How to Find the Perfect Dog Bed For Your Dog

how to choose the best dog bed

A new dog bed can be a big investment, and with so many options to choose from, the task can seem a little daunting.

Dogs have become such an important part of the modern family, so if like us, you want to integrate your faithful friend into the heart of your home, a stylish, well-designed and durable dog bed is a must. 

To help you with your decision, we’ve put together a guide to choosing the perfect dog bed.

Whether you have a Dachshund or a Dane, we’ve rounded up the best dog beds for all shapes, sizes and ages, including dog beds for large dogs, older dogs, Sighthounds and even design snobs. 

And don’t forget to check out our dog bed checklist and measuring guide at the end of the post.

The Best Beds For Large Dogs

Size isn’t everything but it sure matters when it comes to your dog’s bed.

Just as you wouldn’t be too comfortable in a baby’s cot, large dogs like Great Danes, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Pointers have special requirements when it comes to their sleeping arrangements. 

For one, they require a good quality mattress that will hold its shape, even with a big heavy pooch snoozing on it all day.

Well made dog beds aren’t cheap because they are built to last, so before you rush out and buy a bed for your big furry friend, be sure to take the proper measurements (see our guide below).

You also need to consider how your dog likes to sleep — do they curl up, or spread out, or both?

What are the best beds for big dogs?

The best dog beds for large breeds or those who love to sprawl out are pillow or cushion-style beds.

Unlike a box bed with a bolster around it, these have a flat surface so the dog can spread out and spill over a little if they need to.

Doughnut beds can work well too if the outer bolster is soft and not too high. 

Our Picks: The Best Beds for Big Dogs

When it comes to finding the best bed for your large dog, you don’t have to sacrifice on style or quality. Here are our top 5 picks.

Stella Dog Lounge Cushion by MiaCara

When it comes to quality, you can’t beat German brand MiaCara. At 101 cm wide, their beautiful Scala dog bed is perfect for large hounds who love to lounge, like Boxers, Weimaraners and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

The cushion is made from high-resilience foam which stands up to the weight of even the biggest dogs, and a pre-formed hollow in the middle of the cushion supports the natural curvature of your dog’s body.

Terrazzo Dog Bed by Laylo Pets

Just because you have a humungous hound, it doesn’t mean they have to be restricted to an ugly bed. We LOVE these new Terrazzo printed dogs beds by Brooklyn-based brand Laylo Pets. Each bed features a 3-inch layer of orthopaedic foam which helps relieve achy joints, arthritis and hip dysplasia — conditions more common in larger dogs.

The XL size measures 114 cm x 90 cm and is suitable for Great Danes, Akitas and Newfoundland.

The Forever Hounds Trust Big Memory Foam Dog Bed by Charley Chau

It’s big, it’s brilliant and raises money to support Greyhound Rescue West of England! The Forever Hounds Trust (FHT) Big Memory Foam Dog Bed by award-winning British dog bedding designers, Charley Chau, is a luxury dog bed designed to keep big dogs in the comfort they deserve while helping less fortunate hounds.

The bed measures 130 cm x 100 cm x 10 cm and is suitable for most large breed dogs weighing up to 80kg.

Orthopaedic Memory Foam Dog Bed JUMBO XL by Kopeks

Big dogs need comfort and this jumbo sized bed from Kopeks certainly delivers. Made from thick hypo-allergenic premium memory foam, it’s great for dogs with muscle and joint issues. It also comes with a double layer of protection with a waterproof zippered cover.

The Jumbo XL size measures 90 cm x 70 cm.

Sound Sleep Vegan Fur Donut Dog Bed

Big dogs still need to feel safe and secure, which why we love this super snuggly, extra-large doughnut bed. The vegan fur contours into a deep sumptuous comforter for your big furry friend, plus it has a dual-layer base mattress cushion and generously filled bolsters which surround your dog making them feel secure.

This is the ideal pick for dogs who can get stressed and anxious, or struggle with staying warm at night.

Best Beds for Greyhounds, Whippets and Snugglers

Do you own a Sighthound like a Whippet or Italian Greyhound? Then you will know how much these slender dogs love to snuggle up, especially in winter when they need extra warmth and cushioning around their bodies.

Or perhaps your dog is just a sucker for a good burrow under the blankets and loves nothing more than getting toasty under your duvet. 

What are the best beds for sighthounds and snuggly dogs?

Snuggle beds are an excellent option for small to medium size sighthounds and dogs that love to burrow and nest.

They provide a thick, cushioned mattress as a base, with a protective blanket covering on the top, all of which is lined with a beautifully warm fleece. So cosy you might find yourself wanting to climb in! 

Our Picks: The Best Beds for Greyhounds, Whippets and Snugglers

Snuggle Bed by Charley Chau

The original and the best. There’s a reason why this best-selling dog bed continues to be on top of every good dog’s wish list. The sumptuous cushion features an enveloped top which is lined with faux fur fleece — perfect for dogs that love to snuggle under the covers. You might even get your own bed back to yourself. The inner cushion and cover are 100% washable so you should get plenty of life out of this beautiful bed.

Red Kilim Faux Fur Snuggle Sack for Dogs by Floof Couture

If your dog loves to feel seriously soft and snuggly, this snuggle sack from Floof Couture is the obvious choice! Imagine climbing into your very own faux fur-lined bed where you can duck your head beneath the covers and sleep and complete bliss. Ahhhh. We love the Turkish kilim fabric plus it doubles as a travel bed for when you’re on the move.

Snuggle Top Dog Bed by Harley & Cho

Dogs who need some extra help staying warm will love this cosy bed by Harley & Cho. The base features a thick round cushion which is covered with a snuggly top, all of which is lined with fleece. We love the quilting on the upholstered outer fabric. The bed also has a hidden zip so it can be easily washed.

Canicula Cuddly Bag Bed for Dogs by Hundekind

Calling lovers of all things kitsch. This organic cotton gingham print dog bed is the perfect place for pooches to snuggle up in both winter and summer. Lined with snuggly fleece, it can be reversed in warmer weather.

The Best Beds for Older Dogs

Is your faithful friend in their twilight years? Older dogs have extra aches and pains often due to arthritis, and may also be a little incontinent. Plus, your senior pooch could find it difficult to climb up onto a raised bed.

You will need to look at their individual needs in order to choose something that will provide the most comfort, while also being practical. 

What are the best bed for older dogs?

If your dog is still able to climb, then a raised bed is a good option to keep them off the cold floor or away any under-door drafts.

If your dog needs something at ground level, opt for a pillow bed without high sides that is easy to get in and out of.

Ideally, choose one made from memory foam which moulds to your dog’s shape. And make sure you grab a waterproof liner for any accidents. 

Our Picks: The Best Memory Foam Dog Beds and Beds for Older Dogs

Orthopaedic Dog Sofa with Contour Mattress by Furhaven Pets

You only have to take one look at the reviews for this bed to see that it has helped to ease the aches and pains of many a senior dog. The thick memory foam mattress takes pressure off those sore joints while the contoured shape provides a comfy cradle for your dog’s head. The top sleeping surface is also lined in a smooth micro-velvet which is incredibly soft and comfortable.

Casper Memory Foam Dog Bed

Designed by the team at Casper — makers of mattresses for humans — you know these memory foam dog beds are going to be the mutt’s nuts. Each bed has a double layer foam construction which absorbs the pressure from your senior dog’s joints, even big, heavy dogs. The cover is removable and washable in case of accidents, which is a bonus.

Round Memory Foam Dog Sofa by Kopeks

Being older doesn’t mean being less stylish. We love this round sofa memory foam sofa bed from Kopeks and so do the hundreds of pooch parents who have already bought one.

Great for senior dogs, the orthopaedic grade, hypoallergenic memory foam is the same quality used in high-end mattresses, so it provides complete support and can help soothe joint and muscle discomfort for pups with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint conditions. It also comes with a waterproof liner which is great for older dogs who can have accidents.

The Best Beds for Small to Medium Sized Dogs

Are you the owner of a petite pooch like a Boston Terrier, French Bulldog or a Dachshund? Or a medium-sized dog like a Spaniel or Staffie?

Luckily, you’ll have plenty of stylish options when it comes to beds. Often small dogs love to curl up against something to feel protected or might even like to take some respite away from all the household activity.

What are the best beds for small and medium sized dogs?

The best dog beds for small and medium-size breeds include bolster beds, box beds and doughnut beds You’ll be spoilt for choice with these popular styles, all of which come with a raised bolster around the edge which provides a lovely sense of security and a great place for dog’s to rest their heads when they sleep.

If you think your dog would like their own little crash pad, you can also opt for a dog cave. These egg-shaped dog beds are enclosed except for the entry and are usually fitted with a soft, high-quality cushion. A much more modern take on the dog kennel! 

Bear in mind that if your dog is teacup size or a puppy, they may require a bed without sides so they can climb in. 

Our Picks: The Best Dog Beds for Small and Medium-Sized Dogs

Ducky Donut Bed by Charley Chau

The team at Charley Chau spent six years perfecting this dog bed and here it is in all its glory! This doughnut dog bed is the ultimate snuggle spot with six side pads, each filled with ethically sourced feathers.

Dreamer Dog Bed by Harley & Cho

With sizes from XS to XXL we think this bright bed could accommodate just about any dog, but it’s a great choice for medium sized breeds like Staffies, Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels and Collies. According to customers. this dog bed is great for dogs who like to snuggle up and feel protected with the bolster sides, as well as dogs who enjoy just sprawling out. The cheerful colour is also a winner in any living space.

Ethical Handwoven Dog Basket by Zaare Folks

If you’re looking for a natural, ethical dog bed with a boho vibe, this handwoven basket by Zaare Folks is right up your street. Made from woven elephant grass and natural dyes by craftsmen living in Bolgatanga and surrounding villages in Africa. The small size is perfect for toy breeds like Dachshunds and Yorkies, while the medium suits breeds like Frenchies and Schnauzers. Each bed supports the craftsmen and their families.

Pet Teepee by Baby Spase

Being small means you can fit into little spaces like this cool dog teepee. It works perfectly as an indoor dog house — your dog’s own private crash pad where they can enjoy some R&R.

The Most Stylish Dog Beds for Design Lovers

OK, this one is more for you than your dog. If you plan to bring your dog into the centre of your living space, why not invest in a stylish piece of dog furniture that will be a major talking point, rather than an eyesore? 

Letto dog bed by MiaCara
Letto Dog dayBed by MiaCara
What are the best beds for design lovers?

You’ll be drooling over the range of luxury dog furniture now on offer. From dog lounges and sofas to designer dog caves and baskets, each of these modern pieces have been conceived by leading designers and crafted by skilled artisans and furniture makers using the highest quality materials. 

Kolosoni Dog Bed by Hunting Pony

This beautiful dog bed from Hunting Pony is sure to make a serious style statement in your home. We love the plump braided detail which acts as a bolster for your dog’s head, while the inner cushion offers soft and supportive comfort. The cover can also be removed and washed which is a bonus.

Dog Bed by Bacon Snatchers

Designed by pet lovers for pet lovers, this gorgeous dog bed from Bacon Snatchers (love the name!) features in inner orthopaedic mattress and a soft velour cover made from furniture upholstery-grade fabric. The mustard yellow colour is striking but you can also opt for more muted shades.

Custom Wood Dog House by WLO Wood

There was a time when dog houses and dog crates were purely functional, and let’s be honest — ugly. Thankfully, some clever designers have come up with some stylish dog crates that you would be proud to display in your home. We love this best-selling designer dog house from WLO Wood. Each house is made in the designer’s workshop and finished to the highest standard.

Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a New Dog Bed

  • Will my dog be able to access the bed at its current height? 
  • Have I taken my dog’s measurements to ensure I get the best possible size? (see our guide below)
  • How easy is this bed to clean? 
  • Do I need a waterproof liner? If you have a puppy or an older dog who is incontinent, this is a must! 
  • Is the mattress designed to hold its shape, even after lots of use? This is particularly important for large or very active dogs. 

How to Get the Perfect Size Bed for Your Dog

To find the perfect size bed for your pooch, measure your dog from their nose to the base of their tail (where it joins their body), as well as their height from the top of their head to the floor.

It’s recommended that you then multiply each of these measurements by 1.25 to calculate a minimum recommended length and depth of the bed you require. This will allow enough room for your dog to curl up or stretch out, depending on how they like to sleep. 

Are you looking for a new bed for your dog or have you found the perfect one already? Tell us in the comments below! 

Sara is the Founder & Editor of StyleTails. A writer, design-lover and long-time animal-hugger, Sara launched StyleTails in 2012 to inspire people live a more beautiful life with their four-legged friends. Along with her canine sidekick George, a rescue Yorkie with a big attitude, Sara regularly commentates on luxury pet product and lifestyle trends and has been featured in Elle Decoration, BBC Radio, and is also an expert contributor to WGSN, the leading design trend forecaster.

5 Comments

  • Reply March 4, 2017

    Emma Bearman

    A great article! Many people only focus on looks alone without considering what bed would actually suit their dog – Mine is definitely a snuggler!
    Emma & Alfie xox

    • Reply March 8, 2017

      Sara White

      Thanks Emma – yes, looks can be deceiving! Glad you’ve found your perfect match 🙂

  • Reply September 19, 2017

    Renze of Dog Life Store

    Choosing the right dog bed for your pet is hard because of so many options. It also depends on how your dog and its size. There are some dog beds in the market right now that are very expensive and easily get damage. I really love this article. It features a lot of dog beds that you can choose from for your pets. Thanks for this one.

  • Reply September 28, 2017

    Lucy Gibson

    Sara, I really love your tip about looking for “snuggle beds” for small to medium sized dogs who like to burrow and nest. My husband and I have a pretty small dog and we feel bad that she just sleeps on a small pillow. We’d love to find a cute ped that also looks great. I’ll keep this in mind while I look.

    • Reply October 2, 2017

      Sara White

      Glad you found it useful Lucy! Good luck with finding a bed for your dog x

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