12 Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs: The Bigger, The Better!

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Dog Beds By Meg Marrs 30 min read June 19, 2019 5 Comments

best beds for large dogs

Most dogs should be provided with a good bed – it’ll help ensure that they rest well each night and wake up ready to defend your home from that pesky squirrel in the front yard. And for a variety of reasons that we’ll discuss in a moment, good beds are especially important for big breeds.

However, it can be difficult for some owners to determine which bed will work best for their pup. After all, there are hundreds of options on the market. We’ll try to help you whittle down the options below, and we’ll recommend 12 of the best beds for big dogs.

But first, let’s dig into the details of dog beds, talk about the reasons most dogs need a bed, and help you understand the things you’ll want to look for when making your choice.

Quick Picks: Best Dog Beds For Large Dogs

  • Pick #1: Big Barker. The best bed around for XL canines, featuring 7″ of orthopedic memory + support foam along with a 10-year won’t flatten warranty! Pricey but worth it for large dogs with joint issues.
  • Pick #2: Best Friends Faux Shag Donut Cuddler. This ultra-cozy donut-style bed features raised edges, perfect for dogs that love a good cuddle. The faux shag is so cozy, you may find yourself cuddling in the bed with your doggo!
  • Pick #3: BarksBar Orthopedic Rimmed Oval Bed. Several inches of orthopedic foam for your XL canine, plus a padded rim for dogs that like to curl up. Features a lovely quilted design that has an attractive look.
  • Pick #4: K&H Pet Cot. Affordable elevated mesh bed perfect for keeping large dogs off the floor and protecting joints. Plus, easy to clean and works outdoors!
  • Pick #5: HappyHounds Orthopedic Dog Bed. A classic rectangular-shaped bed with reversible design, letting you choose between soft sherpa fleece or more durable microfiber.

Do All Dogs Need a Bed?

No – dogs do not “need” a bed like they need food, water or oxygen. But, you could say the same thing about flea medication, treats, chew toys and belly scratches. Sure, your dog can survive without these things, but he’d hardly enjoy himself while doing so.

We’re betting that if you are reading a review about dog beds, you love your pup and want him to have the best quality of life possible. So, in this context, we’ll say that yes – most dogs do need a bed.

Even if you let your pup sleep on the furniture, there are times that a bed will prove invaluable. For example, a bed would help:

Anytime the bed/couch is occupied by you or your family

When company comes over, and you must put your pooch in another room

If you must travel

If your dog spends a lot of time in his crate

Anytime your dog is ill or medicated

After your dog gets dirty, goes swimming, or takes a bath

But, while all of these reasons offer plenty of justification for purchasing a bed for your dog, there’s an even more important reason to set your dog up with a high-quality bed: They’re specifically designed to provide your pup with a proper place to sleep.

Your bed or couch may feel pretty comfortable for your dog, or you may have a pup that doesn’t mind sleeping on the foyer floor.

But, neither of these places will provide the best possible combination of comfort and support your dog needs to get a good night’s sleep (and all of the downstream benefits a good night’s sleep provides).

Big Dogs Really Need Beds

There’s a lot of variation among big breeds; Great Danes and Chows don’t really have a whole lot in common aside from size.

(For the record, we’ll loosely define “big breeds” as those weighing about 50 pounds or more.)

But, most big breeds do exhibit one other tendency: They often suffer from hip and joint problems, like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and osteoarthritis. Also, many large dog breeds become overweight with age, which can place additional stress on their joints and back.

One of the best things you can do to help alleviate the pain and stiffness that is associated with these conditions (besides discussing the issue with your vet and employing a suitable treatment strategy) is to provide your dog with a good bed – preferably a mattress with a memory foam core, but we’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Accordingly, owners of big breeds should almost always provide their pet with a high-quality bed.

Best Dog Beds For Large Dogs

1. The Big Barker

About: If you’re looking for the best dog bed, you needn’t look further than The Big BarkerWidely considered to be the best option for large dogs, the Big Barker features 7 inches of thick memory and support foam slabs! It also comes in sizes large enough to comfortably accommodate even the biggest giant breeds.


  • CALIBRATED FOR BIG DOGS: Available in Large, XL, Giant XXL dog bed sizes. Too powerful for small...
  • 10 YEAR WARRANTY: Foam will retain 90% of original shape & loft for 10 years or your money back.
  • WON'T FLATTEN: American made therapeutic foam is the best quality you'll find in orthopedic dog...
  • MADE IN THE USA: Handmade by craftsmen and craftswomen in our small Pennsylvania workshop that's...

The Big Barker features a multi-layer core, comprised of support foam, orthopedic foam and a contoured foam bolster. This combination of materials provides exactly the kind of support, comfort, and weight distribution that large dogs deserve.

The Big Barker is made in the USA and backed by a 10-year warranty, which guarantees that the bed will retain 90% of its loft over this time. The microfiber cover is durable, removable and machine washable.


The Big Barker is one of the few beds that comes in sizes large enough for Great Danes and other giant breeds. It also features one of the thickest cores of any dog bed on the market. Most owners rave about its quality, and most dogs seem to love sleeping on these beds.


There are only two downsides to the Big Barker: It is rather expensive, and it lacks a non-skid bottom. It is also important to note that the manufacturer specifically cautions that this bed is too firm for small dogs. Don’t get this bed if your dog is a petite pooch.

Large — 48 x 30”
Extra Large — 52 x 36”
Giant — 60 x 48”

2. Dogbed4less Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

About: The Big Barker may be the very best dog bed on the market, but the Dogbed4less Orthopedic Memory Foam Bed is surely a close second – and it is available for a fraction of the cost too.


  • WATERPROOF Liner + 2 EXTERNAL COVERS - The bed comes with 1 Water proof internal zipper cover to...
  • DURABLE WASHABLE COVER - 100 percent cotton Denim removable cover with strong zipper in gusset style...
  • GEL MEMORY FOAM ORTHOPEDIC SUPPORT - Top rated quality XL 40"X35"X4" hypoallergenic high density 100...
  • THERAPEUTIC COOLING LUXURIOUS COMFORT - Better than average human grade mattress with conforming...

The Dogbed4less Orthopedic Dog Bed features a 4-inch-thick, gel-infused memory foam core. Unlike some other beds that use low-quality memory foam, the foam used in this bed is therapeutic grade and specifically designed to increase your dog’s circulation and reduce the pressure on his joints and back.

This bed comes with two removable outer covers (one made from denim, and one made from microsuede), as well as a waterproof internal cover to protect the foam from accidents or spills. Both external covers can be machine-washed and machine-dried.


There’s a lot to love about this bed. The high-quality memory foam core ensures that your dog will find it comfortable, and the waterproof inner cover helps to protect the foam from moisture. It is available in several sizes that are large enough to accommodate big dogs, and it provides great value for your dollar, thanks to its low price.


There aren’t many problems with the Dogbed4less Orthopedic Memory Foam Bed. However, several owners did complain that the inner cover was not completely waterproof.

Small/Medium – 35 x 20”
Medium/Large – 37 x 27”
Large – 41 x 27”
Extra Large 1 – 40 x 35”
Extra Large 2 – 47 x 29”
Extra Extra Large –55 x 37”
Jumbo – 55 x 47”

3. Dog Bed King Cuddler Nest Pet Bed

About: This rounded dog bed is perfect for big dogs who like to “nest” when they sleep, as it features raised edges that provide the kind of comfort and security certain dogs love. This can be very useful for dogs with anxiety, as well as thinly built breeds (like greyhounds), who often have trouble staying warm.


  • PRODUCT DETAILS: Outside Measures 40 x 28 x 7’. Solid Exterior Fabric and Comfortable Premium...
  • SLEEP AREA: Measures 36 x 26”. Fits Pets Up To 100 lbs Or Multiple Smaller Pets.
  • CUDDLER FOAM FORM: The Solid Oval Foam Form Matches Your Pets Natural Rest Position And The...
  • MACHINE WASHABLE: The One Piece Elastic Banded Cover Design Removes Quickly For Machine Washing and...

The King Cuddler Nest Bed features a 2-inch-thick comfort foam base, and the raised edge is made from 1 ¼-inch high-density foam. The cover features an elastic band to keep it in place, but it is easy to remove and machine washable.

While some have found the foam to be low quality (owners report it’s made of basic egg crate foam), other find it satisfactory.

This bed is made in the USA, and it is available in several different color combinations, including Beige/Cream, Brown/Cream, Black/Cream, Brown/Brown, Burgundy/Cream, and Navy Blue/Cream.


The raised edges may help your dog feel safe and secure while he snoozes, which will help him get a good night’s sleep. The elastic band used to keep the cover on also makes it easy to remove the cover when you need to wash it.


This bed is only 2 inches thick, which is well below our 4-inch-thick guideline. Also, some owners reported that this bed did not hold up to their dog’s claws or teeth, so this is a poor choice for destructive dogs.

Medium – 25 x 21”
Large – 33 x 23”
Extra Large – 40 x 28”

4. Happy Hounds Oscar Orthopedic Bed

About: The Happy Hounds Oscar Orthopedic Dog Bed is another good option for large dogs, which includes a number of helpful features most owners will like. The bed is built around a 2.5-inch-thick foam core (the type of foam used is not identified by the manufacturer, but it appears to be egg-carton foam), and it comes with a removable, machine-washable cover.


  • Reversible design allows for longer use
  • Heavy -duty microfiber fabric reverses to soft sherpa panel
  • Water Resistant
  • Removable, machine washable cover

The cover provides you with two different sleeping surface options for your pooch. One side provides a soft-and-smooth microfiber surface, while the other provides a luxurious Sherpa panel.

The zipper closure remains hidden by a flap on the side to help keep it working smoothly, and the edges are double-sewn for additional strength. The bed is water-resistant and available in three colors: Latte, Brown, and Crimson.


The majority of owners who tried the Happy Hounds Oscar Orthopedic Bed were happy with their choice. Most explained that it provided plenty of support and that it was extremely light and easy to move around – it’s likely a great choice for a “travel bed” for people and pets on the go.


Although most owners seemed satisfied with the bed, we’d prefer if the core was made from a higher grade of foam. A few owners also reported that the bed was not as water-resistant as the manufacturer claims.

Extra Small – 18 x 24”
Small – 24 x 36”
Medium – 30 x 42”
Large – 36 x 48”

5. DogBed4Less Premium Orthopedic Shredded Memory Foam Dog Bed

About: The DogBed4Less Premium Dog Bed utilizes an overstuffed memory-foam-and-polyfill core insert, which provides an incredible 8 to 10 inches of cushion and support. This makes it one of the thickest beds on the market, and a good choice for big and heavy dogs.


  • JUMBO 55"X47" PILLOW - Handmade in USA top quality shredded memory foam pet bed is designed for...
  • 2 LAYERS OF COVER - The bed comes with breathable waterproof internal cover to secure the stuffing...
  • REMOVABLE WASHABLE COVER - The suede external cover is stains, dirt and wrinkle resistant which is...
  • ORTHOPEDIC SUPPORT - 10" thick overstuffed insert will support your larger dog up to 140 lbs. Mix...

The DogBed4Less Bed comes with two covers. The outer cover is made from very soft, stain-resistant, machine-washable fabric, while the interior cover features a water-resistant surface that helps the bed “breathe” and a water-proof upper surface to protect the core from water, urine or other liquids.

This bed is made in the USA and available in four different colors: Brown, Espresso, Gray, and Khaki.


The DogBed4Less Premium Bed is one of the top-rated beds on the market, and most owners love the support and cushion it provides. Many also report that the bed (which is suitable for dogs weighing up to 160 pounds) retained its loft for several years.


We generally recommend that owners choose beds featuring solid sheets of foam, rather than shredded pieces. However, given the amount of shredded foam in this mattress, it may still be a good option. Some owners did complain that this bed was a bit lumpy.

Medium – 37 x 27”
Large – 41 x 27”
Extra Large 1 – 40 x 35”
Extra Large 2 – 47 x 29”
Extra-Extra Large – 55 x 37”
Jumbo – 55 x 47”

6. BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper Orthopedic Dog Bed

About: The BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper is one of the most luxurious dog beds on the market, and it comes with a number of features that will help provide your dog with an incredibly comfortable sleeping spot. And although it doesn’t come in sizes large enough for gigantic dogs, it can support dogs weight up to 100 pounds.


  • Large Orthopedic Sleeper: 40” x 30” x 10" - Ideal for Medium to Large size dogs and also great...
  • Inner Dimensions of Sleeping Space: 36" x 24" - Crafted with top-of-the-line workmanship and premium...
  • Premium Materials include: (1) Ultra Soft Polyester Cover with a luxurious quilted design, (2) 4" of...
  • Sleek and Luxurious quilted design to improve any family's home decor. Comes with a built-in nonslip...

The Snuggly Sleeper features a 4-inch-thick, grooved orthopedic foam core that’s topped with a super-soft cotton layer to provide additional comfort. The cover is made from soft polyester and is removable and machine washable (just be sure to use the gentle cycle).

The bed also features a wrap-around bolster, to help your dog feel safe and secure all night long. The bottom of the bed is made from a non-slip surface to prevent the bed from sliding around the floor.


The BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper is easily one of the top dog beds on the market. It has all of the features most owners want in a dog bed, including a thick orthopedic foam core, machine-washable cover, non-skid base and wrap-around bolster. And it is rather reasonably priced for such a high-quality bed too.


There’s only one real drawback to the Snuggly Sleeper – it doesn’t come in sizes that are suitable for Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and other colossal canines. However, it appears to be the perfect size for German shepherds, Labs and other dogs of similar size, based on the user-submitted photos.

Medium – 32 x 22”
Large – 40 x 30”

7. Majestic Pet Products Suede Dog Bed

About: Majestic Pet Product’s Suede Dog Bed is a bagel-shaped mattress that provides your dog with a comfortable and cozy place to sleep. It’s ideal for nesters, but it’ll also let your dog stretch out and use the bolster like a pillow.


  • Outside Dimensions: 52"L x 36"W, Inside Dimensions: 46"L x 30"W, Bolster: 14"H, Cushion: 10"H....
  • Waterproof Denier Base: Base of round bagel bed is made of waterproof 300/600 Denier for any...
  • Premium Materials: The dog bed is stuffed with a Premium High Loft Polyester Fil and is fully...
  • Spine Support: Bolster on the pet beds allow for dogs to rest their head and to help straighten...

This bed features a 10-inch-thick polyfill core, a 4-inch-high bolster that encircles the bed, a two-chambered microsuede cover and a waterproof 300/600 denier polyester base. The cover is completely removable (including the portion that contains the bolster) and machine washable.

The Suede Dog Bed is made in the USA, and it comes in seven attractive colors: Chocolate, Black Velvet, Gray Velvet, Navy Velvet, Rust, Sage, and Stone.


This bed provides all of the features most owners want, and it is filled with a generous amount of stuffing, which seemed to satisfy most of the dogs given the chance to try it. It may not be big enough for the biggest breeds around; but, according to the manufacturer, the 52-inch model provides sufficient support for a 70- to 110-pound dog.


The single biggest drawback to this bed is the fill material used in the core — most owners would expect a bed at this price range to feature high-quality foam, rather than polyfill. But, it is stuffed with quite a bit of polyfill (and a high-grade polyfill, at that), so it does deserve some consideration.


8. Best Friends by Sheri Luxury Shag Faux Fur Donut Cuddler

About: If you have a “nesting” dog who loves to sleep in a cozy little curl, the Best Friends by Sheri Donut Cuddler is an excellent choice. This circular dog bed features a wrap-around bolster which provides exactly the kind of body contact many nervous dogs love, and it also provides a place for your pet to lay his head.


  • Supports better sleep: Thanks to its round shape, our high-quality giant donut coddler puppy bed is...
  • Superior Comfort: Cozy, flexible and finished with faux shag fur, our self-warming oversized dog bed...
  • Versatile design: includes a completely removable zippered shell. There are 3 zippers, allowing the...
  • Pet-safe materials: durable nylon and luxurious faux fur come together to create large-breed dog...

The luxurious faux fur cover is completely removable and machine washable. Note that the manufacturer recommends that you do not air dry the bed, and instead use your dryer on a low setting. Otherwise, the faux fur can become a bit nappy. The bottom of the cover features a water- and dirt-proof covering to help ensure the bed lasts for years.

The Donut Cuddler is available in two attractive colors: Frost and Taupe.


Most owners have been very pleased by the bed. Several praised the bed’s aesthetics and dogs and owners alike seemed to like the way the cover feels. The bolster is also a nice inclusion, which helps to create a supremely cozy bed.


The manufacturer uses the word “orthopedic” a lot in this bed’s marketing materials, but they don’t indicate what the bed is filled with. A few owners reported that it seems to be some type of shredded material, but that’s hardly enough information to instill confidence.


9. MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Pet Bed

About: The MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Pet Bed is slightly different from the other beds on our list, as it doesn’t provide quite as much cushion as most of the others do. So, this bed is best used as a short-term sleeping location for your dog, rather than a bed he uses all night, every night.


  • Plush gray Ombré Swirl deluxe dog bed: Pet bed fits 42 Inches Length dog crates & works great as a...
  • Dog bed ideal for large dog breeds between 71 to 90 pounds: Pet bed measures approximately 40L x 27W...
  • Ultra soft synthetic fur & overstuffed dog bed: "Non skid" grip on the bottom of the pet bed works...
  • Dog bed looks great in the home: Ombré Swirl pattern & neutral gray color is sure to complement...

But, despite providing a bit less support than most other beds reviewed here, many dogs still find this bed to be incredibly comfortable. It features a one-piece design (there’s no removable cover) and is made from ultra-soft polyester. A non-skid bottom surface is included to keep it in place.

One neat thing about this bed is the fact that you can just chuck the whole thing in the laundry when it gets dirty – it’s completely machine washable and dryable. The Deluxe Pet Bed is backed by the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty, and it is available in three colors: Gray, Mocha, and CoCo Chic.


Most owners who tried this bed found that it worked as desired and that their dog enjoyed using it. It also provides a ton of convenience, as you can machine wash the whole thing, and it comes in several sizes that are tailored to match common crate sizes.


The most notable shortcoming of the MidWest Homes for Pets Deluxe Bed is the relative lack of support it provides. So, this bed is probably best used as a temporary or secondary bed, rather than your dog’s full-time sleeping surface.

17 x 11″
21 x 12″
23 x 18”
29 x 21”
35 x 23”
40 x 27”
46 x 29”

10. Brindle Soft Memory Foam Dog Bed

About: The Brindle Soft Memory Foam Dog Bed is designed to provide your dog with a top-notch sleeping spot at a reasonable price point. The bed provides a 3-inch-thick core comprised of shredded memory foam, so your dog will have no trouble getting a good night’s sleep on this bed.


  • A 3-inch layer of orthopedic shredded memory foam fill eliminates pressure points and increases...
  • Portable, lightweight bed is great for travel and compatible with 54" X 36" Dog crates
  • Soft, supportive consistency conforms to weight and pressure to relieve achy joints, arthritis and...
  • Soft micro suede Cover can be removed and laundered - machine wash cold To hot with bedding on...

The Brindle Memory Foam Bed is very light and comes in sizes that are designed to fit several common crates, which makes it great for pet owners who like to travel with their dog or for dogs who spend a lot of time in their crates. The cover is made from microsuede and is machine washable (just be sure to use the gentle cycle in the washer and the tumble dry setting on the dryer).

The Brindle Soft Memory Foam Dog Bed is backed by a 3-year warranty and is available in four different color combinations, including Stone, Red, Khaki, and Teal.


If you want a bed that’ll work with most crates, you should definitely consider the Brindle Soft Memory Foam Dog Beds. Of course, it’s also great for home use, and most owners had only good things to say about the bed.


As mentioned earlier, we recommend beds with a full sheet of memory foam, rather than shredded foam pieces, but sometimes you must make compromises, so we wouldn’t consider that a deal breaker. Additionally, some owners reported that their dog was able to chew up the bed pretty quickly, so this is probably not a good choice for dogs who like to chew.

17 x 11″
22 x 16″
28 x 18”
34 x 22”
40 x 26”
46 x 28”
52 x 34”

11. KOPEKS Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

About: The KOPEKS Orthopedic Dog Bed is one of the nicer models on the market. It is made with premium materials – including a 3.5- to 7-inch-thick (depending on the size), hypoallergenic memory foam composite core – and includes a number of awesome design features that’ll help your pup get a good night’s sleep.


  • Dimensions: 50”L x 34”W x 7” thick memory foam plus a 3” thick headrest
  • Hypo-allergenic premium Memory foam - not egg crate foam or other orthorpedic non memory foams -...
  • Special loving: great for pets with Arthritis or joint and muscle issues
  • Double layer protection – interior cover: waterproof fabric Zippered Cover/ exterior cover: soft,...

The bed comes with a 2 ½-inch-thick bolster (called a “pillow” by the manufacturers) which provides a place for your dog to rest his head.

The removable, machine-washable cover is made from micro suede and features a non-skid bottom surface to prevent the bed from sliding around. A waterproof internal cover is also included to protect the core from moisture.

The KOPEKS Orthopedic Bed comes in two colors: Grey and Chocolate Brown.


The KOPEKS Orthopedic Bed is a very high-quality product, and most owners raved about its quality. It is made from the best materials available, it features a removable, machine-washable cover and it comes with a bolster for your pet’s head.


The only real downside to the KOPECKS Orthopedic Bed is its price, but that’s to be expected from a true high-end product. Besides, it is much cheaper than a few of the other premium beds reviewed here.

Small – 25 x 20”
Large – 35 x 28”
Jumbo Extra Large – 50 x 34”

12. K&H Pet Products Elevated Pet Bed

About: The K&H Pet Products Elevated Bed features an entirely different design than the other beds reviewed here. Unlike the others, this bed features a cot-like design, which keeps your dog elevated.


  • Made of waterproof 600 Denier fabric designed for both indoor or outdoor use
  • The breathable mesh center helps keep pets cool and dry
  • Durable and strength tested to support up to 150 Pounds
  • Removable, washable cover is easy to clean

This completely prevents your dog’s body from digging into the floor (helping ease aching joints) and allows air to flow beneath the bed, which will keep your canine cooler.

The bed’s frame is comprised of a PVC frame that is quick and easy to assemble or disassemble (no tools necessary). Each of the feet features rubber non-skid covers to keep the bed from sliding around. The sleeping surface features a breathable mesh center panel, while the edge of the surface is covered in waterproof, 600-denier fabric.

The Elevated Pet Bed is available in three color combinations: Gray/Mesh, Chocolate/Mesh, and Chocolate/Black. The bed is backed by the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty.


Many dogs love cot-style beds, as they provide a comfortable and cool place to sleep, and this particular model seemed very popular with most dogs who tried it. Most owners also appreciated the fact that the bed was easy to move around, and it could be used indoors or outdoors. It’s also very affordable.


Most owners who tried this bed found that it worked as desired and that their dog enjoyed using it. It also provides a ton of convenience, as you can machine wash the whole thing, and it comes in several sizes that are tailored to match common crate sizes.

Small – 17 x 22”
Medium – 25 x 32”
Large – 30 x 42”
Extra Large – 32 x 50”

Dog Bed Core Materials: What’s Inside a Dog Bed?

Dog bed manufacturers usually use one of three types of material to stuff their beds, including memory foam, comfort foam and textile-based materials. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each type below.

Textiles (Polyfill, Cotton, etc.)

Textiles are typically the fill material of choice for manufacturers who are trying to keep the price of a bed as low as possible. Accordingly, most beds at the cheap end of the price spectrum feature cotton or polyfill cores.

While a bed stuffed with cotton or some other textile is certainly better than nothing, these types of fill materials don’t provide the type of support most big dogs need. Cotton and polyfill will tend to flatten under your dog’s weight, and these materials also tend to spread out to the edges of a bed, which creates a non-cushioned depression in the middle.

However, a few beds are “overstuffed” with these materials. This means that instead of using enough cotton or polyfill to create a 3- or 4-inch-thick bed, the manufacturer stuffs the bed with enough material to create an 8- to 10-inch-thick bed. Such beds provide much more comfort and support than typical textile-filled beds do, and they are sometimes suitable for large dogs.

Comfort Foam

Comfort foam is typically made from polyethylene, polyurethane or similar materials. This type of foam is often used in couch cushions and other types of furniture, and it provides a pretty nice combination of comfort and support. Beds made with comfort foam are often a good choice for large dogs.

Note that there is nothing preventing manufacturers from slapping the word “orthopedic” on a bed made from comfort foam. And while such beds may very well provide orthopedic benefits to your dog, the use of this term doesn’t imply that the bed provides any specific orthopedic value.

There are a variety of different types of comfort foam available, although relatively few bed manufacturers indicate the specific type of comfort foam used in their bed.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is one of the most expensive fill materials used in dog beds, but it also provides better support and cushion than most other fill materials. Generally speaking, it is the best choice for large dogs and it usually makes sense to pay a bit more to obtain a bed made with it.

Memory foam is a pretty nifty material, which was originally developed by NASA. It is primarily made from polyurethane, but it also contains other chemicals that give it special properties. Most notably, memory foam temporarily deforms when exposed to heat (such as that provided by your dog’s body).

This allows the foam to cradle your dog’s body perfectly when he lays down and provide exactly the type of support your pet needs. Later, when your dog gets up, the foam will slowly flatten back out (it “remembers” the original shape).

Additional Dog Bed Core Considerations

Now that you are familiar with the most common materials used to stuff dog beds, there are two other important things to keep in mind when trying to pick a bed for your big dog.

1. Try to pick a bed with a solid sheet of memory foam, rather than shredded foam pieces.

Most of the best beds for big dogs feature a full sheet of memory foam, but some manufacturers stuff their beds with tiny pieces of memory foam instead.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a bed that features a core made from shredded foam products, but it will eliminate the primary benefit provided by memory foam. So, while you’ll still be paying for memory foam, the bed won’t provide the type of support a bed with a full sheet of memory foam will.

Shredded bits of memory foam are cheaper for manufacturers to source, and they still get to advertise the bed as being made from memory foam.

2. Composite beds, which are made from multiple types of foam, are acceptable.

Memory foam is somewhat pricey, so manufacturers often like to come up with ways to keep the costs of memory foam beds low.

One way they often do this is by using more than one sheet of foam; they’ll use one or more sheets of comfort foam to provide a strong base, and then lay a sheet of memory foam on top to provide the comfort your canine deserves.

Although it may be preferable to look for beds that feature a full memory foam core, several very high-quality beds do feature these types of composite cores, made from multiple different layers. 

How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Good Bed and a Bad Bed?

Many owners become overwhelmed when they start shopping for a dog bed. The market is full of options and most feature a litany of claims about memory foam this, or orthopedic that.

But we’re here to help.

First of all, ignore most of the marketing language describing the various products – any manufacturer can call a bed “orthopedic,” even if it is stuffed with pocket lint. Instead, focus on the characteristics and features most good beds have. This includes things like:

The Bed Should Be Thick

Unless you are eyeing a cot-style bed for your pup, you’ll want to make sure that you select one that is thick enough to support your pet. Even if you choose a bed with the finest-quality memory foam available, you’ll need to be sure you select one thick enough to keep your dog’s hips and shoulders from pressing on the floor below.

There’s no good hard-and-fast rule regarding bed thickness, as your dog’s weight and size, as well as the grade memory foam used in the bed, will all influence the answer.

However, we generally regard 4-inches as the minimum necessary thickness for a big dog’s bed.

Look For a Removable and Machine-Washable Cover

Your dog’s bed will become pretty dirty over time, so it is always wise to restrict your choices to those models that feature a removable, machine-washable cover.

Note that some covers can be machine-washed but should not be used in a dryer. If you’re willing to hang-dry the cover, there’s no reason you can’t select a bed with such a cover.

Look For a Non-Skid Bottom Surface

If you intend to place your dog’s bed on a slick or hard surface (including linoleum, hardwood or the bottom of your pet’s crate), you’ll definitely want a bed with a non-skid bottom. Otherwise, you’ll notice the bed migrating around quite a bit, as it’ll slip and slide each time your dog lays down or stands up.

Most non-skid beds feature a rubberized, textured surface on the bottom.

Will Your Buddy Benefit From Bolsters?

Bolsters are basically cushions attached to a dog bed. For most pooches, they’re a welcome addition, and they give your dog a place to rest his head or paws. They also give “nesters” a cozy place to carve out a nightly nook.

Bolsters do reduce the amount of sleeping space provided a tiny bit, so keep this in mind if your dog will be pushing the size recommendation for a given bed. Also, be sure that the bolsters are either removable or otherwise easy to wash – they’ll get dirty just like the rest of the bed.

Dog Bed Use Tips: Keeping Your Pooch’s Bed Functional & Clean

Once you get your bed, you’ll want to take good care of it so that it lasts a long time (some of the best beds on the market will likely last your dog’s entire life with proper care).

You’ll also want it to remain as comfortable and supportive as possible, so your four-footed bestie can enjoy night after night of blissful sleep.

Among other things, this means doing the following:

Wash the cover regularly. Your dog’s bed – specifically the cover – will become covered in dirt, sweat, drool, hair and little drops of pee over time. Washing the bed regularly will not only make it less gross, it’ll help keep the cover last longer. Just be sure not to wash it too frequently – that’ll cause it to wear out prematurely. Once or twice a month is likely an appropriate schedule.

Use a waterproof inner cover if your dog is incontinent or accident-prone. Unfortunately, many older dogs begin having trouble controlling their bladders as they age, and younger dogs frequently have accidents while learning the ins and outs of housebreaking. So, to protect the inner core of a bed from moisture, a waterproof inner liner is a must.

Consider flipping the bed over periodically. Just like some human mattresses can be flipped over and used on either side, some dog beds can also be “rotated” in this way. This will help prevent the development of “imprints” or weak spots in the foam.

Consider throwing a blanket over your dog’s bed. If you really want to protect the cover of your dog’s bed, you can just use a blanket to cover it up. You may not want to do this if your dog really seems to enjoy the fabric used on the sleeping surface, but a blanket is generally much cheaper to replace than a dog bed. You may want to also consider purchasing a few spare covers, if the bed you choose offers replacement covers (many do).

Try to keep the bed away from sun-bathed areas. The sun’s rays can cause the fabric used in your dog’s bed cover to become discolored over time. So, try to pick a place without a window (particularly a southern-facing exposure, if you live in the northern hemisphere).

Additionally, before you let your dog start sleeping on the bed, it’s always a good idea to let the bed expand (if necessary) and off-gas for at least 24 hours or so. Many foam-based beds will emit unpleasant odors for a day (sometimes more) when first opened.

While the fumes released from high-quality, US-made beds are unlikely to seriously sicken your pup, they may make him feel lousy or nauseous if he’s inundated by them.

In Summary: Choosing the Best Dog Bed For Large Breeds

Dog beds vary in quality and price – cheaper dog beds will provide only a thin layer of memory foam (if any), combined with lesser foam, egg crate foam, or other filler. Dogs spend a lot of time sleeping, so it’s important to pick a high-quality dog bed for your aging canine.

While these options work fine for many, those with larger, older dogs who are suffering from arthritis will likely want to purchase a dog bed with full authentic orthopedic memory foam. 

For those situations, we’d recommend picking up the Big Barker (#1), which gets outstanding, unparalleled praise from owners. You’d also be well off trying any other beds which also offer authentic, thick slab memory foam.

WINNER: If we had to choose one single winner, it would be the Big Barker Dog Bed. Many of these dog beds for big dogs can fit your needs, and ultimately the best dog bed for your large dog will depend on your unique situation, but as the Big Barker has received nothing but adoration from owners, we can’t help but award them as our top pick.

Liked this post? Also check out our critique of the best dog food for big dogs to ensure you large canine stays healthy!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!


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You should probably base your Reviews for best bed for large dogs on price in addition to customer feedback. Pretty bias review. The Big Barker bed is over $200 and the Dog Bed King cuddler is $50.

Meg Marrs

Hey Nick – we try to think more in terms of value (what you get for your dollar) than price. While the Big Barker is expensive, it’s by far the highest quality of all dog beds listed here, which is why it’s our top pick! It also has a 10 year warranty, which we think goes a long way into making it a great choice in terms of value.


I think the King Cuddler is pretty cute – unusual to find a bed in that shape for large dogs.

Meg Marrs

I agree Gina – the raised edges are great for cuddlers!

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I agree to you. Big Barker is really one of the best dog beds for larger dogs. It seems to be featured in the market. I also like it. Beside, Orthopedic memory foam is also popular today.


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