What We Like
Multiple sizes, including XXL
Contains orthopedic foam for joints
Made in the USA
What We Don't Like
Not for every dog
While watching a 12-year-old chihuahua and Jack Russell terrier mix named Roxie, I knew I needed to up my dog-bed game. She’s a play-hard, sleep-even-harder kind of pup, and I couldn’t stand to see her resting her old joints on the floor.
So, I picked up Big Barker’s Headrest Edition Dog Bed. Between the orthopedic foam and cotton padding designed to help senior dogs’ joints and the soft, cozy microfiber material, the Big Barker sounded comfortable enough for me to sleep on—let alone Roxie. But if I’ve learned anything from my own pup, Harry, there’s really no rhyme or reason to why dogs like one dog bed over another. (He’s particularly fond of his first—and now almost entirely flat—bed, not to mention the floor.)
Still, I decided to go with my instincts. I treated little Roxie to two weeks of cozy sleeps on high-end bedding. Here’s how the pet-sitting fared.
Size: All options offer a lot of space for lounging
Spaciousness is one of the things that drew me to this dog bed. The Headrest Edition Dog Bed is available in two versions: “Big Barker,” a 7-inch-thick mattress for large dog breeds weighing 50 to 250 pounds, and “Barker Junior,” a 4-inch-thick mattress for small dogs under 50 pounds. Each version has several size options: large, extra-large, and giant for the Big Barker and small, medium, and large for the Junior. Roxie weighs 25 pounds, so I opted for the Barker Junior in size medium, and it ended up being perfect, providing ample room.
It’s definitely worth the price for the dogs who need it, although if your dog is picky when it comes to dog beds, don’t expect a quick connection.
When fully stretched out, Roxie reached from the headrest to almost the end of the bed, with a little room for my mom’s little Havanese puppy, Mazy, who was visiting. If Roxie were any bigger, I would definitely want to go up a size just to make sure she (and any other visiting pups) have enough space for cuddling.
Materials: High-quality and American-made
All sizes of this dog bed feature a soft microfiber exterior with American-made foam that’s designed to not only last but also ease joint pain and painful conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia in older pups. Fortunately, Roxie doesn’t have the worst of these senior dog health problems—she’s still pretty spry—but she does get tired after a few laps around the home. I watched closely to see if the Big Barker was her chosen resting spot.
For some reason, it wasn’t. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the bed. Older dogs also tend to like the things they know versus new, cutting-edge products—and she loved the bed she slept on the last time she visited. Plus, the manufacturers even say it takes the dogs a while to get used to this bed. When I put her back on the bed for some testing, she fell asleep within minutes, and after a few days, she curiously tried it out—albeit briefly—on her own.
Aesthetically, the variety of colors is appealing. I opted for slate gray because it fits in with my home décor, although khaki, chocolate, and burgundy are also available.
Comfortability: Helps pups fall asleep instantly
Roxie was pretty opinionated when it came to the Big Barker Headrest Edition Dog Bed—as in, she wasn’t interested. But whenever I picked her up and placed her on the bed (then sat by to pet her, of course), she fell asleep within minutes. She loved resting her weary little head on the orthopedic foam headrest, and she stayed asleep on the bed until she heard me move. After that, it was back to the floor or her more familiar bed from her last visit.
This orthopedic foam bed was probably more comfortable than my own.
You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks (or to love a new bed), but my mom’s young and energetic 2-year-old dog, Mazy, was all about the Big Barker bed. She watched Roxie fall asleep on it and found her way to it over and over again. I’d walk out of the kitchen and find the tiny, 10-pound Mazy cuddled asleep using the headrest as back support. Sure, it’s not exactly how most dogs use a headrest, but I was happy to see she enjoyed it—even if her little bones are far from arthritic.
Though Roxie’s relationship with this pricey bed is still a work in progress, I was impressed as a pet owner and sitter to find that this orthopedic foam bed was probably more comfortable than my own. I sat on the edge of the bed when first coaxing Roxie on, and I felt firsthand just how cushy and comfortable sleeping on the Big Barker would be.
Washing: Machine-washable for easy cleaning
With dog beds, the potential for stains is crazy high. And it only increases as dogs get older. During my time with Roxie, she spit up a little on the fabric, but I was able to easily wash it by removing the foam and machine-washing the cover with cold water. The liquid stain did seep down into the foam, which required some hand scrubbing with soap and water (this part is not machine-washable).
Durability: 10-year “won’t flatten” promise
The Big Barker Headrest Edition Dog Bed isn’t just built for comfort; it’s built to last. That’s why the brand has a 10-year “can’t flatten, won’t flatten” guarantee. The high-quality foam is designed to stay supportive and full without lumps or craters in the middle of the bed—even for the largest dogs. This is in large part thanks to the three-stage foam construction, not to mention the high-quality American materials that fill the bed.
Price: Not cheap
I’m willing to splurge on my dogs—and even dog guests—more than I am myself, which is why I didn’t balk when I saw the initial price tag of around $160, down from the full price of $219.95. “Roxie deserves the most comfortable sleep possible,” I rationalized with myself. “This will make her want to come back!”
Of course, she loves visiting me for the chance to see Harry much more than the pricey dog bed, but after seeing and testing the dog bed on my own—and watching how Mazy gravitated toward it—I can confirm the dog bed is as comfortable and cushy as promised. It’s definitely worth the price for the dogs who need it, although if your dog is picky when it comes to dog beds, don’t expect a quick connection.
The brand has a 10-year ‘can’t flatten, won’t flatten’ guarantee.
(Keep in mind, the beds do get more expensive the bigger the dog; the giant Big Barker bed sells for about $500.)
Warranty: 10-year warranty with a one-year trial
Perhaps the biggest perk of this Big Barker bed is that if your pup doesn’t like it after one year, you can return it, no questions asked. This comes in handy for those of us with opinionated dogs—cough, Roxie, cough—and makes sense since the founders say it can take dogs some time to get used to it. The 10-year warranty is also a big plus, as this bed is definitely an investment.
Big Barker Headrest Edition Dog Bed vs. PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed & Lounge
I also tested the PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed & Lounge. Like the Big Barker bed, the PetFusion was designed for large and senior pups and boasts cozy memory foam for strong support, with a removable and washable cover for any spills. The bed also comes with a water-resistant and anti-tear exterior, as well as a padded wall that pups love to use as a headrest. The PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed comes in several sizes, from small to XXL (although no medium). The PetFusion bed is significantly more affordable than Big Barker, with prices starting at $74.95 for a small.
Interested in checking out more options? Take a peek at our guide to the best orthopedic dog beds available.
- Product Name Headrest Edition Dog Bed
- Product Brand Big Barker
- Price $199.95
- Weight 3.75 lbs.
- Color Khaki, burgundy, charcoal gray, chocolate
- Warranty 10 years