Ottoman vs. Coffee Table: Which One Will Suit Your Outdoor Living Space?

Written by Neighbor Editorial Team | @neighboroutdoor | Opens in a new window. |

From versatile ottomans to classic coffee tables, unravel the debate on which centerpiece best elevates your outdoor living space.

Ottoman vs. Coffee Table: Which One Will Suit Your Outdoor Living Space?

In this comprehensive discussion, we will thoroughly explore the design, functionality, and aesthetic qualities of both coffee tables and ottomans. Because let's face it, nothing beats the joy of returning to a meticulously designed outdoor living space after a hectic day. We're here to provide you with the insights you need to make the right decision and transform your outdoor area into a haven of relaxation and style.

 Girl playing with blocks on outdoor coffee table

The Traditional Outdoor Coffee Table

A traditional coffee table is a basic piece of furniture with a hard surface. It’s handy for board games, books, laptops,, and safely holding drinks (don’t forget to use coasters!). Outdoor coffee tables serve similar purposes in patios and gardens.

These tables come in different materials and styles. Glass-top tables add elegance. Mid-century modern designs tend to have a more minimalist style.

Outdoor Coffee tables usually take center stage in your outdoor design. They anchor the space and blend comfort and style, making them essential in well-designed patios.

An off-white outdoor ottoman with an aluminum frame

The Rise of the Ottoman in Modern Homes

The ottoman, on the other hand, is a versatile piece of furniture that can serve multiple functions. It can act as extra seating when you have guests, a comfortable footrest to relax your tired legs after a long day, or even provide hidden storage space.

One exciting concept is the ottoman coffee table. This hybrid piece of furniture offers dual functionality and comes in various sizes and shapes. You can find small ottoman poufs for casual use, larger ottomans that pair perfectly with lounge seating, or even tufted coffee table–style ottomans that can serve as an excellent substitute for a traditional coffee table.

3 Key Factors to Consider in the Debate: Ottoman vs. Coffee Table

Woman lounging on sofa with feet up on ottoman outdoors

Space Utilization:
Both ottomans and coffee tables can work well in smaller spaces, but it’s vital to ensure there’s still enough room for movement and other furniture. Choose compact options to maximize function without overcrowding.

Round ottoman alongside an outdoor sofa with a young couple sitting on it

Round ottomans and coffee tables are especially flexible. They lack sharp edges, allowing for easier movement. This design also creates a sense of openness in cozier areas, making them excellent choices for small outdoor spaces.

A young girl is eating a bowl of popcorn that's placed on in-line coffee table attached to an outdoor sofa

Functionality & Versatility:
Ottomans excel in versatility, offering extra storage, footstool options, and pouf-like comfort. You can even add a tray to an ottoman to give it the hard surface of a coffee table when desired. They are typically more lightweight and easier to move around than coffee tables, allowing you to rearrange your space effortlessly and adapt for different occasions.

Coffee tables, on the other hand, offer a stable surface, making them a perfect piece for various activities like holding snacks, drinks, or decorative items. They often play the role of a reliable side table, complementing your seating area. While ottomans can be versatile, coffee tables remain steadfast in their role as a central hub for your outdoor space.

Teak coffee table in front of an outdoor sofa

Aesthetics & Home Decor:
Consider your design preferences and theme when choosing between an ottoman and a coffee table. Traditional coffee tables go perfectly with classic and timeless decor. They work well in outdoor spaces with a traditional or vintage look, providing a sturdy surface for things like board games and decorative items. On the other hand, square ottomans, whether made of real or faux leather, add a touch of sophistication to modern or minimalist exterior. They’re versatile, serving as footstools, poufs, or even hidden storage units, making them great choices for spaces that need to adapt.

If you’re aiming for a mid-century modern style, round ottomans and coffee tables with bold upholstery can add a fun touch to the room. Their circular design creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. In boho-inspired decor, both ottomans and coffee tables can be colorful and eclectic, allowing you to express your creativity and individuality. They’re versatile, working as stable surfaces or multifunctional pieces, making them fit in well with different decor styles and helping your outdoor space show your unique style.

How Neighbor Integrates Both in Home Design

At Neighbor, we understand the value that both ottomans and coffee tables bring to your living spaces. In our product line, we prioritize functionality, aesthetics, and versatility to enhance your home. With our Rook Fire table, you can enjoy the dual benefits of a fire pit-style table and a coffee table, adding warmth and style to your outdoor or indoor gatherings.

Neighbor's Rook Fire Table

No matter if you have a sectional or an individual seating area, our ottomans and coffee tables are designed to complement them seamlessly. A beautiful ottoman can serve as a versatile addition to any seating arrangement, while coffee tables can anchor your space and offer a stable surface for various activities.


In the debate of ottoman vs. coffee table, there are no one-size-fits-all answers. Both have their own strengths and can significantly enhance your outdoor living space. Consider factors like space utilization, functionality, and aesthetics when making your decision. Envision how each piece would fit into your home, and prioritize personal preference in your final choice.

If you’re ready to explore your options, Neighbor offers a diverse range of ottomans and coffee tables, ensuring quality design, versatility, and customer satisfaction. Visit our collection to discover the perfect addition to your outdoor space.

Older Post Newer Post