recommended by experts

The Best Dog Beds, According to Dog Experts

Photo: Strategist staff dog Oak snoozing in his bed.

When it comes to dog beds, there is no one size fits all — Great Danes and Chihuahuas have different needs, as do puppies and old-timers. To find the best bed for your dog, you’ll need basic information like your pup’s age and weight. But you’ll also need more particular stuff like their sleeping style, if they run hot, whether they chew things or are nervous pee-ers, or if they love to track mud into the house. Just as when you choose a mattress for yourself, you’ll want to consider what makes your pup most comfortable. Especially when you consider how much time they spend sleeping. According to Dr. Lisa Lippman, a house-call veterinarian and the founder of Vets in the City, “that can be up as much as 80 percent of the day.”

Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian and the founder of Animal Acupuncture, recommends beginning your search for a bed with your dog’s size. “Measure from nose to tail,” she says. To be safe, add a couple inches to that measurement. Barrack also suggests opting for a bed that’s slightly too big, because it’ll give your dog more room to spread out. But with so many different styles and brands of dog beds to choose from, you might need a little more help sifting through the options. So we asked Lippman, Barrack, and 13 other dog experts — including trainers, veterinarians, Strategist dog owners, and the parent of one of the first dog-fluencers — about the dog beds they’d recommend. Their favorites below include something for everyone (and breed), from beds for the littlest pups to options for the biggest hounds to beds for dogs that love to burrow (or chew).

Best overall dog bed

From $113

Of all the dog beds mentioned by our experts, this is the one we heard about most. It comes recommended by Barrack; Lippman; Dr. Zay Satchu, the co-founder and chief veterinary officer of Bond Vet; Logan Mikhly, a co-owner of Manhattan’s off-leash dog café Boris and Horton; and Yena Kim, the owner of a stylish Shiba Inu named Bodhi (who is also known as @Menswear Dog and has more than 300,000 Instagram followers). Mikhly loves that Casper beds are “durable and easy to clean.” Barrack, whose clients rave about their Casper dog beds, adds that “because it’s engineered by Casper, it’s basically a human-grade mattress.” She also likes that the cover is machine-washable and the zippers are hidden, “so your dog won’t be able to chew on them.” Satchu prefers the Casper because it’s nice-looking, easy to clean, and “orthopedic for older dogs to aid with their achy joints.” Kim told us that she and Bodhi have “tried a lot of dog beds and currently use a Casper” because “its memory-foam base offers full, soft support.” Still, she reminds us that not all dogs have the same needs and advises focusing on what’s unique about your dog before purchasing a new bed. “You’ll know you’ve made the right choice when you hand your dog a treat and he takes it to his bed to enjoy it,” Kim explains.

Best dog bed for small dogs

Jessica Gore, a certified professional animal behaviorist in Los Angeles, suggests this shag donut-shaped bed for smaller dogs who sleep curled up in a ball and need some support as well as extra warmth. “It’s great for warm snuggling and cuddling and provides just enough support and security for smaller body types,” she explains. In recommending the bed, Gore stressed durability as a factor she always considers. “Expect your dog’s bed to get used,” she says. “There may be circling, digging, scratching, dragging, and lots of repeat plopping, which can cause significant wear and tear in no time.” Strategist writer Chloe Anello is another fan of this bed for smaller breeds: She bought it for her (now deceased) Pekingese, Ellie, who became obsessed with it. And after getting one for her pit bull-boxer mix, former Strategist senior editor Casey Lewis assures us that the bed (in its larger size) is just as suitable for bigger dogs.

Best dog bed for multiple small dogs

Owners of multiple small dogs who like to cuddle together when they nap should consider this affordable bed that fashion designer, dog parent, and Strategist contributor Heron Preston uses for his dogs Boo Boo and Bambi. “Both of them will ball up like little crescent moons together in there,” he says. “The dogs love it, they can get into all these positions.” Preston told us that he’s had the bed for “a superlong time” and it has a removable liner that is very “easy to clean.”

Best dog bed for big dogs

Two of our experts recommend Big Barker’s bolster dog bed for extra-large dogs and older big dogs with joint pain, because it is designed with durable and supportive foam. Erin Askeland, a certified dog behaviorist and training manager at Camp Bow Wow, says the heavy-duty bed (which Big Barker guarantees will hold its shape for ten years) is ideal “for dogs who like to sprawl and rest their head.” The bed has another fan in Devin Stagg of Pupford, a company specializing in dog training and healthy dog food. His two Labs sleep on Big Barker beds, which he notes have machine-washable covers. “Even if your dog is potty-trained, stains and spills can ruin the integrity of a dog bed, so make sure you buy a bed with a cover you can remove and clean,” he explains.

Best (less-expensive) dog bed for big dogs

Askeland has four dogs that sleep on different beds, including this three-sided memory-foam bolster bed with a water-resistant cover. According to her, it’s “an upscale bed with a sturdy, removable cover and very thick, dense foam that doesn’t immediately flatten.” The PetFusion Ultimate bed also comes recommended by Dr. Jamie Richardson, chief of staff at Small Door Veterinary, who bought one for her elderly Labrador several years ago and says that the memory foam is such good quality, it hasn’t lost its shape. Richardson adds that if you have a dog that likes to chew or dig, you can also purchase replacement covers for these beds to help extend their lifespan.

Best couch-style dog bed

This bed isn’t cheap, but both Lippman and Askeland recommend it if you’re looking to invest in a high-quality style from a well-known brand you can trust. “Orvis makes sturdy products that hold up over time,” Askeland explains. “This might be a more expensive bed, but it will last you quite a while.” Lippman says this is one of several “massive beds for large and giant breeds” that Orvis makes “with quality memory foam to comfortably keep a dog’s body from touching the floor.” Richardson is also a fan of Orvis dog beds, noting many — including this one — can be purchased in various fabrics and even be customized with a dog’s name.

Best (less-expensive) couch-style dog bed


This less-expensive sofa-style bed comes recommended by Dr. Jeff Weber, a veterinarian in Culver City, California. He says it is “soft on pressure points yet firm enough to offer good support for achy joints,” suggesting it for dogs of all sizes with joint problems

Best (even-less-expensive) couch-style dog bed

Kiki Reginato, a director of e-commerce for Vox Media, bought this sofa-style dog bed for her growing Labrador mix, Rusty. It’s made with orthopedic foam for cushioning joints and has a removable cover that can be machine-washed in case of accidents. Another thing she likes about it is that the bed has enough weight to it that her dog can’t pick it up and throw it all over the house. “Rusty is a big fan,” Reginato concludes.

Best stylish dog bed

Both Mikhly and Dr. Whitney Miller, a director of veterinary medicine at Petco, recommend this soft, four-sided dog bed from Pendleton. Not only is it cool-looking, but the bed is also available in three sizes that should accommodate most breeds. Mikhly’s own dog is a fan, and Miller says the bed is a great option for leaner breeds (especially in colder months) because its recycled high-loft memory fiber keeps their bodies further from the floor. That fiber, she adds, also provides cushioning for pressure points like elbows and hips, which, if not properly protected, “can lead to pain, skin damage, and in some cases even skin wounds.”

Best (less-expensive) stylish dog bed

Anello told us her dog Rudy, a schnauzer-Yorkie mix, loves this gingham-patterned bed because its open front makes it easy for him to “bring his bones and toys into bed to play with.” Available in two sizes, she says the medium size offers Rudy ample space to fully stretch out, even with his toys. Its cover, Anello adds, is nice-looking enough that she doesn’t “mind keeping it in a prominent place in my apartment.” And when it gets dirty, she “can take the cover off and wash it, which is so nice.” While Harry Barker sent Anello the bed to test out, she says she likes it so much that she’s buying a second one as a gift for her sister’s new dog.

Best dog bed for older dogs

Older dogs and dogs with less meat on their bones may not find extra-thick foam beds comfortable, because they don’t weigh enough to sink into them. Instead, opt for something soft and pillowy, which our experts say will be cozier and easier on their joints. When Barrack’s dog, a 4.5-pound, 11-year-old Chihuahua named Eloise (a.k.a. Lil Weezy) isn’t snuggling next to her in a human bed, she sleeps on a dog bed from Jax and Bones. “It’s a soft, fluffy bed that’s gentle on her older joints,” according to Barrack. “Plus, it’s available in a small size for my little pup” (along with three other sizes for larger dogs). Askeland also recommends this bed, telling us its bolster-like sides, while soft, are plenty sturdy and that its cover can be removed for cleaning.

Best dog bed for burrowers

Lippman says this cave-style bed from Furhaven is “the perfect bed for pups that love to burrow under the covers and get super-cozy before they sleep.” It comes with a snuggly built-in cover that Askeland, another fan, describes as “essentially a blanket attached to the top of the bed that a dog can slide under to cuddle.” Lippman told us her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chloe, loves to burrow under the fleece-lined top, but Richardson notes it’s just as good for toy breeds, like Chihuahuas, because “covered beds can provide the security and warmth these pets crave.”

Best dog bed for chewers

As veterinarian Dr. Shelly Zacharias points out, owners of dogs who love to chew and gnaw on most anything should consider materials before choosing a bed. “Any bedding that is ingested by your dog poses a very dangerous threat as a foreign body in the digestive tract,” she explains. This Orvis bed, she says, is specifically designed to be chewproof, making it a good option for anyone with a dog they think will enjoy gnawing on their bed as much as sleeping in it. The bed is constructed with no seams and two layers of tear-resistant nylon that’s bonded to its micro-velvet upper layer. If Fido manages to destroy it — which is highly unlikely — Orvis will give you a full refund.

Best dog bed for dogs who like their alone time