Bean Bag vs Couch: Which One Should You Get For Your Living Space? 

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You’re in the market for a new piece of furniture, and you can’t decide between a couch or a bean bag. 

I understand the dilemma—especially with so many options for comfortable (and cute-looking) couches and bean bags available today. 

In the ideal world, I think it’s great to have both—A couch for when you want the support of traditional furniture and a bean bag for that sinking, floaty feeling. 

But getting both doesn’t always make practical sense.  

Whether or not you should get a bean bag or a couch depends on several factors—function, practical needs, budget, maintenance, external environments, aesthetics, and preferences. 

Sofas provide more support and are—on the whole—pricier than bean bags (although you can get affordable ones).

Bean bags, on the other hand, typically provide less support and are less expensive than couches, although these days there are plenty of high-end options. 

Let’s move on to what you should consider before you decide whether to buy a bean bag or a sofa. 

What Will You Primarily Use It For?

The first (and in my opinion, most important) is to figure out what you’re planning to use your furniture for. 

Bean bags can offer a fun, comfortable, and affordable alternative to traditional couches if you want a comfortable space to relax and unwind. You’ll find them in various shapes, sizes, firmness levels, and budgets. Most of them are lightweight and portable, meaning you can move them from room to room as needed. 

On the other hand, if hosting guests is a priority for you, a couch might be the better choice. Couches provide a more structured seating arrangement and can accommodate multiple people. They also give a more polished and sophisticated appearance to your living space. 

How Much Support Do You Need?

Once you determine what you will primarily use your furniture for, the next thing to consider is the level of support you require. 

Bean bags filled with polystyrene beads or memory foam can provide great comfort and support for your entire body. They contour around your back, adapting to your unique shape and ensuring you are well-supported.

You can adjust the level of support by adding more filling for a firmer finish or removing your filling for a softer, sinking finish. See our top ergonomic bean bags here.

Couches, on the other hand, usually come with built-in support, ranging from firm to soft, depending on the cushioning material and upholstery.

While some couches have removable cushions that allow you to adjust the firmness to a certain extent, generally if you buy a couch, that’s the level of support you’ll be stuck with. 

What Is Your Budget?

Next, it’s time to consider your budget. 

Now, we live in an age and time where you can find affordable and high-end bean bags and couches. But in general, bean bags (even at the luxury price point) tend to be cheaper than couches. 

Value for money also ultimately depends on what you’re looking for (and how you use and maintain it, which we will cover next). Bean bags provide an excellent option for those seeking a cost-effective, portable, and comfortable seating solution.

But if you’re after a traditional and long-lasting piece of furniture, you might be better off investing in a high-quality couch. 

What Are You Willing To Do To Maintain It?

Don’t forget maintenance considerations. Understanding these differences will help you decide which one suits your lifestyle better.

Bean bags are generally easier to maintain than couches. Most bean bags feature removable and washable covers, so whenever there’s a stain or spill, you can remove the cover and throw it in the washing machine.

And when your bean bag starts to compress, all you need to do is fluff it or get some new fillings

Couches, however, often require more effort to keep clean and maintain. While some couches have removable cushion covers, many don’t, which means you’ll need to resort to spot-cleaning or hiring professional upholstery cleaners to deal with stubborn stains. 

Over time, the cushions may lose their firmness, and unlike bean bags, you can’t refill them to get them to their original state. You might have to purchase new cushions or even reupholster the entire thing, which isn’t always cheap

What Will The Furniture Be Exposed To?

It’s also worth being aware of what your furniture will come in contact with—as this can influence its durability and life span.

Bean bags can be a more resilient choice for homes with children and pets. They are often made from materials that are easy to clean and maintain. Many bean bags are made of fabrics that are resistant to stains, so if your kid spills a drink, it won’t ruin the furniture.

On the other hand, traditional couches might require more maintenance and can be more susceptible to wear and tear. Factors like quality and materials play a significant role in determining a couch’s resistance to external influences.

For instance, a high-quality couch made of durable materials such as leather can withstand some of the rough-and-tumble children and pets bring. 

Pets can impact the durability of your furniture.

What Looks Good With The Rest Of Your Decor?

Now, I’m all for choosing practicality and comfort over aesthetics, but having a nice-looking house can impact how you feel when you’re at home. 

For example, bean bags typically look good in place with modern or eclectic decor. But if your home has more of a classical look, a bean bag can look slightly out of place, and a sofa might make more sense. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with mixing and matching furniture styles to your liking. I’m just saying that it’s worth looking at what might look good with the rest of your furniture because a house that looks good can also go a long way in making you feel good. 

What Do You Prefer?

Ultimately, deciding which is right for you depends on your preference. Which one do you want now, and what purchase will bring you the most joy? Which one will you actually use (and enjoy using)? Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing an option that aligns with your style, taste, and sense of comfort.

Consider Hybrid Options

Finally, if you’re really struggling to decide between a bean bag and a traditional couch, consider exploring hybrid options that combine the best of both worlds. These innovative designs can offer the comfort and support of a couch while maintaining a bean bag’s casual and cozy nature.

Big Joe Hug Bean Bag Chair, Gray Hyde, Faux Polyester Blend, 3 feet

Some options include the Big Joe Hug Bean Bag Chair (pictured above) or the Homguava Giant Bean Bag Chair Sofa.

Alternatively, if you invest in a high-quality bean bag like the Moon Pod (pictured below) or Yogibo, you can purchase a backrest, giving it a more sofa-like feel. We wrote up a detailed comparison of Moon Pod and Yogibo which you can check out for more info.

A bean bag isn’t better than a couch and a couch isn’t better than a bean bag. Ultimately, it’s about what you’re looking for, what you’re willing to spend, and how much maintenance you want to commit to. 

Just make sure not to sacrifice comfort—because doing that will end up costing you more in the long run. 

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