The popularity of bean bags has skyrocketed in recent years. No longer just for kids, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
You can use them indoors or outdoors, such as to lounge around the pool, as an ergonomic chair behind your work desk, or even as a replacement for a sofa. So how do you know what fabric cover you should choose for your bean bag?
Well, bean bag covers come in a variety of different fabrics, ranging from the indoors only, to the on-trend, to the ultra-luxurious, and even the more affordable. I will discuss the benefits and downfalls of each of the fabrics in this article, to assist you in deciding just what suits your needs.
I will also give you a range of options to choose from, such as my recommendations on where you can purchase the bean bag covers and how to care for your choice of cover.
This post is a little longer than normal, so see below a Table of Contents. This will help you skip straight through to any section you would prefer to read. However, I do recommend that you try to read this article all the way from start to finish as you’ll find yourself gaining plenty of valuable knowledge whilst doing so!
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. What is a bean bag cover?
2. What types of fabrics are bean bag covers are made from?
3. Where can I purchase my bean bag covers?
4. What is the best way to care for my bean bag cover?
5. How do I clean a bean bag cover that requires special treatment?
6. How do I make sure I get the most use out of my bean bag cover?
So, to sum it up, by reading this article you can learn just how to put thought into buying a bean bag that suits you, and how to maintain it easily, so you’ll be forever happy with your purchase.
#1. What is a bean bag cover?
To help you understand this article, firstly we must address the question – “What is a bean bag cover?”.
Well, simply put – a bean bag consists of 2 components, one being the filling (generally known as beans), and the other being the sealed bag which holds this filling, or the bean bag cover.
Your bean bag cover can come in a variety of different fabrics for you to choose from, which we will discuss below.
#2. What types of fabrics are bean bag covers made from?
There are multiple different types of fabrics that bean bag covers are made from, so to assist you in deciding just what to choose from, I’ve divided them into a few separate categories. Read on to learn more about the fabrics and think about what will suit you, your needs and your personality.
A lot of bean bags are highly versatile, with high-tech fabric covers that are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. However, if you are planning on using your bean bag indoors only, you can consider these fabrics.
• Microsuede – Super stylish, microsuede has a feeling unlike any other fabric – it is a type of leather that has a very soft, almost velvety exterior, so is very comfortable. However, it is a little difficult to clean and not as long-lasting as some of the other fabrics.
• Suede – Usually made from lambskin, although it can be made from any animal hide, suede is a type of leather that is thinner and not as strong as traditional leather, though it is soft, smooth and sophisticated. However, it is easily damaged and do not get it wet.
• Faux Fur, Plush – Exceptionally soft, warm and comfortable, stylish, faux fur and plush just aren’t designed to get wet. However, they will bring a luxurious feeling to the inside of your home.
• Twill – A sturdy, stain-resistant fabric, it is easy to clean, comfortable and has a textile weave pattern that makes it a stand-out piece for any living room.
• Silk – A breathable fabric, silk is super cosy as it too is a natural temperature regulator, helping to keep your warm in winter and cool in summer. However, it is also highly absorbent, so best used indoors only.
After something super stylish with a touch of sophistication? Well, this is your section. These fabrics are high quality, durable and designed to last. Basically, you are looking at the best materials for a bean bag available. Their benefits include:
• Vinyl – Waterproof, mould resistant, stain and abrasion resistant, fire retardant and UV protected, vinyl fabric is designed to withstand all Australian conditions. Extremely versatile, you can leave it outdoors and it won’t fade in the sunlight.
• Nylon – Another great choice for a bean bag cover, nylon is one of the strongest fabrics. It is easy to clean, long-lasting, and is waterproof so can be used indoors and outdoors.
• Corduroy – A sturdy, long-lasting fabric, corduroy too has a look all of its’ own. Made from cotton fibres that are woven to have lengthwise ridges, it is soft and almost velvety to touch. Super comfortable and super easy to clean, it’s great value for money.
• Denim – Easy to clean, long-lasting and breathable, denim is a bold and ultra-trendy fabric that can easily match any area of our house – after all, it’s true that your jeans match basically anything.
• Linen – Strong, absorbent, and fast to dry, linen is both stylish and comfortable, with a touch of elegance.
After the best of the best? A standout piece of furniture? Well, look no further. However, not only are these fabrics generally slightly more costly, but they too have their other downfalls. We will discuss these below:
• Velvet – Vibrant, stylish, shimmering, soft and ultra-comfortable, velvet will brighten up any room. It is, however, a delicate material so care must be taken when cleaning it.
• Lambswool – Sturdy, cosy and incredibly comfortable, few fabrics are softer or more luxurious than pure Australian lambswool. Designed to bring a touch of sophistication to your home, lambswool is also a natural temperature regulator, that will keep your body warm in winter and cool in summer.
However, this too requires some extra effort to keep clean, such as treating stains immediately and performing regular cleaning to ensure it stays comfortable and in good condition for years to come.
• Leather – A luxurious material, leather is a great idea for a bean bag such as a sofa. It will highlight the room and give it a feeling of sophistication whilst still being super comfortable. However, it is one of the costliest fabrics available.
Still comfortable and stylish, you can always consider less-costly bean bag covers. Just keep in mind that these often have their drawbacks, such as also not being so stain-resistant or easy to clean. We’ll discuss these points below:
• Cotton – Cotton fabric is breezy, cosy and affordable. However, it is hard to keep clean, as it has little stain-resistance, soaks up liquid very quickly if anything is spilt on it, and also takes a long time to dry.
• Polyester – A similar fabric to cotton, yet polyester is strong, stain resistant, and waterproof, making it perfect for both indoors and outdoors, and is still less-costly than some other fabrics. However, it is known to keep your bodily fluids, such as sweat, against your body, which can cause you to become aggravated or uncomfortable.
• Faux Leather – A cheaper option than real leather, this is an artificial leather made of PVC or polyurethane. Waterproof, it can be used indoors and outdoors, but it is more rigid, making it less comfortable than most other options.
• Olefin – With a suave, moderately shiny texture that feels smooth and waxy to touch, olefin fabric (also known as P2, polypropylene or polyethylene) is not only affordable, it has a low environmental impact in comparison to other fabrics. Comfortable, stain resistant and waterproof, olefin is designed to last. However, its main downfall is that there is a potential for small amounts of dirt to build up within the pores of the olefin fabric. Nevertheless, it is still quite easy to clean.
#3. Where can I purchase my bean bag covers?
Now you know a lot more about the type of fabric you want for your bean bag cover, here is additional information about the best places to purchase that bean bag cover. My recommendations are based on ethically produced Australian products only.
• Vinyl – Bliss Bean Bags – We pride ourselves on making the best bean bags possible. Using the latest technology in vinyl production our bean bags feel soft, are extremely durable and made to last. The Vinyl fabric we use is used on luxury yachts, both indoors and out, and the colour is embedded in the fabric, meaning it will not fade, even when left outside.
We also believe the threads that are used to construct the bean bags hold as much importance as the bean bags themselves, and so our 25 Ply Nylon threads are strong, waterproof and UV safe, meaning your furniture will not fall apart after some time – a condition we stand by with our Lifetime Warranty. With the use of Vinyl, our bean bag covers are high quality and specifically designed to withstand the Australian climate.
• Nylon – Epona Co. – This company has also designed their bean bags to suit the Australian conditions, and as such you can rest assured your outdoor bean bag is made to last.
• Cotton, Twill, Suede, Polyester, Olefin, Faux Leather – BigW – This company has a variety of fabrics to suit you, all of which they say are soft, silky, stain and fade resistant.
• Faux Fur – Ivory & Deene – This company has a luxurious range of faux fur bean bags, that all come complete with an inner liner for the ease of cleaning.
• Velvet, Linen, Leather, Plush – Kloudsac – Another company with a variety of covers for you to choose from, ranging from neutral sophistication to bold colours, their products also come foam and bean-filled.
• Microsuede, Corduroy – LeSac – All these covers are handmade, and come with a 10 year warranty on the zips, seams and stitching.
• Denim – Koskela – A contemporary company that hand-makes each bean bag with a quality industrial zip and embossed leather tag. Each bean bag also comes a detachable inner lining.
• Lambswool – Merino Deluxe – Soft, soothing and comforting, the resilient, luxury Australian Merino Sheepskin bean bag covers are naturally tanned and professionally put together to produce quality, comfortable products.
#4. What is the best way to care for my bean bag cover?
As now know, bean bag covers come in a variety of fabrics. However, the general rule of thumb that we recommend is:
• Give your bean bag an occasional overall clean by wiping down the fabric using a sponge and warm water. If required, a mild soap or detergent can also be used. By doing so, this will help remove any dirt build-up and keep your bean bag looking like new. Be careful about spilled beans as well.
• After cleaning your bean bag cover, gently dry the fabric with a dry cloth, place on a line to dry in the shade, or even fan dry the bean bag cover. This is important, as you should never place your bean bag cover back on the floor until it is completely dry. Doing so will only trap moisture, allowing mould to grow.
• If an accident happens when you are on your bean bag, such as a food spill, clean it immediately in the same manner.
• Machine wash the bean bag fabric.
• Dry clean the bean bag fabric.
• Use bleach or any abrasive cleaners on the bean bag fabric.
• Iron the bean bag cover.
• Place the bean bag cover in a clothes-dryer.
#5. How Do I Clean a Bean Bag Cover that Requires Special Treatment?
However, some bean bags covers are made from other fabrics that, instead of washing them with the same old method, may require special treatment. These include;
Cotton, Polyester, Denim, Linen, Silk, Corduroy;
These fabrics break the rules that you cannot machine wash your bean bag cover. However, you must be careful how you do so.
If you have purchased a bean bag with an inner liner, you’re in luck – you can simply remove the outer bean bag cover and place it in the washing machine.
If you are unsure, follow the instructions below:
• Unzip the outer cover of your bean bag.
• If the filling is in a secondary lining, known as your inner liner, you can just remove this. If the filling is loose, empty it out carefully into a bin bag – and try not to let any of it escape as doing so!
• Once you have your cotton bean bag cover empty, place it into a washing machine and wash it with cool water and a light detergent.
However, still only dry the cotton cover as per our recommendations above – never place it in a dryer as this may cause the cover to shrink.
Do not, under any circumstances, let your suede bean bag cover come into contact with water, as it will ruin the material, causing irreparable damage. The cleaning of suede is best left to a leather-cleaning expert, but you can try these tricks to maintain the appearance of your bean bag cover.
• Use a brush, such as a soft-bristled toothbrush, along with a cleaning product such as a suede eraser, to remove any stains from the bean bag cover. You can also try using baby powder to remove a wet stain, or white vinegar on a dry stain.
• Invest your money in a suede treatment product to make the cover more water-resistant.
Following our normal washing methods on a microsuede bean bag cover will actually destroy it. Instead, read the label on your bean bag as it may give you instructions. Look for the tag on either the inside or outside of the bean bag cover along the seam, and it should have one of the following cleaning codes.
• W – This means you should only use water-based cleaning products.
• S – This means you should only use solvent-based cleaning products.
• S-W – This means you can use both solvent-based and water-based cleaning products.
• X – This means you are not allowed to use any cleaning products at all. You may vacuum it, and dry-cleaning may be allowed.
To make your life easier in regards to cleaning a “solvent safe” (S) bean bag cover, it is a wise idea to invest in a cleaning product that is specifically designed for Microsuede – just ensure it has the correct cleaning product for the cleaning code on your label.
However, if your bean bag cover is “water safe” (codes W or S-W), you can use water and a mild detergent to clean it. You can give this bean bag cover its occasional clean by:
• Vacuuming the bean bag cover to remove all dirt from the surface.
• Filling a spray bottle with warm water and few drops of mild detergent. Lightly spray little areas of your bean bag cover at a time with this mixture (be careful not to soak it).
• Do not wipe the bean bag cover, but instead blot the damp areas with a clean sponge until each section is clean.
• When clean, blot the remaining moisture with a dry cloth.
Vinyl / Nylon
These can be slightly difficult fabrics to clean – although they are extra durable and stain resistant, you need to be quite delicate when washing them.
For the occasional clean of your bean bag cover, follow the below method;
• Make your mixture of warm water and mild detergent or soap in a bowl.
• Use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, and gently scrub the fabric.
• Once you’ve cleaned all areas, wash off the mixture with warm water, being careful not to get the bean bag cover too wet.
• Wipe the bean bag cover dry with a clean cloth, and to let it dry further, put it on the line in the shade.
If you do get stains on your bean bag cover, trying to remove them can be tricky. Using the below method may help;
• Add a few drops of warm water to a tablespoon a baking soda, mixing it until it forms a paste.
• Put the paste on the stained area, and, using your soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the stain.
• Wipe off the paste with a moist cloth.
• Wipe the cover dry with a clean cloth.
Faux Fur / Plush
On-trend and ultra-luxurious, it’s no surprise that faux fur bean bag covers require a little more attention when cleaning. Follow the below instruction to leave them looking oh so fabulous.
• Vacuum to remove all dirt from the surface.
• Remove any stains with a professional upholstery cleaner.
• Make a mixture of cold water and a few pumps of a mild liquid hand wash. Use this to hand wash the faux fur, just like you’d wash your own hair.
• Leave the mixture in, allowing it to soak in for 15-20 minutes.
• Rinse it out thoroughly, methodically and carefully by using a moist cloth, squeezing the mixture out.
• Make another mixture, this time of cold water and fabric softener. Apply this to the faux fur in a similar fashion as before.
• Leave the mixture in, allowing it to soak in for 10 minutes.
• Rinse it out thoroughly as before with another (clean) moist cloth.
• Using a clean towel, dry the bean bag cover as best you can.
• Leave the bean bag cover to fan dry.
• Once the bean bag cover has fully dried, brush the fur with a comb.
#6. How do I make sure I get the most use out of my bean bag cover?
Here are the ultimate tips to keep your bean bag in tip top shape. Follow these and your bean bag will continue to look just like new
• Be gentle to your bean bag – This is probably the ultimate rule. Your bean bag isn’t a weapon, so don’t use it in pillow fights, or it may become bent, broken or misshapen. It also isn’t a trampoline, so try to avoid letting your kids jumping all over it as much as possible, as the stitching may be strong but at some point, the seams may burst.
• Be careful of culprits – It’s easy to accidentally damage your bean bag, puncturing them with household objects such as keys, knives or pens. Try and keep these away from your bean bag.
• Be careful of your clothing/accessories – Similarly, try to keep away from the bean bag when you are wearing any clothing or accessories with sharp metal edges – even things such as bobby pins in your hair or a buckle on your belt can puncture a lesser quality bean bag.
• Keep your bean bag clean – Not only should you give your bean bag the occasional clean but keep dust off your bean bag by giving it a shake or wipe over regularly or covering it when you’re not using it. If any accidents happen, such as food or drink spillage, clean them immediately.
• Be careful of the water – Your bean bag may be designed to go outdoors, but it’s not a flotation device. Don’t put your bean bag in the pool and try to keep it out of the rain. If there is going to be a downpour, bring your bean bag inside, cover it up or put it in storage. If your bean bag does get wet, clean and dry the cover ASAP. Any undue moisture can cause unpleasant odours and mould growth. Once mould has penetrated the fabric cover, it is very hard to remove, so it’s a wise idea to allocate a storage place for your bean bag indoors when you are not using it outdoors, to save any unnecessary hassle. Also, always check that the fabric cover is completely dry and so is the surface you are placing the bean bag on before placing them there, to prevent mould growth.
• Be careful where you choose to place your bean bag – Try and always place your bean bag on a smooth surface, such as carpet or floorboards. Placing it on rough surface such as concrete may be abrasive. Try to play it in shade, as placing it in direct sunlight over a long period of time may cause oxidation, which may cause your bean bag cover to fade.
• Be careful of the pets – If you have a dog or cat, they may love the comfort of the bean bags, but the bean bags may not love their claws or their sharp teeth. It’s a wise idea to purchase them their own bean bag bed such as a Dog Bean Bag.
• Refill the bean bag filling – The time may come when you need to refill your bean bag filling as it has gone flat and shaking it out just won’t fluff it back up. For advice on how to fill your bean bag, and ideas on what to use, see our articles “How to Fill a Bean Bag”, “Where to Buy Bean Bag Filling” and “Alternative Bean Bag Filling”.
Finding the perfect bean bag to suit you and your space is vital, as we want you to be happy with your purchase. As such, it’s important that you take into consideration the bean bag fabric as well as its’ colour and style.
When it comes to choosing the fabric, think about where you plan to use the bean bag. Learn how to clean that fabric. Take some time to make sure you’re still happy with your choice. This will help ensure that your bean bag gets the use it deserves, and also stays looking brand new for years to come.
Think you’re ready to choose your perfect bean bag? Browse our range at Bliss Bean Bags and get designing today!