When it comes to seating, everything is secondary to comfort. It doesn’t matter how stylish a chair looks: if it isn’t pleasant to sit on it, it has reneged on its basic purpose. So what is the most comfortable bean bag chair?
In general, bean bags are among the comfiest seating options available, something that emerges from the way the filling interacts with the weight of your body. As you sink into the chair, the beans rearrange themselves underneath you to equalise the pressure in all directions. You feel subsumed, providing maximum support as you recline.
It started in the Sixties
Ever since the later 1960s, brands have been experimenting with different shapes of bean bag chairs. In the early days, your only option was round bean bags with small backrests for keeping your hips in the right place. Today, though, it’s a different story. The number of styles is enormous.
There were two driving forces behind this change. On the one hand, you had designers who realised that you could do so much with the bean bag concept. Yes – the original concept was good, but, nothing said you had to avoid eclectic designs.
And on the other, manufacturers became better at creating fabric casings for the beans from more advanced and robust materials. All of a sudden, it was possible to turn concept designs into reality without compromising the integrity of the bean bag shape itself.
Bean bag vendors also got better at creating fabrics that felt comfortable on the skin. Historically, the priority was always to encase the beans with materials that would prevent them from spilling out all over the floor. But as fabrics advanced, manufacturers could provide users with both the durability and comfort they desired. Some brands even encased their bean bags in multiple layers, combining a strong, durable inner to withstand impacts with an attractive, replaceable and washable outer.
So what is the most comfortable bean bag chair?
What Is The Most Comfortable Bean Bag Chair? – Form Factors To Consider
When it comes to the most comfortable bean bag chair, there is no single style that can lay claim to being the outright winner. Many forms of bean bags are extraordinarily comfortable.
Lounge Recliner-Style Bean Bag Chairs
The lounge recliner is one of our top picks for the most comfortable bean bag chair. This laid-back style looks similar to a traditional sun lounger and comes with a supportive backrest, a small depression for the hips and butt, and a slightly raised section for dangling your lower legs. The seat itself doesn’t require the use of any stabilising muscles either, so it’s easy to take a nap. And because it holds your body in a reclined position, it takes the pressure off your joints – great for people with back trouble.
Moon Pod Bean Bag Chairs
Moon pod bean bag chairs are a little different from the standard round bean bags. You can think of these as more like comfortable lean-tos. The bean bag is scoop-shaped, with a stable base that comes into contact with the floor before gently curving upwards to form the back. The buttocks rest on the lower quarters while the back and head come into contact with the incline section.
Moon pod bean bags look a little funny when you first see them and appear to defy the laws of gravity. The back appears suspended in the air. But intelligent weighting of the beans inside makes them both sturdy and comfortable, providing you with a genuine crash pad.
Bean Bag Sofas
All the bean bags discussed so far are for single-person use. But there are many designs out there designed for multiple occupants, helping you to take snuggle time to the next level.
Visually, bean bag sofas are impressive. The need to accommodate more than one person gives them a large and plush appearance. But they’re more than just pretty objects. They’re also among the most comfortable bean bag seats you can buy. Many use super soft materials – such as memory foam – and they offer increased volume over standard bean bags, providing a pillowy sensation every time you sit on them.
Cocoon Bean Bag Chairs
Cocoon bean bag chairs are a little bit like beds, making them among the comfiest varieties on the market. Typically, cocoon bean bag chairs are large and round – usually, more than six foot in diameter, so that you can lie down on them. Many also feature a small back section to provide lumbar support if you want to sit up.
Cosy Sack Bean Bag Chairs
Cosy sack bean bag chairs are similar to the original round design. But there’s a crucial difference – the level of lateral support you receive is much greater. Unlike the original Italian bean bags of the 1960s, your butt rests in a depression in the middle, and your arms, back and legs receive support from all sites. It is an all-subsuming seating experience.
Most cosy sack bean bag chairs arrange the beans in a U-shape tube to the back and sides. You sit in the middle of the U, spreading your weight throughout the object.
Arm Chair Bean Bags
Until recently, the idea that you could get a bean bag chair in the shape of an armchair seemed like a long shot. But now designers have made it happen, providing owners with both armrests and backs.
This move isn’t just aesthetic. There are real ergonomic reasons for wanting to recreate the classic armchair in bean bag form. The first is that armchairs provide you with somewhere to rest your arms aside from your own body. Traditionally, bean bag chairs didn’t offer this feature. And the second is the comfort of the fabric and cushioning material.
Now, though, you can get both of these features in bean bag chairs. Creative internal and external fabric stitching allows brands to create bean bags with armchair-like shapes that are perfect for living rooms, libraries and bedrooms.
Chill Sack Bean Bag Chairs
Chill sack bean bag chairs look like amorphous blobs – as if you’d taken an ordinary sofa and blown air into it like a balloon. But they’re also supremely comfortable and perfect for anyone looking to replace a traditional two-person seat.
Chill sack bean bag chairs have a laid-back aesthetic, so many people use them in gaming dens and playrooms. Outdoor versions also make an excellent replacement for traditional multi-person seating on your deck or patio.
What Is The Most Comfortable Bean Bag Chair? – Fillings To Consider
While the form factor you choose is essential for determining the comfort of your bean bags seating, but so too is the filling.
There are many different types of fillings for bean bags out there. But which are the best for comfort?
#1: EPP Beads
EPP stands for “extruded polypropylene” and is a manmade material designed to overcome some of the limitations of traditional, organic bean bag fillings. The compound is famous for its resistance to chemicals and fatigue. But it is also helpful in bean bags for its uncanny ability to return to its original shape after being crushed.
Many bean bags can feel a little “flat” after several years of use. The internal beans lose their capacity to return to their original shape over time.
That’s not the case with EPP beads. The material springs back to its previous form following compression, meaning that it doesn’t lose its bounciness over time.
The material is popular in Asia but is also available in many bean bags sold in Western markets.
#2: EPS Beads
EPS stands for expanded polystyrene. Again it is a lightweight synthetic plastic-based product, ideal for a range of consumer applications, including coffee cups.
EPS beads became a popular choice for bean bags when vendors started canvassing for fillings that were more moisture-resistant than traditional dried rice and beans.
The main advantage of EPS is the fact that it is almost 98 per cent air, with the actual plastic component being almost non-existent. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same material memory as EPP beads, and thus requires replacement every few years or so.
#3: Compressed Foam
Some vendors are also experimenting with compressed foam to make their bean bags more comfortable. The purpose here is similar to EPP – to find a material that will spring back to its original shape after every use.
Memory foam originally became popular when vendors realised that you could compress it to a quarter of its original size before shipping, helping them save on costs. But the material soon proved worthwhile in bean bags in general, providing a unique comforting feel that you just couldn’t get with standard fillings.
Whether you enjoy the sensation of memory foam is very much a matter of personal preferences. Some people love it. Others don’t.
#4: Organic Fillings
Coming in at number four is organic fillings. Rice and beans were okay as filling materials in the old days, but they don’t offer the supreme comfort levels of synthetic materials. They’re best for people who want eco-friendly options.
What Is The Most Comfortable Bean Bag Chair? – Fabrics To Consider
The final consideration is the type of fabric you choose to encase the beans. Just as with form factor, the material casing you select is a matter of personal preference.
Leather And Faux Leather
Both leather and faux leather bean bags offer you the luxury of traditional leather seating, but without the high price tag. Leather feels soft and cosy on the skin, and it’s also great for people who like the feeling of smoother materials. Initially, it is cool to the touch but soon warms up as your body remains in contact with it.
Cotton And Linen
Cotton and linen bean bags were once the most popular variety around – and many people still enjoy them today. The main reason is that cotton always feels warm to the touch and soft of the skin.
Cotton, however, has a couple of drawbacks that you might want to consider. It has virtually no stain resistance, making it unsuitable for families with young children. And it has a habit of absorbing liquids, making it difficult to dry out if you have an accident.
Silk is probably the most comfortable material for the skin. For thousands of years, people celebrated it for its superb tactile properties.
Today, silk remains one of the most luxurious and expensive fabrics around. You can buy synthetic versions, but they can’t compete with the real thing.
Silk is surprisingly robust, too, making it an excellent choice for bean bag chairs. However, like cotton, it doesn’t offer much stain resistance.
Microsuede feels a bit like a halfway house between leather and cotton. You get the substantial feeling and deep quality of leather, with some of the softness of cotton.
Suede remains one of the most comfortable options for anyone looking for a versatile bean bag chair. It’s attractive and gentle on the skin.
In terms of texture, it feels a bit like cotton, except slightly rougher.
Polyester is the most common material for bean bag chairs on the market today. It offers the best compromise between price, versatility, strength and comfort of any material currently available. And because it’s artificial, some versions are also waterproof, meaning that you can use it outside too.
So what is the most comfortable ban bag chair?
Here’s a summary of what we learned in this article:
- Comfort depends on the form factor of the bean bag chair, which, in turn, depends on your personal preferences.
- EPP is the most comfortable filling, though EPS and compressed foam are also good options
- Silk, leather and polyester are the most comfortable fabrics for bean bag casing
In general, almost all bean bag chairs are comfortable. But some are just that little bit more comfortable than others.