Beanbag chair filler alternatives: My top five eco options

I am often asked to recommend alternative fillings to fill our beanbags so I have put together my top five eco options. You will normally find polystyrene bead filling in most beanbags including our designs as this works well to create that sinking feeling that beanbag chairs are known for but you can try to replicate this with alternative fillings. 

Beanbag chair filling

For our beanbag chair designs we choose to fill them with a combination of high quality virgin grade EPS bead and repurposed foam crumb which we source from a local upholsterer who sells offcuts rather than them go to waste and landfill. The combination of materials makes the ultimate filling that is long lasting and therefore more sustainable as the beanbag is less likely to end up in landfill. 

But what is an EPS virgin grade bead?

It's actually made up of 98% air and is resistant to water and moisture. Although it isn't biodegradable it can be re-used in other beanbags or even as an alternative stuffing to fill soft toys or cushions. 


However more people are looking for beanbag filling alternatives from pulses to packaging peanuts there are lots of ideas out there but some are better than others. This is my top list of 5 alternative fillings to use with our beanbag case only options that I promise will be comfy!

Number 5:

Pules or beans

Pulses or beans can work as a beanbag filling as the pulses such as black eyed beads, buckwheat or lentils replicate the traditional polystyrene bead shape. However there are a few down sides to this filling option as a larger beanbag filled with buckwheat for example will make it heavy which makes it less flexible to move. So if you do decide to use pulses, although it may be an affordable filling and readily available it will mean your beanbag is likely to stay in one place in your home. 


Number 4:

Old duvets or stuffed toys

This is a great sustainable alternative to use up soft toys or old duvets that might otherwise end up in landfill. Your beanbag will feel more cushion like so if you are looking to make your beanbag very soft this is going to be a great option. One down side is that the shape of the soft toys can change the overall look and shape to the beanbag case.


Number 3:

Packaging Peanuts 

A beanbag filling that is readily available and biodegradable after use. It will give a great soft and sinking feeling to your beanbag chair however most packaging peanuts don't spring back to life once squashed. It is likely you will need to top up the filling of your beanbag frequently if you were to go for this option. 


Number 2:

Foam Crumb

If you are looking for an ultra soft filling this is the filling you should choose! If you fill your beanbag chair completely with foam crumb it will feel almost like sitting on a cloud. To make this more of an environmentally friendly option look to purchase offcuts of foam and foam crumbs from businesses such as upholsters who will sell them at a low price or even give them away so that they don't end up in landfill. Foam is also great at holding it's shape and will spring back to it's original shape quickly increasing the longevity of your beanbag cushion.


Number 1:

Polystyrene Beads

Although not the most sustainable they will last as long as your beanbag cover! They shouldn't end up in landfill as they can be left in the beanbag and added to or if the beanbag is replaced the filling can then be transferred to a new beanbag and reused. 

You might be wondering if they are safe to use and according to a study carried out by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that they were 100% safe. 

As for comfort they meet all the requirements of how you expect a beanbag to feel and create that firm but soft feeling as you sink into a beanbag chair. 

Shop my top pick of tried and tested virgin EPS filling beads on Amazon here.

As always if you have any questions you can always send me an email and I will be more than happy to answer anything else at