Filling material for bean bags: which filling is the best?
One of the sewing projects that I always look forward to most in advance are bean bags for the living room or children's room. The beanbag is perfect for a cuddly unit in front of the television, as a trampoline for the children or as a sleeping place for the pet.
Today I would like to introduce you to the advantages and disadvantages of the different fillings . There are a variety of materials that can be used to fill the beanbag after sewing is complete. But only a few are really good and also inexpensive. In addition to simple polyester fillings, we will also take a look today at EPS beads and old fabric remnants.
I hope that in the end you can make the best choice for filling your new beanbag and, of course, have as much fun making it as I did!
- Filling material for bean bags
- Preparing the beanbag
- Different beanbag fillings
- EPS balls
- Polyester pillow filling
Filling material for bean bags
Preparing the beanbag
So that the beanbag can be filled, it is particularly important that all seams of the sack are closed properly. With certain fillings, it can otherwise happen that individual parts come out through the loose seams and cause chaos on the living room floor.
In our DIY tutorial, we will show you how you can sew our beanbag on the following instructions: Make your own beanbag - free sewing instructions.
I generally recommend that the beanbag consists of two different layers of fabric . Firstly, an inner sack that is completely closed.
On the other hand, the outer fabric, which may have a zipper and can be washed as often as you like.
The filling material is filled into the inner sack through the turning opening, the seam is subsequently closed by hand. In our DIY tutorial, we show you how to close the turning opening by hand : Blindstitch - DIY tutorial for the mattress stitch / magic stitch.
Different beanbag fillings
Today we're going to look at the following options together:
- EPS polystyrene balls
- Polyester pillow filling
- EPS balls
The most well-known and popular filling material for bean bags is EPS styrofoam balls . In this case, "EPS" stands for "expanded polystyrene". The pearls are generally not poisonous, but should not be swallowed by small children. Rubbing the pearls creates a light dust that likes to stick to your fingers and hands. However, this dust can be easily removed with water.
In the meantime, these EPS beads are available in almost all well-equipped textile shops or in online shops. The pearls are white and opaque, similar to the usual packaging material styrofoam. The size of the individual styrofoam balls varies from 0.8 mm to 5 mm. The smaller pearls (micro pearls) are much better than filling the beanbag, because they allow less air in the gaps and adapt better to the body shape. Larger balls are often used for other projects, such as soft toys or pillows.
The styrofoam beads are probably the best choice when it comes to seating comfort, since the shape of the beanbag fits perfectly to the curves of the body. In addition, the shape of the sack can always be changed as soon as the balls are shaken out a bit.
Unfortunately, EPS balls are not as cheap as other filling materials. With 200 liters (large beanbag for adults) you have to expect around 30 to 35 euros. It is also relatively difficult to fill the beanbag with EPS beads without a few balls making their own way through the house or apartment. They stick very easily to hands and other parts of the body. This means that you can still find a few balls in the evening when you take them off.
Polyester pillow filling
Anyone who likes to go shopping in one of the numerous furniture stores will be confronted with hundreds of different pillow fillings. There are relatively large pillows filled with polyester for around 2 to 4 euros. Since the cushions are only covered with a thin fabric, they can be opened easily and the contents can be used as a filling for bean bags.
The biggest advantage of polyester filling is definitely the price. With just a few pillows (for a total price of around EUR 10) you can fill the beanbag completely. In addition, the polyester filling is relatively easy to handle. The material can easily be pushed through the opening of the inner bag with one hand before the last seam is closed.
Unfortunately, the advantages are offset by a very clear (and important) disadvantage: The beanbag feels very fluffy at the beginning, but is already "flat" after a very short time and loses its original shape. You can't avoid that with a good sewing pattern and firm fabrics. After sitting for a long time, nodules form which cannot be loosened afterwards.
As you know, there are a number of small remnants of fabric when sewing. I have made it a habit of picking up these small snippets and collecting them in a bag. For small sewing projects such as soft toys or small pillows, I like to use these residues as filling material.
Here, too, you benefit from the unbeatable price argument: since the remnants already exist, this filling material for beanbags costs practically nothing. In addition, filling is very easy here .
Similar to the polyester filling, the filling can “sit flat” relatively quickly . The remnants can also knot and form balls that feel anything but pleasant when sitting.
Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages .
|EPS beads||Shape and durability||price|
|Polyester filling||Price and handling||loses its shape|
|Stoffreste||Price and handling||gets hard very quickly|
For me, EPS polystyrene balls are the best choice despite the higher price. The shape of the beanbag is much better than with other filling materials. In addition, the beanbag lasts for many years without having to replace the interior and you have a beautiful new piece of furniture in the long term. However, I recommend that you use the help of another person when filling, because otherwise it is very difficult to fill the balls in the sack without major chaos.
I hope you enjoy sewing and filling !