All about footstools

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An Ottoman footstool

Self portrait of William Notman (with one foot resting on a footstool)

Automobile pedals in a Subaru Legacy. From left to right: foot rest, clutch, brake, accelerator.

A footstool (foot stool, footrest, foot rest) is a piece of furniture or a support used to elevate the foot. There are two main types of footstool, which can be loosely categorized into those designed for comfort and those designed for function.


This type of footstool is used to provide comfort to a person seated, for example, in a chair or sofa. It is typically a short, wide, four-legged stool with a padded top, upholstered in a fabric or animal hide, such as leather. This type of footstool is also a type of ottoman. It allows the seated person to rest his feet upon it, supporting the legs at a mostly horizontal level, thus giving rise to the alternate term footrest. High quality footstools are height–adjustable.


This type of footstool supports a person's (usually a child's) feet that do not reach the floor when seated. The footstool is placed under the feet of a sitting person so that the person's feet may rest comfortably on it. An example is the type of piano footstool used in conjunction with a piano bench. It is also used to make the blood circulation of the body flow more freely than sitting down.

A barber chair and a shoeshiner have foot rests. A vehicle with a manual transmission usually has a "dummy pedal" that acts as a foot rest to discourage "riding the clutch". A foot peg is another type of foot rest usually on BMX bicycles, motorcycles, the Ford N-Series tractor, some kayaks, the Impossible wheel, etc. Shovels, spades, and foot ploughs all have foot rests that support the foot as it presses down on the tool.

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