The return of the beanbag.

May 28, 2009 § 2 Comments

I never thought I’d be considering this. But anyone who stalks design sites or blogs has seen them – the modern beanbag, which is essentially furniture. Kids’ furniture. For grownups.

Remember this guy? The classic pleather beanbag.

The old versus the new

In my new place, I’ve had a few ideas that I definitely want to employ – the first one being versatile, inexpensive furniture, the second being that I want to devote very little space to a television area. I don’t like that 95% (this is a very rough guess) of homes these days base their living room furniture around their TV. So in other words, I want comfortable, movable furniture that can face whatever direction I choose instead of having a couch that I park on a wall opposite the television and make the poor thing stare at it 24 hours a day (yes, I humanized the couch there, forgive me). The other really, really important thing is that whatever seating I choose be sleepable. When you move across the country, you want a place for folks to sleep.

So yesterday I was walking around downtown Greensboro, NC and dashed into one of my favorite stores in town, Area Modern Home. And there, staring back at me, was a big, orange, FatBoy. No, no – not your typical NC resident (overweight and sunburned) — FatBoy is a modern beanbag that can basically be squished anyway you want it, and even laid flat to act as a bed. I asked the owner what he thought of it, and he proceeded to lay down on it and show me how huge it is. He has several at home, he says, and loves them.

The big attraction here for me is that a) it’s affordable and b) I can get it in my car on Monday if I want to have any sort of furniture when I get to Illinois.

So then I got to thinking about it, and, as well-trained by my father’s mantra, “Gather data,” (which I swear could be a recording that he pushes the play button on any time I need difficult decisions made), I ventured home and did just that. In the process, I came up with some questions. There are other brands, too – who knew? – that are more and less expensive. Which one do I get? Do they look ok? Do I need a huge one? Do I like the flat kind or the more “bean-like” style?

Here are the contenders:

The FatBoy Original

The FatBoy Original

The Sumoloung Omni

The Sumoloung Omni in white

LoveSacs PillowSac

LoveSac's PillowSac

So… let’s talk about these for a second.

In terms of cost – Sumo seems to be the winner at $149 and free shipping. However, I have read that the Sumo requires refills every six months, which makes the FatBoy appealing in terms of quality at $229. The LoveSac’s PillowSac is even more expensive at $299, but has some great options with it, specifically, the Rocker, and I think I need this no matter which one I get.

Rocker Frame
Rocker with PillowSac

In general, I think I like the white FatBoy the best, but LoveSac may be getting my business later for that Rocker. I have two super-thick couch cushions that I am covering with precious fabric that I think for now may be the perfect base for the white FatBoy, and just use the thing as a very versatile couch. Sumolounge still has a chance, I just need to know why it’s better.

Thoughts and opinions welcome.

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