Ah, the bean bag chair — those delightfully squishy finds you just want to flop down and watch your shows in. While some have associated the unique seating option with cheap dorm room furniture, bean bag chairs actually have roots firmly planted in design history. Choose the right model, and you’ll be treated to comfort, support (the very first bean bag chair was designed with ergonomics in mind), versatility, and style. We’ve rounded up a list that’s sure to encompass the best bean bag chair for you — read on to find your perfect match!
A History of the Bean Bag Chair
As Architectural Digest reported while celebrating the chair’s 50th anniversary in 2018, the original bean bag chair was born to challenge the status quo. The year was 1968, and a trio of Italian designers dreamt up the ultimate chair alternative: one that was ergonomic and unlike any other on the market. Rather than creating something rigid and structured, they wanted their seating to be malleable, with the ability to adapt to different people and various positions while still offering plenty of support.
Before the three designers even had time to perfect their prototype, Macy’s was calling to place an order for 10,000 units. Soon after, the Zanotta Sacco — aka the first mass-produced bean bag chair in the world — was born. Stuffed with polystyrene pellets, the innovative chair made its official debut at the Paris Furniture Fair in January 1969.
Over the years, the bean bag chair’s unique mix of high comfort and affordable pricing has made it a college staple, but bean bag chairs are so much more than that. They’re a fantastic seating option for any age range and make for the perfect addition to any home, patio, or even swimming pool.
How to Choose Your Perfect Fit
Whether you’re in the market for your umpteenth bean bag chair or are thinking about buying your first one, there are a number of factors you’ll want to consider. First, there’s the filling. Most bean bag chairs are filled with a hard plastic that’s similar to Styrofoam called expanded polystyrene (EPS). It’s lightweight, rigid, and affordable, but will only keep its shape for a few years, which is why many companies sell standalone refills. Alternatively, memory foam is becoming an increasingly popular filler.
Then, there’s the shape. While the classic bean bag chair resembles a large sack, designers are now dreaming up variations that look like more and more like traditional chairs, ottomans, and the like.
You’ll also want to consider whether you’ll be using the chair indoors or outdoors, who will be using it (adults vs. kids), and how big you want the actual seat to be.
If you’re ready to explore the wide, wide world of bean bag chairs and all that they have to offer, keep scrolling for FIRST for Women’s recommendations for the 10 best bean bag chairs.
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Top Rated Bean Bag Chair
Fatboy The Original Bean Bag Chair
Where to buy: $219, Amazon
It doesn’t get much better than the original! First released in 2002, Fatboy's The Original bean bag chair was created by Finnish designer Jukka Setälä and has since become a must-have for bean bag lovers the globe over. Its unique shape lets you sit, lie down, or lounge around in any position as it forms to the shape of your body. Made from a strong nylon fabric and filled with virgin polystyrene beads, the Fatboy is built to last. In fact, as the company puts it, it’s “almost completely indestructible”. What's more, its simple design and wide range of colors make it an easy addition to any room. No wonder it’s sold more than 1 million units worldwide and garnered a solid 4.5 star rating on Amazon!
Best Bean Bag Chair for Kids
WEKAPO Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair
Where to buy: $24.95 (Originally $39.99), Amazon
This isn’t your traditional bean bag chair. Rather, it’s a brilliant 2-in-1 storage solution. Designed to house all of your kids’ stuffed animals, this WEKAPO stuffed animal bean bag not only functions as a way to tidy things up, it's a super comfy bean bag chair to boot. Its soft-yet-strong cotton shell unzips to hold up to 90 stuffed animals, seven pillows, or 250 liters of traditional beans. Fill it with extra cushions, blankets, or seasonal clothes — it’s entirely up to you! With its five-star Amazon rating and ‘Best Seller’ badge, it’s clear that it's going over well with parents.
As one reviewer put it, it's “a blessed end to the epic battle of the stuffed animals.”
And it’s not just a great option for young kids. As another shopper noted, it’s also perfect for tweens and teens who aren’t quite ready to give up their toys, but want a more “grown-up” room.
Best Memory Foam Bean Bag
Sofa Sack Memory Foam Beanless Bag Chair
Where to buy: From $99 (Originally $130.23), Amazon
Not all bean bag chairs are created equal. In fact, as it turns out, not all bean bag chairs are even filled with beans! These days, a growing number of designs are being made from memory foam instead. This Sofa Sack memory foam beanless chair is a prime example. According to the company, the filling is even more comfortable than traditional bean bag chairs, since “foam is more fluffy and contouring,” plus, it has more give. It also has a luxe suede exterior that makes it feel like velvet. Choose from a single-person chair (5-feet) or a larger 6-foot version, which can hold up to two adults at once.
Best Cheap Bean Bag Chair
Classic Big Joe Bean Bag
Where to buy: From $37.07, Amazon
If this is your very first time purchasing a bean bag chair and you’re not quite sure if it’s worth the investment, if you’ll like it, or how often you’ll actually use it, why not start off with an ultra budget-friendly option? This Classic Big Joe bean bag is a simple choice with a great price tag (under $40!) that offers comfortable seating for one. The 98-inch design is covered with easy-to-clean fabric and it's filled with megahh beans, which will shape to your body while still offering enough support for comfortable sitting or lounging. Take your pick from five solid colors or opt for the pictured fun zebra print and get ready to experience first-hand what all the beany fuss is about!
Best High End Bean Bag Chair
Tuft & Needle Pouch
Where to buy: $395, Amazon
If you’re searching for the ultimate in luxury when it comes to bean bag chairs, look no further! Dubbed "the better bean bag chair," this Tuft & Needle Pouch is “soft and squishy, yet supportive” and is entirely made in the USA. It’s stuffed with a mix of recycled polyester fibers and proprietary, CertiPUR-US foam to arrive at a super fluffy consistency. Its quilted cover is easily removable for cleaning, and one reviewer even went so far as to call it the “best purchase of the year!!!”
If you’re unsure about the price tag, Tuft & Needle actually offers a 100-day trial, so you can try the pouch first-hand, and, should you decide to keep it, you can rest easy knowing you'll have a three-year warranty.
Best Floating Bean Bag Chair
Big Joe Captain’s Float
Where to buy: $79.99, Amazon
If you love the idea of lounging on a bean bag chair at home, just wait until you try lounging on a bean bag chair... in the pool. Introducing Big Joe's Captain's Float bean bag chair, which comes filled with special buoyant beans that will allow you to float in comfort without ever having to inflate a raft. Made of durable, UV-resistant SunMax fabric, it’s built to withstand the elements. It also comes with full back support, so you can spend hours soaking up the sun in the pool. It also includes a handle, so you can easily take it in and out of the water, and it features two front tethering loops, which make it a breeze to attach this chair to the side of a pool, dock, or boat. Now, if only we could choose between all those bright, colorful designs...
Best Giant Bean Bag Chair
Lumaland Luxury 7-Foot Bean Bag Chair
Where to buy: $229.95, Amazon
There are large bean bag chairs, and there are giant bean bag chairs. This 7-foot Lumaland luxury chair falls into the latter category, offering enough space and support for an entire family. Made from foam material with no plastic, it could even be called a bean bag sofa. It shapes to your body and reflects your heat for ultimate comfort and, what’s more, the microsuede cover is removable and washable for easy cleanup. If you’re worried about shipping something this large, not to worry: it comes vacuum sealed and will expand to its full size within three days.
Best Outdoor Bean Bag Chair
Fatboy Buggle-Up Outdoor Bean Bag Chair
Where to buy: $390.07 on Amazon
While a number of bean bag chairs on this list are made from durable material that will fare just fine outdoors, you’ll want to opt for one that goes above and beyond when it comes to taking on Mother Nature if you know you'll be primarily using it outside. Fatboy's Buggle-Up lounger is crafted from extra-strong, extra-durable polyester that’s meant to live in the sun and rain. It’s even coated with an extra stain- and water-resistant layer, making cleanup a breeze — just wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild soap. Adjustable straps allow you to position the chair any way you like, and you can even quickly turn it into a two-seater for sharing!
Best Small Bean Bag Chair
Big Joe Milano Bean Bag Chair
Where to buy: $36 (Originally $59.99), Amazon
Don’t have a dedicated room picked out for your bean bag chair? Then you'll probably want to choose a design that’s both lightweight and easy to move. This Big Joe Milano bean bag chair is a fantastic option. It has a compact, seat-like shape that makes it more manageable than a classic sack design, while its large top handle allows for easy transport from the living room to the bedroom — and beyond! Designed and filled in the US, it's made of water- and stain-resistant SmartMax fabric that can be refilled as needed. Oh. And did we mention it’s also less than $40?
Best Bean Bag Chair Alternative
Fatboy Pupillow Pouf Ottoman
Where to buy: $329, Amazon
If you’re worried about space, Fatboy’s Pupillow Bean Bag pouf ottoman and seat will offer you the same feel and comfort of a full-sized bean bag chair, but in a more compact design. This alternative from the classic bean bag maker is the perfect addition to any room and can be used as both an ottoman and a seat. It comes with complementary matching pillow adds, and, because it’s made of a durable sunbrella material, you can even take it outside. The Pupillow is UV-, water-, and stain-resistant, plus it’s fade-proof. If you do need to clean it, all you’ll need is lukewarm water and a neutral soap.