Cheap bean bags are unfailingly very low-quality products that lack durability and other features while the most expensive bean bag furniture is made with superior materials and designs. The best bean bags, however, fall somewhere in the middle.
Type of Fabric
One of the most important determining factors in the price of bean bag chairs and other furniture is the type of fabric used for the covers. A number of different materials can be used to make bean bags, and some are clearly better than others are. However, just because a fabric is more expensive, it does not mean that it is ideal for bean bags. A few of the materials that have been used for bean bags are as follows:
- Cotton – Cotton is breathable, comfortable and affordable, but it has several drawbacks when it comes to bean bags. It has virtually no stain resistance, absorbs liquids quickly and takes a long time to dry.
- Leather – A leather cover on an indoor bean bag can be very elegant, but it is also very expensive.
- Silk – Silk is a viable fabric for bean bags, but like leather, it is prohibitively expensive for most people.
- Rayon – Rayon is often used for clothing, but it is not strong enough for bean bags.
- Faux leather – Faux leather is made of PVC or polyurethane. It is pliable and waterproof, but it is not very comfortable.
- Microsuede – Microsuede is a great material for indoor bean bags, but not so much for outdoor bags.
- Nylon – Nylon is one of the best fabrics you can use for a bean bag. It is one of the strongest fibers available by weight, is relatively affordable and can be used for both indoor and outdoor furniture.
- Polyester – In addition to nylon, polyester is one of the two best fabrics for bean bags. It is strong, durable, water resistant and inexpensive.
We have determined that the two best fabrics to use for bean bags are nylon and polyester, but among them are several variations based on the weight of the thread. The density of polyester and nylon fabric is measured in a unit called the denier (D). Cheap bean bags are often made of 420D polyester while quality bean bags use fibers four times as dense at 1680D. Although the heavier weight costs more, it is essential for outdoor use because it is highly durable, resists rips, tears and scratches and holds up well in adverse weather. It is also an ideal weight for children’s bean bags, which are often subject to a great deal of abuse.
Amount of Fabric
The final factor dealing with fabric is the amount used for a particular bean bag. Larger bean bags, of course, require greater amounts of fabric to produce, and round bean bags use much more fabric than square and rectangular shapes because the corners must be cut, which then become waste. In addition, cheaper bean bags may have only one cover while bags of higher quality will have an inner cover to hold the filling and an outer cover for comfort and protection.
Bean Bag Filling
If you purchase a bean bag in person at a traditional brick-and-mortar store, it will most likely come prefilled with beads, which may add to the cost. Bean bags purchased online are usually unfilled to reduce shipping volume. However, different fillings can be used for bean bags. Inexpensive polystyrene beads may have been recycled or repurposed from packing materials, and they do not last long. Virgin polystyrene beads are more expensive, but they have more bounce and an increased usable lifespan.
Bean Bag Zippers
When it comes to bean bags, not many customers consider the zippers used to keep the covers closed. However, the zippers for bean bags are specially made for safety and child resistance as mandated by federal standards. Low-quality bean bags will have cheap, plastic zippers, and they may bypass regulations by not including the safety features, which is a serious issue. The best bean bags have large, metal zippers made by the world’s leading manufacturer: YKK. The pull tabs on these zippers are removable to prevent children from opening the covers, and they are larger than most zipper tabs so that they are not easily lost.
In addition to the fabric used in the covers, quality bean bags are often treated with one or more coatings for increased durability and additional features. Polyurethane and PVC coatings are fairly common because they help protect bean bags from moisture, spills, mold and more. In addition, other coating may be applied to resist ultraviolet light from the sun or the growth of microbial pathogens.
Limited-Edition Bean Bags
Some bean bags are expensive simply because they are designer products with a limited run. Generally, it costs less per item with higher production volumes, and limited-edition bean bags are priced higher to absorb the added cost. In some cases, bean bags are produced in limited quantities so that the manufacturer or dealer can inflate the price.
The overall quality of a bean bag is another factor that contributes to the cost. Many companies outsource production to dismal factories in developing countries to cut down on costs, but these products are usually of inferior quality. Handmade bean bags or those made at state-of-the-art production facilities will have a higher production cost that must be passed on to consumers, but in most cases, the trade off in quality is worth the additional price.
Several miscellaneous factors also affect the cost of bean bags. For instance, reputable dealers will offer generous warranties, and others may have high advertising budgets, which is often the case with designer, brand-name bean bags.
When it comes to bean bags, what you receive is dependent upon how much you pay. Cheap bean bags are to be avoided, and you probably do not need all of the bells and whistles of the most expensive bean bags. Low-cost bags may only last for a year or less while the best bean bags may last for five years or longer. At Bean Bags R Us, we have developed a balance between affordability and quality to give our customers the best of both worlds.