Ever try to sleep without a pillow? It’s not very much fun, is it?
It’s just hard to get comfy without a good place to rest your noggin’ while nappin’.
And as it turns out, lots of dogs also appreciate having an elevated place to rest their heads. And fortunately, there’s a ready-made solution for these kinds of doggos: They’re called bolster beds.
Essentially, bolster beds for dogs are like traditional dog beds, except that they feature a padded “pillow” that stretches along one or more sides of the bed. This gives your pet a place to rest his weary head, and it can even offer a bit of additional security that many dogs appreciate.
We’ll talk about some of the reasons many dogs love bolster beds, explain some of the things to think about when picking one for your pooch, and identify the seven best bolster beds on the market below!
Best Dog Beds with Bolsters: Quick Picks
- #1 Omlet Memory Foam Bolster Bed [Best Overall Dog Bed with Bolsters]: An elevated bolster bed that you can customize for your specific pet, this is easily the best bolster bed we’ve found for four-footers.
- #2 PetFusion Lounge Bed [Best Dog Bed with Bolsters (Runner Up)]: Another very high-quality bolster bed, the PetFusion Lounge Bed is great for owners and dogs who don’t want an elevated design.
- #3 Joyelf Memory Foam Pet Bed [Most Affordable Memory Foam Bolster Bed]: Perfect for pet parents in need of a memory foam bolster bed, this affordable bed will keep your canine comfy and well-supported.
Why Bolster Dog Beds?
So, why exactly do some dogs just love bolster beds? We’re so glad you asked!
There are three primary reasons many dogs love bolster beds:
- Bolsters provide your dog with a place to rest his head while sleeping or simply relaxing. This helps keep your pet’s spine straight, thereby resulting in better comfort and rest.
- Dog beds with bolsters provide a raised edge that can make nervous dogs feel more secure. This is likely a leftover from your pup’s evolutionary past, as wild animals often like to sleep up against something, as it makes them feel protected from that direction.
- Bolsters can help keep dogs a bit warmer. This isn’t an issue for many dogs, but little lap dogs, thin-coated breeds, and long-and-lanky dogs often have a bit more trouble keeping warm in cool temperatures, so they often love the extra warmth the bolsters can provide.
But there are also a few other benefits bolster beds provide in some circumstances.
For example, if you like putting a bed in your dog’s crate, the bolsters will help prevent your dog from having to lean up against the bars or crate wall while sleeping — the bolsters will provide a bit of cushion for your canine.
Additionally, many owners just like the way dog bolster beds look. We get it! They kinda look like cute little canine couches, and let’s face it: We’re all susceptible to the appeal of doggo-adorableness!
The 7 Best Dog Beds With Bolsters: Reviews & Info
Ready to hook your pooch up with a bolster bed? Any of the seven listed below should be a great place to start!
1. Omlet Bolster Bed
About: The Omlet Memory Foam Bolster Bed is one of the relatively few elevated dog bolster beds on the market, but that’s not its only claim to fame. It’s also customizable, so you can get the specific features you need for your pet. And to top it all off, it is simply a very high-quality bed that’ll keep your pet comfortable while snoozing.
Omlet Memory Foam Bolster Bed
A premium bolster bed that provides unparalleled comfort and support for Fido.
- Thick memory foam slab provides support for your dog’s joints
- Cover is removable and machine washable
- Elevated design provides additional comfort and air flow
- Large bolster gap at the front allows for easy entry
- Available with your choice of 5 different types of feet
- You can add a matching blanket to your order
- These beds are available in 15 eye-popping colors
- Small (25″ x 18.8″)
- Medium (34.4″ x 21.8″)
- Large ( 41.5″ x 28.1″)
- These beds are very customizable, allowing you to design the perfect bolster bed for your pooch
- Comes with a removable, machine-washable cover
- Thick memory foam core provides fantastic support
- Elevated design helps keep your pet cooler in the summer and helps reduce odors
- The assembly instructions aren’t very helpful
- These beds are pretty expensive
2. PetFusion Lounge Bed
About: The PetFusion Lounge Bed is a high-end memory foam dog bed, featuring bolsters that wrap almost completely around the bed. According to the manufacturer, it can reduce arthritis pain and increase mobility; according to dogs, it’s just plain comfy.
- Built around a 4-inch-thick memory foam base
- The cover is both water- and tear-resistant
- The cover is easy to remove and can be machine washed
- The bolsters are filled with recycled polyfill
- Includes an anti-skid bottom to keep it in place
- Replacement covers are available
- Small (25″ x 20″)
- Large (36″ x 28″)
- Extra Large (44″ x 34″)
- XXL (50″ x 40″)
- The 4-inch-thick memory foam core provides unparalleled comfort
- Durable, water- and tear-resistant cover should hold up for a long time
- Cover is removable and machine washable
- The availability of replacement covers is a huge perk for this bed
- While not the most expensive bolster bed around, it costs more than many others
- Some owners complained of an odor associated with the foam
3. Bagel Bolster Dog Bed
About: The Bagel Bolster Dog Bed is an ultra-soft oval- or bagel-shaped bolstered bed that is perfect for dogs who like to curl up when sleeping. Best of all, it’s made in the USA from premium materials and available in several attractive colors.
- Designed like an oval rather than a rectangle for maximum coziness
- Main portion of the cover is made from suede; bottom is waterproof denier
- The stuffing is made from premium polyester fiberfill
- The entire bed is machine washable (use an oversized washing machine)
- Available in 7 colors, including chocolate, navy blue, and more
- The two largest sizes have removable covers
- Manufactured in the USA
- 24″ x 18″
- 32″ x 18″
- 40″ x 29″
- 52″ x 36″
- The oval shape provides more comfort and security for some dogs
- Owners were impressed with the bed’s construction and durability
- This bed is available in a variety of sizes and colors to suit every situation
- You can just chuck this whole thing in the washing machine
- There were complaints about stuffing clumping after several washes
- Several owners reported problems with the zipper
- It doesn’t include any memory or orthopedic foam (but not all dogs need these)
4. Serta Orthopedic Quilted Couch
About: The Serta Orthopedic Quilted Couch is a mid-priced bolster dog bed that makes it easy for dogs to climb in. This makes it perfect for skittish doggos, who may be put off by beds featuring wraparound bolsters.
- Features 4 layers of orthopedic egg crate foam to support your pet
- Designed like a sofa bed with bolsters on the back and sides only
- Removable, machine-washable cover
- Comes in 7 colors, including black plaid, burgundy, faux leather, and more
- 34″ x 24″
- Bolster-free front section provides easy entry for skittish doggos
- Owners report that it keeps its shape well over time
- The vast majority of dogs appear to find this bed super comfortable
- The side bolsters slope down and the front lacks a bolster entirely, making it a poor choice for “nesters”
- It’s only available in one size
5. K&H Bolster Bed
About: Made by a brand with a well-earned reputation for producing quality dog beds, the K&H Bolster Bed is the ideal choice for owners who prize careful attention to detail. Featuring high-quality materials and craftsmanship, this bed left most owners raving about the quality.
- Cover is made from a soft, velvety micro suede material
- The base is built around a 3-inch-thick medical grade orthopedic foam
- Bolsters are stuffed with recycled polyfill material
- The cover is removable and machine washable
- Quilted fleece laying surface features fancy piping for extra comfort and style
- Small: 20″ x 16″
- Medium: 18.5″ x 18″
- Large: 7″ x 26″
- Extra Large: 35″ x 34″
- Most owners raved about the quality of these beds (and dogs seem to find them very comfy)
- The core and bolsters fit in separate compartments, making removal easy
- Micro suede cover will feel great against your dog’s skin
- Several owners complained that repeated washing compromised the bed’s structure
- The core doesn’t seem waterproof at all
6. BarksBar Orthopedic Snuggly Sleeper
About: The BarksBar Orthopedic Snuggly Sleeper is an affordable bolster that allows you to stay within your budget without compromising on quality. This bed features an orthopedic rather than memory foam base, which is a better option for some dogs and situations.
- Core is comprised of a 4-inch-thick layer of orthopedic foam
- Quilted cover is made from high-quality polyester
- Bolster is stuffed with padded cotton
- Non-slip rubber backing on the base keeps the bed where you put it
- Cover is removable and machine washable
- Medium: 32″ x 22″
- Large: 40″ x 30″
- This bed is quite affordable for a bolster bed
- Despite being pretty affordable, this bed features a 4-inch-thick orthopedic foam core
- The cover can be removed and machine washed
- A few owners wished the bed contained more stuffing
- We wish this bed came in more sizes
7. Joyelf Memory Foam Pet Bed
About: The Joyelf Memory Foam Pet Bed is an affordable bolster bed that features curved bolsters and a memory foam base for your sleepy pup’s comfort. And as a nifty bonus, you’ll receive a nice squeaky toy with your purchase.
- The core is comprised of a solid sheet of memory foam
- The bed’s cover is both water- and tear-resistant
- Bolsters are filled with PP cotton for comfort
- Decorative edges are included for owner appeal
- The bottom of the bed features a non-slip waterproof backing
- Small: 27″ x 20″
- Medium 32″ x 22″
- Large: 38″ x 28″
- By and large, owners loved the styling of this bed
- It provides exceptional value, given its affordable price tag
- It comes with a free squeaky toy, which is always nice
- Several owners complained about the bed’s odor, which seemed to last for weeks
- We wish the bed’s core were a little thicker
Picking a Bolster Bed for Your Dog: Things to Think About
In many ways, picking a dog bolster bed is similar to picking a standard (flat) dog bed. You’ll want to ensure you pick a high-quality model that’s well built, you want to pick a bed that’s the right size, and you’ll want a bed you can wash easily.
But there are a few other things to look for when picking a bolster bed for your dog:
- Ensure that the bolsters are washable. Bolsters will get dirty just like the rest of your dog’s bed, so be sure to stick to high-quality models that make it easy to clean the bolsters. The best bolster beds usually have removable bolster covers that allow for problem-free washing, but bolster beds that can be washed in their entirety are also acceptable
- Make sure that the bolsters are adequately stuffed. Unfortunately, a lot of bolster beds have bolsters that lack sufficient stuffing. This causes them to flatten, thereby defeating the entire point of purchasing a dog bolster bed in the first place. We’ve tried our best to ensure that all of the beds discussed above meet this criteria, but be sure to investigate this issue if you opt for some other bed.
- Double-check the size and space available. Don’t forget that the bolsters will take up space, so be sure that the bed will still give Spot plenty of space, and that the bolsters won’t cause problems fitting the bed in your pup’s crate (if you use it there).
Memory Foam vs Orthopedic Foam: Which One Is Best for Bolster Beds?
You may have noticed that some bolster beds for dogs contain memory foam, while others contain orthopedic foam. This leads many owners to wonder which one is the better option for their pooch.
Unfortunately, manufacturers often throw around terms like “memory foam” and “orthopedic foam” in rather haphazard fashion.
And to be fair, the terms aren’t always mutually exclusive — many “orthopedic” beds feature memory foam, and some beds feature true memory foam as well as a simple “orthopedic” foam.
Simply put, memory foam is a space age material (literally — it was developed by NASA) that conforms to the shape of your dog’s body when your pup lays on it and warms it up. It then springs back to shape once he leaves and it cools back off.
“Orthopedic” foam on the other hand doesn’t deform in the same way. In fact, this term is often applied to myriad different types of foam, so it’s best to just think of it as “not memory foam.”
Both types of foam can be great for pooches, and many don’t really seem to care either way. That said, we’ve detailed the pros and cons of each below.
The Pros & Cons of Orthopedic Foam Bolster Beds
- Orthopedic foam will generally help dogs remain cooler
- Orthopedic foam is typically more affordable than memory foam
- Some orthopedic foams provide firmer support than memory foams
- Most orthopedic foams can be washed (though you should still follow the manufacturer’s recommendations)
- Orthopedic foam doesn’t conform to your dog’s body
- Orthopedic foam isn’t always naturally resistant to dust mites
- Orthopedic foam simply isn’t as comfy for some canines
The Pros & Cons of Memory Foam Bolster Beds
- Memory foam often provides a better sleeping experience for dogs with joint or health problems
- Memory foam often lasts longer
- Memory foam will usually keep your pooch warmer while snoozing
- Some memory foam mattresses cannot be washed or saturated with water
- Memory foam is often more expensive than other foams
- Memory foams may be too warm for some dogs
Which Dogs Will Benefit Most from a Bolster Bed?
Honestly, just about any dog can use a bolster bed — they’re rarely a bad idea. So, even if you just think bolster beds are cute and want one for your pooch, that shouldn’t be a problemo.
But canine bolster beds undoubtedly offer extra value to some four-footers. This includes:
- Dogs who have joint pain or problems. The bolsters serve as head rests and enable your dog to keep his spine straighter while snoozing.
- Dogs who have trouble staying warm. Bolsters help further insulate your doggo and keep his back or sides warmer at night.
- Dogs who’re anxious or insecure. As mentioned earlier, bolsters can help nervous dogs feel a bit more secure, which allows them to get better rest.
Dogs who like bolster beds may also enjoy cave-style dog beds, which feature cozy, covered designs. Usually, these beds are quite small and snug, so they tend to work best only for smaller dogs.
Have you ever used any of these bolster dog beds? Which is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!