What are the Different Types of Bean Bag Furniture?

Uniform polystyrene pellets can be used as bean bag stuffing.
Bean bag chairs are a popular furniture staple for kids' rooms and college dorms.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2014
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Bean bags have come a long way since their inception in the middle 20th century. The bean bag furniture of today is more than simply a cushion-like device that serves the purpose of a chair. Furniture options today make it possible to sit, sleep, and lounge while still keeping the recognizable shape and function of the bean bag.

The most basic type of bean bag furniture is the chair. Once marketed only with heavy duty vinyl shells, the chairs of today are manufactured using materials such as leather, vinyl and even treated fabric blends. It is possible to purchase a bean bag chair in just about any color. There are even animal prints, stripes, and other patterns available today.

Along with bean bag chairs, the bean bag lounger has become a popular option. Marketed under several different brand names, the basic idea is still the same. The difference is that the body of the device is a little wider and a little longer. This makes it possible to use the elongated bean bag as chaise lounge in the home, on the patio, or even by the pool. In a pinch, the lounger can also be used as a guest bed.


A recent innovation in bean bag furniture is the bean bag sofa. This type of furniture is somewhat of a hybrid, in that it couples a sturdy base with the style and comfort of a bean bag. As with the lounger, the sofa version is elongated and oversized, making it possible to accommodate at least three people. The base keeps the sofa in place, while the bean bag filler in the attached shell makes it possible to sink into the device and have the furniture contour to the body with ease.

While natural filler was once the only option with bean bag furniture, that is no longer the case. Plastic filler that is composed of small pieces of reclaimed plastic is one option. Soft polystyrene beads are also popular with many bean bag enthusiasts. It is not unusual for some manufacturers to create furniture using a mixture of fillers, allowing each piece to enjoy the advantages of each type of filler included in the mix.

Thanks to online shopping, it is now possible to order bean bag furniture directly from many manufacturers. There are a few that will custom design the furniture to client specifications, making it possible to select a pattern, shell type and a specified filler or mix of fillers with relative ease.


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