Best Bean Bag Chairs

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

10 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
135 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bean bag chairs

Last Updated December 2019

For children of the 1970s and 1980s, few pieces of furniture stir as much nostalgia as the bean bag chair, practically standard furnishing in bedrooms, game rooms, and basement “kid caves” at that time. The formless, lightweight bean bag chair has also performed its duties in college dorm rooms and first apartments. Inexpensive vinyl bean bag chairs were sold in most department stores – and they required no assembly.

The first modern bean bag chair was not intended for the masses, however. A high-end Italian design company commissioned three top designers to create a stressless chair, and the result was the Sacco, a leather-bound single chair filled with foam pellets, not dried beans. The Sacco did not generate many sales, but it did inspire other manufacturers to create inexpensive versions for the mass market. The modern bean bag chair has been a success ever since.

If you’re in the market for a new bean bag chair, it’s important to find one that best fits your specific needs. Size, seating capacity, filler, and maintenance are all things to consider as you shop.

At BestReviews, we want you to make informed decisions on the products you buy. If you’re looking for the best bean bag chairs on the market today, please consult our shortlist of contenders above, and for more information, read our in-depth product review below.

Despite the name, very few bean bag chairs are filled with dried beans.

Key considerations

Capacity: Bean bag chairs come in a number of sizes, from child-size formless sacks to massive loungers for three or more adults. Some consumers may want to invest in several single-person bean bag chairs for informal use, while others might want to set up a traditional living room arrangement with single chairs, love seats, sofas and/or loungers. Total weight capacity is also an important consideration, since compression of the filler material often shortens the usable life of many bean bag chairs.

Design and function: As with other types of furniture, the design of a bean bag chair often determines its ultimate function. A formless single-person chair can work well for a few hours of casual use, but may not provide enough lumbar support for extended sitting. A more structured gaming chair with a defined back and seat provides more support, but one isn’t practical for a media room. Oversize love seats and sofas provide comfort and support for multiple users, but these can be bulky and challenging to maintain.

Ease of maintenance: While bean bag chairs may appear to be easier to take care of than traditional furniture, they still present a few challenges. Some outer shells are removable and machine washable, but others are not. Food and beverage spills must be treated by hand with the proper cleaning supplies. Small holes or rips in the fabric can allow filler to leak out, so the material should be easy to repair. The weight and dimensions of an oversize bean bag chair can also make it challenging to store between uses.

DID YOU KNOW?

The first commercial bean bag chair, the Sacco, was commissioned by the Italian design company Zanotta and made from top-quality leather.

Bean bag chair features

Shell materials

The original Sacco bean bag chair was constructed from high-grade leather, but commercial manufacturers have found other materials that provide the necessary strength and damage resistance that a bean bag chair requires. Some common outer shell materials include the following:

Leather: Leather is a good choice for a more structured bean bag chair since it’s extremely durable and can be double-stitched. However, it isn’t easy to find an inexpensive bean bag chair made of real leather.

Suede: Suede is another popular material for higher-end models because it’s soft to the touch, fairly stain resistant, and durable.

Corduroy: Many vintage bean bag chairs were made of corduroy, a tough cotton fabric also used to make durable children’s clothes. It is still used occasionally for mid-range bean bag chairs.

Vinyl or polyester: These synthetic fabrics have the advantage of being waterproof, which makes them ideal for outdoor use. They’re inexpensive but not quite as durable or damage resistant as other shell materials.

Microfiber synthetics: Microfiber fabrics, similar to those used to make blankets, are popular shell materials because they’re extremely comfortable and also machine washable. Bean bag chairs with microfiber shells often have a second inner layer that contains the filler.

Filler

Over the years, manufacturers have experimented with different types of filler for bean bag furniture, including dried beans, rice, and buckwheat. The best filler materials turned out to be synthetic foam pellets, which are inexpensive to produce, extremely lightweight, and resistant to the effects of compression. Here are three common filler materials used in bean bag chairs today:

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) beads: EPS is by far the most common filler found in modern bean bag chairs. It’s a hard-celled form of plastic pellet comparable to Styrofoam in terms of performance. EPS recovers fairly well from compression, and replacement filler is readily available in bulk.

Expanded polypropylene (EPP) beads: This form of plastic is superior to EPS in a number of ways, including compression recovery and durability. It was the filler of choice for the original Sacco bean bag chairs. However, few U.S. manufacturers offer EPP as a filler. It is much more popular in the Asian furniture market.

Compressed or memory foam: Converting recycled mattress foam into bean bag chair filler is a recent trend among manufacturers. Memory foam provides fast compression recovery and is less likely to leak out than standard pellets. Compressed foam can lose its elasticity over time, however, and should be replaced with new stock, not recycled memory foam.

EXPERT TIP

Bean bag chairs are often sized according to total capacity. A 4XL bean bag chair holds one user, while an 8XL can support three adults or more.


Staff  | BestReviews

Bean bag chair prices

Inexpensive: Most entry-level bean bag chairs that cost less than $35 are intended for children, not adolescents or adults, and the outer shell often features designs inspired by popular cartoon characters. Users are expected to provide their own filler for the washable outer shell, usually plush toys, clothing, or soft blankets. There are a few prefilled bean bag chairs available in this price range, but they’re usually sized for children.

Mid-range: Between $35 and $75 is where most of the familiar types of bean bag chairs can be found. You can purchase the classic single-person formless bag used to furnish bedrooms and dorm rooms in stores or online. Larger models with plush microfiber outer shells can also be ordered. Sometimes the outer shell is removable for easier cleaning, but not always. Chair designs at this price start to have more structure, with defined seats and backs.

Expensive: Higher-end bean bag chairs that cost over $75 tend to use more durable materials like suede and leather for the outer shells. Models at this price tend to be oversize, with a generous weight capacity. At least two or three adults can sit comfortably on these loungers and sofas. Those who seek a daybed for napping or an affordable guest bed should find something suitable beginning at the $100 price point.

DID YOU KNOW?

While leather or double-stitched vinyl were popular shell materials for the first generation of bean bag chairs, many models now use a plush, machine-washable microfiber material.

Tips

  • Use a bean bag chair for storage. Some bean bag chairs can be filled with stuffed toys, seasonal clothing, extra bedding, or bath towels.

  • Consider the weight and dimensions before buying an oversize bean bag chair. Some models weigh over 60 pounds and take up eight square feet of floor space or more.

  • Don’t soak a bean bag chair in liquid to clean it. The excess moisture will compromise the integrity of the filler material.

  • Don’t let kids jump on a bean bag chair. While the seams of most bean bag chairs are double-stitched for additional security, parents should discourage children from jumping on one or other forms of rough handling.

  • Buy extra filler. Some loss of filler is to be expected over time, so it’s a good idea to invest in additional fill material.

Other products we considered

Some of the contenders on our shortlist are geared toward the youth market, but many adults also would like a few bean bag chairs for a media or game room. The Chill Sack Giant Memory Foam Bean Bag Chair is a good choice for one or two adults who want to relax while watching a movie. The plush, comfortable outer shell is available in many stylish colors, too. The CordaRoy’s Chenille Convertible Chair is a Shark Tank success story that converts from a one-person bean bag chair to a comfortable full-size bed. For those who seek a full-size bean bag sofa, we recommend the Christopher Knight Home Lounger Bean Bag. Its generous eight-foot length accommodates two or three adults, and it’s also ideal for daytime naps or overnight guests.

Many bean bag chair manufacturers offer containers of additional filler so you can increase the level of firmness or replace lost or compressed pellets.

FAQ

Q. I want to buy my seven-year-old a new gaming chair. Are bean bag chairs safe for his growing body?
A.
One common criticism of bean bag chairs is the lack of lumbar support, which can force users into unhealthy sitting positions for hours at a time. Many bean bag gaming chairs overcome this challenge by providing additional support for the back. You may not want to furnish your entire home with formless bean bag chairs, but for occasional gaming or entertainment purposes, it should be fine.

Q. The first generation of bean bag chairs always seemed to rip open at the seams. Are new bean bag chairs a better investment?
A.
Overall, the latest generation of bean bag chairs is a vast improvement over the inexpensive offerings of decades ago. Most seams are now double-stitched for additional security, and the filler material is less likely to compress or leak out.

Q. I want to furnish an entire game room with bean bag chairs. Are they available in different sizes?
A.
Today’s bean bag chairs are sized according to total capacity, and many of them can support two or three adults comfortably. You could furnish a game room with several one-person gaming chairs and a two-person love seat or three-person sofa. There are also elongated bean bag chairs designed for whole body support while sleeping.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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