Footstools vs. Ottomans vs Poufs: Understanding the Differences and Making the Right Choice-Upinteriors

Footstools vs. Ottomans vs Poufs: Understanding the Differences and Making the Right Choice

Even the simplest elements can have a significant impact on house décor. Pouffes and ottomans are two examples of details that can enhance the practicality and appearance of your living room. These upholstered miracles are frequently used interchangeably, but several key differences should affect your decision. In this blog post, let us dive deep into pouffes, footstools and ottomans, including their definitions, important differences, and how to use them to improve the aesthetics of your area. 

Ottomans, Footstool and Pouffes Definition

An ottoman is a low, upholstered stool with legs that has evolved beyond its original use as a footrest. Ottomans are flexible pieces of furniture that provide comfort for propping up your feet, double as coffee tables with a flat top, provide extra seating, and have concealed storage alternatives. Ottomans come in an array of shapes, sizes, and materials to suit different decor styles.

Poufs, which originated in French design, are cushioned, low-to-the-ground seats that provide both comfort and versatility. They can be utilised as footstools, makeshift seats for temporary seating, or even side tables. Poufs come in a variety of sizes and firmness's, from pillow-like plushness to stronger support, and give a whimsical touch to any area.


Footstools, as the name implies, were created to serve as an alternative to armchairs or couches, allowing you to put your feet up and rest after a hard day. Interior designers and home décor lovers, on the other hand, have found innovative and imaginative ways to employ them as extra sitting in corridors, studies, or even at the end of a bed.

Footstools differ from conventional stools in that they are slightly lower to the ground, allowing you to lift your legs. They can also be wider than stools and padded for increased comfort. 


Key Differences between Ottomans, Pouffes and Footstools

Description: A Pouf is a soft, comfy cushion without a wood frame and often used as a footrest.

Whereas, an ottoman is a padded seat with a bench or a solid frame, which can be used as a coffee table, a footrest or a side table.

A Footstool, however, is a low stool used to support one’s feet when seated.

Design: A Pouf has a causal and versatile design and comes in various shapes(round and square) and also in a variety of materials(cloth and leather).
Ottomans are more formal and structured with storage options. 

Footstools are simpler than ottomans and poufs and are often made of wood or metal.

Space: Poufs are most suited for small spaces due to their small size, light weightiness and flexibility in function.

Ottomans, on the other hand, are bulky and are suited to large spaces as they can be used as centre furniture items too.

Footstools usually go with compact spaces considering their small size and easy-to-move structure.

Storage: A Pouf typically does not come with storage since they are soft and made of cushion and without a proper frame.

Ottomans, however, often come with a storage compartment since they are also used as a coffee table or centre table in the living room.

Footstools, which primarily serve the purpose of resting one’s foot when seated also do not come with inbuilt storage.


How to decorate a room with a pouf, ottoman and footstool

5 Styling Tips for Ottoman

  • Balance: When decorating the surface of an ottoman for use as a coffee table, keep symmetry in mind. Place a colourful tray in the centre, along with a vase of fresh flowers and a few neatly piled books. 
  • Colour and Texture: Ottomans are available in a variety of fabrics and finishes. Choose one that complements your current décor. Consider using throw cushions or a warm blanket to tie the ottoman into the room's overall colour scheme and texture.
  • Use as Extra Sitting: When you have visitors, bring your ottoman closer to your seating arrangement to provide more seats. It's a versatile piece that may easily be integrated into your living area.
  • Functional Storage: Make the most of your ottoman's hidden storage. Keep goods like blankets, periodicals, and board games inside for easy access while preserving a tidy appearance.
  • Mix & Match: Don't be scared to combine ottomans with different furniture pieces. They can be used to compliment couches and accent chairs, as well as to provide standalone seating in cosy corners.

5 Styling Tips with Pouf

  • Layered Comfort: Add comfort to your pouf by layering it with throw blankets and ornamental cushions. This not only adds visual interest but also encourages people to curl up and unwind.
  • Colour Pop: Poufs can provide a pop of colour to your decor. Make a poufs a main point in your home by selecting a vibrant, contrasting shade.
  • Create a Lounge Area: Arrange many poufs in a circle to create an informal and welcoming lounge area. It is ideal for casual gatherings and game nights. 
  • Placements: Pouffes are great side tables because they can be simply moved around. Place them next to your favourite reading chair or near your bed to store a book and a cup of tea.

5 Styling  Tips with Footstools

  • Comfort for your feet: A footstool is designed to comfort your feet when you are seated. If you are having an exhaustive day or running errands all day, coming home to a nice comfy sofa and a footstool is just what you need after a day of chaos.
  • Decor: When you are not using your footstool to rest your feet, they can be used as decor pieces to enhance your living room or bedroom wherever you choose to put them. Footstools come in a variety of materials such as cloth or leather. Choose the one that goes perfectly with your decor.
  • An extra: Footstools can be used as extra seating in times when you are low on seating options. Footstools can be easily moved from one place to another since they are lightweight and can fit everywhere.
  • Ladder: Footstools can also be used as a small ladder if you want to gain some extra inches to reach the shelf. In that case, you have to make sure to check if the footstool is sturdy and can take some extra weight.
  • A table: You can also use your footstool as a table to rest your magazines or your wine glasses if you are short on space. But, before you do so, you have to make sure that the surface of the footstool remains steady so that your drink does not spill.

Final Words

Decorating with a pouf or ottoman or footstool may be a practical and attractive way to lighten up your space. These adaptable pieces of furniture can be used as practical accents, providing both comfort and visual appeal. Pouffes, ottomans and footstools, with their many shapes, sizes, colours, and materials, may blend into any decor.

A pouffe or ottoman can be used as a stunning centrepiece or a discreet addition to your decor. Place one in a corner of the living room as an extra seat for guests, or use it as a footstool alongside your favourite reading chair. 

by Ecliqs Marketing – May 01, 2024