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Published Sep. 21, 2021

First introduced in Italy in the late 1960s, bean bag chairs (also known as “Sacco” chairs, which is Italian for bag or sack) were originally a product of the postwar modernism movement. New technology allowed for an expanse of mass-produced goods using new materials such as polystyrene plastics, which appealed to consumers primarily due to their affordable price tags.

Early models typically consisted of large fabric bags filled with plastic polystyrene beans that conformed to the user’s body. But today, bean bag chairs are still as trendy as ever. And now they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, covers, and yes, even fillers. While polystyrene beans are still a popular choice for bean bag filling, many brands now use shredded memory foam for maximum comfort and other benefits.

But over time, bean bag chairs may start to flatten or lose their shape. Fortunately, there are plenty of bean bag refill products on the market in a variety of materials that can breathe new life into your sack. After all, why replace a perfectly good bean bag chair when you can refill it for perhaps even less than the cost of shipping a new one? Not only is that the financially savvy way to go, but it’s also an environmentally friendly solution.

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

We evaluated several criteria for choosing products for this guide, such as cost, ease of refill, safety, and, most importantly, user rating. The bean bag refill picks we chose were also highly rated among consumers, most with over a thousand ratings—if not into the tens of thousands. Having an established customer base was a critical trust factor, as many brands of bean bag refill seem to have only a smattering of reviews and ratings.

Environmentally friendly considerations were another critical factor we assessed. Most of the bean bag refill products chosen here were either manufactured from recycled materials or can be recycled. Even refilled bean bags hold their shape for only so many years, so it makes sense to choose materials that will ultimately be the least harmful to our planet in the event they’ll need to be replaced or refilled eventually. Bean bag chairs are great for relaxing, and what makes us feel more at peace of mind than a clear conscience?

The Best Bean Bag Refills: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: COYMOS Shredded Memory Foam Filling

Maximum Cooling and Comfort

Cooling, mattress-grade memory foam for comfortable, soft support. COYMOS

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Why It Made The Cut: The addition of gel particles will ensure that this bean bag refill stays cool to your body during even the warmest days and nights.

Specs:

  • Size: 5 pounds
  • Color: Blue
  • Material: Memory foam

Pros:

  • Highly durable and maintains shape
  • Cooling gel particles

Cons:

  • Cannot be washed or laundered
  • May have a strange smell initially

Nothing beats sinking into a fully fluffed bean bag chair refilled with premium COYMOS Shredded Memory Foam Filling. The highly durable materials will maintain their shape through use after use for years to come, while permeable cell structure provides maximum breathability.

But perhaps the most impressive feature here is the addition of cooling gel particles to prevent the foam from overheating, ensuring maximum comfort even for those who tend to run warm. This feature also makes it an ideal filling for pillows and mattress toppers to provide a cooler and more comfortable night’s sleep. 

Despite some user reviews complaining of a strange odor right out of the package, this memory foam is safe and healthy and contains no sensitizing or irritating substances. Additionally, the foam is colored using plant-based dyes that are both environmentally friendly and resistant to fading over time, for the ultimate win-win.

Best Versatility: Big Joe Bean Refill

New Spin on a Classic

These fluffy white beans make the perfect refill for your favorite bean bag chair. Big Joe

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Why It Made The Cut: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with these classic-style polystyrene beans that are ideal for filling up any type of bean bag chair.

Specs:

  • Size: 100 Liters
  • Color: White
  • Material: Polystyrene

Pros:

  • Long-lasting for years of use
  • Versatile for many projects
  • Recyclable and environmentally friendly

Cons:

  • Can be messy to refill
  • Contains synthetic chemicals

Even the highest-quality bean bag chairs will eventually lose their shape and compress over time, but the good news is that Big Joe Bean Refill is the perfect pick-me-up for any sack. Each bag contains an impressive 100 liters of fluffy, long-lasting polystyrene beans that hold up longer than most competitor products.

But that’s not all these beans are good for. They can also be used for various projects and arts and crafts, or as materials for packing or moving. And since you can recycle these beans, they’re also environmentally friendly compared to similar products such as Styrofoam packing peanuts. 

To use, simply cut along the dotted line and pour into your favorite chair. However, on the advice of some user reviews, it may be best to refill outside or in a garage, as these beans can make quite the mess if they accidentally spill. Polystyrene materials also contain flame retardants, so families sensitive to synthetic chemicals may want to steer clear of this product.

Best Colors: Posh Creations Multi-Color Foam Filling Bean Bag Refill

Colorful and Fun

Safe and fun for the whole family. Posh Creations

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Why It Made The Cut: This premium shredded furniture-grade foam boasts an average 1.8-pound density to help transform your favorite bean bag chair to like-new again.

Specs:

  • Size: 5 pounds
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Material: Memory foam

Pros:

  • Safe for the entire family
  • Made in the USA
  • Compressed packaging for easy shipment

Cons:

  • May require multiple bags to fill an entire chair
  • Foam pieces may be sized unevenly

For long-lasting foam that not only refreshes but also keeps bean bag chairs looking and feeling new, Posh Creations Multi-Color Foam Filling Bean Bag Refill is an excellent choice. When opened, the compressed packaging reveals an impressive two cubic feet of shredded memory foam blend. In addition to bean bag chairs, the blend is also perfect for pet beds, cushions, pillows, and anything else that needs the fluffy, reinvigorating powers of memory foam.

The standard-size packaging comes with five pounds of memory foam, but more may be needed for a complete fill depending on how big the bean bag chair is. And unlike some other products listed in this guide, Posh Creations does not include fire retardants in its foam and meets CertiPUR-US standards, so it’s safe for the whole family. Additionally, because the refill is made and manufactured in the USA, you can feel good about your purchase by supporting an American company.

Best Value: ACEssentials Bean Bag Replacement Pellets

Tiny Yet Strong

Strong, tiny pellets that can bounce back to full firmness after many uses. Ace Bayou

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Why It Made The Cut: Use a little or a lot of these pellets to achieve just the right firmness in your favorite bean bag chair—how much or little you add is up to you!

Specs:

  • Size: 100 liters
  • Color: White
  • Material: Polystyrene

Pros:

  • Small yet durable pellets
  • Bounces back after being squished
  • Allows for custom comfort

Cons:

  • Static cling can make it go everywhere

Those who appreciate the classic feel of beans in a bean bag chair will love ACEssentials Bean Bag Replacement Pellets. Squish these durable yet soft and flexible pellets between your fingers and watch them bounce back right in front of your own eyes. But this isn’t a magic trick; it’s  just high-quality polystyrene formed into a unique size that’s smaller and denser than traditional beans to help bean bag chairs retain their shape.

The 100-liter bag is perfect for measuring out as many or as few pellets for optimal firmness every time. Then, add fewer pellets to create a softer, plush bag, or add extra for additional firmness and support. They also make the perfect filling for loungers, chairs, ottomans, and more.

As some users have noted, however, the small size of the pellets also makes them susceptible to static cling, and they can be pretty messy out of the bag. Unfortunately, that’s a common refrain when dealing with beans and beads, so the best bet is to prepare for a mess or just stick to memory foam.

Best Quality: Linenspa Shredded Memory Foam

Packs a Punch!

Simply open up the package and then watch as it expands! Linenspa

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Why It Made The Cut: Compressed, shredded, premium recycled memory foam is the perfect filling for a bean bag chair or any number of household projects.

Specs:

  • Size: 5 pounds
  • Color: Blue
  • Material: Memory foam

Pros:

  • Made from quality recycled memory foam
  • Certified for quality assurance

Cons:

  • Can be messy
  • Takes time to expand fully

Providing moldable, versatile comfort, Linenspa Shredded Memory Foam is shredded to a convenient size, compressed, vacuum-packed, and shipped right to your door. When fully decompressed, the five-pound bag can fill approximately two cubic feet of space—or about the size of a medium or large gym bag.

It does take time to fluff up, though. Opening the package in a contained environment such as a plastic bag or a box would be wise to avoid messes. Alternatively, it can be added to pillows, cushions, and chairs before it completely expands, so the tiny pieces of foam don’t have a chance to escape, as some reviewers have suggested.

Made from a mix of the highest-quality recycled memory foams, Linenspa is also CertiPUR-US certified for quality assurance, making it perfect for various household projects. That way, you can feel good about using it in everything from pet beds to nursery furniture, knowing that your most vulnerable loved ones will be safe and protected.

Things to Consider Before Buying Bean Bag Refill

When deciding on which type of bean bag refill is best for you, first and foremost, you want to ask yourself whether you prefer memory foam or plastic beans. In general, memory foam tends to be cooler than beans or pellets. It’s also typically less heavy. These are considerations you may want to ask yourself if you live somewhere with a warm climate or plan on moving the bean bag chair to various rooms in your home. 

Safety is another crucial factor. Often, polystyrene materials contain synthetic chemicals such as flame retardants. These chemicals have been used in consumer and industrial products since the 1970s to lessen the chances of materials catching on fire. However, flame retardants can also be associated with potential health effects, including endocrine and thyroid disruption, reproductive toxicity, effects on fetal and child development, neurologic function, and even cancer.

Before purchasing, it’s important to research what chemicals are in bean bag refill products to avoid any potential adverse health effects. This is also why it’s important to choose a trusted brand.

FAQs

Q: What is the best filling for a bean bag?

Experts believe that memory foam is the highest quality and most durable bean bag filling currently on the market. In addition to better retaining its shape, memory foam is also resistant to moisture and heat. In contrast, polystyrene beans or EPS beads are composed primarily of air and therefore tend to flatter much sooner.

Q: How do you keep bean bag refill from going flat?

To prevent your bean bag refill from going flat, you can try a simple method known as “fluffing” your bean bag. Essentially, this is equivalent to just tossing the bag around to redisperse the beans or foam. However, even the highest-quality bean bag refill will go flat and eventually need to be replaced, typically every five years or so.

Q: How much filling do I need for a bean bag?

Bean bag chairs are generally sold with an exact capacity specified in cubic feet. As a rule of thumb, bean bags require 1 kilogram (or 2.2 pounds) of filler per cubic foot, so if a bean bag has a capacity of 10 cubic feet, it will need approximately 10 kilograms (or 22 pounds) of filling. But depending on personal preference, you may want to add more or less filling to a bean bag chair to adjust firmness.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, you can’t go wrong with any of these choices for refilling a bean bag chair. But for us, what sets the COYMOS Shredded Memory Foam Filling apart from the pack is the addition of the cooling gel particles. Bean bags aren’t necessarily the most pleasant seating during warm summer months, so anything that makes them a more comfortable year-round option is a win in our book.

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