Coffee Table vs. Ottoman for the Living Room (Who Wins)

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What Is The Difference Between An Ottoman And A Coffee Table?

Once upon a time when things were so less complicated a coffee table is something you put your coffee on. An ottoman is something you put your feet on. But now that distinction is not so easy to determine with many ottomans now being designed to double as a coffee table and many coffee tables being designed for multipurpose use as well.

When it comes to coffee tables vs ottomans there are plenty of designers and individuals who freely offer their opinion about which is better for a living room design however there is only one opinion that matters for your home — yours!

The biggest debate is with ourselves. How do you choose what’s best for your living room… a coffee table or an ottoman? And the reason there is a debate is that they are both such good options it makes it very hard to decide.

Coffee tables are supposed to be small and light enough that you can move them around. Ottomans are supposed to be large and heavy enough that you can’t. Yet some ottomans are small enough to be moved, and some coffee tables are large and heavy enough to qualify as ottomans.

So let’s take a look at this great ottoman vs coffee table debate and see who wins…

Coffee Table or Ottoman?

Which one will you choose? The supermodel or the cuddly dog?

  • A coffee table reminds me of a rooster in a hen house pumping its chest out, throwing its head back, and demanding attention… Like a supermodel strutting her beauty and demanding look at me. Strikingly beautiful and the center of attention – but a little cold (sorry supermodels).
  • Whereas an ottoman reminds me of a cute and cuddly pet who is warm, friendly, and will be there for you when you get home… Someone who puts you as the center of attention and not themselves. Someone you can relax around, put your feet up, and enjoy.

They are both inviting in different ways…


Coffee table versus ottoman


  • Many years ago a coffee table was the only option and ottomans weren’t even a consideration.
  • Almost every living room that you entered had a coffee table and the chances are they were so common you hardly even noticed until you needed somewhere to place your cuppa.
  • But, today’s society views style and comfort a little differently than in the past. A lot of people today prefer to decorate their homes with an ottoman, which gives their guests the opportunity to place their drink on it as well as their feet.

The key question becomes, which is better for you and your circumstance?

What Are The Things To Consider Before Buying A Coffee Table Or An Ottoman?

There are many factors for you to consider before buying a coffee table or an ottoman. A lot of the answers have to do with your own personal style and taste, in combination with how much space do you have and will it suit your current living room design.

The other factor to consider is how will you be using it in your home. For example: Is it more of a decoration or a functional piece of furniture? These questions and more will need to be answered when considering your best option.

What is a Coffee table?

A coffee table is a sleek, classy choice to add to your living room.

It is made of a strong surface consisting of either wood or glass and typically holds up well against any spills with a quick clean-up.

Most coffee tables come in neutral colors to make them easy to fit into the decor of any room. A coffee table is very sleek looking, but can also provide a rustic industrial feel. It is an essential piece for any comfortable living space.

What is an Ottoman?

An ottoman is a much more comfortable addition to any living room. It is padded and offers casual sophistication to any living space. If the goal of the room is to offer as much relaxation as possible, an ottoman is a perfect solution.

Many people enjoy the benefits of pulling an ottoman up as a footrest while watching T.V. on the couch.

What Are The Different Ways A Coffee Table Can Be Used?

Coffee tables are perfect for setting food or drinks down, completing homework, or playing a game with your friends. The table can be used to house decorative items for all of the various holiday seasons and really be a centerpiece in a room.

A coffee table, also called a cocktail table, is a style of long low table which is placed in front of a sofa, to support drinks and food while leaving the sofa free for people to sit on. It typically has a top that is just above the knee level, or lower.

A coffee table has a number of uses, and so there are a number of different ways a coffee table can be used, depending on your lifestyle.

  • It’s important to note that coffee tables can be other things as well. Many times you will see them as part of a living room set as opposed to the main focus of the room. In this case, they are used as accent pieces.
  • They can be used as media storage devices as well as small tables where you can place your laptop computer or perhaps a small lamp. Some are designed with drawers so you can store magazines and other items within easy reach and out of sight.
  • A coffee table is a great place to put a cup of coffee, books, magazines, or remotes.
  • If you have a lot of stuff spread out on your coffee table, you might want to consider getting a tray or a coaster for it as well as investing in some coasters that can help protect the surface from water damage.

Many people typically gather around a coffee table when hanging out together. A coffee table can be a lot of things. But, at its very simplest, it is a table in the living room on which to put stuff.

What Are The Different Ways An Ottoman Can Be Used?

An ottoman can be used in a variety of ways in a living room. It adds additional seating to a room and can be utilized as a footrest for anyone looking to sit back in a chair or couch.

The ottoman is a piece of furniture that is used in a variety of ways. An ottoman is a great addition to a living room or bedroom. It can be used as seating, an end table, a coffee table, and many other things. In fact, the ottoman is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture.

In fact, there are several different kinds of ottomans.

  • A storage ottoman is the most common kind of ottoman you will find. It has an extra storage area in it that can be used for blankets, pillows, toys or any other household good you want to hideaway.
  • It can also be used as a place to rest your feet while sitting in an armchair.
  • The next kind of ottoman is called the cocktail ottoman or cocktail table. This kind is very similar to the storage ottoman but obviously does not have any extra storage space in it. It’s just meant to be used as a table with drinks on it when people are sitting around in living rooms talking and relaxing.
  • The third kind of ottoman is one that people sit on when they are watching television or reading books. This type is most commonly found in bedrooms where they are usually placed right in front of the bed.

Some ottomans are just that – ottomans – which means they are not meant to be used as anything else. These can be good for putting your feet upon. Some of the sturdier ones can even double as extra seating.

Other ottomans are disguised coffee tables, with storage space underneath. These can be used as end tables or coffee tables, but not both at the same time. If you want something that is both a coffee table and an end table, look for one whose top section is removable or that lifts off completely.

In What Ways Can A Coffee Table Enhance A Room?

A coffee table can help to maintain balance in a room. It is important to not overload the coffee table with all kinds of knick-knacks, but rather, let it soak up the beauty of the room.

Coffee tables are very versatile. They can be used as a place to put drinks or food while you are watching TV. You can use it for displaying decorative objects, photos albums, and so on. Coffee tables are very good for reading materials, especially if there is no other table in the room.

Most households have at least one coffee table. So it only makes sense to buy a well-made one that will last you for years to come. The best coffee tables are usually made of wood, but there are some that are made of metal or glass as well.

  • There are also several types of wood used to make high-quality coffee tables, including oak, pine, walnut, mahogany, and teak. Whichever type of wood you choose make sure it is sturdy enough to support your television or other items that will be placed on top of it.
  • Coffee tables come in various shapes and sizes so you can choose one to fit into your room. They can be small and delicate which you can sit beside a chair or sofa, or larger and more square which you can use as a place to put down drinks and food while sitting on the floor or sofa or watching TV.
  • You may find very large coffee tables being used as centerpieces in living rooms or family rooms rather than as pieces of furniture that hold items such as drinks and food for example.
  • A coffee table is a good place to put stuff that you want to be able to get to or show off, without having to move other stuff.
    That’s why the books and magazines you might want to read while lying on the sofa end up there. That’s also why the coasters and glass holder you don’t want cluttering the rest of the table end up there too. It’s a natural place for them.

As mentioned earlier, a coffee table is a fantastic way to bring out the holiday spirit in a room. Placing flowers on the table can symbolize spring while placing seashells on it bring a summer feel to the room.

In What Ways Can An Ottoman Enhance A Room?

Ottomans offer a vast array of options to complement your home decor. It comes in various shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors. Unlike a coffee table, an ottoman can really provide the homeowner with many options to choose from to be the centerpiece of a room.

The ottoman is a large, round piece of furniture that has been around for centuries. In some ways, it is similar to a coffee table, as it is used as a place to put objects on or rest feet on. However, an ottoman serves an additional purpose that makes it quite unique.

Between the unique styles and the capacity to add extra seating, the ottoman is a solid choice for any living room.

  • An ottoman is a padded bench or footstool. It is cushioned and low to the ground, and its height allows for sitting with your legs up.
  • It can be used as a coffee table, footstool, storage compartment, etc.
  • It is possible to use an ottoman as a coffee table. This can be accomplished by placing a tray on top of the ottoman. This way you can place decorative items on it without ruining the surface of the table below it. The tray is also easy to remove if you need more room on the table, or if you want to make a change in the decor of the room.
  • The cushion is very durable and can withstand a lot of abuse from children and adults alike. It also provides comfort when sitting down for long periods of time.
  • That extra storage they provide makes them ideal for those who live in smaller spaces. They allow you to put your feet up without completely sacrificing all of your furniture space to your feet!
  • They can come in several different sizes and colors which makes it easy to find one that will match your home’s decor perfectly!

In addition to being a place to rest your feet, the ottoman also has a storage compartment inside it. It can be pulled out and used as a footrest or a seat. This dual function allows the ottoman to be more versatile than a coffee table and adds more value to your home.

It is easy to find an ottoman that matches the rest of your furniture, making it an ideal piece of any room of your home. It can match upholstery on your chairs or sofa, or you can choose one that contrasts with your other pieces. Either way, you will have a storage space for blankets or pillows that doubles as a footrest or seat when you need it.

What Are The Benefits Of A Coffee Table?

  • Eco-Friendly – Solid wood is as eco-friendly as you can get.
  • Quality – Coffee tables are sturdy and can last the test of time. It is a productive investment that can be a staple in your living room for many years.
  • Timeless Decoration Solution – Coffee tables will always be made to match the decor of your home. Their colors remain neutral to help tie a room together.
  • Storage – Coffee tables can act as storage units by keeping remote controls out of sight, storing magazines, or keeping games out of sight.
  • A classic beauty, longevity, and quality craftsmanship will NEVER go out of style.

What Are The Benefits Of An Ottoman?

  • Shared space seating – Ottomans are perfect for apartments and open floor plans because of the amount of seating an ottoman can offer.
  • Footrest – Everyone loves a good footrest. After a long day of work, it is just comforting to know you can lean back and put your feet up to give them a break.
  • Storage Units – Most ottomans offer storage units. Finding one that does can provide some ample room to store away your blankets and games.
  • Child-Friendly – Most ottomans are made of fabrics such as denim or tweed and are safe for children if they fall or bump their heads.
  • Great showpiece – Many people are looking at ottomans as a showpiece to their room. It provides the “all eyes on me” type of decor that will make people notice the addition right away.

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Coffee Table?

  • Not a lot of alternatives – Many traditional coffee tables do not offer a lot of options to change up the look in a person’s living room.
  • No extra seating – While it serves its purpose of holding objects, it does not offer any extra seating in a room.
  • Sharp angles – The corners of coffee tables are perfect targets for little kids to bang their heads on when they fall.

What Are The Disadvantages Of An Ottoman?

  • Holding Food and Drinks – Ottomans are not stable enough to place a drink or plate on unless the surface is plush.
  • Bulky – Some ottomans can appear to be very bulky and can fill up a small room.
  • Keeping Clean – With all the fabric being used, it is not as easy to keep clean when a spill occurs. A stain that isn’t able to be removed can really be an eyesore.
  • Tough to Keep up with Trends – Coffee tables tend to remain neutral and can fit any trend. Ottomans are more likely to stand out because of their style, which can make it difficult to change a room around after several years.


Ottomans and coffee tables offer many valuable options. When making the decision to choose one over the other, it is important to think about how you plan on using it and for how long. Both pieces of furniture add style and decor to your home as well as functionality.

Your vision of the room will help to dictate which piece of furniture makes the most sense for you. Both offer great options to any room, so you cannot go wrong in either direction.

You may also be interested in…Is Capresso A Good Brand (Coffee Makers, Grinders, Milk Frothers) and Is Delonghi A Good Brand (Coffee Machines & Home Appliances )