Wicker design is great for outdoor use. Weather-resistant. Set of 2 with cushions. Very comfortable. 2 different color options. Washable cushion covers. Affordable. Buyers mention thick cushions.
On the small side. They are a bit expensive.
Very affordable cushioned piece available in 4 different colors. Made of polyester. Weather-resistant with UV protection. Washable cover. Buyers like the durability. Eco-friendly.
Some problems with this ottoman not being very full and starting to sink.
Stylish outdoor piece in 6 colors. Circular ottoman has a fun pattern. Material is water-resistant. Versatile. Buyers like unique design. Great for porches, patios, and backyards.
This option is available in various colors. Metal frame and wicker material. Weather-resistant. For multiple other purposes. Buyers love how durable it is. Simple design matches most décor. Minimalist look.
A bit pricey. Was smaller than some buyers wanted.
Lightweight and easy to move. Large enough to work as additional seating and just the right height to put feet up. Weather-resistant cover can be removed for washing. Comes in a variety of fun colors.
Prone to losing height and shape after a while.
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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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