Cocktail Ottoman Roundup

As Henry becomes more mobile I have started looking for a good cocktail ottoman to replace my brass and glass coffee table a.k.a. The Baby Guillotine.  We use lots of ottomans like this in our designs for homes with children as they are a safer options than coffee tables in spaces where kids play a lot.  But finding the right one can be hard- it’s taken me months to decide on one! So here are a roundup of some of my favorites from all price points- and some tips on what to look for and materials to consider:
ottomanroundup copy

 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12. // 13. // 14. // 15. // 16. // 17. // 18. // 19. // 20. // 21. // 22. // 23. // 24. // 25. // 26. // 27. // 28. // 29. // 30. // 31. // 32.

When choosing an ottoman here are some buying tips:

  • Make sure you choose the right size and height for your other furniture- the top should be about the same as the seat height of your sofa and be the same size and shape of a coffee table- if you have a narrow space consider a bench as it may fit better than the wider ottoman options you see.
  • Make sure the material is durable and a different texture than that of the other upholstered furniture.  Leather is a great option for durability if your other pieces are fabric.  Outdoor fabrics in a pattern or weave can look great paired with solid furniture and also stand up to wear and tear.
  • If you want to use a tray on top to store magazines, remotes and such make sure the top is flat not curved so it sits flat- otherwise it will always wobble and make you crazy.
  • If the piece has casters on it, make sure they lock to avoid it rolling when you put your feet up.


    1. A version of #1- my space requires such a specific size I have to custom size which is a pain!

  1. Trust me when I tell you that a tufted ottman may seem like a good idea, but by the time Henry is a toddler you’ll be trying to vacuum cheddar bunny and cereal crumbs out of the little holes every damn day – because as much as you’ll try to keep him from sitting/laying/climbing on said ottoman, eventually you’ll give in. I’m also wishing I went for a leather version that doesn’t show spots/stains from sippy cups.

    1. YES! I wish someone had warned me of this earlier, since I also recently replaced a glass coffee table with a tufted ottoman to accommodate my cruising baby.

      Also, in case it helps anyone else, I would note that placing a tray on top is also wishful thinking. You will be amazed at how far babies can reach when they really want something. I had a tray out for just a couple of hours before we realized we were going to have to forego it.

    2. Our designer had a wooden table made and covered it with grass cloth and then painted it! It is perfect and we have had it for 7 years…. thanks to the magic eraser. I have 3 children now ages 3, 5 and 8. We have a play table but the coffee table has also been used for games, coloring, play doh, and snacking. You can pull up little chairs or stools depending on the height.

  2. Hi I don’t think the links are set up correctly. I like #12, but can’t seem to find the appropriate link!

  3. Great tips! I’ve been looking for a narrow one for our new den to replace a beat-up ottoman that’s just a wee bit too small. I’m in love with that Ballard Designs number. So pretty!

  4. Oh my gosh, thank you for this post!! Your timing is perfect – I have been searching for an ottoman for the exact same reason. Leaning towards zebra:)

  5. All great tips! We also wanted one with storage. Lifesaver!!! So many toys, books, blankets, etc. If someone drops by unexpectedly, it literally takes 30 sec to stash the kiddie mess!

  6. We also loved this one from Pottery Barn-

    Bought it a few years ago, pre-kids, because we liked the style but has worked so well when our first son was cruising and even better now that he is a toddler and racing through the house. We keep a tray on it at all times, but limit what is actually on the tray during baby-awake hours :)

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