Bean bags have been around for many years now. In addition to vintage models dating from the 1960s, there are also contemporary chairs that are constructed for us in children’s rooms as well as larger models for adults. While very comfortable, most bean bag seating options must be refilled from time to time. Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to selecting the right bean bag filler, including foam pellets or shreds, dried beans, and plastic fillers.
Uniform polystyrene pellets, sometimes known as virgin pellets, are small and sturdy pieces of Styrofoam™ that are roughly the same shape and size of the pellets included in chicken mash. The material has a higher density than standard polystyrene chips used in packing. As a result, this type of filler holds up very well to daily use and helps the chair keep its shape. In addition, the durability of the pellets means the chair will offer support as well as comfort.
For something a little softer, there is also reground bean bag filler. Large blocks of polystyrene are ground to form this type of filling. Unlike the pellets, the pieces are not necessarily uniform in shape or size and it may take a little longer to settle into a comfortable position. Using reground filler is a great way to reuse old polystyrene and prevent the material from taking up space in landfills.
A third option is to employ a combination of the uniform beads or pellets and shredded foam. Often, the polystyrene used for the shreds is also reclaimed product, but it is not ground as finely as reground filler. While the shredded pieces are not uniform, they do tend to mix in well with the virgin filler and help to keep the bean bag chair comfortable.
Purists can also make use of dried beans as the filler of choice, and small dried field peas are one of the better options. While the peas will move about and contour to the body of anyone who sits in the chair, they tend to not be as comfortable as the polystyrene bean bag filler options. Some people prefer filler that is less yielding, however, claiming that using dried peas provides the chair with a texture that can help massage tired muscles.
It is not unusual for people to mix various types of filler in an effort to produce the ideal combination of support and comfort. Owners may choose to use a combination that employs natural filler such as dried peas with plastic filler substances and the uniform polystyrene beads or pellets. Combination filler is said to provide all the benefits of each type of filling compound while minimizing the drawbacks of each type.