minimalist coffee table

Coffee Table vs Ottoman: Which Is More Suited for You?

I’ve been planning to re-decorate our living for some time now. I want to create a certain atmosphere, and I found out that choosing between a coffee table and an ottoman has a huge impact.

There’s a good explanation for it. These two types of tables have a wide variety of creative, original, colorful, and sometimes crazy designs. There’s a good chance you’ll discover something to your liking.

You will, however, have to make some difficult decisions prior to making your purchase. You’ll need to strike a balance between aesthetic, utility, affordability, and durability, as well as purchase a table that complements the rest of your living space’s furnishings.

Nobody ever claimed that appearing beautiful in terms of interior design was simple! However, in this essay, we’ll go over the most crucial things to know about coffee and ottoman tables.

What is the Definition of a Coffee Table?

coffee table by the window

Almost everyone has heard of a coffee table, but only a few people remember the specific term. A coffee table is a long and low table that is placed in front of a couch or chair. This is what sets it apart from other kinds of coffee tables you could have in your living room.

Though it’s called a coffee table, it’s really meant to carry a variety of glasses, mugs, jugs, and bottles. Coffee tables are supposed to complement the decor of the room. Many individuals do this by placing ornamental trinkets on them.

They’re also meant to help visitors unwind, which is why some homeowners keep a selection of magazines on their coffee tables so that guests may pass the time while waiting.

What is the Definition of an Ottoman?

leather ottoman in the middle of a living room

An ottoman will be used to refer to an ottoman table in this article.

The latter is a multi-functional piece of furniture that may be used as a coffee table, storage space, footrest, or additional sitting. An ottoman may be thought of as a unique take on a coffee table.

The storage capacity and the beautiful appearance of an ottoman are its two most distinguishing aspects. Because an ottoman isn’t like a regular table, it’s all about the design. The ottoman you buy should be able to perform all of the duties listed above.

Coffee Tables and Ottomans Have a Variety of Features

Choosing the proper coffee table may make it a lot simpler to relax and enjoy your home. A coffee table, on the other hand, should be more than just a flat surface for you to set your drinks on. It should serve to center the space, give it the correct atmosphere, and address any issues that may arise when entertaining.

Adjustable tables, as the name implies, are made to fit your specific demands and preferences. You can adjust the height of certain tables by lifting the top. If you live alone and want to utilize your coffee table as a dining place, this table may be extremely handy.

Other kinds of movable tables include several portions that can be pulled in and out to modify the design of the table or provide more room when you have guests around.

To acquire a coffee table with storage capacity, you don’t need to purchase an ottoman. There are several classic coffee tables with this feature built-in. An internal compartment may be reached via a detachable top in certain designs.

Many types of domestic products, such as books, DVDs, candles, and children’s toys, may typically be stored with ease. It’s simpler to get to the items you use on a daily basis when you have a coffee table with this sort of utility.


Coffee Table Designs

If you value style—and you obviously do if you’ve read this far—you should pay close attention to the design of your coffee table. You should not purchase any old table.

Consider the overall look and feel of the space you’ll be putting it in. You should also consider the sort of home it will be placed in.

Here are a few of the most well-known designs:


coffee table made of thick wood

These coffee table designs are great for this kind of residence, whether you live primarily in a cottage or have a second home in the countryside. Cottages are often rustic, basic, humble, and unassuming. Those traits should also be present in a cottage coffee table. They should have straight lines and be painted. It will go in better with the rest of your furniture if it has a light and rustic appearance.


wood-top coffee table with metal frame

This kind of table should evoke the feeling of the factor. The best industrial coffee tables incorporate metal and wood in a rough-hewn construction. An industrial coffee table sits well with softer surroundings.

Mid-Century Modern

oval-shaped coffee table

This table is one of the more popular vintage designs. It leans on design styles that were popular between the 1950s and 1960s. They are characterized by clean lines, bentwood, and a simple finish.


coffee table with thick rectangular legs

This is another classic design. It consists of a thick top and four thick, flush, square legs. The Parsons coffee table was created in the 1930s and has been popular since then.

Modern and Contemporary

modern coffee table

A modern coffee table refers to any design that has been in production since the late 19th century. This is not to be confused with a contemporary coffee table which refers to pieces that are currently popular. The latter designs often have stark interiors and bold accents.



Ottoman tables come in many different designs. However, their storage space is the one thing they all have in common. You should keep this function in mind when buying an ottoman.

And it is important to pay attention to the configuration of the storage unit and its access point, as this will affect how the table looks in your living space.

Here are some of the most common ottoman storage configurations:

Open Lid

open lid ottoman

This is pretty simple. It consists of a lid top that is either hinged or lifted up to access the storage interior.


ottoman with drawer

This is a subtler design in that the storage space and access point are not as easily spotted. The drawer can be built into an ottoman with high or low legs and engineered to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the piece.


grey ottoman set

These ottoman tables combine storage capacity and reconfigurability. They come with a range of separate pieces for feet and seating. The smaller pieces can be hidden away when they are not needed.

Ottomans by Design

Ottoman designs are limited only by the imagination and creativity of designers. While you can find ottoman tables in a wide range of styles and configurations, the most prominent designs are as follows:


standard design ottoman

The traditional ottoman features a cushioned surface over a sturdy base, and it comes in a square or rectangle shape.


two pouf ottoman

This is sometimes called a bean bag ottoman. It has—as the name suggests—a puffed structure that is not always spherical. The interior of the table is made of soft material, and it is without a solid skeleton structure.


This type of ottoman contains a table-like top on which to place drinks and food. This design can hold a number of drinks and is shaped in a way that allows people to comfortably sit and around it. Some models have a reversible top, which allows the table to double as a bench.


cube ottoman

This is a very popular design. Its modular shape allows it to be easily stored, moved, and repurposed with some freedom.


oval ottoman

If class, luxury, and refinement are your priorities, then you cannot go wrong with this design. You can serve tea and coffee using an oval ottoman coffee table. It can also be used to seat more than one person at a time.


There are also plenty of unconventional, uncanny, and downright zany ottoman designs. If your house is filled with other experimental furniture designs, then you should think about an ottoman that is a little different. There is a surfeit of innovative pieces to choose from.


The Most Common Materials Used in Ottomans and Coffee Tables

Coffee tables and ottomans are available in a variety of materials. We’ll start with the coffee tables.


metal coffee table

Metal is becoming a more common material for coffee tables. Iron, steel, aluminum, and other alloys are used to make these tables. The structure is usually topped with a glass or wooden top. It will be simple to clean a metal coffee table.


close up photo of a wooden coffee table

The most frequent form of coffee table is made of wood. Tables made of oak, light wood, and other kinds of wood have a completed, polished, and attractive appearance. The sole disadvantage of wood is that water rings readily develop on it, necessitating the purchase and use of coasters.


glass coffee table

Coffee tables with glass tops are extremely prevalent. However, coffee tables with a glass construction are also available. A table constructed completely of glass may be visually stunning.


marble coffee table

Coffee tables with stone, marble, or slate tops are also available.

Rattan and Acrylic

rattan coffee table and chairs

Coffee tables are also made of rattan and acrylic. These table types are less well-known, yet they are readily accessible. Rattan is often thought of as a material for patio furniture.

acrylic coffee table

When applied to the design of a coffee table, it gives it a more opulent sense. Acrylic has a remarkable resemblance to glass in appearance. Glass’ flexibility and clarity are achieved without the weight or expense of glass. Acrylic is used in many of the most inventive coffee table designs.


Leather-topped coffee tables do exist, however, they are not common. In fact, it’s frequently impossible to tell the difference between a table and an ottoman.

Then there’s the matter of the materials utilized in ottomans…

An ottoman’s distinctive quality is its softness. As a result, practically every ottoman coffee table is upholstered.

Fabric ottoman tables are available in a wide range of colors, textures, and styles. Fabric ottoman tables come in a variety of patterns and prints, as well as single and multi-color options.

fabric ottoman

Leather ottomans, particularly ones that can be used as seats, are quite popular. Any location in which a leather ottoman is put is given a rich feeling of texture and design. These tables are available in either a typical brown leather or a more striking black leather.

leather ottoman

You may also acquire a velvet ottoman, which is a great way to liven up the space. The same may be said for a suede ottoman. The latter has a distinct texture and feel that is impossible to duplicate. It’s light, energetic, and invigorating.

Ottoman tables are also constructed of rattan, a lightweight and durable material. If you want to place your ottoman on the patio or anywhere else outside, this is a perfect alternative. Rattan is a durable material that can withstand the elements.

Coffee Tables and Ottoman Lifespan

Durability is important. Purchasing a table is a significant financial commitment. It’s one that you should receive a good return on, which in this case means not just in terms of utility and visual delight, but also in terms of lifespan.

The brand, quality of the materials, and frequency of usage all have a role in the longevity of your coffee table. To be clear, the greatest tables are not usually offered by the most well-known companies. Some companies, on the other hand, are well-known and successful because they set the bar for the industry.

A coffee table constructed of the highest quality materials that is cleaned frequently and protected with coasters may last up to 10 years.

An ottoman table’s lifespan is determined by the same variables. The ottoman, on the other hand, offers a modest advantage in terms of durability. Because an ottoman’s surface is not constructed of glass or wood, it is less prone to stain.

And, although individuals may sit or rest their feet on ottoman tables, your family and friends are unlikely to do so on a regular basis, since sitting is not an ottoman table’s primary role.



room without furniture

If you’re like most people, pricing will be a major consideration when deciding whether to purchase a coffee table or an ottoman. Coffee tables range in price from $200 to $400. This pricing range includes tables that are both robust and attractive.

If you’re searching for something very spectacular, you can spend up to $500, but you’re unlikely to spend more than that.

It’s a little difficult to estimate the typical cost of an ottoman. You may spend anything from $100 and $800. It all relies on the table’s complexity and the material it’s made of.

In most circumstances, a good, well-made ottoman may be purchased for less than $300.


The Advantages of a Coffee Table vs. an Ottoman

There are several advantages to purchasing a coffee table or ottoman. We’ll start with the greatest features of a coffee table.

Coffee tables are composed of durable materials that are simple to clean and maintain. They also provide a more stable platform for drinking and eating. You may also use your laptop on your coffee table if it is at a suitable height.

The design of coffee tables is simpler and less bulky. They provide greater visual space, making your area look larger and more open. The hardness of coffee tables may provide a design element to a room that is otherwise dominated by fabrics.

There’s certainly something to be claimed for the sheer variety of coffee table design alternatives. The variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and styles available to you is unrivalled. You will discover a coffee table that exactly meets your demands, regardless of the size of your room or the furniture you have previously placed in it.

The top three advantages of an ottoman coffee table are comfort, practicality, and aesthetic value.

People purchase ottomans for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is comfort. A single glance at an ottoman table soothes the eyes. The ottoman is a great table to have if you want to relax and sip your drinks while putting your feet up.

It will enable you to gather with friends around your couch to talk, watch TV, or play board games. If you have small children roaming around the home, the soft edges of an ottoman are also great.

Another crucial feature of an ottoman is its functionality. An ottoman’s storage area will assist you in keeping your home neat and tidy. You may also store additional pillows and blankets in the room in case someone decides to stay the night.

Your ottoman may be used as additional seating.

You may simply transfer it to the desired location. Indeed, if you discover that it is taking up too much area in your living room, you may remove it entirely. In your bedroom or den, an ottoman is totally acceptable.

Last but not least, an ottoman gives a space a feeling of beauty, richness, and comfort. It might be a pleasant contrast to a space packed with geometric lines and harsh surfaces from a large number of formal pieces of furniture. The greatest spot for an ottoman is in a room designed for reclining and relaxation.

Because an ottoman mixes in nicely with the room’s couches and chairs, you’ll be more likely to treat it as such rather than a table, which will encourage you to maintain it neat and clean.


Historical Fun Facts

old coffee house

Without a few amusing historical facts regarding coffee tables and ottomans, this post would be incomplete.

Coffee tables are supposed to have developed in London in the mid-seventeenth century. During this period, the first tables emerged in coffee shops, which started to spring up all throughout the city. Coffee tables got its name from the fact that they were used to store people’s drinks, which were virtually entirely alcoholic.

So, as you can see, the coffee table has nothing to do with coffee and everything to do with beer.

The ottoman table is based on furniture from the Ottoman Empire. Residential sitting consisted mostly of this kind of furniture. It was made out of low wooden platforms with cushions on them.

Back then, the furniture was just as adaptable and multi-functional as current ottomans. They were created so that people could eat, speak, and relax all at the same time. In the late 18th century, the designs made their way to Europe.

The furniture was given names by the Europeans based on where it came from. In 1729, the first recorded usage of an ottoman in Europe was documented. When Thomas Jefferson purchased an ottoman in 1789, he became the first known American to do so.

So, Coffee Table or Ottoman?

The coffee table is a well-known piece of furniture that may add to the coziness of a living room. There are many different kinds and patterns to pick from, and these tables are often affordable.

Despite this, we prefer the ottoman. It’s the more intriguing, opulent, adaptable, and comfy alternative.

The ottoman serves as much than just a place to put drinks and periodicals. Even the simplest ottoman piece may be used as a decorative component in the living area. The ottoman is solid and flat enough to handle trays that may be used to serve beverages and meals.

The fact that it may be utilized as additional seats is also a plus.

Ottomans and coffee tables are common pieces of furniture used for social gatherings. However, we believe that an ottoman inspires a deeper sense of conviviality. If you party often, this is the kind of furniture you should have on hand.

It’s also a great table to have if you often host huge parties and gatherings.

An ottoman’s ability to double as a storage place adds to its appeal. Items that are often used in the living area may be stored in this container and retrieved quickly when required. It’s also a great spot to keep pillows and blankets for unexpected sleepovers with friends and family.

The cost of ottoman tables isn’t a major worry for us. The majority of the greatest designs are affordable. Even the most opulent styles are reasonably priced.

Similar Posts