They may wear a fur coat all year long, but dogs can still get chilly in the winter – especially if forced to sleep on a cold floor or a substandard bed.
And while some breeds are insulated enough to keep them warm while sleeping on an iceberg, most dogs prefer a nice warm place to sleep when the days are short and the nights long.
Fortunately, there are a number of great beds available that will help keep your dog warm and comfy through even the longest winters. Below, we’ll examine a few of the best warm dog beds and discuss some of the major considerations you’ll want to keep in mind when making your selection.
See our quick picks below, or continue reading for full details and reviews.
Quick Picks: Best Warm Beds for Cold Winter Nights
- #1 Pick: Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed. A durable and well-made bed, the Aspen Pet Bed features heat-reflecting layers and is available in sizes appropriate for dogs of all sizes.
- #2 Pick: Blueberry Pet Heavy-Duty Bed. This sofa-style pet bed provides excellent support for your pet and is available with your choice of cover materials (canvas or microsuede).
- #3 Pick: Best Friends by Sheri Shag Cuddler. A donut-shaped dog bed covered in luxurious faux-fur, the Shag Cuddler is a great option for dogs who like to curl up or “nest” while they sleep.
Types of Warm Dog Beds
There are four basic ways dog beds can help keep your pet warm, although there is a bit of crossover at times.
In order of increasing warmth:
Traditional beds keep your dog warm by insulating him from the cold ground or floor.
Generally speaking, the more material used to stuff the bed, the warmer it will keep your dog, so look for traditional beds that have 4-inches or more of loft. Additionally, bolsters will help further insulate your dog, so they’re typically desirable as well.
Enclosed (“Cuddler”) Beds
Cuddler beds provide insulation to help retain your pet’s body heat like traditional beds do, but they take things a step farther. Typically, cuddler beds have a half-dome roof, which works somewhat like a blanket, and gives your pooch a place to burrow in and stay toasty.
Some dogs don’t like sleeping in this type of covered manner, so it is not appropriate for all individuals. However, this style of bed can be quite desirable for more anxious-prone pups, serving as a calming dog bed that can help a pup feel safe and secure.
Self-heating beds incorporate highly reflective metal film (similar to that used in the making of “survival blankets”), which redirects a significant amount of the heat radiated from your pet’s body right back at him. Because they provide a great deal of warmth, yet are very affordable and require no electricity, these have quickly become the preferred style for many owners.
Electric beds work just like heating pads or electric blankets. They have enclosed heating elements, which warm up when the unit is plugged into a wall outlet. Some models include a pre-set thermostat, while others feature an adjustable thermostat, which you can set at the desired temperature.
Things to Look for When Selecting a Bed
There are a few things you’ll want to seek out when picking any bed, and there are a few additional characteristics to look for when trying to find one that will keep your dog especially warm.
Cheap dog beds often flatten with use, which not only makes them less comfortable, it means they won’t keep your dog as warm as a loftier bed will. You’ll usually want to go with a bed that is at least 4 inches thick, unless you have a big dog. In this case, you’ll want to look for a mattress that is 6 inches thick or more.
Removable and Machine-Washable Cover
Even if you have a neat and tidy pooch, you’ll need to wash your dog’s bed cover regularly. Otherwise it will become coated in saliva, little drops of urine, hair, and dirt, making it unhygienic and smelly. Most modern beds include removable covers, but a few budget-priced models forego this feature and should be avoided whenever possible.
You don’t want your dog hanging off the bed and resting his head or legs on the floor. Not only is this uncomfortable for your pooch, it won’t keep him as warm as he’d be if he fit properly on his bed.
The Eight Best Warm Beds for Cold Winter Nights
There are a variety of great dog beds on the market, but some will keep your dog warmer than others. Any of the eight options detailed here should keep your canine cozy when the mercury falls.
We’ve included beds of all four styles mentioned above: traditional, cuddler, self-heating and electric.
1. Aspen Pet Self Warming Beds
About: The Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed is designed to keep your pet warm via a layer of heat-reflective material located inside the mattress. This will allow you to keep your dog warmer than most traditional beds can, but without the need for electricity.
- HEAT-REFLECTING TECHNOLOGY: This large round dog & cat bed features a Mylar interior layer that...
- LARGE PET BED: The comfy faux lambswool pet bed for dogs & cats is designed with plush sides for...
- DOG BEDS: Pets can feel at home both in the house & on-the-go with a variety of beds for cats & dogs...
- ASPEN PET: Aspen Pet provides every day essentials for pet parents, dogs & cats. Check out Aspen...
Features: The primary distinguishing feature of the Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed is the internal reflective film, which reflects your pet’s radiant heat right back toward his body. This type of technology works without electricity, and yet is very effective at maintaining a warm temperature for your pup.
The bed’s exterior is covered in corduroy and a non-skid bottom, while the interior features a faux lamb’s wool for maximum warmth.
The Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed is available in several different configurations and sizes.
We recommend one of the models with bolsters for maximum warmth. This includes a 19-inch-diameter round model that is suitable for very small dogs, or any of three rectangular lounger style beds, with sizes ranging from 24-inches by 20-inches to 35-inches by 27-inches. They also offer a 27-by-36 non-bolstered, pillow-style bed.
PROS: The Aspen Self-Warming Bed was very well-received by dogs and owners alike. Most owners were happy with the heat-reflecting technology used in the bed, and appreciated that it was completely safe. Dogs seemed to love the warmth and most used the bed eagerly.
It is also nice to be able to choose from several different shapes and sizes, to select the perfect dimensions for your dog. It can be hard to find a bed suitable for really big dogs, but the largest lounger model should work for pretty large canines.
CONS: The most common complaint from owners who tried the Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed related to the reflective film inside the base. Although the majority of owners confirmed that the material certainly keeps their pet warm, some reported that the crinkly sounds it made put some pets off.
Some owners also suggested that the sounds made by the film set off their dog’s predatory instincts and encouraged intense chewing sessions. Whether or not that is the reason they did so, many problem chewers appeared especially eager to destroy their Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed – so you may want to avoid if you have a heavy chewer on your hands. However, this is likely true for any self-heating bed of this style.
2. Blueberry Pet Heavy-Duty Pet Bed
About: The Blueberry Pet Heavy-Duty Pet Bed is a traditional-style pet bed that features a wrap-around bolster to keep your pet warm and cozy while he’s sleeping.
- External dimension 25"x 21"x 10", internal dimension 14"x 11.5"x 5.5", weight 6 Lbs; Please add...
- This sophisticated bolstered dog bed will be delivered with Rolled up cover. Unwrap the cover and...
- Made of thick microsuede fabric, scratching-resistant. Filled with 100% Recyclable eco-friendly...
- Microsuede soft cover is fully removable and washable. The durable YKK zips makes it easy to unzip...
Features: The Blueberry Pet Heavy-Duty Pet Bed comes with your choice of canvas or microsuede cover. The bed is actually shipped unassembled, and you’ll need to stuff it with the included fill material (which is 100% recyclable and eco-friendly) once you receive it.
This bed is available in several different colors, and it comes in two sizes: small and medium. The cover is machine washable (use cold water and dry on a low-heat setting) and features heavy-duty YKK zippers.
The Blueberry Pet Heavy-Duty Bed is made in the USA.
PROS: Most owners liked the Blueberry Pet Bed, and dogs seemed to find it very comfortable. By and large, owners found the bed durable and well-made (the zippers, in particular, received quite a bit of praise). Several owners also mentioned that it held up well to machine washing and kept its shape.
CONS: Complaints about this bed were rare, but a few owners were annoyed that it came unassembled. A few also felt that it lacked sufficient padding and that the canvas-covered version was too rough for their dog.
3. Best Friends by Sheri Shag Cuddler
About: The Best Friends by Sheri Cuddler Bed is a luxurious, donut-shaped bed that will keep your pet warm and toasty. The bed’s raised circular ring will not only keep your dog warmer, it’ll give him a great place to rest his head.
- CALMING DOG BED SUPPORTS BETTER SLEEP: Thanks to its round shape, our high-quality Donut Cuddler cat...
- SUPERIOR COMFORT: Cozy, flexible, and finished with vegan faux shag fur, our warming luxury dog bed...
- VERSATILE DESIGN and MAINTENANCE: Available in beautifully natural colors, our cat and dog donut...
- PET-SAFE MATERIALS: Tested through Consumer Product Safety Commission certified labs to ensure...
Features: Despite being pretty plush, the Best Friends by Sheri Cuddler Bed is a pretty simple pet bed that is ideal for pups that like to curl up when sleeping.
It features a nylon and pet-safe faux fur exterior, while the inside is stuffed with a generous amount of fill material. The bottom is water- and dirt-resistant, and the entire bed is machine washable. In fact, to prevent the shag exterior from matting, the manufacturer cautions against letting it air dry.
You can get this bed in a few different sizes, ranging from 23″ x 23″ to 45″ x 45″, and it comes in two colors: Taupe and Frost.
PROS: The vast majority of owners who tried the Best Friends by Sheri Cuddler Bed — even those few who didn’t like the bed overall — loved the way the faux fur exterior felt. Dogs, for their part, seemed to agree, and most loved using the bed. The bed also looks great, which made owners like it even more.
CONS: Several owners complained that this bed did not have enough padding — particularly in the middle. Accordingly, this may be a great bed for young and healthy pups, but it isn’t a great choice for dogs who need lots of support and padding.
4. BarksBar Cozy Cuddler
About: The BarksBar Cozy Cuddler is a super-snuggly round pet bed with incredibly fluffy, wraparound bolsters, which will keep your pet feeling safe and warm all night long.
- Medium Cozy Curler: 36” x 36” x 14” - Perfect size for small to medium dogs...
- Inner Dimension Sleeping Space: 15” x 15” x 10” - Crafted with high quality...
- Premium Materials Include: (1) Double layered Orthopedic foam to balance and...
- User Friendly Design: Includes 3 zippers for ease of deconstruction and cleaning....
Features: The Cozy Cuddler’s super-padded, cotton-filled bolsters are the first thing most owners will notice about this bed, but it has a number of other things going for it too, such as a double-layered orthopedic foam core.
It also features three different zippers, which make taking the bed apart a breeze. The manufacturer recommends vacuuming the bed periodically to keep it looking good, but you can also machine wash the cover on a gentle cycle.
The bed measures approximately 36″ x 36″, which the manufacturer says is large enough for dogs up to about 70 pounds. In fact, based on owner-provided photos, it may work for dogs even slightly larger than this.
The Cozy Cuddler is white in color.
PROS: While the Cozy Cuddler hasn’t received a ton of reviews, those owners who have shared their thoughts have rated it incredibly well. It not only seems extremely soft and comfy, but many owners also praised the orthopedic foam core, which appears to provide excellent support for dogs.
CONS: There just weren’t any complaints about this bed, save for one owner who received a bed with a broken zipper. It would be nice if the bed came in multiple colors, but that won’t be a problem for your dog at all.
5. K&H Pet Products Self-Warming Lounge Sleeper Bed
About: The K&H Lounge Sleeper Bed is a self-warming bed that contains reflective interior materials to keep your pup toasty without the need for electricity.
- WARMTH: Plush self-warming pet bed for dogs and cats
- TECHNOLOGY: Made with the same technology as “space blankets” self-warming mylar
- BODY HEAT: Warming dog bed effectively retains and reflects your pet’s body heat
- SELF-WARMING: No electricity required for this warming cat bed
Features: The K&H Lounge Sleeper Bed features a multi-layer fabric that helps to keep your pet warm in two different ways. The outer layer provides insulation, while the inner layer features a special material that reflects your dog’s body heat right back toward him.
The K&H Lounge Sleeper Bed is also stuffed with plenty of fill material to provide the comfort and support your pet deserves. The fill material is made from recycled plastic bottles, and the bottom of the bed is covered in a non-slip material.
This specific model is only available in one size: 16″ x 20″. However, they offer a very similar model that is available in larger sizes.
This bed does not have a removable cover, but you can simply machine wash it in cold water (be sure to use the gentle cycle) as needed. You can air dry it or toss it in your dryer on a low heat setting.
PROS: Most owners loved the K&H Lounge Sleeper Bed, as did their pets. Most reported that it was very well-made, soft, and supportive, and several owners specifically mentioned that the bed looks great too. Additionally, unlike some other self-warming pet beds that don’t hold up well to machine washing, several owners were excited to find that it came out of the wash in great condition.
CONS: While most pet owners seemed to love the K&H Lounge Sleeper Bed, several did complain that it wasn’t terribly durable. Additionally, a handful of owners complained that the center of the bed had too much fill material for their pet.
6. Sofantex Plush Pet Cave Bed
About: The Sofantex Cave Bed is a great option for dogs who like to burrow deep into their bed. If your dog typically tries to make a “nest” in his regular bed, this may be a great way to give him the body-contact he desires.
- Perfect combination of comfort and superior durability for a perfect pet bed; keeps your pet warm...
- Made from the highest quality materials, ensuring a longer lasting and more comfortable product
- Features an ultra plush polyester sherpa lining with skid-resistant base
- Easy care; machine washable cover with removable zippered dome
Features: The Sofantex Cave Bed features a Sherpa polyester lining, which will keep your canine cozy while he sleeps, and a non-skid base to ensure the bed stays where you want it.
Available in both Red and Coffee colors, this bed looks great and is built to last. The dome is removable via a zipper on the back, so if your pooch is feeling more social, he won’t be forced to hide away if he doesn’t want to. The entire cover is machine washable – all you need to do is unzip the outer layer and throw it in the wash.
This bed is available with either a 25- or 30-inch diameter, although both are most suitable for relatively small dogs. The smaller size is suitable for dogs below about 20 pounds, while the larger may accept dogs in the 30-pound-range. However, because dogs come in different shapes and sizes, it is difficult to predict the appropriate size with certainty.
PROS: A number of owners reported that the Sofantex Cave Bed was more durable than they’d have thought. Others were very happy with the aesthetics of the bed, and loved that it was easy to keep clean. Most dogs also appear to love it, although some didn’t seem to use it as intended (more on this below).
Being able to remove the top during the warm months is an added bonus, which makes the bed quite versatile. Finally, the Sofantex bed is very affordable, especially considering the quality materials and craftsmanship it bears.
CONS: The most common problems mentioned by owners related to sizing problems or the fact that the half-dome top would not stay upright. This meant that many dogs simply lay on top of the entire bed, squishing the top under their body. The bed may still be useable like this, but it certainly defeats most of the point.
A few owners complained that the bed had a plastic odor for several days after opening the product, so you may want to air it out for a few days or go ahead and wash it before using it. A few customers also complained that it was not chew-proof, but it is not advertised as such, nor are any of the other beds in this review.
7. K&H Manufacturing Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper
About: The K&H Manufacturing Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper is an electric-warming pet bed with a plush pillow and 5-inch bolster to keep your dog as warm as possible. The heating element in this bed is removable, allowing you to machine wash the bed as needed to get rid of dirt and odor.
- HEATED DOG BED: This cuddler style heated dog bed cradles your pet in warmth and comfort; features...
- OPTIMAL TERMPERATURE: Electric heated dog bed is thermostatically controlled to automatically warm...
Features: The K&H Manufacturing Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper has an internal heating device to actively provide heat to your dog, unlike traditional beds or those with heat-reflective films, which simply contain or redirect your dog’s body heat. This provides a much more effective way to provide high levels of heat and keep your dog warm in especially cool conditions.
This heavy-duty warming power might be best suited for dogs with outdoor dog houses or who hang in outdoor garages during freezing cold temps. Still, there’s always a degree of added danger when involving electricity. If your dog’s a heavy chewer, you’ll certainly want to avoid anything electric with those chew-tempting wires.
However, if your dog is relatively calm and not a ferocious chomper, electric beds can work. We always suggest covering any wires for added safety and keeping them as far and removed from your pet as possible.
This bed is actually designed to be operated continuously, so you don’t have to worry about turning it on or off throughout the day. Just plug it in and let your pet use it as he wishes.
The bed is certified by MET Laboratories and exceeds the safety standards for both American- and Canadian-made products.
When it comes to sizing, the bed is oval-shaped and comes in medium (20-inches by 26-inches) or large (24-inches by 31-inches) sizes. The bed is also covered by a 1-year limited warranty.
PROS: Most owners were very happy with the Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper, and they reported that it kept their dog happy and warm through the night. The entire bed is well-made, including the bolster section. Two-inches-thick and 5-inches-tall, the bolster is reportedly quite sturdy and helps to contain some of the heat coming from your pet and the included heating element.
Although this bed requires electricity, it doesn’t require very much, and it is unlikely to have a significant effect on your heating bill. Additionally, the testing procedures undertaken during the production of the bed help ensure that it is very safe, which will give you a little peace of mind.
CONS: As few owners complained that the heating element was underpowered or undersized. However, none of these complaints were especially common, and they were certainly not representative.
8. K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pet Bed
About: The K&H Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Bed is an electric dog bed that is great for dogs who must sleep outside at night. However, this bed can also be used indoors, if your house is particularly cool or your dog just likes to be extra warm.
No products found.
Features: The bed’s cover is made from a soft, absorbent PVC material that is both durable and comfortable. You can use this bed indoors, but it’s actually designed for outdoor use. Accordingly, this bed pumps out quite a bit of heat and is rated for sub-zero temperatures. However, it doesn’t require much juice to keep your pet warm, so it won’t cause your heating bill to explode.
This bed is available in three sizes, including small (14” x 18”), medium (19” x 24”), and large (25” x 36”). The cover is removable for easy washing, but we couldn’t find any information on whether or not the liner was machine-washable. Nearly all liners are, but we still recommend washing gently.
PROS: Most owners were very happy with this bed, and dogs seemed to love using it. It appears especially useful for large dogs who live outdoors or struggle with joint problems. Most owners report that it held up well to normal wear and tear, and several praised the cover and the heavy-duty electric cord.
CONS: This bed is not a good option for dogs who like to chew, as several owners reported their dog was able to access the heating element after a brief bit of chewing.
Our Recommendation: The Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed
Any of the six beds detailed above should help keep your dog warm, but only a few come in a variety of sizes.
However, the Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bed comes in three different configurations and multiple sizes, making it suitable for dogs of varying shapes and sizes. It doesn’t require any electricity, and there is no reason to worry about your pet’s safety.
What Kinds of Dogs Benefit Most from Warm Beds?
Again, not all dogs will need an especially warm bed if they are sleeping indoors. Your malamute, for example, would probably go play in a blizzard if you let him; he’s probably not going to get chilly while sleeping in your climate-controlled house.
But other dogs will benefit significantly if given the chance to snooze on a warm-and-cozy bed each night. Some of the dogs that will benefit most include the following:
Because dogs are always radiating heat into the cold winter air, those with more surface area relative to their volume will get chillier quicker than those who have a lot of volume and a relatively small amount of surface area.
I’m not going into the math, but, assuming they are the same shape, small dogs have much more surface area relative to their volume than large dogs do. This means that small dogs will usually appreciate a warm bed.
Like small dogs, those with a lanky build have more surface area relative to their volume than thicker dogs of the same size. This means that, generally speaking, greyhounds, whippets, and salukis will appreciate a warm bed more than bulldogs and mastiffs will.
Dogs with Short Fur
Your dog’s fur works like insulation and helps keep him warm. Accordingly, those with more fur will generally remain warmer in cool temperatures than those with short hair will.
So, if you have a Rhodesian ridgeback, Chinese crested or pit bull, you’ll probably want to give serious consideration to obtaining an extra warm bed.
Dogs Suffering from Hip, Elbow or Spine Issues
Much like they do for people who suffer from bone or joint pain, cold temperatures can make your dog more miserable than usual. But a warm bed – particularly a bed made for dogs with hip dysplasia and other problems – will help cut the chill and keep your canine more comfortable.
Dogs Who Must Sleep Outside
Dogs who sleep outdoors must always be given a safe, warm, and dry shelter into which they can retreat, but it is also a good idea to give these dogs the warmest bed you can to ensure they don’t suffer and shiver through the night.
In fact, it is probably better to avoid this practice entirely, but that’s not always possible (for example, some dogs have jobs to do outdoors during the night). Just be sure that you always keep your dog’s safety and comfort in mind if you must make him sleep outdoors.
If your dog sleeps outside, make sure to check out our articles on the best winter dog houses, top ideas for dog house bedding, and strategies for heating an outdoor dog house without electricity!
There’s no easy formula to use when selecting the proper dog bed size, as different dogs sleep in different positions. Just try to measure the amount of space your dog takes up when sleeping comfortably and look for a bed that matches this size.
Does your dog enjoy an especially warm bed? We’d love to know about the make and model you’ve given him. Let us know all about your experiences below, in the comments.
December 26, 2019
Our dog prefers our human queen sized bed, and she sleeps right in between us. Crowds us out a bit, but nice to cuddle with and keep warm for her………and us. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Feeling guilty that she has a better bed to sleep on than poor baby Jesus did when having to have to sleep in that manger full of straw. My mother grew up on a poor farm in Michigan, and they used to have to sleep on mattresses filled with straw. She said believe you me, they weren’t comfortable, and that’s where the old chlche came out of:
Goodnite and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Love ya Ma & miss ya. Merry Christmas!
December 25, 2019
I have recently read some scientific info which links the toxic off-gassing from materials, dyes, and other chemicals in most pet beds as well as many popular dog chew toys to the rise of cancer in pets in recent years. While there is also lot of data linking poor nutrition from processed pet foods, and exposure to chemicals on lawns and elsewhere not only cancer but to increasing other health problems and even death in pets, the caution about the dangers of most pet beds on the market has sent me in search of non-toxic alternatives. There are a few out there and I recommend you do some research and share your findings. At least include beds made with non-toxic materials in your next review. Thank you!
December 25, 2019
That sounds interesting, we’ll certainly look into that Maria! Any chance you can link us to the study you were reading? I’d love to find out more.