Ottomans are upholstered footstools that support your feet and legs as you sit in a chair or on a couch. Some ottomans are designed to be seats in their own right, albeit without a back or arms, and both types serve a decorative as well as a functional purpose. In modern times, many ottomans have also been repurposed to serve as storage bins. They’re hollowed out rather than being made solid and have a hinged or removable seat that doubles as a lid. Storage ottomans are a nice way to add extra, compact storage space to your home. They can be used to hold decorations, office supplies, toys, blankets, remote controls, or just about any other household item. Here are a few that we recommend.
Why buy an ottoman?
An ottoman is as much a decor piece as it is a seating fixture in your home. Ottomans can add footrest space, extra storage, or an additional seat with their simple design. They’re ideal for the living room or bedroom, as they give you a designated space for putting on your shoes and resting. People with small spaces might not see the benefit of an ottoman, but if you want to elevate your decor with a new piece of furniture, ottomans are relatively inexpensive compared to full seating pieces. While they aren’t necessary to complete your living room space or bedroom, ottomans are a great option for creating style with a new texture or color.
What should you consider in an ottoman?
Here are a few things to think about before buying a storage ottoman:
- Size and Capacity: Think about how much space you have in your home, how much extra storage space you need, and what items you’d store inside your storage ottoman, and then pick its size and capacity accordingly. Obviously, if you’re living in a standard dorm room, you’re not going to have space for a 4- or 5-foot ottoman, for instance. Most will list their exact capacity (usually in liters) and dimensions (usually in inches). You’ll also probably want your new ottoman to be in proportion with your bed, chair, or couch, depending on where in your home you plan to keep it.
- Shape: Round, square, and rectangular ottomans are the most common shapes, but they aren’t your only choices. Asymmetric, curved, half-moon, and honeycomb-shaped options are also becoming more commonly available than ever before. Consider where you plan to display your storage ottoman and how it will complement the other furniture and decor. A rectangular or half-moon ottoman, for instance, might look better at the foot of your bed, while a round ottoman goes better with an armchair with rounded or curved edges.
- Style: The material, color, and design of your storage ottoman are also worth considering. A bright red ottoman will look out of place in a living room that’s otherwise composed of rich, earthy tones, after all. Many come in neutral shades or are offered in at least a few different colors, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something that suits your decor. Patterns and multicolored options might be harder to find than solid colors, although not impossibly so. As far as material is concerned, you might want to go for microfiber or synthetic fabric if you have kids or pets, as these fabrics are sturdy, easy to clean, and stain-resistant. You might prefer something more delicate yet elegant, like suede or leather, for an ottoman for your bedroom, since it won’t see as much wear and tear. Consider whether you want a sleek, tufted, or padded ottoman, or one with extra decorations like buttons or metal accents. There’s also the number of legs to consider (the more legs there are, the sturdier it will be), or you can substitute a sturdy base in place of legs.
What can you expect to spend on an ottoman?
The variety of materials and construction used in ottomans means that there’s a piece created for every budget. Simplistic designs with wooden planks or plastic sides will run about $20. People with more expensive tastes might prefer a sturdier option with wooden legs for added height, or rivets and double-sewn edges. As these ottomans require higher-quality materials and craftsmanship, they will cost around $40 to $80. You’ll find that ottomans that offer plenty of sitting space and storage will cost upwards of $100.
Seville Classics Foldable Storage Ottoman
A pair of storage ottomans available in three different packs, five colors, and four styles.
Pros: Made of synthetic polyester fabric over a wooden frame with a cushioned top, these two matching storage ottomans are cube-shaped and can be pushed together to make one big ottoman or used individually. The fabric is easy to wipe clean with soap and water or can be dusted with a microfiber cloth. The lids are strong enough to support up to 400 pounds of weight, so they can double as seats as well. Each ottoman has an interior capacity of 2.2 cubic feet (equivalent to almost 16.5 gallons), leaving you with plenty of storage space in two compact 15.7- by 15.7- by 5.7-inch footrest containers. Both ottomans are collapsible for easy storage and can be reassembled quickly. You can also purchase these ottomans in packs of one or four, in five attractive neutral colors, and four different styles.
Cons: The lids of these ottoman cubes protrude over the edge of the container, making it difficult to hide the interior storage if desired. Some reviewers reported an unpleasant smell and a not-so-sturdy lid that doesn’t seem to support heavier weight.
Bottom Line: This ottoman is a great option for people with small spaces who still want extra seating or storage space. While the design is simplistic, the low price makes it accessible to a wide array of budgets.
YOUDENOVA Folding Storage Ottoman Bench
A long rectangular ottoman with 120 liters of storage capacity.
Pros: If you’re someone who needs maximum storage space from your ottoman, consider this 43- by 15- by 15-inch model. It has a storage capacity of 120 liters (over 31 gallons), which is ample space for just about anything, from sheets to pillows to toys and more. Like most storage ottomans, it can double as a footstool, window bench, puppy or dog step, or even a console table thanks to its weight capacity of 550 pounds. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to set up, and it can just as easily fold down flat if needed. This model also comes with a removable wooden divider with Velcro, in case you ever need a storage space separator. The divider can also help to reinforce the ottoman from the inside. The ottoman is made of PVC leather, premium imitation linen fabric, and a thick MDF board over a rectangular engineered wooden frame, with a 1-inch sponge padded lid for more comfortable seating or foot resting.
Cons: The extended length of this piece, combined with the foldable sides, might make this ottoman less sturdy due to the resulting imbalance. Some reviewers prefer to use this piece for decor and storage only, as the wooden structure isn’t as supportive of the weight of a seated person.
Bottom Line: This ottoman has a classic rectangular design that looks elegant in front of a king and queen bed as a seating area. The added storage is also great for families who need to hide blankets, toys, or wires from view.
HomePop Velvet Button Tufted Round Ottoman
A round storage ottoman upholstered in soft velvet with rustic wooden legs.
Pros: A storage ottoman doesn’t have to be rectangular or cubed in shape, as this round model proves. The upholstery is made of soft, durable velvet, with an attractive button-tufted look on the top. The velvet comes in 13 different colors that range from neutral grays and blues to deep greens and reds and more. The short wooden legs have a dark walnut finish that will suit just about any decor. The lid lifts right off and can support a weight capacity of up to 250 pounds if you ever need it to double as a chair. At 18 inches tall and 19 inches wide, it won’t take up too much room in your home while still offering 19 inches of depth for a good amount of storage space despite its compact size.
Cons: While the wooden legs add a touch of traditional style, they’ve been wobbly for some users, causing the item to tilt when used. Additionally, the velvet fabric can be difficult to clean, so keeping this ottoman away from young kids who are prone to make messes is best.
Bottom Line: This ottoman’s design lends itself well to a footstool and storage item, but might be too small to consistently use as a seat. It would look great in a bedroom, as its neutral tone, color options, and tufted look go with most decor styles.
Joveco Storage Bench Half Moon Ottoman
A storage ottoman with a unique half-moon shape that will fit well at the end of your bed.
Pros: If you plan to keep your new storage ottoman at the foot of your bed, this model is perfectly designed for that position. The unique half-moon shape will fit right up against the edge of the bed without creating any gaps or empty space. The size is compatible with both queen- and king-sized beds. The solid wooden frame is strong enough to support up to 660 pounds of weight on top and is covered with soft, comfortable fabric decorated with a row of round metal accents on the lid. The lid hinges open rather than lifting right off the ottoman. Additionally, the storage capacity is large enough to store items like thick blankets, multiple pillows, shoes, and more.
Cons: This ottoman’s shape and width limit its use to larger mattress sizes, meaning that it won’t properly fit on the end of a bed smaller than a full. Some buyers noted that the rivets were either uneven or didn’t pull the fabric tight enough across the frame.
Bottom Line: This piece is made especially to accent your bedroom. The unique shape creates a completed look while serving as the perfect seating area for two people. With the addition of the easy-to-access storage space, this ottoman is ideal for couples.
Convenience Concepts Designs4Comfort Magnolia Storage Ottoman
Ditch the bulky coffee table and opt for this versatile ottoman that has trays and cushions all in one.
Pros: This ottoman’s trays allow you to get the most out of your living space. On one side, you get two trays with convenient cut-out handles that allow you to set up decor, work items, or a cup of coffee without the need for a table. When you want a seating space or a footstool, you can simply flip the trays to reveal thick cushions. Each cushion features two carrying handles, making it easy to switch between the two options. There’s plenty of space within the ottoman to store blankets, pillows, electronics, or toys to get them out of sight when visitors come to your home.
Cons: The thick cushions on the ottoman’s lids limit the internal storage space, so they might not fit all the items you’re looking to store. Additionally, the side handles can be tucked away, but are somewhat visible from the sides when the cushion is facing upward.
Bottom Line: This ottoman is the most versatile option on this list, as the rectangular shape serves well in a living room setting and in the bedroom. The trays work as a make-shift coffee table, making this one piece of furniture perform the duties of a seat, footstool, storage piece, and table.
Ottomans have a versatile use thanks to their simple design. Aside from the traditional spot as a footrest, you can also use one as a storage space in your living room or at the foot of the bed. Some people like to keep ottomans right by their bed to use as a blanket chest, or by their child’s bed as a toy chest. For people with pets, an ottoman can double as a step-up for dogs and cats while keeping their room looking stylish. While they might not be the best storage or seating options for everyone, ottomans can ultimately provide you with that added piece of decor that brings the room together.