Buying Guide for Ottomans
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 kicking your feet up, putting on your shoes, or 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 multifunctional furniture, ottomans are relatively inexpensive compared to full seating pieces.
What should you consider in an 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 likely won’t 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. 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 accent chair with rounded or curved edges.
- Style: 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 but they do exist. 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 a storage 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.
Our Picks for the Best Ottomans
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 ottomans. Both 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 in 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 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 need 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 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.
Otto & Ben 2pc Set Folding Toy Box Chest
This versatile set of two ottomans provides ample storage space and a cushioned top for sitting.
Pros: This set of two ottomans offers spacious hidden storage that you can use to store household supplies, blankets, and more. The cushioned lids conveniently swing open on either side, so you don’t have to clear the top every time you open it. They are also easy to set up and fold away flat when you need to put them away. Robust construction with medium-density fiberboard ensures durability and stability. The ottomans are made of linen fabric, making them easy to clean and maintain.
Cons: Some users noted that a chemical smell permeated this ottoman upon arrival. It may help to air it out near a window or outside before storing items inside.
Bottom Line: This is a solid option if you are looking for a set of multiple ottomans for maximum storage capacity. In addition to the two-piece set featured here, this item is available as a single. Further, there are three sizes and 10 color options, so you can choose a perfect match for your room size and decor.
Convenience Concepts Designs4Comfort Accent Storage Ottoman with Reversible Tray
This storage option offers even more functionality since the lid doubles as a serving tray.
Pros: The storage ottoman just got even more functional! This ottoman has a removable, double-sided lid that can be easily converted into a tray—great for serving snacks or drinks. This multifunctional piece also serves as an excellent storage space for magazines, books, blankets, or anything you need out of the way. The ottoman measures 22.75 by 15.75 by 16 inches and is suitable for small spaces.
Cons: This faux leather ottoman may not be the sturdiest option. Some buyers experienced the material tearing after a period of use, so it may need to be handled with care.
Bottom Line: This ottoman may be just right for you if you’re looking for extra storage in a small space. It comes in 10 vibrant colors that can brighten up any room, and the lid/tray adds to its convenience and functionality.
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.