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If your dog is getting older, you might notice that they seem stiff or that it takes them a little longer to get out of bed, both of which are signs they could benefit from an orthopedic bed.
“Orthopedic beds add an extra layer of support for dogs that have arthritis, achy joints, or mobility issues,” explains Dr. Tori Countner, DVM, owner of The Balanced Pet Vet. “Memory foam is ideal since it is a little firmer and prevents sagging so dogs can get up easier from their bed, and it gives extra support to joints."
Here, the best orthopedic dog beds to pamper your aging pup.
Best Overall: BarksBar Gray Orthopedic Dog Bed
Soft to the touch
Human-grade orthopedic memory foam
Cotton-padded walls for comfort and security
Rubber grip base to avoid slipping
Removable machine-washable cover
No matter your dog’s size, the BarksBar Orthopedic Dog Bed will keep them comfortable and cozy—all while providing the extra joint support they need. Our Best Overall bed comes in three sizes to suit all dogs, and it’s made from a 3.5-inch memory foam base that’s topped with a cotton padded bolster. The whole bed is covered with a quilted polyester fabric, and you can easily remove and wash the cover as needed. Our tester found the cover easy to clean in the washing machine, although it should be allowed to air-dry and shouldn't be put in the dryer.
Dogs love snuggling into the plush bolster on this bed, and it has a non-skid rubber bottom that provides stability when your dog gets up. Our tester liked that the bed’s base is cushy yet supportive, and the padded walls gave her pooch a sense of security as he snoozed.
Best Budget: Barkbox Orthopedic Ultra Plush Pressure-Relief Memory Foam Dog Bed
Reasonable price point
Gel-infused memory foam regulates temperature
Foam could be thicker
A little too big for certain crates
Orthopedic dog beds can get pretty pricey since they’re made with top-tier materials, but the Barkbox Memory Foam Platform Dog Bed is an affordable option that will still keep your senior dog comfortable. This bed comes in a wide range of sizes, from small all the way up to XX-large, and there are several cover colors to choose from, as well.
The Barkbox bed is a simple flat surface, making it suitable for a crate, if desired, and it’s made from a 3-inch layer of both pressure relieving and gel memory foam, which helps to regulate temperature and relieve pressure on joints. The cover is waterproof and machine washable as well, meaning there’s no need to worry if your dog occasionally has accidents.
Best Splurge: Big Barker 7 Inch Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed
Multiple sizes, including XXL
Contains orthopedic foam for joints
Made in USA
Not suited for small dogs
If you want nothing but the best for your aging dog, the Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed is a worthwhile splurge. While pricey, this bed is made from only the best memory foam and comes with an impressive 10-year warranty that promises it won’t flatten or sag over time.
This bed is designed with big dogs in mind, and it comes in large, extra large, and giant sizes, as well as several neutral colors. It’s a flat bed with a bolster on just one side, and it’s constructed from several layers of memory foam that form a 7-inch thick sleeping surface for your dog. Our tester said her dog fell asleep quickly on the bed, attesting to its comfort, and the brand has even done studies that show it can reduce joint pain and stiffness among big dogs.
Best for Large Dogs: Furhaven Orthopedic Dog Bed
Incredibly soft fabric
Bolsters provide a comfortable headrest
Well-cushioned eggshell foam support
Long fabric fibers collect hair
Large dog breeds, such as German Shepherds or Labradors, need more space to spread out, and the Furhaven Orthopedic Foam Dog Bed comes in large and jumbo sizes to comfortably accommodate them. This bed has an egg crate-style orthopedic foam in the base that soothes pressure points and provides joint support, and it has an L-shaped bolster on two sides filled with recycled material.
The cover of the bed comes in several colors to match your taste, and it has a plush faux fur fabric on top with a wear-resistant micro-suede on the sides. The cover is machine-washable for easy maintenance, and our reviewer says it holds up well with occasional fluffing.
Best for Small Dogs + Best with Bolster: Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed
Bolstered sides for support
Removable, machine-washable cover
Can collect lots of hair/fur
Dog beds with bolsters are ideal for pups who like to rest their head on a higher surface while sleeping, and the Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed features raised edges around three sides, giving your senior dog an opening where they can easily climb in. This orthopedic dog bed comes in several sizes, ranging from small to jumbo, and it comes in several neutral colors. The base is made from pressure-relieving memory foam, and it even features a water-resistant liner—ideal if your dog occasionally has accidents.
The bed has an anti-tear cover that will resist your dog’s claws, and a non-slip bottom keeps it securely in place. Our reviewer said her dogs immediately took to the bed, which is covered in a suede material, but noted that it does collect quite a bit of pet hair. Luckily, the cover can be removed and machine washed as needed.
Best for Crates: Milliard Quilted Padded Orthopedic Dog Bed
Fits in standard dog crates
Not available for small crates
For senior dogs who are crate-trained, the Milliard Orthopedic Dog Bed is the perfect size to fit in a standard-size dog crate. It’s available in small, large and extra-large sizes that fit 36-, 42- and 48-inch crates, respectively, and it’s made from supportive egg crate foam that provides orthopedic support for aging pooches. This dog bed has a soft quilted pillow top and a non-slip bottom with small rubber grips, and the cover is easy to unzip and clean in your washing machine.
Best Cooling: Sealy Lux Quad Layer Orthopedic Dog Bed with Cooling Gel
Gel foam keeps dogs cool
Charcoal-infused foam absorbs bad odors
Several size and color options
Cover can become wrinkled
If your dog likes to stay cool while sleeping, the Sealy Lux Orthopedic Dog Bed has a layer of cooling gel foam that helps to regulate their body temperature by dissipating heat. The bed comes in several sizes to accommodate nearly all dog breeds, and there are four color options to choose from, as well.
This dog bed is made from high-quality memory foam, and it has bolsters on three sides where your dog can rest their head. The base of the bed is made with charcoal to help absorb odors, and the cover can be machine washed if it ever gets too dirty.
Best Waterproof: Bedsure Orthopedic Dog Bed
Full-coverage waterproof liner
Easy to clean
Not available in small sizes
Some senior dogs occasionally leak urine, and if you’re looking for a waterproof orthopedic bed, this one from Bedsure is a top-rated choice. It’s a standard rectangular shape that can be used in a crate, if desired, and it comes in medium to extra-large sizes. However, the main appeal of this bed is that it comes with a full-coverage waterproof inner liner that protects the inner memory foam from accidents.
The Bedsure Bed is topped with a layer of soft fleece fabric, and it has a non-skid bottom that will keep it from slipping when your dog climbs on or off. The outer cover can be removed and machine washed as needed to keep it clean, and the bed’s memory foam is a great balance of cushy yet supportive.
The BarksBar Orthopedic Dog Bed is a great choice for all types of dogs, as it comes in small, medium, and large sizes. It’s made from memory foam with a cushy bolster around the edges, and it has a non-slip base that will prevent it from moving as your dog gets up. If you’re willing to spend top dollar for your dog, you might also consider the Big Barker Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed, which is made from 7 inches of durable memory foam and comes with an impressive 10-year warranty against sagging.
What to Look for in an Orthopedic Dog Bed
First off, determine the size that's best suited for your pet. Most dog beds are available in numerous sizes, ranging from small to XXL. Dog bed sizes aren’t always consistent between brands, so it’s important to check both a bed’s recommended weight, as well as its dimensions, to ensure your dog will fit in it comfortably.
Orthopedic dog beds are designed to provide superior support to your dog’s joints, and to do this, they need to be made from high-quality materials. “Material such as memory foam helps support joints and limbs while laying down and provide stability when getting up from the beds,” explains Dr. Countner. “The bed should have a non-slip underside or should be placed on non-slip flooring to prevent instability when standing up.”
When it comes to dog beds, the two main styles to look for are flat beds and bolster beds. “Some dogs like flat beds, others prefer a bolster along the sides to feel safe or rest their heads on,” says Dr. Countner. “Some dogs like a cooling pad/gel built in since their joints can be inflamed and run warm.”
What makes a dog bed orthopedic?
Orthopedic dog beds provide more support than average dog beds. They’re often made from memory foam, which cushions pressure points while still supporting joints, and they can help reduce pain for dogs with arthritis, still joints, and other health problems associated with aging.
How do I know when my dog needs an orthopedic bed?
Orthopedic dog beds are most popular with senior dogs, but they’re also beneficial for dogs with certain medical problems. “Dogs with arthritis, painful joints, trouble standing up, mobility issues, or pressure sores can benefit from an orthopedic bed,” says Dr. Countner. “If your dog is in pain or getting older, consider getting an orthopedic bed to make them more comfortable.”
How do you wash an orthopedic dog bed?
To wash an orthopedic dog bed, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically entails removing the cover, which may be able to go in the washing machine—you’ll want to consult its care tag to see what cycle to use. Most orthopedic dog beds have memory foam inside, which can only be spot cleaned.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a lifelong animal owner who’s tested numerous dog beds in her career as a product tester. Before writing this article, she interviewed Dr. Tori Countner, DVM, owner of the Balanced Pet Vet, for information on what to look for in an orthopedic dog bed. To select products, she prioritized beds made from high-quality memory foam that feature non-slip bases. The Spruce Pets team also tested top products with our own dogs.