Shopping for Beanbag Chairs – The New York Times

The Four Percent


Don’t assume you know what a beanbag chair looks — or feels — like, if the last time you sat on one was in a college dorm or a children’s playroom.

Furniture designers and manufacturers have been busy introducing beanbags in various shapes and sizes, some suitable for outdoor use. And they offer squishy comfort to people of all ages.

“They’re very comfortable, in a weird way, because they form to your body,” said Robert Novogratz, 58, who runs the design firm the Novogratz with his wife, Cortney.

Beanbags are a good choice for anywhere you want to spend hours lounging close to the floor, watching television and movies. “They can be great in a theater-designated room,” he said, whether your screen is in the living room or a dedicated media room.

Worried about back support? Look for a wedge-shaped model or one that has more of a chair-like form.

“As you get older,” Mr. Novogratz said, “you appreciate those a little more than the old-school ones.”

  • What if you need to seat multiple people? “Beanbags aren’t modular, but they can be used as such,” Mr. Novogratz said. “They can be a chair, a love seat or sofa,” he added, depending on whether you spread them out or push them together.

  • How long will a beanbag chair last? Few are likely to become family heirlooms: “If you get four or five good years out of it, you’ve won.”

  • What type of fabric is best? Shaggy and chunky knit covers can be fun, but if the chair will be used by messy children or installed in an Airbnb rental, “something you can wipe plays much better,” Mr. Novogratz said.

Canvas beanbag chair with backrest adjustment straps

$149 at Crate & Barrel; 800-967-6696 or


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