How big should an Ottoman be? Everything you need to know about Ottoman

How big should an Ottoman be? Everything you need to know about Ottoman


If you are an interior design specialist, a home decor enthusiast, or someone trying to bring versatility and add spice up to their bedroom or living room space, you must have come across the ‘ottoman’ term for sure.

And the term not only beholds the meaning of multi-functional furniture but also reflects the long cultural and significant history of the ottoman empire. 

And this traditional furniture seems to have captured the heart of several interior designers and home decors, even in the modern, 21st century. And why is that so?

Because ottomans are the most adaptable history-based furniture pieces that go with every bedroom style, small or big, or any lining room space that deserves quality and comfort.

And this fascinating furniture must have intrigued your internal senses as well! This is why we have dedicated today’s guide to speaking all about ottomans, their purpose, function, and also have included many more curious topics along with the blog.

If you are considering hopping on to the trend and buying yourself some ottoman furniture sets like ottoman boxes or simply want to know what the fuss is all about, you must read this guide, because it captures all you need to know in simple sentences.

Well then, we are excited to start. Are you too?

All you need to know about ottoman

Did it take a moment for you to associate the term ‘ottoman’ with a huge empire that you might have learned in your high school history books? Do you think it's a strange coincidence to come across a familiar term from your high school memories?

The name of the furniture matches with your old memories because the ottoman furniture has its roots derived from the Ottoman empire, which was a political and cultural state occupying most of western Asia, Southeastern Europe, and Northern Africa.

The Ottoman empire ruled through the areas, between the 1300s and the early 20th century, with Constantinople or modern-day Istanbul as its capital. 

Because the Ottoman Empire had strong trade routes and economy, it influenced the Mediterranean and played a crucial part in bonding the Eastern and Western worlds.

Connecting the ties between the Eastern and Western worlds paved the way for a blended language, art, architecture and even furniture.

And that’s where the Ottoman drops into the discussion. The Ottoman furniture was the central piece of attraction in Ottoman homes. It was used in almost all luxury family gathering events as padded seats, floor mats, rugs, chairs or thrones.

Since Ottoman furniture pieces were backless they were pushed against the walls during the time, but as the Europeans took notice of this beautiful furniture, they brought its presence to the centre of attention.

The purpose of an ottoman

As we mentioned in the earlier section of this guide, Ottoman furniture sets are the most versatile pieces of goods. Ottoman sets can beat any other furniture in the competition of adaptability!

Many interior designers have already fallen in love with the multi-purpose characteristic of Ottoman furniture. This is why they have been chosen widely to bring the aspect of gorgeousness and luxury to the home space.

An Ottoman is most commonly used as a footrest stool. To give your strained and tired foot the required rest. It can be paired along with a chair or a couch to experience optimum comfort.

Or Ottoman furniture can also be used as a coffee table. Be it a cute little friends’ gathering event or a business meeting, the right Ottoman can bring all sorts of good emotions to the room.

Ottoman can also be used for more purposes than just decoration. They can serve as an additional seating arrangement in the home or can be used as a second stool. What more? These furniture pieces can also play the role of a bed bench.

So, if you are tight on space in your living room or your bedroom, you can blindly go for this multi-purpose furniture for all your needs.

Ottoman functions and styles

Also known as pouffe or hassock, the ottoman has multiple purposes. Be it as a stool, seating, table, storage - the uses are limitless. Whichever part of your house you place it, it adds a style, textile and special dimension to the room. 

Apart from being a piece of decor, they are easy to move and can easily slide under a table when you need more space. Perfect for small rooms, offices and dorms. 

Let’s see more of ottoman functions and styles.


Do you love to just sink on your couch or sofa in your living room and rest at the end of a long tiring day? Wouldn’t you love it when your feet are up and rested on a soft cushion as well? 

One of the commonly used functionalities of an ottoman is a footrest. These were mainly designed to serve as a footrest or tool back in 18th century Europe when they were introduced. 

Apart from helping you relax, an ottoman adds texture and decor to your living room. Get a matching or complementary coloured ottoman that goes well with your sofa to bring your living room to life.


Who says that a seat should always have a backrest? As ottomans always have a nice cushion on the top, you can use them as seating too. If you still need a backrest, you can always keep them against the wall.

Ottomans are perfect to be used as extra seating when you have guests. A large rectangular, circular or oval furniture is very helpful for easy conversations where you and your friends don’t have to crane your necks to turn to each other. 

Another great use is to use it as a bed bench. Place it at the end of your bed for extra seating and to add style and element to your bedroom.

Coffee Table

How many times have you injured your leg by running into your coffee table? As ottomans are usually covered with leather or cushion, it is perfect for families with kids running around. Of course, it helps the adults too when they are hustling.

Ottomans add great decor and attraction to your living room seating. Since they are not so heavy, you can easily move them out of the way if you don’t need them. Perfect when you are having your friends over for a movie or game night. 

And don’t worry. The cushions are always stable enough to hold your coffee trays!


Another important function of an ottoman is that it can double as a storage box. A coffee table can store all the magazines and board games inside it. The one in your bedroom can be the perfect hiding place for your dirty laundry!

Ottomans make a great addition to the entryway where you can store all your shoes inside it. A long rectangular one can serve as a makeover bed for your guest and to store extra bed sheets inside it.

Are you a bibliophile? Then make a cosy reading corner and place a nice, soft ottoman that doubles as both a seating and book storage.

Choosing an appropriate ottoman

Ottoman beds and furniture come in various colours, shapes and sizes. If you are planning to buy one, you might get overwhelmed with the various choices available. However, you need to make the decision based on the purpose. 

To help you navigate between the options, we will break down the various types based on shapes and heights. Whichever you are choosing, make sure the fabric is soft enough and the colour matches with the rest of the room’s decor and furniture. Also, you can even stitch a new cover to have multiple decor options with single furniture.


Ottomans come in various shapes - round, oval, square and rectangle. They may or may not have legs. Also, not every ottoman has storage because some are pouffes while some are cubes.

If you are going to use the ottoman as only a footrest, you can choose a simple design with a round or square shape. Get a cube-shaped if you want extra storage. If not, you can choose one with legs or a pouffe.

Standard ottomans with a rectangle or square shape are perfect for seating. And rectangle and circle-shaped ottomans are perfect to use as a coffee table. They are the main piece of attraction in your living room, so choose with or without legs depending on your sofa or couch. 

If you need storage, irrespective of its placement, you might need to go with a square or rectangle-shaped box styled ottoman. Some round-shaped ottomans also have storage.


It’s not just the shape you need to consider, you need to think of the height too. If you are going to use the furniture as a footrest, you need it almost the same height as your sofa or a couple of inches lower. Keep the same height if you are going to use it for seating too.

Height also depends on the furniture’s placement. If you will be sliding it under a table or any other furniture when not in use, you will need one with a lesser height.

Evaluate the room space to fit the ottoman

While choosing an ottoman, the shape and height are not enough. You need to consider the size too. But first, you need to evaluate the room space to make sure it fits.

If you are using it as extra seating or footrest, first you need to make sure that your living room (or any other room for that matter) has enough space. If you do not have enough space, go with a smaller height that can easily slide under a table. 

If you have a large living room with an L-sectional sofa, a large round or square-shaped ottoman coffee table looks great. If you need one in your bedroom, you can keep a large rectangular ottoman at the end of your bed - if you have room for it. Else, you can still go with a small round or square-shaped one with or without storage.


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