Coffee Table vs. Ottoman for the Living Room

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!

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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 Table Versus Ottoman


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.

Many people typically gather around a coffee table when hanging out together.

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.

Many ottomans have the capacity to be used for storage as well. Many ottomans lift up to provide storage for your blankets, crafts, and games.

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.

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.

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

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, store magazines, or keep 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.

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