Who doesn’t like to sit on a bean bag chair from time to time? Right at this moment I am looking at my daughter sprawled out, asleep on a bean bag chair. I am even guilty of sitting on my kiddos bean bag chairs from time to time.

Being totally honest, I got these bean bag chairs for my kiddos before I started on my ecofriendly lifestyle, so they are filled with styrofoam beads. Please don’t think less of me, I am a work in progress! 

Anyways, as you can see from the picture, this particular bean bag chair is pretty flat. I want to replace it sometime in the future, so I decided to research environmentally friendly bean bag filler in hopes that there was something out there other than styrofoam. 

Here’s what I found.

Are bean bags environmentally friendly?

Short answer: No. This is mainly due to the filling used to plump up the bean bags. The most common filling being polystyrene (styrofoam) beads that do not break down and are a serious hazard to birds and marine animals who may swallow the beads.

Are there environmentally friendly bean bag chairs?

Well, I came across one eco-friendly bean bag chair when I was researching this topic. 

The Big Beanbag Company

The Big Beanbag Company makes bean bag chairs that are filled with BioFoam beads, a compostable biopolymer made from plants, that is child and pet friendly, doesn’t harm the environment and keeps its shape.

They are the only company in the world using vegetable-based BioFoam beads. BioFoam is CO2 neutral, non-hazardous, hygienic, light-weight & durable.

The outer fabric is 100% cotton weave, which makes for a nice, breathable comfy seat.

What is the best filling for bean bags?

From an environmental standpoint, the best fillings for bean bags are ones that are biodegradable. 

They might include:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Uncooked rice
  • Dried peas
  • Potpourri
  • Uncooked beans
  • Buckwheat hulls

There really is not a ton of options for environmentally friendly bean bag filler. If you are a DIYer, I would recommend making your own bean bag and using one of the natural fillers mentioned above.

For those of us less handy people, The Big Beanbag company is a good option but not going to lie, they are quite pricey. Especially if you’re buying for your kiddos and you know they are going to be rough with it and spill various substances on it.

Maybe it’s time I learn a little DIY skills. 

I will update you in the future and maybe show off an awesome homemade, ecofriendly bean bag chair. Stranger things have happened!

Have you ever made a beanbag chair? If so, how did it turn out? Any more suggestions for environmentally friendly beanbag filler? Let me know in the comments below.

Cheers, and have an awesome day!




  1. Jordan

    Thank you!

    • Kathy

      You’re Welcome!

    • Kathy


  2. sherry

    looking for an eco-friendly bean bag filler and came across your post. Out of the ones you have listed, which would be lighter? Beans, rice, buckwheat hulls…What have you used? thanks

    • Kathy

      I would say that rice, potpourri, buckwheat hulls, or dried peas would be the lightest bean bag fillers on the list. Hope that helps!

  3. Tass

    How comfortable are the food-based ones..have you tried them before? Thanks!

    • Kathy

      I honestly have not tried them myself, sorry.
      Has anyone tried food-based bean bag filler and can give an opinion? Thanks!

  4. Richard

    Hi how long would those food based fillings last?

    • Kathy

      Honestly, I’m not sure. It would depend on use. In my experience with bean bag chairs (we have two in our house) they last a few months and then wear and tear starts to set in. Both of my son’s bean bag chairs are pretty deflated now after about a year with constant use and one of them is starting to rip at the seams. Keep in mind they are kicked and thrown around on a regular basis, so they don’t owe us anything, that’s for sure!
      Hope that helps! Thanks for your question.

  5. Meeta

    I have filled my bean bags using environmentally friendly EcoBeans. The technology is owned by NZ company and the beads are NZ made. They are very comfortable and retain their shape for longer. Visit their website for more information


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