9 Best DIY Bean Bag Filler Alternatives in 2024 (Organic Options)

9 Best DIY Bean Bag Filler Alternatives in 2024 (Organic Options)

Bean bag fillers are the materials with which your bean bags are stuffed. When these bean bag filler alternatives decrease in number or reduce their size due to any reason, your bean bag compresses and disturbs its shape or becomes flat.

To bring them back to their original shape, you need to fill your bean bag again with bean bag fillers. But what options do you have to fill them? This guide covers which bean bag filling alternatives are best for your bean bags to make them comfy again. 

Let’s begin.

Best Homemade Bean Bag Filling Alternative to Choose From

Here’s a list of some amazing bean bag filler alternatives that you can try to refill your bean bags:

  1. Old clothes
  2. Pillow stuffing
  3. Packing peanuts
  4. Shopping bags
  5. Rice
  6. Organic material
  7. Beans
  8. Eco-beans
  9. Old soft or plush toys

Let’s talk about them in detail and see how and why you can use them to stuff your beanbag chairs:

best bean bag filling alternatives to try

Old Clothes

The first alternative for bean bag filler for you is old clothes. If there are some extra clothes that you don’t wear anymore, you can reuse them as bean bag fillers. Simply clean and wash your worn-out clothes and make sure there are no insects or debris in them. 

Once they are cleaned, tear them apart and twist them together to make bundles. Add some fragrant to them so that your bean bag smells pleasant. Then stuff them in your bean bag and you are good to go.

Pillow Stuffing

Next up is the pillow stuffing. Simply purchase them from your nearby store in large amounts and stuff them in your bean bags. You would be glad to know that they won’t cost you a lot of bucks. Throw pillows and stuffed animals are usually filled with these spongy, cotton fabrics.

If you want to enjoy the pillow-top sensation, you should give this bean bag seat filler option a chance. You can fluff your bean bag chair like a giant pillow whenever it begins to become flat. Or, hurl it down the stairs just like three-year-old swears by vigorous fluffing.

If you are short on cash to spend on buying pillow stuffing, look around your home to see what you already have. Search for your children’s plush animals that they haven’t played with for a long time. Their heads must be cut off to get their fillings as stuffing for your bean bag chairs. 

Yes, seriously, I am not kidding. Cut up unwanted and unloved stuffies and stuff your bean bag with the insides. Depending on the size of your stuffie zoo, you may need to purchase some amount of stuffing from the nearby store.

Packing Peanuts

Packing peanuts are a fantastic bean bag beans alternative. Instead of buying some from the supermarket, I recommend you should save them in a big rubbish sack or bag until you have stored them in enough amount that you can fill your bean bag with ease.

The only downside of packing peanuts is that if you have small kids with you, they might tear them apart and create a lot of mess that would take hours to clean. Furthermore, they are not natural.

Shopping Bags

We all have countless shopping bags in our homes. This is true because whenever we go shopping, we bring back tons of polythene bags with us. What’s more, we usually never use them again.

So, using them as a bean bag beans alternative for your bean bag is an awesome way of reusing them. Plus, using them as bean bag fillings will help in decreasing environmental damage.

Before using the shopping bags, remember to wash and clean them to kill all the germs or smell from them. To use the available shopping bags for your bean bag, twist them together and use a thread or string to tie them together so that they don’t fall apart. 

They are very lightweight which means they won’t increase the weight of your bean bag. They are also very durable, meaning they won’t lose their shape or face any wear or tear for a long time.


You may be surprised to hear about this one. A huge bag of rice works fine as a bean bag filler alternative. To make a form-hugging but weighty bean bag filling, you can mix beans and rice. 

A remarkable advantage of using rice as a bean bag filling option is that it has considerable mass. So, your small children will be unable to move at any cost and will be protected from any harm or accident.

Organic Material

Some people use organic material as bean bag chair filler alternatives. Others don’t prefer using them. Those who are in favor of using organic material use leaves and pine needles for refilling their bean bags. They are fantastic cushioning of nature.

Others don’t use it because the organic materials ultimately break down and make some sort of in-bag compost. This compost creates a lot of mess in the bean bag which is hard to clean.


If you are looking for some eco-friendly bean bag fillings, you can go for beans. They are an excellent natural bean bag filler alternative for filling your bean bags. Simply buy the required amount of beans and refill your bean bags with them.

As far as the choice of beans is concerned, you can opt for buckwheat hull or corn. Just keep in mind that when buying some beans, remember to consider the durability, weight, and quality of the beans. We recommend that you should choose beans that are lightweight.

Lightweight bean bag fillings such as lightweight beans will also make it easy for you to move the bean bag from one place to another.

Just like shopping bags, wash and dry-clean the beans as well before putting them in your bean bag chair sack. If you don’t like their smell, you can add some nice scents to them too.

After some time, your bean bag might become flat again due to the decomposition of the beans. So you would be required to refill them. You can also use a mixture of sand and beans to refill your bean bag sack.


Those who are a fan of organic bean bag filler alternatives will like this option as well. There is a company in New Zealand called Bio Polymer Network that makes organic plant-based bean bag fillers for everyone called eco-beans.

These organic beans are made from a sustainably sourced material derived from plants. The beans are completely compostable. It is a remarkable invention of the 21st century for bean bag enthusiasts.

You can easily buy them online from their official website. Eco-beans are technically known as EPLA or Expanded Polylactic Acid. This innovative product is now gaining enormous popularity due to its organic nature.

Another US-based company called Bean Products also produces eco-friendly polystyrene beads. This is a fantastic option when it comes to choosing an organic bean bag filling option to consider.

Old Soft or Plush Toys

You must be having kids in your home. Even if you don’t, there is a possibility that you might have kept some old lightweight soft, or plush toys of yours that you don’t play with anymore (grownup adult things). 

Bring them back to use as an alternative for beans in bean bag instead of discarding them. You can use their stuffing and add extra padding to the sack to make your bean bag chair comfier.

Just wash them before using their stuffing to refill your bean bags. Avoid using any toy having a hard surface or no flexibility.

Environmentally Friendly Alternative Filling for Bean Bags

Yes, you heard it right, there are various environmentally friendly bean bag filler alternatives that you can use to refill your bean bags. In fact, when bean bags were invented, organic beans were used to fill them.

saw dust as organic bean bag filling

We have already talked about some of the options such as uncooked rice, old clothes, beans, etc., and how you can use them to refill your bean bags. So, we won’t be talking about them again. We will discuss other options.

Some of the eco-friendly bean bag filler options that you should look at are:

Cedar Shavings

Cedar shavings are purely environmentally friendly bean bag fillings. They are available in a huge range of qualities such as decay resistance. Cedar shavings have a natural resistance to rottenness of up to 40 years. They have a lovely natural aroma that is soothing to the mind and body while repelling moths and other insects.

For ultimate comfort, use them in combination with various other natural bean bag filler alternatives which are discussed in this piece of writing. You can get or purchase cedar shavings from landscaping companies.


Sawdust is both solid and moldable, allowing for optimal comfort. This is why it is an excellent filler for the bean bag. If you are a woodworker and do a lot of woodworking, there’s a good possibility you have tons of sawdust leftover from your projects. If that is not the case with you, you may buy it from the online market or your local hardware store.

But, because of multiple health risks associated with it, such as the fact that it is a carcinogen and may contain specific chemicals that cause severe allergic reactions, it is not recommended for everyone to use it. 

This bean bag filler alternative should only be used if you have a very sturdy and firm bean bag cover. A lot of the time, sawdust is tossed out and entirely wasted. So, be careful while filling it in your bean bag chair.


Hay is another fantastic eco-friendly bean bag filling choice that is readily available to anyone who lives in the country. It can also be purchased online if needed.

Hay can be costly during dry seasons. But if you can find it easily, it makes an excellent bean bag filling for your bean bag.

You might also want to consider using a straw. Straw is typically used for animal bedding. It is the end product after the chaff and grain have been removed from the dry stalks of cereal plants.

If you use any of these bean bag alternatives, make sure they are completely dry before refilling your bean bag with them. If not, you may end up with a large pile of mold that would make it almost useless for you.

Buckwheat Hulls

Buckwheat hulls are the hard outer shells that keep the seeds of the buckwheat grain. They have several properties that make them perfect for use as a bean bag filler alternative. Buckwheat hulls are also eaten for their nutritional value.

Buckwheat hulls don’t retain heat or bacteria, are tough, and have a lovely scent. Because the hulls are quite tough and do not compress under pressure, It is advised to mix them with a natural bean bag filler like rice or any variety of beans to enjoy amazing relaxation and comfort.

Small Pebbles or Sand 

Small pebbles or sand are the last bean bag filler alternative for you that are eco-friendly. The only drawback to utilizing this as a bean bag stuffing is that it will make your bean bag less adaptable and much heavier. 

This results in a heavy bean bag but it can also turn out to be surprisingly comfortable for multiple users. Do give it a try and let us know the results that you achieve.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Thing to Fill Bean Bags With?

It depends on your own choice. You have organic such as rice, beans, etc., and non-organic bean bag fillings such as clothes, and shopping bags to choose from.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Fill a Bean Bag?

The cheapest way to fill a bean bag is the materials that you have available in your home in abundance such as old clothes, rice, beans, plastic bags, etc.

How Do You Make Bean Bag Fillers at Home?

You can make bean bag fillers such as sawdust at home by cutting wood using a good quality wood cutting machine or a saw.

What Can I Use Instead of Polystyrene Balls?

You have tons of options to use instead of polystyrene balls such as rice, beans, clothes, cedar shavings, sawdust, etc.

How Do You Fill a Bean Bag Chair without Making a Mess?

The method to fill a bean bag chair without making a mess is not that hard. The key is to pick a bean bag filler alternative that doesn’t create a lot of mess such as worn-out clothes, fillings of old toys, etc.
Just open the opening of the bean bag, unzip the zipper, remove the bean bag cover and fill it with any appropriate filling.


There is a plethora of bean bag filler alternatives that homeowners can try. Some are organic in nature and eco-friendly. Whereas others can be somewhat dangerous to nature.

But regardless of their nature, the bean bag filling options that we have mentioned are great for refilling your bean bags making them extremely comfortable. These options also help you in restoring their shape.

Try any of these options to fill your bean bag chair and save some big bucks that you would otherwise spend on buying some expensive bean bag fillers.

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Kade Wiley
By Kade Wiley

Kade Wiley has a qualification in Interior Design & Decoration and has a passion for all things related to beanbags. He has dedicated his services to provide maximum information to homeowners on issues related to bean bags. Besides writing, Kade loves to travel around the world.

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