What To Know About Orthopedic Dog Beds

Updated: May 18, 2023

Dogs of any size and age can benefit from some extra support. Discover how an orthopedic dog bed can ease your dog's sore joints.

While 86% of pups have a dog bed, only 18% of their pet parents prioritize orthopedic qualities, according to the 2023-2024 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey.

Perhaps they should. A study by The University of Pennsylvania shows orthopedic beds play a significant role in alleviating joint pain, enhancing mobility and improving the overall quality of life for our canine companions.

Here’s what to know about the benefits of orthopedic dog beds, plus how to pick the best dog bed for your pup.

What Is an Orthopedic Dog Bed?

Whether you own a senior dog or a younger one with joint problems, you can make your home and lifestyle more comfortable for them. Aging dogs and those with inherited joint disorders can suffer from arthritis and other conditions that also affect humans.

Orthopedic beds use layers of cushioning and specialty foam to support your dog’s joints, spine and neck, reducing pressure. Memory foam is an ideal material, but not all memory foam beds are orthopedic grade.

Unfortunately, there are no regulations or certifications that “prove” a bed is orthopedic. However, choosing a CertiPUR-US Certified bed indicates a third-party non-profit organization verified the foam meets quality standards for emissions, content, performance and durability.

Do Dogs Need Orthopedic Beds?

When your dog needs more joint support, an orthopedic dog bed can help. They’re ideal for dogs with arthritis and joint pain, or those healing from surgery or an injury.

Before using an orthopedic dog bed, talk to your veterinarian. They might suggest other ways to manage your dog’s pain.

Choosing an Orthopedic Dog Bed

Not all orthopedic dog beds are made the same. Here are some key features to consider, depending on your dog’s needs.

  • Size: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Luckily, so do orthopedic beds. Select one your dog can comfortably lay on. If they’re hanging over the edge of the bed, it’s too small.
  • Materials: The bed should be thick, but your dog shouldn’t sink into it. They should have a certain level of firmness. Two popular materials are memory foam and egg-crate foam.
  • Safety considerations: Look for a bed with a bottom that prevents your dog from slipping when they lay down or get up. If your dog is prone to chewing, look for one that can stand up to teeth and paws.
  • Design: These vary. Flat orthopedic beds are easy for dogs to get in and out of, but they don’t have neck support. If your dog needs or prefers neck support, a bolster-style bed might be better for them.
  • Ease of cleaning: This is important. Consider a water-resistant bed with a removable cover that can be thrown in the washing machine.

Best Orthopedic Dog Beds

We’ve selected four highly-rated models that are supportive, durable and safe.

Best Cooling Orthopedic Dog Bed

sealy Lux Pet Dog Bedvia merchant

If you live in a warm climate, consider the Sealy Lux Pet Dog Bed. It features three layers of orthopedic foam: Two to take pressure off joints, and one of charcoal foam that absorbs dog odors.

Unlike other orthopedic beds, this also comes with a gel layer that dissipates heat, keeping your dog cool. Other features of this bolster bed include a removable, machine-washable cover; waterproof liner; and a non-slip base. Choose from four sizes, from small to extra-large.

Best Orthopedic Bed for Large Dogs

Bedsure Jumbo Dog Bedvia merchant

The Bedsure Jumbo Dog Bed is one of the largest models, measuring 54 inches long by 44 inches wide. It also comes in smaller sizes, ranging from XS to XXL.

It’s like having two beds in one, with cozy Sherpa fabric on one side and cool Oxford fabric on the other, plus CertiPUR-US egg-crate foam in between. The XXL model is reasonably priced for its size, at about $80. No wonder this bed earned a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with more than 40,000 reviews.

Best Orthopedic Bed with Neck Support

Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed With Headrestvia merchant

For dogs who prefer a little extra support, look no further than the Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed with Headrest. This plush bed boasts a generous seven-inch thickness and three layers of orthopedic foam for ultimate comfort.

The exceptional warranty guarantees 90% retention of shape and thickness for 10 years. Moreover, it stands out as one of the few models with clinically proven orthopedic benefits.

Best Budget Orthopedic Dog Bed

 Milliard Quilted Padded Orthopedic Dog Bedvia merchant

The Milliard Quilted Padded Orthopedic Dog Bed will keep your pup happy and comfortable thanks to its egg-crate luxe foam, plush pillow top and non-slip bottom.

You’ll be happy, too, because it’s easy to clean. Just remove the cover and toss it in the wash. While it’s made of quality materials, it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag of some other orthopedic beds (it’s about $37).