Just what is foam bean bag filler?
Foam bean bag filler is a type of filling made from shredded foam, such as memory foam, a traditional foam fabric used to make pillows, mattresses, cushions, couches, and more. Bean bags that use shredded foam filler use foam that has been cut into small, durable pieces.
This type of filling has both its benefits and downfalls in comparison to EPS beans – the main being, it is longer-lasting and cheaper and easier to transport but may be less comfortable.
Is it actually better for you than the usual polystyrene (EPS) beans?
Today, I will give you all the knowledge you need on using foam as your bean bag filler, including where you can purchase it, plus the positives and negatives behind using it as a filling.
What is Foam Bean Bag Filler?
In this generation, bean bags are no longer just for kids. We have made them in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, so you can design a stand-out piece of furniture or even an affordable replacement for your couch. With so many unique and popular designs available now, have you ever actually put much thought into what goes inside your bean bag?
Just like bean bags, the bean bag filler comes in multiple different varieties, and this too is of the utmost importance. The comfort and quality of your product relies on what you put inside your bean bag.
Typically, bean bags are filled with a material known as expanded polystyrene (EPS) beans, which is very similar to Styrofoam. This is the chosen material for bean bag filler due to its’ benefits, which are:
• It is lightweight, so your bean bag remains versatile (this is important so your bean bag can easily be moved from room to room).
• It is rigid enough to keep their shape for roughly 5 years.
• It is unaffected by both moisture and heat (this is important as they may get food or drinks spilt on them, they may get sweaty when you sit on them, and you may want to use them outdoors, all without getting mouldy).
However, EPS beans do have their downfalls. They are 98% air, meaning they have multiple pockets of air inside them which makes them more comfortable for you to sit on.
However, after you have done so for prolonged periods of time, the air pockets empty, which decreases the size of the beans and they become compressed. This compression makes your bean bag look flat and start to lose its comfort.
Compressed foam is one of the newest materials being used as a bean bag filler. It has gained very popular reviews and is expected to increase in popularity over the next few years.
Compressed foam, also known as memory foam, is a type of polyurethane made through a process that increases both its density and viscosity, or in simpler terms, its thickness. You will recognise it as a popular material being used to make pillows and mattresses.
Memory foam for your bean bag comes shredded, so it’s lightweight when placed inside your bean bag, but the best thing about it is that may never go flat, ever. However, it too has its downfalls, which we will discuss below, so you can decide for yourself which is the perfect bean bag filler for you.
Positives and Negatives of Foam Bean Bag Filler
Positives of EPS Beans
• They are lightweight – This means your bean bag can easily be moved from room to room.
• They are still rigid – Despite being lightweight enough to maintain their versatility, they EPS beans are still sturdy enough to retain their shape for roughly 5 years.
• They are made to be withstand Australian outdoor conditions – They work with both moisture and heat, so you can use them at the beach or around the pool.
Negatives of EPS Beans
• You must purchase EPS bean filling separately and fill the bean bag yourself – If purchasing a bean bag that you intend to fill with EPS beans, due to postage costs most will come with beans not included. You will then have to purchase beans from another store, and fill the bean bags yourself, all of which is often considered to be an annoying and complicated process.
• EPS beans will go flat – Regardless of how much care you take of your bean bag, and the fact that it may be designed to last a lifetime, the EPS beans are not. The beans are only designed to last roughly 5 year before they get worn out and you will need to purchase new beans and start the refilling process all over again.
• They can be noisy – When you move whilst sitting on an EPS bean filled bean bag, they make a squeaky sound. It can get a bit irritating after a while, especially with cheaper, much thinner bean bags.
• They can be dangerous to your children and pets – You better be on the lookout whilst fluffing or cleaning your bean bag, because if even one bean escapes, it has the potential to suffocate a child or pet if swallowed or inhaled.
Positives of Foam Bean Bag Filler
• Foam filler bean bags come with their filling ready to go – Memory foam filler can be easy to transport, as it can be compressed to about ¼ of its original size for shipping. This makes it an easy and inexpensive procedure and your bean bag arrives at your door ready to be filled, so no more searching other stores for filler.
• They may never go flat – Foam filler is longer-lasting than EPS beans, with many foam filled bean bags lasting 10 years or more. This means no refilling procedures! Simply fluff them back up on a regular basis and they will bounce back to their original shape.
• They can be better for the environment – Foam leaves less of a carbon footprint as it is easier to recycle.
• They never make a noise – No more squeaky sounds, foam filler doesn’t make a sound when you sit on it.
• There is less potential for them to harm your children or pets – High-quality foam filler all have hypoallergenic, bacteria and moisture resistant properties.
Negatives of Foam Bean Bag Filler
• Some people find foam bean bag filler less comfortable – Foam filler does not conform to your body like EPS beans do. Also, as the memory foam pieces are shredded, they are sporadically shaped, so some people do not like their texture when used in bean bags with a thin lining. This, however, is not a problem when used on bean bag with a high-quality fabric such as leather.
• There are less regulations on foam bean bag filler – Australia has strict regulations regarding the design and use on EPS beans in bean bags, as they can be dangerous to kids and pets if inhaled.
These regulations haven’t been introduced to foam bean bag filler as yet.
However, the safety laws in regards to bean bags themselves, such as the fact that refillable bean bags must have permanent warning labels, childproof zippers known as locking safety zippers, and double stitching that prevents kids from opening the seaming on the bean bags, should be enough to ensure your child remains safe and sound.
Where to Purchase Foam Bean Bag Filler
For places on which you can purchase foam bean bag filler, I recommend viewing the below websites:
DIY Foam Options
Are you still unsure if you want to try foam bean bag filler?
You can always get crafty and try these Do-It-Yourself versions at home first, to see if you like it.
It’s pretty simple – just get any of your old Memory Foam pillows, mattresses, cushions or soft toys and shred them yourself. Swap this for your EPS beans (see our article on “How to Fill a Bean Bag – 7 Simple Steps to Follow” for instructions on how to perform the exchange if unsure).
Another popular option is to mix foam filler with EPS beans. This way, you lose the squeak, add some bounce, and keep the comfort!
What you may not have realised until now is that the filler for your bean bag is just as important as the rest of the design, especially when it comes to its level of comfort, versatility and durability.
The material you choose to use inside your bean bag is going to have a major impact on how long it lasts, its’ softness, and how much you can relax without worrying about hearing a squeaky sound when you move.
Ultimately, a perfect bean bag should always be soft and spongy but still firm enough to support your body. Additionally, it should be durable, and sitting on it for prolonged periods of time shouldn’t lead to its destruction.
This is why more and more people are choosing foam filler over EPS beans to fill their bean bags. They are longer-lasting, less noisy, and overall better for the environment and the health and safety of everyone in the household.
If still unsure whether foam filler is for you, I recommend that you try mixing the foam filling with EPS beans, as this mix allows your bean bag to be more comfortable and gives you time to decide your own opinion regarding foam as a bean bag filler.
Made up your mind and ready to get designing? Visit Bliss Bean Bags today!