How To Open A Bean Bag Zipper? In 6 Easy Steps

When you are trying to take the bean bag cover off to either wash it or top-up your beans, you will realize it is not as straight forward as it might sound. With most bean bags coming with removable bean bag covers, you should be aware that they most likely have a child safety zipper. Some have multiple zippers to access the filling. 

A paper clip or a keyring is the best tool for opening the zip of your favorite bean bag cover. Install the clip in a zipper hole opening, where the pull-tab is usually. You will realize that at this stage, the zipper can be moved. To slide the zip up and down, use the clip as a pull. 

In this article, we will cover in detail how you can get into your bean bag chair and how to maintain your zipper or deal with any further issues.

6 Steps how to open bean bag zipper 

As always in life, most of the childproof things tend to be adult proof as well. Don’t worry, we got you covered. Below are 6 easy steps:

  1. Locate your zippers slider. Sometimes, bean bag manufacturers hide its underside in the tabs.
  2. You need something that you can use as a zipper puller. Safety zip is not difficult to open once you have the right tools. You can use paper clips, a keyring, twisty tights, or just some wire. Some of the brands will actually send you the right tool with the bean bag.
  3. Put the paper clip through the central zipper part where the pull tab would be usually located. If you put the paper clip in the right hole, it will activate the zip, and you can move the zipper up and down smoothly. Some zippers have more holes, but it’s usually the only one that will work.
  4. You should now be able to move the zipper up and down freely and with ease.
  5. If there is an inside bag for the filling with the zipper, just follow steps 1 to 3 again.
  6. When you finish with your bean bag, make sure you remove the paper clip from the zipper mechanism and throw it away. A safety mechanism is there for an important reason (more on that below).

Generally, most bean bag zippers work on the same principle, but there as with many things in life, you might come across some other issues.

How to fix the most common zipper issues

The most common problems with zippers are that they can get stuck. Once you ruled out fabric stuck in the zipper, you can try lubricating the zipper’s teeth. Most common household zipper lubricants are:

  • Graphite pencil
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Soap bar
  • Olive oil
  • Candle vax

Graphite pencil is one of the best solutions. Just rub the top of the pencil on the outside of the zipper’s teeth, closest to the slider. Graphite is an excellent dry lubricant, and it also helps smooth things out a little bit. If the graphite pencil doesn’t help, try swab the area with a cotton swab using petroleum jelly, bar soap, or olive oil. Jiggle the zip to work the lubricant into the teeth.

If the zipper isn’t closing correctly or separates after it is zipped up, a graphite pencil can also do the trick by lubricating the teeth. Also, check through if none of the individual teeth are displaced. These can be realigned using pliers. If that doesn’t help, it could be an issue with the slider loosening over time. Try closing the slider’s mouth with pliers to ensure it’s catching the teeth and closing them properly.

Why does my bean bag have a safety zipper?

New laws and regulations make manufacturers produce bean bags with high-quality safety zippers to prevent children from opening them. There are mainly two hazards that are being controlled.

Small children may suffocate if they inhale the bean bag filling. Bean bags are filled with materials such as small beads, PVC, or even memory foam filler. This is particularly dangerous for children under three years of age.

The second hazard is children crawling into the bag and not being able to find their way out. Even with all the safety precautions, children and pets should always be watched whilst they are around the bean bag.

It is important to note each country has different safety regulations. The law changed a lot for bean bag manufacturers to prevent kids and animals from getting harm as much as possible.

If your bean bag still has any of the zipper pull tabs, it is a best practice to remove it with the wire cutter. Another option is to sew it shut. That would be the safest way so that little fingers can’t get into the insides of your bean bag.  

Is it worth replacing the zipper on the bean bag?

If you have tried all possible standard solutions to fixing your zipper, replacement might be your last option. Two main reasons your zipper will have to be replaced are:

  1. The zipper is missing teeth
  2. Pin on the slider which usually holds the pull tab is broken off

You could take it to a seamstress who can generally replace your zipper fully for anything between $55 – $65 plus the new zipper’s cost. Replacing a zipper doesn’t seem like a difficult job, but it’s very time-consuming. 

Replacing zippers is a tedious chore. Seamstress has to take your bean bag apart, remove the old zipper, and possibly resize the new one. When fixing the new zipper, it needs to line up so that the bottom and top of your bean bag is closed evenly across the length.

Depending on the type of the material, this might not always be completed on the first attempt. Tougher thread and proper sewing needles are needed to be sure that the zipper stays in place. With leather bean bags, even while using needles designed for this purpose, most seamstresses will tend to break at least one or two needles during the replacement.

We have called around our local tailor shops, and put together a simple table of the average pricelist to fix the basics issues:

Zipper issueAverage Seamstress cost
The zipper comes apart after zipped up.Average $5 – $10
Slider comes offAverage $15 – $20
Missing zipper stopperAverage $5 – $15
New zipper full replacementAverage $55 – $65 + Cost of a new zipper

Of course, for simple alterations, you could just buy a basic zipper repair kit (check on Amazon here), and fix it yourself if you have the time and the skill, but make sure you know what it entails. The damaged zipper might spill the filling, and that is the last thing anyone would like to clean up.

Final Thought

You might be lucky enough that your bean bag chair came with the right zipper tool, and the whole process of getting in and out was quick and easy. However, if that’s not the case, I hope that this article has helped you fix any issues you might have had. And if not, let us know what did and didn’t work for you in the comments.


Self-taught bean bag enthusiast. I love restoring, fixing, and making bean bags from scratch.

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