Modern bean bag furniture became a fun and comfortable seating alternative in 1969. Prior to this time, people did in fact sit on bags filled with various materials, but an Italian designer created the modern bean bag as a mass-produced option. Since then, other designers and manufacturers have built upon the first designs to craft bean bags suited for both homes and offices. Before you make this type of furniture purchase, it is important to treat bean bags the same as you would any other furniture and consider the following:
Your Specific Health Needs
Always speak with your doctors about whether a bean bag is appropriate given your health. Bean bags do provide rest and relaxation benefits. Some bags are also specifically designed to offer additional health benefits. That said, they can make it easier for some people who have certain health issues, such as shoulder and back problems, to relax too much or stretch or strain areas in painful ways. For example, sinking into a bean bag and then attempting to later get back up can cause pulling and tension in the shoulders and back.
Size, Shape and Design
Although it might seem like common sense, a lot of people fail to consider space and usage needs when purchasing a bean bag. Bean bags range in size from small enough for children and pets to large lounger-style models that can easily replace a couch to offer a comfortable spot for two or three people to sit down or sleep. When it comes to shape, you can still find traditional geometric shapes, such as pear, round, cylindrical, square and rectangle bags. You can enjoy these styles with or without a back rest or foot stool. Other shapes are also available, including forms designed to look like specific objects like ice cream cones, donuts, fruit, animals, car seats and hands.
Furniture Fill Material Options
Some fill materials are safer than others. For example, if you’re considering the purchase of a bean bag filled with “all natural” or “plant-based” fillers, think again. Many of these options, including seeds, beans, husks and fur, can lead to insect and mold problems in the future. Water- and heat-resistant plastic bead or bean filler is usually the safest option. Of course, if protecting the environment is your main concern, several bean bag companies offer products that have filler made from recycled plastics. The best part about these beads is that when you need to refill your bag, you can re-use the old beads in craft projects. Certain beads aren’t environmentally-friendly though, such as micro-beads, and have been banned in some geographic regions.
Bean Bag Surface Protection
As with any furniture, bean bag furniture surfaces can become torn or damaged by water or stains. Small and large beanbag covers can protect your bean bag for years. Covers are available in a wide range of colors, materials and textures, including upholstery quality tones and textures designed to match any interior decor. Although faux and real leather and vinyl premium materials continue to be popular, it is not uncommon to find fabric covers that feature soft, more flexible microsuede, fur or pebble textures. When deciding on a cover, always consider whether you need it to be water-resistant, especially if you have small children or pets, since a water-resistant cover can help make clean up of spills a snap.