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What Is The Standard Height for an Ottoman? (Explained!)

There are so many types of ottomans available on the market today, it might be difficult to decide which ottoman styles and sizes are right for you.

The height of an ottoman is essential. Purchasing an ottoman of the incorrect height can make it uncomfortable for your legs and back. 

What is the standard height for an ottoman?

There is no standard height for an ottoman. They come in various shapes and sizes. The average height of an ottoman is between 13 inches to 22 inches. An ottoman should be at least 1 inch shorter than the seat of the couch or chair. This will help you to use it comfortably.

Ottoman height & size guide for:


The size depends on what kind of ottoman it is and its purpose. If it is used as a footstool then a pouf ottoman or footstool ottoman is suitable. The average height of this type of ottoman is 14 inches and they are usually small. 


Ottomans often come in sets with chairs that are made according to the size of the chair.

If your chair doesn’t come with an ottoman, make sure it is either the same height as the chair or lower. It should be as wide as the seat of the chair too. 


Most of the time the ottoman is centered with the sectional and has equal space on each side. There should be at least 18 inches of space around all sides of the sectional.

Ottomans placed with the sections typically have small legs but look heavy. The recommended width is ⅔ the width of the sofa portion of the sectional. This is when your sectional has a chaise attached to it. 

King beds:

Ottomans for king beds are usually placed at the foot of the bed. They are as long as the width of the bed but can differ by a few inches. The height of these ottomans is lower than the bed around 2 to 3 inches less.

Sometimes two narrow ottomans are placed at the foot instead of one. They make ⅔ of the width. 


Loveseats also often come with ottomans. The size of the ottoman depends on the size of the loveseat.

You can either put two ottomans or one long ottoman. For a 33-inch loveseat, the ottoman should be 17 inches tall and should have the same width as the loveseat. 

Height & size for different types of ottoman:


This is the traditional size and style. It comes in all shapes and sizes. They are over the height of 12 inches.

Anything less than 12 resembles a footstool instead. It is considerably lightweight as it doesn’t have compartments for storage or any special features such as padding. 


They have a larger surface and are wider than other ottoman types to make space for a cocktail tray. They have very short legs but the legs are wide. It looks like a very small table instead of a footstool.

The square ones are usually 16 inches tall and 40 inches wide. The rectangular pieces are around 47 inches long and 28 inches wide. 

Foot Stool:

These ottomans are shorter than the seating furniture whether it’s a chair, couch, or sofa. They are between 13 to 15 inches on average.

They are very small so they don’t take up much space. They can be moved around easily so that people can rest their feet no matter where they sit. 


These ottomans are mainly used for additional seating and are shorter than the seating furniture. They are short in size but taller than footstools and pouf ottomans. They are around 15 to 18 inches tall.

They don’t have any fixed shape. They come in various shapes and styles. They are not lightweight as they are used for seating. 

Storage ottoman:

The size range for this type of ottoman is endless. They can be of different shapes and sizes. They can be accompanied by other uses such as for seating or resting your feet.

The height range of a storage ottoman is between 15 inches and 20 inches. They can be shorter but not as short as 11 inches. They can be used as a coffee table as well.

Coffee table:

These are similar to cocktail ottoman tables. They have a padded surface to be used for resting feet but are functional as a coffee table as well.

They should be around 2 inches shorter than the couch. The recommended height would be 16 to 20 inches. 


Pouf ottomans made of pouf are usually not as tall as traditional ottomans. They don’t have legs which makes them very small. 11 to 13 inches would be an applicable height.

They are even smaller than footstools. Similarly, they are lightweight and portable. 

What size Ottoman should I buy?

The appropriate size for you depends on the purpose of the ottoman, the amount of space in your living room, and the furniture it is placed next to. 

Most ottomans are shorter than the furniture it is placed next to, especially if it is used as a footstool. The height of your ottoman should be at least 1 inch shorter than the seat of your couch or chair.

If it is used to place drinks, then it should be the same height as the seat of the couch or lower. 

When it comes to the width of the ottoman, your ottoman should be wide if you have a large couch or sectional. But it should be narrow if there is not enough space in the room.

We don’t want the room to look cluttered. If your ottoman is too small, you can add two or more ottomans together to make up for the width. 

The depth should also be considered and should be decided according to the size of your room. If you have a spacious room, your ottoman should be deep but a narrow ottoman is recommended for a small room. If you place a deep ottoman in a small room, there are chances of you bumping into it. 

Should ottoman be lower than chair? 

It can be one or two inches lower but it is not mandatory. When the ottoman is lower than the seat of the chair, it is comfortable to reach. 

If you are struggling with this, measure the seat height. Use a measuring tape and measure the top of the seat of the chair to the floor. Minus an inch from the measurement and there you go! Test the height to see if it suits you and your guests. 

Many brands sell ottomans along with their chairs. If you are too confused about the height, get a set instead. 

Can ottoman be same height or higher than chair? 

Ottomans in general are about 16 inches high and often higher. The same goes for the height of a lounge chair. It should not be higher than the chair but it can be the same height as the seat of the chair.

It doesn’t have to be the same height but the difference in heights should be less than 100 mm. The only exception for this is when you are using the ottoman as a footrest. In that case, it should be 25 mm shorter than the seat height.

The best way to find out which height suits best, test it and try to mix and match the ottoman with the chair, sofa, couch, or other furniture in the store. Or simply measure it at home using the tape books and boxes. 

Can ottoman be taller than couch? 

It can be but it depends on what is comfortable for you. If you are using your ottoman as a footstool then you shouldn’t purchase an ottoman that is taller than your couch.

It will be uncomfortable as you won’t be able to reach it using your feet. A taller ottoman will likely strain your legs and back when you place your feet. 

If you are keeping the ottoman only as storage space or decoration then there is no need to worry about the height. It can be taller or shorter as long as it looks balanced throughout the room. 

Some people prefer elevating their legs above the level of the couch. In that case, you can purchase an ottoman that is taller than your couch. What matters is what’s comfortable for you and your guests. 

What is the standard pouf height? 

Although there is no fixed height, poufs usually have a height of 14 to 16 inches. There are larger ones available too depending on the function of the pouf. 

For a small living room, 14 to 16 inches should be fine. But if you are using it to rest your feet then you can find smaller ones as well which are less than 12 inches. 

A taller pouf is suitable and more comfortable for guest seating and in large living spaces. 

Should ottoman be lower than sofa? 

The ottoman should be at least one inch shorter than the sofa. They could be the same height too. This is for accessibility and to make it look proportional. It can be slightly taller too if the ottoman is used as a centerpiece. 

A small ottoman looks good when it has small legs and it will seem heavier in the open living space. 

Should an ottoman be the same width as the chair? 

This will make the two pieces of furniture balanced next to each other. It is also a more convenient approach as you can easily reach it from all ends. It can vary by a few inches but the wider your chair, the wider your ottoman should be. Also, make sure to give a comfortable space between the ottoman and the couch or chair.

There are very few furniture pieces that are as multi-functional as ottomans. They can be used for storage, for seating, as a side table, as a footstool, and also as decoration.

The options are countless. Not only do they improve your comfort, but they change the outlook of your living room as well.