If you’re a dog parent, you might wonder if your dog really needs their own bed (especially if your pup spends most nights hogging the covers in your bed). But there are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to seek out the best dog bed for your pooch.
For starters, maybe you don’t want your pet on your furniture, leaving muddy paw prints or dog hair. “Whenever we want our animals to avoid something that’s appealing, we should provide them an equally appealing alternative,” like a good dog bed, says Irith Bloom, a certified dog trainer, certified behavior consultant, and owner of The Sophisticated Dog in Los Angeles, California.
Some dogs also love to have their own little spot to hang out. A dog bed can be just that: a soothing zen space for your dog that can help to alleviate anxiety.
Bloom recommends providing at least two beds for every dog in your household.
“Think of high traffic areas,” she says. “Where do you and your family spend the most time?”
It’s nice to have a dog bed in the living room, and another one in your bedroom, since many dogs like to sleep in the same room as their people. You might also want to have an option in a child’s room, if that’s where your dog likes to be, Bloom says.
What’s Your Dog’s Style?
But how to pick the best dog bed? It all comes down to your dog’s personal preference, Bloom says. “People like different kinds of mattresses. Some people like firm, some like squishy. Dogs are the same way.” Ask yourself these questions when you’re shopping for the best dog bed:
- Does your dog prefer soft or hard surfaces? It’s a misconception that all dogs want something soft and cushy, Bloom says. Pay attention to where your dog likes to lie down. Do they beg to come up on your sofa or bed, or do you often find them snoozing on your kitchen tile?
- What size is your dog? Be sure to measure your dog before ordering a bed so you can make sure your dog will be able to lie on it comfortably. Also, measure the space where you’d like to place the dog bed, so you can make sure it fits well. Chewy provides a Bed Measuring Guide for all beds—to find it, go to the product page and click on the “Size” tab.
- How does your dog prefer to lounge? Observe how your dog likes to relax. Do they enjoy having a place to rest their head? Do they like to curl up in a tight ball? Do they try to flatten the edges of whatever they’re lying on? These are all clues to what dog bed shape will be the best fit, Bloom says. Sometimes these preferences vary from day to day or with the seasons, so you may want to buy several options you can swap out or have available to your dog in different areas of your home.
- What does your dog like in their crate? If you plan to use your dog’s bed in their crate, in general, Bloom says, smaller dogs love to have some cushioning in their crate, while larger dogs often spend a lot of energy pushing fluffy things out of the way. For some light padding, look for crate mats and pads rather than beds. (Read more about shopping for dog crates here.)
- Is your dog messy? If so, keep an eye out for machine-washable beds, beds with removable covers, and/or water-resistant or waterproof dog beds for easy cleaning.
Think of them as oversized pillows. Beds like the FurHaven Ultra Plush Luxe Lounger Orthopedic Pillow Cat & Dog Bed provide dogs an ideal place to lay flat as they lounge.
Perfect for: Dogs who like to spread out while they sleep.
Orthopedic Dog Beds
Orthopedic memory foam dog beds provide additional support and padding for a dog’s joints. Beds like the Frisco Textured Plush Orthopedic Pillowtop Dog Bed w/Removable Cover can make the difference between a dog who can get up and move easily versus a dog who moves stiffly trying to warm up their joints and muscles, Bloom says. These memory foam dog beds may cost a bit more, but they’re worth it for the right dog.
Perfect for: Older dogs, larger dogs, and dogs with joint issues
Frisco Textured Plush Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed
Frisco Quilted Orthopedic Pillow Cat & Dog Bed
These beds have a raised edge on all or some sides of the bed, which are a convenient resting place for their head. The raised sides of bolster beds like the Frisco Textured Plush Orthopedic Front Bolster Dog Bed w/Removable Cover also often make a dog feel more comfortable and secure, Bloom says.
Perfect for: Dogs who like to prop their heads on something when they lay down.
Frisco Rectangular Bolster Cat & Dog Bed
Frisco Sherpa Rectangular
Bolster Dog Bed
Elevated Dog Beds and Cooling Dog Beds
Cushioned beds retain heat. That means laying down on them can get too hot for some dogs. Elevated dog beds and cooling dog beds, like the Frisco Steel-Framed Elevated Dog Bed, are lifted off the ground and allow air to flow beneath them, which can help cool a dog down. Think of them as the doggy equivalent of a hammock.
Perfect for: Dogs who are always panting, large and fluffy dogs in warm climates.
Heated Dog Beds
If you live in a cooler climate or if your dog is constantly seeking out heat—from floor vents, blankets, or you!—it’s probably time to look into getting a heated dog bed. Some plug into the wall and have a thermostat, while other designs, like the Best Friends by Sheri Luxury Shag Self-Heating Orthopedic Bolster Cat & Dog Bed, use self-warming materials that radiate your dog’s heat back to them.
Perfect for: Small dogs, dogs who need sweaters when it’s chilly, dogs who are always climbing on your lap.
Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bolster Cat & Dog Bed
FurHaven Self-Warming Convertible Cuddle Mat Bolster Cat & Dog Bed
These beds offer a dog a more enclosed space where dogs can hide and burrow. Bloom suggests testing it out beforehand by putting a blanket on the floor. Does your dog bunch it up or crawl under it? If so, they’re a great candidate for a covered bed like the FurHaven Microvelvet Snuggery Gel Top Covered Cat & Dog Bed w/Removable Cover.
Perfect for: Small dogs, dogs who like to burrow
Furniture-style Dog Sofa Beds
Dog sofa beds are designed to blend in with your home décor. Think of beds like the Enchanted Home Pet Skylar Sofa Dog Bed w/Removable Cover as a miniature sofas or day beds just for your pampered pup.
Perfect for: The style-savvy dog parent
When it comes to dog beds, you’ve got plenty of options—but it’s worth finding the right one. After all, you’ll sleep better knowing that your pup is, well, sleeping better too!