How to fill a bean bag? It seems like it should be a relatively simple task! And yet, if you’ve ever tried to fill a bean bag chair, you know that it can be a bit of a challenge. The beans seem to go everywhere except where you want them to go. If you don’t do it right, you could be vacuuming up little white polystyrene balls for the next few weeks! And they really WILL go everywhere and you’ll find them in every nook and cranny. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to help make sure the beans end up in the right place. In this article, we’re going to answer the most popular questions people have about how to fill a bean bag chair.
Whether you’re starting from scratch and filling a brand new empty cover with beans, or refilling an existing bean bag chair, I hope you find the following useful!
Why do I need to refill a bean bag chair?
Bean bag chairs are often filled with small styrofoam or polystyrene beads. These have numerous pockets of air inside them. Over time, these beads settle and compress, reducing their size and making them flat. This can make the bean bag chair less comfortable. Your bean bag may start to flatten or get saggy and provide less support. Refilling the bean bag chair will plump up the beads and make the bean bag chair more comfortable to sit in.
How often do I have to refill my bean bag chair?
Bean bag chairs typically need to be refilled every few months to once a year. However, this will vary depending on how often the bean bag chair is used. It also depends on the quality of the material originally used to fill your bean bag. Cheaper bean bags tend to go flat quicker! If you find that your bean bag chair is losing its shape or isn’t as comfortable as it used to be, it’s probably time to add more beans.
Do I need to empty out all the old filler before refilling?
No, you don’t need to empty out all the old filler. You can just add new filler on top of the old to fill the space and make your bean bag firmer and more supportive. However, it’s best to remove at least some of the old filler first (we usually remove about half).
If you only top up your bean bag every time it goes flat (and never remove any of the old filler), eventually you’ll end up with a bean bag chair that’s mostly made of old flattened filler. This can be uncomfortable and won’t provide the same level of support as a bean bag with fresh filler. Also, your bean bag will get increasingly heavy and more difficult to move.
How do I empty a bean bag before refilling?
If your bean bag chair is really old and flat, you may want to start from scratch and empty the entire thing out. Or as we suggested above, you can try and pour out half. This can be a messy job, but it’s not too difficult. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
1. First of all, make sure you do it indoors, and away from pets and children who could ingest any stray bits.
2. Remove the bean bag cover according to the manufacturer instructions (most of these are child proof zippers that you need a paperclip to open). If your cover is removable then the beans will be held inside a liner which you will also need to unzip.
3. Slowly and carefully empty the beans into a garbage bag or container. You can use these beans to fill other cushions or pillows, or even to make a bean bag for your pet!
4. Once the bean bag is empty, wash the cover in your washing machine. If it’s really dirty, you may want to pre-treat any stains with a stain remover before putting it in the wash.
Here are a few tips on how to fill a bean bag chair without making a mess:
First of all, this really is a job for two people! Trying to do it on your own will likely result in beans everywhere. It’s not that it’s a hard job – it’s just really easy to make a mess. You need one person to pour the beads while the other person holds the bag.
Make sure you do it indoors in a room with plenty of space. No children or animals should be in the room as polystyrene beads can be a choking hazard. Close any doors or windows that could cause a breeze as any movement of air (even from an air conditioner or fan) could blow those little white balls everywhere.
Here are the steps:
Use a funnel. This will help direct the beans into the opening of the bean bag chair. The easiest thing to do is make your own out of cardboard, or even by cutting the top and bottom off a bottle.
- Cut a small corner off the bag of bean bag filler – just big enough to insert your funnel. Tape the hole around the funnel to stop any polystyrene beads getting out.
- Open up the bean bag using a safety pin or paperclip. There will most likely be liner to open up as well. Open this leaving just a small gap for the funnel.
- With one person holding the bag of beans, and the other person holding the bean bag, pour the filler in slowly using the funnel. If you pour the beans in too quickly, they are more likely to spill out. If you’ve got a big bag don’t be tempted to speed up the process as that’s when things can go wrong!
- Once the bean bag chair is filled, close the opening of the lining securely and put it back in the cover. If you’re not filling a lining, just zip up the bean bag cover quickly to secure the beans.
I came across a really good video on Youtube that demonstrates exactly how to fill a bean bag without making a mess. They show you how to reduce static using baby powder, how to open the bean bag zipper using a safety pin or paper clip, and how to use a homemade funnel (made using cups) to pour the beans into the bag – totally mess free!
How to clean up styrofoam/polystyrene balls?
If you do happen to spill some of the beans, you’ll find they’re pretty hard to pick up because of the static. The static electricity is what makes them seemingly blow away from you as you try to brush them up.
The best way to clean up styrofoam/polystyrene balls is to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. Rather than using the normal vacuuming motion of moving the head backward and forwards, try to just dab at the piles of styrofoam. Just make sure you empty the vacuum cleaner bag afterward as the beads will clog up the vacuum if they’re left in there.
Dustpan and brush
Another option is to use a dustpan and brush. Again, this will take some time as the beads are very light and will fly everywhere if you’re not careful! Use slow sweeping movements as any air will disperse them even further.
Before you try either of these it’s a good idea to spray the balls with anti-static spray. This addresses the issue of static before you try to vacuum or brush up the balls and makes the job A LOT easier. If you don’t have this, you could try a sprinkling of bicarb of soda to help neutralise the static. Another option is a fine spray of water from a sprayer.
Where to buy bean bag filler?
You can find bean bag filler at most craft stores or online (Amazon sells both foam and polystyrene bead filler. When purchasing bean bag filler, make sure to get the right type of filler for your bean bag chair. For example, if your bean bag chair is filled with polystyrene beads, you will need to fill it with more polystyrene beads. If it is a foam-filled chair, you will need to purchase more foam.
Filling a bean bag chair doesn’t have to be a messy job! With a little bit of planning and some help from a friend, you can easily fill your bean bag chair with fresh filler. Just make sure to use the right type of filler for your bean bag, fill it slowly, and use a funnel to avoid any spills.
I hope these tips on how to fill a bean bag chair without making a mess were helpful! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below.