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How to Choose the Perfect Ottoman

Ottomans surpass the category of a mere home accessory and make for an incredible addition to your living room or bedroom. With their decorative flair and functional benefits, ottomans provide a natural accent piece that's as versatile as it is useful. Whether you're looking to anchor a spacious room or cozier accommodations, here's a primer on what makes a fantastic ottoman and - more importantly - how to pick the right ottoman for you.

What Are the Different Types of Ottomans?

An ottoman is a piece of furniture that's right at the intersection of couch and bench. They come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from rectangular to round and small to large. Some serve exclusively as additional seating while other models come with extra amenities, such as storage space.

In many stores, you'll also find a similar type of upholstered seat called poufs grouped with ottomans. Poufs and ottomans share many of the same characteristics and are often used interchangeably. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb for helping differentiate between the two is that poufs go great with low-key, casual spaces, while ottomans are a good choice if you favor interiors leaning toward formal.

Tips for Picking an Ottoman for the Living Room or Common Areas

The room for which you're picking the right ottoman is a factor to figure into your decision. Aside from addressing your functional needs, an ottoman should fit the existing interior design and blend seamlessly with the way you've arranged other pieces of furniture.

Ottomans destined for the living room or family room are primarily about seating comfort. If you've already placed armchairs and couches in your space, take care to pick an ottoman that won't tower over the other seats. Additionally, it's good practice to take stock of available space so as not to compromise the foot traffic in your home.

If you have limited floor space, ottomans are an effortless way to maximize the number of seats while not overwhelming the flow of your room. For extra space-saving, take a look at poufs. The cushioned top makes for a prime seating location and their compact size grants you mobility and practicality.

Tips for Picking an Ottoman for Bedrooms and Guest Rooms

Ottomans can go at the foot of the bed, by the window to create a chic variation of a window sill, or near a desk or private workstation to serve as an easy-to-handle seat. In a bedroom setting, ottomans with removable tops and hollowed out frames also boast the ability to store personal belongings. If you like to keep your room neat and tidy, this may be an ideal solution to organize your shoes or keep an extra pillow or blanket.

The best approach for picking an ottoman in these situations is to balance the color palette of the room in question with the functional goal you have in mind.

The Best Upholstery for Ottomans

There's not one preferred type of material when it comes to choosing the upholstered pieces of furniture you put in your home. We recommend that you pick based on comfort, particularly in regards to the cushion. One of the best perks of an ottoman is the stuffed top--it should be plush and as soft or as firm as you want it to be.

If you ever wish to spruce up your home, make use of slipcovers that come in different colors. You can not only put them over your ottomans but also your couches and armchairs. Within minutes, you've just transformed your entire room.

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