- The bean bag chair has been a mainstay of the college dorm, the kids’ bedroom, and the family den for years. These anatomic seats conform to your body to give a unique blend of support and comfort.
- The Big Joe Aloha Chair is our top pick because it has the softness of a bean bag chair with some of the structure of a standard chair.
If you went to college any time in the last few decades, chances are you spent a good portion of your time nestled in a friend’s bean bag chair while hanging out in his or her dorm room. And if that’s not accurate, then you were the bean bag chair owner and it was to your room that friends flocked for the chance to flop in comfort.
The first recognizable bean bag chair was created by a group of Italian designers in the late 1960s, and people have been enjoying them ever since.
Although comfort is the primary reason for the popularity of the bean bag chair, there is also something to be said for the low price. Many bean bag chairs cost a fraction of the price of that textbook you need for a history seminar, so for college students or anyone else watching the budget, a cheap seat that’s actually comfortable is a great find. They are also a great choice for the dorm room as one usually doesn’t buy forever furniture for a space they will occupy for a couple of semesters at most.
Our guide features several bean bag chairs that are perfect for the dorm or apartment, as well as an option that could, in fact, be forever furniture. We also included a bean bag chair just for the kids as well as one perfect for the couple that wants to sit and snuggle or for the friends who want to lounge together while watching a show or playing a game. You’ll surely find the perfect chair to settle yourself into. Just remember that getting up is a lot harder than sitting down.
Here are the best bean bag chairs you can buy:
- Best bean bag chair overall: Big Joe Aloha Chair
- Best affordable bean bag chair: Bed Bath & Beyond Microsuede Bean Bag Chair
- Best high-end bean bag chair: Tuft & Needle Pouch
- Best large bean bag chair: Great Deal Furniture David Bean Bag Lounger
- Best bean bag chair for kids: GoMoji Emoji Kids Bean Bag
Updated on 10/22/2019 by Connie Chen: Updated prices, formatting, and links.
The best bean bag chair overall
The Big Joe Aloha Chair lets you sink in and snuggle, yet it maintains a chair's shape, helping you sit upright without effort.
Bean bag chairs are incredibly comfortable as long as you're OK with adopting an effectively recumbent position. If you want to sit upright on a bean bag chair, whether for typing or eating, to name two examples, you have to support yourself with your core as there is no appreciable backrest.
That is, unless you got the chair-shaped Big Joe Aloha Chair. It's a soft, stuffed seat that maintains its chair configuration even while cradling your carriage with tens of thousands of beads of proprietary Ultimax filling.
This is a great bean bag chair for the college kid who needs a place to relax when it's time to chill but can sit upright to use a laptop, read a book, or take part in a study session when it's time to get some work done. And thanks to that carrying handle built into the seatback, it's easy to move the Aloha bean bag chair around the room or down the hall to a buddy's room.
If the chair ever loses some of its fluff, you can unzip it and add more filling. And the filling is made from 80% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable itself. As a former Big Joe bean bag chair owner, I never had any issue with the fill packing down too much.
The Big Joe Aloha Chair currently enjoys a 4.1-star average rating on Amazon, with one owner calling it "perfect for me" and loving how well it "holds its shape" during use. Another said she was "so impressed with this chair," as were her kids. And a writer from Ezvid.com noted how Big Joe bean bag chairs offer "structured back and arm support."
Pros: Offers support and holds its shape, eco-friendly materials, built-in carrying handle
Cons: Too small for larger adults
The best low-cost bean bag chair
The Bed Bath & Beyond Microsuede Bean Bag Chair is soft and fluffy and large enough for an adult, yet its price tag is small enough to where you can let the kids treat it roughly.
When you picture a bean bag chair, it probably looks just like the Bed Bath & Beyond Microsuede Bean Bag Chair. In other words, it's a big amorphous blob, a blob that in this case comes in five different colors and has a soft faux-suede exterior and is filled with little polystyrene beads. When you sit down on (or in, really) this bean bag chair, you'll be pleased to find that it feels just like you expect, too.
And that's almost all there is to say about the Bed Bath & Beyond Microsuede Bean Bag Chair, really. It's soft and comfortable, it's big enough for an adult, and it comes in a few colors.
Oh, right. The price. At less than $40, this is far and away the lowest cost adult-sized bean bag chair in our guide. In fact, it costs half as much as the next cheapest option. And that sits well with lots of shoppers, if you'll pardon my amazing pun.
Many of those customers sounded off on Bed Bath & Beyond's website, with one owner calling the bean bag chair a "great size and quality," while another said it was "fantastic" and appreciated that the chair was "comfortable and adjustable" simply by pouring out some of the beans and/or adding more back in. You can buy more filler "beans" separately.
Pros: Great low price, comes in several colors, tear-resistant material
Cons: Too small for some larger adults
The best high-end bean bag chair
The Tuft & Needle Pouch bean bag chair is made using materials that will last for years and with design elements that will complement almost any living space.
The average bean bag chair is only a part of our lives for a few years at most. Maybe it was a prized part of the playroom in childhood or a constant companion in the corner of the dorm room in college, but more often than not, it's the bean bag chair that gets the boot during a move, a room redecoration, or when its seam splits open and spills little bits of polystyrene all over the place.
With the Tuft & Needle Pouch bean bag chair, none of that is going to happen. First, this meticulously well-made quilted cover and durable interior sack are not going to tear unless you stab the thing with a knife, which you really should avoid doing. And second, you're not going to toss this bean bag chair whether you're refreshing a room or moving across the country. This is high-quality commitment furniture, and it comes with a commensurate price tag.
The Pouch has a soft, textured quilting on much of the exterior, making it a comfortable and eye-catching seat. It's large enough for a couple to share if they're fine with intimacy or for a parent to use with child on lap, but this bean bag chair is at its best when a single adult sinks in for a good long sit. And to give you an idea of its quality, the chair is backed by a three-year warranty!
Connie Chen on our Insider Picks team tested it out and was pleasantly surprised by how much she liked it.
"I live in a fourth floor walk-up, so when I stumble up the narrow stairways carrying heavy packages - like giant, 73-pound bean bag chairs - the only thought going through my head is, 'This better be worth it,'" Connie wrote. "After many days of the most comfortable lounging, relaxing, and napping in Tuft & Needle's new Pouch, the giant bean bag chair in question, I'm now certain the effort was worth it."
A product tester from WanderWithWonder called the Pouch " big enough to fit a grown adult or several kids," while a writer from GoodbyeNormal loved that its "cover is completely removable and machine washable."
Pros: Stylish and comfortable, superior construction, machine washable cover
Cons: Very expensive
The best oversized bean bag chair
Foto: sourceGreat Deal Furniture
The Great Deal Furniture David Bean Bag Lounger is so large it could replace your couch, and it's so comfortable that it just might do that.
This bean bag chair, which is named "David" for some reason that I don't understand but with which I have no issues, measures nearly eight feet long. Take a minute and go measure your couch. Which is bigger? I thought so. Now dive face first onto your couch and see if you settle down into it as though it were one giant ball of fluff and comfort. How did that go? Right.
The David Bean Bag Lounger is perfect for the couple looking for a unique seating arrangement they can share. It's also great for the family with three kids or the household where the children constantly have friends cycling through. And of course, this massive, soft, bean bag chair is a luxury when enjoyed by a single reclining adult.
The microsuede cover resists tears and punctures while a double zipper design keeps the beads inside where they belong yet allows you to open the bag up to add more beads or remove some as needed for custom comfort.
For the record, if eight feet is just more bean bag chair than you need, the company also makes a six-foot option that's still large enough for two as well as a five-footer that's perfect for one person who likes his or her space.
With dozens of reviews posted on Amazon, the Great Deal Furniture David Bean Bag Lounger has a solid 4.2-star average rating. A customer named Kimberly says "we love this bean bag" and also praised the brand's customer service experience. Another gentleman said he loved the "huge" bean bag chair and found it "very easy to take a nap" on.
Pros: Suitable for multiple users, available in several sizes, eco-friendly recycled foam filling
Cons: Zippers occasionally break
The best bean bag chair for kids
The GoMoji Emoji Kids Bean Bag chair is charming enough that you won't mind having it there in the living room and cheap enough that you won't mind if your kids are rough with it.
If you're looking to add some seating to your child's bedroom, the family den, or basically anywhere else in your house, the GoMoji Emoji Kids Bean Bag chair is a great choice for the smaller members of the family.
As it weighs less than five pounds, you can easily move this bright and charming bean bag chair all around the house as needed. It's perfect for use while the family watches a movie or plays a game or while your kid does some reading for school or for fun.
Most kids will love the bright yellow color and expressive face on the side of the GoMoji Emoji Kids Bean Bag seat, while many adults will have a more bemused reaction. But that's OK, because this one is for the little guys and gals. However, the chair, in fact, supports as much as 200 pounds, which is impressive for a bean bag chair that costs less than $35.
With multiple reviews posted on Target, the GoMoji Emoji Kids Bean Bag chair has an excellent 4.5-star rating among owners. One buyer describes how the chair was perfect in the "reading corner [of a] 2nd grade class," while another says that it's a "great size for a child and not too soft like a lot of bean bags" tend to be.
Pros: Perfect size for elementary-aged kids, comes in several designs, good price point
Cons: Some units arrive with spots and stains