From Best Products
Some products that we’ve tried have stood the test of time and remain our faves to this day. In our series 10/10 Would Recommend, we’re giving the final word on well-known products that we fully stand behind.
The Yogibo Max bean bag, an ultra long, ultra soft bean bag with a washable exterior. Perfect for lounging around your living room, or keeping your kids from destroying the sofa.
The Price: $259
Year It Came Out: 2010
Reviewed By: The Parenting Spot, The Grommet, and Autism Parenting Magazine
What Does It Do?
Back in 2009 in Natick, Massachusetts, founder and CEO Eyal Levy was looking for a way to make his pregnant wife more comfortable. Not finding anything on the market that fit the bill, Levy and his wife decided to start from the ground-up, creating the Yogibo.
It turns out there was a real market for a comfortable, relaxing, adaptable seat that was malleable like a bean bag, but soft like a pillow. Yogibo started opening stores, and built an online presence. It is now sold across the world, quickly becoming one of the largest manufacturers of soft-shape furniture.
The seat itself is pretty neat. It’s 6 feet long, with a base that is only about 24 inches by 24 inches (depending on squish factor) — so while it’s big, the footprint is actually pretty small, making it easy to stow away. It’s filled with something called “microbeads,” which don’t really feel like beads at all thanks to the fact that they don’t create friction against one another. The cover is a cotton-spandex blend similar to that of your comfiest pair of yoga pants. The Yogibo Max comes in a wide range of colors and styles, including the recent addition of Star Wars-licensed products.
The Max can comfortably hold all four of my family members (two adults and two children) side by side, but it really shines when it’s just one person using it for full-body support. It’s easy to see why a pregnant person would appreciate the cocoon-esque quality of the seat. It supports every contour of your body in a gentle caress. Note: getting out of it would be a trick at 39 weeks. I suggest getting your partner’s help for that.
But pregnant moms and families aren’t the only reasons it’s so great. It turns out there are some serious sensory benefits of the Yogibo — for children like mine who are on the autism spectrum, or for people with differing sensory needs, the Yogibo is a game-changer.
The materials used in the interchangeable, washable covers are soft and luxurious. They are also breathable and smooth. As I mentioned earlier, the inside of the Yogibo, unlike that of traditional bean-bag style seating doesn’t feel like rough pellets beneath the surface — this is a critical point. My son, who cannot stand the feeling of lumpy seating or rough fabrics, says that the Yogibo is “like a good, soft squeeze,” when he really tucks himself in. And he is not the only person who feels this way. Reviewers at Autism Parenting Magazine reported similar findings in their research.
To be perfectly honest, when Yogibo contacted me to see if I would be interested in receiving one to potentially review, I knew nothing about their connection to the autism community. All I knew about the company was that their store in the mall upstate is directly beside a Cheesecake Factory that I once dined in while suffering from morning sickness with my daughter. After leaving the restaurant, I had to plop down in one of their floor models until the spinning stopped. The store worker didn’t blink when I told her “Pregnant. Must sit.” She offered me water and attended to the other customers. It was a good impression. I planned on buying one, but we were moving, life got in the way, and I forgot about the little shop in the mall, as I couldn’t bear walking near that Cheesecake Factory.
It took precisely 10 minutes of having the Yogibo in my home to realize how great it was going to be for my son. Immediately after opening and inspecting the seat, he sank back into it, which was like watching someone let out some of the air in an over-inflated balloon. He just sort of decompressed as he sat cradled in the soft cushion of the Yogibo Max.
Why Do I Love It?
Finding a place to relax right now and actually feel rested is a challenge. It’s even harder for kids on the spectrum. For hours every day, my son jumps on his mini trampoline, trying to situate the activity inside his mind, and calm himself through movement. That’s not possible when you’re exhausted, or you need to read for school or have a snack. The Yogibo Max gives him a nest of safety for him to completely chill out, helping ease his need to stim.
He doesn’t spend hours in the cushion — that’s not something he can do. But the short stretches he does spend, multiple times per day, make a huge difference for him. The ability to find a place to focus that isn’t in motion is enormous, and cannot be overstated. It’s his new favorite reading spot. It’s actually my whole family’s favorite reading spot, leading us to order another Yogibo Max and two support pillows to amp the cozy-comfy factor up even higher than it is on its own.
I understand that $259 seems a little high – and arguably – it is. However, having owned several of the cheaper bean bags in my day, I can tell you that for comfort, convenience of cleaning, and durability, it is so worth it. You can buy new covers, buy more filler if yours gets flat, grab some accessories, and stash it away easily. It ends up being a real value in the end.
The Yogibo Max is also just a ton of fun. More than once, I’ve given into the temptation to “trust fall” face first into its soft confines. The closest approximation I can make to that feeling is falling into a snowdrift or a pile of leaves, but much softer, and with significantly less chance of falling into dog pee.
Which brings me to my next point. When it comes to furniture in my home, durability and ease of cleaning is paramount. And I was terrified that the Yogibo Max was going to be hard to clean. I already have one chair that I cannot get kid stains out from, and I did not want another. (Millennial pink is a bad choice for linen if you have kids. Also, so is linen.) Being a mother of two very active children, I knew that it would be tested sooner rather than later. I was right. A few days into our Yogibo experiment, it happened. What, you ask? Oh yes, dulce de leche ice cream was smeared all over the Yogibo.
For the uninitiated, that ice cream is delicious, but has the same effect as sticky glue on furniture. You’d think because it’s mostly sugar, it would come out. Au contraire. It binds to fabrics like it was meant to be there. Like it’s life goal is to screw up your upholstery.
Well the joke’s on the ice cream, because the cover comes off easier than the lid of that pint of Häagen-Dazs, and with a little spritz of Shout Advanced (a gift of a stain remover), a toss in the washing machine, and a rack-dry in front of a fan, and it was good as new.
And so far, my two cats and my adorable doggo have yet to even try to claw it. Do they sleep on it? All the time, frequently with one of the children riding shotgun on the front of the cushion, but they aren’t trying to scratch it up, and the cats kneading biscuits on its surface hasn’t damaged it at all. This thing is a freaking beast.
The Final Word
I should’ve ordered this years ago, in the store, when I was recovering from from my pasta- and pregnancy-induced nausea. I honestly cannot believe how much we love it. It’s our family room amoeba, and it is now indispensable to our home and our comfort. Yes, it is hands-down the weirdest-looking thing in our home, but that’s also part of its charm. It’s just so goofy and strange and wild and wonderful. There is a high likelihood that when I retire the sofa I have now, that I will purchase one of theirs — that is how devoted I am to their filling.
If you’re looking for uniquely comfortable seating, at a great value, this is for you. If you have kids, I suggest buying a few.
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