Bean Bag and Bean Bag Chair: All you need to know.

What is a bean bag?

A bean bag is an enclosed bag that is filled with natural products such as cereals or pellets made from synthetic materials. The bag is made of a tough enclosure that is covered with vinyl, fur, cotton or any other suitable fabrics. A bean bag cover may be made of leather, suede, corduroy or any other suitable material. On its invention, dried beans and other cereals such as rice and corn were the main materials in the bag and hence the name ‘bean’ bag.

Therapists and interior décor experts from around the world recommend this simple but very important tool due to its many benefits. Apart from transforming the interior décor of any home, it may be used in many other ways including as a bean bag to remove anxiety, a bean bag to help with insomnia or a bean bag that relieve stress. 

What are the types of bean bags?

When thinking of a bean bag to remove anxiety, most people also try to analyze the type of bean bags in the market. Bean bags are normally categorized depending on the materials used. 

Regardless of the filling material used, a standard bean bug is generally comfy, versatile and the color can be chosen to perfectly blend in with the setting. They can also be used to create a cozy setting for both interior and exterior home decoration. Here are some of the types of bean bags 

  • Memory foam bean bags

Memory foam, also known as shredded foam, is one of the most popular materials used in bean bags. This material can be used in a bean bag made for relaxation or one that is designed to help with insomnia. 

The foam is made of polyurethane material that is not only comfortable but also stylish. Polyurethane was originally made for NASA but found its way to the general market due to its high density and viscosity.  

  • Polystyrene beads bean bags

Polystyrene beads are also widely popular with most people interested in a bean bag that relieve stress. The bags are made of expanded plastic materials that are specially designed to blend into any shape. 

Bags made of polystyrene beads are light and easily adjust to any shape. This means that with a bean bag made of polystyrene the user will remain comfortable and stress-free at any position.

  • Polypropylene beads bean bags

A bean bag made for relaxation can also be filled with polypropylene beads. One of the advantages of polypropylene is that it is designed to be resilient and durable. Bean bags made of this polymer are widely popular in Asia and can be used not only for relaxation but also as a bean bag to help with insomnia. 

Polypropylene bean bags do not have strong scents and easily regain original shape and size after compression. 

  • Polyethylene Micro-beads bean bags

Though not very popular, polyethylene plastics can also be used to fill bean bags. These micro beads are tiny in nature and also have other applications such as in pillows and several cosmetic products. 

They are however not popular because there are several jurisdictions that have completely or partially banned the sale of products with this beads. This is because if not disposed of properly, micro beads pose a serious environmental hazard to large water bodies including lakes and dams. 

  • Bean bags made of cereals such as beans, corn and rice

During the early years of their existence, bean bags were majorly made of natural fillers including beans, corn and rice. Dried beans inside a bag with fluffy coating ensured bean bag made for relaxation was easily available to the masses. 

Apart from being cheap, the natural fillers are very helpful to people interested in a bean bag to remove anxiety and a bean bag to help with insomnia. 

  • Air bean bags

Bean bags can also be designed in such a way that the bag is inflatable and it is filled with air instead of beans or other plastic products. 

What is the benefit of using a bean bag?

Depending on the shape, size and filling elements, bean bags have a number of applications on day to day basis. The bags have gained popularity due to the following and many more benefits:

Can be used as furniture

When used as furniture, bean bags can be used to spruce up a home and completely transform the interior and exterior décor into one that is not only stunning but also unique. A bean bag can be used as a regular chair, couch or bouncy castle. 

Those with limited living room space can buy air-filled bean bags that will be deflated when not in use. This means a smaller living room space can be fully utilized at different times of the day/season to accomplish specific goals including hosting several people. 

Those interested in bean bag furniture may decide to go for a simple design, maybe a spherical one. Several companies also design bean bags in different shapes to resemble a specific shape as per the user requirement. Regardless of the shape, bean bags are normally comfortable and adjust to the position of the person using them. 

Therapeutic applications. 

Bean bags are also widely popular in therapeutic applications. It is now easy to find a bean bag made for relaxation, one that is designed to relieve stress, remove anxiety and help with insomnia. The MoonPod bean bag has been made especially to reproduce the benefits of the flotation therapy.

Depending on the material, a bean bag can be used by people suffering from autism. The bean bag pellets perfectly adjust to the person’s body shape and ensure they are comfortable and can easily concentrate on anything. 

The fabric used for these applications is normally strong and resilient with a coating that is soft, comfy and fluffy. This ensures that those using it completely relax, get rid of stress, anxiety and insomnia. 

Bed for pets 

A bean bag can also be used as a bed for pets including dogs and cats. Just like a person relaxes and relieves stress through bean bags, pets also find it quite comfortable. The bag can be placed anywhere within the room and once pets are trained to sleep on it, they make it a habit to use it instead of the other furniture in the home. 

When being used as a bed for pet, it is important to ensure that the bean bag is well sewn and the bag is made of resilient material that can withstand pet fingernail scratches. 

Fun-full sporting activities

Bean bags can also be used for ball-like recreational activities. For this application, the size of the bag is small enough to resemble a football and is made of water proof enclosure that ensures it can be thrown anywhere without damage. The pellets inside should be plastic ones as they easily float and are light in weight. 

The bean bag ball can be used for water sports such as swimming pool hand ball or playing football (foot-bag) on a sandy beach. A well sewn and safe bean bag is also good for children playing in the backyard. 

Other benefits 

Bean bags are also popular because they don’t easily roll away.  Once you place a bean bag in a given position you can be sure it will remain there unless someone moves it. They also come in all sizes and therefore one can find a bag that perfectly fits their wishes. 

Apart from that, they are also light and therefore easy to transport. A bean bag filled with air can be deflated when someone is planning to relocate. 

When were bean bag chairs popular?

Ever since they were first developed in the 1960s, bean bags have gained popularity all over the world. They are widely popular because they are easily available, can be used by all age groups and have many applications.

With all their benefits, more and more people want to know all about a bean bag and how a bean bag can be used to make life more comfortable. Now more than ever bean bags are so popular throughout the world. 

During the earlier years, beans and other natural materials were used in bean bags. The trends have changed over the years with technological advancements resulting in cheaper and lighter fillers. Modern pellets are also more durable and don’t need to be replaced as often as beans, corns, rice or wheat husks.  

What is meant by bean bag without beans?

The name ‘bean bag’ originated from the fact that beans were originally used to fill the bag. However, over the years different products have been used in place of beans. 

Bean bags filled with beans are nowadays rarely used as other fillers with better benefits have been developed. There are those people that still prefer bean bag made for relaxation with natural fillers.  

Even though bean bags without beans are very popular anybody can still acquire a bean bag with beans and other natural fillers. This kind of bean bag can be made at home through simple do-it-yourself (DIY) procedures. All the materials needed for bean bag to help with insomnia or one that will be used for relaxation are readily available and can be purchased affordably at local stores. 

How to use bean bag chair?

Bean bag chairs can be used in so many different and interesting ways. The fact that they are light means they can be moved from one place to another without any difficulty. Bean bag chairs can be used in the following ways: 

For relaxation in the living room.

 Boredom can be kicked out of the body by simply placing the bean bag chair in the living room and relaxing on it. 

Outdoor applications 

A bean bag made for relaxation can also be used outdoors in balconies and gazebos. Rather than endure the high summer temperatures, a bean bag chair can be placed outside from where the user will enjoy the cool breeze flowing through the balcony or gazebo. 

In the bed room

The bedroom is also a perfect spot to place a bean bag chair. It can be used for relaxation, reading a book, relieve stress and relieve anxiety. 

One major advantage of bean bag chairs is that they can be used in various positions depending on the size and shape. A bean bag to help with insomnia or relieve stress can be used in lying position, sitting up or sitting at 45 degrees angle. 

How much beans do you need to fill a bean bag?

The quantity of beans required to fill a bean bag depends on its size, shape, maximum weight it is intended to support and type of bean used. Here is a summary of the quantity of plastic beans required versus the size, shape and maximum weight:

  • Extra Large bean bags
    • Diameter of bean bag :- 0.5 meters (20 In)
    • Height of bean bag :- 1 meter (39 In) 
    • Maximum weight supported by bean bag :- 50 kilograms (110 pounds)
    • Quantity of beans required :- 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds)
  • Double Extra Large bean bags
    • Diameter of bean bag :- 0.6 meters (24 In)
    • Height of bean bag :-1.1 meters (42 In)
    • Maximum weight supported by bean bag :- 70 Kilograms (154 pounds)
    • Quantity of beans required :- 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds)
  • Triple Extra Large bean bags
    • Diameter of bean bag :- 0.7 meters (28 inches)
    • Height of bean bag :- 1.2 meters (46 inches)
    • Maximum weight supported by bean bag :-110 kilograms (243 pounds)
    • Quantity of beans required :- 2.75 kilograms (6.1 pounds)

Apart from above estimates, the user may decide to increase or reduce the number of beans to suit their specific preferences. It is also important to note that beans added to inflatable bags may be fewer than those added to regular bags.

Are bean bag chairs good for your back?

Perfectly filled and sizeable bean bags are very comfortable and adjust to the natural body shape and posture. They are suitable for relaxation and offer therapeutic solutions for those interested in bean bag to help with insomnia and a bean bag to remove anxiety. 

When used moderately, bean bags do not have adverse back effects. However, it is advisable not to sit on bean bags for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.  With prolonged use, the bags are counterproductive as they may affect general posture and also lead to back problems. 

Bean bags adjust to the shape and posture of the person using them. Users tend to sit in a coiled position and therefore those who spend too much time on bean bags may end up not having a straight back and body posture. They also don’t have a head rest and therefore may be strenuous if used for long periods. When used for overly long periods of time bean bags may result in leg and arm muscle aches as the bags do not have support structures for legs and arms. 

When working, it is advisable to use a normal working chair-table combination with the chair having a straight back. This will ensure a straight posture is maintained and concentration levels are optimal. 

The shape and size of bean bags also determine the level of comfort and effects on the back. Larger bags are more comfortable and support the entire body and therefore the back won’t have much problems even when sitting on it for a long period of time.

How to make a bean bag (DIY)?

A do-it-yourself bean bag is the best way to customize bean bags to exact preferences and specifications. With a DIY bean bag, it will be possible to select the beans to use, the cover to use, the color of the cover and the shape of the bean bag. Here is a step by step guide of how to make a simple cylindrical triple extra-large bean bag that can with stand more than 100 kilograms: 

Requirements

  1. 2.75 kilograms of Polypropylene, polyurethane, polystyrene or Polyethylene beans. More filling materials can be purchased and used if necessary.
  2. Sizeable peace of cover such as a waterproof canvas cover. The base and top will require O.77 square meters each while the side portion will need a total of 2.64 square meters.
  3. Waterproof zip that is 0.2 – 0.3 meters in length.
  4. Sewing machine. 
  5. Thread
  6. Scissors 

Procedure. 

  1. Cut out two circular pieces from the canvas cover to be used as the base and top of the bean bag. The diameter of each of the two pieces should be 0.7 meters. 
  2. Cut the side portion of the bean bag. The canvas to be used here will be rectangular in nature with a height of 1.2 meters and a length equivalent to the circumference of the cut circular canvas base and top i.e. the length of the side part will be 2.2 meters long. 
  3. Sew the cut water proof canvas pieces into a cylindrical shape starting with the base. After the base and side portions have been sewed together, the top part can be added while remembering to also include the zip. 
  4. Remember to sew the canvas bag inside-out before re-adjusting it at the end of the process.
  5. Fill the beans into the newly sewn bag, fasten the zip and enjoy the bean bag.

Can I wash a bean bag in the washing machine?

There are a number of factors that determine whether a bean bag needs to be hand or machine washed. This factors include the size of the bag, the material used to make the bean bag and the size of the washing machine. 

Bean bag covers made of materials such as cotton, chenille, polyester, denim and such fabrics can be cold machine washed. They may also be gently hand washed. All that needs to be done is to remove the beans before gently hand washing or cold machine washing. 

On the other hand, bean bag covers made of nylon, leather or vinyl products don’t need to be washed using a machine. The bag can be cleaned by simply wiping it using a wet soft piece of clothing. 

How to take care of bean bags

Taking good care of bean bags will result in a longer lifespan and more comfort. Users can do the following to take care of bean bags:

  • Avoid placing them on rough surfaces.

Rough surfaces may permanently damage a bean bag or result in a coarse texture that is not comfortable to seat or lie on. 

  • Do not seat on bean bags while having sharp objects/accessories

Before sitting or lying on a bean bag, always ensure that there is no sharp object/accessory in your pocket or on your clothes. These include keys, needles, sharp zippers, jewelry etc. 

  • Seat gently instead of jumping 

Even though some bean bags are made of versatile material, they can still burst if a sudden pressure is applied on them. This means that it is important to seat on them gently instead of jumping onto them. 

  • When having pets, select bags with stronger covers

Bean bags made of light materials can be easily punctured by sharp fingernails. Pets such as dogs and cats can easily prick and puncture a bean bag if it is not made of a tough cover. 

Can you recycle bean bag?

Just like all other things, bean bags cannot last forever and at some point it may be necessary to dispose the bag and its contents. Someone may even want to replace a bean bag with a different design, shape or color. 

Unlike bean bags filled with natural elements, modern ones are made of synthetic material that is not biodegradable. The beans are made of substances that can stay for thousands of years without breaking down into their original elements. They therefore pose a serious environmental hazard if not well disposed. Some of the ways to dispose synthetic beans include the following: 

  1. Re-using the beans on a new bag. 

If the user just wants to replace the cover, it is possible to buy a new cover and then fill it with beans from the old bag. 

  1. Give it to someone else.

Family and friends can readily accept a bean bag that needs to be disposed. Rather than dispose to the environment, try to ask around if someone is interested in taking it. 

  1. Use it in shipping boxes. 

Plastic pellets in bean bags are soft, light and can form a protective layer when used in shipping boxes. The plastic beans can be used instead of the double wrapping used in fragile items. 

  1. Art and craft projects

The beans can also be used in simple art and craft projects to expand ones creativity and possibly come up with something attractive and unique. Rather than dispose the beans, someone can buy glue and use their creativity to implement new and exciting art and craft projects. 

  1. Add to vases and garden pots. 

Bean bag pellets can be used instead of pebbles used in filling vases and garden pots. This disposal method should however be used only when the vases and pots are high and secure enough such that the beans will not find their way to the environment. 

  1. Send to waste disposal plants. 

Most countries have a number of waste disposal plants that specialize in all types of materials. Instead of dumping synthetic waste to the environment, the beans can be sent to the plants for proper disposal.   

Are bean bags safe?

Bean bag safety is a subject that has been researched on for quite some time now. Whenever using a bean bag that relieve stress, it is also important to think of the safety of that bean bag.

Bean bag safety for adults 

Generally a bean bag can be considered safe for adult users. However, when being used by toddlers, a bean bag made for relaxation or any other use can pose a serious risk to the toddler. 

Bean bag safety for toddlers 

Bean bags are filled with pellets made of different materials that include plastics and natural fillers. The pellets are sometimes tiny and can easily fit into the nasal and mouth cavities. If swallowed or inhaled, bean bags pose a serious risk and may lead to choking or other health issues. It is therefore very important to continuously monitor children using bean bags. 

When purchasing bean bags, it is important to check the quality of the bag. The bag should be made of a strong material that is not only durable but designed to withstand prolonged tension and compression. If the bag also has a zipper, then the zipper should be completely lockable such that a toddler will not be able to open it. 

In some jurisdictions including the United States and Australia, bean bag manufacturers are highly regulated and high standards enforced to ensure the bags are safe for use by toddlers. For jurisdictions without stringent bean bag regulations, it is up to the parent to double check and ensure that the purchased bean bag is safe for a toddler. Once safety is assured, people across all age groups can use a bean bag to remove anxiety or a bean bag for relaxation.