The Iconic Bean Bag Chair

Bean bag chairs have been around for several decades now in some form or another. Whether it is your bedrooms, living rooms, or even poolside, these chairs have provided the much-needed comfort. Plus, they come in all sorts of fun shapes and sizes in order to cater to all audiences.

However, how did the concept of these bean bag chairs was formed? Where did these chairs originated from and what was their initial purpose? There’s quite some history involved when it comes to finding out about these iconic chairs. Continue reading to find out more.

The Complete History Of Bean Bag Chairs
Many experts believe that the roots of these chairs go back all the way to the ancient times when they were just bean bags. However, this topic is still up for debate. That is why, it is important to dive into history and go back to a time when these bags could have possibly been created.

The Prehistoric Times
The first-ever bean bags are said to be created during the time of the ancient Egyptians. That was somewhere around 2,000 B.C. However, these were much smaller in size and were made of leather, while being much rounder in shape. Plus, the Egyptians would fill these bean bags with dried beans or pebbles. The people over there used these bags during their games or for other recreational purposes. On the other side of the world, the Native Americans also had their own version of these bean bags. They would use pig bladders instead of leather as their main component. They would then fill these up with dried beans. Similar to the Egyptians, they also used these bean bags for recreation purposes and play.

Furthermore, the people of ancient China also ended up creating their own version of these bean bags. However, they did not use these bags for recreation purposes. Instead, their bean bags would be used during Tai Chi, which is an old form of martial arts. Tai Chi consists of graceful and slow movements, whose goal is to develop inner strength. They would use these small bags and fill it with either sand or beans. Then they would hang them in the air and the students would in turn strike them during their Tai Chi practice.

How The Bean Bag Chair Was Born
It was in 1969 when the birth of the bean bag chair took place. Initially, this chair was called ‘Sacco.’ The designers of this chair were Cesare Paolini, Franco Teodoro, and Piero Gatti. An Italian company, called Zanotta Design, asked these three designers to come up with a unique-looking chair that has a different design. This company was looking for a design that will appear to be aesthetically appealing yet comfortable as well. That is when these three designers came up with Sacco, which at that time was a shapeless chair. However, when they filled it up, it formed the shape of a pear.


The 1970s
It was during the ‘70s when the bean bag chair truly took over the world with its popularity. Several different manufacturers ended up creating their own bean bags, whether it was small-sized bean bag chairs or a large bean bag. These brands started introducing newer materials that these bags were made from so that the consumers will have more options available to them besides the standard leather. While some brands used the nylon material, others went for polyester. In addition to different outer materials, these brands started using different types of fillings as well. The fillings that were highly popular were either PVC pellets or expanded polystyrene, where the latter was a lot more durable. In the ‘70s, these bean bags mostly came in a spherical shape. Plus, the manufacturing companies also used a lot more vibrant colors that synonymously matched the vibe of the ‘70s. They further incorporated different designs in order to change the look a bit. A lot of the manufacturers ended up using cheaper materials for their bags, which made them a lot more affordable to people.

The 1980s And The 1990s
It was in the ‘80s when the bean bag chairs started to see a decline in its popularity. However, there were many manufacturers that were still producing these chairs. The main issue was that since the manufacturers started using cheaper quality materials, a lot of these bean bags weren’t of acceptable quality. Soon enough, the bean bag industry started facing its fair share of controversies. There were reports of many children who ended up suffocating inside the bag due to their low quality; hence this resulted in many infant deaths. That was when the American, European, and Australian authorities started implementing new safety standards. Once this was done, the manufacturers of these bean bags started incorporating safety mechanisms in their products. Because of these safety features, the children weren’t able to open and enter the bean bags.

The Bean Bags Of Today
The bean bag chairs of today come in all sorts of different styles, shapes, and sizes; whether it’s a small size bean bag for one person or a large bean bag that can hold multiple individuals. Besides the traditional ones, these manufacturers can recreate the standard chairs in the form of loungers and sofas. Nowadays, people are able to use them both indoors and outdoors. They offer the same safety level that comes with similar types of furniture. The bean bag chairs of today come with zippers that are childproof.

How To Choose A Bean Bag Chair That’s Right For You
When it comes to buying your first bean bag chair, there are several important factors involved that one needs to consider. For instance, the material of the bag is important, including the type of stuffing it contains. You need to pick a material that offers you the most comfort. If you want an environmentally-friendly bean bag chair then get one that uses 100% recycled polystyrene. Other than the materials, you need to think about the size of the bean bag chair that you want. This depends on how many people will be using this chair. If you have guests coming over to your place a lot, then a bigger bean bag chair might be better suited for you. Moreover, the style of your bean bag chair matters as well. You want to get a chair that matches with your other furniture, depending on where you want to place it.