Tech Fear

Nov 29, 2006

Ann Tancio


Sumo Omni

Sumo Lounge International is based in Los Angeles, CA and exists with a simple goal: To make the best bean bag furniture in the world. The Sumo product line consists of the oversized Omni pillow and the Otto, a bead-filled ottoman or side chair.

USeR Experience

The techFEAR USeR Experience is our model for evaluating how products perform out of the box. It stands for Usability, Stability, and Reliability; we consider these more important than any other facet of testing or usage.


The Sumo Omni is very lightweight which is a bit deceiving for its size. At just 18lbs, it is easily reposition or quickly relocated to another room without issue. Intended to be a positive, the size presented us with some difficulty in finding a good location for photographs. We settled on our game room pool table.

The Omni covers over half the surface area of our 8′ foot pool table. This allows it to satisfy a myriad of uses including a small bed for a quick nap. Sumo has come up with 10 different ways to enjoy the Omni (shown here), but we wouldn’t be surprised if there were many more uses.

The bag is made of ballistic nylon that is quite resistant to tears and stains. All visible seams are double stitched and practically impervious to an unwanted bust.

Stability and reliability

Our USeR Experience methodology wasn’t exactly developed to directly apply to non-electronic items; however, reliability is an important aspect for a bean bag chair especially when considering the millions of tiny polystyrene foam balls just waiting to invade every crevice of your home should the Omni rip open.

We tugged on, pulled at, jumped on, plopped on and otherwise tried to abuse the Sumo Omni with no negative result. It handled our usage patterns without a flinch.

On the stability front, we realize that bean bags tend to flatten over time. Since beads of almost any kind will break down over extended use, Sumo does offer inexpensive replacement foam for long term use.

We will look at comfort and utility on the next page.

Comfort and utility

The small bean bags of the ’60s and ’70s and most representative of what imagery comes to mind when we think of a bean bag are not in the same league as the Sumo Omni. This is not that bean bag. The Omni forms to the contours of ones body and creates a pocket of comfort that isn’t typically associated with a bean bag of yesteryear.

Our product testers for the Omni ranged from young children to 30-somethings and all had very similar experiences. The Omni is very comfortable, easily reformed to fit almost every whim, and rewrites the definition of the bean bag chair. “Urban chic” may just be the warranted description for this chair.


Our experienced with bean bag chairs prior to receiving the Sumo Omni was limited to what you’d expect. The small, cheap knock-offs just waiting to bust a seam allowing a near lava flow of tiny white balls that stick to anything with even the smallest static. The Sumo Omni isn’t even close to that little chair we all remember from our childhood years.

USeR Experience

Our experiences with the Sumo Omni are very positive. The chair is lightweight, large enough for two people and comes in seven colors to fit a variety of home decor color schemes. And it can double as a bed for children and limber adults alike when unexpected company arrives.

Parting thoughts

We were certain that it would take a design miracle to change our view of bean bag chairs and it looks like Sumo has achieved just that. The Omni is a high quality piece of furniture that will be the center of attention in any home. These products are currently available at a Holiday price of $129 (normally priced at $149) direct from Sumo and includes free shipping.

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