When You Want Chic But Chill, Look for the Best Beanbag Chairs
Our favorites are surprisingly stylish.
Published Dec 22, 2021 1:23 AM
We know, we know: You likely don’t associate beanbag chairs with high style. But we’re also guessing that you’re thinking of those crushed velvet or baseball glove numbers from childhood. Today’s beanbag chairs have gotten a major glow-up. There are structured models for elegant yet comfortable seating, plus others that come in a host of bespoke fabrics, like thick-pile velvets and Belgian linen. Beanbag chairs are also an excellent way to outfit a welcoming environment: “Any low-profile seating signals cozy, loungelike, laid-back vibes,” says designer Hollie Velten of Spaces by Hollie Velten. “Sometimes the right beanbag-filled sofa can rival an expensive Togo sofa or another iconic ’70s piece.”
So whether you’re channeling designs from 50 years ago or simply looking for a playful way to upgrade your living room furniture, don’t rule out this humble, eminently movable option. Read on for the best beanbag chairs of the moment, from structured to super-squishy.
- Best stripes: Majestic Home Goods Bean Bag Chair Lounger
- Best structured: Serena & Lily Newport Lounger
- Best custom fabrics: Restoration Hardware Grand Bean Bag
- Best for kids: Oyoy Corduroy Bean Bag
- Best outdoor: Lujo Bean Bag Indoor X Out
- Best handmade: BohoLounger Oaxaca Boho Lounge
- Best colors: Fatboy Original Bean Bag
- Best alternative: Domino x Crate & Kids Renn Memory Foam Chair
Best Stripes: Majestic Home Goods Bean Bag Chair Lounger
Material: Polyester | Color: Black and white | Filling: Polystyrene (50 percent recycled)
What we like:
- Machine washable
- Structured design
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Not many color options
Why we chose it: Structured design with a South of France aesthetic.
Beanbag chairs are often oversize, which means a brightly printed cover can sometimes read as a bit garish. But Majestic Home’s version toes the line without going overboard: Its black-and-white–stripe pattern works well both poolside and indoors and adds a bit of Hollywood Regency flair. It’s also constructed with a high back, which makes this chair ideal for those who don’t want to struggle much to get in and out of a seat.
Best Structured: Serena & Lily Newport Lounger
Material: Polyester-cotton blend | Color: Various | Filling: Polystyrene beads
What we like:
- High back
- Elegant design
- Only 10 pounds
- Limited color palette
Why we chose it: Classic beanbag comfort in a more structured model.
For a beanbag chair that is a bit more polished than your average model, Serena & Lily’s is ideal. With its high back; a chic, neutral color palette; and streamlined design, this one looks as at home in a playroom as in a primary bedroom. And at only 10 pounds and with an included grommeted rope handle, it’s easy to move from room to room.
Best Custom Fabrics: Restoration Hardware Grand Bean Bag
Material: Various | Color: Various | Filling: Expandable polystyrene
What we like:
- Child-safe locking zipper
- More than 100 fabric options
- Large size
- One of the pricier models
- Professional upholstery cleaning recommended
Why we chose it: A large beanbag chair that comes in an astonishing range of fabrics.
Ripstop nylon has its place in your home, but sometimes it’s not smack-dab in your living room. For a beanbag chair that’s as elegant as your sofa (and maybe even the same fabric), look into Restoration Hardware’s oversize version, which comes in 108 different fabrics and colors, from Belgian linen to bouclé to velvet. These chairs all also have a sturdy leather bottom; the thicker material mitigates wear and tear on the piece. For a more affordable version with several fabric options, West Elm carries a special-order beanbag, but note that it is smaller and has fewer ways to customize.
Best for Kids: Oyoy Corduroy Bean Bag
Material: Cotton | Color: Coral | Filling: Styrofoam
What we like:
- Whimsical details
- Lovely color
- Appealing fabric for children
- Spot-clean only
Why we chose it: A stylish beanbag with a bit of cheek.
One of the best parts about decorating children’s rooms is adding a bit of whimsy to the design. And while any beanbag is generally a winner in a kid’s bedroom, we especially love Oyoy’s for its playful details. The cover is constructed out of a soft, corduroy-velvet, which not only looks sharp but is fun for little hands to touch. It’s also topped with a delightful pom-pom, making it a less serious option that is perfect for the little ones in your home.
Best Outdoor: Lujo Bean Bag Indoor X Out
Material: Acrylic canvas (Sunbrella)| Color: Various | Filling: Polystyrene
What we like:
- Made of material suitable for indoors and outdoors
- Chic color options
- Has a coordinating ottoman
- Beans ship separately from cover
Why we chose it: A rugged beanbag chair that looks as great on your deck as in your den.
We’re all spending a lot more time outdoors, so why not upgrade your alfresco furniture? Lujo’s beanbag chair is outfitted in extremely durable Sunbrella fabric, which is mold- and mildew-resistant, UV- and fade-resistant, waterproof, and machine washable. But thanks to the addition of mélange yarn in its construction, the fabric appears like (and has a textural depth similar to) wool, making it suitable for indoor use as well. We also love the brand’s lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, as well as the five-year warranty against fading and deterioration.
Best Handmade: BohoLounger Oaxaca Boho Lounger
Material: Cotton-blend | Color: Various | Filling: Not included
What we like:
- Comes in two sizes
- Hand-dyed and hand-loomed material
- Made to order
- Certain colors can sell out
- Does not ship with filling
Why we chose it: A well-made product that supports a small business owner.
If you’ve been searching for a unique beanbag chair, there is no better place to hunt than Etsy. That’s where we discovered BohoLounger, a company that makes custom beanbag covers out of nubby, cotton-blend textiles sourced in Oaxaca, Mexico. Colors range from bright hues to neutrals, ensuring you can find a fabric that matches nearly any design style. Note, however, that this cover does not ship with filling. The upside of that, though, is that you can pick whichever type suits your design style best.
Best Colors: Fatboy Original Bean Bag
Material: Nylon | Color: Various | Filling: Virgin polystyrene beads
What we like:
- More than 20 colors available
- Easy to clean
- Extremely durable
- Less structured design
Why we chose it: An ultra-durable beanbag that comes in a rainbow of colors.
If you’ve been hunting for that perfect pop of color, look no further than Fatboy’s durable beanbag chair, which comes in an array of bright hues, from jewel tones to neutrals. We also love its durable nylon material, which renders it not only stain- and water-resistant but able to stand up to the rigors of even the roughest puppy or small child.
Best Alternative: Domino x Crate & Kids Renn Memory Foam Chair
Material: Polyester-cotton | Color: Peach | Filling: Polyurethane memory foam
What we like:
- Unique fabric
- Memory foam filling
- Elegant channel tufting
- Only two colorways
- On the smaller size; likely a better choice for children
Why we chose it: A chic seat for kids that’s halfway between a beanbag and a club chair.
For those of you looking for a child’s seat that is significantly more structured than a beanbag but not quite at the level of a regular chair, the Renn offers the best of both worlds. Constructed out of super-accommodating memory foam, there’s no fear of displacing too many filling beads (because there aren’t any!). We also love the chic fabric, which is made out of multiple complementary shades of peach and orange. And if we can give ourselves a plug: The chair is a part of Domino’s collaboration with Crate & Kids, and our chief content officer, Kate Berry, helped design it.
How We Chose These Products
These beanbag chairs were chosen by Domino’s market editor, Cat Dash, who searched high and low to find models that are durable, structurally sound, and way chicer than anything you may remember from earlier decades. We also tapped design experts Stephanie DeBrincat of Rockabye Mommy and Hollie Velten to share their knowledge on how to shop for beanbag chairs, plus proper care.
Our Shopping Checklist
Size and Shape
“Your size and weight will determine what suits you best, but the available floor space is another important consideration,” says DeBrincat. “Generally a 28- to 36-inch diameter would suit the little ones best, and for adults, look for a beanbag around 45 to 50 inches in diameter, which can comfortably seat up to two people.” As for shape? DeBrincat says that standard round beanbags may be fun for kids in a playroom, but adults with back pain should consider bags with a higher back for more support.
“The fill density may be a matter of personal preference, but to ensure you have options, look for a beanbag with a zippered inner layer that allows you to adjust the fill level to your liking,” says DeBrincat.
There are also so many options for the type of filling. “The most common beanbag fill is expanded polystyrene beans (EPS) or urethane shredded foam,” she adds. But if you’re looking for more sustainable materials, those are relatively easy to find as well. “Organic kapok fiberfill is an excellent substitute for conventional foam and bead materials,” notes DeBrincat. “This is the go-to option for low VOCs for improved indoor air quality, plus comfort and softness.” Other natural options, she says, include 100 percent organic cotton, buckwheat hulls, natural latex, and recycled materials.
“Because beanbags tend to get more aggressive use, the fabrication is important,” DeBrincat explains. “Look for quality stitching with double-stitched seams, a durable fabric (like cotton twill or a linen blend), and quality zippers concealed under a fabric flap.” Velten will also make her own bespoke bags. “I’ve reupholstered simple store-bought bags before to add something unexpected, like a grown-up print or fun corduroy for texture,” she says.
While beanbags may appear to be a casual, novelty item, they offer comfortable support when sized and filled properly. “A low-density fill may not offer enough lumbar support for long-term use, so consider keeping the maximum fill to maintain its shape and for optimized comfort,” says DeBrincat. “Properly filled beanbags will form around the natural shape of the body, creating an extremely comfortable and therapeutic seat.”
Can you wash a beanbag chair?
Yes! “Like most textiles in the home, beanbag covers come in washable options,” says DeBrincat. “Find a beanbag chair with a removable cover and an inner liner that securely contains the filling. This will allow you to easily care for and wash the cover regularly to prevent allergens and bacteria from building up on the fabric.” Regular vacuuming also removes dust and debris; helps maintain the fibers’ integrity; and can help extend the life and look of your chair.
Are beanbag chair bags bad for your back?
If you have back pain, look for a chair with good ergonomic and lumbar support. “A lounger with a medium-to-high back will provide additional support, while a dense fill will also offer more stability when getting up and out of the chair,” says DeBrincat. “Remember that most beanbags and loungers are lower to the ground than your standard sofa or chair. So keep in mind the strength and stability it will take to climb in and out of it with ease.”
How often should you replace the beans or stuffing?
“Over time, you will notice that your beanbag will start to flatten and lose its shape; standard beads contain air and will compress over time,” says DeBrincat. “A general rule of thumb is to add filling every two years.” It’s easy to find stuffing options with a quick Google search; Big Joe’s is one of the most popular and is widely available.
The Last Word
Beanbag chairs not only belong in spaces other than a kids’ play area, they sometimes can level up the entire design of a room. A customized chair in a sophisticated fabric or print can add just the right amount of playfulness and comfort to make any room feel more unique and welcoming.
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