When you want to kick back after a long day at work, an ottoman provides a wonderful place to rest your feet. They are great space-saving furniture pieces, especially for those who live in a small apartment or house. However, don’t let the small size of ottomans fool you, as they can be one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of furniture. In fact, ottomans are so much more than a simple footrest.
These multipurpose furniture pieces can serve as additional seating for guests, a side table, a statement piece in your living areas, and even offer much-needed storage space inside. The key is finding the right type and style of ottoman that suits your needs and your home décor. We’ve outlined some tips and tricks to help you narrow down your choices, and make the most out of your ottoman in creating a welcoming and appealing living space.
Not to mention, we’ve included a list of 18 of the best small ottomans in various shapes and styles to inspire your home design.
What Is The Difference Between Otomans And Poufs?
Before we proceed, it’s important to understand the difference between an ottoman and a pouf, as many use the terms interchangeably. Although both serve the same purpose as a low footrest or stool, they have some distinct differences.
Firstly, a pouf is essentially an oversized pillow that sits directly on the floor without a structure for support. It does a soft seat, no backrest, and usually doesn’t have any storage space.
Poufs make wonderful additions to casual living rooms or entertainment spaces. Their soft, plush texture provides comfort for your guests and they come in a wide array of styles to fit your décor.
Poufs are also great for adding visual interest or depth to a space. Though they are typically found in Scandinavian or bohemian décor, poufs can also complement a modern farmhouse or industrial-style home.
Ottomans, on the other hand, have a much denser texture than poufs. In most cases, they have a frame or legs as a support system and often feature hidden storage underneath the seat. When compared to poufs, ottomans offer more versatility. They are a much better choice for keeping your living areas clutter-free, as they offer additional storage space.
Depending on the style of the ottoman, it can work well in a variety of home designs – from traditional and transitional to sleek, modern, mid-century, and urban décor.
Because of the versatility that ottomans (and poufs) off, there are nearly hundreds of shapes to choose from.
When it comes to choosing the right shape ottoman for your home, you must consider the functionality of the piece. With that said, here are some of the most popular ottoman shapes available:
1. Round Ottomans
Round, or cylindrical-shaped, ottomans can complement an array of different home décor styles and living room arrangements. They can even be used to add contrasting pieces to a space that is primarily minimalistic, clean lines. However, round ottomans will still work well in more traditional décor, including French country and shabby chic, because of their classic design.
If you’re trying to decide between a round ottoman or a round pouf, think hard about how the piece functions. For example, if you’d like the piece to double as a side table, it’s unlikely that a pouf will be able to support a mug, tray, or book. However, a flat-topped round ottoman will have no problem holding your coffee mug or novel without either falling on the floor.
2. Cube Ottomans
Ottomans and poufs that are cube-shaped have seen a rise in popularity in recent years since they offer the ability to be rearranged or stacked to fit the needs of your space. Oftentimes, cube ottomans feature a detachable lid that provides storage for blankets, magazines, books, or remotes. The lid can typically also be flipped to yield a side table or even a coffee table, depending on the size of the ottoman.
Cube ottomans and poufs are ideal for limited seating or space in your living space. Of all the ottoman shapes, they tend to be the most versatile. Cube ottomans that are leather or fabric are great for urban, contemporary, and industrial décor styles, as they will pair well with the sleek lines.
Though, a multicolored fabric cube ottoman or pouf can complement bohemian or eclectic décor, anchoring the more natural shapes that are typically found in these styles.
3. Rectangular or Square Ottomans
Both rectangular and square-shaped ottomans provide a classic look that can suit virtually any décor, depending on the color and fabric of the particular piece. Their flat surfaces make these types of ottomans ideal for use as both a side table or a footstool. The elongated shape of rectangular ottomans is suited to fit several pairs of feet, which makes them a great choice for families, couples, and those who entertain guests frequently.
Rectangular ottomans also work great in narrow living spaces, as they help facilitate the flow of traffic. Whereas, square ottomans offer more versatility in terms of placement – whether they’re situated in front of an armchair or as a focal point in a den or office.
Ottoman Upholstery Options
The tone and texture of your ottoman are what’s going to determine how the piece functions and complements the living space. Some of the most popular ottoman upholstery options you have to choose from include:
When a furniture piece is upholstered with leather, it gives any space a sense of luxury, sophistication, and drama. As such, a leather-upholstered ottoman or pouf can instantly improve the style of a room.
Leather is also a great choice if you’re trying to infuse rich textures into your living area without overwhelming the rest of the furniture in the room. This type of upholstery pairs well with an array of décor styles – from modern farmhouse, to industrial, to bohemian, to Scandinavian.
When it comes to texture and color, fabric upholstered ottomans offer the greatest level of versatility. Opt for an ottoman or pouf in a bold color or with an eclectic print to add some visual interest to a den with a muted color palette.
Most types of fabric upholstery are easy to clean, which makes fabric ottomans ideal for families or those who entertain frequently. In this instance, choose a fabric like polyester, olefin, or a nylon blend, which are all very easy to wash and great for everyday use. Though, these aren’t the only fabrics available for ottomans.
3. Rattan/ Seagrass
Believe it or not, rattan and seagrass are a very durable choice for ottomans and poufs that will be used on a daily basis. Their design helps to hide stains and scuff marks easily. As a result, rattan ottomans are ideal for family homes.
The texture of the natural fiber makes them a wonderful choice for adding texture into your living space. However, you’ll want to be sure to place these types of ottomans in an area that doesn’t get direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to the sun can discolor the fiber material.
4. Velvet/ Suede
Like leather, velvet and suede can add a sense of luxury to any space. However, these materials necessitate quite a bit of care and regular maintenance.
Ottomans and poufs that are upholstered in these rich fabrics are best suited for formal living spaces and areas that don’t see a lot of traffic. As a result, velvet and suede ottomans are most often used to make a style statement.
These types of ottomans can blend effortlessly into traditional, French country, and shabby chic style homes. Though, the material can also add some abundance to transitional, bohemian, and Scandinavian décor.
How Do You Find The Right Color Ottoman?
Choosing the color of your ottoman allows you a chance to let your style shine. If your room is a shabby chic, country, or traditional style, choosing to match the color of the ottoman to the rest of the furniture in the room can help it blend into the existing décor. Though, you do not have to match the color perfectly.
In fact, choosing an ottoman that is of a complementary or alternative shade can add a sense of depth to the space. For example, a light brown color ottoman will match well with a beige couch. Or, you can try pairing an army green pouf with a vibrant green armchair.
If you want your ottoman to be the focal point of a room, choose a color or print that contrasts the rest of the space. A color that is completely different from the rug or sofa in the room can advance the style of both pieces. Colors that are known for making a room pop visually are red, purple, green, and yellow.
If you’re limited on space, cool colors like a light blue or teal can help make a room feel larger, whereas warmer shades like yellow and orange will make it appear cozier.
Use A Color Wheel
When you’re trying to decide on a color for your ottoman or pouf, a color wheel is going to be an excellent tool. It will help you determine which colors complement one another, and which will not.
As a general rule of thumb, colors that are opposite on the color wheel have the highest contrast and, therefore, will make the biggest visual statement. Whereas, colors that are next to each other on the wheel are similar in hue and will blend together effortlessly, resulting in a laidback atmosphere.
What Should You Consider Before Buying An Ottoman?
Choosing the size of your ottoman ultimately comes down to the proportions of the space and the furniture in the room. For an agreeable design, it’s best to keep the size of the ottoman or pouf to scale with the rest of the furniture.
Although there are a number of sizes to choose from when it comes to ottomans and poufs, our focus is on the small variety.
You can create an incredibly versatile space by using small, modular, or nesting ottomans, as they can be split to create multiple seating options or combined to be a large table. Whereas, small ottomans in unique styles can add a sense of luxury to a room that is otherwise modestly decorated.
Consider The Height
Another important factor to consider when you’re searching for your ideal small ottoman is the height. If the piece is too high when compared to an armchair or couch, it’s not going to be a comfortable place to rest your feet.
On the other hand, if the ottoman is too low, it won’t make a great table or be able to provide sufficient storage space. Therefore, the ideal height for a small ottoman is between 15 and 22 inches.
To determine the ideal height for your living space, measure the height between the floor and the seat of your sofa. This is especially important if you plan to use the ottoman or pouf as a footrest.
18 Best Small Ottoman Options
Now that you have a more well-rounded understanding of the color, upholstery, shape, and styling options when it comes to ottomans, let’s take a look at some of our top small ottoman picks for 2021.
1. COTTON CRAFT – Hand Knitted Cable Style Dori Pouf
This pouf is covered in a 100% cotton hand-knitted braided cord and has a cozy cable-knit feel that can add a touch of warmth to any space. It comes in fourteen colors, ranging from neutrals like grey and off-white to more vibrant hues like orange, teal, and yellow.
The piece is approximately 14 inches tall and has a diameter of 20 inches, making it a wonderful choice to serve as either a footstool or additional seating. It can also be easily hidden underneath a coffee table to maximize space in your living room.
Though some buyers state that it becomes flattened, discolored, and disfigured over time, it is still a wonderful pouf for the low price. The cable design is also wildly popular currently and well-suited to complement a range of home décor styles.
2. HomePop by Kinfine Fabric Upholstered Round Storage Ottoman
A very classic, traditional style, this round velvet storage ottoman features over-button tufting and a removable lid. The material is a soft velvet and the wood legs have a dark walnut finish. It offers a stylish storage solution for your home, while also serving as a footrest or additional seating.
It can effortlessly support up to 250 pounds. With a depth of 19 inches, you can use this storage ottoman to stash bedroom accessories, store books or magazines in a living room, or keep electronics and remote controls out of sight.
This tufted ottoman comes in a range of rich velvet hues – from light brown, cream, and pink blush, to a deep purple, sage green, and bright teal. The product is simple to assemble and can be easily maintained with basic spot cleaning.
3. COSYLAND Folding Leather Ottoman with Storage
This multipurpose ottoman can provide additional seating as a step stool, serve as a storage box, or be used as a table for drinks when the lid is flipped over. The cushion of the ottoman is made out of PVC leather, which makes it water-resistant and easy to clean.
Made out of a combination of fabric, MDF, thickened sponge, and leather, the ottoman’s frame can support up to 440 pounds. The lid is padded with a 1.1-inch piece of thick foam, offering ample comfort for sitting or resting your feet.
The ottoman features metal handles on either side that make it easy to transport from room to room and can be easily folded to be stored away. Hidden storage inside of the ottoman offers a ton of practical options for organization.
4. YOUDENOVA Footstool Ottoman with Stable Wooden Legs
With its stable wooden legs, this ottoman serves as an upgrade to the conventional cheap plastic footstools. The legs greatly reduce the likelihood of the piece flipping over while in use. This ottoman features durable and waterproof PU leather, and a high density and high-quality sponge material to offer a comfortable seat or footrest. Its frame is constructed completely out of quality solid wood.
This stylish ottoman can be used for putting on shoes in an entryway, as a footrest after a long day of work, or as a coffee table or side table. The product also comes with felt pads for the legs to protect your floor from scratching and prevent sliding. To elevate the look of this ottoman, the legs can be easily removed and replaced with a more stylish option.
5. B FSOBEIIALEO Velvet Tufted Cube Storage Ottoman
Another velvet tufted option, this cube-shaped ottoman has a sturdy design that is constructed out of MDF and has a maximum load capacity of up to 350 pounds. Its height is suitable for both sitting or resting your feet or legs. The cushion is filled with a highly elastic sponge material, offering ample comfort for the user. Whereas, the velvet upholstery offers both style and softness.
This ottoman comes folded and can be assembled in sections. The lightweight folding design makes it easy to store the piece away when not in use. When assembled, the lid can be removed to store clothing, books, throw blankets, toys, shoes, and other items that you want to keep out of sight. The ottoman comes in four colors: teal, purple, pink (pictured above), and grey.
6. Casa Platino – Hand Knitted Macramé Pouf
A cross between a traditional ottoman and a bean bag, this pouf is chic, versatile, and cozy. The macramé style offers a nice textural twist on the aforementioned cable-knit pouf design. Made out of 100% cotton, ropes are hand-knotted to form a stylish, modern design that can add some visual interest to your living space. The pouf is well-constructed, lightweight, and perfect to use as a footrest.
Its compact design makes it easy to fit perfectly just about anywhere in your home. You can place this unique pouf to the end of your sofa or armchair to add more comfort and support to the space. The compact size also makes the pouf great for additional seating when your kid’s friends are visiting, or for playing video games or watching TV.
7. Baxton Studio Nox Brown Leather Ottoman
With its bonded leather upholstery in a dark espresso brown color, this ottoman can add a sleek, sophisticated look to your living space. Individual leather panels are stitched together, creating a unique square design on all sides of the piece. Fabric lines the bottom of the ottoman, which is supported by black plastic round legs.
The sturdy design can be used as a traditional ottoman, as a stool for extra seating, or as a footrest. It’s also incredibly lightweight, which makes it easy to move the ottoman around your living areas. The top has a sufficient amount of cushion to feel comfortable when sitting or resting your feet on it. Unlike many of the other options on this list, this piece does not offer interior storage. Though, for the price, it is a fantastic leather ottoman.
8. Lexicon Avon Round Tufted Fabric Storage Accent Ottoman
Compact and versatile, this round ottoman can make the perfect addition to a contemporary or transitional style home. It’s wrapped in a faux linen fabric, with a white radial pattern and yellow accents. The tufted design and yellow print linen upholstery will make this accent ottoman look great in your living space. This ottoman provides additional seating, as it is supported by dark brown flared wooden legs.
Additionally, the button tufted top is removable to reveal an interior storage compartment that can be used for stashing blankets, remote controls, books, and more. The material can be spot cleaned with a mild detergent or easily wiped using a damp cloth. As an added bonus, the ottoman requires very little assembly.
9. First Hill Deep Tufting Espresso Storage Ottoman
Made out of faux leather, this small rectangular-shaped ottoman is supported by solid-wood feat. It can be used as a small coffee table, extra seating, or a footrest. The padded lid is hinged and remains open so that you can safely access the storage space inside.
Faux-leather upholstery with button tufting is found on the top of the ottoman and there’s a nail-head trim along the bottom edge, adding some decorative appeal to the piece.
Infuse a refined sense of style to any room in your home with this sophisticated storage ottoman. It’s made out of high-quality materials, including solid wood and faux-leather upholstery, which offers strength for everyday use. The little design details like the turned feat, nail-head trim, and button tufting add striking charm.
10. Home Soft Things Super Mink Ottoman Bench
Rest your feet on the faux fur cushion of this soft bench-style ottoman. These Super Mink ottomans from Home Soft Things are comfortable, practical, and affordable. They can serve as the perfect accent for living rooms, bedrooms, vanity chairs, kid’s rooms, extra seating, shoe benches, and more.
With a range of colors to choose from – including bleached aqua, wood rose, charcoal, umber, rose smoke, and oatmeal – it’s easy to match this piece with the rest of your home décor.
This ottoman requires very little assembly, as you’ll just need to screw the metal hairpin legs into each corner using a Phillips screwdriver. The faux mink fabric offers luxurious comfort when using this accent footstool in your home. With a 100% polyester cover, the material can be spot cleaned using a mild detergent and a clean, soft cloth.
11. Upholstered Pleated Round Ottoman Vanity Stool with Metal Legs
Luxurious and elegant, this round ottoman features clean lines and a simple design. The contemporary style will suit virtually any type of home décor. Its round, unique pleated detailing creates a classic, yet elegant look. Wrapped in velvet upholstery and featuring quality foam padding, this ottoman offers ample comfort and a touch of softness.
Supported by gold metal hairpin legs, the frame is durable, sturdy, and has a significant bearing capacity. The lid can be used as a comfortable seat or flipped around to provide a flat surface for placing a coffee mug, book, or snacks. When removed, the interior of the footstool reveals sufficient storage for stashing toys, remote controls, and miscellaneous items.
This ottoman comes in an array of gorgeous colors, including blush pink, rose red, peacock blue, emerald, and pumpkin brown (pictured above).
12. HOMCOM 15” Small Padded Ottoman Foot Stool with Wrinkle Fabric Design
The elegant pleating on all sides of this ottoman offers a classy, luxurious design. A thick sponge padding and soft velvet-touch fabric create a comfortable surface for resting your feet. It can also be used for extra seating, as the stool can support up to 265 pounds. Available in three beautiful colors, the velvet ottoman footstool can add a touch of luxury to your home.
This ottoman is lightweight and can be easily moved from room to room. It comes fully assembled and features a stable structure that ensures the piece will not fall over when in use.
13. Poly and Bark Denver Modern Leather Ottoman Pouf
Available in Cognac Tan and Madagascar Cocoa, this ottoman offers a rustic, yet contemporary appeal. It can serve as a footrest, additional seating, or even as a coffee table or side table when a tray is placed on top.
Constructed out of Italian tanned leather, this piece is minimally processed to bring out the authentic character of the hide – natural bumps and all. Over the years, the ottoman will scuff and develop a handsome patina.
Filled with a high-density foam, polyester, and down blend, the product boasts ample support and a rich, luxurious feel. Its strong construction features a kiln-dried rubberwood frame and the corners are blocked with reinforced joinery. Although the ottoman has a high price tag, the quality of construction makes it well worth the price.
14. Meridian Furniture Isla Collection Modern | Contemporary Velvet Upholstered Ottoman
The Isla Velvet Ottoman consists of a classic square poof design with gold stainless steel legs to offer a unique twist. Covered in velvet, the stool provides a comfortable, inviting feel that pairs well with the metallic finish of the support legs. Whether you decide to use this piece in a bedroom, living room, or office, the ottoman will draw the eye from all angles.
The ottoman comes in a few colors – such as black, cream, grey, green, and pink – making it easy to complement the rest of the décor in your space.
15. Majestic Home Goods Navajo Cube
Looking for an ottoman or poof that can go outdoors, then this one’s for you! While you may not associate upholstered furniture with going on a patio, this ottoman is a great choice for anyone who frequently entertains outdoors. It is portable, comfortable, and features a zippered slipcover for easy cleaning.
The outer material is made out of polyester, which offers UV protection so that it won’t fade when left in direct sunlight.
The insert is stuffed with polystyrene beads that will dry quickly and easily when they get wet. They are also made out of 50% recycled material and will conform to your body when you sit down, creating a very comfortable seat. This ottoman comes in white and navy, or teal and white to offer an energetic look without being too overwhelming. It’ll look great in your outdoor living areas that may already have quite a bit going on visually.
16. Homebeez Round Velvet Storage Ottoman
Gorgeous button-tufted detailing and a high-quality velvet material are what make this ottoman a luxurious addition to your living space. It is crafted out of a solid wood frame, providing a sturdy surface with a maximum weight capacity of 360 pounds to be used as additional seating. Beneath the lid of the ottoman is a large hidden storage space for reducing the mess in your living area.
This piece can be used as a storage unit, console table, footrest, step stool, and non-conventional coffee table. The base features non-slip pads to prevent scratching of your floors and no assembly is required.
17. MagJo Natural Woven Sea Grass Pouf
Available in either round or rectangular styles, this pouf features two slightly different striped patterns woven into the design. It is handcrafted by weaving together corn husk fibers and seagrass to form a textured natural style that you’ll often find in woven baskets or rugs.
This versatile ottoman can complement a range of décor styles, from casual traditional living rooms to eclectic spaces to beach house style rooms.
These poufs are 16 inches tall with a diameter of 16 inches, making them ideal for both a footrest and seat. Purchasers find the product to be sturdy, durable, and lightweight. You can style this ottoman by placing two in front of an armchair or in front of a fireplace to offer a relaxed, comfortable appeal to any space.
18. Convenience Concepts Madison Storage Ottoman
This storage ottoman from convenience concepts is a great combination of functionality and style. Boasting a sleek, simple, transitional appeal, this piece will revitalize any home décor. With its faux leather surface and modern tapered block legs, the ottoman offers versatility and can be the perfect addition to your home. It comes in a simple black and white faux leather finish, in addition to a ribbon pattern fabric.
The dense, fire-resistant foam inside the cushion offers plenty of luxury to rest your feet or your seat comfortably. Purchasers describe this ottoman as being sturdy, easy to assemble, and has a significant amount of storage space. The hinged lid on top allows for easy access to the concealed space inside, which can be used for stashing books, blankets, or anything else you want to keep out of view.
What Can You Use A Ottomon For?
Choosing an ottoman is half the battle, while styling it is the other. To style an ottoman or pouf, consider how you already use the space and what function the piece is going to serve.
If you intend to use your ottoman as a coffee table or side table, include a top piece that will support a number of items – such as tempered glass or a serving tray.
Then, add a potted succulent or a vase of flowers and a candle to add décor, while still leaving plenty of room to place a cup of coffee or a book.
You can place two or three small poufs around your coffee table to serve as extra seating when you have guests over.
Whereas, a slightly larger pouf or ottoman next to your sofa can provide a comfortable spot to sit while watching TV.
Child’s Reading Nook
You can place a small pouf or ottoman in the corner of your child’s playroom or bedroom to create a cozy and cute reading nook.
Ottomans and poufs don’t have to be limited to the living room. You can place them in front of your vanity or dressing table to provide a comfortable seat for doing your makeup in the morning.
You can place a thin, long ottoman at the foot of your bed along with different sized throw pillows to serve as both a practical piece and an accent piece. Opt for an ottoman that opens to reveal storage to make the most out of the space.
Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
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