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
Casper Memory-Foam Dog Bed
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.”