A dog's main defense against the heat is by panting, and it's not always enough to keep them comfortable. There are several items you can provide to help your dog stay cool even when the temperatures soar including unlimited fresh water, a fan, shade, a cold treat, and a cooling bed.
There are three styles of cooling beds designed for dogs: mesh, cot-style elevated beds that let air circulate underneath, cooling pads filled with a gel that resembles an ice pack, and more traditional-looking plush beds with cooling gel built in.
To find the very best, we bought 22 different cooling beds, then set them to the homes of 22 canine testers. Their humans helped of course, recording how each dog used the bed, whether it stood up to chewing, and where the bed was set up (indoors, outdoors, on the go, etc.), in addition to making judgments regarding build quality, size adequacy, and how easy each bed was to clean.
Our testers' overall favorite was the K9 Ballistics Chew Proof Armored Rip-Stop Elevated Dog Bed, which is impressively durable, and uses an elevated platform so cool air can wick away your dog's heat. Seven other cooling dog beds also won the hearts of our testers, so we also have additional recommendations that may work even better for your dog.
Now you can help keep your dog cool anywhere you take them—from the great outdoors to your living room, here are the best cooling dog beds.
K9 Ballistics Chew Proof Armored™ Rip-Stop Elevated Dog Bed
Easy to wipe clean or hose down
Available in three colors
No assembly required
Supports up to 250 pounds of stationary weight (all sizes)
120 day chew-proof guarantee
Fits inside most standard sized crates
Certified B-Corporation and made in the USA
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Our tester's dog was able to easily drag the lightweight bed
Designed with diligent chewers in mind, the Chew Proof Armored Rip-Stop Elevated Dog Bed is made to handle gnawing, clawing, and any other canine exploits, but is also comfortable enough to keep your doggo cool and comfortable.
"If you want a sturdy and chew-resistant bed, this is definitely worth the investment," our tester said. "The material is good and breathable, and the elevation definitely keeps it cooler than hot surfaces like the outdoor ground in the summer."
Their 65-pound English bulldog, with a reputation as a bed-destroyer, put this bed through the wringer—all in the name of science! After unboxing the K9 Ballistics bed—it ships fully assembled—our tester's powerful pup got to work, chomping and pawing, but their human hardly noticed a scratch.
"I am truly impressed with the quality and durability," they said. "It really is chew resistant!"
The cot-like frame is made with lightweight aluminum, which is 100% recyclable, with a platform that is raised between 4.5 to 8 inches off the ground, depending on the size of the bed you select. The body of the dog bed is composed of K9's proprietary ripstop fabric, which has a tight weave that won't sag, but still offers orthopedic support. Our bulldog tester liked using the bed as a platform for chewing on toys.
The Rip-Stop Elevated Dog Bed can support up to 250 pounds, but it's still easy to move around. Our tester found that their dog was also able to easily drag the bed (this dog took testing very seriously), which might be a downside if you are trying to keep the bed in a consistent place and would prefer your dog doesn't impromptu redecorate.
This cooling bed is available in three shades and five sizes, and is designed to fit most standard-sized crate dimensions. While the platform can't be removed from the frame, it's easy to clean by wiping down the surface, or even blasting it with a hose. K9 Ballistics offers a 120-day chew-proof guarantee, and your Chew Proof Armored Elevated Dog Bed can even be customized with your dog's name.
K9 Ballistics is also a certified B Corporation—a non-profit that audits companies according to high environmental and ethical standards—currently working toward zero-waste operation by 2024.
Price at time of publish: $160 (Large)
Dimensions: 41" L x 27" W x 6" H for Large | Sizes: Small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large | Materials: Woven ripstop fabric, aluminum | Bed Type: Elevated
Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Pet Bed
Easy to assemble
Easy to clean using tap water
1 year warranty from Amazon
Caps on legs to prevent scratches on floors and objects, like rocks, from entering
Low weight limit, so very large dogs may cause platform to sag
Each bed size provides the same elevation, and small, old dogs may struggle to climb up 7 inches
The AmazonBasics Cooling Elevated Dog Bed has a breathable mesh platform that's elevated seven inches off the ground. The frame is made of iron with rounded corners and stable feet, and it can all be wiped down to clean with tap water.
"I really appreciate that the legs of this bed have caps to prevent rocks and dirt from getting stuck inside the poles," noted our tester. The caps also help to prevent scratching on floors when used indoors.
Our tester's 75-pound Golden Retriever dog took to the bed immediately, stretching out to rest and bringing their toys to chew and play. "He seemed very comfortable and cool, even during the dog days of summer in Los Angeles."
While AmazonBasics is a solid pick for most dog owners, it has a drastically reduced weight limit compared to our top pick from K9 Ballistics. The largest-sized bed is meant for dogs between 91-110 pounds. Heavier dogs risk straining the mesh platform, leading to a sagging bed over time.
The bed requires assembly, but all supplies and tools are included. It's available in 2 colors and 5 sizes, and comes with a 1-year guarantee from Amazon. "I think this is a great durable and affordable option for dogs that run hot or are more destructive with their beds."
Price at time of publish: $30 (Large)
Dimensions: 51"L x 31"W x 8"H for large | Sizes: X-small, small, medium, large, X-large | Materials: PVC mesh fabric and iron | Bed Type: Elevated
Yep HHO Outdoor Elevated Pet Canopy Bed
Attachable, waterproof canopy and carrying case included
Easy to breakdown for transport
Easy to wipe clean or hose down
Our tester found it difficult to stabilize the bed on a gravel patio
Hit the beach, the park, or your backyard, if you love to explore the great outdoors with your dog, the YEP HHO Elevated Dog Bed is the cooling bed to get for your traversing pet. It comes with a removable, waterproof canopy to keep your dog in the shade and block out UV rays. No tools are required for assembly and disassembly, and it comes with a custom-fit carrying bag.
"It's a great value just based on its ease of setup and portability," shared our tester.
The bed's sturdy frame is made of steel and features an additional middle bar for support. While the breathable mesh center provides a comfortable and cool place for your dog to rest. You might even be tempted to try it out for yourself as our tester did.
"It seems to be made of durable materials and can hold a lot of weight. I myself laid down on it like a cot and found it very comfortable and supportive," our tester said.
This bed works best on flat surfaces, and our tester had difficulty stabilizing it on their gravel patio. They also noted that the height of 7-inches might be too high for some dogs to navigate on their own.
Price at time of publish: $53 (Medium)
Dimensions: 42"L x 30.3"W x 7"H for Medium | Sizes: Medium, X-large | Materials: Alloy steel, Oxford fabric, mesh | Bed Type: Elevated
Best Cooling Gel
Furhaven Plush & Suede Cooling Gel Top Sofa Dog Bed
Effective cooling gel built-in
3 bolstered sides
Removable, machine-washable cover
Our tester found the bed to be larger than expected, so measure your space carefully
FurHaven’s Plush & Suede Cooling Gel Top Sofa Dog Bed features a soft, inviting exterior with memory foam and cooling gel inside, your dog will love cuddling up for naps and throughout the night.
"The bed is definitely cooler than other surfaces, and he sleeps on it every day for multiple hours," observed our tester who found the bed particularly beneficial for their dog during a heatwave.
"It's aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t feel out of place in my home." Throughout our testing time frame, their 65-pound dog never returned to their previous, non-cooling bed, so this bed is now in their living room. With three bolstered sides, this sofa-style bed has a generous amount of space for all sleeping styles—splayed out, curled up, on their side, with a pal, and so on.
The cover can be spot cleaned or completely removed and placed in a washing machine, and the bed in available in a variety of colors and sizes.
Price at time of publish: $64 for Large
Dimensions: 36"L x 27"W x 6.5"H for Large | Sizes: Small, medium, large, jumbo, jumbo plus | Materials: Polyester, synthetic fabric, gel foam, orthopedic foam, and foam | Bed Type: Bolstered sofa
Best Cooling Pad
The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad
Lightweight and portable
Hand wash or wipe clean
Pressure activated non-toxic gel
No water, refrigeration, or electricity needed
Fits inside most standard-sized crates
If you are looking for a portable way to keep your dog cool, or just want something that won't take up too much space, the Green Shop Cool Pet Pad is the item to get.
"Our dog instantly runs over to the mat after long walks and cools herself off in a few minutes," shared our tester who lives in Charleston, South Carolina where temps hovered around 100 degrees during our testing period.
The pad is pressure-activated, so when your dog steps and/or lays on it, the non-toxic gel gets started to cool things down. "It's shocking how well this mat cools, and it activates almost instantly on contact." There is no water, refrigeration, or electricity needed, and the cooling experience lasts up to 3 hours.
The sturdy plastic exterior is flexible and the pad can be folded up for easy storage and transport. It fits in most standard-sized crates and can be placed on top of an existing bed. It's also easy to spot clean with soap and water.
Price at time of publish: $59 for Large
Dimensions: 35"W x 23.6"L x 0.02"H inches for Large | Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Materials: Plastic and Non-Toxic Gel | Bed Type: Pet Pad
Best for Camping
K&H Pet Products Original Pet Cot
Attachable canopy available (sold separately)
Non-skid rubber feet
Repels moisture, mold, mildew, bacteria, and odors
Easy to breakdown for transport, no tools required
Removable cover that is machine washable
Easy to wipe clean or hose down
Carrying case not included
Gather around the campfire with your favorite furry companion, and bring this hammock-style dog bed to keep them cool and comfortable throughout your adventure in nature.
"The cover is machine-washable, which is a plus compared to other options that are spot-clean only," shared on tester who enjoys camping with their 75-pound Golden Retriever. "My dog seemed very comfortable on this bed, even on hot days outside."
The K&H Original Pet Cot is designed to be resistant to moisture, mold, mildew, bacteria, and odor, which is essential for outdoor recreational use. In addition, the bed is easy to assemble and break down, without the need for tools, and it's lightweight. Our tester did note that a carrying case is not included but would be helpful. You can also add a touch of personal shade with a canopy accessory that is sold separately but easy to attach.
The sturdy bed is built to hold up to 200 pounds (300 pounds for the X-Large) and non-skid rubber feet help to keep it in place as your dog hops on and off. "One of my dog's friends came over, and the two of them played on it with no problem."
Price at time of publish: $43 for Large
Dimensions: 30"L x 42"W x 7"H for Large | Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Materials: Metal and Mesh | Bed Type: Elevated
Best for Small Breeds
Veehoo Cooling Elevated Dog Bed
No-slip rubber feet
Easy to wipe clean or hose down
Easy to breakdown for transport
Not recommended for dogs with joint issues
Legs had to be re-tightened each time our tester moved the bed
The VeeHoo Cooling Elevated Bed has a ventilated mesh center that's kept 7 inches from the ground (9 inches for X-Large) by 4 steel legs with anti-slip rubber feet. The space underneath and the fabric allow for ventilation which increases the air circulation, so your tiny yet mighty friend can embrace the breeze.
"This dog bed definitely helped my smaller dog withstand the heat more than usual," remarked our tester.
Their small 20-pound dog took to this bed right away and was able to hop on and off as they pleased to join their human in the backyard. "It's a great outdoor bed for all dogs," but our tester did caution that it might not work for dogs that have joint issues or are afraid of moving to a different level on their own.
The bed can easily be hosed down or wiped clean to remove dirt, drool, or anything else your pup might bring along while they lounge. The mesh is tear-resistant so it can withstand powerful pawing, but our tester did experience some difficulty with keeping the legs securely fastened as they moved it from their patio to the backyard.
Price at time of publish: $32 for Small
Dimensions: 22"L x 17"W x 7"H for Small | Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Materials: Textilene Mesh and Powder-Coated Steel | Bed Type: Elevated
Best for Large
Kuranda Standard Walnut PVC Dog Bed
Chew proof fabric
Easy to wipe clean
1 year chew proof warranty
Made in the USA
Easy to assemble
Fleece pad accessory available (sold separately)
Available in a variety of colors
Walnut version intended for indoor use only
If you have a large and/or long doggo and want to keep them cool in your home, the Kuranda Standard PVC Dog Bed is the one to get. The elevated design can hold up to 100-pounds and offers orthopedic support by evenly distributing the weight to remove pressure points on hips and joints.
"I recommend owners measure their dogs while they're lying down in addition to considering their weight," advised our tester. Their 50-pound dog fit comfortably on the large size, but the tester feels the x-large would have been more appealing to their furry companion who loves to spread out while relaxing.
Throughout the testing period, their dog enjoyed digging, snacking, and playing on the cot-like bed, and our tester only noticed a few marks on the fabric. "I'm impressed by the quality of this dog bed. It's extremely durable and well-fabricated."
Kuranda, the manufacturer, uses a patented woven fabric blend to stand up against chewing and offers a 1-year chew-proof guarantee, The walnut frame version of this bed that we tested is recommended for indoor use only and can be wiped clean. There is also an almond frame model that can be used indoors and outdoors. If your dog prefers a cozier spot to rest, a plush pad designed to fit the bed can purchase separately.
Price at time of publish: $94 for Large
Dimensions: 40"L x 25"W x 7"H for Large | Sizes: Toy, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large | Materials: PVC frame (Aluminum also available), Stainless Steel fasteners, Mesh, Nylon, or Vinyl surface | Bed Type: Elevated
Our best overall pick is the K9 Ballistics Chew Proof Armored Elevated Dog Bed, because it's durable, lightweight, and will keep your pet comfortable year-round. If you'd prefer a more portable cooling mat, check out the Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad. It's activated on contact making it an easy item to bring along while traveling or to add to your dog's existing area in your home.
What to Consider When Selecting A Cooling Dog Bed
Your Dog's Weight, Length, and Mobility
All three factors should be considered together when selecting the right cooling bed for your dog. You want to make sure your dog is secure, has plenty of space to lay out, and has no problem getting in and out of the bed on their own. If your dog has mobility issues, our pick for Best Cooling Gel, the FurHaven Plush & Suede Cooling Gel Top Sofa Dog Bed, might be the most comfortable and accessible for your pup. While most of our recommended models come in multiple sizes, it varies from brand to brand whether larger sizes are held higher off the ground.
If you plan to bring the cooling bed with you on adventures big and small, you should highly consider an elevated bed that is easy to collapse and carry, like the YEP HHO Elevated Dog Bed. Our top choice for Best Cooling Pad, the Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat, is also very easy to tote around.
Portability is also partially a consequence of assembly, since a dog bed that's easy to disassemble will also be easier to move from place to place. Look in particular for a dog bed that's assembled with an allen wrench or hex key—these tiny tools are easy to keep packaged with your dog bed kit, and can enable simple assembly by hand.
How We Tested
We purchased 22 of the latest and top-reviewed cooling beds for dogs, carefully selecting a variety to help dog guardians identify the one that is best suited for their dog and lifestyle. Each cooling bed was sent to a home with a dog to be used for a duration of 3 weeks. Throughout this time, each human tester recorded and photographed their dog’s experience.
Testers also followed a precise methodology written with the help of pet experts—we consult veterinarians, vet techs, animal behavioral researchers, manufacturing specialists, and other expert sources while developing our testing protocols. Our criteria for evaluation of these cooling beds focused on their cooling effectiveness, build quality, size, comfort, and how easy they are to clean. Any special features and accessories, such as a carrying case, were also included in the assessment.
After the testing period, our editors dove into the data to identify the top-performing cooling beds. Our final picks were selected with a combination of experiential descriptions and the scoring averages provided by our testers.
When does a dog need a cooling bed?
To stay cool, dogs pant and release heat through their paw pads and nose. When the temperatures rise, it's important to make sure your dog is able to cool off to avoid illness or heatstroke. A cooling bed can provide a comfortable place to rest, especially if you live or travel to areas with high temperatures.
Can a dog sleep on a cooling bed?
Yes, a dog can sleep on a cooling bed if they feel comfortable. If the cooling bed is elevated, make sure your dog can easily get on and off in case they need a sip of water, need a potty break, or want to hang out with you.
Why Trust the Spruce Pets
This roundup was written by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets, who shares her home with a lovely pomeranian named Gidget. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Anna embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.