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Everything You Need to Know About Footstools: A Comprehensive Guide

Footstools are versatile pieces of furniture designed to provide comfort and enhance the aesthetics of a room. Whether used for relaxing after a long day, as an extra seat, or as a decorative element, footstools are both functional and stylish. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about footstools, from types and benefits to buying tips and care instructions, tailored specifically for UK homes.

Types of Footstools

Footstools come in various styles and designs, each serving different purposes and matching different decor themes. Understanding the types available can help you choose the perfect footstool for your needs.

  • Ottoman Footstools: These are upholstered and often feature a soft, padded top. Ottomans can double as extra seating or storage, making them highly versatile.
  • Storage Footstools: Designed with hidden compartments, these footstools offer additional storage space for items like blankets, magazines, or remote controls.
  • Folding Footstools: Portable and space-saving, folding footstools are perfect for small spaces or for use as an extra seat when needed.
  • Traditional Footstools: These feature classic designs with wooden frames and padded tops, ideal for traditional or vintage-styled homes.
  • Pouffes: Soft, round, and often made from fabric or leather, pouffes are lightweight and can be easily moved around the room.

Benefits of Footstools

Footstools offer numerous advantages, making them a valuable addition to any living space. Here are some key benefits:

  • Enhanced Comfort: Footstools provide a place to rest your feet, improving your overall comfort while sitting. They help reduce pressure on your legs and lower back.
  • Versatility: Many footstools can be used as extra seating, tables, or storage units, making them multifunctional pieces of furniture.
  • Style and Decor: Available in a wide range of styles, colours, and materials, footstools can complement your existing decor and add a touch of elegance to your room.
  • Space-Saving: Compact and often portable, footstools are perfect for small spaces where larger furniture might not fit.
  • Health Benefits: Elevating your feet can improve circulation and reduce swelling, particularly beneficial for those with circulatory issues or who spend long periods sitting.

Key Considerations When Buying a Footstool

Before purchasing a footstool, consider the following factors to ensure it meets your needs and fits your space:

  • Size: Measure the space where you plan to place the footstool. Ensure it’s the right size to fit comfortably without overcrowding the room.
  • Material: Choose a material that matches your lifestyle and decor. Options include leather, fabric, wood, and metal. Consider durability, ease of cleaning, and comfort.
  • Functionality: Decide how you will use the footstool. If you need extra storage, look for a storage footstool. If it will serve as an extra seat, ensure it’s sturdy and comfortable.
  • Style: Select a footstool that complements your existing furniture and overall decor theme. Whether you prefer a modern, traditional, or eclectic look, there’s a footstool to match.
  • Budget: Set a budget before shopping and look for footstools that offer the best value within your price range. Consider the quality and features relative to the cost.

Buying Guide for Footstools

Purchasing the right footstool involves careful consideration of various factors. Here’s a detailed buying guide to help you make an informed decision:

  • Determine Your Needs: Think about how you will use the footstool. Will it be primarily for resting your feet, extra seating, or storage? This will guide your choice of design and features.
  • Measure Your Space: Accurate measurements are crucial. Ensure the footstool fits the space without obstructing movement or other furniture.
  • Choose the Right Material: Select a material that matches your lifestyle and room decor. Leather is durable and easy to clean, while fabric offers more colour and pattern options.
  • Consider Comfort: Test the footstool’s comfort level if possible. A padded top is essential if you plan to use it for resting your feet or as an extra seat.
  • Look for Additional Features: Features like storage compartments or the ability to fold can add to the functionality of the footstool, making it more useful in your home.

Pros and Cons of Footstools

Understanding the pros and cons of footstools can help you decide if they are the right choice for your home:

  • Pros:
    • Enhance comfort and support for your feet and legs.
    • Versatile and multifunctional, serving as seating, storage, or decor.
    • Available in various styles and materials to match different tastes.
    • Compact and space-saving, suitable for small rooms.
  • Cons:
    • May not provide adequate support for long-term seating.
    • Some materials may require more maintenance and care.
    • Can be expensive, particularly high-quality or designer models.
    • Limited functionality if used solely as a footrest.

Usage Tips for Footstools

Maximize the functionality and longevity of your footstool with these usage tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep your footstool clean by regularly dusting and vacuuming. For fabric footstools, spot-clean any spills immediately to prevent stains.
  • Protect from Sunlight: Place your footstool away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and damage to the upholstery.
  • Use for Storage: If your footstool has a storage compartment, use it to keep your living space tidy. Store items like blankets, remote controls, or books inside.
  • Enhance Comfort: Add a cushion or throw blanket on top of the footstool for added comfort and style.
  • Match with Decor: Coordinate your footstool with other furniture and decor elements to create a cohesive look in your room.

Shopping for Footstools Online

Shopping for footstools online offers convenience and a wide range of options. Follow these tips to ensure a successful online shopping experience:

  • Research Reputable Retailers: Choose well-known UK retailers with positive customer reviews and a good return policy. Popular options include John Lewis, IKEA, and Wayfair.
  • Read Customer Reviews: Check customer reviews and ratings to gauge the quality, comfort, and durability of the footstool you are considering.
  • Check Dimensions: Carefully read the product description for dimensions to ensure the footstool will fit your space.
  • Look for Deals: Take advantage of online sales, discounts, and coupon codes to save money on your purchase.
  • Review Return Policies: Ensure the retailer has a reasonable return policy in case the footstool does not meet your expectations.

Footstool Reviews

Reading reviews from other customers can provide valuable insights into the quality and performance of different footstools. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Comfort: Look for reviews that mention the comfort level of the footstool, especially if you plan to use it regularly for resting your feet or as an extra seat.
  • Durability: Check if users report any issues with the footstool’s construction or materials over time. Durable footstools are essential for long-term use.
  • Functionality: Reviews can indicate how well the footstool functions as storage, seating, or a decorative piece.
  • Customer Service: Positive reviews about customer service can be reassuring, especially if you encounter any issues with your purchase.

Footstool Prices

The price of footstools can vary significantly based on the style, materials, and additional features. Here’s a rough price range to give you an idea:

  • Budget Range (£20-£50): Basic footstools with simple designs and materials. Suitable for occasional use or as an accent piece.
  • Mid-Range (£50-£150): Footstools with better materials, more comfortable padding, and additional features like storage.
  • Premium Range (£150+): High-quality footstools with luxurious designs, durable materials, and top-of-the-line comfort. Ideal for regular use and as a statement piece.

Coupons and Discounts

Saving money on your footstool purchase is possible with the right strategies. Here are some tips:

  • Seasonal Sales: Look for discounts during major sales events like Black Friday, Boxing Day, or bank holidays.
  • Sign Up for Newsletters: Many retailers offer exclusive discounts to newsletter subscribers.
  • Coupon Websites: Check websites like Groupon or VoucherCodes for available discounts and promo codes.
  • Loyalty Programs: Some retailers have loyalty programs that offer points or discounts on future purchases.

Choosing the Right Footstool

Selecting the perfect footstool involves balancing functionality, style, and budget. Here are some steps to help you choose the right one:

  • Identify Your Needs: Determine how you will use the footstool—primarily for resting your feet, extra seating, or storage. This will guide your choice of design and features.
  • Measure Your Space: Ensure the footstool fits comfortably in your intended space without overcrowding the room.
  • Match Your Decor: Choose a footstool that complements your existing decor and enhances the overall aesthetic of the room.
  • Test for Comfort: If possible, visit a store to test the comfort level of the footstool. Comfort is crucial, especially if the footstool will be used frequently.

Caring for Your Footstool

Proper care and maintenance can extend the lifespan of your footstool and keep it looking its best:

  • Clean Regularly: Dust and vacuum the footstool regularly to remove dirt and debris. For fabric footstools, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to prevent damage.
  • Protect from Sunlight: Place your footstool away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration of the materials.
  • Check for Wear and Tear: Periodically inspect the footstool for any signs of damage or wear and address them promptly to prevent further issues.
  • Use Protective Covers: If you have pets or children, consider using a protective cover to keep your footstool clean and free from scratches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about footstools, along with their answers:

  • Q: Can footstools be used as extra seating?A: Yes, many footstools are designed to be sturdy enough to serve as extra seating. Ensure the footstool you choose is built to support weight if you plan to use it this way.
  • Q: Are footstools suitable for small spaces?A: Absolutely. Footstools are compact and can serve multiple functions, making them ideal for small spaces. Look for designs that offer storage or fold away when not in use.
  • Q: How do I clean a fabric footstool?A: Regularly vacuum the fabric to remove dust and debris. For spills, spot-clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
  • Q: Can I use a footstool as a coffee table?A: Yes, many footstools, especially ottomans, can double as a coffee table. Just ensure it’s stable and consider using a tray to provide a flat surface for drinks and snacks.
  • Q: What materials are best for a durable footstool?A: Leather and high-quality fabric are durable options. Solid wood frames offer excellent support and longevity. Choose materials that match your usage and maintenance preferences.


Footstools are a versatile and stylish addition to any home, providing both comfort and functionality. Whether you need a place to rest your feet, extra seating, or additional storage, a footstool can meet your needs. By considering the different types, benefits, and key factors outlined in this guide, you can choose the perfect footstool for your UK home and enjoy its many advantages for years to come.

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