recommended by experts

The Best Dog Beds, According to Dog Experts

Photo: courtesy of the Retailer

When it comes to dog beds, there is no one size fits all — Geat Danes and Chihuahuas have different needs, as do puppies and old-timers. To find the best bed for your dog, basic information like your pup’s age and weight will factor in. As well as the more particular stuff like your dog’s sleeping style, if they run hot or need some warming up, whether they chew things, are a nervous pee-er, or love to track mud into the house. Like picking a human mattress, you’ll want to consider what makes your pup most comfortable. Dr. Lisa Lippman, a veterinarian at Fuzzy Pet Health, explains that “dogs can sleep for up to 80 percent of the day, so choosing where they spend all that time is no small decision.”

Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian and the founder of Animal Acupuncture in NYC, suggests beginning your search with your dog’s size. “Measure from nose to tail,” says Barrack, who recommends opting for a bed that’s slightly too big, giving your pup room to spread out. Because there are so many different styles and brands to choose from, we talked to Lippman, Barrack, and nine other dog experts, including a dog acupuncturist, dog trainers, veterinarians, and one of the internet’s first dog-fluencer parents, about the best of the best in dog beds.

Best Overall Dog Bed

Casper Memory Foam Dog Bed

Of all the dog beds mentioned by our 12 experts, this Casper memory-foam dog bed is the one we heard about most. It comes recommended by five of our experts: Barrack, Lippman, Dr. Zay Satchu, co-founder and chief veterinary officer of Bond Vet, Logan Mikhly, co-owner of Boris and Horton, an off-leash dog café in Manhattan, and Yena Kim, creator and owner of Menswear Dog, a stylish Shiba Inu named Bodhi with over 300,000 Instagram followers. “We tried a lot of dog beds and currently use a Casper,” says Kim. “It’s got a memory-foam base, so Bodhi feels rested with full soft support.” Mikhly loves that Casper beds are “durable and easy to clean.” And Barrack, whose clients rave about their Casper dog beds, says 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 says she recommends Casper dog beds after sitting on one herself. She likes that they’re nice-looking, easy to clean, and “orthopedic for older dogs to aid with their achy joints.”

Though Casper is her current favorite (and Bodhi’s), Kim recognizes 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.”

Best memory-foam dog bed for big dogs

Big Barker 7-inch Pillowtop Orthopedic Dog Bed

Two of our experts, Erin Askeland, a certified dog behaviorist and training manager at Camp Bow Wow, and Devin Stagg of Pupford, a company specializing in dog training and healthy dog food, recommend Big Barker bolster dog beds for their durable and supportive foam, which is designed for extra-large dogs and older big dogs with joint pain. Askeland recommends these heavy-duty bolster beds (which Big Barker guarantees will hold their shape for ten years) “for dogs who like to sprawl and rest their head.” Stagg, whose two Labs sleep on Big Barker beds, is a fan of their machine-washable covers, saying, “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.”

Best less-expensive memory-foam dog bed

PetFusion Memory Foam Dog Bed with Waterproof liner & removable cover

Askeland has four dogs who sleep on several 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 is around half the price and comparable in size to a Big Barker bed, making it a good choice for folks on a budget or buying in multiples.

Best memory-foam couch-style dog bed

ORVIS Memory Foam Deep Dish Dog Bed

Like the Big Barker bolster bed, this memory-foam bed from Orvis isn’t cheap. But both Lippman and Askeland, who recommend it, say that you’re better off investing in high-quality products from well-known brands you can trust. “Orvis makes sturdy products that hold up over time. This might be a more expensive bed, but it will last you quite a while,” says Askeland. And Lippman says, “I love Orvis. They have a range of massive beds for large and giant dog breeds, with quality memory foam to comfortably keep their bodies from touching the floor.”

Best less-expensive couch-style dog bed

La-Z-Boy Tucker Sofa Dog Bed

Dr. Jeff Weber, a veterinarian in Culver City, California, says most healthy dogs are happy sleeping on the floor, so getting them a dedicated bed is already a “slam dunk.” But for dogs of all sizes with joint problems, you should look for an orthopedic bed. He recommends this sofa-style bed because it’s “soft on pressure points yet firm enough to offer good support for achy joints.” Though it comes in only one size. This La-Z-Boy sofa will run you less than half what the small-size Orvis sofa-style dog bed costs.

Best dog bed for skinny breeds

Pendleton Pet Classics Kuddler

Both Mikhly and Dr. Whitney Miller, director of veterinary medicine at Petco, recommend this soft four-sided dog bed from Pendleton. Mikhly’s dog and cat are both fans of the cushy bed. Miller says it’s a great option for the colder months because the recycled high-loft memory fiber keeps leaner breeds off the floor. It 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 dog bed for older dogs

Jax and Bones Dottie Dozer Bolster

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 in at all. Instead, soft, pillowy beds tend to 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 owner in a human bed, she sleeps on a Jax and Bones bed. “It’s a soft, fluffy bed that’s gentle on her older joints. Plus, it’s available in a small size for my little pup and comes in colors that work with my home.” Askeland recommends the Jax and Bones bolster bed because, while it’s soft, it’s also sturdy, and you can remove the pillow and exterior bed cover for cleaning.

Best less-expensive bed for small dogs

Best Friends by Sheri Luxury Shag Faux Fur Donut Cuddler Pet Bed

Jessica Gore, a CPDT-KA (certified professional animal behaviorist) in Los Angeles, recommends a shag donut-shaped bed for dogs who sleep curled up in a ball and need some support as well as some extra warmth. “I just love, love, love the Shag Donut Cuddler from Best Friends by Sheri. It’s great for warm snuggling and cuddling and provides just enough support and security for smaller body types.” Gore also stresses that your dog’s bed should be able to stand up to a lot of wear. “Expect your dog’s bed to get used. There may be circling, digging, scratching, dragging, and lots of repeat plopping, which can cause significant wear and tear in no time.”

Best (and most stylish) mattress-style dog bed

Dusen Dusen Terra Embroidered Dog Bed

Most of our experts suggest keeping several dog beds throughout your home so that your pup has a comfortable place to nap in every room. “Most dogs need more than one bed,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian who serves on the Pet Life Today advisory board, adding, “Dogs want to be where their people are, so make sure there are several in the areas where you spend most of your time and where you expect your dog to spend the night.” Askeland and Mikhly both recommend Dusen Dusen’s flat dog bed, which doubles as a floor pillow because, according to Askeland, “it has a nice removable cover that you can wash and could look nice as part of room décor.” Mikhly says this dog bed is her personal favorite because of its bright colors and how well it blends in with non-dog décor, saying, “It looks more like furniture than a pet item.”

Best customizable mattress-style dog bed

Backup Design Indigo Shibori Pet Bed // Medium

“The most common misconception is that dog beds have to be ugly.” says Kimberly Freeman, a dog trainer and canine-lifestyle expert in London. But if you can’t find a dog bed that matches your living-room décor, Freeman suggests getting a custom cover made from a fabric you love. Mikhly recommends this customizable dog bed from Backup Design, which she calls “beautiful,” saying, “I love the idea of using Etsy to find something unique to fit your personal style.”

Best cave-style dog bed for burrowers

Snoozer Orthopedic Luxury Microsuede Cozy Cave Pet Bed

Both Askeland and Lippman recommend this cave-style bed from Furhaven, which comes with a snuggly built-in cover (which you can remove in warmer weather) that Askeland says is “essentially a blanket attached to the top of the bed that a dog can slide under to cuddle.” Lippman’s Rhodesian Ridgeback, Chloe, loves to burrow under the fleece-lined top. She says, “It’s the perfect bed for pups that love to burrow under the covers and get super cozy before they sleep.”

The best cooling cot-style dog bed

K9 Ballistics Durable Chew Resistant Raised Dog Bed- Ballistic Fabric

“Some large dogs may prefer a cooler place to plop, like a Bernese mountain dog, so a giant fluffy bed may not be ideal,” says Gore. “K9 Ballistics offer durable dog beds for the larger or heavier types. Their cots are also a cooler option that provide dogs with support and are easy to clean.” Satchu’s dogs use elevated cot-style beds when they’re not sleeping in their kennels. And Weber says his own dogs share his California-king bed with him most of the time, but if you’re not into co-sleeping, he suggests prioritizing practical things like ease of cleaning when shopping for a dog bed. He likes cot-style beds because they’re practically dog-fluid proof — you can rinse them with a hose and there’s no expensive foam core to worry about. If you want to add a little extra cushioning to your dog’s cot, he suggests adding a soft washable blanket.