Why Bean Bag Chairs Deserve A Place In Your Home

Why Bean Bag Chairs Deserve A Place In Your Home

You probably have bean bags in your home but do you wonder how these versatile pieces of furniture came about?

Who was the first person to invent them? Let’s now have a quick look over the history of bean bag chairs.

The History Of Bean Bag Chairs

Interestingly well before the modern bean bag chair became popular, there was the Sea Urchin chair. The foam used to make the sea urchin chair would adapt to the user. Roger Dean while at the Royal College of Art first introduced the Sea Urchin chair.

Soon after the Sea Urchin chair became popular in the mid 1960s, the Italian designers introduced another exciting chair in 1969. Known as the Sacco, this chair was closest to the bean bag chair you are familiar with today.

The Italian designers wanted to create the right kind of chair that would fit every user’s needs and was stylish and practical at the same time. The original Sacco was made of high quality leather and had a headrest.

The chair was filled with Thermocol pellets that are now replaced by polystyrene beads and PVC pellets. The reason the Sacco became an instant hit was that the chair could easily adjust to the person sitting in it.

Woman lounging in a giant green bean bag chair

There’s a rumor that the Sacco was actually discovered by accident. A factory put all the leftover Styrofoam pieces in a leather bag and this is how the Sacco was made.

Well, the bottom line is that the Sacco is quite similar to the bean bags we use today and it met the casual lifestyle needs of the 1970’s.

It was during the 1970’s that bean bag chairs made of durable leather started making their way into the different department stores around the world.

The adult bean bag chairs filled with Styrofoam pellets were similar to the high quality bean bag chairs you can find today.

What people loved most about bean bag chairs is that they can adapt to your body shape. Not to forget, the chairs are light-weight and portable and you can easily carry them around.

The bean bag chair became something very casual during the 90’s and found a place in almost every home. More versatile bean bag furniture such as couch, sofa and recliners were being developed.

A major breakthrough in bean bag design came during the 90’s after a number of children were injured by crawling into the inside of the bean bag chair. The Consumer Product Safety Commission instructed that all bean bag chairs can only be sold if they are childproof.

The modern bean bag chairs i.e. the chairs found today are made of washable fabric. The material doesn’t tear easily and the fillers used are more reliable the Styrofoam and other pellets used earlier. You can find bean bag chairs in a variety of different sizes and shapes.

What are different types of bean bag chairs? Do beanbag chairs come with washable, removable fabric covers? Continue reading to find out more.

The Different Types Of Bean Bag Chairs

Bean bag chairs have become one of the most common room accessories in the modern times. Basically, bean bag is a type of sealed bag made of leather or any other durable fabric and is filled with dried fillers, pellets or beans.

No matter how big or small your bean bag chair is or what shape it takes, there is only one goal. Provide you comfort at all times.

Bean Bag Chairs Classified According To Sizes

Bag beans can be differentiated according to sizes. You can find bean bag chairs designed for kids, teens and adults.

Bags designed for kids are the smallest and can accommodate children who are up to 4’ 6” tall. Bean bags designed for teens are slightly smaller than adult bean bags and can accommodate children who are up to 5’2” tall.

Even kids who want more space for growth can go for bean bags that are especially designed for teens.

Adult bean bags are huge and have a circumference of approximately 140 to 150 inches. You can find extra large adult bean bags and double extra large adult bean bags.

Little girl with four different sizes bean bag chairs

Different Types Of Bean Bags According To Shape

Bean bags can be square, round or elongated.

  • Round bean bags are the most popular and are shaped like a ball. These are ideal for relaxation especially if you want to play a video game or watch movies.
  • Square bean bags are not uncommon but they are mostly used like an ottoman or foot rest.
  • You would also come across game bean bag chairs. These chairs are round and wide at the base and start narrowing towards the end point.

Bean bags for kids can take shape of anything such as basketball, flower, and even animals.

Bean Bags According To The Type Of Filling

White bean bag with turquoise pillow

Bean bags can also be differentiated according to the type of filling they use.

For example, you can find bean bags filled with Polystyrene beads. These beads are lightweight so you can move your favorite bean bag to any comfortable position you want.

Some bean bags are filled with shredded polyurethane foam, which acts as a cushion.

There are chances that you come across bag beans with natural fillers. As the name suggests, these bean bags utilize rice, dried beans and other similar items as fillers.

You can choose bean bags with a mixture of two or more of the different types of fillings for added comfort.

What Is A Bean Bag Made Of?

A variety of fabrics have been used to made bean bags. Remember the fabric you choose should offer the support and flexibility you are looking for in a bean bag.

The most common type of fabric is faux leather. This fabric interestingly gives your bean bag the excellent sophisticated effect of 100% pure leather of course without the damaging effects of the price tag.

Faux suede is another popular choice. The fabric is made from 100% polyester and closely mimics the soft and velvety look and feel of real leather.

The reason people prefer buying bean bags made of faux suede is that the fabric is easy to clean and maintain. Not to forget faux suede bean bags come without the hefty price tag.

Bean bags designed for outdoor use are usually made from 100% polyester and come in a range of exciting colors. Polyester fabric makes outdoor bean bags relatively easy to clean.

Stack of different type of bean bag chairs

The good thing is that outdoor bean bags can also be indoors. Remember that while outdoor bean bags use tough fabric, they should be moved indoors when not in use for a long period of time.

Most bean bags designed for kids use colorful 100% cotton fabric. Cotton as you can guess is machine washable, soft, strong and practical. Bean bags for kids have removable cotton covers that can be machine washed for easy cleaning and maintenance.

DIY Bean Bag Chair - Make A Kid’s Bean Bag In Less Than 30 Minutes

Your kids would love to have a snuggly spot of their own and this is the perfect time to make them an absolutely adorable bean bag yourself.

Perhaps the best thing about this DIY project is that you don’t need to buy expensive supplies. All of you have to do is invest in quality bean bag filling which is easily available in stores.

If your child loves a particular cartoon character or superhero, you can use this simple bean bag tutorial to make a unique gift for them. Remember that this simple bean bag tutorial is not intimidating or complicated and you don’t have to buy a long list of supplies.

You need two pieces of fabric to start. Cut two fabric pieces of your choice in sizes 45″ x 32″. You can choose identical pieces or go for different fabrics for a two toned effect.

In addition to fabric pieces, you need a zipper and a sewing machine. You can go for hand sewing if sewing machine isn’t available. Last, you need almost 3.5 cubic feet of bean bag filling.

Place the fabric pieces together (right side facing inwards) and get rid of fraying using a zigzag stitch along the long edges.

Now stitch straight to attach the two long edges securely together.

It is recommended that you use small stitches for the much needed durability.

Little girl reading in a flowery bean bag chair

Next, fold the stitched fabric together like a hot dog bun. Remove approximately 6” of fabric so that you have a symmetrical curve on one side. Use the secure straight stitches to close the end.

Last open the fabric straight and attach a secure zipper to the only un-sewn side. Because the bean bag will be used by kids, it is important that the zippers are not exposed. It is always a good idea to use invisible zippers so that kids are unable to spot them.

Once you have installed the zippers successfully, turn the fabric right side out and fill the sack with quality bean bag filling. 100 liters of filler is good enough for the bean bag chair you’ve just made.

Remember that it’s not the easiest task to fill the sack without the annoying fillers spilling in all directions. What you can do is keep a vacuum handy and have two people holding the sack securely.

Please remember that bean bag fillings can be a choking hazard. Since kids are curious about everything, they might try to access the zipper and pour out the crazy little pellets that were filled inside.

Make sure your kids are old enough to understand how they should use the bean bag safely before giving them one as a gift.

Taking Care Of Bean Bags - Maintenance Tips

Bean bag chairs as stated earlier can contain any kind of filler including PVC pellets, polystyrene foam and even natural dried beans. Because the bean bag fabric settles easily to accommodate the occupant, most people prefer to have bean bags around their home for added comfort.

You can find bean bag chairs designed for both indoor and outdoor use in a variety of fabrics. As you can guess, outdoor bean bags are made of weather resistant fabric but they also require a fair bit of care and maintenance.

Woman reading a book in a bean bag chair next to the fireplace

It is recommended that you always use, store and most importantly clean your bean bag chairs as instructed by the manufacturer. If your bean bag has removable cotton covers, pull out the liner containing the filler material and toss the cotton cover into a washing machine.

You can machine wash the bean bag chair cover in cool or warm water depending on manufacturer instructions. Always use a mild detergent and then air or machine-dry the cover.

If you bean bag chair has loose filler, pour it into a secure plastic bag or a container and keep it out of reach of children. Once your bean bag cover has dried, you can place the filler back into the sack and continue to use your bean bag.

Bean bag chairs made with polyester can be easily wiped cleaned using a wash cloth dipped in warm soapy water. If you find that there are stubborn spots on the bean bags, use a soft toothbrush to scrub them off. Once you have done the cleaning, wipe the bean bag dry.

Faux suede bean bags can be cleaned using a damp cloth or a suede eraser. Use a metal suede brush to gently rub off the stains and other marks if any on the fabric.

To keep your faux suede bean bag looking as good as new, spray the fabric with protective fabric that has been specially designed for suede.

My Bean Bag Is Covered With Dust

If there is a heavy layer of dust on your faux leather, faux suede or even polyester bean bag chair, use a vacuum cleaner to lift off the excess dust particles before wiping it clean with a damp cloth.

If you find any stains on the fabric, you can use a mild detergent to rub spots off a bean bag chair.

Brown leather bean bag chair in the living room

Bean bag chairs made of silk or thick velvet can be a little difficult to clean. Make sure you use a soft cloth dipped in a mild detergent solution to rub off the stains.

Use a circular motion to clean the fabric until the stains disappear. Once you are done, let the bean bag dry naturally.

Leather bean bag chairs do not require frequent washing. All you have to do is dust the leather bean bag chair clean using a clean towel.

If needed, use a damp towel to wipe the surface clean and eliminate spots and stains.

You should avoid using harsh detergents and chemicals for cleaning your bean bag chair. To keep your leather bean bag chairs shiny, don’t forget to apply a leather conditioner once every three to six months.

Can I Machine Wash My Bean Bag Cover?

Well, if your bean bag cover is made with machine washable material such as cotton or denim, you can remove the cover and gently hand wash or machine wash it. The filler beans need to be kept safely in a plastic bag or container while your bean bag cover is drying.

If your bean bag is made from faux leather, vinyl or real leather, you don’t need to remove the bag cover for washing. Instead, wipe your bean bag clean using a soft damp sponge or a cloth dipped in mild soapy solution.

Remember that using harsh detergents or abrasive chemicals to remove tougher stains and spots on your bean bag fabric can damage the fabric surface and make it brittle.

Ideally, you should use surface cleaners or dishwashing soap to remove stains and dirt from your favorite bean bags.

Taking care of your bean bag chair not only will keep it looking as good as new but you can also extend the life of your investment. If you’re using warm water and mild detergent for cleaning your bag, use gentle circular motions and never rub or scratch the fabric aggressively.

The last thing you should do is immerse your bean bag chair in water. That’s right.

Even if there’s a thick layer of dust on your bean bag chair or there are stains, use a soft cloth, bristle brush dipped in a mild detergent to remove the dirt and stains.

Golden polka dot bean bag on the terrace

Some people prefer to use specialty cleaners designed for gentle fabrics. Never try to clean your bean bag with abrasive cleaning agents or tools unless the manufacturer states it clearly.

Here are some other helpful tips that would help you take care of your bean bag:

  • Always keep your bean bag chair on a smooth surface such as tiled floor, rug or carpet. You should never place your bean bags on rough surfaces such as concrete as this would damage the fabric.
  • Your pets would love to rest on the soft, plush bean bags but you need to keep them away. Your furry friends have sharp nails that might puncture the fabric of bean bag. You can always give your pets their own bean bags to have some fun.
  • Most high quality bean bags are made of high quality material and the stitching is quite secure. However, for safety reasons, you should never jump on the bean bag or let your kids do it as the seams might burst without warning.
  • It is recommended that you do not use sharp objects such as blades and knives while sitting in the bean bag chair. The sharp metal edges can leave behind ugly marks on your chair and this certainly is something you don’t want to see.
  • You should always buy bean bags that come with safety locking zips. As stated earlier, filler beads are quite dangerous and they can lead to suffocation and even death if eaten by young kids.

Are Bean Bags Dangerous?

Like any other piece of furniture, bean bags can cause injuries if used improperly or without the safety measures. And it’s not surprising that high chairs, cribs and even bassinets have been held responsible for the injuries and deaths of infants and young kids.

An important point to remember here is that the injuries and tragic deaths can be avoided by ensuring that bean bag chairs and other furniture meet the safety regulations.

Bean bag chair manufacturers in the developed countries have agreed to comply with safety standards set by the regulatory bodies. The new industry standards in place have greatly reduced the risk of accidents and injuries that have long been associated with bean bag chairs.

Little baby girl reading in a bean bag chair

Most of the safety concerns in case of bean bag chairs are related to the zippers used. New safety rules state that if a bean bag is not intended to be refilled, it should either have a zipper that is permanently disabled or have no zipper at all.

You should ensure that the bean bag chair you buy is made of a sturdy fabric that does not tear or rupture easily. Furthermore, the fabric should have double secure stitching on the inside so that the seams don’t rupture.

Modern safety laws also require that the manufacturers include a warning label on all products about the dangers of choking and suffocation. Needless to say, you should never allow young kids to use bean bags unsupervised. Plus, you should use bean bag chairs for kids only if they are old enough to understand the safety precautions.

Conclusion: Stay Safe And Have Fun With Bean Bags

The bottom line is that bean bags are fun and they can be a nice addition to your home. To ensure that your bean bags are safe for every member of your family, check that the bean bag zipper is closed tightly at all times, the seams are strong, and the fabric is durable.

When used correctly bean bags can offer several advantages over traditional sofas and chairs and your family would simply love to use them. So what are you waiting for? Get hands on your favorite bean bag chairs today.

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