Can An Ottoman Be Used For Sitting?

From time to time, you may find yourself with more house guests than available seats. This situation may seem stressful and unsolvable, but solutions do exist. Many people facing this set of circumstances often wonder: can an ottoman be used for sitting? We've done the research to give you the definitive answer you need.

Ottomans are more than just decorative items and can be used for sitting. Ottomans support feet and legs, and they are strong enough to allow people to sit on them. If you find yourself in a situation where you need more seating, ottomans can be extremely helpful. They may be less comfortable compared to couches and accent chairs, so if your guests need the extra support, make sure there are enough full seating space available as well.

Now that we've answered the main question, we encourage you to keep reading to find out more about ottomans and how they can be used for much more than just foot support.

A modern living room with a dark colored sectional sofa and an ottoman up front for a foot rest, Can An Ottoman Be Used For Sitting?

How Much Weight Can An Ottoman Hold?

Ottomans are tougher and more durable than they look. They are also built to hold more than just your feet. The amount of weight that an ottoman can hold varies from piece to piece, but nearly all of them can accommodate the full weight of an adult. 

The amount of weight that they can hold is dependent upon the make and type. Most ottomans can support at least 200 pounds, and some can support up to as much as 660 pounds or more! The weight capacity should be included with the ottoman you purchase. 

There are several very strong, sturdy ottomans that can double as seats when necessary. Some can also collapse when not in use for easy storage. The dimensions and capacity should be included in the information accompanying your ottoman.

For example, this YOUDENOVA 30 Inch Storage Ottoman can hold up to 350 pounds.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This NISUNS Linen Folding Storage Ottoman Cube Footrest Seat holds up to 220 pounds despite its smaller size.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

And finally, this Songmics Folding Ottoman Bench on Amazon not only holds up to 660 pounds but can hold 2 to 3 adults.

Click here to see this on Amazon. 

So, you can see that ottomans come in various shapes and sizes and, as a result, can hold varying amounts of weight. However, even the smaller ottomans are often rated to hold at least the weight of a smaller adult and can, therefore, used as extra seating.

What Can You Do With An Ottoman?

As we've seen, ottomans are more than just a footstool. They can be used as extra seating when needed, too. But, they have additional potential uses, such as:

  • Additional storage
  • Tables
  • Accessories

There are multiple types of ottomans available for purchase that can double as storage containers. Some ottomans also have lids that can be removed entirely and used as trays, for example. A perfect example of this is the First Hill Junia Faux-Leather Storage Ottoman.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Ottomans can also double as tables. They can give you an area where you can place books, food, or other items. You can use a large ottoman as a single table, or have smaller ottomans function as side tables if desired. So, whether you need extra seating or your guests are searching for additional table space, an ottoman can truly save the day.

Finally, ottomans can also serve as accent pieces for your space. They don't have to serve a functional purpose but instead can bring a new feel to a room or add color to an area. Ottomans can be a great conversation starter as people see the exciting and fun ways you use them in a given area.

Can You Sleep On An Ottoman?

One other astounding use for ottomans that many people may not know? They can be used for sleeping. No one would want to sleep on a traditional ottoman due to their smaller size, but there are now ottomans that fold out into beds. One of these is the Handy Living Space Saving Folding Ottoman Guest Bed.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

This ottoman is an outside the box solution for guest sleeping arrangements. Rather than having a full bed that is only used when guests are in town, these types of ottomans can be used for other purposes when they're not needed as beds. A fold-out sleeper ottoman can be an excellent accessory for any home or apartment and can be a tremendous asset.

Should An Ottoman Match Chairs?

Because they can serve so many purposes, one of the most common questions people ask is: should an ottoman match your chairs? The answer is truly up to the person asking the question. It is a matter of personal preference as to whether or not your ottomans should match specific chairs.

Now, it isn't the best idea to try to pair two completely different styles with one another. While two colors that don't match can work together as long as they are in the same type of style, you won't want to pair a dark leather chair and an ottoman covered in purple fabric. While it is always good to have an ottoman serve as a conversation starter, you want to be sure that your guests are saying good things about your decor!

What Is The Difference Between An Ottoman And A Hassock?

Overall, ottomans are very familiar to most everyone. When you see one, you know exactly what it is. According to, an ottoman is "a cushioned footstool." As we have mentioned throughout this post, this cushioned footstool is useful in multiple ways. One of those primary uses is for storage because they are usually hollow inside.

There is another similar piece of furniture that can sometimes be confused with an ottoman. A hassock, according to, is "a thick, firm cushion used as a footstool or for kneeling." Hassocks are smaller than ottomans and, because they are not hollow, cannot be used as storage. Most often, hassocks are associated with churches since they are what congregants use to kneel on during services.

An old brightly colored embroidered church kneelers

Though they can look similar, their subtle differences separate them from one another. And, while useful in their way, hassocks do not provide the same sort of versatility as ottomans. 


Now that you know more about ottomans and their versatility, the decorating, storage, and seating options in your home or office are limitless! The ottoman is a multi-purpose piece that proves helpful in multiple ways. This post has hopefully helped to give you a complete appreciation for them as well as provided useful suggestions for how you can make them work for you.

For more helpful decorating tips, we invite you to check out some of our other posts:

What Do You Put Between Sofa and Loveseat?

Chairs in Living Room Instead Of Sofa (8 Examples)

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