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What is a Gliding Ottoman?

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  • Written By: Micki Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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A gliding ottoman is a piece of furniture often accompanied by a gliding rocking chair on which people can rest their feet while seated. Using a system of ball bearings, the ottoman is meant to move fluidly back and forth in a smooth, silent movement. A gliding ottoman and chair set is often used in nurseries, although they can be placed in most any room. There is a wide selection of styles to choose from that can provide comfort and style.

Rocking chairs have long been used as an accessory by people who find the back and forth motion to be soothing. It is for this reason that a gliding ottoman and chair are often utilized when trying to calm infants at nighttime and while nursing. Gliding chairs and ottomans might be considered a more modern version of the typical rocking chair.

This style may be sturdier because its legs sit flat on the ground, unlike the arched runners of a standard rocking chair. Weighted ball bearings and hinges made of sturdy metal account for the gliding motion. The movement of a gliding ottoman generally remains horizontal and, when kept in good shape, the furniture makes very little sound.

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Furthermore, some models come with a brake system to keep the chair from moving if such a setting is preferred. The chair can be “frozen” in several different positions using this accessory. Some ottomans are sold as a set along with a matching gliding rocker, or they can also be purchased separately. For all of these reasons, some individuals prefer a gliding ottoman and chair to a regular rocking chair.

Perhaps the most common usage for a gliding ottoman is as a footrest. When an individual is seated in a chair, he can place his feet on the ottoman to relax in a reclined position, or to relieve tired, sore legs. A gliding ottoman is meant to move in time with a gliding chair. It is also common to use ottomans as an individual seat, although there is no back support.

There are many different styles of gliding ottoman to match the décor of most any room. Several models are made with hardwoods that can be stained, painted, or kept bare. With such a wide variety of looks, customers should be able to find an ottoman to compliment the interior design of their homes.

Cushions are another option for gliding ottomans. A large selection typically is available, from thin and modern to overstuffed, thick padding. The color of the cushion a person chooses can also add to the overall look of the ottoman and its surrounding furnishings.

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