How to buy an ottoman
An ottoman buying guide
An ottoman is essentially a piece of furniture with a padded, upholstered seat or bench. Most ottomans have no backrest or arms, and can be used as foot rests, stools or coffee tables, depending on the style of the piece. When researching how to buy an ottoman, you'll want to think about where you plan to use it, and what purpose it will serve in your home. You'll also want to compare different ottoman styles and designs to narrow down the one that best fits with your existing home decor and your personal taste.
>> What ottoman style are you looking for?
When deciding how to buy an ottoman, consider the different styles available. Ottomans are available in round, square/cube and rectangular shapes. When you decide to purchase an ottoman, consider the decor of the room, and choose an ottoman that either matches or complements your existing design scheme.
- Round ottomans: Round ottomans give off an air of comfort and versatility in a small, stylish frame. A round ottoman can add depth and dimension to a room and, when combined with a round couch, radiate modern, contemporary elegance.
- Square and cube ottomans: Square and cube ottomans can be used to match the upholstered furniture in the room using matched or accented patterns. Square-shaped ottoman seats can be custom made to the dimensions of a loveseat, sofa or sectional. If you have space constraints, you can use multiple square or cube ottomans to achieve your desired dimensions.
- Rectangular ottomans: Rectangular ottomans often double as storage bins, making them both attractive and functional accents to any room. Storage ottomans feature compartments or drawers to store remotes, books, magazines and other small items, keeping your room looking uncluttered and stylish.
>> Choosing the ottoman's material
When researching how to buy an ottoman, you'll also want to consider the materials the ottoman is made of. Ottomans are commonly available in leather, fabric, rattan and memory foam.
- Leather: Leather ottomans are stronger and more resistant to tearing, bunching and staining compared to other textiles. Leather is an ideal covering for furniture because it is soft and responsive. When picking out a leather ottoman, choose a color that will blend well with the room and your existing furniture.
- Fabric: Because of their versatility in design styles, fabric ottomans are an attractive choice for any home. Microfiber ottomans combine rich, quality design style with a practical, easy-to-clean surface.
- Rattan: Rattan ottomans can be used as extra seating or table space both indoors and out. Rattan designs are durable, light and easy to personalize. Note that rattan ottomans are sensitive to heat and humidity, and will need occasional cleaning.
- Memory foam: Memory foam ottomans use memory foam, a polyurethane material that can be elastic and supportive depending on the temperature. Memory foam ottomans are the most affordable and lightweight of all the ottomans.
>> Choosing the right ottoman design and upholstery
When deciding how to buy an ottoman, it's important to understand the ottoman design options available. Ottomans are available as storage ottomans, table and tray, button-tufted and pillow-top or glider and slider styles. Ottoman designs Storage ottomans: Storage ottomans can be used to store throw blankets, pillows, magazines, board games, remote controls or anything else you like to keep close by but out of sight. Table and tray ottomans: Coffee table ottomans allow you to use the ottoman as a coffee table for magazines, serving trays or other items. Ottomans with trays come with trays that separate from the ottoman and can be used as laptop stands or for breakfast in bed or lunch on the couch. Button-tufted and pillow-top ottomans: Button-tufted ottomans are frequently used as chairs or footstools. The tufting technology used in these ottomans prevents bunching after excessive use. Glider/slider ottomans: Glider ottomans are unique ottomans that are used as footrests for recliners or rocking chairs. Ottoman upholstery
Ottoman slipcovers can be used to protect the ottoman from spills, pets and dirt. They are available in cotton, wool, polyester, spandex and linen. When choosing an ottoman slipcover, consider darker colors or ones with patterns to hide soil. Before purchasing ottoman slipcovers, be sure to properly measure your ottoman to ensure an accurate fit.
>> Do you need an ottoman for storage or seating?
When deciding how to buy an ottoman, it's important to understand how the ottoman will be used. Ottomans can be used for storage and for seating. If you have children, ottomans can be used to store children's toys and blankets. Ottomans can be used as extra seating during parties and gatherings, or as coffee tables. Ottomans used as coffee tables should be between four to eight inches higher than the height of your seat, and can be covered with vinyl to protect from spills. If your ottoman is used as a footrest, it should be the same height as your chair.
With just a little bit of research, you're sure to find an ottoman that complements your home and your budget.