Ottoman Fabric: Comparing Cotton, Linen and Viscose

Depending on your lifestyle, your ottoman can see a lot of wear and tear. If you want to get the most out of it, you’re probably going to want to use it at various times as a coffee table, foot stool, seating, storage, and so much more.

Add children and pets into the mix, and you’re going to want an ottoman fabric that guarantees easy care and durability.

So what are the best ottoman fabric options out there?



You can’t go wrong with cotton, right? This age-old fabric is one of the strongest and most easily maintained fabrics out there.


It is a resilient material. You can wash it with warm water and soap to remove dirt and stains, and though it can shrink, the effect is minimal.


If you get high-quality cotton – it may also resistant to pilling.


But despite its durability, we still recommend you take care: prolonged exposure to sunlight can yellow the fabric, while contact with chlorine can bleach it.



From the fibres of the flax plant, linen promises durability. It can be stronger than cotton – and in fact, good quality linen gets stronger when wet. That means it’s easy – even ideal – to wash the fabric occasionally.


If you can find an ottoman with a removable linen cover – such as this linen/cotton blend Sonja Ottoman Sofa Bed – it’s easy to throw the fabric in the washing machine to clean it. In fact, dry cleaning isn’t recommended.


As for general wear and tear; linen resists dirt and stains, lint and pilling, abrasion, and moths.


It is prone to wrinkling, but you can run a warm iron over it to straighten the material out again.



Viscose is a semi-synthetic material made from a cellulose fibre. It has a shiny look and a silky feel that’s softer than cotton.

Its beautiful look carries some pretty big downsides: the pure material is quite delicate in the wash, prone to shrinking, fading, wrinkling and bleeding if not properly care for.

That’s why you’ll often find viscose blends. By combining the fabric with linen, cotton and/or polyester, such as in this Helene Ottoman, your viscose ottoman gains the stronger qualities of those more durable fabrics without losing its lustre and softness.

Viscose can weaken when wet, so it’s important you wash it properly. If you manage to find a viscose-based ottoman with a removable cover, make sure you read any care labels. Viscose cannot endure much heat and must be laid flat to dry.

Some viscose materials can be machine washed on a delicate cycle, others hand washed, while some need professional care, which means dry cleaning.

What fabric should I pick?


The fabric you choose for your ottoman really depends on how you plan to use the piece of furniture, how you want it to look, and who you think will use it.


If you have children or pets that are likely to rub up against or crawl over your ottoman, your best options are cotton or linen – ideally with a removable cover for easy machine washing.


On the other hand, if you’re looking for an ottoman that serves as a beautiful décor piece rather than a rough-and-tumble practical purpose, you can’t go past an ottoman viscose blend. The blend makes it much more durable so you can still throw your feet up after a busy day, but the viscose adds a silken sheen that will really draw attention.

At Brosa, we have a huge range of ottomans for all variety of purposes – and of all manner of fabrics. Browse through our selection today to find an ottoman best suited for your needs.

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