The History of a Bean Bag

Posted by Matthew Ressler on

From the ‘70s to today, bean bags have been a furniture icon, standing the test of time and transforming with the ever-changing world around us. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its unique ability to add both style and coziness to any home. 

As we explore the evolution of the bean bag, you'll discover its unique ability to add both style and coziness to any home. You'll be amazed at how this simple yet innovative design has captivated the hearts of young adults and families alike, becoming an essential piece of furniture in modern households.

So, if you're ready to learn more about the history of the bean bag and why it's still so popular today, keep reading! You won't want to miss out on this inspiring journey through time.

What is a Bean Bag?

Bean bags are a classic when it comes to comfortable seating options, and they’re a fun addition to any room in your home. You might have had one in your room growing up, or maybe you have one now. But what exactly is a bean bag? 

With so many options for filling and cover fabrics, the possibilities are endless. From the classic expanded polystyrene (EPS) beads to shredded memory foam, the filling options allow you to customize your bean bag chair to fit your comfort preferences and style.

Not to mention, bean bags come in an array of colors and patterns, so you can easily match your bean bag to any room in your home. Whether you want to go for a contemporary look or if a laid-back appearance is more your style, there’s a bean bag for everyone. 

Bean bags also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including traditional, oversized, and lounger, ensuring you'll find the perfect bean bag for your space and needs. Cozy up with an oversized bean bag for movie nights or relax with a comfy lounger while reading your favorite book.

When Was the First Bean Bag Invented?

Italians are the masters of design, giving us iconic inventions like pizza, eyeglasses, and ice cream cones. But they didn't stop there. In 1968, three brilliant Italian designers, Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini, and Franco Teodoro, created a chair like no other, designed specifically for the young and trendy. The result? The revolutionary "shapeless chair," or as it's more commonly known, the Sacco chair.

With its unique tear-drop shape and synthetic polyvinyl chloride beads filling, the Sacco bean bag chair offered unparalleled comfort and adaptability to the body's shape. The leather shell exuded Italian craftsmanship, and the exquisite stitching created a consistent seating surface. It's no surprise that the Sacco chair quickly became a sensation, revolutionizing modern furniture design.

The Bean Bag Boom

The 70’s and 80’s saw a surge in popularity for bean bag chairs as a comfortable and stylish alternative to traditional seating options. From funky college dorm rooms to chic living spaces, these cushiony seats were a must-have accessory.

Pop culture moments, like the unforgettable bean bag scene in "The Breakfast Club," cemented the bean bag's status as a cultural icon. The counterculture movement also left its mark on bean bag design, with bold and unconventional shapes and materials taking center stage. The bean bag craze was at its peak, and it seemed like everyone was searching for that perfect, squishy throne to sink into. 

Bean Bags in the 90’s

In the 1990s, the bean bag chair's once-exalted popularity saw a slight decline. Perhaps it was oversaturation, as these cozy seats had become a common sight in homes and college dorms across the nation. Or maybe it was the changing winds of consumer preferences, moving towards a more streamlined and minimalist aesthetic. The once-revered bean bag chair was suddenly viewed as clunky and outdated, a relic of a bygone era.

But even as their sales waned, those who had loved their bean bags cherished the memories of their squishy and comfortable seating. These chairs held a special place in their hearts, reminiscent of lazy afternoons spent reading or playing video games. Some even became collectors, seeking out rare or unique pieces to add to their bean bag collections.

And now, in a new age of nostalgia and appreciation for all things vintage, the bean bag is making a comeback. Collectors eagerly seek out 90s-era bean bag chairs, willing to pay top dollar for the perfect piece. It's a testament to the enduring impact of these cozy and iconic chairs on popular culture, a reminder of a simpler time when comfort reigned supreme.

The Bean Bag Rebound

The bean bag chair has officially rebounded, once again embraced by those seeking both comfort and style. Oversized bean bags and loungers have taken center stage, providing a cozy and laid-back seating option. From floor pillows to massive sacs that can accommodate several people, these giant bean bags offer a playful and informal alternative to conventional furniture, making them a popular choice for living rooms, game rooms, and even dorms.

As the demand for bean bag chairs has grown, designers and manufacturers have continued to push the boundaries of creativity. Today, bean bags come in a range of fabrics, including cotton, microsuede, velvet, and faux fur. Some have removable, washable covers for easy upkeep. With a plethora of shapes and styles to choose from, including loungers, chairs, and even convertible bean bags that convert into beds, there's a bean bag chair for every preference.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down, as consumers continue to prioritize comfort and casual style in their homes. The bean bag has proven to be a timeless classic, a beloved and versatile seating option that will undoubtedly remain a fixture in modern homes for years to come.

A mom and child site on a CordaRoy's convertible bean bag in bed form.

What Makes CordaRoy’s Different

CordaRoy's is a true testament to the power of innovation and perseverance. Founded by Byron Young, the brand's convertible bean bag chair design is a true marvel. Young's vision was to create a seating option that could seamlessly transform into a comfortable bed for guests to sleep on, and after years of relentless hard work and dedication, CordaRoy's was born.

The brand's meteoric rise to success was further cemented by its appearance on the hit TV show Shark Tank, where investors were left stunned by the convertible capabilities of the bean bag bed. An investment from Lori Greiner further solidified CordaRoy's place as a pioneer in the world of bean bag chairs.

What truly sets CordaRoy's apart, however, is its commitment to innovation and quality. The brand's bean bags feature washable covers and come in a range of sizes and colors to suit different preferences. The convertible design makes them an ideal choice for overnight guests, while the cozy comfort they provide ensures that they are a beloved seating option for all occasions. With CordaRoy's, you get more than just a bean bag chair - you get a transformative, high-quality seating experience.

The humble bean bag chair has come a long way since its inception in the late 1960s. From the revolutionary "shapeless chair" of the Sacco to the oversized loungers of today, the bean bag has stood the test of time and continues to evolve with the ever-changing world around us. So why not embrace the comfort and style of a bean bag and take a journey through time with this inspiring furniture icon?


The Radical History of the Beanbag Chair | Architectural Digest

15 Different Types of Bean Bag Chairs | Digs Talk

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