different types of dog bed

10 Different Types of Dog Beds and How To Choose The Right One

Every pet parent wants to give only the best for their beloved dogs. And when it comes to dog beds, the selection can be especially intimidating. Choosing the right bed for your canine friend starts with a clear understanding of the different types of dog bed. This will help you zero-in on the most appropriate mattress to rest your pet’s tired body on. Here are the 10 different types of dog bed that will form the foundation of your choice of the right resting and sleeping furniture for your pet dog.

The 10 Different Types of Dog Beds

Standard Dog Bed

Looking more like specialty cushions or pillows, standard dog beds are the most common type of canine mattress. These do not have special features in them such as rims, edges, orthopedic foams, and many others. As we have already mentioned, these look more like pillows or cushions that come in various shapes, colors, and sizes. The most common shape is round, although square, oval, and rectangular are not really far behind. The materials used in their fabrication vary, too. Most manufacturers go for either fleece or flannel as it is generally softer and more comfortable for pets. Some dog bed makers go for microfiber fabric materials while others will opt for faux suede to give their products a certain look of elegance and luxury. There are also those that make standard dog beds out of denim as this is sturdier than most.

dog's bed

Foam padding or polyester filling provide cushion for these canine beds. Some manufacturers put cedar chips into the mixture of fill to help in odor management and insect repellent. Most of these mattresses come with fully washable covers. These can come in really cheap- and shoddy- looking ones to the really expensive, posh, and designer variants complete with bling and other ornaments. If you have an otherwise healthy pet dog, this type of bed should be great. But if you already have an aging hound or even a dog that is diagnosed with musculoskeletal conditions, then you’d better look for another type of canine bed.

Kennel Dog Bed

If you have a doggy that spends most of its time inside a crate or a kennel, then you will need a kennel dog bed. Just think of it as a regular foam mattress that forms a barrier between your pet and the flooring of its cage. As such, it is usually thinner than conventional mattresses. Many are also designed to be water-resistant and easy to clean as it is inevitable that your pet will also be urinating while it is inside its kennel or crate. That being said, this type of bed is also perfect for traveling pets as a liner for the surface of their transportation.

Nesting Dog Bed

This type of canine bed is like a beefed-up standard dog bed in that it is completed with raised edges that either fence the perimeter of the doggie bed or just a section of it. Typically, these raised edges or rims give the canine bed the appearance of a bird’s nest – high on the sides and forming a deep space in the middle. Dogs that love to curl up or snuggle up to sleep adore this type of bed. It is also perfect for pets that love to have their heads or necks resting on a bolster-like contraption. You can look at these dog beds more like your sofa or couch but are designed specifically for your furry friend.

Donut Dog Bed

It is easy to confuse a donut dog bed with a nesting dog bed. Both actually have raised edges. However, the raised edges or rim on a donut doggie bed will only completely surround the bed. Additionally, these only come in round shape, hence the name ‘donut’. However, it is not uncommon to see a donut dog bed having an oval shape. What is really remarkable about the donut doggie bed is that these are extremely soft that dogs are known to spend hours curled up inside their humongous donut holes for a bed. It is thus perfect for dogs that love to curl up with the goal of getting cozy and comfy. Unfortunately, if you have canine friends that are already old or are in a weakened state, this type of dog bed might not be suitable since the bolster rim is a bit higher than a typical nesting dog bed.

donut dog bed

Covered Dog Bed

Ancestral dogs are believed to be den animals. This is the principle behind the design of the covered dog bed. It is like a nesting dog bed or even a donut dog bed but with a top cover. This effectively conceals your dog while it is sleeping. Most covered or hooded dog beds are designed like miniature houses or even tents giving dogs a really comfortable retreat house for them to snuggle and cozy up. Some hooded dog beds consist of a wicker basket with a standard doggie bed placed inside. This is the perfect solution for dogs that really love snuggling while sleeping. This is especially true for small breeds of dog. It is also ideal for natural den dogs as well as those that have a shy personality.

Orthopedic Dog Bed

If you have pets that have musculoskeletal problems, are already in their twilight years, or are born naturally skinny, then orthopedic dog beds are simply perfect. This type of dog bed comes with highly specialized foam padding that effectively conforms to the natural shape of the dog’s body in an effort to distribute its weight evenly and relieve pressure from bony prominences especially the joints. This canine bed sometimes comes with a heating element to help provide soothing comfort for dogs with joint pain and muscle spasms. The point is that orthopedic dog beds are specialty sleeping surfaces that are extra-gentle on your dog’s body, especially its joints. It’s perfect for pets with hip dysplasia, canine arthritis, and other problems of the articular and musculoskeletal systems.

Elevated Dog Bed

There a few reasons why some dog owners love an elevated or raised dog bed. Since the sleeping surface is elevated several inches from the floor providing some distance between your pet’s body and an otherwise cold or even dirty floor. Another reason why an elevated dog bed is preferred is because it can offer some degree of protection for dogs from being attacked by certain insects and even pests. Elevated dog beds typically come with metal frames upon which the sleeping surface is mounted on. Some designs come with sleeping surfaces composed of sturdy mesh panels allowing for exceptional ventilation and maximum cooling effect on your dog. Unfortunately, if you have an aging dog or one that has orthopedic concerns or even a breed that is more susceptible to developing back problems such as Dachshunds, then an elevated dog bed may not be a good idea.

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Travel Dog Bed

This type of doggie bed is like your sleeping bag that you can easily roll up or fold for ease of carrying, making it the ideal solution for dogs that love to tag along in their pet parents’ travel adventures. These are usually thinner than standard dog beds because of the need to be lightweight and packable.

You May Also Like: Dog Sleeping Bags

Cooling Dog Bed

There are breeds of dog that are more prone to overheating especially during the summer months. Cooling dog beds can help provide a nifty solution for such canines. These doggie mattresses are designed with a special material that helps provide for a longer-lasting cooling sensation on dogs. These materials can be gel-like liquids or simple water. As such the bed itself should prevent the rapid warming of the cooling liquid inside. Different manufacturers will have different cooling systems embedded into their doggie beds. It is wise to adhere to the specific instructions of the manufacturer for greater safety.

Heated Dog Bed

Small and naturally skinny breeds of dogs are more prone to hypothermia than others, especially in the colder months. Heated dog beds provide a warming solution by integrating a variety of technologies that are a lot similar to electric blankets and heating pads. This is also perfect for dogs that have painful joints as heat can help increase joint mobility. However, it is very important to understand that heated dog beds almost always run on electricity so observing basic safety protocols is important. It is also important to follow the instructions of the doggie bed’s manufacturer.

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Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Bed for Your Canine Friend

Understanding the 10 different types of canine beds should help you form an opinion on what you think is the right bed for your furry pal. However, this is often not enough since you also have to consider a few other things to arrive at a better-informed decision. Here are some factors you need to consider when choosing the right bed for your canine friend.

  • Size

While it is perfectly all right to get a large bed for your small breed of dog, the same cannot be said of a large dog having a small bed. Canine sleeping furniture come in various sizes typically covering a wide range of standard breed sizes. Many manufacturers also provide guidelines on the sizes of dogs that will fit their product range. It is important to take very accurate measurements of your dog’s height and length as these two parameters are critical in getting the right size of dog bed.

Take a look at our guide on the Best Dog Beds for Small Dogs.

  • Pet’s Sleeping Behavior

There are dogs that love to curl up while there are those that sleep a lot like their human masters, fully stretched. There are dogs that sleep with their tummies facing upwards and their limbs stretched all the way up and down. There are pets that cannot sleep unless they are able to hide their heads. There are also those that cannot sleep if they cannot dangle their heads or their limbs. The whole point is that you need to understand your pet’s sleeping behavior if you want to get them the right dog bed.

  • Pet’s Chewing Behavior

You want a comfortable bed for your pet dog. But if your dog simply is going to shred its doggie bed within hours of using it, then you’d better start thinking about getting a more chew-resistant doggie bed. Most doggie beds can stand to the chewing behavior of mild to moderate chewers. However, if you have a heavyweight chewer, then your best chance will be those constructed of ballistic nylon, denim, or other materials that have been proven to be exceptionally tough against heavy chewers.

Related Post: Best Indestructible Dog Bed

  • Dog’s Existing Health Condition, If Any

As we have mentioned above, if you have a healthy pet getting a standard, nesting, donut, or even elevated doggie bed should be okay. However, if you have a pet that is already old, has joint or musculoskeletal problems, is at high-risk for the development of certain conditions like hypothermia or overheating, or any other health condition that may require a specialty bed, then you will have to factor these into your decision, too.

  • Pet’s Need for Comfort

All dogs love to sleep and rest in a very comfortable bed. This is one of the most fundamental reasons why you want to buy a bed for your dog, right? When it comes to comfort in dog beds you will have to be very selective since comfort is usually connected to the type of fill that the bed has.

  • Budget

Always work with a budget and strive to stick to it. Canine beds typically range in price from as low as a few tens of dollars to a few thousands of dollars. Understand that there are good quality beds that are relatively inexpensive. There are also very expensive canine beds yet are poorly constructed. What we’re saying is to always check the quality of the product you want to buy ad evaluate whether it provides great value in relation to your budget or not.

Dogs deserve the right bed for them to rest, sleep, and even recover from their health condition. Your understanding of the 10 different types of dog beds should help you choose the right one for your canine friend.


  1. Victoria Schade, How to Find the Right Dog Bed for Your Pup’s Needs, PetMD
  2. Gina Spadafori, How to Choose the Perfect Bed for Your Dog, Vetstreet
  3. Your Guide to Dog Beds, WebMD

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