When guests visit your home, you want them to pull up to the curb or into the driveway only to find themselves breathless with envy. You want them to adore your entryway and to fall in love everything they see beyond your front door. And you definitely want them to die with jealousy when you invite them to sit in your well-appointed living area.

Every detail must be perfect. And the little things matter.

Which is why you need the best top grain leather cocktail ottoman, an oft-overlooked piece of furniture that can enhance the visual appeal of your main living space while also doubling as a useful storage area.

A top grain leather cocktail ottoman will you run more cost-wise than choosing a different material. To help you find the best top grain leather cocktail ottoman (or its ideal alternative), here’s a rundown of all that you’ll need to know before you make a final decision.

Take a quick look at our recommended products in this summary table, and get more detail below.

Product Dimensions Check Discounts
Lazzaro Hayton Tufted Leg Shelf Cocktail Ottoman (Best Top Grain Option) 41 x 35 x 16 Check Price
Abbyson Living Margot Top-Grain Leather Ottoman (Best for Formal Living Areas) 31 x 31 x 15 Check Price
Simpli Home Owen Coffee Table Ottoman (Best Overall!) 34 x 26 x 19 Check Price

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Different Types of Leather

Leather is a highly valued material, mainly because of its reputation for lasting a lifetime. Well, items made of quality leather can last a lifetime. But, as you know, not all leather is created equal.

Here’s the leather spectrum, from highest quality to lowest quality:

1. Full Grain Leather

This is the top of the top, the best quality leather you can find. Why is it called “full-grain” leather? Because the leather has never been buffed, sanded or otherwise improved. You get to see the imperfections as they appear naturally, and you also enjoy the full thickness of the leather. You get the maximum durability out of full-grain leather goods because of this natural thickness. The best quality luggage, bags and other goods carry the designation of full-grain leather, and you can recognize these fine products by the beautifully worn sheen they develop in time.

2. Top Grain Leather

Next on the list is top-grain leather, which is a little bit thinner because of the process to remove imperfections and marks. It’s not as strong as full-grain leather because it’s not as thick, but it certainly provides a beautifully clean and pristine appearance. Top-grain leather’s trademark characteristic is its smooth feel. Its finish also helps prevent staining, whereas stains can sink easily into products made of full-grain leather.

3. Suede

While top-grain leather feels smooth, suede is known for its texture. Where does suede come from? The underside of the skin, which technically makes it a form of split leather. People like to buy suede products because of the way they feel, though suede lacks durability because of how thin it is, and it can stain far more easily than top-grain leather.

4. Corrected Grain Leather (also “Genuine” Leather)

Corrected-grain leather is bordering on faux territory. While its foundation is real leather, manufacturers use artificial grain on the surface. This provides a pattern that looks like real leather, which is the result of a final staining that’s designed to give corrected-grain a more natural look and feel. If you’re interested in real leather, avoid corrected-grain and the euphemism “genuine leather” that sellers often place on it.

5. Bonded Leather

If you find full-grain leather on only the finest luggage and other luxury goods, you find bonded leather on bargain basement bags and furniture that are meant to look nice while available for next to nothing price-wise. Bonded leather is made from scraps of natural leather that have been shredded down and reconstructed using latex or polyurethane. Bonded leather items include both chemical and organic leather, and there’s really no way to tell the proportion. If you’re looking for a good price, you may find bonded leather items to your liking. Just don’t expect them to last a lifetime as full- or top-grain leather items might.

 

How to Choose the Right Ottoman

Believe it or not, an ottoman can be the focal point of your living area. The question is: What do you want that focal point to say? The right ottoman can make a living room sing and, as mentioned above, make your guests green with envy as they wonder where you got your sense of style.

But the wrong ottoman can make your living space feel completely out of whack. Don’t let this be you. Consider the following, and choose the right ottoman for your living space.

  • Size: There are three ways to go with size, two of which are acceptable and one of which is not. You simply can’t get an ottoman that is too small for your room and its furniture. It will look like the Green Giant’s footstool if you get one that’s too tiny for the scale of the room. You can match the scale of the room with an ottoman, which can work nicely. But I recommend getting an ottoman that’s ever-so-slightly larger in scale than the rest of the furniture and the living area itself. This allows the ottoman to become the focal point of the room. No matter what size you choose, make sure your ottoman’s height is similar to that of the furniture.
  • Shape: You can find 3 basic ottoman shapes: square, rectangle and round. Square works best with a sectional that offers to sides with equal lengths. Rectangle works best with an L-shaped sectional — or a couch and love seat that are arrayed like a sectional. And round works best with a sectional that’s rounded or curved, wrapping around the ottoman itself.
  • Material: You can find almost any material these days. You’ll find wood ottomans and metal ottomans in addition to the more traditional upholstered styles. You’re here on a hunt for a leather ottoman, which often works with matching leather furniture or in contrast with fabric upholstery of your liking. More than you should worry about matching material, you should worry about matching tone. That is, you don’t want an ottoman that’s too casual in your formal living area, and vice versa.
  • Color: This is where you can have some fun. Because an ottoman is smaller than the rest of the furniture in the room, you can use it to add a pop. If choosing a fabric ottoman, I would recommend finding a color that’s brighter than the rest of your furniture, or at least a pattern that’s a bit more ambitious. I recommend using a leather cocktail ottoman as a contrast to fabric furniture. The leather will stand out and provide depth to the overall design and style of your living space.
  • Function: Ottomans aren’t just for appearances. I recommend finding an ottoman that does at least one other thing. You can find options that include a storage area, as well as options that have a shelf underneath the surface. An ottoman, of course, can serve as a footrest and a sitting area when needed. Decide what you want your ottoman to do, and then find the style you like that also includes the function.

 

The Lazzaro Hayton Tufted Leg Shelf Cocktail Ottoman — Best Top Grain Option

I’ve got an easy recommendation for this product — the Lazzaro Hayton Tufted Leg Shelf Cocktail Ottoman. When you want a top grain cocktail ottoman, there’s no better blend of all the considerations. Here’s what you get:

Balanced Style

Top grain leather furniture is by nature formal in feel. Top grain is smooth, and it just seems to fit best in formal environments. An ottoman is by nature informal — it’s a place to put your feet up. With this Lazzaro Hayton product, you get the quality of top grain leather, but in a slightly less formal package.

Important Function

A shelf is one of the two best ottoman functions, in my opinion, right up there with a storage compartment. Here’s my rule of thumb: How old are your kids? If you have kids in elementary school or younger, I recommend a storage compartment where you can stash their toys. If they’re older (or if you don’t have kids at home), I recommend a shelf. Why? Because this is a perfect spot for home accents. You can place coffee table books so that the spines are visible from the larger, more option portion of your living room. And the open space and legs also make your other furniture feel lighter, which is a nice effect.

Interesting Detail

Furniture can get pretty boring pretty quickly if you’re not careful. As mentioned above, an ottoman is a place where you can be bold and choose to do something interesting if you don’t have the courage or desire to do something bold with your larger pieces. This ottoman offers a tufted top, which warm and inviting, and I love the multi-directional slats that form the shelf. This stuff may go overlooked, but they are important details that help tie together a room and make an impression on your visitors.

Cons of the Lazzaro Hayton Tufted Leg Shelf Cocktail Ottoman

What’s not to like about the Lazzaro Hayton Tufted Leg Shelf Cocktail Ottoman? I would say the price, which is going to start somewhere between $700 and $800, depending on where you buy. But that’s going to be the case for most top grain leather cocktail ottoman options.

 

Abbyson Living Margot Top-Grain Leather Ottoman — Best for Formal Living Area

Remember how I said that top grain can feel a little formal? This option from Abbyson Living is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s really beautiful, but the nail-head trim and the heaviness make this product feel too staid and proper for my taste.

I do like the color, and it’s a square option if you need something for a sectional with equally long ends. But I’m going to recommend the Lazzaro Hayton option for top grain, as well as another option if you’re willing to budget on material — read more below.

 

A Better, Less Expensive Alternative: The Simpli Home Owen Coffee Table Ottoman (Best Overall!)

Everyone has his or her own style, right? I love mid-century, which is enjoying a bit of a moment right now. (I hate to admit it, but I’m not as unique as I’d like to think.) So my tendency is too look for mid-century items, no matter the category.

And I love, love, love the Simpli Home Owen Coffee Table Ottoman. Let me get this out of the way right from the start: It’s not top grain leather. It’s faux leather that’s given a distressed appearance. But here are three reasons to love it:

  • Style: I like the Lazzaro Hayton style — but I love this style. It’s well-balanced, right at home in both a casual and more formal living environment. And it definitely strikes the right note when paired with a fabric upholstery sectional or couch-love seat combination. This ottoman, plus a solid sectional, plus colorful throw pillows is the living room look and feel that dreams are made of.
  • Storage: If you’re like me and you do have kids at home that haven’t yet hit middle school, you’ll appreciate having the storage area under the surface of this ottoman. Even if you don’t have kids, this is a great place to stash remote controls, magazines and other stuff that you like to have around — but that you don’t like to have on display.
  • Colors: Unlike the Lazzaro Hayton option, you can choose from among four colors rather than settling for stock burgundy. The Simpli Home option is available in distressed saddle brown, distressed black, distressed chestnut brown and distressed taupe. Choose the best color to match your existing furniture.
  • Price: You’ll pay about a quarter for this ottoman as you will for a top grain option. If you want top grain, that probably won’t matter much. But, if you’re open to alternatives, you may appreciate having an option.

 

Making the Most of Your Investment in a Cocktail Ottoman

No matter what product you choose, you’re going to want to get the most out of your investment. If you choose top grain leather, make sure to clean regularly using a leather cleaning solution, and condition it at least twice a year to prevent the material from drying out and cracking. Also, make sure the temperature inside doesn’t get too hot — extreme heat can destroy top grain.

Top grain leather handles spills nicely, but don’t let anything sit on the surface for more than a few moments. Clean up as soon as possible.

That’s it. Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or you can always reach out to us directly using our contact page.