Bean Bag Filling Alternatives

The bean bag chair filling and the comfort of the bean bag are strongly connected facts. After using a bean bag chair for a long time, if you feel that it is not comfortable enough as it was earlier, then it is high time to refill your bean bag chair. 

You can refill your bean bag with some commercial filling products. But if you are interested in doing it by yourself or save a few dollars, here are some details which will help you to decide on the best alternative filling for your bean bags.

Table of Contents

Bean Bag Filling Alternatives

Alternative Fillers for Bean Bag Chairs

An Organic Choice: Beans

beans for bean bags

It is always a healthy option to use natural stuff in our day to day life. Also, there is a huge demand and a trend for organic consumption, environmentally friendly products over artificial things all over the world.

Beans will be a great alternative natural bean bag filling to refill your bean bag chair if you are one of those organic lovers. 

You can select any kind of beans that are mostly available and affordable for you. Some suggestions are rice, corn, and buckwheat hull. Those are the best beans for bean bag.

When you are choosing a bean type, think about its quality, weight, durability, etc. For example, buckwheat hull is hard so that you may need extra thick lining or padding cover to make your bean bag chair more comfortable for you. 

After selecting a bean type, it is wise to thoroughly clean and dry the beans before you fill it into the bean bag sack. You can even use an appropriate fragrant with beans to make it more pleasant.

Since beans are biodegradable, these beans will break into compost with time in the sack itself. So, make sure to refill the bag when required. This reason makes it a perfect eco friendly bean bag refill.

Also, keep in mind to pick beans of lightweight as much as possible to make it easy to move from place to place. 

If you can not find enough seeds of one kind to fill your bean bag chair, then you can use a mixture of beans as available and affordable for you.

Read our guide on using Rice to fill a Bean Bag Chair.

Clean and Dry Sand

sand for bean bag filler

Sand is another option for an alternative bean bag chair refill. It is cheap, eco- friendly and readily available for most of you. 

If you are getting your sand from a sea area, rinse it to remove the saltiness. Also, you can strain sand to remove foreign material if there are any. However, the sand you are going to fill into the bean bag chair should be clean and dry.

Using Sand as the filler will make a good soundproof bean bag.

Also, think about the stitches of the bean bag sack. If the inner pocket is not appropriate to hold sand, better use an additional cover inside to avoid any sand leaking

As a con of this choice, your bean bag chair will be heavy with the new refill. 

Also, sand and beans together are another option that you can try to refilling for your bean bag chair. 

Worn-out Fabrics

fabric as filler

Are you interested in reusing your worn-out clothes? Then this option is for you. 

You can use your worn-out clothes as your bean bag filler.

First, clean and dry your cloths of preference to remove all dust and insects. If you like, you can tear it off into bands and twist two pieces together each. Then you can fill the sack with the clothes you took. 

You can add some fragrant too to the cloth filling to make it more pleasant. Stretchable materials are more appropriate for the stuffing. 

Plastic Bags to Fill Your Bean Bag Chair

polythene bags for bean bags

When you go on shopping, how much of polythene bags do you bring back home? Are you reusing those? The answer is no. Isn’t it?

We all know the severe environmental damage caused by this polythene waste. Here is a way to efficiently reuse these shopping bags

You can twist the bags together and use them as an alternative refill for your bean bag chair. 

Make sure that the shopping bags using as the filling, are very well cleaned and dry.  

Shopping bags are light in weight and long-lasting. Therefore this is an ideal option in many ways to your bean bag chair.

If you don’t have enough shopping bags, you can fill the bean bag chair with beans and shopping bags together or can mix it with sand. It is also a great option as an alternative filling. 

A Comfy Refill: Quilt and Pillow Stuffing

quilt as bean bag filler

Are you looking for the comfort of a pillow from your bean bag filling options?

Then you can use quilt and pillow stuffing as your alternative bean bag filling.  

You can buy the materials at a craft store, or even can use your own thrown away pillows and cushions. Quilt and pillow stuffing filling is comfortable and light-weighted. Thus it is an attractive choice for your bean bag refill.

Paper Waste to your Bean Bag Chair

paper for bean bags

If you have enough waste paper, you can squash them and can use it as an alternative filling material for your bean bag chair. In another way, you are reusing your paper waste!.

You can stuff bean bag chairs with shredded paper. Just get enough amount of shredded paper and fill the bean bag.

Use an extra waterproof sack inside the beanbag chair if you use paper as your bean bag filler. It will protect your bean bag from the problems with wet covers. 

Pebbles as Another Filling Choice

pebbles for bean bags

If you can find or buy enough small pebbles, that also can be used as a filling material for your bean bag chair. 

When you select pebbles, always try to choose light-weighted ones. It will help to keep your bean bag chair with minimum weight. 

To make your chair extra comfortable, you can add padding or pillow stuffing mixed with pebbles

Soft Toy Refills

soft toys bean bag filler

If you have a collection of soft toys to discard, it can also utilize as an alternative bean bag filling. You can add extra padding to the sack to make it more comfortable if necessary. 

Before you put the toys to the sack, you can vacuum those to make sure that there is no dust and insects

Since the soft toys are not heavy, you can come up with a lighter bean bag chair. Also, keep in mind to remove any rigid gadgets in toys to avoid any discomfort or damages. 


bean bag refill sawdust

If you have access to get leftover sawdust in your neighborhood or do woodwork yourself, using leftover sawdust as the filler would make a comfortable bean bag.

As sawdust is very lightweight, it will make your bean bag a very portable one.

But direct exposure to sawdust for a long time might produce an allergic reaction or other health problems, only use sawdust as a filler if your bean bag has a solid and hard bean bag cover.

Tips before you select an alternative filling for your bean bag

When you go for an alternative bean bag filler, here are few facts to pay your attention before deciding on the filling material.

  • The first thing is the placement of the chair. If you keep the bean bag chair outside, avoid fillings that get wasted quickly in wet conditions. Also, pick a material that can tolerate heat.
  • If you want to move your chair from place to place always, it is wise to choose a light weighted filling material than a material like sand. 
  • When you fill the bean bag chair, always use a material that can tolerate the pressure once you sit. Also, never use any explosive material for heat or pressure. If you are using stuff like cotton to fill your bean bag chair, keep it away from fire. 
  • Your inner sack quality is also essential to decide on a filler material. For example, if you use sand, the sack should be a sealed one to avoid leaking. Otherwise, you can use an extra inner cover to protect your filling. You can do the same thing for the materials which are not waterproof. You can add a waterproof cover inside

Filling Materials used by Professionals

The filler materials mentioned above are alternatives to your bean bag chair if you want to fill by yourself. 

If you go for a professional or buy a brand new bean bag chair, you will come up with many filling materials, for example, Expanded polystyrene (EPS). 

EPS beads are one of the most famous bean bag fillings. It is light in weight, water-resistant, and lasts long. Also, it is a composition of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which contains 98% air. Further, it does not contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

So it makes the EPS beads, the best bean bag filler available in the market.

EPS material is not biodegradable but 100% recyclable. For more details about commercial filling materials, you can visit our comprehensive  guide on bean bag fillings

In conclusion

You can choose an alternative filling material considering facts such as the place you keep the chair, purpose, durability, budget, etc. There are many refill options, and some are biodegradable and recyclable. Always keep in mind to pick materials that can absorb the pressure once you take a seat and give comfort as you desire. 

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