Beds are among the most important items you can purchase for your dog. They provide a comfortable, safe place for your canine companion to relax, sleep, chew toys, and dream doggy dreams. Beds give dogs a small corner of the universe for them to call their own.
Dogs of all ages and sizes appreciate beds, but they become a necessity for older or injured dogs and dogs that suffer from conditions such as arthritis, joint issues, or hip dysplasia. But you don’t just want any old bed for them, do you? You want the best for them! That’s why you should consider an orthopedic bed.
Orthopedic beds alleviate pain in older or injured dogs and may even help lessen the chance of joint and muscle pain in younger dogs. Typically made with memory or other high-quality foam, orthopedic beds supply support and comfort to dogs where and when they need it most.
This guide discusses the benefits of orthopedic dog beds, informs on how to choose the best orthopedic bed, and reviews some of the best orthopedic dog beds on the market today.
Are Orthopedic Dog Beds Worth It?
The short answer is yes! Orthopedic dog beds offer a wealth of benefits for our canine companions. As mentioned above, the primary benefit comes from the comfort and support beds give to older, ailing, and injured dogs. As dogs age, they might suffer from any of the following ailments:
- Muscle loss from age progression;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Bone injuries;
- Hip dysplasia; among others
All of these conditions or injuries will most likely cause your dog pain and discomfort. And what better way to care for your dog than by reducing or eliminating their pain and easing pressure on their bodies as they’re resting? Sleeping on a hard floor can aggravate any of a dog’s conditions.
Orthopedic beds are also great for almost any other dogs whose owners want them to sleep comfortably.
Another benefit of a dog bed is that it can help your dog regulate their body temperature. Some manufacturers construct beds with materials that can either keep your dog warm or increase airflow to keep your dog cool in warmer months.
Dog beds also provide practical benefits for dog owners. Beds keep dog fur off of furniture which lessens the need to clean or vacuum. Beds consolidate fur, hair, dander, and drool in one place. If your dog suffers from fleas, beds decrease the likelihood of them being spread from place to place.
Lastly, owners love dog beds in general because although we’re sure dog owners love cuddling with their dogs in bed, they may also love having their beds to themselves from time to time. A dog bed gives your pet a place of its own.
How to Choose the Best Orthopedic Dog Bed
Dog beds can be a dime a dozen. So what should you know when trying to find the perfect bed?
1. Know Your Dog’s Measurements
Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing dog beds is knowing your dog’s measurements. No standard specifications of dog bed measurements exist – what is considered small, medium, or large with one manufacturer might not be the same for a different manufacturer.
Make sure to measure your dog and choose the bed that matches in height, width, and length and supports your dog’s weight. Carlotta Cooper at Pawster suggests adding 5 inches to your dog’s length to determine the approximate appropriate width for a dog bed. From there, compare to listed bed sizes to select something that might work.
Fortunately, most manufacturers offer several sizes of their beds so you’re sure to find something that will work for your dog.
2. Your Dog’s Sleeping Style and Habits
Does your dog prefer to sleep with a pillow/bolster or do they sleep flat? Some beds offer bolsters and some do not – matching the bed to your dog’s sleeping preference will increase the likelihood that your canine friend will use and enjoy their new bed.
Moreover, consider your dog’s sleeping habits. If they like to burrow, think about a cave-type bed. If they prefer to stretch out flat, buying a flat mattress would be best. If they prefer to rest their head on a couch arm, a bed with a bolster might be your best bet.
3. Water-Resistant Materials
As dogs age, they are more likely to have accidents. Or, your dog may be a huge drooler. Therefore, getting a bed made with water-resistant materials such as a cover or bottom might be a good idea. Many orthopedic beds come with easily-washable covers you can simply throw in the wash.
Water-resistant materials not only make cleanup easier, they also ensure your dog will remain as comfortable as possible as moisture or mess is wicked away.
4. Consider the Quality of a Bed
Dog beds run at various price points, from $40-50 all the way up to $200+. More expensive beds tend to be made of higher-quality materials. Keep this in mind when weighing the pros and cons of a bed. Quality beds will last longer than cheaply-constructed ones.
The most important feature of an orthopedic bed is the internal filling. High-quality memory foam will make the difference for your dog. Vets recommend four factors in considering foam: thickness, structure, density, and integrity. Low-grade foam will most likely hurt your dog more than help it.
Some beds come with polyfill, a fiber made from recycled soda bottles. You can fluff and adjust this material as much as you need – it never flattens.
8 Best Orthopedic Dog Beds in 2020
1. Big Barker Arthritic Dog Bed – Best Quality with a Ten-Year Warranty
The Big Barker Arthritic Dog Bed easily appears as one of the best dog beds on the market for any breed. Although more expensive than other brands, the quality of the bed completely makes the price worth it.
Built especially for dogs with arthritis, the manufacturer produced this bed to the highest of standards with quality materials. This bed comes in three sizes and colors to suit all styles and dog breeds.
The bed contains seven inches of therapeutic memory foam, perfect for cushioning an arthritic dog’s sore joints. This foam is the same found in high-end furniture, and it will keep its shape over time instead of flattening.
Big Barker offers a 10-year warranty on their beds – the manufacturer will replace the bed if the foam fails to maintain at least 90% of its shape and support. The bed also has a washable microfiber cover for additional comfort. Easily one of the best beds out there for arthritic and older dogs!
- Top quality foam filling
- Soft, washable microfiber cloth covering
- Will not flatten over time
- Comes with a warranty
- Does not come with a waterproof liner
- Does not have a skid-proof bottom
2. PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge – A Nice-Looking Bed
The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge offers your dog the comfort and support they deserve in an attractive, durable bed. Along with solid and supportive memory foam, this bed has a bolster pillow filled with recycled polyfill for your dog to lay his or her head on. It also has a removable, washable, and water resistant cover and a waterproof liner to protect the foam and ensure its longevity.
The cover is made of breathable cotton and polyester blended fabric and is safe for the skin. This bed easily fits dogs that weigh more than 150 lbs. Lastly, this aesthetically-pleasing bed will fit with almost any home decor so you don’t need to worry about having a dog bed that’s also an eyesore!
- Easy to clean cover, machine washable, can put into dryer
- Memory foam supports dogs with arthritic joints
- Comes with a 24-month warranty
- Bolster serves as a pillow for extra comfort and support
- The thin cover may not wash well and may tear with normal dog activity
- The fabric cover shows stains and hair
3. BarkBox Orthopedic Dog Bed – Best Budget Bed
The BarkBox Orthopedic Dog Bed provides optimal comfort and support for your dog. Perfect for dogs with arthritis or other problems, this bed contains memory foam and gel under a waterproof, machine washable fleece top layer.
This durable fabric also hides hair, dirt, and fur quite well. The different sizes fit most dogs under 60 lbs., but they are not suitable for massive canine breeds. The bed sits three inches off of the ground and should not cause problems with dogs getting on or off.
Finally, the minimalist design looks great with any furniture!
- Machine washable, waterproof cover
- Fabric hides hair, dirt, and fur
- Specifically designed for dogs with arthritis and other problems
- Does not have any visible warranty
- Not meant for extremely large or heavy dogs
4. BarksBar Gray Orthopedic Dog Bed – A Quality Bed at a Bargain
The BarksBar Orthopedic Dog Bed is an oval-shaped bed with a bolstered rim, grooved orthopedic foam, and a non-skid bottom. A highly-rated bed, this comfy, attractive sleeper fits most medium and large breeds (or multiple smaller dogs!).
It’s constructed of premium materials! Made with cushy polyester, the machine-washable cover makes for an extremely comfortable and soft surface for your dog to sleep on. 4 inches of solid orthopedic foam creates a sturdy yet supportive base for your dog with orthopedic needs.
A rubber, non-slip bottom on the underside of the cover makes this an extremely attractive option since it does not slip or slide on hard floors. If you’d like to keep your dog’s bed on hardwood or tile floors, definitely think about purchasing this bed.
- Non-skid bottom
- Attractive design
- Easy to use on hardwood or tile floors
- Fabric easily tears
- Bolster does not always hold its shape
- Only comes in medium and large sizes – will not accommodate larger breeds
5. Purple Pet Bed – A Unique Mattress
You wouldn’t think the makers of a popular mattress would think to offer pet beds as well, but it turns out they do! Purple, famed for creating the world’s “first no pressure mattress”, also makes pet beds. The Purple Pet Bed first launched as a Kickstarter project in 2018.
The Purple Pet Bed has four supportive layers: 2” of orthopedic memory foam, 3” of high density support – their famed Comfort Grid – a pre-shrunk cotton canvas cover, and a base formed of natural latex and foam. It also comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large.
Purple advertises this bed as hypoallergenic, non-toxic, antimicrobial, and moisture-resistant. Although perhaps not the most traditional bed you’d think of, nonetheless this might be a great option from a well-reputed company.
- Tons of support and comfort for dogs from a well-known company
- Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, moisture-resistant, non-toxic
- The cotton cover is pre-shrunk and easily washable
- Only comes in one color
- Expensive, not for those who are budget-conscious
6. DogBed4Less Shredded Memory Foam Bed – Best for a Cool Night’s Sleep
If you’re looking for a highly rated orthopedic bed not enclosed by a bolster, the DogBed4Less Shredded Memory Foam bed is a great option.
Rather than pure foam, this bed is stuffed with both polyfill and shredded polyurethane foam. The manufacturer makes this bed in five sizes from medium to XXL so it’s perfect for almost every breed of canine. Your small dogs can cuddle on it all the way up to a Newfoundland or a Great Dane!
The bed comes with two layers of covers: a waterproof internal cover which allows the materials to breathe and a microfiber external cover that’s easily machine washable and dryable. And, its rectangular design could easily fit in any corner so you don’t have to worry about tripping over it.
Perhaps the defining characteristic of this bed is its shredded memory foam. The manufacturer remarks that the filling allows for increased airflow and makes the bed cooler for dogs to sleep on.
- Massive, thick pillow will support almost any breed
- Easily washable microfiber cover
- Rectangular shape fits into any corner
- Shredded memory foam offers support without flattening
- The bed can become too lumpy for some dogs
- Filling makes noise when dogs move around
7. Furhaven Couch-Style Dog Bed – Best Budget Orthopedic Bed
The Furhaven Couch-Style Dog Bed appears in this list as the best budget option for an orthopedic dog bed. With four sizes and seventeen colors, you’re sure to find the perfect bed for your canine companion! These beds come in orthopedic, gel foam, and memory foam variants.
The orthopedic variant has a deep foam mattress that’s easy on dog joints. It soothes pressure points and improves circulation, ensuring your favorite pet sleeps more deeply and much better. A bolster surrounds the bed on three sides, turning the bed into a small couch!
The padded bolster helps to align the spine and lets the dog cuddle into the folds or rest their head as if they’re dozing on a much larger couch. Finally, the quilted cover is removable and machine-washable.
- Perfect for those on a budget
- Simulates a small couch for dogs to lay on
- Comes in a variety of colors and sizes
- Easily tears due to chewing and claws
- Attracts hair, fur, drool, and dander
- Cheaper bed might mean cheaper quality
8. Brindle Waterproof Memory Foam Pet Bed – Quality Materials and Affordability
The Brindle Waterproof Memory Foam Bed combines the best of high quality materials while still remaining affordable. The bed, which comes in three sizes and three colors, contains 2” of conforming memory foam and 2” of high density support foam. It also sports a non-skid bottom.
The easily-removable zippered cover is machine washable. Underneath the cover is a waterproof layer designed to protect the foam from drool, accidents, and other forms of moisture. The rectangular design will fit in pretty much any corner and allows your dog to stretch out to their heart’s content.
- Good quality materials at an affordable price
- 4” of supportive foam
- Waterproof layer designed to protect the mattress
- Not designed to be chew-proof
- Fabric cover may wear out in some places
- The mattress may flatten out in some areas
Overall, investing in an orthopedic bed is one of the most important purchases you can make for your dog. As dogs age, they become more susceptible to issues such as hip dysplasia, joint problems, and muscle issues. Orthopedic beds help alleviate some of the pain caused by these conditions.
Orthopedic beds are also great for injured dogs to relieve pressure on their injuries, align their spines, and even provide some temperature control.
Orthopedic beds come in a wide variety of colors, styles, sizes, and even internal filling. We’ve provided you with a list of some of our favorite beds, our reviews for each one, and gave you a guide with some general recommendations to consider when making a purchase.
We hope this guide and these reviews were helpful when it comes to ultimately making a decision!