Believe it or not, bean bags can be hazardous if used incorrectly. Be sure to read these safety tips before using your new bean bag. Today’s bean bag chairs were the result of work by three Italian designers in 1969. The designers, Gatti, Paolini, and Teodora worked for Zanotta Design. They wanted to create seating that appealed to the sixties generation; their goal was a stylish, hip, casual chair. The result was the bean bag chair.
It was a pear-shaped leather bag with a headrest area and filled with Styrofoam beans. The chair became instantly famous. Everyone liked how the filling adjusted to the size, shape, and weight of the person sitting in it.
That first chair evolved into seating for inside and out. Now, you can even float on a beanbag in your pool! There’s an enormous variety of shapes and sizes.
Chair covers come in leather, suede, corduroy, plastic, or cotton. Colours range from subdued to bright patterns. They’re made to suit children, adults, and pets.
When shopping for a bean bag chair, it’s important to consider safety. If you have children or pets at home, it must be safe for them. Keep reading to learn nine valuable bean bag safety tips before you buy.
1. Choose a Reputable Manufacturer
Before you buy a bean bag, ask questions. The questions vary depending on whether you visit a showroom or buy online.
Is the beanbag chair made of high-quality materials? Choose upholstery grade fabrics. They’re stain resistant and stand up to long-term use. Avoid cheap fabrics that are easy to stain and tear.
Does the manufacturer follow the Australian Safety Standards? These standards include materials and child-safety precautions. What filling is inside the chair? Is there a child-safe zipper? Are materials safe for the environment, pets, and children?
Choose a manufacturer who follows guidelines. It shows they care about their product and customers. Find a company that’s responsive to your questions. Ask about satisfaction guarantees and warranties.
2. Appropriate Chair Size
Bean bags aren’t one size fits all, there are more sizes and shapes than you can imagine. If you buy a chair for a pet or child, it should be the right size for them. Choosing an appropriate size for the users is essential.
Bean bags are for different uses. Choosing the right style and size for your situation is essential. A small child can fall off an adult-size chair. Bean bags made for babies often have safety straps. The strap holds the infant in place.
Baby bean bags position the baby to reduce reflux. They help babies who suffer from colic. A bean bag chair also helps infants with flat head syndrome.
3. Proper Placement and Purpose
When you buy bean bag chairs, keep them away from sharp corners and hazardous objects such as stone or brick fireplaces that puncture or tear the exterior fabric.
Position the bean bag on a carpet or soft surface. You don’t want it to slide around when someone sits down.
Don’t use a bean bag as a bed. A child sleeping in an oversized bean bag is at risk for a fall.
4. Fire Safety
In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates flammability for fabric. In Australia, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) determines flammability standards. Every consumer must decide if the chair they buy is high quality; and, if it’s constructed in a non-hazardous way.
Many countries require warning labels and childproof zippers on bean bags. If you buy a chair with a zipper that has its handle intact, cut it off. Removing the zipper pull means a child can’t unzip it. Be aware that the filling inside is dangerous if it’s inhaled.
Never allow an open flame anywhere near a bean bag chair. Don’t leave candles unattended as they are a severe fire hazard if unsupervised.
You can reduce the risks of fire by buying bean bag furniture in less flammable materials. Nylon and polyester synthetic fabrics are excellent choices for bean bags. They’re slow to ignite, and they shrink away from heat. Lower density fabrics catch on fire easier. That means thick nylon and polyester fabric is safer than cheaper thin fabrics.
For fire safety, you also should consider the filling inside the chair. Most bean bags contain beads made of expanded polystyrene (EPS). It’s pretty safe in its native state. The temperature must be higher than 200° C for it to burn.
When treated with a fire-resistant coating, EPS won’t burn until the temperature reaches 300° C to 500° C.
5. Choking Hazards
The highest risk for a cheap bean bag chair filled with foam pellets is choking. It’s a serious concern for children and pets who may eat the pellets.
Only buy chairs with a separate interior liner that holds the pellets. The chair should have a safety lock on the zipper, too. While these features reduce risk, it’s a good idea to watch kids and pets when they’re around bean bags.
If the chair doesn’t have a safety lock on the zipper, remove the zipper pull or sew it shut. That way little fingers can’t open it.
New standards make it hard for kids to unzip the cover and crawl inside. That prevents them from suffocating or inhaling the filling.
The safety standard in Australia was updated in 1987 and 2004. When the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) passed in January 2011, it influenced a review of the safety regulations.
6. Inner and Outer Covers
Quality bean bag chairs have both inner and outer covers, double-stitched seams and durable fabrics that stand up to rigorous use.
Look for chairs with removable outer covers that you can wash. Check to see if the cover is removable. If you can’t get the cover off, it doesn’t matter if the fabric is washable.
In the event you don’t clean the chair, it will get dirty. If you can’t keep it clean for health and appearance reasons, you won’t hold it as long. You won’t get the most value from your purchase.
7. Filling Material
When a bean bag contains dried beans or PVC pellets, it’s a comfortable spot to sit or nap.
Always ask what the bean bag filling is. Polystyrene beads are good because they’re lightweight making it easy to move the chair around your home. The downside is they compress and break down. But, you can refill a bean bag.
Polyurethane foam works well since it’s very soft. It won’t break down, so you don’t need to refill your bean bag chair. It is heavier, which makes the chair weigh more. Check for foam that’s non-carcinogenic and eco-friendly.
Transporting bean bag filling is possible, but expensive. If you want to refill a bean bag chair fast for less, check with local department stores.
8. Recalls and Warranty
Before you buy, check online for recall notices. In 2014 there was a recall by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Ace Bayou Corp. It involved 2.2 million bean bag chairs.
Two tragedies caused the recall when a thirteen-year-old and a three-year-old each crawled inside a beanbag chair. They got trapped and died from suffocation.
Buy a bean bag chair that comes with a warranty. A warranty shows the manufacturer stands behind the product. You can buy chairs without a warranty. Others have a 30-day, 1-year, 3-year, 5-year or lifetime warranty.
Look for precise details on the warranty. The company should be easy to contact if you have any issues. Bean bag chairs are safe for kids who have adequate supervision.
Standards set by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACC) require childproof zippers. Importers and distributors must follow the safety standards in the Trade Practices Act.
The Act says all bean bag covers, bean bags, and filling packages are subject to the safety standards. The Standards are there to protect children from inhaling or ingesting dangerous materials. The Act covers polystyrene beads or pellets, and any other associated products.
Every reseller and distributor must comply. They must make sure the products they sell meet. That means only adults can open zippers on bean bag chairs.
Use These Safety Tips When You Buy a Bean Bag Chair
Bean bag chairs are comfortable, portable, and easy to store. Who wouldn’t want one?
Follow the safety tips outlined in this post to keep everyone safe while relaxing in a bean bag chair. Don’t settle for a cheap bean bag that won’t last long, or may be dangerous for your family.
We have the best bean bag chairs for your child, teen, an adult or pet covered. Our bags work in many situations. You can even customise your chairs with a company name or logo.
Choose a chair that looks great while it keeps you safe and comfortable. If you want to see all the fabrics, sizes, and colours available, visit BeanBagsRUs today. We’re here to help answer all your bean bag chair questions.