When it comes to dog beds, there is no one size fits all — Great Danes and Chihuahuas have different needs, as do puppies and senior dogs. 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 details like their sleeping style, if they run hot, whether they chew things, if they pee when nervous, or if they tend to track mud into the house. And just as you would when choosing a mattress for yourself, you’ll want to assess what seems to make 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 based on your dog’s size. “Measure from nose to tail,” she says. To be safe, add a couple of inches to that measurement and opt for a bed that’s slightly too big because it will give your dog more room to spread out. But with so many styles and brands of dog beds to choose from, you may need help narrowing down your options. Especially because, as Petropolist founder Tazz Latifi bluntly puts it, “there are too many dog beds out there that are just plain old junk.” So we asked Lippman, Barrack, Latifi, and 15 other dog experts — including trainers, veterinarians, Strategist dog owners, and the parent of one of the first dog influencers — about the very best dog beds they recommend. Their favorites below include something for every breed (and dog parent), from beds for the littlest pups and the biggest big dogs to beds for dogs that love to burrow and chew.
What we’re looking for
Support: Most dog beds are made with some sort of foam base mattress or polyester fill. Solid memory-foam beds are more supportive and come in a range of firmness levels. Beds that use polyester fill are fluffier and more squishy but can provide support for smaller and lighter-weight dogs as long as they are tightly packed with material. Ideally, you should buy something that’s firm enough to support your dog’s spine and joints but squishy enough to lull them into a deep slumber. Big, heavy dogs like Rottweilers and Great Danes will need beds with extra-dense foam to keep them from sinking down to the floor. But skinny dogs that lack the natural cushioning of plump thighs and butts need support with more give — either polyester fill or softer foam. If you can’t feel the bed in person before buying it, certain keywords like orthopedic and overstuffed can help steer you in the right direction. Customer reviews will also give you insight into the foam’s density and overall quality.
Comfort: Some dogs sleep curled up in a ball, some prefer the sensation of sleeping in a cave or burrow, and others, usually giant-breed dogs or those with double coats, are most comfortable sleeping on something cool and airy. Whatever their preference, the bed you buy should encourage relaxation, a sense of security, and restful sleep. Details like plush covers, soft bolsters, breathable fabrics, and even nooks where they can dig or hide a treat will entice dogs to choose their bed over the couch or a pile of clean laundry. If you’re not sure which kind of bed your dog would prefer, try observing their behavior. Do they like to hide under your covers? Try a cave-style bed. Do they nap on the coolest part of your hardwood floors or kitchen tile? Get a cooling bed. Or are they always trying to create the perfect concave nest by circling and digging? Pick a bed with bolsters or one that’s doughnut-shaped. Yena Kim, the owner of two Shiba Inus named Bodhi (a.k.a. Menswear Dog) and Luke, advises focusing on what’s unique about your dog before you purchase 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. Lastly, because dogs come in all shapes and sizes, the best beds come in multiple sizes too — and we’ve given those that do higher priority.
Durability: Jessica Gore, a certified professional animal behaviorist in Los Angeles, stresses durability as an important factor to consider. “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.” Look for sturdy base materials like dense memory foam or aluminum framing and cover materials that won’t easily snag, rip, or stain, like nylon, canvas, and microfiber. For elderly dogs and puppies prone to accidents, find a bed with a cover that’s water resistant to protect the inner bedding from stains and odors.
Washability: No matter what you do, your dog’s bed is going to get dirty. And while you may be able to spot-clean dirty paw prints, urine stains that aren’t properly removed will draw your pet back to pee in the same spot. If it’s not easy to wash, it’s not a good purchase. Make sure that the bed you buy has a removable machine-washable cover or that the whole thing can be thrown in the wash.
Style: If the dog bed you buy goes well with your apartment’s overall vibe, you’ll be much more likely to place it front and center in your living space. And if the bed is prominently displayed in a room where you spend most of your time, it’s much more likely to become your dog’s favorite place to curl up. While all of the dog beds below meet our standards of good style, certain colors or patterns will inevitably work better with one person’s home décor than others. For that reason, we gave extra consideration to beds that are available in multiple colors or prints.
Best overall dog bed
Memory-foam base | four raised side bolsters | removable and washable microfiber cover | available in three colors and three sizes
Of all the dog beds mentioned by our experts, this one from the bed-in-a-box mattress company Casper is the one we heard about most. It comes recommended by Lippman, Barrack, and Kim as well as Dr. Zay Satchu, the co-founder and chief veterinary officer of Bond Vet, and Logan Mikhly, a co-owner of Manhattan’s off-leash dog café Boris & Horton. Mikhly loves that it’s “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 she and Bodhi have “tried a lot of dog beds and currently use a Casper” because “its memory-foam base offers full, soft support.”
Best doughnut-shaped dog bed
Polyester-fill base | warming shag faux-fur exterior | flexible raised rim | water- and dirt-resistant bottom | removable, machine-washable cover on sizes M–XL | comes in four sizes and eight colors
Gore suggests this shag doughnut-shaped bed for smaller dogs that 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. 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 assured us this bed (in its larger size) is just as suitable for bigger dogs. My own dog, Uli, spends hours snoozing in her Best Friends by Sheri doughnut bed every day. She also uses the bed as a kind of toy, digging into it and flipping it over on top of her ball so she can then look for the ball and flip the bed again. The bottom of it (where you’d imagine the donut’s hole to be) puffs up a bit, cushioning Uli’s 12-year-old joints and creating deep crevices where she likes to hide her Greenies treats. Strategist newsletter editor Mia Leimkuhler says her dog, Reggie, a miniature schnauzer, also uses the bed as a toy. “He flings it about like it’s a giant floppy, fuzzy Frisbee, then he gets tired and plops in it,” she says, noting that he uses it most during cold weather since the bed acts as a furry insulator. In fact, the shag faux-fur design is meant to mimic the coat of a mother dog. The larger sizes have a removable, machine-washable cover, and while the small-size bed (which I have) doesn’t have a removable cover, the whole bed is technically machine washable. Yet after I washed mine and dried it on hot, the fur never regained its full fluff. I would suggest drying it on low heat with a few tennis balls to avoid this.
Best bed for big dogs
Memory-foam base | one raised side bolster | washable microfiber cover | available in three sizes and four colors
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 this 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
Memory-foam base | three raised side bolsters | washable and water-resistant cover | available in four sizes and three colors
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 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 purchase replacement covers to help extend the bed’s life span.
Best dog bed for older dogs
Overstuffed with hypoallergenic, ecofriendly fiber filling | removable machine-washable cover | available in four sizes and many fabrics, colors, and patterns
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 & Bones. “It’s a soft, fluffy bed that’s gentle on her older joints,” says 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 that its bolsterlike sides, while soft, are plenty sturdy and that its cover can be removed for cleaning. Latifi is a fan too and recommends Jax & Bones’ crate mats, which she says are “long-lasting and wash and dry well.”
Best dog bed for burrowers
Egg-crate orthopedic-foam base | cozy sherpa lining | washable microfiber cover | available in 11 colors and six sizes
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 the bed is just as good for toy breeds like Chihuahuas because “covered beds can provide the security and warmth these pets crave.”
Best dog bed for dogs who chew
Polyester fiberfill | ripstop micro-velvet cover | whole bed is machine washable | available in four sizes and three colors
As veterinarian Dr. Shelly Zacharias points out, owners of dogs who love to chew and gnaw on almost anything should prioritize materials when 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 are 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 cooling dog bed
Elevated aluminum frame | hard-plastic-covered corners | waterproof and chewproof ripstop ballistic fabric | washable with a damp cloth or hose
“Some large dogs, like a Bernese mountain dog, may prefer a cooler place to plop, so a giant, fluffy bed may not be ideal,” says Gore, who recommends this cot-style bed from K9 Ballistics as “a cooler option” because its design allows for more airflow. She says the brand’s beds are “durable and supportive for the largest or heaviest dogs” and are “easy to clean,” too — a sentiment Weber agrees with. He says cot-style beds like this can be rinsed with a hose and don’t need to be treated delicately because there’s no expensive memory foam to worry about. That said, if you want to give a little extra cushioning to your dog’s cot, Weber suggests adding a soft, washable blanket.