4 Dogs Buyer's Guides

Best Dog Beds for Larger Dogs: 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Beautiful German Shepard sleeping

When you’re a dog mom or dad of a large breed dog, you want the best dog bed for larger dogs to make sure they have the space they need. Bigger dogs have special needs since they can be prone to joint issues and hip or elbow dysplasia. They also require more space for sleeping and beds that are supportive, in order to ensure comfort and to reduce joint pain and other issues. But finding a bed for large breed dogs can be more challenging than you think, especially since most manufacturers tend to cater more to smaller breeds.

Fortunately, I’ve created this in-depth buyer’s guide that will go over all the features you should look for, why it’s important to choose a bed that offers joint support, and more. I’ve also tested out several of the top selling beds, choosing six models that scored well with large breed dogs. These beds are durable, large, and able to take a beating. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the models that made it onto my list, how they rated, and their best features.

Dog Beds for Larger Dogs Comparison Chart

ProductTypeColor OptionsSize OptionsRating
Furhaven Dog Bed

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Orthopedic/Sofa33
TR Pet Large Dog Beds

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Bolster43
Dogbed4less Dog Bed

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Orthopedic106
Utotol Dog Beds

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Bolster64
Furhaven Lounger Dog Bed

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Orthopedic76
MidWest Bolster Pet Bed

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Bolster58

Furhaven Sofa-Style Dog Bed


Our Rating: (5/5)

This dog bed offers the best of both worlds with its orthopedic sofa design. The bed has three bolsters that provide a secure place for your dog to rest against. The extra high-loft cushion support makes this bed a great choice for older dogs with joint pain and those who have difficulty standing from a lying position. The large sleep surface is lined with faux fur. The bolsters themselves are wrapped in a high-quality upholstery-grade material that’s durable. The egg crate foam material will reduce pressure on the joints while distributing the body weight evenly across the surface and boosting circulation. The bed is available in three color options and three sizes.

Pros

  • Orthopedic cushioning
  • Large sleeping surface
  • Three bolsters
  • Supportive

Cons

  • Egg crate foam can become flattened over time

Conclusion

The bed’s cover is removable, so dog owners can toss it in the wash to freshen up the bed, or in the event of an accident. The highly supportive design, combined with the thick orthopedic padding make this bed a great choice for older dogs with joint problems, however, dogs of any age will appreciate the soft comfort and durable design this bed has to offer.

TR Pet Large Dog Beds


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This bolster bed is available in three size options and is designed for large and extra-large breeds. The bed consists of six pieces of bolsters and padding. The surface is covered with a soft plush material that offers a more comfortable sleeping surface. The bolsters are a little over seven inches tall and provide proper neck and head support for dogs who love to curl up. The bed is washable, complete with a removable cover and pillows. The center area of the sleeping surface features additional padding that’s stitched in place. On the bottom, you’ll find anti-skid dots that will prevent the bed from sliding on smooth surfaces. The bed is covered in material that’s water-repellent, making this model a must have for dog owners who are going through the potty-training process or for older dogs who are often incontinent.

Pros

  • Water repellent material
  • Heavily padded
  • Supportive
  • Washable cover

Cons

  • Not recommended for dogs with destructive behaviors

Conclusion

This model is designed for dogs over fifty pounds, making it  a great choice for large breed dogs. This bed features a very supportive design so it’s a great choice for older dogs, yet even younger dogs will love the heavily padded, comfortable design. The bed is easy to clean, machine washable, and features the type of plush design that ensures your dog will rest comfortably all night long.

Dogbed4less Memory Foam Dog Bed


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The orthopedic bed by Dogbed4less features two layers of covers. One cover is removable and made out of micro suede and comes equipped with an external zipper cover. The over internal cover is waterproof and is also equipped with a zipper, so it can be removed and rinsed off. The bed is made out of a gel and memory foam padding for joint support and ultimate comfort. This bed is cooler than a traditional memory foam style bed, thanks to the inclusion of cooling gel that will help to regulate the temperature of the memory foam. The combination of these two supportive materials will help to relieve pain associated with arthritis.

Pros

  • Two covers
  • Machine washable
  • Gel and memory foam design
  • Thick mattress padding

Cons

  • Mattress is not wide enough for some extra-large breeds

Conclusion

This orthopedic bed is very firm, so older dogs will have an easier time standing up and getting on and off the bed. The bed’s made out of high-quality memory foam and gel and will not flatten over time. The supportive surface is exactly what an older dog needs in order to rest easy at night. The waterproof cover is perfect for dogs who are not fully potty trained or older dogs who have incontinence issues. This model is a great buy for dogs of all ages, but pets currently experience hip or elbow dysplasia or arthritis will definitely benefit from using this bed the most.

Utotol Warming Pet Bed


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model is made out of high-quality PP cotton, with extra filling used to prevent the bed from losing its shape over time. The bolsters provide plenty of support for a dog’s head and neck. The cover is made out of jacquard material that’s more durable than the standard oxford cloth that many competing models use. The bed is also covered in a thick faux fur that will keep a dog comfortable and warm. The thickness of the faux fur can make this bed a poor choice for warmer climates. However, for colder climates, the bed is a great choice and can do an excellent job of keeping dogs warm at night when the temperature drops.

Pros

  • Faux fur
  • Bolsters provide neck and head support
  • Cover is washable
  • Plush sleeping surface

Cons

  • Cotton filling will flatten over time
  • Thick faux fur can make the bed too warm to use in hotter weather
  • Sleeping surface is not very supportive

Conclusion

The bed is not the best choice for older dogs who are in need of a more supportive sleeping surface. While the bed’s cotton filling does provide a nice plush sleeping surface, it can be difficult for dogs with joint problems to get in and out of the bed. This bed is a better choice for younger dogs looking for a comfortable place to rest. Fortunately, the cover is removable and washable, and the thick bolsters and large sleeping surface make this bed a good fit for young large breed dogs in search of a comfortable spot to sleep at night.

Furhaven Cradle Dog Bed


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model features a contoured design that cushions your pet and cradles their frame, for ultimate support. The design also gives a dog plenty of room to stretch out and relax. The sleeping surface is lined with faux fur that’s soft to the touch. The orthopedic foam mattress is very supportive and helps to reduce pressure that’s placed on a dog’s joints. The mattress is also very firm, preventing your dog from sinking into the surface when they try to stand up. This makes it easier for your dog to get in and out of the bed. The cover of the bed is removable and machine washable for easy maintenance and care.

Pros

  • Firm mattress
  • Supportive
  • Large sleeping surface
  • Contoured design

Cons

  • Cover is not chew-proof

Conclusion

This model comes with a limited ninety-day warranty that covers the bed against manufacturing defects and any issues with the bed’s overall quality. The firm mattress surface will not flatten over time, making this bed an important investment for pets with joint pain and other age-related health issues. The massive surface space will provide large breed dogs with more than enough room to stretch out, while the thick plush cover will provide a softer sleeping surface that every dog will love.

MidWest Bolster Pet Bed


Our Rating: (4/5)

This bolster bed can be used alone or inside a dog crate for improved comfort. This model is not designed for chewers, since the cover itself is pretty thin. The bed is covered in synthetic fur and large padded polyester bolsters for neck and head support. The bed is one hundred percent machine washable and can also be dried in a dryer. It comes with a one-year product warranty, which is surprising for a bed in this price range. The bed’s padding is not supportive enough for dogs with joint pain. Additionally, older dogs may have trouble getting in and out of the bed since they will sink into the surface when standing.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Can be used with dog crates
  • One-year warranty
  • Low price

Cons

  • Not designed for chewers
  • Not recommended for dogs with joint pain

Conclusion

This is a fairly standard bolster bed, but the lack of a supportive sleeping surface will make it a bad choice for older dogs or dogs with joint issues. It’s also not recommended for dogs who chew, since the cover is not very thick or durable. The bed’s available at an affordable price and comes with a one-year product warranty, which will make it a great buy for dog owners on a budget.

Dog Bed for Larger Dogs Buyer’s Guide

While most dogs are totally fine sleeping on a couch, a dog bed can provide the type of space and support they need. A bed will also give your pet their own space, where they can relax, away from the noise of the house, hide from the family cat, and take a break from the kids for a while. Before I dive into the important features to look for in a new dog bed, I’ll first go over the many benefits using one of these beds can offer man’s best friend.

Benefits of the Dog Beds for Larger Dogs

big dog chilling in bed

  • Purchasing a dog bed can help you to train your dog to stay off the furniture. This will be especially important if you have a dog that sheds a lot.
  • If you’re tired of sharing your bed with your large breed dog, then placing a bed of their own on the floor next to your bed will definitely help you rest better at night, while still allowing them to remain close to you, which is what matters the most.
  • Older dogs with joint problems will benefit from sleeping on a supportive surface, one that will take pressure off their joints. Older dogs often have trouble getting up off the floor, especially after sleeping for hours. A raised dog bed, one made out of memory foam, will be the perfect solution for dogs with joint problems and can help them rest better at night.
  • If your dog has anxiety, then a space of their own can help them to feel safe and secure while they rest. You can place their bed in a dark quiet part of the home so they can relax in a quiet environment.
  • Many of these beds are highly portable, so you can roll them up and take them with you when you go camping or for a weekend trip to grandma’s house
  • If you’ve recently adopted a new dog, purchasing a new bed for them can make them feel more at home. It can also help them to bond with other dogs in the house by taking a nap together.
  • Dogs with thinning skin at the elbows will also benefit from using a dog bed, which can prevent the skin on the elbows from thinning further.
  • Beds equipped with faux fur covers will keep a dog warm at night when the temperature drops.

As you can see, buying your dog a bed of their own comes with many benefits, such as giving them a space to call their own, keeping them off the furniture, and providing them with a supportive space to sleep that can help minimize pain and discomfort that’s associated with arthritis in older dogs.

Other Important Features

A dog bed is a must for any dog, not just seniors. Large breed dogs commonly have issues with their joints as they age, or thinning skin on the elbows. Using a bed at an early age can help to reduce the chances of skin issues and joint problems. Orthopedic beds can also do wonders for dogs who suffer from joint problems and hip or elbow dysplasia. Dog beds will give your pet a comfortable space to call their own, while preventing them from taking over your bed at night. But finding the perfect bed for your specific dog may be a challenge, since every dog has their own preferences concerning how they like to sleep and what they consider a comfortable place to snooze.

In some cases, you can purchase a nice, comfortable bed for your dog, but they’ll simply turn their nose up at it.  The bed may not be long enough for your dog to stretch out, or it may be too soft or too firm. While the bed you choose should be comfortable, durable, and supportive, it should also meet your pet’s needs and preferences. Make sure you also take your dog’s weight and size into account. The size of the bed will be very important, as will the type of material the bed is made out of.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the must have features, so you can choose the perfect new bed for your large breed dog.

Size

Beds designed for large breeds will take up a lot of floor space, but they’ll also allow your dog to stretch out and really relax. Make sure you measure your dog and weigh him or her, before you start shopping for a new bed. Then, you can pay close attention to the dimensions of each bed to determine if the bed will be big enough to accommodate your dog’s size. Make sure when you’re looking at the specs that you purchase a bed that’s slightly larger than your dog, in order to give them a little extra space to move around.

Most beds will be recommended based on a dog’s weight. However, one company’s large may be another company’s extra-large.

Finding a dog bed for extra-large and extra extra-large breeds isn’t easy. Many manufacturers may label their bed as jumbo, but your dog still won’t have enough room to truly spread out. When you’re shopping for a bed, never choose one based on how the bed is labeled. Even if the bed is categorized as extra-large, look at the dimensions first, before you hit that buy now button.

Single and Multi-Layer Beds

A single layer bed is very durable and consists of a single layer of foam. These beds are often pricier than multi-layer beds that have been made out of a couple of slabs of foam and glued together. Beds filled with loose filling materials are considered the most affordable and the lowest quality.

Dog Age

Do you have a hyper younger dog? Or is your dog considered a senior? Younger dogs will continue to grow for the first year of their life, so make sure you choose a bed they will not quickly outgrow. You’ll also need to consider durability here since younger dogs love to chew.

Additionally, if you have an older dog, they will need a firmer, more supportive bed, one that’s easy to get in and out of.

A dog is considered a senior once they reach the age of seven. Dogs this age will need more frequent vet visits to check for health and mobility issues. Because of this, older dogs will greatly benefit from orthopedic style beds, especially if they have trouble getting up or lying down. Dogs that are older are prone to joint issues, so a foam bed will provide the type of support they need for a good night’s rest. The quality of the bed will matter greatly here, since low quality foam beds will cause a dog to sink down all the way to the floor, while a high-quality foam bed will not.

Protection

Whether you have a younger or older dog, make sure the bed is water-resistant or waterproof. This will prevent pet accidents from penetrating the cover and soaking the filling.

Materials

Beds are created out of a variety of synthetic and natural materials ranging from supportive foam to soft fleece.

Memory foam can be a great choice for older dogs because it provides support and cushioning to sore joints. Many large breed dogs have issues with their weight and hips as they grow older, so a memory foam bed can be a great choice for joint health. Additionally, beds that are made out of memory foam tend to hold their shape much better compared to beds that are made out of softer materials.

Filling

Beds that are filled with polyester fiber, cotton, or cedar chips are great for younger dogs who are looking for a comfortable bed to snuggle into. These beds are often priced more affordably than memory foam beds, but they’re nowhere near as durable and tend to get worn down over time, whether it’s from the weight of the dog or washing.

A bed that’s made out of a combination of materials will often offer the most comfort.

The filling material in a dog bed should never be washed, unless the manufacturer specifies that the bed is machine washable. You should avoid washing foam, polyfibers, and other types of fillers in order to avoid damaging the bed.

Colors

Does the color of the dog bed matter to you? Some models will only be available in a few color options, while others offer a variety of colors and patterns to choose from. Most commonly, you’ll find beds available in the following colors:

  • Cream
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Red
  • Khaki
  • Burgundy

These bold colors often match well with most home décor, however, if you want something a little fancier, you can find some brands that offer unique and colorful patterns to choose from.

Cover and Lining

If your dog sheds a lot, loves to play around in the dirt, or has the occasional accident, then you’ll want a bed that has a removable cover. These covers can be tossed in the washing machine, so you can easily clean and freshen up your dog’s sleeping space.

Bed linings are often waterproof, which will prevent water or urine from damaging the bed. Waterproof materials include nylon denier and polyester denier. If you come across the term denier on a dog bed’s spec sheet, make sure you take a look at how thick it is. This is usually measured in grams. Many lower priced beds will not include materials that are waterproof in the lining or base of the bed.

Durability

If you have a young dog, or a dog that’s destructive, then you need a bed that has a reputation for durability. Many dogs that chew will work on their bed at night, tearing the cover and going at the filling. If you don’t want to wake up to a mess, or have to constantly replace a dog bed, then make sure the bed you purchase is made for dogs that are destructive. This means you can expect to pay more, since pillow beds, which consist of thin material and are full of cotton filling, will be destroyed very easily if your dog is a notorious chewer.

How Your Dog Sleeps

If you’ve ever slept in bed with your dog, then you know dogs can sleep pretty wild

A circular bed will be perfect for dogs who love to curl up into a ball when they sleep. The round shape is very comforting to some dogs, but it won’t be a good fit for dogs who prefer to stretch out when they rest. Dogs that love to take up space will benefit from a rectangular shaped bed.

Bed Styles

There are many different styles of beds to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Below, I’ll go over these style options so you can choose one that will suit your pet’s sleeping needs.

Bolster

Bolster beds feature walls around the sleeping surface. This design can make a dog feel safe and secure. However, if your dog is a wild sleeper, then they may not find the walls very appealing. These bolster beds are very thick and comfortable and can be a good choice for dogs with anxiety, older dogs, and dogs that love to sleep curled up. If your dog loves to spread out instead, then choose a flat pillow style model.

Wraparound

A wraparound bed features edges all around the perimeter of the bed and often have a small cubby at the end that a dog can burrow into.

Hammock

Hammock style dog beds will sit off the ground and are designed to keep a dog cool. However, they’re not very supportive and not a good choice for older dogs who may have trouble climbing in and out of the bed.

Orthopedic

Orthopedic beds are made out of a memory foam egg crate foam, and/or a cooling gel. They’re designed to provide support for the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Muscle disorders
  • Bone fractures
  • Bone disorders

A high-quality orthopedic bed will help treat certain medical conditions and can also be the best thing that happened to an aging dog who has trouble getting comfortable at night. All dogs need support, regardless of their age or whether or not they have an underlying medical condition. However, these beds are a must-have for dogs with special needs.

Pillow

These beds are also referred to as cushion beds and they consist of an even, flat surface that’s not raised on the sides. Most beds are rectangular in shape and look like a small mattress. However, you can also find square and circular beds as well.

Sofa Bed

These beds look like your standard couch with cushioned surfaces and an elevated back wall and two raised arms. These beds can also come with pillows as well.

Burrowing

These beds come with an opening on one side, which will allow a dog to burrow to keep warm. These beds usually come with fleece lining for extra warmth and are a good choice for dogs who get cold easily, or those with anxiety.

Heated

A heated bed is a great choice for dogs with joint pain. The warm surface helps to reduce inflammation and pressure placed on the joints. These beds must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Some will come with multiple heat settings for ultimate customization.

Cot

Some beds will come equipped with metal or plastic legs that will elevate the bed, keeping it off the ground. These beds can be used outdoors, with a sleeping surface that will protect a dog from the cold or hot ground. This sleeping surface is made out of stretchy material such as nylon. Since these beds are commonly used outdoors the surface of the bed is often made out of waterproof material or has some type of waterproof coating.

Other Buying Tips

Dog hugs a stuffed toy

  • If you have more than one dog in the home, buy one bed per dog. This will help to prevent the dogs from fighting over the bed.
  • If you love sleeping with your dog, but you want to avoid sleeping with them in your bed, try purchasing two dog beds. Since many dogs love to sleep with their owners, placing a dog bed in your bedroom can make the transition easier. They will also appreciate an extra bed placed in a common space in the home, so they don’t feel so isolated. However, new dogs, or dogs with anxiety may prefer to have their bed located in a quiet place in the home, such as the laundry room.
  • Do your research and find a bed that will meet your specific dog’s needs. If your dog is older, then an orthopedic bed or an elevated bed will be the best choice.
  • Make sure you choose a bed that works with the climate. If you live in a place that experiences hot summers and mild winters, avoid models that come with fleece lining or other types of insulative material. If you live in a part of the country that experiences freezing temperatures during the winter and mild summers, then a heated bed or a well-insulated bed will be the best choice, especially if you have an older dog or one with joint issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Elevated Dog Beds Better?

An elevated dog bed will minimize the amount of debris that finds its way under or into a standard dog bed. This debris can cause discomfort and odors. A dog tends to rest better on an elevated bed, so they will be more active and have more energy. These beds are easier to get in and out of, so they can also be a better choice for large dogs with joint problems.

Why Does my dog Sleep on the Floor and not on his bed?

During the hot months of the year, a dog may get very hot, especially if their bed is made out of insulating material such as fleece, so they will look for a cold place to sleep, such as the kitchen floor. This will provide some relief from the heat.

Is it OK to Move a Dog’s Bed Around?

Yes and no. Your dog may become confused if their bed has been moved to another room. In fact, they may continue to lay on the spot on the floor where the bed used to be. In order to get your dog used to the new location, try moving their bed gradually, a few feet a day. This will make the transition much easier.

Is it bad for dogs to Sleep on the Floor?

While many people think it’s perfectly okay to allow their dog to sleep on the floor, it can lead to stiffness, pain, and joint inflammation, especially in large breed dogs. Basically, having a dog use a dog bed is just better for their health and can help to prevent health issues or exacerbate an existing condition.

Where Should a Dog Sleep in the House?

Most dogs feel comfortable resting near family members, especially during the night. Dog owners also feel better having their dog companions close by when they’re sleeping. Many people will keep a dog bed in their bedroom, in addition to a dog bed that’s kept in a quiet part of the home or in another common space. If you find that your dog is avoiding using their bed it may have to do more with the location than the bed itself.

Final Thoughts

A dog, regardless of their age, needs a bed. This will give you more space in bed and provides them with a comfortable spot of their own. The best dog beds for larger dogs are big, comfortable, and supportive. However, if you have an older dog, then you’ll need to take special care when choosing the right type of bed since you’ll need to find one that’s easy for your dog to climb in and out of. Additionally, younger dogs will have different needs since they may prefer a softer bed. You’ll also need to purchase a model that’s chew proof for younger dogs, since many go through a destructive phase. This guide and the products I’ve tested out will help you find the perfect bed for your dog, one that’s low maintenance, comfortable, and can provide your pet with their own comfortable space to stretch out on and relax.

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