The Perfect Seat at Couch Potatoes: Eco-Friendly Bean Bags

The Perfect Seat at Couch Potatoes: Eco-Friendly Bean Bags

Couch Potatoes is a furniture store that takes bean bags a step further by using recycled materials in their construction. The furniture store, located in Austin, TX, proudly hand-fills each bean bag with recycled materials, making them very eco-friendly. There are also several benefits to owning a bean bag chair that you may not have considered.

Bean bags have existed as a statement piece of furniture for generations. Since they were first introduced in the late 1960s, bean bags have transformed from hippie pieces of furniture, or kid's furniture, to becoming a comfortable choice for lounging around the house for all people of all ages. And, unlike traditional chairs, bean bags are extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of settings.

Let's take a look at the complexities of the humble bean bag, and how it can become one of your favorite pieces of furniture in your home.

The History of Bean Bags

The design of the bean bag is so simple, that it seems common sense that it has existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In an article written by Dean Roller, it seems the history of the bean bag is more complex depending on how you wish to define it.

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One of our Texas-sized tots at Couch Potatoes.

As Roller writes, "According to one historian, the first bean bags were said to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians around 2000 B.C." Small pouches would be filled with dried beans or pebbles, technically defining them as "bean bags".

There were even Native American tribes who would fill pig bladders with dried beans and play games with them. One such game was a precursor to "Cornhole", a game enjoyed by many people today.

The bean bag chair was not invented until the 1960's. A man named William Roger Dean, created a chair called the "Sea Urchin Chair". He completed it in 1967 and filed a patent for it in 1968. Much like our own bean bag chairs we sell at Couch Potatoes, they were filled with blocks of foam as the cushioning material.


first bean bag chair

Behold, the "Sea Urchin Chair". The first bean bag chair.

A more stylish version of the "Sea Urchin Chair" called the "Sacco" was designed in 1967-1968. It was filled with new materials (at the time) such as polystyrene and other plastics.

Photograph of Beanbag chair, 'Sacco'

The original beanbag chair, 'Sacco', designed by Piero Gatti / Cesare Paolini / Franco Teodoro, Italy, 1968. Source Maas Museum.

From this point onwards, the bean bag chairs were mass-marketed and mass-produced. Many alternative fillings appeared during the 1970s, such as the beans we commonly use today, expanded polystyrene.

Bean bags make furniture fun and are the definition of comfort. While they may have started out as a piece of furniture that represented a non-conforming design, it has now become an interior designer's delight for injecting a unique shape into the home.

The Benefits of Bean Bags

Have you ever sat in a bean bag? It's like you're sinking into a nest that conforms to your body. As expected, there are some beneficial qualities to the way a bean bag supports your body.

The Bean Bag Factory website writes about several of the benefits of bean bags. For instance, bean bags are often used as an effective treatment for children with autism, ADD/ADHD, and sensory processing disorders. The bean bag provides a deep pressure input that helps to soothe and calm the body.

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A woman enjoying a peaceful rest on a bean bag. Source arthurhidden.

In addition to providing support for those with autism and other disorders, bean bags can help improve your posture. When you sit in a bean bag, your pelvis is tilted forward which helps to align your spine. This is especially beneficial if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or computer.

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Teenage students resting in the classroom on bean bags on the floor. Source valeriygoncharukphoto.

Another benefit to bean bags is that they are low to the ground. This makes them ideal for people with mobility issues as well as young children who are transitioning from a crib to a bed.

are bean bags safe for pets


This Maine Coon cat is enjoying its bean bag, the perfect spot for snoozing. Source Stepan Popov.

If you've ever bought a bean bag for your home and you have pets, chances are they have claimed it as their own. Bean Bags R-Us states, "Circular beds hold their shape better than rectangular beds. That means you don’t have to spend as much time trying to make the bed more comfortable by fluffing it up.

Some other benefits for pets include:

  • Easy to wash with removable cover.
  • Provide support for joints and bones.
  • They insulate so your pet doesn't get too hot, or too cold.
  • Can be any shape for all of your pets.

Keep in mind, that if your dog (or even your cat), is prone to tearing apart furniture, the fillings of most bean bags are toxic. The foam inside Couch Potatoes bean bags is made from a blend of polyurethane but is still toxic when ingested in heavy amounts. If they are not walking paths of destruction, then they should absolutely love them.

Couch Potatoes' Bean Bags

Now, let's talk about our bean bags. As I mentioned, we hand-fill our bean bags in Austin, Texas. We fill our bean bags with the foam that we use to stuff our couch cushions, and instead of putting it in a landfill, we have found a method to put it to use.

We also offer bean bags in a variety of colors and fabrics. You can customize your own bean bag! The fabric of the bean bags is also the fabric we use on our couches, but we do not offer customizations of the bean bags in our leather options. Why? Even though the original bean bag chairs were made from leather, nothing is more off-putting than sitting in a pool of your own body sweat. The fabrics we use are breathable and hypoallergenic, so you'll be able to relax.

Whether you're looking for a piece of furniture that is fun, unique, or comfortable, bean bags from Couch Potatoes are the perfect solution. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to our store and buy one today!

We have locations in Central and South Austin.


Written by Emily Holleran


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