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When it comes to outdoor furniture, the ottoman is an often neglected feature. Most people, if they do decide to include one, have no idea what to look for. Sure, it should match the rest of your decor - but what other features should you be looking for?

Wondering how to choose a patio ottoman for your outdoor space? We'll tell you everything you need to know about how to choose a patio ottoman that will check off all the boxes.

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What Factors to Consider When Buying a Patio Ottoman?

When you head out to buy your first patio ottoman, you might be overwhelmed by all of the options. Take a deep breath and consider your ultimate goal in buying one of these accessories first.

The ideal patio ottoman will serve multiple purposes. The first, of course, will be giving you a place to kick up your feet and unwind after a long day.

However, a patio ottoman will also serve as an extra cushion when needed - or perhaps even an extra seat for guests. Some patio ottomans come with internal storage, too, so you can stash all kinds of outdoor gear, clothing, blankets, tools, and more.

A patio ottoman could even serve as a makeshift coffee table! If any of these functions matter to you, it's important that you look for a patio ottoman that will not only support your tired feet, but will support you in these other ways, too.

Patio Ottoman with Cushion
Brown Simple Waterproof Patio Ottoman
Navy Blue Fabric Patio Ottoman
Grey Patio Ottoman with Cushion
Patio Ottoman with X-Shaped Legs
Beige Natural Braided Patio Ottoman

What Kind of Patio Ottoman Shapes Are There?

The traditional outdoor ottoman can be found in a standard square, round, or rectangular shape. However, you don't have to limit yourself to the classics.

If your outdoor space has a more contemporary design, why not invest in a patio ottoman with an asymmetrical design? There are plenty of other patio ottomans that come in curved, honeycomb or even oblong shapes, too. 

Choosing a unique shape when it comes to your patio ottoman can not only add a pop of interest to your patio, but it can often be more functional and fit better into certain spaces, too.

Small Grey Cube Patio Ottoman
Square Patio Ottoman with Cushion
Scandinavian Cylinder Shaped Patio Ottoman
Light Beige Round Patio Ottoman
Patio Ottoman with Arms and Cushion
Dark Square Low Patio Ottoman

How Many Patio Ottomans Should I Buy?

This next question is relatively easy to answer, as the number of patio ottomans that you purchase should somewhat correspond to the amount of seating that you have.

However, if you want to get more bang for your buck, you should consider a single long ottoman, which will fit well into a narrow or L-shaped space. You can always break it down into two or more ottomans to fit into the same space, but you'll be spending more money and the separate pieces can sometimes impart a cluttered look.

The benefit of multiple patio ottomans will be that you can free up more space if necessary. If you need more space, all you need to do is rearrange or move a patio ottoman or two.

6 Piece L shaped Patio Ottoman
White Patio Ottoman with Cushions
Long L Shaped Patio Ottoman
Grey 6 Piece Patio Ottoman with Cushions
Single Solid Wood Patio Ottoman
Single White Patio Ottoman

What Other Features Are Important in a Patio Ottoman?

Consider an ottoman that has a removable top so that you can store pillows, magazines, or other trappings inside.

You may even be able to find a patio ottoman that has a reversible hard top so it can be used as a makeshift coffee table. This is a wonderful feature if you like to enjoy your Sunday morning cup of coffee on the deck.

You should also choose an ottoman that is rated to withstand the great outdoors. You probably bring your outdoor furniture inside over the winter months, but it can be tough to avoid the occasional summer rainstorm.

While a totally waterproof patio ottoman isn't necessary, it may be wise to look for one made out of quick-drying materials that won't easily stain or fade. Some good choices include high-quality spun poly, which can be wiped down quickly with a wet cloth, along with waterproof resin (which is also scratch-proof).

Some outdoor patio ottomans are made out of sturdy, easy-to-clean materials like wood or metal. These aren't very comfortable to rest your feet on, though, so will often be encased in cushions or have zip covers that can be removed and thrown in the washing machine. That's another smart choice to consider making!

Quick Tips for Styling a Patio Ottoman

Don't assume that your patio ottoman has to match the rest of your outdoor decor! Choosing a patio ottoman in a contrasting hue is a great way to liven up your other pieces. For example, you might choose a bold primary color if you have a neutral patio design.

Your main goal in choosing a patio ottoman should be finding one that is sturdy and is equipped with four feet and a solid base. Beyond that, your options are endless in how you choose to style your new patio ottoman. Go for a contemporary look with unexpected shapes or stick to a modern design with wicker and woodwork.

The choice is yours - but hopefully, now you know how to choose a patio ottoman that will really last!