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How to Accent Your Home with Poufs

by Olly Mason

Overhead image of a colorful pouf

At a Glance:

What is a Pouf?

Poufs vs. Ottomans

About Pouf Materials

5 Pouf Ideas for the Home

Poufs to Get You Inspired

FAQs

Why Trust Us?

Poufs are having a moment. Interior designers love them since they add a pop of fashion and function in one go. They’ve even become muses for manufacturers, who use poufs as canvases for fresh fabric patterns, unique furniture shapes, and whimsical fringes, borders, and stitching that capture the attention. But what is a pouf, and is a pouf ideal for every home?

To some, these furniture accessories are just a variation on the ottoman (we’ll discuss the differences below), but for us, poufs deserve their own place in the world of home furnishings. That’s why we’re giving poufs their proper due as we explore these miniature marvels in this pouf buying guide, complete with design tips and styling examples to get your creative juices flowing.

What is a Pouf?

Grey knitted pouf next to a blue armchair

Once known as the ottoman pouf in royal quarters, the modern pouf is a regular living room furniture accessory that interior designers often use to accent a space. It’s a multipurpose furniture piece characterized by its compact size, distinct shape, and fully upholstered body. In many cases, a pouf looks like a miniature bean bag chair.

Often, poufs may also resemble throw pillows, but their interiors are made of sturdier materials designed to sustain larger amounts of weight. Filling materials include polystyrene balls, poly-fiber fill, wool, and pillow cushion filling, but the entire list can include several other materials.

Because of their simple construction, poufs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Here are a few of the top pouf styles.

Popular Types of Poufs

  • Fur poufs
  • Leather poufs
  • Cube poufs
  • Round poufs
  • Patchwork poufs

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Discover colorful and stylish poufs to decorate your home.

Poufs

Poufs vs. Ottomans

As the saying goes, a square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square. The same goes for poufs and ottomans. While a pouf can be used in the same way as an ottoman, differences in construction distinguish an ottoman from a pouf.

For example, poufs do not have legs, storage, or an internal structure, whereas ottomans typically have feet, sometimes have an open shelf or storage, and always have a frame. Ottomans are also generally larger than poufs, and some even feature gliding mechanisms that can be used with a glider chair. Because of all this, poufs typically cost less than ottomans, which makes them a great way to add the function of an ottoman at a fraction of the cost.

About Pouf Materials

Up close of braided pouf material

Poufs can be found in just about any material you can imagine. However, not all upholsteries should be used in the same living situations. Take a look at some of the most popular pouf materials and where to use them.

Where to Use Cotton Poufs

Cotton is an extremely forgiving material. It’s easy to clean and is durable, so a cotton pouf can be used in practically any living situation. Want a cotton pouf for a formal area? Go for it. How about extra seating in the media room? Great idea! The fabric will stand the test of use, and if accidents do happen, they’ll be easy to handle.

Where to Use Leather Poufs

Like cotton, leather (and faux leather) is a durable upholstery that can be used in high-traffic areas. However, living areas with pets or direct sunlight can cause damage to a leather pouf, so be mindful of these conditions.

Where to Use Linen Poufs

The good news is that linen is a tough, natural fiber, so if you’re eco-friendly, a linen pouf can help you stick to your cause. The drawback to linen is that it stains easily, but unlike cotton, it’s not easy to clean. With this in mind, linen poufs should be used in areas with lighter traffic or as an occasional seating piece, but probably not for everyday use.

Where to Use Jute Poufs

Jute is durable, but it might not be the most comfortable material to lie on. A jute pouf is best used as seating, particularly when used as an outdoor pouf, but you can also use these pieces to add a beachy vibe to any space.

5 Pouf Ideas for the Home

Poufs might not be the most dynamic home furniture pieces, but their simplicity is what makes them so great to have in the home. Here are five goof-proof pouf ideas that will add function and style to your living space.

1. Use Poufs for Extra Seating

When movie night is in full swing, but when there are fewer seats than there are viewers, it’s bad ratings all around. You could invest in more seating, but that can put a dent in your wallet. Instead, fit your home’s busiest areas with poufs. They’re small, are comfortable to sit on, and are affordable, so building a floor pouf collection won’t cost you a fortune, and you’ll always have a place for everyone to sit and enjoy some entertainment.

2. Use a Pouf as a Pet Bed

To you, Fido is family, so he deserves a place to sit and enjoy the company of you and your loved ones, too. Sure, pet beds are easy solutions, but in terms of style, they’re less than inspiring. Poufs allow you to design a fully coordinated living area that includes a place for your fur baby to relax while you unwind alongside.

3. Multi-Purpose Side Table

Sturdier poufs are great for holding table trays, magazines, electronic devices, and more. As an added perk, there’s no assembly required — just place a pouf wherever you need a flat surface and use it like you would use a side table or nightstand.

4. As Footrest

Sectionals and recliners provide a place to kick your feet up and sprawl out. But that luxury comes with a couple of tradeoffs. First, sectionals can be expensive, and they take up a lot of space, so they’re not the best solution for smaller living rooms. Second, recliners require wall clearance that not all spaces can afford, and if it’s a powered recliner, you’re limited to a wall connection.

Poufs are portable, so they can be used with any piece of furniture you already own. They’re also relatively inexpensive, allowing you to purchase a personal footrest for every member of the home without breaking the bank.

5. To Round Out Your Style

Poufs have become go-to furniture pieces to express the whimsical, chic, and fabulous without going over-the-top or over budget. The possibilities are truly endless. Use a Moroccan pouf with rouging, tassels, and bright prints for a dash of Boho Chic flair. Go coastal with a jute pouf that highlights white furniture. Go for a modern feel with a round pouf and square poofs for a mix of geometry that keeps things interesting.

Poufs to Get You Inspired

Here are a few ways we like to use poufs for popular interior design styles.

Best Glam-Style Pouf: KAS Champagne Shimmer Shag

Gray shag KAS pouf

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Covered in a dense matte of multi-textured shag, this cube pouf from KAS begs to be cuddled and nestled. A closer look reveals hints of shimmering fibers, the perfect undertone for spaces styled in Hollywood Glam décor finished in shades of silver, gold, and pearl. The unique cubed shape gives this gray pouf a flat surface that can also be used to hold living room essentials like remote controls, magazines, books, or your smart device.

Best Boho Chic Pouf: KAS Ivory Mulino Pouf

KAS Ivory pouf with multi-colored patter

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The high, cylindrical profile of this multi-pattern pouf works great as a chair under a vanity, a living room coffee table, or as an accent footrest for your sofa or loveseat. Rich, earth tones in vibrant reds, teal, and orange work with warm tones to create a cozy feel with a touch of wanderlust. Best of all, this pouf is made of cotton for easy maintenance to keep its vivid pattern pristine for years of use and display.

Best Coastal Pouf: Signature Design by Ashley® Sweed Valley Natural/White Pouf

Signature Design by Ashley Sweed Valley Pouf

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Ombre is out, but the two-tone design of this jute pouf from Signature Design by Ashley is a classic, especially for coastal-inspired living rooms. You’ll get years of use out of its natural material (which is also easy to maintain), and its dense filling made for kicking up your feet or enjoying a quick pick-me-up.

Best Contemporary Style Pouf: Signature Design by Ashley® Adelphie Natural Gray Pouf

Signature Design by Ashley Adelphie pouf

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Diamond-pattern fringe bordering on this gray wool pouf instantly adds depth and texture to any space in contemporary fashion. Thanks to its neutral color, this cube pouf can be paired with just about any living room aesthetic or used with a collection of eclectic poufs for a one-of-a-kind setup that expresses your style. Sit, rest, or use this piece as a side table, thanks to its dense polystyrene filling that keeps its shape.

If you’re going for a masculine feel, experiment with a leather poof. If you want all the frills and embellishments, a fur pouf can provide you with the visual interest you’re looking for. In other words, poufs are incredibly versatile furniture pieces that work in essentially any living room setup. Poufs can do the job of a chair, a footrest, or a table, yet they’re extremely affordable and come in unique designs that let you go bold, but not too far. We’re certain once you start exploring poufs, the ideas will start flowing.

FAQs

We’ve demystified poufs, but to make sure you find the find addition for your home, we’ve included some important questions and answers for you to consider.

What are outdoor poofs made of?

Not all poufs are made for outdoor use, so it’s important to know which materials are best for the elements. Outdoor poufs are typically made of polyethylene, jute, or synthetic materials.

How do you care for a pouf?

As always, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. Otherwise, poufs should be vacuumed regularly, and stains should be treated as they happen; follow cleaning instructions for the material your pouf is made of. Leather poufs require conditioning every six to 12 months. Additionally, you can steam fabric upholstery poufs to kill mites or pests that might be lingering in the fibers.

Are poufs good for sitting?

Sitting on a pouf can help your body find its right posture while also exercising its flexibility. The key is finding a pouf that supports your body size and stature.

Why Trust Colder’s?

Since 1942, we at Colder's pride ourselves on offering value, selection, and service. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin with four showrooms that stock quality name-brand furniture, appliances, and mattresses, Colder’s is sure to house exactly what you are looking for. And if you can't find it on our floors, chances are, we can order it for you. As a local, family-owned company, we are always doing our best to provide the highest value at the lowest cost to everyone who walks through our doors.

Colder’s is committed not only to continuously offering can’t-miss sales but also to working with each customer, making sure that you take advantage of every possible markdown — that’s our best price guarantee.

Shop Poufs at Colder’s

Don’t put off happiness — and shop living room furniture for unbeatable prices at Colder’s. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you accent your home with a pouf, whether you call us at 414-476-1574 or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by one our Colder’s locations in West Allis, Oak Creek, Delafield, and Grafton, Wisconsin to touch, see, feel, and experience home products that fulfill your dreams. Visit us today!

Learn More: What’s Your Furniture Design Style?