Large Bean Bags
If you’re a young adult with a height of not more than 5 feet 2 inches, teen bean bags can be the perfect fit for you. This bean bag furniture is slightly bigger than the kids’ bean bags, but with a circumference of around 130-140 inches, even your child can have a relaxing experience.
C. Extra Large Bean Bags
Are you an adult with a height less than 6 feet? You should opt for an extra-large bean bag for a comfortable seating experience. These bags have a circumference of around 140-150 inches and are spacious enough to accommodate most adults with a standard height.
D. Double Extra Large Bean Bags
These bean bags are designed for adults taller than 6 feet. With a circumference of around 175 inches, they are huge and occupy more space than most other chairs. Moreover, a group of kids can easily fit on these double extra-large bean bags.
E. Bean Bags For Couples
Bean bag chairs are no longer single-seaters and are perfect for accommodating couples who want to just catch up after a hectic work day or snuggle up to watch a movie. These large-sized bean bags, with nearly 280 inches of circumference, offer adequate space to relax.
Unlike the traditional ones, these bean bags don’t transfer movement throughout the fillings. They use expanded polypropylene fillings (which we’ll discuss in the next part), which absorb the pressure exerted on it. So, there’s no fear of bouncing around when watching your favorite movie with your partner.
When selecting these bags, opt for ones with soft covers designed to achieve maximum comfort.
3. Bean Bags Types by Filling
Several filler materials are used in bean bags, with shredded polyurethane foam, polystyrene beans, and expanded polypropylene being more popular. These fillings affect several aspects of a bean bag, such as its durability, comfort, and weight.
A. Polystyrene Beads
Polystyrene is the most commonly used bean bag chair filling, mainly because it can deliver maximum comfort, irrespective of your posture. Due to their smaller size and lightweight design, they shift and move smoothly and are the most filling for round bean bag chairs.
B. Shredded Foam Filler
This is another type of bean bag stuffing generally used in cushions or pillows. Compared to other filling materials, bean bags filled with shredded memory foam deliver less comfort.
C. Expanded Polypropylene
Expanded polypropylene filling is probably the most comfortable filling of all. It’s primarily used in high-end bean bags and is popular among Asians.
This lightweight and long-lasting bean bag filling can absorb pressure and return to its original shape when released, making it super comfortable.
4. Bean Bag Types by Cover Material
Apart from the filling, the appearance and comfort of a bean bag are essential considerations. If you want a bean bag chair as a decorative piece in your living room, it’s important to ensure that it blends well with the interior décor.
In this regard, several materials are used for the outer cover like vinyl, cotton, suede, velvet, plush or velour, and leather.
A. Cotton Covers
Cotton covers are most popular among buyers, as it’s more user-friendly and easy to clean compared to the other bean bag cover types. These bean bags are available in varied shapes and colors that serve different purposes of home decorations. Plus, they are more suitable for interior furniture than for outdoor use.
B. Vinyl Covers
Vinyl covers are durable, but maintaining them can be a difficult task. If you use them for prolonged periods, you may see visible spots forming on the surface. So, you need to wipe the surface regularly using a clean rag.
C. Microsuede Cover
Suede is a type of leather with a napped and fuzzy finish, commonly used for shoes, jackets, purses, and others. This material is highly comfortable and durable, and its texture doesn’t fade with time. So, you can use it for longer without worrying much about the cover fading or getting damaged.
Besides, suede covers are machine washable, so cleaning them wouldn’t feel much of a task. But make sure to follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer to get it cleaned properly.
D. Plush Covers
Plush-covered bean bags are an ideal fit for interior use. Although they are pretty durable, it’s better to clean the exterior using a hairbrush with plastic bristles to protect its elegance.
E. Velour Or Velvet Covers
Velour or velvet covers are also ideal for indoor use. Moreover, you can get a vast range of color options that are comfortable and luxurious. But to ensure that its look lasts longer, it’s crucial to take care of the cover carefully.
F. Leather Covers
Leather covers are durable, and elegant, and need to be maintained well. Like our last option, these also come in various shades, which you can select on the basis of your interior décor. And it’s important to use a leather conditioner to keep its tone long-lasting.
5. Bean Bag Types by Use
There are several bean bag options available out there that are suitable for outdoor use.
So, when you’re purchasing a bean bag to use outdoors, it’s crucial to consider its ability to endure outdoor conditions. Since they are often exposed to rain and sun, you should search for a fade-resistant, waterproof, and UV-resistant unit. And it’ll be a good idea to invest in a stain-resistant bag to cut down on maintenance needs.
Most bean bags use virgin polystyrene fillings, as these tiny beads are lightweight and easier to move. Plus, as they dry up very quickly, you don’t have to worry about wet conditions. In fact, you may even find flame-retardant and mold-resistant bean bags.
Now, when we’re talking about outdoor bean bag chairs, you’ll find many that serve varied purposes. For example, you can get a water-resistant piece to keep near your pool or use it to float on the water to make it even more fun. Plus, these bean bags are exceptional options to relax and enjoy and are even made in pet-friendly versions.
Moreover, they are easy to clean and water-resistant; you can use a mild detergent and a wet cloth to clean them. And a pet bean bag is an excellent choice to show how much you love your pet.
History Of Bean Bag Chairs
Sacco was the first successful bean bag made by the efforts of three Italian designers: Cesare Paolini, Piero Gatti, and Franco Teodor in collaboration with Zanotta. It was created during the Italian Modernism movement, a post-war movement, that gave rise to new manufacturing processes. The designers of this era were focused on design, and the several movements that took place during that period helped create the Sacco.
Its predecessor, Blow, was a much inferior version that couldn’t hold its shape. Hence, it didn’t see large-scale manufacturing. On the other hand, Sacco used leather as the exterior cover to deal with this flaw, and was stitched properly.
Hippie communities and non-conformist households were the target audience for this chair. Its launch was meant to be an attack on ongoing design choices back then and to combat conformity.
Taking inspiration from Sacco, other designers worked on this concept, and Jukka Setala, a Finish designer, developed the most successful bean bag. The chair was launched in 2002 and was able to garner the global limelight.
Aspects To Be Looked Into When Purchasing A Bean Bag
Nowadays, there are many furniture options to add jest to your interior décor, and bean bags are the most popular ones. But people make mistakes when selecting a bean bag, which makes them wear out faster.
There are several aspects to consider when choosing an ideal bean bag, which we’ll discuss in this section. So, without further ado, let’s jump into them!
A. Inside And Outside Bags
Many people choose their bean bag chairs purely based on emotions rather than knowledge. But there’s a common saying that emotional decisions often lead you vulnerable to high-risk choices, so a buyer needs to know the essentials.
Firstly, find out whether there’s a bag inside a bean bag. Sometimes, if an animal tears down the outside cover, the beans will spill out of the floor. Therefore it’s advisable to select a bean bag that protects the fillings inside another bag-shaped cover.
Choosing the shape and size of a bean bag often leads to most discussions. However, it’s pretty straightforward- select a shape that perfectly fits your needs. If you’re looking for a bean bag for a child, then go for a smaller-sized one, while you can also accommodate more than two on larger bean bags.
So, go through our detailed list to know what each type has to offer and select a suitable one for yourself.
The fabric of a bean bag is also important to consider, as it determines its durability and overall appearance. These chairs are primarily made of artificial leather and soft polyesters, suitable for indoors and outdoors.
Artificial leather is suitable for people who have pets, as it’s easy to clean, and animal hair doesn’t stick to it. If you’re going to use your bean bag outdoors, a modern alternative to artificial leather is also available, which is damp-proof and water-resistant.
The next essential aspect to look into when purchasing a bean bag is its functionality. Of course, it would also depend on the reason you’re getting a bean bag.
As mentioned earlier, poolside bean bags need to be waterproof and must not occupy large spaces. If you want a bean bag for studying or a home office, square chairs can provide the right amount of comfort, and a gaming chair will put less strain on the back if you’re a pro gamer.
E. Zippers And Stitches
The final important thing that needs consideration is the quality and type of zippers and stitches. If the stitches are not durable, it can be a significant issue as the bean bag may come apart, and you will need to sew it again. Stitches must be even and double, while all textile elements used in the bean bag should be threaded-hemmed, which prevents the cloth from fraying and keeps it like new even with regular use.
Other than that, the bean bags should use strong zippers with wide teeth. And the zipper locks must be hidden under the fabric, which will protect the floor. Having a zipper allows you to fill or take out the beads, control the softness of the bean bag, and take care of it much more easily.
That’s all we had for you today!
Adding a bean bag chair to your living space instantly makes it unique and comfortable. But with the many sizes and options to select from, it’s essential to focus on its comfort, functionality, and build.
For instance, the double-stitched bean bags take care of durability like nothing else. Besides, you can change the fillings and outside cover of the existing bean bag to make it as good as new. And you can opt for a washable cover that is easier to maintain.
On that note, we’d sign off. Check out this space for more such reads. See you soon, goodbye!