Many people report that sleeping with a pet in their bedroom is unobtrusive or even beneficial to their sleep. In fact, a 2017 study found that pet owners’ sleep quality was good when their dog was in the room, but it was even better when they weren’t sharing a bed.
Investing in a dog bed can ensure both you and your pet are resting well. Plus, it provides a spot they can go to for naps or solitude throughout the day. And unlike other dog essentials, like food, treats and toys, a dog bed can last for several years (so long as your pup doesn’t destroy it).
We spoke to experts about the benefits of a dog bed and what to consider when shopping for one so your dog can feel comfortable and relaxed. We also pulled together some staff favorites and expert-recommended options to consider.
Selected.Our top picks
How we picked the best dog beds
Below are a few key factors our experts recommend considering when shopping for the best bed for your pup:
- Size: The right sized bed means it’s large enough for your pet to sprawl out with their limbs fully extended and their entire body still on the bed, according to our experts. Most beds will have size recommendations based on your dog’s weight. Small dogs can generally use beds meant for bigger dogs as long as they can comfortably step in and out of it (though this is not true for medium and large sized dogs).
- Washability: Whether your dog tracks in dirt from the park or is prone to accidents, consider a bed that comes with a removable, machine-washable cover and, ideally, an impermeable inner cover. This will not only keep your pup’s safe space clean, but it’ll also ensure the bed lasts longer, our experts say.
- Cushioning and support: If your dog wants or needs extra support, consider beds with thick memory or orthopedic foam, especially if you have an older dog. For older dogs who need more cushioning, consider foam that’s around 4 to 5 inches thick, says Dr. Joe Wakshlag, professor of clinical nutrition and sports medicine and rehabilitation at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Durability: How durable a bed is really comes down to your dog’s temperament. Though most dog beds are made of soft polyester designed to look good and feel comfortable, dogs more prone to chewing or pawing at their bed will likely benefit from ballistic fabrics designed to be hard-wearing. If your dog tends to destroy their toys, a soft fleece bed or one with tassels and threads should be off the table.
- Insulation: If you live in a colder climate, consider a bed made of fleece or other thick materials. For warmer weather, look for beds made of a cooling foam or ones that are elevated off the floor (like a cot with a mesh base) to help air circulate from the bottom.
Best dog beds of 2023
Below, we compiled expert-recommended and Select staff-favorite dog beds that can fit a variety of your pet’s needs and preferences. Each of the following beds has a removable washable cover and unless otherwise noted, comes in multiple sizes to ensure your dog is able to fit comfortably.
Best dog bed overall: Newton Baby
This Select Best for Your Pet Award winner is a popular pick among our staff for its spacious size and bolstered sides. Great for dogs of any age, the orthopedic bed comes with a quilted mattress that’s both removable and machine-washable, and it’s made from a breathable fabric for temperature regulation, according to the brand. It’s available in three sizes: small, medium and large/X-large.
Best memory foam dog bed: Casper
The Casper Dog Bed is a safe pick for most dogs, according to Wakshlag. It’s crafted with memory foam to provide joint and hip support and help relieve pressure, according to Casper. What’s more is that it works double time to entertain your dog: Its extra layer of washable microfiber material is designed to mimic the feel of pawing at loose earth minus the mess, according to the brand. When they’ve tuckered themselves out, the sides are lined with foam bolsters to operate as supportive pillows. The bed comes in three sizes: small for dogs up to 30 pounds, medium for dogs up to 60 pounds and large for dogs up to 90 pounds.
Best bed for small dogs: Best Friends by Sheri
Smaller dogs who weigh under 30 pounds typically prefer beds that have a raised edge or even a pocket to nuzzle underneath, says Angela Logsdon-Hoover, a certified dog trainer and canine behaviorist. The Cozy Cuddler can help smaller dogs feel secure and less anxious while they relax — with its built-in blanket, flexible faux fur walls and plush interior, the bed allows your dog to either burrow or stretch out, according to the brand. Though the cover isn’t removable, the brand says the entire bed is machine-washable.
Best bed for big dogs: Big Barker
Big Barker makes beds for large dogs that weigh 50 to 250 pounds. It offers three rectangular bed types: Sleek, Headrest and Sofa, the latter of which includes bolsters on three of the four sides. Each bed comes with a machine-washable microsuede cover and is made from the brand’s proprietary foam, which it says is engineered to support the pressure curves of large breed dogs. (Large breed dogs are defined as weighing anywhere from 75 pounds to 100 pounds, according to Dr. Dana Varble, chief veterinary officer for nonprofit North American Veterinary Community.) The brand also offers a free replacement if the foam sinks or sags within 10 years. The bed comes in three sizes — large, XL and Giant — and in four colors.
Best affordable dog bed: Frisco
Frisco’s dog bed is a favorite of my 15-pound havachon Bella, who loves to rest her head on the bolstered sides or burrow her face into the bed’s cushioned crevices during a nap.The outer fabric is a plush faux suede that’s available in either a neutral khaki green or brown. The bed is available in three sizes: small (measuring 6.5 inches high), medium (9 inches high) and large (10 inches high).
Best high-end dog bed: Yeti
Yeti’s dog bed is on the pricier side, but it is essentially two beds in one: It has a home base with pillow bolsters on the edges to let your dog snooze at home, as well as a removable cushioned pad that can serve as a portable dog bed on the road. To machine wash the fabric cover, simply unzip and remove it from both the base and the travel pad. The bottom of the travel pad is also waterproof, and the EVA-molded bottom layer of the home base is water-resistant, according to Yeti. Unlike the other options on this list, the Yeti dog bed is only available in one size: The home base is 39 inches in length and 29 inches in width.
Best dog bed for older dogs: Orvis
This Orvis orthopedic bed is recommended by Dr. Kristen Nelson, a veterinarian and author of “Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life,” because it has a polyester-filled, three-sided bolster; an open-cell, 3.5-inch-thick memory foam insert; and an open front with a low profile for older dogs to easily get on and off, according to the brand. It also contains a hypoallergenic, water-resistant liner and a durable, furniture-grade cover that unzips for easy removal, according to Orvis. The bed is available in four sizes — ranging from a small size for dogs up to 40 pounds to extra-large for dogs 90 pounds and over — and in eight different colors.
Best dog bed with bolsters: Furhaven
This L-shaped bed from Furhaven has bolsters that provide a corner sofa design for your dog, according to the brand. It’s wrapped in an easy-to-clean microsuede and includes a plush faux fur lining to help keep your canine companion snug, according to Furhaven. It has an orthopedic foam cushioning for support, which experts told us can be good for older dogs. The bed is available in sizes small (for pups weighing up to 20 pounds) to Jumbo Plus (for dogs weighing up to 125 pounds). The bed’s rectangular shape makes it a comfortable option for the corner of your dog’s favorite room and its Jumbo Plus size is “great for big dogs like Chance — although my tiny kitten also loves stretching out on it,” says Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin.
Best fleece dog bed: L.L.Bean
Nelson says her golden retriever, Sully, likes lying in this L.L.Bean bed when he’s cold. It has a warm and washable sherpa polyester fleece cover, which zips off for easy cleaning. The bed also comes with three bolstered sides that can provide a spot for dogs to rest their head. It’s available in four sizes, ranging from small for dogs up to 25 pounds to extra-large for dogs 90 pounds and over. If you prefer a non-bolstered fleece option, L.L.Bean offers a rectangular bed with soft polyfill cushioning.
Best leather dog bed: Le Dog
This luxurious dog bed has a leather outer cover that’s easy to spot clean and doesn’t retain odor, according to Select associate reporter Bianca Alvarez, who received one from Le Dog for her 7-year-old pitbull. Its cooling gel memory foam interior also relieves any pressure points while providing extra comfort, according to the brand. The bed comes in two sizes: medium (for dogs up to 125 pounds) and large (for dogs up to 185 pounds).
Best shag dog bed: Best Friends by Sheri
Select social editor Sadhana Daruvuri says her dog, Bandit, has loved this cozy circular bed since the day he came home — he likes to curl up inside when he’s napping or playing with toys. “I love how easy it is to clean,” says Daruvuri. “I just throw it in the wash on the gentle cycle.” It’s also another favorite of Bella’s, who loves to snuggle against the bolsters, burrow in its deep crevices and sprawl while laying on it. The bed is covered in vegan shag fur and it’s available in five sizes, with the smallest size accommodating pets weighing up to seven pounds and the largest for pets up to 150 pounds, according to the brand. You can also choose from four colors, including Taupe (beige), Frost (white), Dark Chocolate (dark brown) and Cotton Candy (pink).
Best stylish dog bed: Lesure
This bolster dog bed comes in three stylish designs to fit your (and your pup’s) personal style, including clouds, flowers and checkerboard. Lesure sent me this bed for Bella to try, and she loves laying on it all day long. It’s made of soft sherpa and provides a great amount of cushion and support. The bed is designed for dogs and cats up to 25 pounds, and it has a removable, machine-washable cover for easy cleaning.
Best outdoor dog bed: BarkBox
Backyard activities or hiking adventures call for a bed that isn’t just waterproof but can also stand up to the elements and keep your dog safe. This washable, portable and water-resistant bed checks all those boxes. Malin says her dog, Chance, loves to hang out with her family outside, so they bought him this bed to put on the porch and bring into the yard. “It gets super dirty but you can remove the cover to wipe it down, which is amazing,” she says. The bed’s inner cushion is made of temperature-regulating gel memory foam and comes with a water-resistant cover and zipper, according to the brand. It’s available in a medium size for dogs up to 40 pounds, a large for dogs up to 65 pounds and an X-large for dogs up to 120 pounds.
Best durable dog bed: Kuranda
The Kuranda Standard Dog Bed is one of Nelson’s favorites due to its durability. “When [Sully] was a puppy, the only bed he didn’t chew up was the Kuranda platform bed,” she says. Made for dogs up to 100 pounds, this bed can be used both indoors and outdoors and stands on a strong, chew-proof frame that can resist fading from the sun’s UV rays, according to the brand. It’s great for any type of weather, too: The air circulation underneath the bed can help keep dogs cool in summer and it’s lifted up off cold floors in the wintertime, according to Kuranda. You can choose from six different sizes, three fabric colors and four different fabric types, including heavy duty vinyl, smooth nylon, textured nylon and outdoor mesh.
Best basic dog bed: Majestic Pet Products
This option features a fun chevron pattern and washable cover in four sizes ranging from small to extra-large. “Anyone who has a lab knows that everything becomes a chew toy — including beds — [and] Chance has yet to chew through this bed,” says Malin, adding that her dog likes to rest his head on the bolster edges. The bed is available in multiple sizes and six colors, including sage, burnt orange and yellow.
Best canopy dog bed: Floppy Dawg
Access to shade is equally as important as comfort when your dog is outside, and this dog bed’s removable canopy can offer the flexibility to handle both shaded and unshaded spaces. Whether you live in a warmer climate or your dog gets overheated quickly, experts say a raised bed like this one can be a good option. Its mesh cover also allows air to circulate underneath, according to the brand.
How to shop for a dog bed
There are many types of dog beds on the market, including decorative ones that blend in with the furniture in your house, and supportive orthopedic beds that can make older pets more comfortable. You should consider a few different features as you’re shopping for a dog bed, including the size of the bed, cushioning and insulation level.
The size of the bed will likely have the biggest effect on how comfortable your dog is when using it. “A bed should be large enough for your pet to lay out with their limbs fully extended with their entire body, even their toes, on the bed,” says Varble. Small dogs can usually use beds that are designed for larger breeds as long as they’re able to jump into the bed without issue, but “a tiny bed for a giant body doesn’t work very well,” says Hoggan.
If your dog tends to have accidents or likes to lie in bed after a messy trip to the park, you might want to consider a bed that has a removable outer cover and an impermeable inner cover. “Given dogs are not particularly driven by tidiness, getting a bed with a waterproof and washable cover is advised — humans prefer things in their homes not to carry the fragrance of whatever was available to roll upon outside,” says Hoggan. And with the often high price tag of some quality memory foam beds, a durable, water-resistant cover will make the bed last and ensure you’re getting your money’s worth, says Wakshlag.
Cushioning and support
In addition to an appropriate size, an adequate amount of cushioning can determine the bed’s comfort level. The amount of cushioning you need varies based on your pet’s size, level of mobility and overall health. Beds with adequate cushioning and memory foam are extremely beneficial for older dogs, especially those with arthritis, neurologic problems and orthopedic issues, says Wakshlag. “A small puppy won’t need as much cushion as a large, arthritic dog — typically, a less mobile dog will need a sturdier, thicker foam to support their body comfortably and prevent pressure sores,” says Hoggan.
Beds labeled as orthopedic dog beds, which are made with high-quality orthopedic foam to gently cushion bones and joints, are usually the best option for older dogs, says Fadl.
“Unfortunately, many older large-breed dogs like to lie on the floor, which can be harder on their joints. This might be due to temperature concerns, so beds that are designed to keep a dog cool might be a good option [and] many orthopedic dog beds have this feature,” says Fadl. Orthopedic beds with a low profile on one side can allow for easier access, especially since arthritic dogs can find it hard to lift their paws high enough to get in, says Nelson.
It can also be important to look at the thickness of the foam to determine how much cushion is actually being provided to older dogs. “Anything that has 1 inch of memory foam is going to claim to be an orthopedic bed, but there’s not a lot of real evidence as to [whether it’ll actually help] — the reality is all memory foam somewhere in the 4 inches to 5 inches range is probably a good choice because that really helps with pressure distribution,” says Wakshlag.
Durability and material
Dog beds come in a variety of materials, ranging from soft polyester that’s designed to be attractive and comfortable to ballistic fabrics designed to be hard-wearing and durable. “If you have a dog that likes to tear apart stuffed toys, a soft fluffy fleece bed will not survive very well and your money would be better spent on something stouter,” says Hoggan.
You should also be careful with any tassels or long threads that are visible on the bed. “Dogs like to chew and a tassel or thread has the potential to become a linear foreign body trapped in their stomach and intestines,” says Hoggan.
Since beds can be a key source of anxiety-reducing comfort for your pet, the insulation level of the bed can be an important consideration based on the climate you live in and the breed of your dog. Basically, the bed shouldn’t make them feel too warm or too cold.
“A thin and small breed with no undercoat, like a whippet or Italian Greyhound, will need much more warmth provided in cold northern climate, whereas an arctic breed would need a more cooling bed in a tropical region,” says Hoggan.
Beds to help warm up your dog can be made from fleece or other thicker materials, while cooling beds can either consist of a cooling type of foam or be elevated off the floor — like a cot with a mesh base — that can help air circulate from the bottom.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Dr. Joe Wakshlag is a professor of clinical nutrition and sports medicine and rehabilitation at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Angela Logsdon-Hoover is a certified dog trainer, canine behaviorist and the regional technician director at VCA Animal Hospitals.
- Dr. Kristen Nelson is a veterinarian at Arizona Skies Animal Hospital in Cave Creek, Arizona and the author of “Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life.”
- Dr. Dana Varble is the chief veterinary officer and spokesperson for the nonprofit North American Veterinary Community.
- Dr. Gabrielle Fadl is the medical director of primary care at Bond Vet in New York City.
- Dr. Sarah Hoggan is the medical director for VCA California Veterinary Specialists — Murrieta, where she also oversees emergency and critical care services.
Why trust Select?
Mili Godio is an editor at Select who covers a variety of pet essentials, including dog food, treats, travel carriers and shampoos. For this article, Godio spoke to six veterinarians and trainers about the benefits of having a dedicated bed for your dog. She also compiled their recommendations for the best beds to consider and researched dozens of options on the market based on expert guidance.