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How To Keep An Ottoman From Sliding

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Few things are more frustrating than furniture that slides all over the room. This is especially true for your ottoman: you try putting your feet up on your ottoman, only for it to slide out of reach. You might as well not even try, right? We put together some ways to fight this frustrating phenomenon.

To keep your ottoman from sliding on hardwood, try these methods:

  • Keep the floor clean
  • Use rubber pads
  • Put down an area rug

On carpet, try these methods:

  • Use furniture grippers
  • Apply hot glue or silicone to the bottom

We've researched this topic and have compiled the best answers in this handy guide. Please keep reading for a guide to ottomans, an explanation for each method mentioned above, and answers to other common questions about ottomans. Let's get to it!

A beautiful sitting room in new home with overstuffed chairs and ottoman, How To Keep Ottoman From Sliding

What is the purpose of an ottoman?

Before we discuss the best methods for keeping your ottoman from sliding, it might be helpful to understand what ottomans are and how they're used. Generally, the term ottoman is used to describe an upholstered, cushioned piece of furniture without arms or a back. Most often, this type of furniture can be found in a living room, family room, or any room with a chair. An ottoman has four distinct uses and often fulfills multiple purposes at once. 

Footstool

The first and most common purpose of an ottoman is a footstool. Put an ottoman in front of any type of seats such as a chair or a sofa to have something to put your feet on. Since ottomans are almost always cushioned, your ankles will be comfortable. 

Seating

Another frequent use of an ottoman is for seating. This gives you a unique piece of furniture to give your room some variety. This is also a way ottomans are versatile: even if you normally use an ottoman for a different purpose, you can use it as a seat whenever necessary.

This living room, for instance, has three sections of seating, one of which is an ottoman.

A section of a large reception room in a luxury new home with two large settees, an ottoman-type seat in the foreground, all facing a large fire place with a coffee table in the center

Coffee Table

Using an ottoman as your coffee table is a unique way to make your living room feel casual. A soft, cushioned coffee table is less harsh than a hard, sharp coffee table. While there are some difficulties with this purpose (setting drinks on a padded surface is a great way to spill them), there are also ways to combat the difficulties. 

The following living room has a tray on top of their ottoman coffee table so that they have a hard surface on which to set drinks and food.

Open concept living room with tons of light in American rambler

Storage

Many ottomans come with storage inside, or with an extra bottom shelf. Though this is rarely the primary purpose of an ottoman, it's an excellent benefit. The ottoman below has a lid that opens up so that you can store DVDs, blankets, games, or anything else inside.

Click here to view this ottoman on Amazon.

Need to know the best height for an ottoman for each of these purposes? Read this article: What Is The Best Height For An Ottoman? [By Function]

How to keep an ottoman from sliding on hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful and easy to clean. However, they are notorious for causing furniture to slip and slide all over the place. Here are three ways to prevent this from happening:

Keep the floor clean

The first and most simple option is to keep your hardwood floors clean. Dust builds up on the floor and makes it slippery. Sweep and mop often so that the feet of your ottoman have something to grip.

In addition to cleaning the floors, make sure the legs themselves are clean. If you haven't cleaned the floor recently, chances are your ottoman's legs have collected a nice layer of dirt. Clean them off with a damp cloth after you've cleaned the floor.

Rubber pads

Another simple solution is to purchase some rubber pads. This material will stick to the hardwood floor and will provide some stability for your ottoman. If you plan on moving your ottoman around the room, make sure to purchase pads that adhere to the furniture's leg. Otherwise, when you lift the ottoman, the pads will stay on the ground and you'll have to move them separately.

The pads below, for instance, have a sticker-like back that sticks to the bottom of the furniture leg. This pack includes some square pieces and some round pieces.

Click here to view these pads on Amazon.

If you're looking for a cheaper option, consider purchasing a sheet of gasket rubber and making your own. Measure your ottoman's legs, cut out the appropriately sized pieces, and attach them to the bottom of the legs. Hot glue is a great way to stick them to the ottoman.

Click here to view this rubber material on Amazon.

An area rug

Though potentially the most expensive option, laying down an area rug is often an attractive way to keep furniture from sliding. It's also the most durable option since most rugs last for years as long as they're cared for properly. The best type of rug to keep furniture from sliding is a high pile carpet so that the legs have something to grip.

For instance, an area rug like the one below is deep enough to hold an ottoman steady.

Click here to view this rug on Amazon.

Should furniture be on or off an area rug?

If you're going to have an area rug in your living room, all of the furniture should be on it. It's perfectly acceptable for only the front legs to be on the rug if the back legs don't fit. Keep this in mind when purchasing a rug -- it should be large enough that all the furniture's front legs can touch it.

Want more guidance on placing your area rug in your living room? Check out our article, How To Position An Area Rug In Living Room.

How to keep an ottoman from sliding on carpet

In general, furniture is less likely to slide on carpet, which is why we recommend using an area rug on hardwood floors. However, some carpet types have a short enough pile that furniture legs have trouble gripping it. The best solution for that is to put something on the bottom of the ottoman's legs that is rough and not smooth.

Furniture Grippers

Furniture grippers are similar to the rubber pads described above but fit over the furniture's leg instead of on the bottom. Because carpet causes more friction than a hardwood floor, it's likely to peel the pad off the bottom of your furniture. Instead, these sleeve-like products are more difficult to pull off the legs.

These grippers have felt on the bottom, which will create enough friction with the carpet to keep it from sliding. The best feature, however, is the flexible sleeve that makes it fit over all kinds of shapes and sizes of legs. Also, this specific product comes in a variety of colors to match any decor.

Click here to view these grippers on Amazon.

These are translucent in color, so they're discreet and simple. They can be purchased in several sizes.

Click here to view these grippers on Amazon.

Hot Glue or Silicone

Again, the best way to keep your ottoman from sliding on the carpet is to create an uneven surface on the ottoman's legs. One way to do this is to put hot glue or silicone on the bottom in an irregular pattern. This is a fantastic solution for ottomans that don't have legs. Simply apply the glue or silicone to the four corners of the piece in an equal position. When the glue or silicone dries, it will be a somewhat tacky substance that adheres to the bottom of the leg.

First, flip the ottoman upside down. Get a hot glue gun or tube of silicone like the one below. Then, use the gun or tube to apply the sticky substance in a zig-zag pattern on the bottom of the leg. Let it dry for several hours before flipping it back over. 

Now that you know how to keep your ottoman from slipping, make sure it's in the right position by reading this article: How Far Should An Ottoman Be From A Chair?

Do ottomans have legs?

Ottomans can sit flush with the ground without legs, or they can be raised up on legs. Originally, ottomans were legless and were simply cushions that sat directly on the floor. Nowadays, either style is acceptable. Here are examples of each type:

Click here to view this ottoman with legs on Amazon.

Click here to view this legless ottoman on Amazon.

Other times, even if an ottoman has legs, they will be covered by a furniture skirt.

Click here to view this ottoman on Amazon.

In Closing

If you find your ottoman creeping across your hardwood floor each time you use it, try to keep the floor clean, use rubber pads, or put down an area rug. Is it crawling across your carpet? Apply furniture grippers or hot glue or silicone to the bottom. All of these options will create friction between the ottoman and the floor to keep it from slipping.

We hope this guide will help you keep your furniture in place so that you can get the best use out of it. Good luck!