The coffee table is a living room essential. But if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected in style, there are plenty of coffee table alternatives. One of our favorites is the ottoman coffee table, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an ottoman (or two!) that you can use to hold trays, put your feet up on, or even lay out an entire cocktail spread.

There are many ottoman coffee table styles you can choose from—be it one with built in storage or a pair of round ottomans that function like nesting tables. So no matter your style or preference, you’re certain to find an ottoman that suits your style and needs.

But first things first, here are some basic questions and things to know if you’re considering an ottoman coffee table:

Can I use an ottoman as a coffee table?

Yes! It’s great for a home with kids, especially ottomans with rounded edges and upholstered tops, which are more child-friendly. As a coffee table, ottomans can also double as a comfy footrest while adding a casual feel in family and TV rooms.

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What are some things to look for in an ottoman coffee table?

Storage

It can be built in storage, like the top of an ottoman that lifts off to reveal a storage compartment, or it could be a lower compartment under the ottoman that’s like open shelving. Some ottomans have drawers built in as well. No matter the style, storage ottomans are great if you live in a home with kids or pets to keep things organized and hidden.

Material

If your ottoman is going to come in contact with energetic kids and pets, you’ll want to pick one made with durable materials. If it’s upholstered, the fabric material should be high performance and easy-to-clean. A darker or patterned upholstery material is also a good option for busy households since they can conceal wears and stains better.

Size and Shape

This depends on the size of your space and the furniture around your ottoman. Just like a coffee table, you want it to be proportional to your sofa or sectional while leaving at least 12” of walking space in between. Because of that, sometimes round ottomans that allow more room all around it work better with a sectional sofa.

What about casters?

They make it easy to move the ottoman around, so it’s great for a living room where you regularly need to free up floor space to play with your kids or exercise. Plus, ottomans can be heavy depending on its style, so one with casters makes it more versatile and moveable as a foot rest.

Do I have to use a tray on top of my ottoman?

It’s totally up to you—but we’re fans of trays! Since the top of the ottoman isn’t always level or hard enough to set drinks on, a tray can help. A deep tray also gives you a bit of stability to add plates and drinks, or you can use one to set out decor, like candles, vases, and books. Plus a tray can be great for keeping remotes and chargers all in one place while still within easy reach. You can also add a tray with handles so you can easily move it on and off the ottoman as needed.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our stylist’s picks for the best ottomans to use as coffee tables. Scroll to see some of our favorite and most popular ottoman styles!

Designing your living room and want some more furniture ideas? Take a look at our living room furniture checklist, and also see some of our favorite living room storage ideas.

Our Designers’ Top Ottoman Coffee Table Picks:

room with formal layout and cognac sofas, fireplace and white ottoman

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Essex Ottoman, Serena & Lily

Style: Classic Traditional

Why We Love It: It’s a timeless ottoman design. The tufted top and spindle wood legs on casters make it a comfy, kid-friendly piece, and easy to move. It also works in any style room.

Keep in Mind: It’s versatile in style but it works best in formal living and sitting rooms.

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Hingham Ottoman, Scout Home

Style: Laid-Back Global

Why We Love It: The square ‘cube’ shape makes it a great footrest and the caning adds a nice textural touch. Bunch two together (aka. put them side-by-side) for a larger combined ottoman.

Keep in Mind: It’s more decorative than multifunctional and best for a home without kids or pets

Green room with abstract art and leather ottman

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Large White Hide Ottoman, Jamie Young

Style: Modern Rustic

Why We Love It: The clean-lined square form, the natural hide leather, and the detailed stitching all make this ottoman an instant statement piece in any living room.

Keep in Mind: Hide leather needs special care, so top it with a tray to prevent spills and stains.

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Malibu Woven Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Classic Coastal

Why We Love It: Relaxed and versatile, this open-base ottoman with a woven rattan top is lightweight and airy but also soft and durable. Mix it with white upholstery for a chic coastal vibe.

Keep in Mind: Because it’s made with woven rattan, use it with trays to extend its longevity.

 

room with butterfly art, vanity, and blue ottoman

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Indigo/Ivory Pouf, Loloi

Style: Casual Modern

Why We Love It: These plush ottomans bring a beautiful artisanal touch with its hand-dyed shibori pattern. They’re also comfy and easy to move, and totally kid-friendly coffee table.

Keep in Mind: Like poufs, two is better than one and they work best when placed side-by-side.

room with chaesterfield sofa and purple velvet tufted ottman

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Tufty Ottoman in Mulberry, Nuevo

Style: City Glam

Why We Love It: Upholstered in tufted velvet, this ottoman makes for a luxe coffee table that brings rich texture, vivid color, and a bold glamorous look to rooms. It’s a forever chic option.

Keep in Mind: Velvet can be expensive, so choose a darker velvet which will help hide stains.

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Dallas Round Ottoman, Nyla Home

Style: Contemporary Cool

Why We Love It: The round ottomans have a fun cylindrical shape, tufted leather, and wood tops that lift open to reveal hidden storage. A pair will fit seamlessly into a modern living room. Keep in Mind: The round shape and hidden storage make them perfect for small living spaces.

beige room with blue ottoman and white sofa

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Lounge Storage Ottoman, Crate & Barrel

Style: Laid-Back Cool

Why We Love It: Designed with a built-in storage compartment and upholstered on all sides, this streamlined ottoman is a versatile option that can be mixed with any style furniture.

Keep in Mind: If you’re keen on practicality, this piece is kid-friendly and great for family rooms.

Creme room with jute rur, abstract art, and ottman art

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Seagrass Striped Ottoman, Precita Home

Style:  Coastal Boho

Why We Love It: Like a soft, textured pouf, this rounded ottoman wrapped in jute is durable and can work for both indoor and outdoor spaces while also holding up to kids and pets.

Keep in Mind: Rounded ottomans leave walking room all around, so it’s great for small spaces.

blue room with white sofa and cognac ottman

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Lyle Leather Ottoman, Joybird

Style: Clean-Lined Rustic

Why We Love It: Lightweight and easy to slide around, this leather ottoman is soft like a pouf while still being durable and strong. It’s a stylish choice for a slightly more formal family room.

Keep in Mind: Leather is durable and will age over time, so it’s a worthwhile investment piece.

room with blue velvet sofa and brown leather tufted ottoman

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Martin Leather Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Farmhouse Traditional

Why We Love It: A classic ottoman in dark leather with a tufted top, spindle wood legs, and nailheads, this piece is equal parts rustic and elevated. We love it in a traditional or rustic room.

Keep in Mind: It’s a good investment piece that’s substantial in size and built to last for years.

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Caden Square Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Contemporary Rustic

Why We Love It: With a large open shelf underneath for extra storage, this ottoman made from natural wood with a leather top will instantly add a rugged sense of style to any modern room. Keep in Mind: While it’s durable, be sure to add a tray to protect the leather top.

room with formal layout and patterned ottman

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Rug-Printed Folkthread Ottoman, Anthropologie

Style: Modern Eclectic

Why We Love It: If you’re looking for an ottoman coffee table with a pop of color, pattern, and texture, this one has it all. It’s a statement piece that will instantly add eclectic style to a room.

Keep in Mind: It’s a decorative piece, so keep it clear of trays and clutter to let it shine!

room with wood paneling, leather sectional, and square coffee table

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Upholstered Ottoman Table, Ashby Home

Style: Formal Rustic Trad

Why We Love It: A large ottoman with a refined look, it has a wood frame adds durability and an upholstered tufted top makes for a soft surface. The storage shelf base is a major bonus!

Keep in Mind: With so much storage underneath, use it for baskets, books, boxes and more!

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room with fireplace circular mirror and white ottman

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Dover Modular Ottoman, Hyde Park

Style: Simple Modern Chic

Why We Love It: Made with stain-resistant fabric and a spring-cushioned top, this ottoman is more durable and versatile than it looks. It’s a chic coffee table and footrest for a family home.

Keep in Mind: Although it’s all white, it repels spills and stains so it’s super kid- and pet-friendly.

tufted bench ottoman

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Pacey Archive Leather Ottoman, Jofran

Style: Modern Industrial

Why We Love It: Long and narrow like a bench, this leather-topped ottoman is the perfect coffee table height next to any sofa. The metal base also gives it a cool industrial edge we love.

Keep in Mind: The open base feels airy while also making room for storage underneath. Use it!

room with white sectional and leather ottoman

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Wells Leather Ottoman, Crate & Barrel

Style: Contemporary Industrial

Why We Love It: A superb footrest, this ottoman has a soft pillow top with slender legs that give it a modern-cool vibe. It’s a streamlined piece that works well with contemporary upholstery.

Keep in Mind: It’s a smaller ottoman so it’s a chic multifunctional piece for compact apartments.

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Comfort Slipcovered Storage Ottoman, Pottery Barn

Style: Classic Ease

Why We Love It: Any slipcovered ottoman is a workhorse in our book. This one comes with a top that lifts straight off to reveal storage inside for books, games, throw blankets, and more!

Keep in Mind: Slipcovers can be washed, so it’s a great polished piece for a home with kids.

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Finley Square Ottoman, Joybird

Style: Modern Glam

Why We Love It: It doesn’t get more glamorous than this large ottoman with a sleek x-base metal frame and a plush tufted leather top. It makes for a chic addition in sitting rooms.

Keep in Mind: While it’s durable, the design is a bit precious so it’s best in a home without kids.

Small living room with twin ottomans

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Olean Khaki/Navy Pouf, Tanjore

Style: Mid-Century Rustic

Why We Love It: Nothing beats practical, lightweight, and versatile ottoman poufs for easy accent pieces. Pair two together as a coffee table or use each one as a footrest.

Keep in Mind: Chic small-space ottomans, stow them under consoles or in corners as needed.

See our gallery for more Living Room Design Ideas.

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