Are Bean Bags Environmentally Friendly?

I was planning to buy a new bean bag for our veranda recently. One day my ten-year-old kid asked me, ‘mom is this bean bag safe for our environment’? Then I felt that I should be conscious of this and find out the environment’s friendliness of the bean bags.

Bean bags are environmentally friendly if the filler is safe for the environment. If we could use a natural bean bag filler for our bean bag, it is safe for the environment. But most synthetic bean bag fillers are not environmentally friendly.

Bean bag fillers are responsible for the comfort and durability of the bean bag. Most of the bean bags are made out of synthetic fillings. As they are not environmentally friendly materials, it is good to move onto a more eco-friendly alternative. Several eco-friendly bean bag fillers are available in the market, and even you can make one at home.

environmentally friendly bean bags

Table of Contents

Synthetic Bean Bag Fillers

Synthetic bean bag fillings are very famous as well as easy to find. But the impact of synthetic filling on nature is a bit negative. They remain on the earth’s surface without decaying for decades. If you have the choice to select a bean bag with natural fillers, always go for them.

Polystyrene Beads

Most of the bean bags come with Polystyrene bead fillings. It is also known as EPS. Though this is a durable and cheap material, it is not environmentally friendly. Polystyrene beads can last for hundreds of years on earth. It won’t break down, and it will cause environmental pollution that never can be reversed. If you are a nature lover, it is better to keep away polystyrene-filled bean bags.

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is also a synthetic material that use to fill bean bags. This petroleum-based memory foam causes both health risks and environmental pollution. So you must keep this away from your home.

Environmentally Friendly Bean Bag Filler

The first-ever invented bean bag contained organic beans as the filler. But with time, manufacturers kept natural materials away from the bean bags. You can make a bean bag having a natural filling using some household materials. Let’s see what eco-friendly bean bag fillings are. And make sure to keep the eco-friendly bean bag fillers away from high humidity. 


Just like the first bean bag invented, it is still possible to use beans as a filling. These beans must be well cleaned and dried before using them. You can mix beans with another natural filling as it needs a larger quantity of beans to fill one bean bag.


Rice is an eco-friendly material that you can use to fill a bean bag. You don’t need to worry too much to find a bag of rice as it is available at your local market. You can mix rice with another eco-friendly filler like beans to increase versatility.

Old Clothes or Fabrics

There are lots of old clothes and fabrics are available in our household. Some materials used for these fabrics are very comfortable and soft, so they are ideal for bean bag fillers. Old clothes or fabrics do not do any harm to the environment. 

Reusing clothes or fabrics is a good deed. Even you can find bean bags filled using old clothes and fabrics at the market. They are becoming popular. There might have a combination of fillings like old fabrics with the old cloth toy’s fillings.

Cotton and Wool

Cotton and wool are both natural materials, which are soft and comfortable. They can bear a considerable weight too. Cotton and wool decay over time. So you don’t need to fear the eco-friendliness of this bean bag filling.

Small Pebbles

Small pebbles do not create any problem to nature as it is also a part of nature. You can use either small pebbles or sand to fill a bean bag. There are some drawbacks of using sand and pebbles as it would make the bean bag much heavier.


Hay is an eco-friendly product to use in your bean bag. You can easily purchase hay from your local market or online. You must clean the hay before using it as the filler of your bean bag. Let it dry for days to avoid any allergy.


Sawdust is one of the best eco-friendly materials that you can use as a bean bag filler. You can easily find sawdust from places where woodworking is done. 

Sawdust is mouldable. It offers comfort, just like synthetic fillings. Some people complain that they got health hazards after using sawdust as bean bag filler. So we would recommend you to use sawdust for the bean bags, which have solid and tight covers.

girl sitting on bean bag

Bean Bags Safety for My Home

Reducing carbon footprints on our mother nature is a paramount duty of everyone. Most synthetic bean bag filling causes severe damages to the earth. 

Some of them can even last for centuries. Though the comfortability is high, you are adding carbon to the environment. So try to buy a bean bag having an eco-friendly filling. Or, when you are refilling your bean bag, try to use an eco-friendly alternative as the filler.

You can easily make an eco-friendly bean bag at home too. It is simple to do. Try to make your bean bag having zero adverse effects on the environment.

Recycling Bean Bags

Though bean bags are durable, you won’t be able to use them for the whole life without getting damaged. As bean bags go flat after some time, you may need to replace the bean bag filling from time to time. So you must consider recycling your bean bag fillers before disposing of them.

There are several ways to recycle bean bags and filling.

Bean Bag Filling for Another Work

The disposing bean bag filling will be helpful in another work. If it contains cotton, wool, or fabric, you can use it as a pillowcase filling. You can use sand or any other fertile type ingredient in your garden. 

The way you recycle the bean bag filling on another project depends on your creativity level. Sometimes you will able to create something unique from it.

You can DIY plastic material with EPS filling. You need a nail polish remover for this. Get a bowl, put the bean bag filling, and pour acetone onto it. After few seconds, you will get a liquid. Pour the liquid into a mold and create your DIY toys. But you must remember that plastic is also not an eco-friendly material.

You can purchase a new bean bag and use the same filling. It will increase the comfortability of new bean bags and avoid throwing filler into the environment.

Make Toys from EPS Filling

EPS is a lightweight material. So it floats on water. You can use EPS filling of your bean bag to make floating toys for children. Take a mesh bag and fill it with the EPS filling. It will float on water too.

Don’t just throw away EPS filling without reusing it. Reusing will at least reduce the environmental pollution by few years.

Leftover Bean Bag Filling for Your Neighbor

Suppose you couldn’t get an idea to reuse the bean bag filling. Don’t just throw it away. Your neighbor might have an idea about the way of reusing it. Or he might in need of adding more filling to his bean bags. So gift your bean bag filling to them. They will use it for fruitful work.

Handover Bean Bag Filler to a Recycling Center

There are recycling centers in every area of the country. Find the closest plastic recycling center in your living area and hand over the removed bean bag filler to them. That is the best thing you could do for the environment.


A natural bean bag filling does not harm your health or the environment. You can get the same comfortability given by the synthetic bean bag filling by using natural fillers for your bean bags. 

You can reuse or recycle the bean bag filling too. Always you have to focus on the environment before buying anything. The earth needs more nature lovers to make it a heaven.

Sarah Williams

I’m Sarah Williams. A true fan of Bean Bag Chairs. The story of Bean Bags Expert goes to beginning of 2016. At the mid of 2016, I have planned the web site and bought this domain. Slowly this grew up like a little kid.

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