Bean Bags - the Furniture for the Next Generation

By: Robert Baird

Bean bags - the furniture for the next generation.

The seating arrangements in popular cafes, bookstores and even houses are changing. The latest and most popular chair isn't a chair - it is not even made of wood. It's an oversized bag filled with foam, or thermocol pellets. Its called a bean bag and its gaining popularity as a pseudo-couch all over the world.

Known by many names among enthusiasts which include the Physics Bag and the Oversized Sac, bean bag chairs were conceived in the late 1960's and the early 1970's. Bean bags had a shape of a pear which incorporated a head rest, and were made of leather When it became an item of mass production, leather was substituted by the much cheaper vinyl and the bags were filled with plastic pellets, materials which had only recently been developed.

Bean bags have gained in popularity over the years, the popularity reaching a height in the 90's decade especially among youngsters. Users of bean bags find them comfortable due to its ability to place the sitter close to the floor, and due to its ability to accommodate a number of lounging positions. Users preferred the Bag, over hard and unyielding chairs, since the Bag molded itself to individual sitters' shapes, and thus was very ergonomic. Moreover it was light and easy to carry about - which added to its popularity. Therapists brought around another benefit of the Bag - use of Bags helped children with sensory-integration problems. Patients recovering from back surgery have been recommended to use the bean bag by doctors.

The plastic or thermocol pellets used in Bean bags today, are what makes the bean bag so pliable. These pellets have a life of one to one and a half years, after which these pellets become crushed, and the bean bag loses its comfort. However, that doesn't mean the Bag has to be disposed of. A journey to the nearest utility shop is enough to procure new plastic pellets - and when the bag is refilled with these, it gains back all its comfort giving properties. This is another property favored by customers.

As its popularity grew over the years, most furniture manufacturers and dealers added bean bag chairs to their lines. Bean bags from each different manufacturer have their unique properties and elements. In the late 90's when the world of fashion was rediscovering past fashion trends, the bean bag was evolving from being perceived as "cheap furniture", to a "pseudo couch which provides comfortable seating". Bean bags today, come in various sizes, shapes and colors to entice the customer. Companies have also developed the bean bag to be washable, thus increasing the pliability of bean bags. Moreover, plastic pellets in the bean bag are now being replaced by urethane foam, since this provides durable and substantial support.

With young professionals coming up all around the world, a segment which lives away from home, and wants to purchase cost effective and comfortable furniture, Bean Bag sales are supposed to grow ten fold. Easy availability and good customer service from bean bag dealers, makes bean bags a favorite not only among retail customers, but also bookstores, cafes and lounges.

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