Most likely, your pooch sleeps indoors every night. And you’ve made sure that he has his very own bed to give him a spot to call his own. But have you ever considered getting him an outdoor bed as well?
An outdoor bed provides your dog with a comfortable place to cool down and nap while he’s in your porch or backyard. Even if you have a well-shaded and grassy backyard, it’s not an ideal place for him to lounge there. Not only will it prevent him from getting dirty (or dirtier), an elevated outdoor bed will help him cool off in the shade while still enjoying the fresh air outside.
Obviously, not all outdoor dog beds are the same. Some come with a canopy (like a tent) while others have a sofa-style. There are outdoor dog beds that are ideal for summer. Others are designed for winter with the added presence of a heated pad. You can choose between a variety of sizes, even an x-large bed for your x-large dog. Because there are so many options available, it’s important that you choose the one that suits your dog best. That’s where we come in. Below, we discuss what features you need to consider as well as our picks for the best outdoor dog beds in the market today.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Dog Bed:
You need to make sure that your dog has a decent amount of size to sprawl all over the bed. For smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkies, the recommended size is around 20 inches by 30 inches. Medium-sized dogs like French Bulldogs and Beagles will need something around 25 to 35 inches. Large breeds like German Shepherds must have at least 35 inches by 45 inches. Take note that some manufacturers don’t offer x-large sizes. To make sure that you get the right size for your pet, measure him while he’s in his normal sleeping position and add a few inches more.
Out of all the factors you’ll need to consider before buying an outdoor dog bed, comfort is the most important. If your dog doesn’t love lounging in the bed, then what’s the point, right? You also need to make sure that the fabric used is breathable. This will ensure that your pooch is able to cool down properly outside even during the dog days of summer. The material should also be abrasion resistant to make it extra durable. Canvas and Cordura are good options because they are both breathable and have enhanced abrasion resistance.
Your dog’s bed will require cleaning from time to time. Your dog might eat treats, shed fur, scratch fleas, or wipe dirt all over his bed. If your dog has allergies, you’ll need to make sure to wash his bed frequently. It will be more convenient for you if you can easily throw the bed inside the washing machine. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to see how well you’ll be able to follow it.
Since this bed is going to be outside, it’s important that you make sure it’s as safe from Mother Nature as possible. Getting a bed that’s waterproof ensures that your pooch has somewhere dry to lay down on after a shower of rain. More importantly, it will help prolong the bed’s lifespan. Choose a stainless steel-framed bed or another type of material that’s rust-resistant if you get an elevated cot for your pet.
If your pet loves cooling off outside, you might want to get him a bed with a shade like a tent. For dogs who love to spend time outdoors during cooler months, then you’ll want to look for one that features a heated pad.
If you plan to take your dog on outdoor adventures such as camping trips, then you might want to get a dog bed that’s portable. At the very least, get one that can be easy to take apart and assemble.
The Top Picks for Outdoor Dog Beds: Ranked
#1 Best Overall Outdoor Dog Bed: Coolaroo The Original Elevated Pet Bed
- Off-the-ground design promotes and increases air flow on all sides of the bed, keeping your pet cool (Elevates pets more than 7 in. off the ground)
- Suspended platform provides added comfort by creating low-impact areas to pressure points and joints
- Breathable high density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric that helps eliminate hot spots
- Flea, mite, mold and mildew resistant
- Easy to wash and maintain
When it comes to outdoor dog beds, there’s only one that our tests proved to be best overall – Coolaroo The Original Elevated Pet Bed. While many manufacturers have tried to copy this design, we found that the Coolaroo is still number one in terms of comfort, durability, and ease of assembly. Plus, it is well within everyone’s budget.
The first thing we noticed when we got this outdoor dog bed is the fact that it comes with a breathable high-density polyethylene which is GREENGUARD certified. This means that the fabric is 100% recyclable and free from lead and phthalates.
Our dogs loved how breathable the fabric was. It has this cooling effect on their fur, making it the perfect outdoor bed for summer. The elevated design also helped promote more airflow which is a huge plus. The fabric is resistant to fleas, mites, mold, and mildew. Moreover, it’s super easy to clean. We just hosed it down in our backyard and left it to dry out in the sun.
Assembling the dog bed was easy though you might want a second hand to make the process smoother. It took us about 15 minutes or so to get this bed up. The bed is steel-framed, by the way, with powder coating. This should enable you to keep it outside even when it rains.
Of course, nothing is perfect. We would have liked this better if it came with shade to make it suitable for places where you can’t find any. But it isn’t a deal-breaker. And while the manufacturer doesn’t offer an x-large size, you will be glad to know that their large size is actually huge. However, it isn’t rated for dogs weighing more than 100 lbs. You’ll need to look somewhere else if your pup is heavier than this.
Click here to check out Coolaroo The Original Elevated Pet Bed at Amazon.com.
#2 Best Outdoor Bolster Bed: K&H Original Bolster Pet Cot
- Dog cot made of waterproof, heavy-denier fabric with fluffy plush bolster for ultimate pet comfort and security
- Raised dog bed helps pets stay cool with its mesh center
- Durable & tested for strength, holds up to 200 pounds
- Simple, tool-free assembly with non-skid rubber feet
- Removable, washable cover & bolster
The K&H Original Bolster Pet Cot is your best bet if you want an outdoor dog bed that’s a little more stylish and comfortable. Out of all the sofa-style options we came across, this one fared the best during our tests.
This dog bed comes with a waterproof, heavy denier fabric with a breathable mesh center to keep your dog cool even during the hottest days. The fabric repels moisture, mold, mildew, and bacteria. More importantly, our dirty pooch didn’t even leave his unpleasant doggy smell on the fabric after napping on it for an hour.
The bolster that surrounds three sides of the bed is soft and comfortable, making the bed ideal for dogs who need a pillow when snoozing. This sofa-style design is suitable for dogs who have acid reflux or suffer from neck pain. Anxious dogs will also feel more secure. And you can easily remove it for cleaning. The covers are machine-washable which is very convenient. You can just as easily clean it with a wet cloth and air-dry it.
We love that the covers are replaceable. And you can even buy a waterproof canopy if you want it to come with shade (like a tent), a cooling cover for summer, and a self-warming cover for winter. That being said, there are some flaws. The bed is not steel-framed; it is made of plastic. In addition, the price is much higher than our top pick; it is definitely not very budget-friendly.
Click here to check out K&H Original Bolster Pet Cot at Amazon.com.
#3 Best Outdoor Heated Dog Bed: K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pet Bed
- OUTDOOR WARMTH: Outdoor heated dog bed with soft orthopedic foam base and includes free soft washable fleece cover
- KEEP PET COMFY: Thermostatically controlled to automatically respond to temperature changes to warm to your pet's normal body temperature
- FLEXIBLE FOR ANY SPACE: Ideal for sheds, garages, barns, or any sheltered area your outdoor pets hang out
- SAFE EFFICIENCY: This 19" x 24" heated dog pad features a 5-½ feet steel wrapped cord and uses only 40 watts of power, great for multiple cats too
- RIGOROUSLY TESTED: Product have been thoroughly tested & certified by MET Labs to exceed USA/CA electrical safety standards
The K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pet Bed is the perfect outdoor bed for winter. It is made of soft orthopedic foam and comes with a fleece cover for extra comfort. More importantly, it maintains a steady 102 degrees Fahrenheit temperature while your pet lounges on it, keeping him warm while he enjoys some fresh air on chilly days.
To use this bed, we had to inflate it to pad it up a bit. No need for a pump, your lungs should be good enough. The fleece cover was incredibly soft and great at holding the heat in. We loved that the manufacturer added an extra safety feature – the power cord was wrapped in steel. Of course, the pad itself, while durable, is still not chew-proof. But it seemed tough enough to last a good long while. In fact, Met Labs has tested and certified the pad as exceeding USA/CA electrical safety standards.
We timed how fast the pad warmed up as well as how warm the pad stayed even when no one was using it. It took around 20 minutes for the bed to warm up and it maintains a temperature of around 95 degrees, only increasing in temperature when our dog (or a pillow) was lying on top of it. Take note that this is best used in an outdoor dog house, the garage, or some form of outside shelter.
Without the fleece cover, the bed is water-resistant which makes it easy to clean. A huge plus if you already have so many other chores to do around the house. However, we didn’t like how the cover doesn’t really stay on the bed. Moreover, there’s no on/off switch. And for the price, we kind of expected there to be one. That being said, this heated bed still scored better than other outdoor heated beds we tested.
Click here to check out K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Pet Bed at Amazon.com.
#4 Best Portable Outdoor Dog Bed: Cheerhunting Portable Outdoor Camping Dog Bed
- Waterproof and large size: Waterproof dog mat is made of Oxford cloth, water resistant for almost all weather, water or rain drops can be easily wiped off the mat instantly Do not recommend leave the water on the mat for long time. This pad is 51 inch *35 inch, large size for medium and large dogs
- Outdoor and indoor use: perfect outdoor dog bed, suitable as a camping mat, sleeping mat for pets, traveling car mat; also perfert as an indoor dog mat, suitable for crate mat, kennel mat.
- Durable and washable: mat is durable with refined stitching, scratch resistant and claw resistant, but not recommended for aggressive chewers; mat is washable, machine washed with gentle circle or hand washed
- Packable and portable: dog bed is packable, a carry bag is in the package, mat can be easily folded and slid into the bag; bag is portable, roll up the mat, convenient for travel, camping and other outdoor activities
- Easy to clean: front side is Oxford material, easy to clean, stains can be easily wiped off with a damp cloth
If you want an outdoor bed to take with you on your travels, the Cheerhunting Portable Outdoor Camping Dog Bed is the best option. It is made of Oxford cloth which makes it ideal for all kinds of weather. Whether you’re on the road for an adventure in the wild or just planning on going camping in your backyard, this outdoor bed should keep your dog comfy and cool.
This durable material is also easy to clean. You can simply wipe away any dirt or stain from the bed with a damp cloth. It’s also machine-washable. More importantly, we noticed that dirt and other stuff didn’t easily stick to it. We could lay it down on a patch of grass and there wouldn’t be a grass stain in sight afterward. We just needed to do a quick wipe to make sure it’s clean before rolling it up and putting it away.
This outdoor bed is water, scratch, and claw resistant. It’s available in different colors and sizes. And it comes with its own carry bag for easy transport and storage. However, this bed is not chew-proof, so if you have an aggressive chewer, then this is not for your pooch. Also, it’s a little more expensive than our number one pick, especially if you opt for the x-large size. Not so expensive as to blow a hole in your budget. But you’ll still feel the hit on your wallet.
Click here to check out Cheerhunting Portable Outdoor Camping Dog Bed at Amazon.com.
Last update on 2021-08-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Outdoor Dog Beds: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the best outdoor bedding for a dog?
The best outdoor bedding for a dog is one that is comfortable and breathable. You’ll want something that he loves lounging on while cooling him off during hot summer days. An elevated dog bed with breathable fabric would provide that. It will also enable dogs with aching joints easier access to the bed. If you plan on your pooch joining your camping trips, then the best outdoor bed should also be waterproof and portable. For beach trips, the best choice would be an outdoor bed with a canopy to give your pooch a place to cool off after some fun in the sun. If you want a dog bed that’s suitable for winter, then the best choice would be a bed with a heating pad. Every dog and pet parent is unique. What’s best for one isn’t always necessarily best for another. While the features we described will help you find the most suitable choice, you must have a clear understanding of your lifestyle, environment, and your pet’s needs.
What is the best waterproof dog bed?
The best waterproof dog bed, in our humble opinion, is the K&H Original Bolster Pet Cot. All other outdoor pet beds we came across were just water-resistant or simply not good enough to be included on our list. This bed is made of a waterproof, heavy denier fabric with a breathable mesh center. It doesn’t just repel moisture, it also repels mold, mildew, and bacteria.
What is the most durable dog bed?
The most durable dog bed is Coolaroo’s Original Elevated Dog Bed. This cot-style bed features breathable high-density polyethylene which is not only comfortable, but also very tough. It’s proven to be tougher than most other plastics. In addition, it is resistant to fleas, mites, mold, and mildew. Aside from the durable fabric, this outdoor bed has a frame made of powder-coated steel to keep it weatherproof.