Ottoman Coffee Table Guide – my top recommendations

My top recommendations for Ottoman Coffee Tables

Guide to buying ottoman coffee tables

Ottoman coffee tables are rapidly growing both for their style and practicality. I would venture to guess that they are the fastest growing segment in the market place.  They are a bit more casual than other styles of coffee tables.

I love ottoman coffee tables as they serve many purposes. First, they are a design statement, second, they double as a coffee table and foot rest (and sometimes can even become an extension of your couch (great for watching movies with a blanket). Third, they provide great storage space as there is ample room for books, blankets or whatever. And fourth, when needed, they can provide additional seating areas for guests.

 

Note:  You can click on most of the pictures and you can buy these items online and have them directly sent to you.  Most have free shipping.

Click here for my full coffee table guide for recommendations on size/dimensions and shapes for coffee tables.

Outline for this Ottoman Coffee Table Guide

1.  Origin of the term ottoman and history

2.  Styles and colors of ottomans

3.  Price Ranges for ottoman coffee tables

4.  Advantages of ottoman coffee tables

5.  Square ottoman coffee tables

6.  Round ottoman coffee tables

7.  Rectangular ottoman coffee tables

8.  What is pouf furniture?

 




Origin of the term ottoman and what is an ottoman?

An Ottoman refers to a low piece of furniture with no back and no arms that is/was often used as a footstool and/or an extra seat.  Ottomans are usually deeply upholstered and come in many shapes.  Ottomans were introduced into Europe in the late 1700’s from Turkey (formerly known as the Ottoman Empire) and hence the name.  Ottomans were originally piled with cushions and became a central piece of domestic seating.  Now, they have evolved into multi-use coffee tables, seats and storage areas.

History of ottomans

The word ottomane appeared as early as 1729 in French as a piece of furniture.  The first known recorded use in English occurs in one of Thomas Jefferson’s books from 1789.

Originally, ottomans were designed as low seats (sometimes called hassocks) as a piece of fitted furniture that would go around a full 3 walls of a room (often with back pillows in some sections).  They looked and felt different than the ottomans we are accustomed to today and looked a bit more like futons.

From here, a smaller version evolved that was designed to just fit in the corner of the room.  In the Ottoman Empire itself, an ottoman was the central piece of family seating and was piled with cushions for extra comfort.

As the 19th century progressed, ottomans became circular or octagonal, some with arms radiating from the center, which divided the seating space into sections, and others with a central, padded column, which often supported a plant or statue that guests could lean on.  The growth of club and saloon life stimulated the proliferation of ottomans as more people could site there and socialize.  Over time, many of the ottomans were designed with hinged areas underneath to hold books or magazines.

The ottoman footstool, a closely allied piece of furniture, was an upholstered footstool often with four legs or wheels, which could also be used as a fireside seat. By the 1900’s the word ottoman encompassed both of these forms.  These footstool pieces (sometimes called hassocks, pouf-style ottoman or pouffés) were designed to match arm chairs, and over time some evolved to include storage areas.

Today, ottomans have evolved into functional coffee tables.  They are an easy piece of furniture to accessorize with and many like the multi-uses of this piece of furniture.

Many ottomans are hollow and can be used for storage. Ottomans can be used in many rooms including living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms (as an extra storage area and bench for putting on socks/clothes), as well as guest rooms.  They can be used with sofas or instead of sofas, pending the size of the room.

Styles and colors of ottomans

Ottomans can either either be the same color as the sofas or a contrasting color.  Some prefer same the same color for uniformity, others contrast the color to tie in with other furniture or items of the room, while some will use ottomans as a way to introduce a bright color to the room.  There is no right or wrong choice here; it’s a matter of style and preference and overall decor of the room.

Ottomans come in many shapes and styles as well as fabrics. The most popular fabric is leather, but other choices include suede, brushed cotton prints and richly colored fabrics.  The most popular shape for coffee table is square, followed by round and rectangular.  You can also find hexagons and other interesting shapes.




Price ranges for Ottomans

Ottomans, like any other piece of furniture vary in price from around $50 to $10,000+.  But, the majority are very reasonably priced, generally in the $150-$900 range, pending on the materials used, size, and features.  Because they are reasonably priced and come in a variety of styles, they are becoming more popular, especially among younger consumers.

Advantages Ottoman Coffee Tables

  1. Multi-use:  Can be used as coffee table, extra seating, extension of couch for reclining and storage.  Multi-use without taking up more space
  2. Very stylish
  3. Reasonably priced

Square Ottoman Coffee Tables

Square ottoman coffee tables are great for large spaces, L-shaped sectionals and sofa love seat combos.  Below are some great ottoman coffee tables that are square and reasonably priced.  Many come in multiple colors.

 

Simpli Home Avalon Coffee Table Storage Ottoman with 4 Trays

This is available in midnight black, brown, fawn brown (fabric), red, cream, and slate gray (fabric)

  • 4 serving trays
  • Storage area
  • faux leather with stitching
  • hand constructed with solid and engineered wood
  • 35″ x 35″ x 18″ high

 

Convenience Concepts Designs4Comfort Times Square with 4 Tray Tops
  • Espresso faux leather
  • Hinged wood
  • Solid wood feet
  • 4 reversible trays
  • Large storage area
  • 34.5″ x 34.5″x 19.5″ high

 

Simpli Home Dover Square Coffee Table Ottoman with split lift up lid

Available in black, brown, slate gray, red, and cream

  • Wood construction with leather
  • Durable tufted design
  • Child safety hinge
  • Extra large storage
  • 36″ x 36″ x 20″ in height
  • Made in USA

 

Homeware Stella Ottoman with espresso finish graphite

I love this style.  It gores great with black, gray or white/cream sofas.  Stylish and chic.  Available in different patterns.

  • 100% cotton on top
  • Tapered legs
  • 38″ x 38″ x 17″ in height
  • Made in USA

 

Round Ottoman Coffee Tables

Belham Living Corbett Coffee Table with Storage Ottoman
  • Bonded leather and wood
  • flip storage
  • 35″ x 35″ x 14″
  • Rounded and padded

 

 

Madison Park Martin Surfboard Tufted Ottoman – Gray

This is actually an oval. It’s chic and sophisticated.

  • Available in gray and linen
  • 48″ wide x 27.5 in depth and 18″ in height
  • Made with hardwood

Rectangular Ottoman Coffee Tables

Simpli Home Avalon Faux Leather Rectangular Storage Ottoman with 3 serving trays

Available in brown, black, slate gray, cream natural, red and olive green.

  • Great for storage
  • PU leather
  • Handcrafted with solid and engineered wood
  • 42″ long x 17″ wide and 17″ high

 

Dorel Living Chevron Storage Ottoman
  • Grey and white chevron pattern fabric
  • Ample storage
  • Nicely padded for a comfortable feel
  • Matching chair and pillows available

 

What is pouf furniture?

A pouf is a large solid cushion, usually cylindrical or cubic, used as a seat and/or foot rest.  They are a variation on of ottomans.  They have become more popular as they are 1) versatile, come in many shapes and sizes that fit into almost any space, 3) come in a large variety of styles, colors, textures and patterns, 4) they are inexpensive. They are both functional and decorative.

 

 

Where can you buy ottoman coffee tables online?

Coffee Table buying guideThese will take you directly to the ottoman coffee table sections where you can buy these items directly.

Other useful Coffee table articles:

Ultimate Coffee Table Buying Guide

Square Coffee Tables

Round Coffee Tables

Lift Top Coffee Tables



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Ottoman Coffee Table Guide

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Round Coffee Tables – My top choices

Choosing a Round Coffee Table

Round Coffee Table Buying Guide

Advantages of Round Coffee Tables

Round coffee tables are stylish and chic.  They are an ideal choice if you have kids or pets as they don’t have sharp edges.

Circular tables are also a great choice if you have a smaller space, as they are generally a bit smaller (as they have the edges “chopped off”) and they allow you more flexibility with seating.

From a social standpoint, round coffee tables are great for gathering around, and from a style perspective, the round curves add an intriguing element of decor.

Round coffee tables also work well with L-shaped sectionals or sofa/loveseat combos.

Be sure to check out my full guide – The Ultimate Coffee Table Buying Guide for advice in selecting the right size, dimensions and style for your coffee table.

Traditional and transitional round coffee tables

Winsome Wood Concord round coffee table. This classic wood table is round has a small drawer.  There is an open bottom shelf for storage as well.

  • 30 x 30 x 18 inches
  • Matching end tables and console available

 

Modern and Contemporary round coffee tables

Winsom wood coffee table – espresso. This is a basic black (espresso) and glass coffee table that’s round and has a shelf underneath for placement of books/magazine and TV remotes.  The espresso color goes with most decor and the glass table top gives your space more light.

  • 30 x 30 x 18 inches
  • Matching end tables available as well as console table

 

 

Unique coffee tables that are round

I love this round and unique coffee table.  It can functional as a regular round table and you have the option of rotating the sections for additional space and visual intrigue.  I also love the contemporary color and linear design.  It’s actually an oval, but also comes in a square option and other colors.

  • 23.75″L x 31.50″W x 13″H
  • Made with solid wood
  • Rotating top feature
  • Minor assembly required, (tools and instructions included)

Glass Round Coffee Tables

Glass coffee tables certainly give your space a more open and airy feel, making your space look larger.  Glass is easier to clean and maintain.  And, they are modern and up-to-date.

Sauder soft modern round coffee table – glass/black rim.  This is probably one of the most affordable coffee tables you’ll find and it’s very versatile.  It’s fairly large, too and light as well (in weight)

  • Safety tempered glass
  • 36 x 36 x 16.5 inches
  • Matching end tables available

Wood Round Coffee Tables

Furniture of America Zoe Round Coffee Table.  This also has a lower level to store items on or rest your feet.  This has a Vintage walnut finish (uses Medium fiber board. This has a 4 footed base with a raised lower shelf for extra storage.

  • 35″ diameter x 15″ height
  • Lower shelf dimensions are 20″ in diameter and 9″ in height

Ottoman Round Coffee Tables

Ottoman Coffee Tables are great, because they serve multiple purposes.  First, they function as a standard coffee table.  Second, they can double for extra seating.  And third, many have removable tops, so you can use them for storage – for blankets, books, remote controls, etc.  But do check that the one you are selecting has a removable top (as not all do).

Convenience Concepts Designs4Comfort – Modern Round shoe ottoman coffee table.  This ottoman coffee table comes in a rich espresso and has a removable lid for storage.  This ottoman actually has 12 compartments for storage and organization.

  • 22″ in diameter and 16″ in height
  • Available in other colors, including ivory

 

Be sure to check out my full guide – The Ultimate Coffee Table Buying Guide for advice in selecting the right size, dimensions and style for your coffee table.

Useful resources

Round Coffee Tables – My top choices

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Square Coffee Tables – My top picks

Where to buy square shaped coffee tables

Where to buy square coffee tables

 

Square coffee tables have become super stylish and popular.  They don’t work for all spaces, but they are often perfect for larger spaces as well as L-shaped sectionals or L-shaped seating arrangements (e.g. sofa and love seat combo).

 

Square tables tends to unify seating areas that may look too far away.  Conversely, they can make smaller rooms look smaller.  Be aware that these may not be wide enough for long sofas.

Below are some of my top picks for reasonably priced square coffee tables.  You can buy these on Amazon.  Most have free shipping.  I believe all are under $500, and most are $300 or less.

 

The first step should be considering the style of your coffee table – is it contemporary and modern?  Or traditional?  Or is it somewhere in between (called transitional).

 

When selecting a square coffee table, it’s important to consider the size and scale of the coffee table.  You can use this coffee table buying guide for size guidelines.

 

You’ll also want to consider the functionality (e.g. do you need storage space?) and material.  Again, check out the coffee table buying guide for my top 10 tips.

Square coffee tables

Morgan Square Coffee Table with serving tray
  • Smart solutions coffee table includes a removable serving tray that can be used to serve beverages or as a centerpiece holder
  • Square shape coffee table; 1-set of serving tray; 2-drawers with nickel hardware flip knobs; 2-open compartments for display
  • Measures 32-inch wide by 32-inch deep by 16-inch high

Belham Living Bartlett Square Coffee Table

  • Poplar, engineered wood, and birch veneer
  • Dimensions: 40W x 40D x 18H in.

 

 

 

Haring Rotating Square Coffee Table – Gray

I thought this was pretty cool – sleek and modern contemporary with a late 1960’s vibe.  The rotating top makes this multi-functional and unique and I love the linear design.  This unique coffee table definitely makes a statement.

  • 23.75″L x 31.50″W x 13″H
  • Constructed of solid wood
  • Rotating top feature

 

Rustic Square Crate Style Wood like Coffee Table with Open Shelf and Storage – Antique weathered White.

  • Square 4-sided open-shelf storage inspired by Artisan wine bottle crates
  • Coffee table has center flip box tray insert
  • Keyhole concepts for added classic style
  • Convenience in moving with smooth moving wheels
  • Also available in Walnut

Modern Sturdy Decorative Chic Style Contemporary rustic Transitional Square Coffee Table – Matte Black

  • Bottom shelf can be used for additional decorating or storage space Coffee Table is finished on all sides for versatile placement in your room
  • Includes: One (1) coffee table Materials: Painted MDF and laminated particleboard
  • Finish: Black, sonoma oak
  • Weight: 64.2 pounds Dimensions: 17 inches high x 35.4 inches wide x 35.4 inches deep

Hokku Designs Audra Square Coffee Table – Coffee Bean

  • 36 x 36 x 16 inches

 

Coffee Table Ottomans

Ottomans can be great as they can serve a dual purpose – coffee table and extra seating if needed.  In addition, many have a big bonus – storage space.

Espresso Bonded Leather Square Storage Bench Ottoman Coffee Table

 

Dover Square Coffee Table Ottoman with split lift up lid by Simpli Home

  • Available in espresso, black, white, burgundy and gray

 

Designs4Comfort Times Square Ottoman with 4 tray tops – espresso

 

  • Espresso Faux Leather
  • Seam Detail and Tufting
  • Bent Wood Reversible Trays
  • Solid Wood Feet
  • 34.5 x 34.5 x 19.5 inches

 

Berkeley Brown Leather Square Storage Ottoman

  • Timeless, rich leather construction and classic design
  • Provides ample storage, additional seating, and a place to set things
  • Softly padded top for added comfort
  • Sturdy wooden frame for added stability
  • Ottoman: 35″ L x 35″ W x 19″ H – 60.5lbs

Homeware Stella Ottoman with espresso finish, graphite

  • Tapered Leg
  • 100% Cotton
  • The 38-inch-square Stella is endlessly accommodating: coffee table, extra seating, pet perch, game table and, of course, the grooviest footrest
  • 38 x 38 x 17 inches

 

Coffee Table Accessories

  • Felt pads (to prevent scratching on hardwood floors)
  • Pillows
  • End tables
  • Area rugs

Other Coffee Table Articles:

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The Ultimate Coffee Table Buying Guide – Top 10 Tips

Top 10 Tips on Selecting a Coffee Table

The Ultimate Coffee Table Buying Guide - top 10 Tips

Are you in the market for a Coffee Table?  Coffee Tables can really make a statement and set the décor for the entire room.  They are both fun and functional.  And, you don’t need to break the bank to buy one.

Coffee Table Buying guide

Coffee Table Buyer guide - dark rectangular coffee tableThis buying guide is intended to help you understand the features and options for Coffee Tables.  Sometimes, the possibilities seem endless.  But, once you know your style, size and shape you’re looking for, you’ll find it much easier to make the best decision.

 

Often, the coffee table is the last missing piece of the puzzle, coming after the sofa and seating are chosen.  This can make it even more challenging.  Even decorators have challenges selecting the ideal coffee table.  Other times, it’s the defining piece of the room and you are working with a clean slate.

 

Note: As an added bonus, many of the links and pictures on this page will take you to online stores where you can purchase directly and have the item shipped directly to your home.  This certainly saves time and hassle.

 

I’ve organized this Coffee Table Buying Guide into Sections

  1.  Size and Scale – Length, Width, Height
  2.  Shape – Rectangular vs. Square vs. Circle vs Oval
  3.  Functionality – Use, What’s under the coffee table? Kid and Pet friendly
  4.  Style and Material – Style, Glass, Wood, Metal, Color

After this, I’ve provided some other helpful resources and a couple of places to buy coffee tables online.




How to choose the ideal size and scale for your coffee table.  Think Goldilocks.

1. Consider your space and plan for leg room and ease of use

You need to consider comfort and spacial design.  It’s ideal to have the distance from edge of coffee table to edge of sofa be 18 inches (or 1.5 ft).  This is close enough to reach for your drink down or reach for the TV remote and yet far enough away to stretch out your legs.

 

If the coffee table is too small or too big, the room will feel awkward because it’s out of proportion with the furniture.

 

One of the biggest mistakes I see is that either people don’t leave enough room or they leave too much room.  Think Goldilocks.  The 18 inch rule of thumb should help you avoid this common mistake.

 

2. Leave some white space

Think about the room’s main passageway and make sure to leave at least 30″ (or 2.5 ft) on all edges (i.e. on the right, left and in front of coffee table).  This includes the area from the coffee table to the TV stand, a 2nd sofa or love seat (if you have one) and walkways to other rooms.

 

 

If your room is very narrow, you can sometimes get away with 2 feet, but 3 feet (or more) looks and feels much more comfortable.

 

The length of the coffee table should be no more than 2/3 the length of your sofa.  So get out your tape measure. and calculator.  After you’ve measured the length of your sofa, multiply that number by .67.

 

For example, if your sofa is 96″ (or 8 ft), then multiply 96 x .67 = 64″ (or 5 ‘4″).  Of if your sofa is 75″ (or 6’3″), then your coffee table should be no wider than  50″ (or 4’2″).  This one on the right is too large for its setting.  But, it would probably be perfect for a 3 seater sofa.

 

Meet your new best friend – the tape measure. If you don’t already have one, you can buy an inexpensive one from Amazon.  And, you may find that this inexpensive laser will come in handy, especially for measuring your whole room.

 

 

The Bosch GLM compact laser is easy to use.  It’s measures up to 50 ft in length and has 1/8″ accuracy.  It’s light and compact.  I have one of these lasers.  This works with 2 double A batteries which are included.

3.  Select the height: Make sure it’s not too high and not too low

In addition to the length and width, you need to consider the height.  This is another place where I see homeowners making mistakes.  The coffee table surface should be 1-2″ lower than the couch.  Most standard coffee tables are 16 to 18 inches high.

 

But, if you have a high couch, consider a higher coffee table (e.g. in the 20-21″ range) so it’s easier for you and your guests to enjoy your food and drink.

Finding the best shape for your coffee table

Coffee Tables are one of those ubiquitous pieces of furniture found in almost every home.  They come in a variety of shapes and choosing the right one can make the coffee table the focal point and unifying center of the room as family members and guests gather.




4.  Advantages and disadvantages of coffee table shapes

  • It’s hard to go wrong with a rectangular coffee table.  You will probably find the most options in rectangles.  These can work well for wider sofas so that everyone has easy access to the coffee table.

 

 

  • Oval can work as well in the same way.  They have softer edges so they are safer for kids.  They work well for those that like the curves of round tables but have longer sofas.  You can find some oval coffee tables here.

 

  • Round tables work well for gathering groups of people.  They can also work well in smaller spaces (since they take up less room), and w/ both sofa/love seat combo or L shaped sectionals.  You can find some round coffee table options here.

 

 

  • Square tends to unify seating areas that may look too far away.  They work much better in larger rooms and with L-shaped sections and sofa/love seat combo.  Conversely, they can make smaller rooms look smaller.  Be aware that these may not be wide enough for long sofas.

 

Tip:  If you have sofa/seating already, buy some poster boards (or tape pieces of paper together) and cut out different sizes and shapes to see which works best for your space.

 

5.  Think about what’s under your feet – the Coffee Table legs, base and support

This can impact the comfort and convenience.  Think about where you like to rest your feet (e.g. on the table, beside it or on a lower rung of the table?.  Do you like to sit of the floor and use the coffee table as an alternate setting for casual dining?  All of these can have an impact on whether you prefer an open area underneath or somewhere to rest feet (or put stuff on).

 

If you have kids, pets, lots of foot traffic, a tendency to stub your toes, or use the table as an alternate location for meals, consider a table with recessed legs.

 

And, if you have (or are getting an area rug), think about how the coffee table and area rug fit together.  Do you love your area rug?  Do you want to see more of it or less?  If you want to see more of it, consider glass tops as well as recessed legs so you can see more of it.




Determining the functionality of your coffee table

Function refers to how you use the coffee table.  Is it primarily a canvas to place objects?  Or will it function as a fully functional  second dining table or a place to rest your feet?

6.  Think about how you will use your coffee table

Form follows function, as they say in architecture.  So ask yourself how you’ll use it.  Is it primarily for decorating?  Will it hold your magazines or be a perch for your doodads?  Those who entertain should consider round or ovals which guests will naturally gather round.

 

 

Do you need it for storage?  How will you rest your legs? If you need storage space, consider lift tops (which are great for blankets) or mission tables with a lower shelf for books or coffee tables with drawers (for coasters, photo albums.

 

Glass can be easiest to clean, but can be dangerous if you have little kids.  Be wary of tempered glass or safety glass.  It’s certainly less expensive, but made to shatter when broken (like car windshields).

7.  Consider a kid or pet friendly design if you have kids or if they are on the way.

  • Avoid sharp edges
  • Oval or round with smooth edges is often ideal
  • Probably avoid glass – both for safety and for finger prints (and paw prints
  • Consider draws for extra storage (and neatness)

 

Selecting the style and materials

8.  What is your style of decor?

Coffee Table Buying Guide - Weathered coffee table rectangularWhat is your decor of your home and what’s your style?  What’s the style of your sofa (and are you keeping it for the long term?  If your sofa is plush and solid, you may want to try a glass table for some lightness.  If the couch is slim, you’re fine with a more solid or chunkier style and one with a base.

Do you prefer a traditional look or modern/contemporary?  Or is it somewhere in between – often called transitional.  Is there a specific genre you are going for?  Do you prefer more linear designs or rounded edges?  Do you prefer light and airy or cozy and warm?  Do you want a “back to nature” look?  Do you just want something basic and functional or do you want something unique that makes a statement?

 

9.  Selecting your materials

The advantage of glass coffee tables

  • Less bulky, let in more light vs wood (or metal coffee tables
  • Usually easy to wipe down and don’t scratch
  • Don’t have to worry about coaster
  • Great to show off your area rug
  • Looks more modern and contemporary
  • Alternatively, use lucite or acrylic for the same effect and benefits, but lower cost)

Wood coffee tables can add warmth and comfort to the area.

Because wood table are often heavy (and sometimes bulky), they tend to work better in larger rooms with lots of light and high ceilings.  If you don’t have those conditions, but still prefer wood, consider choosing a long narrow table so it doesn’t look so bulky.

Weathered wood creates a mix of old and new

These pieces can give your home a retro or shabby chic look.  They are also more “forgiving” as the camouflage scratches and dirt a bit more.

 

Metal coffee tables

These can work well, especially if you already have lots of wood in your space.  Be sure not to mix metals in the room (e.g. chrome with brass) or styles of metals (shiny vs matte or brushed).

 

Consider Color for your coffee table, if you want to be daring

Generally going neutral is best…usually.  I prefer to see color in paint, pillows, window treatments and artwork, but in some homes and styles,a colored coffee table can add drama and pull a room together.  Some decorators can pull this off as they have a great eye.  Check out this creation from Joanna Cohlan’s (Fresh Eyes For You Home – Living room with blue and pale yellows and blue end table.  She has a wonderful eye for color.  Sometimes this is easier to do with end tables (rather than the coffee table).

 

 

If you choose a colored coffee table, it tends to work best with subtle and neutral colored couches and then pillows that coordinate with the coffee table and/or area rug.  (check out above link to see this in action).

10.  Don’t go overboard

Details in a coffee table can make it special, but too much can detract from the room and throw it out of balance.  So make sure and decide on whether the coffee table is the focal point of the room.  And, make sure the coffee table, sofas and chairs work in harmony.

 

Conclusion:

Coffee tables are not a one size fits all.  They help unify a room making them more comfortable and cohesive.  It’s important to think about the role of your coffee table and how it fits in with your room’s space and décor.  I hope you find this guide helpful.

Let’s go Shopping for a coffee table

I will be filling out this section soon.  In the meantime, here are 2 places online that you can search for and buy coffee tables.

Other resources for Home Décor:

 

The Ultimate Coffee Table Buying Guide – Top 10 Tips

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