The best cooling dog beds for 2023

These dog beds will come in clutch during the hot months.

Best overall

Coolaroo elevated dog bed

Coolaroo Elevated Dog Bed

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Best memory foam

Sealy lux pet dog bed

Sealy Lux Pet Bed

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Best gel pad

Chillz Dog Colling Mat

Chillz Dog Cooling Mat

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A cooling dog bed can go a long way toward making your pooch more comfortable during unpleasantly warm weather. Sure, your dog may simply want to pass out on the cold tile of the bathroom floor after a walk, but a dedicated bed with cooling features adds a level of comfort with which a hard floor just can’t compete. While some cooling bed options rely on innovative foam materials, others take a simpler, but often just as effective, approach to keeping your pooch from panting. Here are the best cooling dog beds to keep your best buddy comfortable this summer and beyond.

How we chose the best cooling beds for dogs

We absolutely love dogs here at PopSci and want them to be as comfortable and safe as possible as the temperatures increase. For these picks, we’ve selected models proven durable and effective because a good dog bed can last years as long as it doesn’t get shredded. We’re sticking with reputable brands with solid reviews and reader feedback to ensure overall quality. While we love an overly techy product, this list isn’t loaded with overly complicated picks. Sometimes simpler is better, especially when it comes to pets. 

The best cooling dog beds: Reviews & Recommendations

Every dog is different, so knowing what they’ll like can be impossible. Their tastes can also change. They may love their bed one day and completely destroy it the next. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to best fit your specific dog’s needs now and in the future so you can get the right thing and save yourself some money or trouble before you plop something down in your dog’s pen or next to their favorite puzzle.

Best overall: Coolaroo The Original Cooling Elevated Dog Bed

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Specs

  • Size: Small (35″ x 22″ x 8″), Medium (42″ x 25.5″ x 8″), Large (51″ x 31.5″ x 8″), and XL (59.8″ x 37″ x 8.8″)
  • Material: Mesh fabric on a powder-coated steel frame
  • Machine washable: No

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to transport since it’s flat
  • Tough steel frame can last outside
  • Keeps its shape
  • Hard for a dog to destroy

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space indoors
  • Not a ton of cushioning for older or injured dogs

You won’t find any space-age gel or electronics in this cooling bed. It works on the simple idea that letting a breeze surround your dog will naturally cool them down. The Coolaroo sits 8 inches off the ground and employs a mesh pad that lets air flow through. There’s no room for heat to build up in bulky material. It doesn’t need to be reactivated or charged. 

The mesh stretches across a powder-coated steel frame that’s burly enough to live outside but light enough to bring the bed with you on a trip. The mesh pad comes in several colors to match your (and your dog’s) vibe. You can’t throw it in the washing machine, but the surface cleans up very easily with a damp cloth and some light detergent. And Coolaroo makes a version to suit every size of companion, including large dogs.

Best memory foam: Sealy Lux Pet Dog Bed

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Specs

  • Size: Small (25” x 20” x 5”), Medium (36” x 28” x 7”), Large (42” x 32” x 8”), XL (48” x 38” x 8”)
  • Material: Memory foam, fleece, cooling gel
  • Machine washable: Cover only

Pros

  • Ample padding is good for older dogs
  • Charcoal-infused base material for odor absorption
  • Same basic cooling material found in human beds
  • Raised edge for comfort
  • Sturdy memory foam will keep its shape
  • Non-slip bottom

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Sealy makes very solid mattresses for humans, so it only stands to reason that it could create an excellent dog bed. This cooling bed includes several of Sealy’s mattress technologies that you’ll find in their full-sized models. Memory foam lays at the base of this bed with a layer of Sealy’s Bio-Orthopedic foam on top to help evenly distribute the dog’s weight across the surface of the bed. The charcoal-infused foam base resists odors, which is important if you have a smelly dog. 

A waterproof liner prevents the bed from getting ruined during an accident, while the cover can simply go in the washing machine when it needs cleaning. The non-slip bottom will hold the bed still to keep you or your pooch from sliding around as you step on it. It’s definitely not the cheapest cooling bed, but it is one of the most luxurious, and your dog will likely appreciate it. 

Best calming: Coldest Cozy Dog Bed

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Specs

  • Size: Small (12″ x 5″ x 3″), Large (36″ x 27″ x 7″), and XL (42″ x 32″ x 7″)
  • Material: Foam, cooling gel
  • Machine washable: Cover only

Pros

  • Cooling gel feels cool to the touch
  • Cover is machine washable
  • Raised edge for comfort and calming
  • Sturdy foam should last
  • Biggest version works for large dogs

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

If the surface of this dog bed looks familiar, that’s because you’ll find similar tech on many cooling pillows made for humans. The surface of the Coldest Cozy Dog Bed feels cold to the touch. It warms up over time, but it quickly cools back down if you leave the surface exposed to air for a while. A raised edge around the sleeping area gives your pooch a place to rest their head or nestle if they prefer cuddle-style sleeping.

Like the Sealy, this isn’t the cheapest bed, so it’s not great for dogs with destructive tendencies. It’s fairly durable, and the cover is washing machine safe. It’s heavy and has a skid-proof bottom, so you won’t slip and fall if you step on it in the dark on the way to the bathroom. 

Best gel pad: Chillz Dog Cooling Mat

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Specs

  • Size: Medium (19.5″ x 15.5″ x 0.75″), Large (36″ x 20″ x 0.75″), and XL (31” x 37” x 0.75”)
  • Material: Gel
  • Machine washable: No

Pros

  • Easily rolls up for transport
  • Flat design fist easily in any space
  • Recharges after 20 minutes of non-use
  • Based on proven cooling gel tech

Cons

  • Not machine washable
  • Dog could bite it and get the gel out if unsupervised

At just three-quarters of an inch thick, this pad doesn’t offer much padding; however, it excels in cooling. A gel inside activates when the dog’s paws step on the pad. It draws heat out of your hot dog to help cool them down quickly. The cooling effect lasts for up to three hours, but it recharges for another round of cooling in just 15 or 20 minutes. 

The outside feels a lot like an ice pack that you would put on a black eye in gym class back in grade school. It’s tough, but it’s possible for a dog to chew through it. While it would likely make a mess, the gel is non-toxic, so you wouldn’t have to worry too much about harm coming to your pup. 

This pad rolls up fairly easily, so it’s simple to store or bring with you if you want a way for your dog to cool down after some laps at the park. In fact, you may want to lay on it, too.

Best for shade: Heeyoo Elevated Dog Bed with Canopy 

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Specs

  • Size: 42″ x 30″ x 37″
  • Material: Oxford fabric on a powder-coated steel frame
  • Machine washable: No

Pros

  • Removable tent provides shade no matter what
  • Raised design offers airflow all the way around the dog
  • Tough material will stand up to lots of laying down
  • Powder-coated steel frame can withstand outdoor environments

Cons

  • Some assembly required
  • Not super easy to travel with

The sun is trying to murder you with its heat and UV rays. Your dog feels that too, which makes shade a treasured commodity in the hot months. This dog bed comes with its own shade. It employs an elevated design that allows air to move both above and below the dog. A breathable mesh pad doesn’t allow heat to build up between your pooch and the bed. That should provide some solid cooling on its own. The tent takes things one step further. 

The canopy attaches and detaches without the need for any tools. It effectively blocks the sun, but it’s also waterproof, so it can protect your dog from precipitation (though it’s not meant as a shelter, so it can’t replace actually going inside). It comes in four colors and relies on a powder-coated steel frame, so it should last years before it needs replacing. 

Things to consider when shopping for the best cooling dog bed

Sticking to our picks is great, but we also want shoppers to have as much information as they need before parting with their cash. Here are a few things to consider before handing over your credit card.

Size

If your dog is like mine, it will probably try to cram its body into all kinds of places it doesn’t belong. Why is she in that Amazon box? Is she a cat? While pooches will try to sleep just about anywhere, you want a bed that’s big enough to accommodate their body, even if they’re only semi-curled up. If you have the space, err on the side of a larger bed, but don’t go overboard. You want something your dog can easily sprawl out on but won’t be swimming in. If your dog is particularly tiny, you really don’t want to go overboard with an overstuffed bed as they can get stuck in the crevices. 

How easy is it to clean?

Dogs aren’t the tidiest creatures, so their beds need regular washes. Ideally, you can chuck at least the cover in the washing machine. Some other tougher materials may withstand a simple hose cleaning, which is great for outdoor beds. You want to avoid super delicate materials that look fancy but are impossible to wash when the time comes. 

FAQs

Q: What temperature is too hot for a dog?

Before we get into this information at all, it’s important to note that a cooling bed is never an excuse to leave a dog in a hot environment like a car or outdoors when the temperature is cranked. Cooling beds can increase comfort, but they cannot prevent the serious health conditions that can arise from prolonged heat exposure. The Humane Society has some handy tips about keeping dogs cool, but you’ll want to talk to your vet about specific best practices for your dog before you make any decisions. If you’re uncomfortably hot, there’s a good chance your pooch is, too. 

Q: When does a dog need a cooling bed?

It’s all about comfort. Many dogs with thicker coats will appreciate any cooling help they can get. For some dogs, it may not make that much of a difference. For instance, my old chihuahua (RIP) hated every cooling bed and loved to lay on the hot patio stones in the middle of summer. My current long-haired canine stays on the cooling bed at every possible opportunity. Your need depends on your specific dog.

Q: Do cooling dog beds really work?

Yes, but they’re not magic. Again, these won’t prevent your dog from sustaining health issues from too much heat exposure. Cooling gel and raised mesh beds, however, can keep your dog cooler and more comfortable than they would be without them. Some beds will actually feel cool to the touch, like the cooling pillows that many humans use to sleep. If you have realistic expectations, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re hoping you can chuck your air conditioner and swelter away in your home without damaging your pooch, you’re out of luck. 

Final thoughts on the best cooling dog beds

Hot summer months can play havoc on your fur-laden friends, but the best cooling dog beds can provide a much-needed reprieve from the elevated temperatures. Whether you want a plush pad, a simple cot, or a full-on doggy tent, your pooch will appreciate a chill place to recline when the thermometer rises.

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Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Stan Horaczek

Executive editor, gear and reviews

Stan Horaczek is the executive gear editor at Popular Science. He oversees a team of gear-obsessed writers and editors dedicated to finding and featuring the newest, best, and most innovative gadgets on the market and beyond. He lives in upstate New York with his family, a three-legged dog, and a truly unreasonable collection of hundreds of vintage film cameras and lenses. 

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