It is easy to understand the appeal of wood: It is often quite attractive, and it’s a fantastic material for furniture construction.
Wood is also quite durable, which helps you get the most value for your money. Many owners love the look of wooden beds, and dogs often enjoy the comfort, stability, and support they provide.
But while wood is a great material to use in dog bed construction, there’s a big difference between a good wooden dog bed and a bad one, which will fall apart quickly or fail to keep your dog comfy.
Don’t worry, we’re going to help you learn to distinguish good models from those you should avoid and recommend five great options for your home.
There are a number of relatively good wooden dog beds on the market, but if you want one of the very best, you should probably stick to one of the following five.
About: The CozyCama Modern Pet Bed is a minimalistic bed that is designed to work in conjunction with a human pillow or pillow-style dog bed (not included).
This provides a few benefits, as pillows are easier to keep clean than traditional pet beds are (you can simply remove the case and toss it in the wash), and you can use different types of pillows to provide your pet with the perfect combination of support and padding.
Features: The CozyCama Bed is a wood-framed bed that is supported by four sturdy metal legs. The back and sides feature a raised “bumper” to keep the pillow in place, but the front is left open, so your dog can jump on or off with ease.
The bed is available in three different sizes, which are designed to accommodate standard, queen or king-sized pillows.
You can also select from three different kinds of wood, including cherry, walnut, and maple. For a small up-charge, you can even have the bed monogrammed with your own custom message.
PROS : The CozyCama Modern Pet Bed is a furniture-quality pet bed that will look great in most homes. Although it doesn’t come in sizes large enough for big dogs (the largest bed is appropriate for dogs in the 40- to 50-pound range), they are all quite strong and sturdy. Additionally, most owners who tried this bed raved about the quality of the construction.
CONS : The CozyCama Modern Pet Bed is not cheap, but US-made furniture never is. There isn’t really any other downside to these great beds – if they’re within your budget, you’ll surely find they are great for your dog and your home’s decor.
About: The Merry Products Wood Pet Home is much more than a pet bed – it is one part covered pet bed, one part dog house, and one part elevated sleeping platform (the manufacturer calls this a “balcony”).
It’s an absolutely adorable option for small dogs that provides your pup with a unique place to snooze or just lay around.
Features: The Merry Products Pet Home is made from naturally stained, kiln-dried cedar, which makes it both durable and attractive. A lattice “fence” is included on the balcony to help prevent your pet from falling off, and a short wooden ladder is included to give your dog an easy way to climb up top.
The top and bottom panels are removable so that you can easily clean the interior. No pillows are included with the product, but there are two places you could add one: the interior of the house and on top of the balcony.
The Merry Products Pet Home does require some assembly, but it includes all of the hardware and instructions you’ll need to set it up. According to the manufacturer, it should only take about 20 minutes to build the complete home.
PROS : The Merry Products Wood Pet Home provides two different sleeping locations for your dog, to suit her mood. This way, she can climb into the home for a little peace and quiet or hop up on top to keep an eye on things while she rests comfortably. The removable top is also a nice feature, which makes the house easy to clean.
CONS : A number of owners reported that the stairs were too small to be of use. Instead, most dogs – even rather small ones – just jumped up on top. Additionally, although the manufacturer uses several outdoor photos in their promotional materials, this wooden pet home is not suitable for long-term outdoor use.
About: The Farmouse70 Vintage Dog Bed is made from hand-sanded repurposed wood, which gives it a charming “distressed” look that is hard to find in other pet beds. However, this bed is about more than just aesthetics, as it provides a very comfortable and roomy place for your pet to sleep.
Features: The Farmhouse70 Vintage Bed is rectangular in shape, and features raised wooden on each side. The bumpers enclose a small amount of the front, but it is largely left open to make it easy for your dog to climb on or off.
A decorative headboard is situated at the back of the bed and four feet elevate the bed slightly above floor level.
The Farmhouse70 Vintage Bed is available in four different sizes:
You can get the Farmhouse70 Bed in any of 11 different color patterns, including Antique Lace White, Blue Denim and others. The beds can also be customized in a number of different ways; you could, for example, have your dog’s name printed on the side for some adorable personalization.
The bed comes with three throw pillows, and you can add a round log-style pillow for a small fee.
PROS : Most owners loved the Farmhouse70 Vintage Bed’s aesthetics, and dogs seemed to find the bed quite comfortable. Many owners also loved the chance to select from so many different color options, as well as the fact that the pillow covers were removable and machine washable. It is also nice that the bed comes in sizes large enough for big dogs.
CONS : There weren’t any significant complaints about the Farmouse70 Vintage Bed, and there aren’t any obvious weaknesses with the bed. A few owners did mention that it took a little while to receive the bed, but that’s to be expected of a custom-built product.
About: The D’Eco 79 Classic Pet Bed Set consists of two rustic-looking beds, that are designed for indoor or outdoor use if placed in a sheltered area (don’t expose them to rain).
They feature very high backs and sides, which may provide special value for nervous or high-strung pups – who often prefer the feeling of security provided by high bed edging.
Features: The D’Eco 79 Classic Pet Beds are made from a series of wood panels, which are connected and held in place by three metal bands. The manufacturer doesn’t indicate the source of the wood, but it has an “aged” aesthetic which matches the styling and construction.
The smaller bed measures 23” x 16” x 14” and the larger bed measures 29” x 20” x 14”. An oval-shaped burlap cushion is included with each bed.
PROS : The D’Eco 79 Pet Bed Set has yet to receive many reviews, but most who have reported their experience were pleased with the beds. Most small dogs who tried the bed appeared to find them comfortable and most owners liked the way the beds looked.
CONS : A small number of owners complained about the quality of the beds and reported that they were flimsy, although most owners didn’t seem to have an issue. Additionally, a few owners wished that the beds were sold singly or in size-matched pairs.
About: The My Best Friend’s Custom Solid Wood Pet Bed is a simple, attractive, and strong bed designed for dogs at the larger end of the size spectrum. The bed comes with four bun-style feet and an attached headboard.
Features: The My Best Friend’s Custom Pet Bed is made from unidentified wood and handcrafted in the USA. Unlike some other wooden pet beds that look old or vintage, this bed looks thoroughly modern, while still enjoying the warmth and charm real wood provides.
The My Best Friend’s Custom Solid Wood Bed is available in three colors (Classic Gray, Red Mahogany, and Ebony) four sizes (Large, Extra-Large, Jumbo and Giant).
Note that this bed does not come with a cushion – you’ll have to furnish your own bed or pillow.
This bed comes with the option to have your pet’s name (or a brief message) and one of three graphics added to the headboard.
PROS : Most owners who tried the My Best Friend’s Pet Bed were very happy with their choice, noting that the bed was extremely well made, looked great, and was easy to assemble. Most dogs seemed to find it comfortable too, but this likely has more to do with the pillow or cushion you use than the frame itself.
CONS : There weren’t many complaints about the My Best Friend’s Bed, although some owners noted that the custom lettering was a little lower than they’d have liked.
As when picking any product for your pup, you’ll want to select a wooden pet bed that will suit you and your dog well. This means, among other things, thinking about the following characteristics when browsing:
No matter what type of bed you select for your dog, you must be sure that it will provide a suitable amount of space for your pooch.
The bed should be about as long as your dog’s head-to-rump length, and the width should be around your dog’s height at the shoulder. But the best way to decide the proper size is to simply measure the space your dog takes up when he’s sleeping, and then add a few inches in each direction for a bit of wiggle room.
Understand that beds aren’t like dog crates. Giving a dog a crate that is too large can present a few problems, but there isn’t really a huge downside to giving your dog a bed that is too large (aside from the higher cost of a larger bed and the space it takes up in your home). So, it is always a good idea to err on the large size, when picking your pet’s bed.
Also, note that many wooden beds are designed to be used with a pillow or cushion you provide. In such cases, you’ll need to measure the pillow or cushion first, to ensure a proper fit.
Different beds are held together in different ways.
Some manufacturers will use screws to connect the various components, while others may use dowels, staples, nails, tacks, or rivets instead. Some beds don’t feature any type of metal hardware and are simply held together with glue.
Each choice presents a different combination of benefits and drawbacks, and no single type of hardware is inherently better than the others. Some of the most notable ramifications of different types of hardware and joining techniques are detailed below:
Most wooden dog beds feature feet or legs that elevate the bed above ground level. This helps protect your floors a bit and provide airflow under the bed.
Typically, the feet or legs used are only a few inches tall, which means that most dogs will be able to climb right up without difficulty. However, it’s a good idea to avoid beds with exceptionally tall legs or feet if your dog is very small or has limited mobility.
Although your dog won’t care about the aesthetics of his bed, most owners will.
There’s no difference between a vintage-style bed and a modern, minimalist design from your dog’s point of view, so feel free to follow your heart and sense of style. As long as it is safe and provides your dog with a comfy place to sleep, he’ll be happy.
However, it is probably wise to select a bed with a relatively neutral, understated style if you don’t have strong preferences. This will make the bed work with a wider selection of furniture and decorating styles.
Some manufacturers coat the wood with a sealant or paint of some type, while others leave the wood bare.
Either option can work for pet beds, but you must think about a few issues before making your choice. Many people find the texture of bare, untreated wood to be quite appealing. Untreated wood also presents a mellower aesthetic, which fits some home décors more than others.
However, untreated wood is not a good option in situations in which moisture is a concern. Moisture can cause wood to warp, swell and rot, which will reduce the lifespan of the bed.
Accordingly, you should avoid selecting a bed with untreated wood if you use the bed in an area where dampness is possible or if your dog is prone to accidents.
There are a variety of different woods used in the construction of pet beds, and because different woods have different strengths and weaknesses, it is wise to familiarize yourself with some of the most common choices manufacturers use.
Some of the most common woods used in the creation of pet beds include:
Cherry is a great-looking wood that has a bit of a natural reddish tint and plenty of knots and interesting grain patterns.
Cherry is somewhat expensive, but it is one of the most luxurious choices for wooden pet beds and other items. It is also an easy wood to work with, so it is a favorite of many high-end furniture makers.
Cherry does not always stain very well, so it is typically used in its natural color. It also has a very faint scent, which most people find pleasing.
Walnut is another high-end wood, which is fairly expensive and usually features plenty of visually appealing grain patterns, knots, and unique markings.
Walnut is a rather dark wood, ranging from pale brown to chocolate. You can stain it, but because walnut’s color is a significant part of its appeal, this is rarely done.
Walnut doesn’t rot very easily, so it can be used in outdoor contexts, but there are plenty of better, cheaper options for such uses. Instead, walnut is usually used in situations that will best show off its beauty.
Pine is likely the most commonly used wood for most consumer products, including pet beds.
Pine isn’t especially strong or attractive, but it’s cheap and works moderately well. You certainly shouldn’t go out of your way to select a pine bed, but you shouldn’t consider it an automatic deal-breaker, either.
There are a number of different types of pine, which are typically categorized as being “hard” or “soft.” Most economically priced products are made from southern hard pines, which are all very similar.
Cedar is another affordable softwood that is used for a variety of projects.
Cedar often looks a bit more interesting than pine, and it has innate insect- and rot-resistant properties, so it is often the wood of choice for products that will be used outdoors.
Note that cheap grades of cedar can splinter pretty easily, which may present a safety concern.
Hard, strong, and relatively attractive, oak is one of the favorite woods used by furniture makers.
Oak also takes stain very well, which means it can take on a variety of colors. Oak provides good value as it is pretty affordable for its quality, and it also has a faint, pleasant aroma, which many people like.
There are many different species of oak, but the wood is usually categorized in one of two categories: red or white. There are minor differences between the two, but they are of little importance when selecting a dog bed – either type should work fine.
Like oaks, there are a number of different maple species, but sugar maple (also known as “hard maple”) is the most desirable form for furniture projects.
Maple is quite strong, abd usually features a straight grain and look great, so the wood is popular with furniture makers.
Maple rarely has many knots or other markings and it is relatively pale; normally, it is somewhere between yellow and off-white. However, there are some special types of maple (such as quilted and birdseye) which feature very attractive grain patterns and colors. These special versions almost always cost significantly more than standard maple stock.
Beds that don’t specifically indicate the type of wood used are generally made from pine or cedar.
Both of these woods are fairly inexpensive, abundant and easy to use, so they are popular choices for beds at the affordable end of the price spectrum.
Besides, if a manufacturer goes to the expense of using high-value hardwoods, you can be sure they’ll advertise this clearly.
As with any bed, a wooden bed will last longer and hold up better if you take good care of it. This is pretty easy to do, just try to embrace the following tips and practices:
Moisture will quickly ruin most unfinished woods, so do your best to keep your dog’s bed dry.
Avoid placing wooden beds in damp basements or outdoors, unless they are sealed or constructed from wood that is likely to withstand moisture. If the bed becomes wet, try to dry it quickly and place it in a warm, sunny location until it dries completely.
The bed will look its best if you keep it free of dust and debris, so wipe it down with a soft cloth once a week or so.
You can use a non-toxic furniture spray on sealed woods, as long as the manufacturer reports that it is safe to do so. Just be sure to test any cleaning agent on an inconspicuous portion of the bed first, to test for discoloration.
Loose hardware, splintering edges, and other defects can represent a safety hazard, and they may also rip the bed’s cushion.
Visually inspect these areas at least once a month and gently run your hand across the boards to feel for any sharp edges (just be careful you don’t give yourself a splinter).
To avoid odors and help keep the cushion looking its best, you’ll need to wash the cover regularly. Just make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions explicitly to avoid problems with discoloration or shrinkage.
Also, ensure that the cover is completely dry before placing it back on the bed.
You can always make your own wooden dog bed if you can’t find one on the market that suits you and your pup.
You can get most of the lumber and hardware you’ll need at the local home improvement store, but if you want some really fancy lumber, you’ll want to find a lumber yard in your area. You’ll also need to stop by a craft store to purchase the fabric to make the pillow.
You can sketch out a design yourself if you just want to make a simple bed, but you’ll want to consult some instructions or blueprints if you want to create a more elaborate bed.
But there are plenty of other plans out there too, so don’t be afraid to look around until you find something you like.
Wooden dog beds look great and they generally hold up well over time, so they are a great option for most dogs and their owners.
We’d love to hear about your experiences with wooden beds. Have you found a model that was especially awesome? Have you had a bad experience with a model? Let us know all about it in the comments below!
Last update on 2018-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ben is a lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, trees, outdoor recreation, science and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com or @FootstepsForest on Twitter.
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