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Published May. 27, 2021

Your dog deserves a restful spot of their own, so why not make it a spot with soft covers, durable cushioning, and non-skid bottoms to keep them in place. And that’s what the best dog beds offer, there’s just so much variance among them, from luxurious pillow-tops to orthopedic dog beds that cradle the joints of aging four-legged friends. Sizes range from beds meant for the smallest of pooches to extra-large dog beds for those pups well into the triple digits. But your dog’s bed, just like your own, plays a major role in long-term wellness, so grab one of our selections to keep your dog well-rested, healthy, and active.  

What to look for to keep your dog well-rested and comfortable

The best dog beds do more than give your dog a comfortable place to sit in between activities. Both the internal and external materials make a big difference in how the bed supports your dog’s body for long periods. To that point, ideal dog beds aren’t just glammed-up cushions. You might find different designs, sizes, and materials, ranging from simple padding to elevated dog beds, dog bunk beds, and even some luxury dog beds: yep, there are heated dog beds and even chew-proof dog beds out there, too.

As you’re shopping for these dog products, think about your available space and how portable the bed needs to be. Do you have frequent guests and need to move the bed around the house? Do you want something that can be easily packed and brought with you? And, of course, size matters because of the actual occupant of the bed. An extra-large dog needs one of the best extra-large dog beds. Smaller dogs, though, may be more comfortable in one of the best small dog beds.

One important feature, no matter the size of the bed, is washability. Waterproof covers and washable dog beds make accident clean-up easier, reducing the general stress of pet ownership. There are enough options on today’s market that there’s the best dog bed out there for every dog’s size, weight, and personality. It just comes down to finding the right one for your family and favorite furry friend. 

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Give the biggest breeds plenty of space to spread in a large dog bed

Imagine trying to get comfortable on a mattress that leaves your top or bottom half hanging off. Uncomfortable, right? Make sure your dog doesn’t experience that awkwardness. While a tail or paw hanging off isn’t an issue, if the back legs don’t fit or the neck and head dangle, that could be a problem. A bed should cushion the joints and muscles while keeping the dog’s body aligned. 

Large breeds need a large bed that’s built to support a big, heavy body. Some breeds, like a Great Dane, may need one of the best extra-large dog beds to fully fit their frame. Large and extra-large models also have thicker cushioning to support the weight of a larger body. Many manufacturers make beds in several sizes. Measure your dog from tail to nose and paw to shoulder to determine the correct dog bed size; a good bed’s documentation will tell you what size breed it fits.

Best large dog bed: PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed

Softly Supportive

A large dog bed with lots of support for big pups. PetFusion

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The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed’s memory foam contours to each dog’s unique shape. It’s available in four sizes, including an extra, extra-large size for the biggest dogs. Polyfill bolsters provide extra support as a head or backrest. This large dog bed is covered in a water-resistant, removable, washable cover, with an added waterproof inner liner protecting the memory foam from accidents.

Smaller breeds will want smaller beds

In basic design, smaller beds don’t differ that much from their larger counterparts. However, smaller, lighter bodies don’t need the same square footage or foam densities as larger ones. Consequently, these beds are smaller, lighter, and sometimes thinner. The best small dog beds often use memory foam, just like many human mattresses. However, less expensive beds may feature a polyfill in the base cushion. Polyfill doesn’t have the durability of memory foam nor does it contour to the dog’s body, but it will cushion a lightweight body well. 

You’re also more likely to find small beds in trendy designs. For example, they may include faux fur covers, fun patterns and colors, and even, sometimes, a tent. Like a large dog bed, no matter the style, it should fit the dog’s entire body. For small breeds, the concern is usually that the bed is too big. If it’s too big, your dog may not feel protected or as safe as they feel in a properly-sized one.

Best small dog bed: FuzzBall Fluffy Luxe Pet Bed

Easily Cleaned

A small, cushy bed that’s perfect for small dogs and puppies. FuzzBall

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The FuzzBall Fluffy Luxe Pet Bed offers soft, cozy comfort for smaller breeds and easy cleaning for pet parents. The entire bed—cover, cushion, and all—can go in the washing machine. The waterproof fabric also protects the inner filling and the floor from accidents. A faux fur cover provides softness for little dogs and puppies with delicate skin. 

Calming dog beds to soothe an anxious or easily excited pup

Whether it’s separation anxiety or a lousy trip to the vet, dogs get stressed out just like we do. A calming dog bed can help soothe your pup by giving an extra-comfortable place to rest. These beds typically feature multiple foam and memory foam layers to offer deeper, softer cushioning that absorbs nervous movement.

The deeper contouring of a calming dog bed relieves additional pressure at the joints and in sensitive areas. Dogs with medical issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis can sink into the bed without painful pressure building and disrupting their sleep. Better sleep can help them heal and soothe frazzled nerves. Many of these beds are also orthopedic, meaning they cater specifically to joint issues. Calming beds often feature bolsters around two to four sides and non-skid bottoms, so they stay in place as the dog gets comfortable. Dogs can rest their heads or lean into the bolsters as needed to support their achy joints.

Best calming dog bed: Bark Dog Bed

Cool, Contouring Comfort

A multilayer, gel memory foam dog bed that cools and contours to the dog’s unique shape. Barkbox

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The Bark Dog Bed’s two-layer design caters to sensitive dogs with a memory foam bottom layer and cooling gel foam top layer. As the dog’s body sinks, the foam relieves pressure and reduces motion, while the gel absorbs heat to help regulate body temperature. A machine-washable bolster and cushion make this bed easy to maintain.

Leave cushions behind for a cozy, elevated dog bed

Cushions and mattress-type designs aren’t ideal for every home and dog. You might instead want to consider elevated dog beds. These models don’t have a traditional cushion. Instead, they feature a heavy, waterproof material suspended on a rigid, elevated frame. The waterproof or water-resistant outdoor fabric dries quickly, so they work well outdoors, and many are collapsible. There are other benefits, too. Elevated beds are cool in hot climates, reduce smell, and don’t provide a mattress that some pets like to tear up. And some dog trainers recommend them for teaching the “place” command.

Best elevated dog bed: Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed

Super Tough

A bed that offers breathability, durability, and comfort, all in one. Veehoo

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Veehoo Elevated Dog Beds comes in four sizes and features excellent ventilation and easy cleaning: you can simply hose it down. An anti-scratch Textilene fabric, elevated off the ground, is comfortable in summer, providing more breathability. The machine-washable fabric and tool-free assembly add ease of maintenance.

Search for quality, even among cheap dog products

A luxe bed for your pet may sound good in theory, but in practice, it can hit your wallet like a freight train. While cheap dog beds don’t have multiple layers of memory foam, they can offer enough cushioning to let your dog rest easy. When you look at the bottom of the price range, you’ll have to compromise on a few things. Usually, cheap dog beds skip the densest, most durable foams for either low-density memory foam or polyfill. Low-density memory foam offers good cushioning but breaks down faster than high-density foam. It’s not the best choice for heavy dogs—say, over 30 pounds. 

Polyfill beds cushion well, but they don’t contour like memory foam. For puppies and younger, more spry dogs, that may be enough for a good night’s rest. However, older dogs and those with arthritis or other medical issues would benefit from a more expensive memory foam design. Luckily, even in this price range, you’ll still find beds with water-resistant or waterproof covers and non-skid bottoms to keep the bed in place.

Best budget dog bed: Amazon Basics Plush Dog Pet Bed Pad

Affordable Cushioning

A simple, polyfill cushion for small and medium-sized dogs. Amazon Basics

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The AmazonBasics Plush Dog Pet Bed Pad features a tufted, polyfill design for plush floor napping. The entire bed fits in the washing machine. While it’s not designed for large breeds, it’s one of the best cheap dog beds for small or medium-sized breeds who need a warm spot to rest.


Q: Do dogs really need dog beds?

All canines can definitely benefit from specially-designed beds. The best dog beds cushion the joints, reducing the pressure that can lead to soreness. These dog products also offer insulation against cold, drafty floors—or, alternately, stuffy summer nights. And it’s beneficial from a training perspective to have a spot that the dog understands as their own.

Q: How do I choose a dog bed?

Start by measuring tail to nose and floor to shoulder, and weigh your dog so you have up-to-date measurements. Manufacturers include size charts to help you pick the right bed size. Large, heavy dogs will need a larger, denser bed to support their full weight. Then you’ll need to consider a few other factors, ranging from the bed’s portability, how much space you have available, and how many dogs will use it.

Q: Do dogs prefer hard or soft beds?

It depends on the dog. Puppies and young dogs may not have any preferences. To them, a bed is a bed. Some dogs, of course, are picky, but you’ll have to operate on trial and error for them. As dogs age, softer materials serve more of a medical than a comfort purpose. Lack of mobility due to arthritis and other health issues may require a soft bed.

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The final word on shopping for these dog products

The best dog beds give your pet a comfortable place to call their own. They cushion, regulate temperature, and support bodies, both young and old. Whether it’s a tougher fabric meant for a chewer or an orthopedic dog bed for a senior canine, you’ll want a spot that your pup is excited to retire to at the end of a long day.