best dog beds for large dogs

The 5 Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs

There are a ton of dog beds on the market, but only a handful of manufacturers make dog beds for large dogs. Big dogs require beds that provide much more space, support and loft than small dogs do, so you’ll have to be careful to select one that suits your big canine’s needs.

We’ll try to help you below, by explaining the things you'll want in a large dog bed and analyzing the differences between the different types of beds available. 

We’ll also recommend five of the best dog beds for large dogs that will help keep your canine happy and comfortable. Finally, we'll explain the best ways to care for your new bed and protect your investment.

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Why Are Dog Beds for Large Dogs Necessary?

Many dogs are content to sleep on the floor or couch, but this isn’t an ideal scenario. In fact, it can lead to a number of problems:

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    Many large dog breeds are susceptible to hip and joint problems, but a supportive bed can help prevent much of the pain and muscle tightness that they experience. And even though your couch may be well cushioned, it won’t provide the kind of support your large dog requires.
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    Most high-quality dog beds are designed to withstand your dog’s claws, but your furniture probably isn’t durable enough. Over time, you’ll start to see scratches and worn spots on your couches and chairs. But giving your dog a bed will help eliminate this problem.  
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    ​It will cause your couch or bed to become coated in hair. Even dogs that don’t shed very much will tend to leave plenty of hair in their preferred sleeping location. Giving your dog a bed will help keep your furniture hair-free.
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    Large dogs can represent a trip hazard – especially at night when the lights are off. You’ll want to provide your dog with a designated sleeping area, and a dog bed works fantastically in this instance.
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    If your dog stays in his ​crate for long periods of time, you’ll want to ensure he remains comfortable while inside. Many great dog beds are designed to fit inside your dog’s crate and will help provide the kind of comfort he deserves.

But above all else, the most compelling reason to give your big dog a big bed is that he’ll enjoy it! A high-quality dog bed will provide your pet with his very own sleeping place, that provides great comfort and allows him to get a good night’s sleep.

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What Type of Dog Bed Is Right for Your Large Breed?

While pet beds differ in innumerable ways, most fall into one of three basic categories. We include beds from two of these categories among our recommendations, but we ignore one of the types completely – and, as you’ll soon see, for good reason.

Classic Fiber-Filled Beds

Historically, pet beds were little more than a cloth sack, which was stuffed with cotton, polyester or some other type of fiber. And although they’ve largely been replaced by the two types of pet beds detailed below, they are still available through retail channels. They’re generally quite affordable, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Unfortunately, these types of beds are almost completely inappropriate for large or giant dogs. The filling material used in their construction rarely provides enough support for a big dog’s body, and it will also tend to clump up around the edges, forcing your dog to lay in the non-cushioned center after a short time.

These types of beds may work well for a Chihuahua or Jack Russell Terrier, but they are a poor choice for your Labrador retriever, German shepherd or Dalmatian. Instead, you’ll need to use one of the two bed types available.

Memory Foam / Orthopedic

Memory foam is a product originally developed by NASA that conforms to your dog’s body. It softens when warmed by your dog’s body, which provides a remarkably comfortable and supportive laying surface. This is especially important for large breed dogs, whose legs, hips and back require plenty of support to prevent them from digging into the floor below.

Memory foam beds also avoid the clumping problems that plague traditional, fiber-filled beds. Some memory foam beds may be a bit warm, causing dogs to move to the kitchen floor during the summer, but a few manufacturers use gel-infused memory foam, which helps to keep your dog’s body cooler.

In practice, memory foam beds are usually the best choice for large and giant breeds, outside of a few very specific circumstances.

Elevated Cots

Elevated cots typically feature a metal or plastic frame and a fabric laying surface, which is situated several inches above the ground. This design accomplishes two things: It keeps your dog cooler by allowing air to flow beneath the laying surface, and it prevents your dog’s hips, knees or back from directly contacting the ground.

Given this design, elevated cots are often a great choice for owners and dogs living in warm places. They don’t provide the type of cradle-like support that memory foam beds do, but they still provide more support than fiber-filled beds do. This means they’ll still be pretty gentle on your dog’s joints.

Cot-style beds are also quite light, and most are easy to disassemble and transport. This makes them a great choice for owners who travel with their pets. A few elevated, cot-style pet beds are even waterproof, which means you can use them outdoors too.

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Things to Look for in a Dog Bed for Large Dogs 

Once you determine the type of bed your dog needs, you’ll want to start comparing the various features provided by different manufacturers and models. Some of the most important features to look for when choosing your pet’s bed include:

Made in the USA or Western Europe

While there are exceptions, most high-quality dog beds are manufactured in the United States or Western Europe. This doesn’t mean you can’t get a good bed made in southeast Asia, but they’re typically of poorer quality than their American or European counterparts are.

Removable, Machine-Washable Cover

Dog beds get dirty over time, and they’ll become coated in dirt, debris, hair, saliva and urine with use. To keep them clean and ensure that they don’t develop objectionable odors, you’ll want to select a dog bed with a removable cover that you can machine wash and dry.

Thick Foam Layer 

Large dogs are heavy dogs, which means they need quite a bit of foam to keep their bodies up off the floor. Typically, you’ll want to avoid beds that don’t provide a foam layer that is at least 4 inches thick. However, your dog will appreciate a 6- or 7-inch-thick foam layer even more.

Extended Warranty

Even the best designed and constructed dog beds will occasionally suffer from manufacturing defects or one-off problems. Fortunately, most of the best options on the market come with an extended manufacturer’s warranty. Most such warranties last for 12 to 24 months, but a few beds come with extremely long warranties, which last for 10 years or more.

Durable Cover

Because your big dog will have big and strong claws, you’ll want to be sure to select a dog bed that has a very durable cover. Typically, the most durable bed covers are made from canvas or denim, but there are also microsuede covers that are designed to withstand your dog’s claws.

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The Five Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs

The following five dog beds are among the best options available for big dogs. Just be sure to select the one that best suits your dog’s specific needs to ensure the best value for your dog-bed dollar.

1. Big Barker Orthopedic Pet Bed

About: The Big Barker Orthopedic Pet Bed is one of the largest, thickest and most supportive pet beds on the market. 

It is specifically engineered to suit the needs of big breeds, and the manufacturer even cautions that it is too firm for small dogs.

Notable Features:

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    Made with a 100% microfiber cover and a therapeutic foam core
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    Available in three sizes: large (48” x 30”), extra-large (52” x 36”) and giant (60” x 48”)
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    Made in the USA
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    Backed by a 10-year warranty (the bed should retain 90% of its loft for a decade)

User Reviews: The Big Barker Orthopedic Pet Bed received better reviews than any other bed available, and most owners rave about its quality. It appears durable, yet comfortable, and most dogs love the attached bolster/headrest. Additionally, several owners were happy that the beds were so spacious.

Bottom Line: All discussions surrounding big dog beds should begin and end with the Big Barker. Simply put, it is the best dog bed for large dogs on the market and one of the few that comes in large enough sizes for Great Danes, mastiffs and other giant breeds. The only downside to the bed is its relatively expensive price tag. However, it still provides unmatched value and deserves strong consideration from all owners who can afford it.

2. PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge

About: The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge is a plush and luxurious dog bed, which features a 4-inch-thick memory foam core and generously filled, wrap-around bolsters, which encircle most of the bed.    

The bed is not specifically designed for large dogs, but it is available in sizes large enough to accommodate most big breeds.

Notable Features:

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    Available in four sizes, ranging from small (25” x 20”) to extra-extra-large (50” x 40”)
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    Comes in two colors: Slate Gray and Chocolate
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    The cover is removable and machine washable
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    Backed by the manufacturer’s 12-month warranty

User Reviews: The reviews for the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge were overwhelmingly positive. Most owners thought the beds looked great and were easy to take care of, while dogs seem to find them very comfortable. However, a few owners were concerned that it was not as durable as they’d hoped it would be, and the cover was a bit thin.

Bottom Line: The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge is clearly a premium product, which provides great support for your dog. It is easy to keep clean and wash, and the XXL dog bed size should be large enough for German shepherds, Newfoundlands and other, similarly sized breeds. It is a bit pricey, but that’s to be expected of such a high-quality product.  

3. K&H Pet Products Elevated Pet Bed

About: The K&H Pet Products Elevated Pet Bed is designed to keep your big dog up off the ground, to help keep him cool in hot weather and alleviate the pressure on his hips and back. 

Additionally, because it is waterproof, you can use this bed indoors or outdoors, and you can even bring it with you on vacations, as it is easy to disassemble and transport.

Notable Features:

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    Laying surface is 600-denier fabric, with a mesh center to keep your dog cool
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    Tool-free assembly
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    Non-skid rubber feet ensure the bed will stay in place
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    Available in four sizes, ranging from small (17” x 22”) to extra-large (32” x 50”)

User Reviews: The majority of owners who tried the K&H Pet Bed were pleased with their purchase. Several praised the bed’s light weight and reasonable price tag, and many dogs seemed to find the laying surface cool and comfortable. However, a number of owners did complain that the mesh material was not very durable.

Bottom Line: If you want a waterproof, portable bed for your large breed dog, you should carefully consider the K&H Pet Bed. The elevated design will help take pressure off your dog’s joints, and it will also keep him a bit cooler, making it a great choice for those living in warm climates. The durability complaints expressed by some owners are troubling, but these types of problems can probably be eliminated by tossing a blanket over the bed.   

4. Dogbed4less Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

About: The Dogbed4less Memory Foam Dog Bed is a straight-forward, no-frills orthopedic mattress designed to be as comfortable as it is durable. 

It doesn’t feature an elevated design, bolsters or any other of the bells-and-whistles that are often included in other pet beds at this range, but few competing products are made with the same level of craftsmanship or feature comparable materials.

Notable Features:

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    Comes with a water-proof inner cover, a brown microsuede external cover and a blue denim external cover
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    4-inch-thick, gel-infused memory foam core
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    Available in seven sizes, ranging from small (35” x 20”) to Jumbo (55” x 47”)
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    No-skid bottom surface

User Reviews: Most owners appeared to love the Dogbed4less Memory Foam Bed. Many praised the bed’s foam core, which provided a supportive, yet soft laying surface, which appeared to suit dogs of advanced age or those suffering from joint problems quite well. The bed’s covers also received plenty of praise, with most owners reporting that they were very durable.  

Bottom Line: The Dogbed4less Orthopedic Dog Bed is one of the best large dog beds available and it should suit your large breed canine well. It is roughly comparable to the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge, in terms of price and overall quality. You’ll just have to decide whether you want a bed that has bolsters or one that has some of the best foam cores and covers around.  

5. FurHaven Ultra Plush/Velvet Orthopedic Dog Bed

About: The FurHaven Ultra Plush Dog Bed is a very affordable option for budget-limited owners, who still want to provide their dog with a high-quality bed. 

But just because it is affordable doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on quality, as the FurHaven Dog Bed still provides the type of comfort most owners want for their pet.

Notable Features:

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    Available in seven colors and two different textures
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    Water-resistant base won’t absorb liquids
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    Comes in four sizes, ranging from small (20” x 15”) to jumbo (44” x 35”)
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    Three-sided, wrap-around bolsters gives your dog a comfortable place to lay his head

User Reviews: Most owners loved the FurHaven Dog Bed and found that it still provided a comfortable laying surface for their pet, despite being priced very reasonably. The machine-washable cover also received quite a bit of praise, as owners reported it was easy to take off, wash and put back on. A few owners noted that it was not as supportive as they’d have liked, but this was the only common complaint.

Bottom Line: Obviously, the FurHaven Dog Bed isn’t in the same league with the PetFusion Lounge, Dogbed4less Bed or the Big Barker, but you can get it for a fraction of the cost of these other beds. It would be better with a denser core and we’d prefer if it came in slightly larger sizes, but it is a viable option for those who want an affordable bed for a large dog.

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Choosing the Best Large Dog Bed for Your Pet

All five of the dog beds detailed above are well-made products, which should suit your large breed dog well. However, some will work better in some circumstances than in others. Accordingly, you’ll want to be sure to select the best bed for your dog, lifestyle, budget and needs.  

Ask yourself the following questions to help ensure you end up with the best choice:

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    What is the primary reason you are purchasing the bed? Are you simply in need of a laying surface for your pet, or are you seeking a bed that will help take some of the stress off his hips or back? Do you need a bed that is easy to transport or use outside? The answers to these questions should play a big role in your decision-making process.
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    What size bed do you need? Do you need a “large” bed for your 90-pound Doberman pinscher, or are you searching for a “gigantic” bed for your 200-pound Great Dane? Some beds are not large enough for giant breed.
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    What is your budget? Many of the best large dog beds are expensive, but you can still get a very high-quality bed for a reasonable price. But, you’ll usually have to make a few sacrifices when doing so.

Most pet owners will be able to determine the best bed for their needs by consulting the chart below.

If you want:

Then you should pick:

The biggest, thickest and most luxurious bed available

The Big Barker

A premium bed with a thick bolster

PetFusion Ultimate Dog Lounge

A premium bed for dogs with joint problems

Dogbed4less Orthopedic Memory Foam Bed

An affordable bed, for travel or outdoor use

K&H Pet Products Elevated Pet Bed

A budget-friendly bed that’s still well made

FurHaven Ultra Plush/Velvet Orthopedic Dog Bed

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Large Dog Bed Size: How Big Does it Need to Be?

It is very important to make sure you get a bed that is large enough to accommodate your big dog, otherwise, he’ll be forced to hang off the edges, which will reduce the support and comfort he deserves. Also, if you plan on putting the bed in a crate or fitting it into a tight space, you’ll also have to avoid buying a bed that is too large.

Determining the minimum size bed your dog requires a bit of homework. There is no quick-and-easy formula for figuring out the best bed size, so you’ll be best served by sneaking up on your dog while he’s sleeping comfortably and measuring the amount of space he takes up with a tape measure. It’s also a good idea to add a few inches to these results for a little wiggle room.

But while the former issue is a bit tricky to solve, the latter issue is fairly easy to address: Simply measure the space available and make sure you select a bed with smaller dimensions. This primarily relates to the length and width, but the height of the bed may be important in some cases too.

Dogs have varying builds, so it is difficult to provide generic recommendations, but typically speaking:

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    Large dogs (45 to 90 pounds) typically require beds that are at least 35 to 40 inches long
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    Giant dogs (weighing more than 90 pounds) may require an extra large dog bed that measure at least 40 to 45 inches long.
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    Truly enormous dogs (Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds and many Mastiffs) may need beds more than 50 inches long  

Taking Care of Your Large Dog Bed

Many of the best dog beds for large dogs are relatively expensive items, and you’ll want to be sure it lasts for as long as possible and continues looking as good as it did when you first purchased it. And while some degree of wear and tear is unavoidable, you can maximize a bed’s lifespan by simply caring for it properly.

You’ll always want to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer, but try to incorporate these tips and tricks whenever possible (assuming that they do not contradict the manufacturer’s guidelines):

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    Adjust the frequency with which you wash the cover based on the durability of the fabric. The more often you wash a bed cover, the better it will continue to look. However, thin covers may start to fall apart if they’re washed too frequently.
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    Always use the gentlest and coolest cycles possible when washing and drying the cover. It doesn’t take very much agitation to get the dirt, hair and sweat out of a cover, and high-heat dryer cycles may cause covers to shrink. In fact, it is probably wise to hang-dry covers whenever possible, even if they are safe for machine drying.
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    Spot clean the cover to keep it looking good between washes. You don’t have to remove and wash the cover every time your dog drags his muddy paws across his bed. Just grab a damp cloth and wipe it clean. If you do so quickly, the dirt will usually come off easily. It’s also a good idea to brush off the hair covering the bed once a week or so.
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    Consider adding a fabric protectant to the cover. A fabric protectant (such as this one) will help prevent stains and even impart a bit of water-resistance to the cover. Just be sure to test the protectant in an inconspicuous place to ensure it won’t discolor the fabric before coating the entire cover.
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    Purchase a waterproof interior cover if your dog is prone to accidents. If you have an older dog, who has the occasional (or frequent) accident, you’ll want to purchase a pet bed with a waterproof cover (such as the Petbed4less Orthopedic Bed) or purchase an after-market plastic cover to use with the bed.
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Have you found a large dog bed that works best for your canine? Tell us all about it. Let us know what model and size you chose, as well as your experiences with it. Has it held up to your dog’s claws? Does it provide the kind of support your dog needs? Is it easy to keep clean?

Let us know in the comments below.

Product photos courtesy of 

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OakleyOriginals via

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