The best dog beds of 2023, tried and tested by canine experts

Dog bed FAQs


Are orthopaedic dog beds worth buying?

Our expert, Rachel Bean, says yes, orthopaedic beds are well worth buying, “especially for older and arthritic dogs”. But what makes a mattress orthopaedic? It all comes down the material it’s made out of. 

While regular mattresses are usually made of cotton or foam, orthopaedic dog mattresses are made using firm materials, such as latex. This helps hold the body weight evenly, rather than allowing areas to sag down and lead to a build up of pressure in a particular area – usually the neck, back and hips.

Memory foam mattresses are often passed off as orthopaedic since they mould to the shape of the body but, although more supportive than other materials, memory foam alone doesn’t tick all the orthopaedic boxes. In actual fact, the best orthopaedic mattresses are created using a combination of springs, memory foam, reflex foam and other fillings. 

What type of bed is best for dogs?

As Bean says above, the first thing to consider is size. Dogs should be able to fully stretch out when they sleep, since lying curled up can cause back and joint issues down the line. If in doubt, size up.

Should I choose a hard or soft bed?

Dogs can sleep on a hard surface, but they prefer having somewhere cosy to lie down. However, too soft isn’t great for healthy joints, so try to find something that offers adequate support.

Are raised beds better for dogs?

Some dog beds are designed with feet, so they’re raised off the ground, and dogs do seem to prefer them. While not essential, there are a number of benefits to raised beds, including better temperature regulation, making the bed easier to get in and out of and preventing bugs, mould and damp under the bed. 

How to clean dog beds

Most dog beds are machine washable but if not, vacuum first, then soak in warm, soapy water with some bicarbonate of soda (a mild alkali) or white wine vinegar (a mild acid) to remove pet odours. Then rinse thoroughly and drip-dry. Don’t use fabric conditioner or detergent, since these can irritate your dog’s skin and are harmful if ingested.

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