The Best Dog Beds of 2020
As any large dog owner knows, it's exceptionally difficult to find a dog bed that won't flatten under the weight of a big dog. And all too often, finding a bed that's supportive 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 densities of foam offer the support your large dog needs as well as 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 the softness of this plush couch, 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 couch.
If you've got a small dog, this bed is far too much for your pooch. Our main canine tester is a 75 lb greyhound lab mix who's lanky and loves to sprawl, and even she looked a bit small for 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 sizing against it. Another thing to keep in mind is that the suede cover zips around the bottom edges of the bed, so the zipper will easily scratch a hardwood floor, given the opportunity. It's also a bit challenging to replace after washing, as the suede catches on the foam core. And for the price of this bed, we really wish the cover was waterproof. It resists soaking up liquids a little bit, but a truly waterproof cover is another hefty chunk of change out of your wallet. However, as expensive as this bed is, if you have a large dog — especially of a breed known for joint and mobility issues during old age — the Big Barker is absolutely worth every penny.
Available Sizes: Large, Extra Large, Giant
The Milliard Premium Orthopedic Memory Foam bed is a great bed for a low price. It combines two layers of foam to add 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 dark-colored dogs will appreciate this, as the bed comes in just one color — tan. Impressively, this is one of 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 level of protection 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 for truly heavy dogs, the 2-inch thick memory foam section might not be enough. Our 120 lb human tester could eventually feel the floor through this bed when sitting on it, though not while laying on it. Her 75 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 fairly 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
The Furhaven Therapeutic Sofa-Style bed has something to offer just about every dog. Its memory foam core provides good support without being too stiff, while the 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 edge of the bed without forcing your dog to use them if they don't want to. One entire side is also bolster-free, making this bed work even when your dog wants to stretch their 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 are sure to look great even in your parlor.
Without any semblance of waterproofing, the Furhaven isn't the best choice if your dog is accident-prone, as the memory foam easily soaks up liquid and is very challenging and time-consuming to clean. The fuzzy cover is also rather thin. If your dog likes to make lots of circles, dig the bed, or drag it around the room, this one may not hold up to that kind of abuse. 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
The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed is a dream package for older dogs who need extra support but also tend to have accidents. 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 the claws of diggers and circlers 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 actually came with the recommendation of adding 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. The bolsters, while supportive, also infringe upon the size of the bed, making the inside smaller than expected. Our 75 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
The BarksBar Orthopedic is a great choice for keeping warm on a cold day. 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 like this bed. The bolsters make it difficult to hang feet or heads off the edge of the bed, trapping heat next to your dog's body. Coming only in smaller sizes, it's really 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. Additionally, we're not convinced that the thin, fuzzy fabric is particularly durable against the claws of an enthusiastic digger. However, if your dog loves to curl up for a nap and likes to be warm and cozy, the BarksBar is a great choice for comfortable cuddling.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
The Majestic Pet Bagel is more than just a clever name. It's a squishy, oval-shaped bed with enormous bolsters designed to snuggle your dog while they sleep. 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 the task of 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.
The lack of any memory foam does reduce this bed's level of support and thickness retention with extended use. However, it is the thickest bed we tested, so it's starting off way ahead of many other poly-fill beds. While we like the durable exterior, it's one of the hardest to clean and keep clean. The bolsters create deep pockets all 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 if you have a big dog, this behemoth bed will only fit into an oversized machine at a laundromat. 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
When it comes to finding an outdoor pet bed, the AmazonBasics Cooling Elevated Pad is easy to love. Unlike some others, it's easy to assemble and disassemble, making it a solid choice for putting out seasonally or taking 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 a great 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. At the end of the day, 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 offers a modest amount of support and acceptable comfort from a plain pad. It fits well into many standard-sized crates to eliminate the discomfort of those plastic bin bottoms, and the water-resistant cover is a great bonus for a remarkably inexpensive bed.
However, the thickness of the BarkBox is paltry compared to many other beds on the market and doesn't do large dogs justice. It squished flat under our 75 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 the value of this memory foam pad with a water-resistant cover and a shockingly small price tag.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
The Coolaroo Original Elevated Pet Bed is a cooling platform that works well outside. 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 wasn't a fan of how this one feels. Additionally, the corners of this bed are particularly worrying to us. While they look just like the supported mesh of the rest of the bed, 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. If your dog doesn't mind the fabric feel and you're into the price tag, this bed is a reasonable outdoor option, but far from our favorite.
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
The MidWest Homes Deluxe Super Plush is definitely super plush, 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 to just 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 plush the MidWest Deluxe may be, it's not a supportive bed. It easily squishes flat even under small dogs and is best used as a topper over a more supportive mat, in the car, or on the 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 75 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 Editor, Maggie Brandenburg, her canine companion of over a decade, Madeline, a 75 lb, 11-year-old greyhound-lab, and several of their human and dog friends. Maggie has been a dog owner for over 20 years, taking care of the family pup as a child and adopting her own furbaby as soon as she moved into her own home. Experiencing the full circle of large dog life several times, Maggie is well-versed in the challenges involved in finding the right longterm bed for a dog. Madeline is well-versed in the extreme sport of napping, both as a senior dog and a greyhound mix, living up to her breed reputation of being a "45 mph couch potato". When they're not out adventuring together in the mountains or desert, Madeline spends most days sleeping next to wherever Maggie is and has a dog bed in just about every room of the house.
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 the same search for a small dog. Large dogs weigh more and often experience joint pain and mobility issues as they age, both of which require 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 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, considered their sizing and color options, tested their support, evaluated their comfort, and thoroughly cleaned them after spills to see how they stacked up. What follows is a specific, comparative discussion of how these beds performed in our numerous tests across several key metrics.
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 lolling about to discover if their support holds up over time. We also used bolsters and sides to gauge their helpfulness. We coaxed a dog into 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 clear winner in this metric is the Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic. This enormous bed is a full seven inches thick and comprised of three foam layers to support even the largest dogs. It has a single bolster on one end made of the same foam material as the top of the base, offering exceptional support for a full night's sleep. Not only did our big dogs love the rest they got on this monstrous bed, but even our human testers also loved lazing on it. The PetFusion Ultimate is another strong contender for supreme support. 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 great solid support for your dog's head or paws.
The Furhaven Sofa-Style Memory Foam and Milliard Memory Foam both feature dual layers of foam to combine support with comfort. Their 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. Also notable are the BarksBar Orthopedic and Majestic Pet Bagel, which both have 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, possible sleep configurations, and general happiness with sitting in each bed. Some beds are great for certain types of sleepers, and others can accommodate a bigger range of doggy preferences.
Two beds stand out in this metric, though for slightly different reasons. 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 too far as to be a warming bed. The single bolster provides a pillow on one end while leaving all other sides free to sprawl. The Furhaven Sofa-Style has a similar comfortable top layer that's enclosed in a very fuzzy, fluffy cover that feels oh-so-nice. It has three bolsters along the edges that don't crowd the main bed, allowing your dog to sprawl out and not use any bolsters if that's how they're feeling at the moment.
The Milliard Memory Foam also offers a great feel. Its top layer is a bit less squishy than the Big Barker or Furhaven, but the outer cover is soft and fuzzy, adding to its appeal. It is large and lacks any bolsters, 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.
If temperature regulation is your number one priority, there are a few beds that stand out on both ends of the thermometer. The Majestic Pet Bagel and BarksBar Orthopedic both have giant bolsters that wrap around the entire bed to help 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 Coolaroo and AmazonBasics Elevated Pad are elevated beds that let even the slightest breeze (whether from the weather or the air conditioner) flow under your pet. Both of these beds support your pup with thin, cot-like material that feels great on a hot day.
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 into bed. Just like you clean your own 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 took note of 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, though memory foam foundations are pretty universally only hand cleanable — and difficult to truly get clean.
The easiest beds to clean are the AmazonBasics Elevated Pad and Coolaroo Original. 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 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.
The BarkBox Memory Foam Platform and Milliard Memory Foam both sport water-resistant covers that help protect the inner foam bed from any accidents. 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. The BarksBar Orthopedic is easier to clean at home, as the cover comes off, but the effort required to do this is monumental. To remove the bolsters requires 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 and anywhere else where the bolster is thick, and it would be easy to get out, we have no idea. It's impressively difficult 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 truly 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 the life expectancy of even the most durable beds. If your dog partakes in these calming behaviors, try putting down a blanket to help the bed underneath last longer.
The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed is one of the most durable models we tested. 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 certain about their coverings ability to cope with a decade of claws. The Big Barker has seriously impressive innards, backed by a 10-year guarantee to maintain at least 90% of its original loft. However, it's suede-like covering is a bit on the thin side for our sensibilities. The Milliard Memory Foam also offers solid 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 as well as comparing how closely they matched their described sizes 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 Furhaven is a top contender in this metric. 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 fairly lightweight, making it easier to move from room to room as your dog desires — or even stuff in the car to take on vacation. The AmazonBasics Elevated Pad is another versatile bed, for contrasting reasons. 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