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As all dog owners know, your pup may be a happy-go-lucky creature that enjoys the simple things but that doesn't mean they don't have preferences. A favorite chew toy, a particular spot where they love to lounge, that one chipmunk they seem hell bent on destroying, to name a few examples. But our furry best friends can also be picky about their dog beds.
And who can blame them? According to the American Kennel Club, adult dogs sleep an average of 12-14 hours within a 24-hour period—even more for puppies, who can snooze for up to 20 hours as they work on growing into those oversized ears and paws. The AKC also recommends factoring in your dogs’ breed, size, age, coat and habits when choosing a bed.
The choices are vast: from donut-shaped dog beds to elevated dog beds to orthopedic dog beds to sofa beds. To help you pick the right one, here are several important things to consider, plus our favorite (and our dogs' favorite) picks.
What to Consider When Buying a Dog Bed
Yes, it’s obvious, but ask yourself: does my dog like their bed? You can read all the advice in the world, but if you aren’t paying attention to your dog, you’re missing out. Watch your pup to see how they respond to the bed. Does your dog actually want to sleep there? Can they get in and out of it easily? Do they look comfortable? It might seem simple, but at the end of the day, your dog is giving you all the information you need to make the best choice.
The American Kennel Club also recommends watching your dog sleep to help choose the best dog bed. An adorable and productive exercise, you’ll be able to observe the oh-so-special way your furry friend likes to snooze and, therefore, pick a bed with the right shape for them to snuggle up in. Is it a large breed dog or a small one? Does your dog curl up in a ball? Do they snuggle into crevices? Do they sprawl out, or go belly up?
Look for beds made with rugged materials like canvas or denim washed for softness that are designed to resist the wear and tear of chewers, scratchers, droolers, and imaginary digging. Some might have reinforced seams or zippers for extra toughness and added water-resistance. Depending on your lifestyle, a fully waterproof bed or at least a waterproof bottom is a huge plus when selecting the most durable dog bed.
Easy-to-Clean Dogs love to get dirty. Choose a dog bed with a machine washable cover that can be easily removed and tossed in the wash when needed. If you and your dog are constantly getting down in the dirt, consider going for a bed with mesh construction rather than a woven fabric that won’t hold onto moisture, debris, or odors.
The 10 Best Dog Beds of 2022
Best Overall: L.L.Bean Premium Dog Couch
For the pup who loves to curl up, Maine’s iconic outdoor brand makes a hardworking yet plush dog bed made from rugged yarn-dyed cotton denim with a nest-like center and machine washable cover. The foam base is easy to get in and out of the cover thanks to zipper access if you need to wash it, and the U-shaped bolster provides accessibility and a plenty of head support.
Best Cushion-Style Dog Bed: Carhartt Medium Dog Bed
This bed has the same cotton duck canvas in Carhartt’s iconic workwear jackets with a touch of softness for your hardworking pooch. The zip-off shell can be removed and washed, plus it has a water-resistant coating to fend off moisture. Carhartt also makes a Large Dog Bed ($130) with all the same features, and one topped with sherpa fleece ($110) if your dog is a cozy lounger.
Best Design: YETI Trailhead Dog Bed
YETI is better known for coolers than pet products, but its genius two-in-one bolster dog bed design conveniently goes from the living room to the tent. The Trailhead consists of one ultra-comfy and durable dog bed for snoozing at home and a detachable travel pad when you and your pup are on the move. The full setup includes a cushy, high-density foam pad and pillow bolsters for dogs who are cuddlers, a waterproof bottom, and a machine washable cover. Both our human and canine testers were pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to wipe off dirt and debris.
Best Crate Mat: K9 Ballistics Tough Rip-Stop Dog Crate Pad
Ultra-durable with triple-stitched seams and completely waterproof from top to bottom, this pad is intended for pups that are crated at home or on-the-go. However, its non-skid bottom with recycled filling has proven to be an excellent choice for keeping my own pup comfy (hi, Candy!) when we travel with her in our van and need an easy-to-clean crash pad on road trips. The bed is relatively affordable, and comes in sizes from x-small to x-large and even an xx-large for jumbo pooches.
Best Elevated Dog Bed: Coolaroo Original Elevated Pet Bed
A breathable, comfy, elevated dog bed made from anti-odor and mildew-resistant fabric encourages airflow for pups who run hot (or have a lot of fur), but also relieves pressure on their joints. It has a durable powder-coated steel frame and the entire bed can easily be hosed down. Sizes range from small dog beds all the way up to extra large.
Best Cuddler Dog Bed for Camping: Ruffwear Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag
Ruffwear is well-known for making adventure-worthy pet supplies, and both you and your pup can enjoy burrowing into a warm sleeping bag at camp with the brand's adorable doggy sleeping bag. Filled with synthetic insulation, it has a zippered opening that invites dogs who like to burrow under the covers at home to curl up and get cozy when the temps drop. Or, zip it closed to turn it into a lightweight and burly dog bed that packs down into its own stuff sack for easy carry on the trail.
Best Packable Dog Bed for Camping: Kurgo Loft Wander Bed
This lightweight yet durable mat-style dog bed has a rip-stop upper layer and a waterproof bottom for durability and comfy poly-filled interior, just like many synthetic sleeping bags we humans wrap up in. Its travel-friendly design lets you roll it up just like a sleeping bag too, with a handle for easy carry and small pocket for storage.
Best Elevated Bed for Small Dogs: Snow Peak Dog Cot
When you're camping, you swap your memory foam mattress for a foam or inflatable sleeping pad, and Snow Peak thinks your dog can do the same. Its lightweight dog cot is made of a weather-resistant stainless steel frame paired with a washable canvas bed that’s the perfect place to snooze at the campsite for small dogs up to 30 pounds. The Dog Cot collapses into a stuff sack just like our favorite camping chairs, which makes it easy to stash in the car, canoe, or backpack.
Best Deluxe Dog Bed: Casper Dog Bed
Pampered pooches can have a memory foam dog bed that matches their owner's mattress thanks to Casper’s deluxe dog bed. Made with pressure-relieving memory foam that won’t sink or lose shape over time, it has a nest-like construction and a durable, removable cover for easy cleaning. Casper also constructed the cover knowing that dogs like to scratch before they lie down, using a fabric that has extra material to mimic the feeling of pawing at the ground. The bed is available in multiple sizes and colors depending on the size of your dog (and the decor of your home).
Best Cheap Travel Dog Bed: ChuckIt! Travel Pillow Dog Bed
A budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on quality or comfort, ChuckIt’s travel dog bed is lightweight and packable for camping and road trips, or any other multi-night trips away from home. This machine washable bed, which is made of nylon and suede, is quick to dry and comes with a stuff sack for convenient storage (especially when it’s dirty!) when you’re on-the-go.
Best Orthopedic Dog Bed: FurHaven Ultra Plush Luxe Lounger Orthopedic Cat & Dog Bed
Older dogs with stiff joints need a balance of plush softness and support where they'll be lounging all day, which is what FurHaven applied to this bed. With raised for head support that isn't as hard on the neck as some bolster pillows and medical-grade orthopedic memory foam, the design is low-impact and easy on senior dogs. The cover also features a soft texture that calls to mind faux fur and it's removable for easy cleaning. FurHaven imagines it as a dog and cat bed in case your furry friends are happy to share, and the size range goes from large to jumbo to jumbo plus to giant, so it's an ideal choice for large breeds.