A Guide to the Different Types of Dog Beds

Pup Sleeping on the couch

For many pet owners, the dog beds are just places where their furry friends can sleep, relax, and rest. However, this kind of pet furniture serves more than just one purpose. Quality models bring numerous physical and psychological benefits, both to pets and their owners.

A quality bed is there to provide your canine companion with a cozy space that’s only his and nobody else’s. Even though the pups are social creatures, they still enjoy being alone now and then, especially when they’re sleeping. Having a comfy bed gives the pet a chance for relaxation in a place that’s his own. He’ll probably use the same place to play with his toys or watch what you’re doing around the house.

And, as we said, purchasing a dog bed also brings some benefits to the owner. With a personal space for resting and sleeping, your pup won’t have to use your furniture for the same purpose anymore. Many experts agree that things like dog beds and crates are among the first things that every pup owner should invest in.

The fact that today’s market is filled with different kinds of bedding (orthopedic, indestructible – read here which one is a most durable dog bed, for large dogs, for small pups) makes selecting just one an incredibly hard task. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you out. In the following paragraphs, we’ll shed some light on this pet equipment and try to help you with choosing the perfect bed for your beloved Buster.

Why Do You Need a Dog Bed?

It’s a well-known fact that dogs spend 30% of their day resting and 50% sleeping. Puppies sleep a lot more than the adult – more than 18 hours (compared with 12-14 hours for adult dogs). Due to the fact that they spend so much time sleeping, it’s easy to see why it’s so important to provide them with a cozy, supportive place to do that.

Just like we wake up with sore backs after sleeping on a thin sleeping bag or a flat couch, the dogs can also feel this kind of discomfort if they sleep on an uneven or flat surface. We have things like back pillows, massage chairs, and memory foam beds – but what about our four-legged companions?

Fortunately, there are numerous types of dog bedding out there on the market. This sleeping/resting equipment includes things like sofas, pillows, beds, mats, and several other similar products. An owner should pick one of these based on what will keep his pup most comfortable.

dog sleeping on the bed

A significant benefit of having a quality cot for a pooch is that your pet won’t have to use your furniture anymore. Not only does this mean that he won’t be doing damage to it, but he also won’t have to jump and down from it all the time. This can lead to serious limb injuries, especially with senior and overweight dogs.

A comfortable, easy-to-access space will also stop the pooch from trying to sleep with his owner. This can be adorable, but the sudden turns and twitches, as well as the dog’s wet nose, are bound to become uncomfortable or even irritating after a while. Furthermore, heated and cooling beds give your pet the necessary insulation and prevent him from hot/cold surfaces during summer and winter.

Considerations When Choosing a Dog Bed

Before purchasing a mattress, one needs to take several factors into account. Some of them are the dog’s sleeping style, his size, shape, shedding, activity levels, as well as your budget and your home’s décor. Let’s take a quick look at these considerations:

  • Sleeping style

Does your pet sleep stretched out or curled up? Is he always leaning against something or lying on top of something while he’s sleeping? If you take some time to observe your pet’s behavior during sleep, you will undoubtedly have a clearer picture of his typical sleeping style.

  • Can Dog Beds Be Washed

The owners of pups who shed a lot of hair should consider getting a bed with a cover that’s removable and machine-washable. The same goes for the owners of pups who really like being outside – having a cover that’s easy to remove and can be washed in a washing machine will be more than helpful when it comes to cleaning up the mess.

Jack Russell Terrier Lying On Bed
  • Shape and size

Measuring the dog’s dimensions is yet another important thing to do before purchasing the bedding. This can be done with a standard tape measure and should give you an insight into the future size of his mattress. Try to purchase a bed that’s at least 5″ longer and taller than your pooch, since he’ll need ample space for stretching and sprawling.

  • Your budget

Although you’ll probably like the look of the more premium dog beds, it’s essential to keep your budget in mind. However, investing in a quality model is undoubtedly a wise investment in the long run – the more expensive models don’t wear out as quickly as the cheap ones do.

  • Your home’s décor

Your own personal style is yet another factor to keep in mind, although not as important as the ones mentioned above. Most owners like to select beds that don’t stick out but match the furnishings in their homes.

Best Type of Dog Bedding

As we said, there are a lot of different types of pup bunks on today’s market. Let’s check out the most important ones:

Flat Dog Mats

Mats are probably among the most frequently used types of dog bedding. They are versatile pieces of pet furniture that are mostly used for when the pet is already inside his kennel or a crate. They are manufactured from a wide array of fabrics – polyester, terrycloth, recycled fibers, and many other kinds of durable, reinforced materials.

Even though their name doesn’t suggest so, the mats are, actually, quite comfortable, even though they’re not as plush as the soft dog mattresses are. They are typically sized to fit the kennels and crates, which means that they’re not very large but can be up to a couple of inches thick.

The benefits that come with these types of beds are numerous. They’re great when used with crates or kennels, and are especially convenient for traveling. Furthermore, most models can be washed in a washing machine. They’re great for pups that are sensitive to solid surfaces or have back issues.

Kenneling or crating is unavoidable sometimes, and this leads to sleeping on unforgiving surfaces that put a lot of stress on the pup’s joints. Fortunately, the mats provide a solution – they are soft enough, very durable, and they don’t move around while the pup is changing position during sleep. When put inside the car, the mat doesn’t slide around during the ride – it’s secure and stays in place.

These types of beds are also quite convenient when it comes to dog training, especially teaching the pooch to lie down or stay in place. The mat can be a “lay down” or “go to” spot for your pooch, making the whole process a lot quicker and easier.

Regular Beds

A more common type of bedding includes the actual, regular dog beds, and these are also the most popular ones. There is a wide array of different products in this category, and all of them are specified for the needs of individual dogs. These beds can be temperature-adjustable, hooded, raised, doughnut-shaped, and even orthopedic.

With so many different kinds and sorts to choose from, it is quite easy to meet any pup’s needs with an appropriate model. These can be bought in most pet stores, as well as from large online pet products retailers. Let’s check out the orthopedic and temperature-adjustable models:

  • Orthopedic Dog Beds

These kinds of beds have been designed for dogs that have bone and joint issues – they provide maximum comfort. The thick foam inside these beds is capable of molding to the body shape, and, as such, prevents sores and callouses from building up. These kinds of beds are particularly useful for the bony, lean pups that simply can’t sleep on the flat floor. Some of the best orthopedic beds are produced by the famous company called Big Barker.

  • Temperature-Adjustable Dog Beds

These types are separated into two distinct categories – heated and cooling beds.

Heated Beds

These are mainly beneficial for senior dogs that have problems with bones and joints. They are also very convenient for the pet owners who live in cold climates. Some models feature self-warming materials, and these are capable of automatically radiating the heat back to the pet.

Fortunately, no electricity is involved in the manufacture of these beds, so you won’t have to worry about potential disasters. We should also mention that the heated beds are very easy to keep clean, as well.

Cooling Beds

As you can already guess, these are great for junior dogs who are overly active and frequently come into the risk of overheating. The flat cooling mats are the most popular option, as they self-recharge after only a couple of hours and can be used during hot summers to provide your canine friend with relief from the heat.

Purchasing this kind of a mattress is a particularly wise investment if you live in warm climates. The canines don’t sweat but still have to lower the temperature of their bodies – lying on a cooling bed is a perfect way for them to achieve the body temperature that’s comfortable and stable.

Sofas and Couches

A dog sofa, on the other hand, is a more luxurious option. However, one shouldn’t think that these types of beds are as massive as your regular furniture – they’re just shaped like sofas, having high edges and comfortable bottoms for the pups to lie on.

This type of a “raised” pup bed is typically manufactured from fabrics that are soft and comfortable, such as pure cotton or suede. This allows the pooch to sink to it, and they like that feeling as much as the humans do.

As you can already guess, this product provides the pup’s joints and muscles with cushioning that prevent blisters and chafing. This advantage is, however, contrasted by the fact that buying the wrong sofa makes it hard for the senior dogs to get out of it once they sink in.

Dog Lying on Bed

But most types of sofas are actually beneficial for the senior dogs, especially the orthopedic ones. They can be quite helpful to the older pets with arthritis, which is a condition that has a very negative effect on sleeping and can worsen almost every existing physical problem. Old dogs find relief in the comfort of the sofa beds, as these places can provide them with a good night’s sleep.

However, we should also mention that these are among the most expensive models. Not only are they manufactured from the materials of high-quality, but also sport a stylish design that fits well with the furnishings inside any house. Furthermore, we advise avoiding buying one if your pooch is prone to excessive scratching or chewing. Wait for him to be adequately trained, or you’ll be risking paying twice for the same product.

Pillow Beds

Along with the regular, orthopedic, and temperature-adjustable models, there are also the so-called pillow beds. They’re quite similar to the other types but come with a number of certain differences.

These products don’t feature bed-like edges – they’re shaped like pillows and that is precisely how they got their names. They can be purchased in a wide array of sizes and shapes (such as the bone pillow beds) and are more than suitable for the majority of breeds. Furthermore, they’re usually manufactured from plushy materials and as such can provide your beloved pooch with the maximum amount of comfort.

Generally, they are very soft and versatile. A pup can take this kind of a bed everywhere – be it the crate, the car, or even to a vacation. Not only are these models highly versatile, but they’re also incredibly easy to maintain. Keeping them clean is a breeze – one can either spot-treat them or put them in the washing machine.

Because they sport a straightforward structure and that they’re highly flexible, the pillow beds can withstand a lot of damage. This kind of durability is, actually, one of the primary reasons behind their immense popularity.

Another great thing about this products is that they’re capable of assimilating to fit the pup’s shape. Lots of walking or sitting on the flat ground tend to cause muscle pains and aches, and these can be easily relieved by spending some time on a comfortable pillow bed.

They are mainly convenient for the skinny breeds, such as Grey Hounds or Whippets. These breeds will find the pillow beds very helpful because their bodies don’t have a lot of padding and are very susceptible to discomfort.


When you believe that you have finally managed to choose the right type of a dog bed for your pooch, remember the following tips:

  • If you’re an owner who travels frequently, consider getting a model that’s easy to carry with you to vacations and trips. If your pup is often traveling with you in a car, try to find a bed that you can easily fit into your automobile.
  • To reduce the carbon paw-print, consider getting an eco-friendly model. These days, almost all styles of beds are made by 100% recycled materials.
  • Ask yourself the following questions: Is the filling durable enough, and am I able to add more of it? For instance, many outdoor models come filled with cedar chips due to the fact that these are natural mosquito repellents. That’s a good thing, but it comes with a specific disadvantage – cedar chips are quick to compress when used frequently. Fortunately, refilling them is a breeze.
  • Like with all other products, you’ll get what you pay for. Even though you might want to save some money, remember that cheaper dog beds are much more prone to wear and tear than their expensive cousins. Getting a premium model is an excellent investment in the long run.

In conclusion, all that we can say is that comfortable sleeping should be available to everyone, and that includes our canine companions. Purchasing the appropriate bedding for your pooch will allow him to always get a good night’s sleep and therefore stay healthy and happy. Isn’t that what every pup owner wants for his four-legged friend?