Ottomans are one of the most underrated pieces of furniture you can own. From storage to extra seating, these low-to-the-ground pieces can be a wonderful addition to any home.
Living rooms in the English country decor style will often have an ottoman used as a coffee table. You can put a tray on top for holding drinks and books, and remove it when you need some extra seating for guests, or to serve as a footrest.
Beyond the living room, you can put an ottoman in your bedroom to serve as a place to put your shoes on in the morning. You can also use a small ottoman in front of your makeup vanity to sit down as you do your morning skincare and makeup routine. The possibilities are endless!
Let’s take a peek at some of the most popular styles of ottomans below.
Types of Ottomans
First things first. What is the difference between an ottoman and a floor pouf? An ottoman is quite different from a floor pouf, which is also quite popular. Ottomans are more structured and have legs. Floor poufs are spherical, flatten when you sit on them and don’t have legs.
Here are the main types of ottomans to be aware of as you shop.
Tufted ottomans are an elegant and upscale choice for any home. Tufted ottomans are upholstered using quality fabric. Tufts are created using buttons that push the fabric down at small intervals, creating a textured and dynamic surface. You can find tufted ottomans with and without interior storage and in a variety of interesting colors.
Featuring a smooth top fabric, these ottomans will give a simple and minimalist look to your space.
Ottoman with Storage
Many people want an ottoman for hidden storage! From storing toys to blankets and excess remote controls, there are many things you may want to keep inside a storage ottoman. These types of ottomans may be constructed with a flip-top cover or a separated removable top.
Tray Top Ottoman
Tray top ottomans feature a built-in tray that sits in the center of the ottoman, allowing you to store drinks and other objects on a flat surface. Sometimes the tray is removable and other times it is fixed in place.
The cocktail ottoman features a sturdy top surface, meant for holding cocktails and other beverages. They tend to have an upscale appearance. It’s a great solution if you often host guests in your home and like to entertain!
The cube ottoman is a compact solution for those who want a ottoman but don’t have a lot of space in their home.
These practical pieces include a fold-out bed for sleeping! It’s a very sensible solution if you welcome guests from time to time but don’t have a guest room in your home.
Ottomans with gliders or wheels can gently rock back and forth. If they have wheels beneath the legs, they will be easier to move. These are often used in nurseries and paired with rocking chairs.
Materials & Colors
Ottomans come in many different materials. You can often find fabric such as cotton, twill, or chenille as the most common material used to upholster these pieces of furniture. Otherwise, there are velvet, leather, and microfiber materials to choose from as well.
Genuine leather will be the most durable material, albeit the most expensive, too. Microfiber or polyester upholstered ottomans won’t last as long, but they will be much more budget friendly. Faux leather ottomans can also be found to get the leather look for less.
Each of these materials is generally available in a variety of colors and prints, too so don’t be shy to search for exactly what you’re looking for. Popular ottoman colors include gray, brown, blue, and beige. Keep it neutral to be safe!
Did you know you can find ottomans in many different shapes beyond the traditional square shape? Yes, ottoman design has evolved over the years and now you can find a wide variety of shapes and sizes available for purchase. You can consider ottomans that are rectangular, round, wedge, oval and freeform!
Square and round are the most traditional shapes for ottomans, so these will be the most friendly to most homes, but if you’re feeling daring, don’t hesitate to experiment with different shapes! Rectangular ottomans go great at the end of a two-person bed, for example.
Ottomans come in different styles according to your home’s aesthetic and your personal taste.
If you live in the mountains of Montana and adore warm wood accents, stepping on soft rugs, and cozying up by the fireplace, then a rustic-style ottoman would be perfect for your home. If you live in the coastal communities of the Atlantic ocean, then an upholstered or rattan ottoman might best suit your decor needs. Of course, if you live in a big city like Boston or San Francisco, then a leather ottoman could set the right mood for your industrial apartment.
Here are some popular styles of ottomans:
Lastly, be sure to measure out the size of the ottoman you’re thinking about buying and mock it up within your space. Ottomans come in a variety of sizes from small to large, and sometimes the images we see online can be distorting! Depending on your needs, consider the surrounding furniture to ensure that your new ottoman doesn’t overpower the furniture it’s surrounded by in your room.
When it comes to ottoman coffee tables, I think a good rule of thumb to use is that the ottoman shouldn’t be longer than two-thirds of your sofa length. If your sofa has a chaise lounge, there should be at least one foot of space on either end of the main portion of your sofa.
In conclusion, to be a savvy shopper, be sure to consider the type of ottoman you want, the upholstery material, the price, the legs, the storage features, the size, the design or style, and of course the dimensions of the piece during your decision-making process.
If you’re shopping on a budget, use the price filter feature on Wayfair or try Amazon. These are my two favorite home decor retailers for getting great pieces on a budget. I read the reviews closely before making a purchase and that’s always served me well!
I hope you found this article useful in your search for the perfect ottoman. We have many more furniture guides available on our site so don’t hesitate to use the search bar feature to look for other articles. Have you purchased an ottoman for your home? What are your thoughts on this type of furniture? If you have any tips for our readers, don’t hesitate to share them using the comments section below.