Choosing Home Furnishings: Is a Coffee Table or Ottoman Better?

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Are you updating your home furnishings and finding it difficult to choose between a coffee table and an ottoman?

Both are practical options that can bring style and order to your living room, but each has unique attributes that make them a better fit for different lifestyles. Here, we take a look at the key differences between coffee tables and ottomans to help you figure out which will work best for you.

Choosing Home Furnishings

Coffee Tables

A coffee table is a classic home furnishings choice, one that used to be a staple in every living room — and for plenty of good reasons, too. They come in a range of sizes and designs, and the surface area is great for books, decorative accessories and drinks. Plus, when the inevitable spill occurs, a table is easy to wipe clean.

However, though rustic and casual styles are available, coffee tables seem more formal than ottomans. And as they are generally made from wood or metal, tables can be bruise-makers.


With its soft, cushioned surface, an ottoman is a flexible piece of furniture. In a living room, an ottoman can serve as a seat, a footrest and a table. What’s more, many styles feature storage compartments, so blankets and stray toys can out of sight. And if anyone bumps into or falls onto an ottoman, bruises and injuries are unlikely.

Of course, spills can be difficult to clean from upholstery, and some fabrics may quickly show signs of wear and tear. In addition, ottomans cannot hold drinks or decorative accessories without the addition of a tray.

Which Should You Choose?

To make a decision, consider how your family uses the living room.

If you frequently entertain and want to keep drinks within easy reach, a coffee table could be a better option. A table might also be your best bet if you want home furnishings that make the room more formal, or if an ottoman would overwhelm the space.

On the other hand, if you need extra seating or storage, or if your tastes lean toward more relaxed and casual home furnishings, you may want to go with an ottoman. And for families with small children, an ottoman can be a safer choice.

Still can’t decide? Or are you ready to shop? Either way, if you’re in northern Utah, stop by Guild Hall Home Furnishings.

At Guild Hall Home Furnishings, we have professional interior designers on hand, ready to offer assistance and advice in our furniture store or, if you prefer, in your home. And our expansive showroom, located in Salt Lake City, features a vast selection of high-quality furniture, fine furnishings and decorative accessories in every home décor style.

To find the perfect coffee table or ottoman for your living room, come visit Guild Hall Home Furnishings today.