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The Very Best Beanbag Chairs

Whether you have kids, want to furnish a fun game room, or need comfy furniture fast, there is a beanbag chair for you.

Photo-Illustration: Marcus McDonald
Photo-Illustration: Marcus McDonald

In this article

Since the original 1960s Italian version rocked the design world, beanbag chairs have become an industry unto themselves with every imaginable shape, size, color, and fabric readily available to buy online. One reason for their widespread popularity is that they literally conform to any situation and any body, regardless of shape and size. Whether you have kids, want to furnish a fun game room, or just moved into a new apartment and need new (and cheap) furniture fast, there is a beanbag chair for you.

You can still purchase the original Sacco Italian beanbag chair, something furniture designer Ben Kicic recommends if you’re trying to “tell a story” with your design choices and also because a lot of the knockoffs look cheap, rip easily, and are too closely associated with a college dorm room. The originals are predictably very expensive — though according to Kicic, you can get one on 1st Dibs for less than $500. Still, if you’re just looking for something comfortable, casual, and cool to sink into for movie nights, there are tons of affordable, durable, and stylish options to choose from. We talked to 12 designers, parents, and beanbag chair enthusiasts to come up with a list of the very best ones for all different kinds of people and places.

What we’re looking for:

Filling type

According to Paige Anderson, an interior designer at Nitido Design, one of the most common fillings for bean bag chairs is polystyrene beads (often referred to as EPS beads), which she says are lightweight and inexpensive but not biodegradable. They can also be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Some brands will use recycled polyester beads (or a mix of recycled and non-recycled beads), which are more eco-friendly than polystyrene. Anderson says that recycled polyester beads are made from post-consumer waste, such as water bottles; they are nontoxic and hypoallergenic, but not necessarily recyclable themselves. Less common types of filling include shredded foam, compressed foam, natural latex filling (which is derived from rubber trees), and even your own stuffed animals or pillows. Each type of filling will feel (and sound) a little different when you sit down, so it might be worth trying out a few beanbag chairs in person if you have specific sensory preferences. We’ve listed the filling type in the details section of each product below.

Cover type

The original Italian beanbag chair was made with a leather cover, but now you can find beanbag chairs with covers made from almost every conceivable material, from heavy-duty nylon to shaggy faux fur. When deciding what kind of cover material is best, you’ll need to think about where you will be using the chair and whether or not you want something warm and cozy or cool and durable. Water-resistant nylon covers are great for outdoor use and are usually pretty stain- and rip-proof. But if you’re looking for something that feels more like a soft and enveloping blanket, we’d suggest something more plush.

Machine washable vs. spot clean

In addition to how the cover material feels, think about how you will keep it clean. Many beanbag chairs have removable covers that you can throw in the wash. Others have covers that are removable but spot- or dry-clean only, and some have covers that aren’t removable at all. Ultimately, this decision will come down to who is going to be sitting on your beanbag chair and how careful they are about not spilling snacks or removing their shoes before sitting down (or jumping in)

Age level

Beanbag chairs specifically designed for kids are usually smaller and come with brighter, more fantastically patterned covers. But that doesn’t mean a beanbag chair made for adults isn’t also potentially great for an 8-year-old. Based on style, cover material, washability, and size, we’ve noted which age level(s) each beanbag chair is “good for” in the details of each product below.

Best overall foam-filled beanbag chair

From $117

Filling type: Shredded foam | Cover type: Removable polyester cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Machine washable cover | Age level: All ages

Big Joe makes both foam- and bead-filled beanbag chairs. One advantage of the brand’s shredded-foam-filled Fuf is that it holds its shape better than most bead-filled chairs, cradling and supporting your body as you sink into what is effectively a giant, squishy orb. Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio tested out the large Fuf at home and described it as “supremely comfortable — I love it, my kids love it, even our cats love it.” The chair comes in five sizes from small to XXL, and you can choose between a softer plush cover or a more basic polyester material. Trolio tried the plush version of the cover and says “it’s cozy without being too shaggy or fuzzy.” The covers for all but the smallest size of Fuf are removable and machine washable, and they come in multiple colors and patterns.

The Fuf ships just like a mattress in a box, compressed and rolled up, so if you order one of the larger sizes, you’ll want to open it in the room where it’s going to live: “I can get the large size through a standard doorway, but it’s not easy,” Trolio notes. Thankfully, the Fuf has two discreet handles sewn into the cover, which are crucial for adjusting it, flipping it over to fluff it up, or moving it around a room. Once she opened it and put on the cover (a process that is definitely doable with one person, but easier with two), Trolio reports that the Fuf fully expanded within a few hours, though she warns that if you’re sensitive to odors, it took a few days for a slight “foam wrapped in plastic” smell to fully dissipate. Compared to the Yogibo, our top choice for a bead-filled beanbag chair that she also tested, Trolio says the Fuf’s main advantage is that it’s silent: “Where the noise of the Yogibo’s filling may bother some people, the Fuf’s shredded foam filling doesn’t make a sound,” she says.

Best overall bead-filled beanbag chair

$239

Filling type: EPS beads | Cover type: Removable cotton and spandex blend cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Machine washable cover | Age level: All ages

Amit Bhattacharyya, former head of data science at Vox Media, bought this classically round beanbag chair from Yogibo for his teenage daughter’s room. (It currently comes in more than a dozen solid colors and prints, so it should be easy to match to existing décor.) She uses it as a casual lounge chair, a place to read, or a change of scenery for working on her laptop. The Pod X is great as extra seating indoors, and the brand also makes an outdoor version with a water-resistant and UV-protected cover to keep the color from fading. Both the indoor and outdoor covers are machine washable and have a handle so the chair is easy to drag around from place to place.

Best (less expensive) bead-filled beanbag chair

Filling type: EPS beads | Cover type: Non-removable nylon cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Water resistant and wipes clean | Age level: All ages

Fatboy’s nylon-covered beanbag chairs are popular among adults and kids for their durability, simple shapes, and bright colors. Tara Reilly, VP of experiential and partnerships at Vox Media, bought Fatboy’s original slim beanbag chair in lime green for her toddler and says that it is easy to clean for spills but that it did not survive the dreaded marker test. “Generally speaking, it was durable and stood up to a toddler’s wear as well as a dog who adopted it as his own,” she says, adding that she later swapped it out for a Nugget, but definitely recommends it to parents.

Strategist writer Erin Schwartz is also a fan of the (larger and more expensive) Fatboy original, which they discovered through a former roommate who had one in white. “It was a very fun, silly, but also oddly chic thing to have around. I also remember it staying stain-free, which is pretty incredible for a white textile that lives on the floor,” they say.

Best beanbag chair that doubles as a bed

Filling type: EPS beads | Cover type: Removable cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Machine washable cover| Age level: All ages or multiple people at a time

Both Trolio and Bhattacharyya own and love this lounger-style beanbag chair. “We have it in our family room and someone can lie/sleep on it during sleepovers or a couple people can sit on it at a time,” says Bhattacharyya, calling it extra-comfy with the only downfall being that it’s impossible to get up from. “I actually have to roll myself onto the floor and then stand up. That is why I never get out of it,” he says.

Bhattacharyya also called out the Yogibo Max’s microbeads as being incredibly comfortable, and according to the brand they alleviate pressure points, making it perfect for pregnant people and anyone with back issues. Trolio confirmed this claim: “You basically feel like you’re floating when you lie on it,” she says, pointing out that if you also buy the modular Yogibo Support, a U-shaped pillow that adds a backrest and armrests to the Max (or really to anyplace else you might recline), you effectively wind up with a beanbag chaise lounge. According to Trolio, if there’s one drawback to the Yogibo, it’s the noise the filling makes: “It’s kind of like relaxing inside of a rain stick, but if that works for you on a sensory level, you’ll love it,” she says, noting that her 8-year-old and 5-year-old kids love to run and crash into it at every opportunity.

Best beanbag chair for stylish teens (and adults)

Filling type: Partially recycled (at least 65 percent) EPS beads | Cover type: Non-removable vegan-leather cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Wipes clean | Age level: Teens and adults

If you’re looking for a beanbag with a more sophisticated look for a teenager (or even an adult), Strategist writer Dominique Pariso highly recommends this faux-leather lounger from P.B. Teen. It comes in two sizes and ships ready to sit on. “I didn’t have to fill it with anything or wait to let it expand from a vacuum seal as I expected,” she says, noting that it’s the perfect seat to snuggle up and read a book in, though she does have to fight her roommate’s cat for it since he’s under the impression that it’s a luxurious pet bed. (And really, who could blame him?)

Best (less expensive) beanbag chair for teens

Big Joe Warp Bean Bag
$67
$67

Filling type: EPS beads | Cover type: Non-removable cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Water resistant, spot clean | Age level: Teens

When we spoke to experts about the best products for remote learning during the pandemic, Dr. Lee Scott from the Goddard School recommended this specific Big Joe beanbag chair. He told us that a cozy nook with comfortable seating offers a reprieve from a desk or table — which is beneficial during non-school hours too, now that kids of all ages are back in physical classrooms. The Warp is also a favorite of my nephew Max, a soon-to-be high-school sophomore, who tells me it’s his favorite thing in his room right now. “I can easily move it around to wherever I need it, and it’s perfect for when my friends come over,” he says, adding that it’s also great for gaming.

Best outdoor beanbag chair

Filling type: EPS beads | Cover type: Removable acrylic cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Water resistant and machine washable | Age level: All ages

Jaxx beanbag chairs were mentioned in both our guide to the best cheap but expensive-looking patio furniture and our article about the best dorm-room chairs. Agnieszka Wilk, CEO and founder of Decorilla, likes that the brand’s chairs are “low profile, sturdy, and, most importantly, water and stain resistant.” They also come in a ton of colors and patterns, including this cabana stripe that would look perfect by the pool.

Best recycled-bead-filled beanbag chair

Filling type: Partially recycled (up to 50 percent) EPS beads | Cover type: Removable cover made of 30% recycled polyester | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Spot clean only | Age level: Adults and careful teens

For the most part, Devin Shaffer, lead designer at Decorilla, is partial to natural fillers. But he loves this bouclé beanbag chair from Pottery Barn Teen because, though the stuffing is synthetic, it is GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it’s a low-emitting product that has been tested for more than 10,000 chemicals and VOCs to contribute to cleaner indoor air. “We love Pottery Barn and how they hold themselves accountable with their products,” he says.

Best eco-fill beanbag chair

Filling type: Compostable beads | Cover type: 100% cotton removable cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Spot or dry-clean | Age level: Adults and teens

Kicic likes this slightly more structured beanbag chair for eco-conscious shoppers. “This is a good tailored option made from recycled bottles. It can also be cleaned and refilled,” he says. For kids, the brand makes patterned 100 percent-nylon-covered beanbag chairs that are more durable, easier to clean, and very cute. The brand is based in the UK and makes all of its beanbag chairs to order by hand in the U.K. It does ship internationally, but in some cases you will need to email the company’s support team for a quote.

[Editors’ note: Because the Big Beanbag Company is based in the U.K., its prices are listed in pounds. We’ve shown an approximate conversion to U.S. dollars.]

Best eco-fill beanbag chair for kids

Filling type: Choose from pre-consumer recycled shredded foam, 100 percent natural latex, Superfill, or Eco Superfill | Cover type: Removable hemp cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Machine-washable cover| Age level: Kids

Mom and education consultant Karen Aronian suggests looking for clean, sustainable, or organic fillings such as natural latex or Biofoam —a biopolymer derived from plants —which are both comfortable to sit on and good for the environment. This kid-size beanbag chair from ComfyBean can be filled with your choice of four materials: 100 percent natural latex, pre-consumer recycled shredded foam, a combination of recycled polystyrene beads and shredded foam the brand calls Superfill, or a combination of natural latex foam and recycled polystyrene beads it calls Eco Superfill. In addition, the cover is made of sustainable and durable hemp. It comes in seven neutral colors and can be customized with your child’s name.

Best beanbag chair for little kids

Filling type: EPS beads | Cover type: Non-removable polyester and polypropylene cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Spot clean only | Age level: Young kids

For the toddler set, Anne Sanger, artist and owner of Pinkwater Gallery, recommends this structured beanbag chair from Target’s Pillowfort line. She says toddlers are more likely to be hopping up and down than sinking in and staying put, and this chair will keep its shape better and provide more support. Plus it comes in several different animal designs including a dinosaur, a shark, a ladybug, a unicorn, and this adorable koala.

Best beanbag chair that doubles as toy storage

Filling type: Fill with your own stuffed animals | Cover type: Removable 100% cotton cover | Machine washable vs. spot clean: Machine washable | Age level: Kids

For parents whose children own dozens of stuffed animals that seem to mysteriously multiply, the Stuff ’n Sit can help. To be clear, this isn’t so much a beanbag as it is a machine-washable beanbag cover — you provide the filling. You can stuff it with anything you want that’s soft (and durable) enough to sit on, from stuffed animals and off-season clothes to towels and pillows. The cover comes in two sizes, large and extra large, which are designed to hold two or three heaping laundry baskets’ worth of stuffed animals, respectively. Even with that helpful rule of thumb, those sizing guidelines may be a bit conservative depending on how firm you want the seat to be; when Trolio tested a large, she found it easily held all the stuffed animals in her two daughters’ considerable collection — including two 24-inch Olafs she was thrilled to have out of her sight — with room to spare.

“I love this cover as a way to clean up my kids’ room fast and get an extra seat in the process,” Trolio says. “It’s a nice touch that whatever you shove inside is really easy to access — the zipper opens wide, and my 8-year-old and 5-year-old can easily switch out their buddies that are in there, so they don’t feel like they’re being cut off from their stuff.” She notes that what you use to fill it is directly proportional to how comfortable it will be. “It’s not as comfortable as the Yogibo or the Fuf because stuffed animals are lumpy,” Trolio says. But as a storage solution that doesn’t put any extra foam or polystyrene into the universe, it’s hard to beat. The Stuff ’n Sit comes in lots of kid-friendly colors and patterns, and if you don’t like the classic round shape, its maker, Creative QT, also sells a triangular cover that can hold even more as well as a sleepover-ready floor-mattress cover that holds five bed pillows (and can itself be shoved into the chair cover).

Some more bean bag chairs we’ve written about

Our experts

• Paige Anderson, interior designer at Nitido Design
• Karen Aronian, education consultant
• Amit Bhattacharyya, head of data science at Vox Media
Ben Kicic, furniture designer
• Max, a high-school sophomore
• Dominique Pariso, Strategist writer
• Tara Reilly, Vox Media VP, Experiential & Partnerships
• Anne Sanger, artist and owner of Pinkwater Gallery
• Erin Schwartz, Strategist writer
• Devin Shaffer, lead designer at Decorilla
• Jen Trolio, Strategist senior editor
• Agnieszka Wilk, CEO and founder of Decorilla

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The Very Best Beanbag Chairs