The 03 Best Dog Beds
In the right dog bed, your pup will have an even better time drooling, rolling, and snoozing. Some need a durable bed that will stand up to the toughest canine clawing, while older dogs may prefer a plush bed with just enough support for their delicate frames. After years of research, we’ve found six options that will satisfy the pickiest of pooches, including a cuddler-style dog bed, a luxe dog bed with cushion that rivals human mattresses, a lounger bed perfect for large dogs, an elevated dog bed, a crate-liner bed, and an easy-access bed for senior dogs or dogs with disabilities.
Majestic Pet Suede Bagel Dog Bed
Why we love it: The Majestic Pet Suede Bagel Dog Bed is designed to be cuddly, and it looks like a fluffy, enveloping dumpling. Your pup is bound to hop in, do a happy dance, and spend hours snoozing in it. This bed is comfortable, easy to assemble and disassemble for cleaning, and machine-washable. It comes in four sizes, to fit dogs up to 110 pounds.
This style of dog bed—with its raised outer ring and cushy inner circle—goes by many names, including bagel, bolster, cuddler, or nester. No matter what you call it, this type of bed usually features a lofty, built-in pillow that’s great for a pup to rest their head on.
Despite its name, the Suede Bagel’s cover is actually made of polyester microsuede, which feels inviting and luxe. The material and the subdued, earth-tone color options work well together, and during testing the microsuede material held up well against burrowing dog claws. The bed’s removable cover stays secure with smooth, strong zippers by YKK, a Japanese manufacturer known for creating high-quality, durable zippers.
Should your dog get its muddy paws on the Majestic Pet dog bed, it’s easy to spot-clean with a little soap and water. For heftier spills or bathroom accidents, you can wash the bed in the washing machine using the gentle cycle and the air-dry settings. The two smallest beds don’t have removable covers and are designed to be tossed into the wash, stuffing and all. The two larger sizes have removable stuffing, so you can wash the cover separately.
Cuddler beds are designed to be plush, which means they have a lot of filling that fits into a little space. That also can make them a pain to assemble because it feels like you’re stuffing too tight of a space. But the Majestic Pet bed doesn’t have that problem. With its polyester filling, this bed was easier to stuff after washing than other, similarly plush cuddler beds we tested; it retained its shape well and didn’t balloon to an unmanageable size.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: A dog bed in this price range won’t last forever, especially if you wash it regularly or your pup is tough on it. But you should expect to get at least a couple of years out of this bed—if your dog isn’t a big chewer. We’ve seen some reviewers complain that their dogs chewed holes in their Majestic Pet beds, but wear is expected if you have a dog who is prone to chewing. Several Wirecutter staffers have owned this bed since we first started recommending it, in 2017, and after five years of use, the beds are only now starting to wear down.
The Majestic Pet dog bed may be too lofty for some dogs. The central cushion sits up high like a bed pillow that needs to be broken in, and that can make for a lopsided resting spot for a few days. Still, with a little scratching and that adorable ancestral nesting behavior (sometimes called comfort circling, which has dogs circling their resting spot to make the pillow just right), most pups should be able to break in this bed quickly.
The bed’s zippers sit atop the frame, rather than beneath it. They also aren’t hidden under a flap of material, so a bored or anxious dog may chew on them. If you know your dog is the kind who chews on metal zippers, this model likely isn’t the bed for them. Some other beds we like have no-skid bottoms. This one doesn’t, but the weight of your dog should keep it in place.
Sizes: four, for dogs up to 25 pounds to dogs up to 110 pounds
Colors: seven, including black, navy, and rust
Casper Dog Bed
Why we love it: The Casper Dog Bed is pretty darn elegant for a dog bed—it looks sleeker than most other models we tested and blends in well with most decor. This luxurious dog bed is also ideal for older pups and dogs with arthritis who need firm support. And it’s great for anyone who wants to spoil their pup with a dog bed to rival their own, human bed. (It’s also one of our priciest picks.) This bed is easier to take apart and put back together than most others we tried, which makes the price feel well worth it when it’s time to throw the bed in the wash.
The Casper Dog Bed comes in three clean, simple colors (gray, blue, and sand). The cover is suede-like on top, with a canvas-style material around the outer edge. The bed has five foam inserts plus a cover, but assembly was seamless compared with that of other picks. Other similar-style beds we tested were frustrating to put together: You must push a floppy bolster insert through the long tube-like cover. With the Casper, it’s much simpler to put the pieces of foam into their designated spots because there’s no question where they’re supposed to end up.
Unlike our Majestic Bagel Bed pick, the Casper has durable zippers on the bottom of the bed, and there’s a space to tuck the zipper away so your dog can’t grab it. But if your pup does tussle with the zipper or just doesn’t like the Casper bed, you can return it during the 30-night risk-free trial period—our only pick with this offer. There’s also a one-year limited warranty to address any defects.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The inner sleep area of the Casper Dog Bed is shallower than it looks in the picture; the narrow bolsters are only 2 to 3 inches high, depending on which size you buy. So the Casper might not give your pooch the cozy, cuddle effect of beds with bigger, higher bolsters. If your pup wants to feel extra-contained, the Majestic Bagel Bed might be a better option; even though its bolsters aren’t technically much higher than the Casper’s, they’re wider and feel cushier.
This bed is sold in just three sizes (our other picks all come in four sizes or more). So it might be harder to find a good fit if you’ve got a really teeny pup or a dog larger than 90 pounds. And this pricey bed gets dirty easily. It comes in three light colors that can’t mask the messiness of dog ownership—from dogs licking dirty paws to bathroom accidents on the bed. Spot-cleaning didn’t restore the Casper to like-new condition, but throwing it into the washing machine did.
Sizes: three, for dogs up to 30 pounds to dogs up to 90 pounds
Colors: blue, gray, sand
K&H Original Pet Cot
Elevated dog beds, also called cot-style dog beds, may not be what most people think of when they envision the category. But vets, boarders, and trainers often use them because they’re easy to wash and hard to destroy. Elevated dog beds allow for more air circulation than beds on the floor, and should an accident occur, they’re easy to clean and disinfect. In fact, Dr. Danelle Capobianco and professional dog trainer Barb Lenahan both prefer using elevated dog beds for their businesses, since they are easy to clean. We like that the K&H cot has a removable cover that can be tossed into the washing machine on the gentle cycle or spot-cleaned with a little soap and a damp cloth. And if you have the bed set up outside, you can even hose it down in a pinch and let it air-dry.
The K&H cot is also sturdier and easier to assemble than other cot beds we tested. Its frame consists of four solid bars that easily feed through the edges of the canvas cover (the extra-large version includes an extra-supportive crossbar in the middle). Other cots we tried required us to put together multiple bars—like an extendable curtain rod—before we assembled the bed; this was not only more challenging, but it felt less secure than the solid bars on our cot pick. Assembling the K&H takes less than a minute. Just snap the cot’s bars into place and you’re set.
This bed’s sleek mesh cover also feels particularly durable. It is strong enough to withstand occasional scratching by a restless dog, and the cover fits tautly around the cot’s top bars, making it hard for dogs to get their teeth around.
K&H claims even the smallest version of its elevated dog bed supports up to 200 pounds—more than any other cot we tested. In 2017, when we tested sag by placing a 50-pound rice bag on the beds overnight, the K&H cot held up better than the rest: Though none of them sagged dramatically, this model showed zero sign of wear. When re-tested in 2022, it didn’t sag after a few weeks of use.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Since the bed sits 7 to 9 inches off the ground (depending on the size of the bed), it’s not well suited for dogs with arthritis or other mobility issues because it can be harder for them to climb in and out of.
Sizes: four, all for dogs up to 200 pounds
Colors: black, camo, chocolate
How we picked and tested
The right bed will be different for every dog. “It really just depends on what you think your dog’s likes and dislikes are,” said Dr. Danelle Capobianco, a veterinarian at City Creatures Animal Hospital at the time of the interview. “If you notice they spend a lot of time sitting on the floor in the corner, they might appreciate something with bolsters on the sides. If you notice that before they lie down in bed for the night they’re doing a lot of digging, then they might like something they can nest in. If they’re constantly lying on the cold tile, then something with more air circulation might be better for them.”
Retailers classify dog beds into dozens of categories, but we grouped them into the following four categories. A cuddler dog bed has raised edges that both embrace your dog in a hug and act as a pillow for added snoozing comfort, making this type ideal for most indoor sleep situations. An elevated dog bed allows air to flow underneath it, so this type is great for warm environments, both indoors and out. A crate dog bed fits inside a dog crate and provides padding while your furry friend is inside—though a crate bed isn’t leak-proof, so it’s not the best option when crate training. And a premium dog bed uses orthopedic cushioning and durable materials often found in human beds, making it ideal for pet owners who want to treat their dogs to something special or for dogs who need extra bedding support as they age. But don’t be surprised if some dog beds—including our picks—fall into multiple categories, like some hybrid mattress models do for us humans.
We considered dozens of dog beds in the aforementioned categories that received high marks in customer reviews over an extended period of time from many buyers.
What is a calming dog bed?
You may have heard the term “calming dog bed,” but rest assured, it’s nothing more than marketing jargon used to convince pet owners to buy a particular bed. Any bed that helps your pup relax can be considered a calming dog bed. In general, bolster, cuddler, or nester beds are synonymous with “calming” beds. They all feature the same raised sides that act as pillows for a dog to rest their head on. And the slightly enclosed style may be reassuring to some dogs—hence the “calming” effect. We’ve tested several of these types of beds, and we consider the Majestic Pet Suede Bagel Dog Bed—our pick for best dog bed overall—to be the best calming dog bed.
Frequently asked questions
The best bed for your dog depends on their needs. Dogs who like to curl up come nap time will enjoy snoozing in a cuddler-style bed; those who prefer to stretch out will feel refreshed in a longer and wider lounger bed. Pups who are messy and spend most of their time outdoors will love feeling the warm breeze as they rest on an elevated dog bed. If you’re unsure of your dog’s preferences, we think the Majestic Pet Suede Bagel Dog Bed is a good style to begin with. This cuddler bed looks like a big, fluffy dumpling, and the raised bolsters around the perimeter give your dog a place to lay their head. The microsuede cover is soft yet durable enough to withstand a dog’s digging claws or a trip through the washing machine on the gentle cycle. This bed is also sold in four sizes, to accommodate dogs weighing from 10 to 110 pounds.
Many dogs may be perfectly happy without having a designated bed of their own—especially if their owners are happy to have the pup sprawl out on the couch or on a human bed. But if you want to give your dog their own place to relax (and reclaim your space, too), a dog bed is a great option. You’ll want to gauge what your dog likes, and consider where you’d want to place the bed in your home. Different bed styles are better suited for different environments. A cuddler is appropriate for general hangouts and for sleeping at night. A cot is great for warm climates (since they provide airflow to keep your pup cool) or outdoors. Crate liners fit inside dog crates and provide padding while your furry friend is locked up. But if your dog is a chewer, they shouldn’t have a dog bed because ingesting fabric or stuffing can lead to serious harm.
The Casper Dog Bed is a premium dog bed we recommend. This memory-foam bed is comfortable and retains its shape well, making it great for older dogs, dogs with arthritis, and spoiled dogs alike. It’s easy to reassemble after washing, and it’s made of high-quality materials that look and feel great. It also has a 30-day trial period, so you can return the bed if your dog doesn’t like it. The Casper model is sold in three sizes to accommodate pups weighing from 30 to 90 pounds.