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As you lay on your soft, impossibly comfortable bean bag, completely molding itself to you; these questions may be hovering above your relaxed body: whose idea was this invention? Who on earth could design something so amazing? And what inspired them?

History of the beanbag

If not, then you’ve probably fallen asleep. Or just become lost in the moment of ultimate comfort. But if we have got you wondering about the answers then see below…

A worker and a makeshift seat: a happy accident

It is said that the idea for the bean bag design came about completely by accident, when a member of staff at a factory sat on a bag of Styrofoam that had been left in the warehouse. Then, Gatti, Teodora and Paolini, who were coincidentally Italian designers saw their opportunity and seized it. Hence, the popular bean bag was born.

Saccos and the ‘Swinging Sixties’

The first name given to the bean bag was the ‘Sacco’, when the three Italian designers who were working for Zanotta Design at the time created the prototype for the modern bean bag we all know and love today. They created a pear shape design, in quality leather with a headrest. It was 1969, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for a more informal and relaxed piece of furniture that was welcomed into many 1960s homes.

As the 1970s arrived, they were welcomed with open arms as a cool, inexpensive and fashionable addition to people’s homes. They slotted right into the chilled out vibe of the decade, with parties; the love of anything kooky and different; and being more casual and comfortable – even when sitting!

Now the world is the bean bag’s oyster!

These days, bean bags are everywhere – in various different forms. The humble bean bag has many sophisticated sisters, from fancy corporate bean bags; to medical bean bags to aid recovery from operations and injuries; then there’s outdoor bean bags, perfect for a contemporary garden; as well as comfy bean bags for kids rooms and pets too!

Bean bags are often on our favorite chat shows, reality TV shows with celebrities draped over them and used in interior designing shows. Sometimes, we may not even realise that they are actually bean bags, as some of them just look like sofas or funky chairs – except they are a whole lot more comfortable.

Now for the technical bit…

Bean bags have come a long way over the last 45 years, and their design has been further improved upon to make them even more comfortable and safe for everyone to use. These days they are found with washable covers, making it easier to keep them clean and companies like Great Bean Bags even make them to your exact color, size and fabric spec. Inside they are filled with urethane, Styrofoam or shredded foam and they are sealed tight, with childproof zippers on kids’ bean bags for extra safety. The new breed of bean bags are expertly designed in various shapes and styles to suit all needs in the modern home.

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