Difference Between an Ottoman and Coffee Table

Posted In Knowledge - 06/12/2018

Considering an Ottoman or a Coffee Table

Every living room and family area needs a place to put up your feet or set down a glass. Depending on space, lifestyle and design preferences, the best piece of furniture for you may be a classic coffee table or an unconventional choice like an ottoman.

OttomanCoffee Table
Seating &
  • Adds an extra seat for guests
  • Fewer storage options
  • Adds storage with baskets, drawers, and bins
  • Stationary, may take up more space
Form &
  • Some ottomans double as a table
  • Available in easy to wash materials
  • Creatively add cushions for additional seats
  • Classic hardwoods and metals for style
Size & 
  • Usually smaller but shop for larger sizes
  • Shop here for large and small coffee tables

Seating & Storage

If you like to entertain guests, an ottoman may suit your home. Large, padded ottomans go perfectly with sectionals as either an alternative coffee table or an extra seat. If your living room could use a little extra organization, some ottomans have interior storage areas great for keeping blankets or cushions on hand. Top an ottoman with a tray for a flat surface to place drinks or snacks.

If storing items is your main concern, coffee tables offer great solutions. Far from basic, many models have drawers, removable baskets or flip-up tops with plenty of room to store your stuff. In addition, coffee tables work better for drinks and snacks, as their surfaces are more solid and easier to clean.

  Picture of a sofa, loveseat, and coffee table

Form & Function

Storage and seating are in high demand for small spaces like apartments. A practical decorator might opt for an ottoman that also serves as a table. Many modern pieces feature liftable trays or handy, slide-out tabletops.

If saving space isn't an issue, a large ottoman might work for your home. Contemporary pieces with textured fabrics are ideal to complement many kinds of decor. Additionally, plush, oversized ottomans are wonderful for kids and pets.

Whether crafted from rich hardwood or sleek and modern metal, coffee tables can act as the centerpiece for a living room. More varied in their materials and designs than ottomans, these pieces offer plenty of options for creative decorators. Choose models with clever features, like magazine racks and hidden storage, or go with a classic wood coffee table for a refined look.  

Bringing It Home

Deciding on a coffee table vs. an ottoman for your home all comes down to personal tastes. Whether you want a place to rest your feet or a bit of additional storage, either piece brings both style and function to the table.