Best Outdoor Ottomans

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
272 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best outdoor ottomans

Last Updated December 2019

The often overlooked ottoman is a staple accessory for outdoors. It’s typically not the star of the show, but it’s one of the most hardworking pieces that can easily become a chameleon as it blends in with existing décor. It changes its function when necessary, becoming a footrest, side table, cocktail table, extra seat, or plant stand. An outdoor ottoman can also turn an ordinary patio chair into a lounge chair.

Outdoor ottomans can be round, rectangular, square, tall, short, soft, or firm. Your choice should depend on what you need in your space. Round ottomans, also called poufs, are ideal in spaces where small kids play because they don’t have sharp corners. Outdoor poufs are some of the most popular repurposed pieces because they can easily be used indoors, too.

Use this shopping guide to help you choose an outdoor ottoman. We’ll cover styles, materials, and tips for how to keep your outdoor ottoman in great shape from season to season.

Some ottoman styles have a matching top and bottom. These pieces can be flipped over as needed to better distribute weight and wear.

Key considerations

Materials

If you want your outdoor ottoman to blend seamlessly with your other patio furniture, you’re in luck, because there are many styles that sport all-weather wicker or a powder-coated aluminum frame with cushions. There are also Adirondack styles that’ll match any color of Adirondack chair. As far as cushions go, you’ll need fade-resistant outdoor materials, such as Sunbrella or another solution-dyed fabric made with color-infused fibers that can withstand harsh sun and weather.

Weight capacity

Weight capacity is important if you’re looking at a multifunctional outdoor ottoman that you’d like to use as an extra seat. Outdoor ottomans should be able to hold between 200 to 300 pounds, but that’s not an absolute, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s suggested weight capacity.

Size

Will your ottoman serve as a footrest, a footrest plus coffee table, or a footrest plus table plus seat for one? Ottomans range in size. The smallest round pouf might measure 16 inches in diameter and 17 inches tall; this is ideal if you need an extra seat for one person. A large rectangular ottoman could range from 29 inches long to 56 inches wide; a piece like this could double as a coffee table in front of an outdoor sofa.

Height

Ottomans come in varied heights. This can be tricky if you want an ottoman for a footrest but also for a table and seat because all functions require slightly different heights. There are ottomans that are 8, 9, 12, and 17 inches tall, so plan accordingly.

Multipurpose

We’ve already mentioned how multifunctional an outdoor ottoman can be, whether it’s serving as a footrest, seat, table, or plant stand. Also consider whether you want to use your ottoman indoors during the off-season. If you do, consider a neutral color that would blend with your indoor décor.

EXPERT TIP

Remember to anchor lightweight ottomans and poufs so they don’t blow away on breezy days. Place them under tables, tether them by handles to furniture, or attach them to surfaces with hook-and-loop tape.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Storage

If you can find an outdoor ottoman with the ability to store things inside of it, grab it. These storage ottomans aren’t as plentiful as you’d think for outdoor use unless you opt for a resin model. (There are many indoor ottomans with pop-off tops for storage, however.)

Pump

If you opt for an inflatable ottoman, be aware that many come with a pump. The pump, typically a foot pump, won’t be extremely powerful, but it’ll likely get the job done. A foot pump is helpful if you are taking your ottoman to a campsite that may not have any electrical power sources for other types of pumps.

Removable cover

An ottoman or pouf gets a workout with all those feet, bodies, and trays resting on it. If you think your piece will need a lot of cleaning, look for an ottoman with a removable and machine-washable cover. Or, stick to an all-resin choice.

EXPERT TIP

Bean bag ottomans are great for indoor/outdoor use thanks to polystyrene beads. Look for covers that can be unzipped, removed, and popped in the washer.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Butler’s tray: GB Home Decorative Wooden Serving Tray
A butler’s tray with handles is the quintessential accessory for your outdoor ottoman. You’ll find them in square, oblong, and round shapes. This particular wood tray has an engraved center that adds a touch of elegance. It’s lightweight and can be used indoors and outdoors, but don’t leave it outside when not in use.

Ottoman cover: Duck Covers Soteria Rainproof Ottoman/Side Table Cover
If you aren’t going to use your ottoman indoors during the off-season, it pays to keep it in good condition with a cover, just as you would your other patio furniture. This cover includes straps on the corner to create a tight fit. The air vents reduce moisture and help prevent wind from blowing in and creating loft.

Planters: Keter Cozie Knit Planter
You can make a grouping of ottoman poufs look more intimate and inviting with a set of coordinating planters. This all-weather polypropylene resin set coordinates with knit poufs for a seamless look. Though it comes in earthy colors, it’s also reported to take spray paint rather well.

Lanterns: TAKE ME Solar Lantern
Consider finishing off your outdoor space with lantern lighting that you can carry with you and place next to your poufs and ottomans. Placing a solar-powered, flickering flameless candle is a safe way to add a glowing light to your outdoor sitting area. A small lantern like this one could be placed on top of a hard-surface ottoman that doubles as a table. 

EXPERT TIP

Inflatable ottomans are easy to wipe down thanks to their outer polyester fabric. They’re also easy to store and transport, as they can be flattened to take up little space.


Staff  | BestReviews

Outdoor ottoman prices

Inexpensive: You’ll find a selection of inflatable round outdoor ottomans in the $20 to $32 range. They’re durable, usually measuring about 21 inches in diameter, and come in an array of colors and patterns. Some novelty designs include an inflatable ottoman that looks like a tree stump.

Mid-range: From $32 to $67, you’ll find many resin wicker and resin wood-like ottomans that can serve as storage pieces, seats, and tables. You’ll spot many circular styles.

Expensive: More durable furniture-style ottomans are found between $67 to $140. Here you’ll find weather-resistant wicker ottomans and poufs in various shapes and heights. Many ottoman styles in this range include custom-sized cushions.

Premium: From $500 to well over $1,000, you’ll find extra-large, highly styled ottomans that double as sofa cocktail tables. Some premium outdoor ottoman styles look exactly like indoor furniture. They may include turned aluminum legs and outdoor cushions covered in premium linen-like fabric.

Tips

  • Keep multiple ottomans and poufs out of the way when not in use. You could stash them under an outdoor console table for a neat look. Or, you could stack them in a corner (cubes work best for this) of your patio or deck so they don’t pose a tripping hazard.
  • If you prefer an extra-firm ottoman, consider using a single backless bench. They’re often the right height for tall people who need a higher footrest. A typical backless bench would measure about 26 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 17 inches high. Backless outdoor benches even come in extra-sturdy wood.
  • For extra stability and balance when using your ottoman as a table, consider an ottoman wrap tray. This is a tray that’s specially designed to wrap around the sides of the ottoman to keep it secure. Wrap trays work best on square or rectangular ottomans, and they’re available in numerous sizes for small and large ottomans.

Other products we considered

For a truly mobile outdoor ottoman, we love the Kozyard Inflatable Stool Ottoman for indoor and outdoor use. Take this 21-inch diameter ottoman camping, put it indoors in the playroom, or set it outside by the pool. It serves as an extra seat, and you also receive an air pump. It has an easy-to-clean polyester exterior, a PVC liner, and a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

If you’re looking for an oversized all-weather ottoman that does triple duty, consider the circular Keter 37 Gallon Circa Natural Wood Style Round Outdoor Storage Table D. It’s a storage deck box, coffee or dining table, and extra seat all rolled into one. The resin table/ottoman is a bit over 26 inches in diameter and a bit over 16 inches high, supporting 308 pounds while maintaining a lightweight feel.

Use a pretty and colorful ottoman pouf as a piece of outdoor eye candy. It’ll break up a sea of copper, tan, brown, or cream outdoor furniture without taking up too much room.

FAQ

Q. How do I arrange multiple ottomans in my outdoor space?
A.
That depends on how you want them to function at any given moment.  You may need one or two for seating and one for a table, for example. A popular way to arrange multiple ottomans (including poufs) is to group them in a circle near your outdoor seating area. That creates a separate, and very intimate, seating area alongside the main conversation spot.


Q. What is the difference between an ottoman and a pouf?
A.
Many a décor expert will tell you that an ottoman has legs and that an ottoman without legs is considered a pouf. An ottoman, mostly used as a footrest, is really a backless padded seat. Today, ottomans don’t always have pads, but they do have legs.

The etymology of pouf is derived from an old French word, “bouffer,” which means puffed up or puffed out (bouffer, or puffing out, is also related to eating, but that’s another story). The shape of a pouf is puffed out. Though many people think outdoor (or indoor) poufs are small, that’s not always the case. Many poufs have quite large diameters. What makes them different is their shape, which is puffed out in the middle. This includes soft versions that puff out when you sit on them.


Q. Can I put a cushion on an Adirondack chair ottoman?
A.
Adirondack chairs, typically made of wood or synthetic material, may have a separate, built-in, or pull-out ottoman depending on the design of the chair. The original Adirondack chair, crafted in 1903 by Thomas Lee so he could comfortably look out on Lake Champlain at his summer home, has been widely interpreted over the years to include the ottoman.

Some people find the steep downward angle and curve of an Adirondack ottoman comfortable, while others prefer more cushioning. You could always attach a cushion of your choice to the ottoman, or you could buy one that’s designed to specifically fit the footrest. Separately sold Adirondack ottomans, however, usually function as ottoman only — not as a table or additional seat.

The team that worked on this review
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Marilyn
    Marilyn
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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