How Supportive Are Bean Bag Chairs? All You Need To Know

Bean bags are often the things that lend a casual and cool look to your living spaces. They are known for their coziness and comfort and are usually found in places and homes of people who love to relax and unwind after a long day or a busy week at work.

 But of late, bean bags have found a place in all kinds of households and homes owing to their versatile design and the number of ways they can be used.

The design of supportive bean bags is pretty innovative and revolutionary. They are very versatile and can find their use everywhere – in homes, offices, cafes, and most places, that you want to add an element of comfort and ease. 

They can turn to be your favorite couch at home to lie down and watch your favorite movies. They can also be a piece of furniture placed on the patio or the balcony of your apartment that can let you enjoy your favorite drink. 

But apart from the numerous purposes they can be used for – are bean bags good for your back? We shall find that out in a while and walk you through everything you need to know about bean bags and how they support your back.

A Brief Background of the Bean Bags

In 1969, Paolini, Gatti, and Teodoro designed the first sack with beads called bean bag chair. This chair featured a pear shape with the body stitched of leather over beads. The ergonomics of this turned to be an instant hit and became a part of the contemporary Italian world. People loved it for its comfort, and these bean chairs became very popular really quickly.

Towards the 70s, the bean chairs were everywhere. People in the US and Europe started to adopt bean bag chairs and gradually forgot their origin. The whole world adopted these bags as their own. However, these bags could not sustain the changing needs and demands of their customers. And through the 80s and the 90s, the sales and use of bean bags dwindled. 

Now in the 2000s and a decade later in 2021- bean bags are now back in trend. They are now pretty much a part of every place you can think of and, as such, have got back their old relevance and importance. Having seen the evolution, and a roller coaster journey of the bean bags, let’s now look at how these bags are designed and how they are ergonomically good for the back. 

How do they support your back?

Bean Bags are material bags filled with polystyrene beads but only partially and in a way that they can be carried around. These bags adjust to your weight and body as you sit on them. This means that when you sit on them, the bags adapt to your body’s shape, thereby lending better lumbar support. 

The presence of polystyrene beads inside the bean bags is why the bean bag chairs are deemed a healthy alternative to traditional furniture and seating. These beads can attain and change the shape, thereby providing your back with greater support; the whole area of your back is in contact with the bean bag chair; therefore, supporting your back to the best extent possible. 

Bean bag chairs are beneficial to your back in the following ways:

1. Helps correct your sitting posture – The correct sitting or standing posture is essential for having a healthy, pain-free back. A proper posture helps you stand tall and upright – right up to your maximum height. 

This, in turn, puts less pressure on your spine. An improper body posture would place an unnecessary strain on the spine, which can cause many back problems.

Think of a bean bag filled with polystyrene beads or memory foam as fillers – it will comfortably fit or support your entire body, thereby providing perfect contouring around your back and the necessary support.

You can sit on your bean bag in a relaxed position, and while doing so, you can support your entire back portion – head, neck, spine, and back. Thereby, it will help you attain a good back posture by letting you position in a supportive and comfortable way for your back. 

2. Helps in Curing Back Pain – When you are working and are up on your feet the entire day, you have strained your back muscles a lot. You will need to give some good rest to your back and spine. When you sit and relax on a sofa or a chair, your spine is not getting the necessary support. 

The couch or the chair may be very rigid and may not be made to support the whole of your back, and may not be enough for taking rest after a long and tiring day. A bean bag provides better support to your entire back, neck, shoulders, head, and spine, therefore relaxing and removing all pressure from your spine and back muscles. 

No matter how you sit, the bean bag will take the shape that best supports your back, thereby removing the pressure off your back and relieving the pain that you might have always been struggling with for years.

Now that you know how the bean bags work to support your back let’s look at some other aspects of these bean bags. 

Other things to Consider

You may need to know other things to look for in supportive bean bags before purchasing them. The very reason to buy a bean bag is to provide a relaxing chair that can help you relieve your back muscles and avoid any pain. If you are looking for a bean bag that can perfectly support your back, you need to make sure of the following:

  • A bean bag full of memory foam filling is better as it can easily take your body’s shape. So, choose a memory foam filling bean bag if possible.
  • Ensure you have the exact amount of filling you need to make your bean bag comfortable and supportive. It is crucial to have the right amount of filling to provide firm support to your back.

Are bean bags healthy? 

Yes, bean bags are healthy for the body. Bean Bags provide excellent support for your back because they take the shape of your back, therefore taking the pressure off your spine and back muscles. 

This is a question that we often come across. Since bean bags provide excellent comfort when sitting on them, many people have misconceptions that bean bags may not be that healthy.

Bean bags are usually used for when you are just lying comfortably in your living room, watching back-to-back seasons of your favorite show, munching on unhealthy food, drinks, and whatnot. It is a misconception that excessive use of furniture like a bean bag can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, leading to obesity and other health issues.

However, that is more of a hypothesis than a fact. Yes, the bean bags let you spread your entire body weight on the beads they are filled with and take all the pressure off your back and spine muscles, making you feel completely relaxed. 

However, the unhealthy lifestyle that its use may lead to is entirely up to you. These bean bags are just meant to provide support to your back, relax your back muscles, and relieve any pain that you may have been experiencing for months. 

So, in conclusion – bean bags are undoubtedly good for your health, provided you do not make it a means to spoil yourself and make it a part of an unhealthy lifestyle. 

Benefits of Using Bean Bags

Apart from the health benefits that bean bags provide, there are many other advantages of using bean bags as furniture. 

1. Unmatched Comfort – The unmatched comfort and relaxation that a bean bag can provide are one of its unique selling points. Making the bean bags is based on the needs of the customers prevalent at that time and era. They wanted to create something that provides the user with a whole new comfort level better than any other furniture type. 

The bean bag’s entire concept is based on providing your whole body with maximum support, thereby providing you unmatchable comfort.

2. Extremely Durable and Long Lasting – Bean bag chairs are usually made up of vinyl or leather with zippers to insert the polystyrene beads into the bags. These leather bean bags are made rough and tough to ensure they can stand heavyweights and strains. 

Vinyl bean bag chairs are water-resistant and spillproof – and as such, they are incredibly durable and can last a lifetime if maintained properly. 

3. Easy to transport and move around – Bean bags are incredibly lightweight and can be moved around easily from one place to another. This would mean you can position it on the patio, the balcony of your apartment, or you can place it in front of the TV when you want to go on a movie-watching spree. You can even carry it outdoors so that you can sit on it, relax and unwind. 

A Bean bag chair is one piece of furniture that you can move around and transport whenever you want.

4. Versatile; can be used for all purposes – This is another reason why bean bags are so popular. You can use them the way you want, and for the purpose you want. For instance, at home, it can serve as a relaxing chair, a gaming chair, a work chair, or anything you want it to be. 

These can also be used in offices in the lounge area, where employees can come in, sit and relax. These are also used in restaurants, lobby areas of hotels, and places where visitors and tourists come in and sit. A multi-purpose and pretty versatile furniture, after all.

5. Pretty Affordable – Price is the most unfortunate thing about furniture. No matter what furniture you want to buy, the price tags will give you a mini shock. But that is not the case with bean bags. You can get a set of two bean bag chairs at a price that is almost half of a conventional sofa. So you can imagine the affordability of bean bags. 

They provide you with a cheap and the best alternative to any furniture you may want to buy for your home. They come in many designs that can easily match with the rest of your furniture still and look incredible.

6. Easy to clean and maintain – The traditional sofa and chairs can cost you a bomb as it may involve a lot of expensive chemical treatment and cleaning required for the upholstery and the cushions. 

On the other hand, bean bags are easy to maintain and do not need any special cleaning. In most cases, you can simply unzip them, remove beads, and put the covers inside the washing machine. 

7. Adds to your home’s aesthetic – Using bean bag chairs is good in terms of functional aspects and your house’s aesthetic elements. You can use a bean bag to match the color and setting of any part of the house. 

You can place it in your living room, or you can use it in your study area to spend some quality time with your books. Using a bean bag that matches your homes’ theme and color setting can lift its beauty and aesthetics that visitors will appreciate.

Things to be Cautious About

Undoubtedly bean bags are best if you wish to keep your back and spine healthy. However, there are too many manufacturers and products in the market selling bean bags, and you will need to ensure that you are getting the best. 

There may be certain bean bag types that may not support your upper back and head. There may be some which may be out of shape or not so ergonomically good. You will have to ensure you select a bean bag chair that does not compromise its ergonomic standards.

There may be bean bags that are made from cheap quality leather or substandard materials. Always ensure that you are buying a bean bag made from materials of the highest quality. 

You can check here how to select a good quality bean bag chair.

Final Thoughts

The supportive bean bags are certainly one of the best pieces of furniture that you can get when it comes to comfort, ergonomics, functionality, and aesthetics. These chairs have been evolving for many decades to what they are today. 

From a widely used comfort chair in the 1960s to a chair used for relaxation and treatment of back and spine pain today, they have come a long way. 

Bean Bags provide excellent support to your backs because they take the shape of your back, therefore taking the pressure off your spine and back muscles. 


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

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