What's Inside of a Bean Bag?

Posted by Matthew Ressler on

What’s Inside of a Bean Bag?

Do you want to know what's inside of a bean bag? What are bean bags filled with, and what goes into them? In this blog post, we will discuss the materials used in bean bags, as well as what is the best thing to fill them with. We'll also talk about how much filler you need for your perfect comfort level. So, whether you're curious about CordaRoy's products or just want to learn more about these comfortable pieces of furniture, keep reading!

Materials Used in Bean Bags

Bean bags are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can own. They can be used as a chair, a footrest, or even a makeshift bed. And they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit any space. But what's really inside a bean bag? Let's take a look at some of the most popular fillings, like expanded polystyrene (EPS), expanded polypropylene (EPP), microbeads, natural filler, and polyfoam to see what makes them so special.

A women folding a CordaRoy's Bean Bag

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

EPS, or expanded polystyrene, is a rigid plastic material that is made with multiple units of styrene. It is frequently used as a cushioning material in packaging and transportation, and it is also the most common type of filler used in bean bag chairs. EPS beads are lightweight but strong enough to hold their shape for several years, and they are available in a range of sizes.

In addition, EPS beads are moisture- and heat-resistant, making them ideal for use in bean bag chairs.  However, it is important to note that not only are EPS beads tiny and pose a choking hazard, but the styrene used to make EPS beads is believed to be a carcinogen.

Expanded Polypropylene (EPP)

EPP, or expanded polypropylene, is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is often used to manufacture bean bag filling. This foam is a very robust and durable material that is also extremely resilient, meaning when crushed or distorted, EPP material quickly reverts back to its original shape and dimensions.

However, one downside to EPP is that it is susceptible to heat and burning, making them extremely flammable and hazardous. Additionally, when exposed to oxygen, EPP degrades. Nevertheless, EPP, like EPS, is cheap and easy to produce, making them a popular choice for lower-quality bean bag manufacturers.


Micro-beads are tiny pellets made of polyethylene, a form of plastic, ranging in size from 10 micrometers to one millimeter. These tiny pellets used to be popular in some types of bean bags; however, micro-beads are an environmental concern because they often end up in our waterways, contaminating the water supply and damaging aquatic habitats.

As a result, some locations throughout the US have banned the sale of items containing micro-beads. Micro-beads are also extremely lightweight. So when people sit on them, they crush easily and shoot up into the air like popcorn. Not only is this annoying, but it's also a waste of beads. If you're in the market for a new bean bag or piece of furniture, be sure to check the label first to make sure it doesn't contain micro-beads.

Natural Filler

Another common bean bag filler is more natural, using materials like beans, rice, and grain. However, a bean bag filled with a natural filler tends to be a bit on the heavier side. An additional drawback is the possibility of insects getting into the bags and the potential for natural fibers to deteriorate. This discourages many manufacturers from using natural fillers. However, some people are willing to face the difficulties that go along with bean bags with natural filler due to these bean bags being environmentally friendly and affordable. 


Polyfoam, or polyurethane foam, is a popular bean bag filler that is more commonly known as the foam that pole vaulters fall on.  CordaRoy's uses polyfoam in all of our foam-filled products, including our NEST convertible bean bag chairs and high-quality footstools that can turn any bean bag chair into a recliner.  Our polyfoam is cut into randomly shaped pieces to ensure full-body comfort and support.

Additionally, we employ top-notch, child-safe zippers on our inner liners that are designed to lock in the closed position for the safety of young children. Adults can still access the foam if necessary by substituting a paperclip for the zipper handle.

And our foam is environmentally friendly: it's made without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals. Plus, it has low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million). So rest assured knowing that our polyfoam is not only safe for your kids but also good for the environment!

What is the Best Thing to Fill Bean Bags With

Whether you're looking for a cozy spot to curl up with a book or a comfy place to watch TV, a high-quality bean bag is a great option. But what's the best thing to fill a bean bag with? If by best, you mean most comfortable, we'd have to go with our 100% safe polyurethane foam. It's highly adaptable, takes the shape of your body, and provides plenty of support, even if you sit for hours. Plus, it's environmentally friendly and contained within a child-safe liner with locked zippers.

Even better, this foam is cut into randomized pieces to ensure you're not only comfortable sitting but sleeping on our convertible bean bags as well! The foam pieces allow our convertible bean bag mattresses to move freely inside the cover, ensuring ultimate comfort all night long. So if you're looking for the best way to fill your bean bag, polyfoam is the way to go!

How Much Filler Do You Need?

So, you've decided you want a CordaRoy's bean bag chair! But now you have to decide how much filler you need. Do you want a little bit of extra fluff, or do you want your bean bag to be super firm? It's entirely up to you! If you like your furniture on the firmer side. For additional polyfoam we recommend getting a booster pack foam insert. Booster foam is designed to add a little bit of extra padding, but it's not meant to be used as replacement foam.

If you need replacement foam, check out our "Bed Only" options in the size that you need. On the other hand, if you prefer your furniture to be on the softer side, then you can just use the bean bag insert that comes with your bean bag chair. Either way, we know you'll love your CordaRoy's bean bag chair!


From EPS to EPP to microbeads to natural filler to polyfoam, bean bags can be filled with a variety of materials. But at the end of the day, it’s all about your personal preference when it comes to filling up your new favorite piece of furniture. And if you want that perfect fit, CordaRoy’s has you covered with our customizable bean bag chairs. Give one a try today and let us know how you feel!


15th Report on Carcinogens, Styrene | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scientific Evidence Supports a Ban on Microbeads | Environmental Science & Technology

What's Inside of a Bean Bag?

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