Ottoman Height & Size Guide

An ottoman is a multipurpose gem that serves so many purposes in a home. Not only are they a stylish way to introduce new colours, textures and levels, but they’re functional and make a great piece for propping your feet up on after a long day. Your nightly routine has never been this relaxing (or cute).

Ottomans can be purchased in a set with an armchair, but this isn’t always the case. That doesn’t mean you can’t access the joys of these plush little pieces, though – purchasing an ottoman separately is always an option. This means you can select the perfect ottoman to complement your existing style, colour palette and the overall tone of the room.

In the market for an ottoman? Keep reading for our tips to finding the right fit, including height and size considerations.

Determining your ottoman's shape, size and height

Brosa Seta Ottoman styled in modern contemporary living room

Seta Ottoman | Shop all ottomans

Ottomans come in a range of shapes, including square, rectangular and circular. Tailor your ottoman to your existing furniture and the flow of the room by choosing a size that is both practical in terms of its use and looks good alongside other pieces. For instance, you could opt for a small, round ottoman to accompany a living room chair, but a sectional sofa might work better with a larger, rectangular ottoman.

Balancing shapes

When you’re buying an ottoman to coordinate with a piece of furniture, it’s important to keep balance on the brain. Keep the relative sizes of your existing furniture items in perspective with your ottoman’s size. A large, round ottoman, for example, might overwhelm a smaller armchair. Throw some other pieces into the room, like a couch and a coffee table, and you might also encounter a space issue. It’s crucial that your ottoman always feels balanced and doesn’t ever inhibit your functional use of your living room.

Brosa Alexa Large Leather Round Ottoman styled in mid century modern living room

Alexa Large Leather Round Ottoman | Shop all ottomans

The best way to see if your ottoman and its accompanying piece of furniture are ‘out of balance’ is to test out how they look next to one another! There’s room for interpretation here, so it all comes down to what you think looks and feels right.

Pro tip: Save the hassle of purchasing and returning your new ottoman by trying out Brosa’s View at Home feature, which uses innovative AR technology to help you imagine your new piece of furniture in your existing home.

Evaluate spacing

It’s also fundamental that you consider the overall size of the room when selecting your new ottoman. If you’re working with a small room, an ottoman might just not be the right fit, as it’ll consume precious floor space that you’d otherwise want to use to easily navigate the room.

In this case, consider something smaller or a multifunctional piece, such as an ottoman with storage or that doubles as a coffee table. If you’re foregoing another surface in the room in favour of using your ottoman, we’d recommend something rectangular, sturdy and as big as is comfortable, to create enough surface for any trinkets or knick-knacks.

Choose the right height

Brosa John Ottoman styled in modern contemporary living room

John Ottoman | Shop all ottomans

To ensure your ottoman is everything you’ve dreamed of – that perfect cosy spot to rest your feet – it’s crucial that you totally nail its height. If the ottoman is too short or tall, your legs and hips will be at an uncomfortable angle. There’s absolutely no need to cause back or hip pain when all you need to do is a little measuring to find the right ottoman height.

Ideally, your ottoman will be roughly an inch (a few centimetres) shorter than the seat height of your chair or sofa. To work this out, simply measure from the ground to the top of the seat’s cushion. Take off an inch and use this guide when you’re shopping for your new ottoman. If you want to simulate this, simply stack up a few boxes or other bits you’ve got lying around to model the ideal height.

Add dimension to the room

Unless you’re all about the matchy-matchy (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!), consider using your ottoman to create dimension in the room. This is your chance to play with varying shapes, sizes, colours, textures and materials to add visual interest. Your ottoman could be a gorgeous focal point in your room and a way to break up any sameness that may have emerged over time.

Brosa Alexa Large Round Ottoman styled in new Art Deco living room

Alexa Large Round Ottoman | Shop all ottomans

To inject a little flair back into your living room, opt for an ottoman that plays with at least one major element, differing from the other items in the room. For instance, if you’re working with a neutral colour palette, select something complementary but in a darker or lighter hue than your couch. Switch things up with contrasting textures, too – such as a fluffy bouclé ottoman with a linen sofa, or a plush velvet ottoman next to a simple upholstered armchair. This is your chance to spice it up without taking things too far, as the ottoman is a small enough piece to keep the stakes pretty low.

Of course, when you’re playing with style, don’t ditch balance – it’s important that at the end of the day, your space functions well, looks good aesthetically and feels harmonious. After all, it’s your relaxation space, so take time to really perfect it!

Double duty

Of course, your ottoman doesn’t have to be just that – as we’ve touched on, it can have an array of purposes! Find one with storage to keep blankets and pillows, or pull up an ottoman at a party or dinner to create extra seating. Ottomans are a versatile species, so make sure you’re really evaluating how you could use one in your space and selecting accordingly.

Ottomans aren’t just for the living room, either. Consider putting a long ottoman in the bedroom to double as a bench at the foot of your bed. Voila – a space to put on your shoes, pack your bag and take a peaceful moment of contemplation before a busy day.

Brosa Petite Fleur Ottoman styled in classic traditional bedroom

Petite Fleur Ottoman | Shop all ottomans

Feeling a little more confident about that exciting ottoman purchase? Use these tips to ensure you select the right height, size and shape of ottoman for your room, whether it’s to be used as a foot rest, makeshift coffee table or stylistic focal piece. Don’t forget, as long as your ottoman is at a suitable height for comfortable use, and leaves enough space in the room, you can be as creative as you like when it comes to its look and feel.

Find the right ottoman for your space with Brosa, Australia’s leading online furniture and homewares retailer. Once you’ve picked out the perfect piece, have it delivered anywhere in Australia. Don’t forget to access our virtual services or visit one of our Studio+ showroom spaces if you need some expert advice – one of our expert Stylists will be thrilled to help.