Bean bag chairs are cool again—but should you buy one?
With curved lines and rounded edges, these chairs are on trend
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Bean bag chairs evoke images of your kid's playroom or your teen’s messy bedroom. You may be picturing yourself slumped in one with a plate of pizza rolls after school. But bean bag chairs are having a renaissance, and they’re surprisingly stylish.
Bean bag chairs are simple in design as they’re typically a foam-filled orb covered in soft fabric. Now, these chairs have gotten a makeover and are coming in all shapes, sizes, and materials to bring some serious coziness to your home.
Here’s what you need to know about bean bag chairs.
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The history of bean bag chairs
The bean bag chair originated in 1968 when Italian designers Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini, and Franco Teodoro. Inspired by post-World War II innovations, the designers sought out to create a “shapeless” chair that embraced a relaxed and non-conformist design.
The original design is known as the Sacco chair targeted toward the carefree hippie communities of the 1960s and ‘70s, students, and young professionals.
The style of these chairs took off, and in 2002, the bean bag got a rectangular update from Finnish designer Jukka Setala who created the ‘Fatboy’ bean bag chairs. Rather than a ball-shaped design, the Fatboy bean bag chair took a rectangular shape that could be positioned for sitting upright or reclining.
Reasons to buy a bean bag chair
Bean bag chairs, while floppy and shapeless, can be chic and cozy, offering a low-to-the-ground seating option that you can melt into. Unlike your armchair that has to stay put, a bean bag chair can be toted around so you can take it from reading nook to living room game night.
Bean bag chairs come in all shapes and sizes (and aren’t just for the kids' playroom). Bean bags are flexible in how you can position them so that you can lay flat or sit upright. The classic Fatboy bean bag is a great example of how versatile a bean bag chair can be. With its slim profile, this bean bag chair is easy to throw in a closet when you need it out of the way.
The design is stylish and fun
As predicted by design experts, soft, rounded edges are all the rage. The curves of the bean bag chairs are a perfect fit for bringing this trend home.
Variations of the classic bean bag design are all the rage. Elegant models are taking shape dressed up in sleek leather coverings, like this modern lounger) from West Elm.
Floyd recently launched their Squishy Chair, a vibrantly colored chair that pays homage to the Sacco chair. With its foam-filled design, it adds playful seating to your home while still looking modern rather than childish.
Additionally, bean bags are getting bigger and expanding to couches. The Matilda couch from Urban Outfitters sits right on the floor just like any old bean bag chair and offers the plush fill and feel of a bean bag chair–just with a little extra structure to keep the shape of a couch.
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They’re comfortable for everyone
While bean bags have gotten a stylish makeover, even the more traditional designs are optimal for those seeking out snug seating.
Leigh Harrington, our Managing Editor of Home, tried out Moonpod’s best-selling bean bag chair and commended it for its super comfortable seating–it’s the most sought after seat in her house come movie night. The Moonpod stays upright so it’s easy to store or tuck away when you need some extra space.
Bean bags can also be great for those with accessibility needs. Contributor, Jaclyn Greenberg says the Yogibo Lounger has been a game-changer for her son with cerebral palsy. Greenberg says the Yogibo Lounger provides a comfortable and supportive seat for her son.
Both Moonpod and Yogibo bean bag chairs are also machine washable. You can slip off their exterior covers and throw them in the washer and dryer–far easier than having to bring out your upholstery cleaner for your armchair.
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