Best Dog Bed
As any large dog owner knows, it's challenging to find a dog bed that won't flatten under a big dog's weight. And all too often, finding a supportive bed ends with a stiff mattress that your dog might not even like. Enter the Big Barker. This gigantic bed is a full seven inches of both support and comfort. Three layers of different foam densities offer the support your large dog needs and the softness he craves. We were skeptical about this bed's claims to be "as comfortable as a human bed," but are happy to admit our skepticism was unfounded. The soft outer suede cover adds to this plush couch's softness, and zippers around three sides of the bottom make it uncomplicated to remove and throw in the washing machine. And though this giant bed only comes in three huge sizes, it's also fetching enough to blend in with the rest of your furniture as your dog's personal sofa.
If you've got a small dog, this bed is far too massive for your pup. Our main canine tester is an 80 lb greyhound lab mix who's lanky and loves to sprawl, and even she looked a bit small lounging the smallest size of the Big Barker. But only big dogs need the kind of intensive support this bed provides, so we don't hold the limited sizing against it. Another thing to keep in mind is that the suede cover zips around the bed's bottom edges, so the zipper can easily scratch a hardwood floor, given the opportunity. It's also challenging to replace after washing, as the suede catches on the foam core. And for the price of this bed, we wish the cover was waterproof. It resists soaking up liquids a little bit, but getting a genuinely waterproof cover will take another hefty chunk of change out of your wallet. However, as expensive as this bed is, the Big Barker is worth every penny if you have a large dog — especially of a breed known for joint and mobility issues during old age.
Available Sizes: Large, Extra Large, Giant
For a low price, the Milliard Premium Orthopedic Memory Foam bed is an excellent choice. It combines two layers of foam to provide support on the bottom and cushion on the top. The outer cover is soft and fuzzy, and the lack of bolsters makes this an excellent choice for dogs who love to sprawl out. With zippers down two sides of the bed, it's easy to take off the cover and toss it in the washer for a quick clean. It's similarly simple to slip it back on again when done. Owners of light-colored dogs will appreciate this, as the bed comes in just one color — tan. Impressively, this is one of the very few beds that comes with a water-resistant cover. During testing, the cover did soak up liquids, but the foam base stayed dry. We're not sure this protection level will last forever, but we appreciate what you get for one relatively low price.
This 4-inch platform does a great job combining support and comfort, but the 2-inch thick memory foam section might not be enough for hefty dogs. Our 120 lb human tester could eventually feel the floor through this bed when sitting on it, though not while laying on it. Her 80 lb dog had no complaints, but it's possible that truly giant dogs may not get the support they need from the Milliard. Though it comes in just a single color, it has a relatively wide range of sizes that can accommodate most small to large dogs. We found a lot to love about this comfortable, supportive bed — including its competitive price.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
With something to offer just about every dog, the Furhaven Therapeutic Sofa-Style's memory foam core provides good support without being too stiff, while its outer cover is soft and fluffy to cradle your canine family member. Like many beds, this one has bolsters around three sides, but unlike most bolsters, these don't crowd the bed space. They're cleverly designed to rim the bed's edge without forcing your dog to use them if he doesn't want to. One entire side is also bolster-free, making this bed work even when your dog wants to stretch his legs (or head) off the side. Even among the many non-bolstered beds we tested, the Furhaven is impressively easy to take apart and clean the cover, and painless to reassemble. It also comes in 5 sizes and 9 colors that look great even in your parlor.
If your dog is accident-prone, the Furhaven isn't the best choice, as the memory foam easily soaks up liquid and is very challenging and time-consuming to clean and dry. The fuzzy cover is also relatively thin and may not hold up if your dog likes to make lots of circles, dig the bed, or drag it around the room. It also slides on hardwood floors fairly easily. However, for the level of comfort, the serious amount of color and size options, and a surprisingly low price, we think there's something about this bed that will appeal to just about any dog.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo, Jumbo Plus
Combining the best of an elevated bed with a traditional comfy bed, the K&H Pet Products Original Bolster Pet Cot is one of the most unique beds we tested. This distinctive doggy cot manages to raise your pup above the hot surfaces heated by the summer sun without sacrificing those cozy places for him to rest his head or paws. This three-sided bolster bed is excellent for dogs who love to snuggle into corners. With softer mesh, the K&H Cot provides an all-around comfortable space for your pup to relax outside. Despite this softer feel, we had no issues with it during our durability testing.
As much as we love so many aspects of this crossover bed, it only comes in one color combo: black mesh with chocolate brown bolsters. While we don't hate how it looks, these dark colors do soak up the sun much more than the lighter-colored elevated beds we tested, somewhat negating the bed's cooling effect in the first place. And with its three sides of bolsters, it's more complicated to clean than a simple hosing off. The bolster pillows can be removed and washed, but the multiple layers left over require a bit more attention than the average spray-it-with-the-hose tactic. Overall, we found a lot to love about this comfortable elevated bed that proved itself a favorite among our canine testers.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
For older dogs who need extra support and tend to have accidents, the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed is a dream package. Its solid 4-inch memory foam base is supportive, and the 5-inch bolsters around 3.5 sides of the bed keep it cozy for curling up. The exterior fabric feels like canvas but does an impressive job repelling water and other liquids. The foam base is doubly protected by an additional waterproof liner to keep it from soaking up anything your dog may be unable to hold in. And just in case an accident is really bad, the cover is very easy to remove, wash at home, and painlessly replace. This outer cover is also more durable against diggers and circlers' claws than most other beds we tested.
However, all this durability comes at a bit of a cost. The memory foam base is very supportive, but is also on the stiff side and may not be ideal for dogs who prefer soft, plush surfaces. Our bed included a recommendation to add an old blanket or pillow to make it more comfortable. This advice is practical, but disappointing when you've already paid so much for a bed. The few neutral colors offered are all solid, and their canvas-like texture makes them show hair and dirt (and slobber) much more easily than most other beds. While supportive, the bolsters also infringe upon the bed's size, making the inside smaller than expected. Our 80 lb lanky tester dog would have preferred the 44" XL over the 36" Large we tested. Aside from these relatively minor complaints, the PetFusion is a great choice when you need a bed with a little more liquid protection than average.
Available Sizes: Small, Large, Extra Large, Jumbo
For keeping warm on a cold day, the BarksBar Orthopedic is an excellent choice. With tall bolsters that go all the way around the bed and a soft, fuzzy cover, its made to cradle your dog off to dreamland. The 4-inch thick base provides good support without sacrificing softness and comfort. This bed holds its shape fairly well, creating an inviting cocoon for your dog. While many beds claim to have non-slip backing on the bottom, this is one of the most effective ones we tested, solidly keeping Fido rooted in place.
If your dog likes to sprawl out or tends to run warm, they're unlikely to enjoy this bed. The bolsters make it challenging to hang feet or heads off the bed's edge, trapping heat next to your dog's body. Coming only in smaller sizes, it's not large enough for pups who like to spread out. It also offers no water resistance, letting little accidents soak right into the difficult-to-clean foam platform. And speaking of hard to clean, this quickly became one of our least favorite beds to take apart and reassemble. The thick bolster has to be shoved through a small opening, and dual direction zippers are seemingly everywhere, but hidden and hard to find under fabric flaps. Furthermore, we're not convinced that the thin, fuzzy fabric is particularly durable against an enthusiastic digger's claws. However, the BarksBar is an excellent choice for comfortable cuddling if your dog loves to curl up for a nap and likes to be warm and cozy.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
More than just a creative name, the Majestic Pet Bagel is a squishy, oval-shaped bed with enormous bolsters designed to snuggle your dog while he sleeps. With 8-inch thick filling and 11-inch bolsters, this pillow-like bed fully encloses your pup in a sort of cocoon that looks straight out of a commercial about log cabin rentals in the winter. The durable exterior feels thick and canvas-y and seems very up to withstanding Fido's long nails. The bolsters are also supportive without being excessively restrictive, allowing your dog to hang a paw, head, or half his torso over the edge.
Though it's the thickest bed we tested, the lack of any memory foam does reduce this bed's level of support and thickness retention after extended use. While we like the durable exterior, it's one of the hardest to clean and keep clean. The bolsters create deep pockets around the bed that quickly fill up with dirt, fur, and other doggie debris. And the cover isn't removable at all. You can throw the entire thing in the washing machine, but this behemoth bed will only fit into an oversized machine at the laundromat if you have a big dog. That said, if this doesn't bother you so much and your dog is a snuggler, they may love this super poofy, fully-bolstered Pet Bagel.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
The AmazonBasics Cooling Elevated Pad is easy to love when it comes to finding an outdoor pet bed. Unlike others, it's easy to assemble and disassemble, making it a solid choice to put out seasonally or take along on a camping trip and packing it away when not needed. The smooth fabric makes this doggy bunk bed comfortable to lay on even without an extra blanket (which could be destroyed when you forget it outside during a storm). It's also an excellent choice for elevating an interior dog bed for big dogs with joint mobility issues. It comes in a fairly wide range of sizes that can fit just about any dog — and it's less expensive than a lot of the competition to boot.
The tighter weave used to make this puppy cot softer also makes it hold water a bit more easily. We found ourselves needing to dump a puddle off of the bed after it got wet outside. It can still slide a bit on hardwood floors, so using it as an elevating platform indoors may require something extra to keep it in place — like a mat or jamming it between your couch and the wall (that's what we did). And though we had no issues with this iron-framed bed's durability, similar to other beds we tested, the pieces that join the iron bars together are plastic, making them a potential target for future failings. We think the pros outweigh the cons to this elevated bed, though, and we're stoked on its high value.
Available Sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
Known by many pet enthusiasts as a monthly subscription of toys and treats for your pup, BarkBox also offers this memory foam platform. It's just 3 inches thick but has a fuzzy top that's reminiscent of long velvet. It provides a modest amount of support and acceptable comfort from a plain pad. It fits nicely into many standard-sized crates to eliminate the discomfort of those plastic bin bottoms, and the water-resistant cover is an excellent bonus for a remarkably inexpensive bed.
However, the BarkBox's thickness is paltry compared to many other beds on the market and doesn't do large dogs justice. It squished flat under our 80 lb lab mix — though she liked its soft, fluffy covering. It's also a bit small for big dogs. The 35-inch Large we tested is an inch short and looked comically puny under our lanky greyhound-lab main tester. Yet for smaller dogs who need less support or the inside of a crate, it's hard to understate this memory foam pad's value with a water-resistant cover and a shockingly small price tag.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
If you are searching for a cooling platform that works well outside, we recommend the Coolaroo Original Elevated Pet Bed. Its widely spaced mesh offers great breathability for hot days. It also drains water a little more easily than some tighter woven dog cots. It comes in several colors that look great with patio furniture. This elevated bed holds your dog several inches off the ground, safely supported by a durable, powder-coated steel frame. It's also an inexpensive model in a world of high-priced options.
Yet there are several areas in which we find this bed falls short of the competition. Firstly, its fabric is excessively scratchy and unpleasant to the touch. Our main canine tester is a sucker for a soft bed and isn't a fan of how this one feels. While they look just like the supported mesh of the rest of the bed, the corners of this bed are particularly worrying to us, as a small amount of pressure pushes them down, easily letting your dog's paw launch right through, getting trapped in this triangular space. This bed is also exceptionally tricky to assemble, needing perfect pressure in all the right spots. It's much easier to accomplish with two sets of hands, though we never want to take ours apart again. The Coolaroo also only comes in three sizes, which we find quite limiting. Far from our favorite, this bed is a reasonable outdoor option if your dog doesn't mind the fabric feel, and you're into the price tag.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
Definitely super plush, the MidWest Homes Deluxe Super Plush is soft, quite fluffy, and incredibly squishy. The variable shading of the furry topside helps hide dirt and fur, and, when it does get dirty, it's easy just to toss the entire thing into your at-home washing machine. A plethora of convenient sizes fit in a wide variety of crates to keep your dog happy while you're away.
However, it's not a supportive bed, no matter how plush the MidWest Deluxe may be. It easily squishes flat even under small dogs and is best used as a topper over a more supportive mat, car, or couch. It's also a bit on the small side. The 36-inch model we tested only measured 34 inches long and looked very small under our 80 lb long-legged main tester. Though it lacks almost any structure, it's still well-loved by dogs who value a soft texture and a squishy surface. You just might want to pair it with something else that can offer more support.
Available Sizes: 18", 22", 24", 30", 36", 42", 48"
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is the result of a team effort by Senior Review Editors, Maggie Brandenburg and Sarah Sherman, and their canine companions, Madeline and Indy. Both Maggie and Sarah are long time dog owners who have spent decades trying to find the right toys, food, dog beds, and other pet products for their mutts. Indy is a 40 lb mixed breed adventure pup and a well-known "bed dog", preferring to sleep on a soft surface over the ground any day. Madeline is an 80 lb greyhound-labrador mix who needs and craves the support that only some dog beds can provide, living up to her breed reputation of being a "45 mph couch potato". If she could talk, she'd tell you she's a spoiled dog who has a bed to sleep on in just about every room of the house. Madeline and Indy also invited several of their doggie friends to help test beds and nap together, including Cali the husky, Maggie the pitbull, Nala the weimereiner, Bear the great perinese, and Pacha the everything mix.
To collaboratively test dog beds, both dogs and humans sat, laid, and jumped on every bed. We considered not only their construction but put them to the test, spending hours lounging on each bed. The dogs shed on them and dragged dirt across them while the humans tried valiantly to clean them. We tested their durability both indoors and out, checked to see which ones would stay put on hardwood floors, and measured their usable sizes. From supportive platforms to squishy cushions, we teased apart the best and worst parts of every model to help you determine which one is best for your unique pup.
Analysis and Test Results
Finding a good bed for a large dog is more challenging than searching for a small dog. Large dogs weigh more and often experience joint pain and mobility issues as they age, requiring extra support. Because the search for a great large dog bed is more challenging (and often more expensive) and because our main canine tester (and most of her furry friends) are large dogs, we specifically aimed our search and testing at more supportive beds with size options for larger breeds.
We pitted each bed head-to-head through a myriad of both real-world and laboratory testing. We measured beds, took note of their sizing and color options, tested their support, evaluated their comfort, and thoroughly cleaned them after spills we purposely inflicted to see how they stack up. A specific, comparative discussion of how these beds performed in our numerous tests across several key metrics follows.
To test support, we first considered what each bed is made of, how many pieces it has, and how conducive their arrangement is to the many ways in which dogs frequently relax. We measured beds' thicknesses and put them to the test through hours of napping and lolling about to discover if their support holds up over time. We also used every bolster and side support to gauge their helpfulness. We coaxed dogs onto every bed to see how long they were willing to lay in it and how much they appreciated and used extra support structures. In general, memory foam-based beds provide more support than those filled with polyester fluff or regular foam.
The Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic is the clear winner in this metric. This enormous bed is a full seven inches thick and comprises three foam layers to support even the heaviest dogs. It has a single bolster on one end made of the same foam material as the base's top, offering exceptional support for a full night's sleep. Not only do our big dogs love the rest they get on this monstrous bed, but even our human testers love lazing on it. Another strong contender for supreme support is The PetFusion Ultimate. Though its base is just four inches thick, it continued to support even a human tester for hours of loitering. It also has thickly stuffed bolsters that offer excellent and reliable support for your dog's head or paws.
Featuring dual layers of foam to combine support with comfort, the Furhaven Sofa-Style Memory Foam and Milliard Memory Foam's bottom layers are memory foam, while the top layer is a softer foam. We (and our dogs) love this combination of different types of foam, but as it means their supportive memory foam layers are a little thinner, they also suffer slightly when it comes to pure support. The BarksBar Orthopedic and Majestic Pet Bagel are also notable, with large, supportive bolsters. If your dog likes to sprawl, these two may not be the best choices, though. But dogs who curl up are sure to love the comforting support the large sides provide.
The other half of the equation that makes a bed comfortable (besides support) is how it feels. We considered all other aspects of comfort to test this category, including the fabric feel itself, squishiness, temperature regulation, available sleep configurations, and general happiness experienced sitting and lying in each bed. Some beds are great for certain sleepers, and others can accommodate a more significant range of doggy preferences.
Though for slightly different reasons, two beds stand out in this metric. The Big Barker has a pleasant suede feeling that's easy to love and a squishy top layer of foam that makes it comfortable to lay on. It compresses enough to make it cozy without going so far that it's a warming bed. The single bolster provides a pillow on one end while leaving all other sides free to sprawl. With a similar comfortable top layer enclosed in a soft cover, the Furhaven Sofa-Style has three bolsters along the edges that don't crowd the sleep surface, allowing your dog to sprawl out and not use any bolsters if that's how they're feeling at the moment.
Also offering a great feel is the Milliard Memory Foam. Its top layer is slightly less squishy than the Big Barker or Furhaven, but the outer cover is soft and fuzzy, adding to its appeal. It is large and bolster-free, letting your dog drape across the edges with ease. The BarksBar is another a great feeling bed. Much like the Furhaven, it has a furry-feeling platform for your dog to recline in and soft, suede bolsters.
A few beds stand out on both ends of the thermometer if temperature regulation is your number one priority. The Majestic Pet Bagel and BarksBar Orthopedic both have giant bolsters that wrap around the entire bed to trap heat on cold days. They're excellent options for dogs who live in cold climates and like to curl up. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the K&H Pet Products Original Bolster Pet Cot, AmazonBasics Elevated Pad, and Coolaroo Original are elevated beds that let even the slightest breeze (whether from the weather or the air conditioner) flow under your pet. All three of these beds support your pup with thin, cot-like material that feels great on a hot day, and the K&H even has comfortable bolsters on three sides to boot.
Ease of Cleaning
Unless you have a hypoallergenic dog, your furry family member likely sheds all over your house. They probably also don't mind dragging in dirt and wetness from outside into the house and bed. Just like you clean your bed, being able to keep Lucky's furniture clean is essential. We tested every bed's ability to be cleaned by, well, cleaning them. We read the directions, considered how difficult they were to follow, and then followed them. We noted which beds stink easily, which collect hair quickly, and which have to be carted to a laundromat or cleaned by hand. While cleaning both covers and foam, we also noted which are easy to pull apart and put back together. Most beds we tested have removable covers that can be cleaned in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. However, memory foam foundations are pretty universally only hand cleanable — and difficult to truly get clean.
The AmazonBasics Elevated Pad and Coolaroo Original are the easiest beds to clean. Both these cot-like platforms are simple to hand clean or just hose off on the deck. They don't need to be taken apart and dry quickly in the sun. The K&H Pet Cot requires the added step of removing the bolster before spraying it off. The MidWest Homes Deluxe is easy to stuff into your washing machine at home to get clean — though it can't be a washer with an agitator, and almost every fluffy pet bed or cover requires a gentle or delicate cycle.
To help protect the inner foam bed from any accidents, the BarkBox Memory Foam Platform and Milliard Memory Foam both sport water-resistant covers. They're also very simple rectangular beds without bolsters and are very easy to take apart, wash, and put back together. The PetFusion Ultimate is one of the most liquid-resistant beds we tested. The outer cover beads liquids readily, and an inner liner helps keep the foam core from collecting stains and odors. Though it has bolsters that require an extra step to remove and replace when you need to launder the cover, they're some of the simplest to do so.
Though we don't typically like to highlight the under-performers, sometimes one is so outstanding that it's worth mentioning its shortcomings. In this case, two beds we tested are challenging to clean, but for different reasons. The Majestic Pet Bagel has deep crevices between the bed and bolsters that are a giant trap for fur and debris. While you can toss the entire bed in the washer, the Large 40" we tested is far too large for most home machines and must be taken to a laundromat. Easier to clean at home, the BarksBar Orthopedic cover comes off, but the effort required to do this is monumental. Removing the bolsters require jamming a thick section of this inner tube of stuffing through a very thin hole at the front of the bed where the bolster is half the size. Why the zipper ends there, we have no idea. It's impressively tricky to shove the bolster through this opening, making it one of our least favorites to clean.
Having a long-lasting dog bed is essential, especially considering the cost of some of these pieces of pet furniture. And while much durability comes from the actions of your dog, some beds are innately more durable than others. We tested both their exterior toughness and the quality of their internal materials to see which ones are genuinely up to the task of being a life-long companion for your hound.
No dog bed is truly indestructible. If you have a dog under 2 years old or that's been with you for less than a year, we recommend NOT buying an expensive bed to start with. Puppies are accident-prone, and new dogs often destroy things as they settle into their new homes.Even well-behaved adult dogs can be unintentionally destructive. Spinning in circles before laying down or digging and pulling on beds to rearrange them will lower even the most durable beds' life expectancy. If your dog partakes in these calming behaviors, try putting down a blanket to help the bed underneath last longer.
One of the most durable models we tested is the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed. It has a thick, canvas-like cover AND an inner waterproof liner. It does an excellent job withstanding daily dog use and has thick padding and foam built to maintain loft for a long time. The Majestic Pet Bagel is a similar feeling canvas that gives us confidence in its ability to resist being easily punctured by claws.
A few beds we tested are just partially inspiring when it comes to durability. What we mean by that is that we have confidence in their insides to maintain decent loft, but we're less sure about their coverings ability to cope with a decade of claws. Backed by a 10-year guarantee to maintain at least 90% of its original loft, the Big Barker has seriously impressive innards. However, it's suede-like covering is a bit on the thin side for our sensibilities. The Milliard Memory Foam also offers dependable loft longevity, though it's thinner than the Big Barker, to begin with. Its exterior is slightly thicker and more water-resistant, though still is less imposing than the thick, canvas-like beds we tested.
When evaluating the versatility of these beds, we took many things into account. We noted how many sizes and colors each comes in, if those sizes fit most dogs, and if the colors easily fit into most home decor. We measured each bed and scrutinized their usable size and compared how closely they matched their described dimensions online. We also considered the variety of spots they're functional in — can they be used in the car? On the patio? For road trips or camping? Are they pleasant to drag up and down the stairs every evening and morning?
The top contender in this metric is the Furhaven. It's available in five sizes and nine colors that make it simple to find a size and color that work best for your pup and color scheme. It's also relatively lightweight, making it easier to move from room to room as your dog desires — or even stuff in the car to take on vacation. Another versatile bed, for contrasting reasons, is the AmazonBasics Elevated Pad. It has few colors, though also five sizes, but is very easy to travel with. It's simple to take this bed apart and bring it on camping trips or extended vacations. It also works just as well as an outdoor bunk as it does inside as an elevation platform for an older dog's soft bed.
Finding the right dog bed that works for your dog is no easy feat. It starts by knowing what your dog prefers and what they need — whether it's extra support for aching hips or a soft fluffy bed to stay warm through the night. We spent scores of hours testing and comparing these beds to help you identify the perfect perch for your pooch.
— Maggie Brandenburg