Hassock vs Ottoman – What is the Difference Between Them?

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

While people use the terms hassock and ottoman interchangeably, they aren’t exactly the same. What is the difference between a hassock vs ottoman?

In general, hassocks are different from ottomans primarily because of their function. A hassock is a low padded stool that can serve as a leg rest or a seat but has no storage space.

An ottoman is a low upholstered seat without arms or back but has storage space. Also, the feet of hassocks are always covered, while the feet of ottomans are always bare.

These are just technical differences that may not be that important for someone who needs something to sit on. In fact, if you really need to, you can sit on a hassock if there is no ottoman around.

Read on to learn more about the differences between a hassock and an ottoman.

Hassock vs Ottoman

hassock vs ottoman

The main difference between the hassock and ottoman is their function. A hassock functions primarily as a leg rest or a seat but has no storage space.

On the other hand, an ottoman can function as a storage space. Another difference between the two is that the ottoman’s feet are bare while the other is not.

In basic terms, both hassock and ottoman fall under the category of the footstool. They are both upholstered, padded, and with no arms or backrests. One of their main differences is their shape and size. Hassocks are usually smaller. Ottomans are typically round in shape.

The below table will show the differences between hassocks and ottomans:

SizeUsually smaller and shorterTypically larger and taller
ShapeUsually round in shapeMostly rectangular in shape but can be made in different shapes
UsesCan be knelt on and can be reclined against because they are very shortOften used as low seats and to prop up someone’s feet
LegsMay or may not have legs; if there are legs, they are always coveredHave legs usually made of wood; legs are bare, with no fabric covering
StorageNot designed for storage because its body is not hollow.Often used for small storage because it has a hollow body.
Table UseCan be used as a side tableAre often used as a coffee table
Special UseAre often used in churchesCan be used in any room in the house.

What Is a Hassock?

A hassock is a low padded or upholstered stool used as a leg rest or seat.


1. Storage

It has no storage space. They don’t have hollow bodies, so they can’t be used for storage.

2. Size and Shape

Some hassocks are large, but most of them are small. However, they are usually smaller than the average size of ottomans. Some hassocks are circular in shape.

3. Legs

They may have legs or none at all. A hassock can be a simple cushion the can be used for kneeling. While they may have legs made of either wood or metal, they are short and usually covered with fabric. The legs are there to provide rigidity and stability to the structure.

4. Cushion

The cushions of hassocks are often thick and hard. That is why they can be knelt on or used as low seats.

5. Function

Hassocks can function as living room side tables.

6. Height

In terms of height, hassocks are relatively short and closer to the floor. That is why you can kneel on them. You can even recline on them.

This is also why worshippers kneel on them in churches, particularly in the confession booth. Hassocks are also sometimes called pouf, although this type of footstool is larger and taller.

What Is an Ottoman?

An ottoman is usually an overstuffed upholstered couch or seat without a backrest or arms.

Why Are They Called Ottomans?

They were inherited from the Ottoman Empire, which used low wooden platforms covered with cushions as seats. In the late 18th century, traders exported this furniture to Europe.

ottoman or hassock


1. Storage

Ottomans offer some space for storage due to their hollow bodies.

2. Function

Ottomans are always padded or upholstered. Their function includes a seat and leg rest.

But since they have no arms and back and are smaller than regular sofas, people often use them as footstools.

Ottomans can function in different ways. Besides being a smaller seat, you can also use them as a coffee table or a larger footstool. There are furniture makers that supply them in tandem with a matching chair, thus enhancing the living room’s harmony.

Ottomans are so flexible that you can use them in your bedroom, gaming room, and family room.

3. Size

Since they offer storage space, then they are typically larger than hassocks.

Hassock vs Ottoman – Is There a Difference?

There is not much difference between ottomans and hassocks regarding padding, upholstery, and fabric or leather covering. However, hassocks are usually entirely upholstered or covered with padding and fabric. You can’t see their body frames as well as their legs.

Hassocks are relatively smaller than ottomans because they are mostly used for cushioning effects. Ottomans, on the other hand, have more flexibility since they not only function as footstools. You can sit on them, store small things inside them, and use them as small tables.

Hassock Vs. Pouf

Another fixture that is somewhat similar to the function and general appearance of hassocks is the pouf. You can also use a pouf to rest your feet on. In some ways, you can also use it as a seat. Like hassocks, you can’t use it for storage space because it does not have a hollow body.

The key difference between a hassock and a pouf lies in their bodies. A hassock has a basic building structure. It has a frame and a body with four legs. This frame is where the upholstery and cushions are built on.

A pouf’s body is entirely fabric. It has no frame, no structure to lay cushions, and upholstery on. The fabric serves as the cushion and padding. That means a pouf can easily acquire any shape that you want it to acquire.

Reminders Before Cleaning Your Hassocks/Ottomans

It pays to know what you need to do before doing it. That said, consider doing the following things before setting out to clean your ottoman or hassock.

1. Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean the hassock or ottoman. There may be some special cleaning process that the furniture needs. This will ensure that you won’t damage any of its parts.

2. Check If Your Furniture Has a Tag

Furniture makers sometimes use tags to guide the end-user on how the furniture should be cleaned. A tag often provides a summary of the cleaning requirements of the furniture.

3. Strictly Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Understand fully and strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the cleaning and maintaining of the hassock or ottoman.

How to Clean a Hassock or Ottoman?

Reliable furniture manufacturers strive to produce high-quality products that can last long. However, no matter how durable their products are, if the end-users misuse and fail to maintain them, they won’t last as long.

As an owner, you have a part in prolonging their service lives. And this involves proper use, cleaning, and maintenance of your furniture.

If your ottoman or hassock is in the living room, most probably, it is being used as a footstool. That would mean it would be subjected to the dirt coming from dirty shoes, socks, and feet. In that case, it would need occasional deep cleaning.

Here are the steps in cleaning this footstool:

1. Remove the Covering of the Ottoman

Remove the covering of the ottoman, if there is any. Clean the covering in the washer by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Dust the Ottoman

Dust the ottoman. Utilize a brush or a vacuum attachment to remove the dust that has accumulated on the furniture. Don’t forget to remove the dust and accumulated dirt on the legs and feet.

3. Vacuum the Crevices and Cracks

Vacuum the crevices and cracks. If some crevices and cracks have already been developed on the furniture, use a vacuum hose attachment to remove the accumulated dust and dirt. Most accumulated dust and dirt are on the underside, so vacuum that and the sides too.

4. Use a Fabric Cleaner

Use a fabric cleaner. If the ottoman has fabric upholstery, you can clean it by using a shampoo cleaner. A mild detergent can be used for this purpose—mix 1/4 cup of the cleaner with a reasonable amount of warm water to clean the solution.

If you have a leather-covered ottoman, use a cleaner specifically made for leather. Follow the instructions in the bottle or package on how to use the cleaner on your furniture.

5. Clean the Hassock/Ottoman

Clean the hassock/ottoman. Put some amount of the cleaner onto a sponge or soft cloth. Apply the cloth or sponge to the furniture. Scrub it lightly until it soaks up the dirt.

For fresh stain or spot, don’t scrub it but blot it. If you scrub a fresh stain, you can grind it deeper into the fabric of the furniture. It’ll be more difficult to remove that stain.

6. Dry the Ottoman

Dry the ottoman. Get a dry, clean towel and wipe off all the suds of the cleaner. Allow the hassock or ottoman to air dry.

7. Use Leather Wax

Use leather wax. If you have a leather-covered footstool, it is good to wax it once in a while. It is best to do this once a year. Small scratches that form over time on leather surfaces will be prevented from forming if you do this.

8. Clean the Legs

Clean the legs. Don’t forget to clean the furniture’s legs, especially if they are made of metal or wood. For wooden legs, use furniture polish. For metal legs, use metal polish.

Again, hassock vs. ottoman-What is the difference? The main difference between the two is their function. Hassock can function as a leg rest or seat, while the ottoman can function as a storage space aside from a leg rest and seat.

Recommended Ottomans/Hassocks – Top 3 Picks

Now that you know the difference between an ottoman and a hassock, it’s now time to look at the ottomans/hassocks available in the market.

Here are my top three picks among the most popular ottomans/hassocks on Amazon:

  1. Christopher Knight Home Carlsbad Bonded Leather Storage Ottoman, Espresso
  2. Walker Edison Tufted Upholstered Fabric Ottoman
  3. SIMPLIHOME Owen 34 inch Wide Rectangle Coffee Table Lift Top Storage Ottoman

1. Christopher Knight Home Carlsbad Bonded Leather Storage Ottoman, Espresso

The Christopher Knight Home Carlsbad Bonded Leather Storage Ottoman is a fitting and classic representation of function and form. It has a stay-open and easy-to-lift lightweight lid that reveals ample storage inside.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This is an upholstered ottoman with espresso bonded leather that can fit any room décor. It is perfect for the bedroom, living room or the office. Three throw pillows can be safely tucked away in their storage. It has a generous space that can store children’s toys or serving trays.

2. Walker Edison Tufted Upholstered Fabric Ottoman

The Walker Edison Tufted Upholstered Fabric Ottoman is another functional fixture that you can add to your living room, bedroom, or office. Its shell is made of sturdy reclaimed barn wood.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This 30-inch tufted ottoman is versatile. You can also use it as extra seating, a coffee table, or a footrest. Its woven linen fabric and powdered coated metal accents make it look rich in character. It will blend well with country-style rooms or transitional décor.

It has a low shelf that you can use to store coffee table books, blankets, or games. The seat is comfortably soft because it has a foam top that is 3 inches thick.

3. SIMPLIHOME Owen 34 inch Wide Rectangle Coffee Table Lift Top Storage Ottoman

The SIMPLIHOME Owen 34 inch Wide Rectangle Ottoman can double up as a coffee table and footrest. It is beautifully upholstered with distress chestnut brown faux air leather. This ottoman is a perfect fit for mid-century and modern living rooms.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

If you want a fresh modern trend look in your home, you should consider this ottoman. It comes with a lift-up lid. The big interior space in this furniture is large enough to fit coffee table books and magazines. It will be great for your family room, living room, or bedroom.

This ottoman is safe for children because it has a child safety hinge that will prevent the lid’s accidental slamming. It is a high-quality product handcrafted using solid wood and engineered wood and covered with durable faux leather. This furniture comes with a 1-year warranty.

Conclusion: Ottoman vs Hassock – What Are the Differences?

Many people are confused about these two furniture pieces because of their similarities in shape, size, and appearance. The primary difference between a hassock and an ottoman is their build and function.

Hassocks can be used as a leg rest or a small seat but cannot be used for storage.

Ottomans are typically used as a small seat with no arms or backrest but have storage room for small items. Another thing that can differentiate hassocks from ottomans is their feet. The feet of hassocks are almost always covered with fabric, while the feet of most ottomans are laid bare.

You may find other differences such as style, make, and so forth. But these are the two main things that differentiate them from each other.

Related reading:

Chair Lift for Stairs – Top 5 Picks

Most Comfortable Computer Chair – Top 10 Picks

Best Place to Buy Office Chairs

Most Comfortable Couch – Top 10 Picks

Sofa Vs Couch – What is the Difference Between Them?