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Do Dogs Need Big Beds?

why large dogs need dog beds

Not all dogs need big beds. However, all dogs need appropriately sized beds. For big or large dogs, appropriately sized beds are big beds, so yes, all big dogs need big beds.

The first reason to get your dog a big bed is comfort. A soft sleeping surface is important here – just like humans, dogs find soft textures comfortable and relaxing. A small bed wouldn’t provide enough space and thickness to support the size and weight of a large dog. 

What is more, dog beds for large dogs offer better joint support. Since many large dogs struggle with joint pain, it’s always helpful to have a mattress with orthopedic memory foam that will support their most vulnerable pressure points.

Orthopedic dog beds for large dogs are great for older dogs with achy joints. It can really improve their quality of life and help them wake up from their naps feeling refreshed instead of achy. 

What Size is a Large Dog Bed?

There is a common trend in large beds with most brands having a length between 40 and 48 inches. Unfortunately, every company defines dog beds for large dogs differently.

For example, the dimensions of the large Big Barker Dog Bed are 48 * 30 inches while those of the large Casper Bed are 45 * 35 inches. Basically, not all dog beds for large dogs are made the same. 

You should always check the exact measurements of a bed before purchasing. When selecting a bed size, it should allow your dog to sleep on it in different positions without a problem.

Best Seller
Big Barker Dog Bed
10/10Our Score
  • Won't flatten or pancake over time.
  • machine washable. 100% Micro-suede cover. Soft to the touch, looks great in your home.
  • University of Pennsylvania study data showed less pain, more mobility after using a Big Barker for just 28 days.

Can a Dog Bed be Too Big?

Yes, a dog bed can be too big. 

A bed that is too big might seem harmless but it can be difficult for a small dog to get on and off especially if she has short legs. A big bed might also be too firm for a small dog which could lead to discomfort. 

An unnecessarily big bed will also be an inconvenience for you as an owner. It would require more space and more time and effort for maintenance.

Measure your dog to know what size of bed is perfect for her. First, measure the length of your dog from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail and add 6 to 12 inches. That’s how long the bed needs to be. Secondly, measure the distance from shoulder to shoulder at the widest point, add 6 to 12 inches, and that’s the width of your bed. 

Your dog’s sleeping style may also influence the size of bed you choose to get. Certain positions like the curled take less space than others like the side sleep or sprawling. 

The Best Large Dog Beds Reviewed

Dog beds for large dogs come in a variety of shapes and designs. Plus, they are made by dozens of brands. With so many choices, finding the right one is overwhelming. To make things simpler, here are the ten best dog beds for large dogs. 

big barker dog bed

Summary: The Big Barker Dog Bed is designed with big breeds in mind, with sizes ranging from large to XXL. They are handcrafted with orthopedic foam for plenty of support. The memory foam base has two inches of comfort foam on either side, which makes the bed feel soft while still providing the joint support your dog needs. The cover is made of a sophisticated micro-suede material that comes in three stylish shades and it is fully machine washable as well.

  • Extra thick mattress (7 inches)
  • Machine washable cover
  • Suitable for both big and giant breeds
  • Comes in three sizes and four colors
  • 10-year warranty
  • The bed is on the pricier side of dog beds

Review: Dog owners love this bed for how comfortable it is. Many customers with dogs with mobility issues like arthritis report visible improvements in symptoms after using this bed. Even healthy dogs enjoy the bed just as much with many not wanting to get off for hours.

Best Friends by Sheri donut dog bed

Summary: This cozy dog bed is great for providing your pup with a sense of safety and security. It has a round donut design with a lower center portion that acts as a cuddler for your dog. The edges of the bed are slightly higher and provide essential support for your dog’s head. The fabric is a cozy shag fur that is machine washable, and the base is water-resistant. 

  • High weight capacity of 150 lbs
  • Machine-washable
  • Comes in eight colors and four sizes
  • Optional matching blanket
  • Not suitable for giant breeds

Review: This bed has over 50,000 Amazon reviews and most of them are in awe of its comfort and quality. Dog owners say that their fur babies love the doughnut shape that makes the bed extra cozy and warm.  

casper dog bed

Summary: You probably already know Casper as a company that makes human mattresses, but they also have pet products like this bolster bed for dogs. It’s made with their trusted high-density foam to reduce pain and pressure on their joints. High walls on the side of the mattress make sure your dog feels safe and secure when they’re ready to sleep. The exterior is made from a durable microfiber that’s designed to resist rips and tears, and you can remove it for easy cleaning

  • Removable machine-washable cover
  • Comes in three colors and sizes
  • The bolster around the mattress provides a safe and sheltered feeling for your dog
  • The mattress is made with memory foam for maximum comfort
  • Low weight limit of 90 lbs

Review: Customers of this bed have found it to be one of the most durable beds on the market. Many have used it for years without damage. Dogs love how comfortable it is and can sleep on it willingly without encouragement.

Furhaven dog sofa bed

Summary: This huge dog lounger is great for families that have multiple dogs. It mimics the style of a living room sofa, giving them plenty of room to cuddle up together with extra support at the back and sides. You can choose between regular memory foam, egg crate foam for joint support, or cooling foam to keep your dog from overheating. This bed comes in plenty of beautiful colors and prints, and the cover is removable and machine washable. The quilted fabric is very soft and is sure to help your dog relax.

  • Comes with an extra bed cover
  • Comes with a waterproof liner
  • Three of the four sides are bolstered for an increased feeling of safety
  • The foam is breathable to promote air circulation while your dog lies on it
  • Comes in one size

Review: Customers are happy with the overall design and durability of the products. However, there is some negative feedback on the bed being available in only one size.

 PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed

Summary: If your dog’s body needs a little bit of extra support and pain relief, this bed from PetFusion is one of the best orthopedic beds to try. The memory foam core adjusts to the contours of your dog’s body to reduce pressure and provide a calmer, more restful sleep. It has very high bolsters wrapping around the back and sides of the bed, which helps your dog feel much more secure. The non-skid bottom ensures that the bed stays in place even if your dog is tossing and turning.

  • Memory foam that adjusts to your dog's size and shape
  • Water-resistant cover
  • Very high bolsters to give your dog a feeling of security
  • Non-skid bottom to keep the mattress from sliding
  • Comes in four sizes including a jumbo size for giant breeds
  • 3-year warranty
  • Foam is only 2.5 inches thick

Review: Pet parents with this bed say that this bed is the perfect bed for large dogs. Even very large dogs like Labs have plenty of space to fully stretch out on the bed while sleeping or lounging. 

BarksBar Orthopedic Dog Bed

Summary: This dog bed has very high bolsters, which gives your dog the feeling of being in a den with their mother. It’s made with orthopedic memory foam, so even though it is very soft, it still provides the joint support older dogs need. It has a non-slip bottom with rubber backing, and the exterior is made from a very stylish quilted fabric.

  • Very high bolsters for increased comfort
  • Made with memory foam
  • Non-slip bottom to prevent the bed from sliding
  • High weight capacity of 100 lbs
  • No size available for giant breeds like Great Danes

Review: Dog owners say that this mattress lives up to all its descriptions as a comfortable, durable, and non-skid bed. They say that the slightly higher price is in all ways justified by the remarkable comfort and durability. 

Carhartt Durable Canvas Dog Bed

Summary: If durability is your main concern, then these pillow beds from Carhartt may fit the bill. While it doesn’t have a memory foam base, it does use a soft cotton filling to help your dog relax. The pillow top is made from a thick canvas that is water-resistant and can handle regular wear and tear. 

  • Comes in eight different designs
  • Water-resistant cover
  • Suitable for travel due to its lightweight size
  • Removable washable cover
  • Not made with memory foam
  • No extra-large sizes for giant breeds

Review: Fans of this bed love how easy the bed is to maintain and move around. They say that the cover holds up remarkably well in the washing machine. 

Serta Orthopaedic Gel Memory Foam Quilted Couch Bed

Summary: This pet bed is great for large dogs who need both a memory foam base and supportive sides to relieve anxiety. It is made with Serta’s orthopedic memory foam, which has a gel to keep your dog feeling cool on warm days. The exterior is made with a soft quilted fabric that looks cute and is very easy to clean. This bed comes in several different sizes, so you’ll need to check and make sure you get the right one for your dog’s size.

  • Comes in six colors
  • High bolsters on three sides for extra security
  • Removable machine-washable cover
  • Non-skid bottom
  • No x-large options for giant breeds
  • Not suited for breeds like German Shepherds

Review: Dog owners use the word obsessed to describe how their dogs feel about this bed. The dogs love how secure the bolsters make them feel while sleeping. Many customers report using this bed regularly for years without it breaking apart. 

Snoozer Luxury Cozy Cave Pet Bed

Summary: Dogs love the feeling of being all curled up under the covers, but it can be difficult to find these cave-style beds in a size big enough for large breeds. Luckily, these deluxe Snoozer beds come in extra-large sizes so even large dogs can snuggle away. The interior contains an ultra-soft sherpa lining for extra coziness, while the exterior is made with a soft microsuede and comes in many different colors and prints.  

  • Removes the need for a blanket
  • Suitable for extra-large dogs
  • Removable washable cover
  • Option to get multiple covers for the mattress
  • Lacks memory foam
  • Not suited for dogs with mobility issues

Review: Owners of the Snoozer cave commend it for how deep and cozy it is. They say dogs love it and don’t require any encouragement to get in. Customers also love that they don’t need a separate blanket while using this bed. 

 Treat A Dog Puprug Faux Fur Memory Foam Orthopedic Dog Bed

Summary: This stylish memory foam dog bed mimics the look of a sherpa rug, but contains an orthopedic memory foam mattress to give your dog joint support. It comes in several different sizes and shapes, so you can choose the one that best suits your dog’s sleep preferences. It has a soft faux fur cover that you can easily remove to wash, and the interior contains a water-resistant lining to protect the memory foam. 

  • Very lightweight making it ideal for travel
  • Extra large size is available for giant breed dogs
  • Removable cover that is washing machine friendly
  • Ideal for use as a crate mat
  • Both color options (grey and white) are light and therefore high-maintenance

Review: Most of the dog owners that have tried the PupRug love it. They love how comfortable the bed is despite it looking like a very stylish rug. They recommend it to others but encourage you to size up due to the unique shape of the rug.

How to Choose a Dog Bed for Large Breeds

The Best Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large Breeds

There is a wide range of factors you should consider when shopping for dog beds for large dogs. Here’s what to look at to narrow down your choices when picking dog beds for large dogs. 

  • Your Dog’s Age. An older dog has dramatically different needs than a puppy, and you will want to make sure their dog bed reflects this. Older dogs are generally going to need orthopedic dog beds to provide additional comfort and support for their joints. If you have an older dog, you will also need to make sure that they can get in and out of the bed easily. 
  • Size. If you have a large dog breed, you’re going to need an extra-large dog bed to match. When measuring the bed, you’ll need to check and make sure that it’s not only big enough for your dog but also that she has a few extra inches to sprawl out. If you have a dog house, dog crate, or kennel, you will have to get a bed that fits in either. 
  • Material. You will need to make sure the material of the dog beds for large dogs is soft enough for your dog to cuddle up with and relax on for a good night’s sleep. Sued and faux fur are two of the best choices because of how soft they are.  
  • Filling. Many high-quality dog beds are made with memory foam, which gives your pup plenty of extra support. Some beds also have extra padding on top of the memory foam to add more softness for your dog. Orthopedic memory foam is a must for older dogs, but it can also be great for young dogs to keep their joints healthy for as long as possible. 
  • Washing and cleaning. It’s also very important that dog beds for large dogs are easy to clean. Look for a dog bed that is machine washable for easy cleaning. It’s also very helpful if the dog bed is waterproof, as this will make it even easier to wipe away messes and prevent staining. 
  • Durability. Dogs sleep for a very large portion of their day – sometimes as much as 14 hours in one day! Because of this, you’ll need to make sure that the bed is durable enough to handle the natural wear and tear that your dog will put on the bed. In particular, you will want to make sure that the bed is scratch-resistant. Even well-behaved dogs may occasionally scratch at their bed and cause damage. 
  • Price Point. Remember that the cheap dog beds for large dogs won’t necessarily be the best especially in the long run. Instead, you’ll want to look for a balance of affordability and good quality.