What Kind Of Beans Are Used In A Bean Bag? [All You Need To Know]

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The variety of bean bag fillings is astonishing, ranging from natural ones like dried beans to synthetic options like micro beads. And when scouring the market for the best bean bag refill, you’ll find that the most common material being used is EPS, primarily due to its long-lasting compression. 

Likewise, you can go for buckwheat hulls for an eco-friendly bean bag filler. But if all you care about is min-maxing your comfort, then shredded foam is the filler material for you. The options are aplenty, and you can pick and choose from several combinations. 

So, whether you’re looking to buy the best filling material that caters to specific tastes or purchasing a new bean bag furniture altogether, you’ll find the required assistance below. Read on! 

The Selection Of Bean Bag Fillings

Female hands digging in a box with white packing peanuts. Ideal for websites and magazines layouts. The selection of bean bag fillings.

Now, it’s essential to know what’s available on the market before you make a decision. Synthetic material is usually the most affordable since it is the easiest to produce without compromising the seating experience. 

Materials such as EPS and EPP are widely utilized due to their high compression and long-lasting qualities. Natural fillers are not far behind, as an environmentally conscious mindset has significantly risen among bean bag lovers. 

1. Shredded Foam

Shredded memory foam, aka compressed foam, works exceptionally well with pillows, beds and bean bags. The foam adapts to your body for maximum comfort; it compresses optimally to provide ample support for your back. A considerable amount of the material can be filled into a regular-sized bean bag, enabling you to comfortably sit on it for hours without any issues. 

Compressed foam is being used everywhere now, and bean bag chairs filled with them may be the next to top the popularity charts in the near future. The foam is light like a feather, portable, and can be compressed as per your requirements, so you can move it around with no hassles. Plus, the utility it offers is unmatched and may very well be your favorite material to use in your bean bag. 

On that note, we should mention that you’ll need around 6 cubic feet of memory foam to fill up a regular-sized bean bag chair. 

One notable caveat with memory foam bean bags is that they must never come in contact with water. Moisture limits the foam’s compressibility to a great extent, so it may not be a suitable material for outdoor bean bags. 

2. Micro Beads

Micro beads are generally used in small bean bags and neck pillows. As the name suggests, the beads are tiny spheres, being around ten micrometers to one millimeter in size. These are made out of a chemical called polyethylene. Given their small size, micro beads generally offer decent compression. 

However, the combined weight of a micro bead bean bag is more than that of an EPS one, which affects its portability as well. And when contrasted against fillers like EPS and EPP, micro beads provide significantly less comfort. 

Other than that, micro beads are used in liquid soaps and other cosmetic products as exfoliating agents. However, it is worth noting that they may pose an environmental risk, owing to a high chance of contaminating water bodies. That’s why they are banned in many places around the world. 

3. EPS Beans

Expanded Polystyrene beans (or EPS beans) can be considered a sibling to styrofoam. They are a common bean bag filler material and one of the best cushioning materials on the market. Expanded polystyrene is exceptionally lightweight and retains its form for a long time. Because of this, you will rarely have to worry about refilling your bean bag frequently. 

EPS beans have the added benefit of being heat and moisture-resistant, making them an excellent bean bag filler. Besides, they can be recycled and reused almost endlessly. 

Once the time to refill your bean bag arrives, you may easily reuse the old beads for packaging and also as a cushioning material. This versatility makes it one of the most popular bean bag fillers. 

4. EPP Beans

Expanded Polypropylene is the other most common bean bag filling material used for its durability and high compression retention. Although heftier than EPS beans, the filler will not lose its original shape and size easily, making it a rather comfortable filling. Its durability surpasses that of EPS, and it doesn’t have any discernible odor, making it more popular in Asian countries. 

However, its inflammable nature is a noticeable downside. To minimize the risk, you will have to keep the bean bag away from fire hazards and naked flames. 

Strong, durable, and with great compression, EPP is a bean bag filler you should consider when looking to purchase some. 

5. Natural Filling

Unlike synthetic bean bag beads, natural fillers are a relatively niche pick. Recent years have seen a bit of a resurgence in natural materials with the environment-friendly mindset taking precedence, but the synthetic counterparts still dominate the market. 

Unprocessed Natural Fillings

Lining a bean bag with buckwheat hulls is a popular option. It reigns as the most comfortable natural filler. As far as natural fillers go, your imagination is the limit. You could go for dry beans, kidney beans, dried grains, rice, sand, pebbles, and so much more. 

Although the comfort they provide may be debatable, one undeniable aspect is its longevity. They’ll outlast any other material on this list. Sand can’t expire, can it? 

Moreover, you may want to enclose natural fillers in a thickly-lined or strongly double-stitched bag to avoid ruptures in the outer lining. And if possible, avoid thin linings to prolong the life of the bean bag chair. 

Fillings Derived From Natural Sources

You also have the option of using a bio-foam filler, which is made out of a biopolymer derived from plants. Like EPS beans, the bio-foam beans are lightweight and durable with good compressibility. Bio-foam bean bag filler is a superb alternative to traditional fillings, as it is non-toxic, hygienic, and completely biodegradable. 

Why Choose Bean Bags Over Traditional Furniture?

With the advent of bean bags, the furniture industry has seen a turnaround from traditional wooden furniture. The versatility offered by bean bags outclasses wooden furniture any day. They can be environment-friendly, long-lasting, and provide excellent support for your back. You can minimize the agony of sitting in one place for hours on end with this simple change. 

As one of the most customizable furniture on the market, bean bags are a revolution. Due to deforestation, wooden furniture will see an eventual decline. They continue to grow fragile as they age and, depending on the make, may break sooner than expected. Once broken, they are somewhat  difficult to mend, and oftentimes, they may require discarding. 

Synthetic furniture, though long-lasting, may have the caveat of compromising on comfort. So, sitting on them for long hours can invite the risk of developing long-term back problems. Discarding them also poses an environmental risk, considering they are made from plastics. But with bean bags to your disposal, you can bid these problems goodbye! 

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What Kind Of Beans Are Used In A Bean Bag Frequently Asked Questions ?

Why does the filling material matter so much in a bean bag?

The comfort of bean bag chairs is outclassed by none and a large part of it is what it’s been filled with. They are tailored to your personal preference with the multitude of options available. Pair the outer lining with a filling material that you find the most relaxing, such as EPS, Bio-foam, memory foam, or buckwheat hulls. Long hours on bean bag chairs will fly past, eliminating the back issues that ordinary chairs pose. Bean bags are simply that versatile. 

Compared to traditional furniture, the compressibility of bean bag fillers will enable you to store your bean bags anywhere while having greater aesthetic appeal. 

This quality extends to another benefit: bean bags can’t be broken. They can be tossed around, and they can withstand most impacts. The maintenance they need is low, and they will last long regardless. 

What are the typical sizes and shapes of bean bags?

There’s a bean bag size for every age group. A standard adult-sized bean bag sold these days may range from 120 cm to 140 cm in width and 125 cm to 150 cm in length. The specific sizes may vary depending on brands. 

As for shape, imagine any traditional seating furniture, and you will likely find a bean bag shaped like it. Beds, chairs and sofas have a bean bag counterpart, so the sky’s the limit regarding their shapes. 

What kind of materials are bean bags made of?

You may find a standard bean bag chair lined with faux leather, microfiber leather, cotton, linen, or natural fibers. The bean bag filling also determines which fabric is used or vice versa, if you’re refilling an old bag. A material of thicker gauge is used with fillers like sand, while a thin fabric would be enough for some of the lighter ones. 

For an XXL bean bag, how much filling will you need?

For a standard adult-size or XXL bean bag, you’ll need about 10 cubic feet of filling. However, this amount can change according to the filling material being used. 

What is the best bean bag filling?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If comfort is the first and foremost quality for you, the best bean bag filling is the shredded memory foam. The compression it offers is unmatched. It adapts to everyone, so it’s more likely that this material will suit your fancy. 

Bio-foam and buckwheat hulls are the go-to options if you want an eco-friendly bean bag filler choice. If synthetic fillers are fine with you, then you may go for EPS or memory foam. 

Each bean bag is tailored to its customer, so you can freely opt for the combination you desire. 

Fillers generally have air trapped in them. It gets pushed out when pressure is applied to the beads. Some fillers for bean bags do not retain their compressibility after a few months’ use. Eventually, your bean bag won’t compress at all, which is when you should refill it. 

Do bean bag fillings pose any safety risk?

Most bean bags are filled with beads, so they inherently pose a choking hazard for toddlers and infants. Bean bag safety shouldn’t be overlooked, and some governments require manufacturers to include safety features to prevent these hazards by law. 

 Strong double-stitched bean bags will make sure they are properly sealed. Some bean bag makers include a parental locking mechanism in their products as well. 

If you are susceptible to allergic reactions from polystyrene beads, it would be wise to use natural fillers instead. Bio-foam may be an excellent replacement for EPS beads. 

Are bean bags meant only for seating?

Bean bags can be used for a variety of purposes as well as for adding aesthetic appeal to a room. You could play games with them at a party as soft toys, use a water-resistant lining to transform them into pool flats, or give one to your pet. 

Another use of bean bags is as a replacement for tripods. Since they can change shapes freely, a cameraperson may use them to adjust their shots if a tripod is not accessible to them. There are no limits to a bean bag’s uses. 

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What Kind Of Beans Are Used In A Bean Bag Conclusion

The horizons of bean bag fillings have expanded exponentially in the past few years. Naturally, this has shifted the popular opinion on bean bags. 

Conventional materials like EPS and EPP will always stay relevant. But as time goes on, more eyes look to find natural options. And with very few notable downsides, bio-foam may very well be the leading filler in the future. 

Of course, your experience with bean bags will be unique and fortunately, you can tailor it as required. Combine the right kind of filler, the perfect outer fabric, and the correct shape for the best results. Be it a faux leather bean bag with EPS beans or a cotton one with shredded foam filling, you can easily get the bean bag chair of your liking. 

Bean bags are quite often used in creative environments, from graphic design studios to architecture practices, all types of bean chairs get a chance. An architect that awaits comfortably on his bean bag for the 11×17 printer to do this job, may be on the floor, on a bean bag awaiting his print. If you don’t know what size is 11×17 paper please check our latest articles!

At the end of the day, a reliable, comfortable bean bag can break the monotony of any space, and we strong encourage you to give these oval funny looking chairs, a chance!