Bean bags are back – and they’re not the amorphous vinyl blobs of yore. The latest range of bean bag chairs centers on sleek, multifunctional, comfortable designs for any setting. They can be funky furniture alternatives for dorms and kids rooms – some even transform into beds, making them boons for small spaces. Bean bags are ideal for large-scale adult settings, too; beautiful oversized suede and leather options are naturals in casual libraries and home theaters. Outdoor models offer a new way to watch the sun set while sipping coffee. How to decide on the right size and style for you? Read on.
Contrary to their name, bean bag chairs are not full of actual beans. Most bean bags today are filled with small, light, polystyrene beads that form to your body, creating the perfect comfy nest. The beads are fire-resistant and often made of recycled materials, such as plastic soda bottles. Models with this type of filler may allow to add more over time, too, for extra support.
Alternatively, some bean bags may be filled with polyurethane foam similar to the material used in memory foam mattresses but broken up into smaller pieces, creating a softer memory-foam effect. Because of the softness of the foam, most of these bean bags can be vacuum-sealed in small containers for easy shipping and are easily fluffed back into their original shape.
Both types of fillers are nonflammable, water-proof, hypo-allergenic, and held in tightly, typically by reinforced seams and locking zippers.
No matter what type of filler your bean bag has, its cover and liner are essential components. The liner lives between the filler and cover, offering the filler some protection from moisture, dust, dander, and other allergens. Plus, as a container for the filler, the liner lets you remove the exterior cover for care and maintenance without having to replace the filler as often as you wash the cover.
When it comes to cover designs, cotton, twill, and suede liners are perfect for indoor use; cotton and twill are especially easy to clean (some, super-conveniently, can even be machine washed), making them some of the kid- and pet-friendliest. Leather and faux-leather covers elevate bean bags, making them true options for main-room living. And if you’re going to tote bean bags to tailgating events or patio- side barbecues, the best cover choices will be weather- and stain-resistant nylon or ballistic fabric – don’t forget to look for integrated cup holders, too.
Finally, consider safety features. Locking zippers keep curious children and pets from accessing the filler, and double-stitching along cover seams mean the exterior can stand up to serious repeated use. Look for liners and covers that are durable, hypoallergenic, and flame-retardant to ensure the life, comfort, and beauty of your bean bag for years to come.
The filler sets the comfort and the cover sets the style, but the bean bag’s shape and size are the true dictators of the chair’s use. From the classic round plopper to elegant modular couch units, a comic- themed reading chair for any child’s room to a king-size leather model perfect for any den, bean bags come in a spectrum of shapes and sizes. When choosing the right bean bag, the key thing to remember is who will be using the bean bag chair most often. It doesn’t make much sense to purpose smaller, round bean bags made for kids rooms in adult spaces, nor do king-size thrones work for toddlers. It’s also important to consider the bean bag’s main use. Does it need to convert to a bed for house-guests, or will it be used just for sitting? Will the chair need to be pulled up to a table, or will it be for lying back and taking a nap? How many people does the chair need to seat at any one time?
The bean bag has moved from a kitsch icon of time past to a fully functional addition to any room or outdoor space. Make your modern home a little whimsical – and a lot more comfortable. Find your perfect bean bag at hayneedle.com – shop bean bag chairs now.