5 tips for buying a dog bed

(Image credit: The Dog's Bed)

It’s common knowledge that all dogs (allegedly) go to heaven, but the best dog beds will make your fur buddy already feel like they’re floating among the clouds when their snout hits the pillow. 

But, not all dog beds are made the same. Just like choosing the best mattress for yourself, there are some key aspects to think about first. Want your dog to live high on the hog? Here are five things to consider before pulling the trigger on a miniature mutt mattress.

1. Measure your dog (while they sleep)

Sizing is arguably the most important factor for any puppy pad, so plan accordingly if your pup is still growing. If you’re shopping for a full-grown dog, though, try getting a nose-to-tail measurement during their next cat nap (preferably when at their most sprawled-out). Once you know roughly how much square footage your dog takes up during down time, you can eyeball different mattress models accordingly. Bottom line: give your pooch enough room to stretch during nightly rabbit-chasing fantasies.  

2. Consider the construction materials

If your dog’s a “chewer” (here’s looking at you, yet-to-be-trained pups), make sure the bed you get doesn’t become an overnight choking hazard. Some dog beds are made from chew-resistant materials, like canvas and ripstop weaves, which are tougher for wolf-wannabes to tear apart. Oh, and if your dog will be sleeping outside often, make sure the whole thing is weatherproof. Otherwise you will need to learn how to clean a dog bed sooner than you think.

Steer clear of overly synthetic build materials, including stain-proofing and flame-retardant chemicals. When you read the fine print, keep an eye out for anything your pet might be allergic to. (Remember: some breeds have naturally sensitive skin.) 

3. Plush with a purpose 

A dedicated dog bed might be a luxury for younger pups, but with older dogs, the right mattress can do wonders for arthritic joints, bone/muscle disorders, and hip dysplasia. Just like with human mattresses, there are plenty of orthopedic options out there for pets, in addition to memory foam, polystyrene pellets, and spun polyester padding. If your canine companion needs some extra TLC, you can’t go wrong with an orthopedic pad.

Speaking of TLC, how thick is your dog’s coat, exactly? If they need some extra warmth during the night, look for fluffier bedding materials — and heated options, too! (Especially if they like to burrow.) 

4. Round or rectangular?

Does your dog walk in tight circles before flopping onto their usual resting spot, spending much of their snooze time curled up into a ball? Sounds like they might dig an oval-shaped bed. 

Does your dog sleep sprawled out to one side? (Or even on their back, like a boss?) A rectangular bed would be a better fit, particularly if it’s a larger and/or older dog.

5. Get the best pet deals 

Hot on the heels of Prime Day sales, this year’s Black Friday discounts are already underway. Retailers like Chewy, Petco, and Amazon are among the many vendors offering cheap pet deals for the holidays. From toys and beds to food and pet apparel, there are lots of savings to be had, and we’re rounding up the best deals for all your pets — on or off the leash.

Casper Dog Bed


Casper Dog Bed (Image credit: Casper)

This doggy bed has pressure-relieving memory foam and durable support to keep your pet comfortable all night. (Or day, depending on how lazy they are.) The microfiber blended material is meant to be rip-resistant, which is great news for new puppy parents. It’s a comfy bed, to be sure, but it can still take a beating.

Best Friends by Sheri Shag Fur Donut Cuddler


(Image credit: Sheri)

If you’re on the lookout for a round-shaped bed, the Donut Cuddler is perfect for pets who love to curl up (cats too); it also provides additional neck support. These beds are responsibly sourced for your pet’s safety, made with durable nylon faux fur and non-toxic filling.

K&H Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper Heated Pet Bed


(Image credit: K&H)

Want to give your dog some extra creature comfort? This bed is perfect for pets with hip dysplasia, arthritis, or any other joint issues. It also warms up to your pet’s normal body temperature for those colder nights, and the cover is easy to wash.

The Dog’s Bed Orthopedic Dog Bed


(Image credit: The Dog's Bed)

Constructed from high-density memory foam, this is another great option for dogs with joint pain. It’s designed to keep your best friend feeling younger for longer, and the waterproof mattress protector defends against the occasional accident. 


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TJ Fink
Contributing Editor

As a freelance journalist, TJ has over a decade of multi-medium storytelling under his belt. Leveraging a quarter century of collective coddiwompling amid the ever-evolving landscape of wireless gadgetry, his unique editorial background allows him to explore a variety of tech-centric subsectors on this fascinating planet. When he's not field testing new gear in the Catskills, Adirondacks, or an actual field, he can be found sipping Negronis in his living room and crafting Dr. Seussian poetry inside a tattered moleskin.