How to Choose the Right Pet Bed

The Princess and the Kibble
The wrong bed can leave you feeling as though you've spent the night sleeping on a piece of kibble, while the right sleeping environment can ensure you wake up revitalised and ready for the day.

There are so many decisions to be made when selecting the right pet bed that it can leave you a little confused and in need of a lie down, so it is best to get your housekeeping staff to do all of the hard work for you...

How to Choose the Right Pet Bed
Your housekeeping staff will need to assess your sleeping habits in order to decide the:

  1. Ideal shape and style of bed
  2. Filling and level of support
  3. Outer material
  4. Features needed
  5. Special requirements
  6. Extra bedding
  7. Correct size


Type of Sleeper    Ideal Shape / Style of Bed
Curled up        Round beds, Donut beds, nest beds (can be used on their own or as a plastic basket liner),
Stretched out side/stomach/back sleeper Flat mattress, one sided bolster beds mattress (square, rectangle and oval shaped) may be added to plastic basket or on own
Head or back leaning against something Bolster Beds (bolster all around, multiple sides or just one side), pillow, bed with edges
Hiding in a quiet place Hooded beds, cave beds, a cupboard with a bed inside
On a radiator/ anywhere high up Cat beds: radiator hammocks.



Favourite Place to Sleep     Ideal Level of Support / Filling of Bed
Sofa Foam mattress or pet sofa style furniture
Sofa with head supported by arm rest or human knee Foam mattress with pillow, one sided or all sided bolster beds with good support
On the floor Plastic or wicker dog basket with pet blanket as a liner, or just a blanket
On a human's bed Soft poly-filled mattress, or a quilt over a pet bed


Daily Activities
    Ideal Outer Material of Bed
The Indoor Pet (sleeps and sits in the bed a lot) Durable bed that contains a thick material so it will retain its shape after heavy use
The Older / Sensitive Pet                                  Microfiber beds that have a silky exterior, heated beds to relieve muscle and joint aches.
The Average Pet Washable bed or bed with washable spare covers or removeable inner pads.
The Chewer / Younger Pet Most puppies and some dogs like to chew plastic beds, foam beds, and fabric, so it might be better to get a cheap bed and cover with cheap blankets and cushions, or distract your pet with special chew toys filled with treats.
The Outdoor Adventurer Waterproof (easily wipes clean and prevents damp odours), tough outer materials to withstand heat, cold, and damp.


Location of Bed
    Bed Features Needed
Carpeted flooring    Most pet beds are suitable for carpet and rugs
In a cool or draughty room Plastic or wicker pet basket with blankets or pet bed lining the inside
Wooden/ Laminate/ Tiled flooring Need non-slip bases choose a bed with grippers on the bottom or a dog basket
Outdoors Outdoor waterproof beds, Crate beds, bolsters to keep out drafts, elevated bed (to keep your pet off cold or hot ground.) Heated or Cooling beds.
Travel Crate beds, Roll-up or folding bed, travel beds are portable and easily stored. Consider buying a separate bed for travel. Campers may find that elevated dog beds are ideal.


Age/ physical condition     Special requirments/ things to consider
Puppy Durable, waterproof, chew-proof beds are perfect. It might be an idea to buy a cheap bed or use a cardboard box or crate until toilet trained and sleeping habits have been established. Buy a larger bed for them to grow into; find out the size that your puppy will grow to and buy a bed to suit their adult size. You can fill the bed with blankets to fill space until your puppy is grown.
Adult The bed that your pet has as an adult will most likely last most of their adult years so buy a quality bed that matches their sleeping patterns and needs. View it as an investment; spending £50 on a pet bed means that it costs just 1p a night over ten years.
Senior Senior pets can be slower and less mobile, and may suffer from joint problems, arthritis, and muscle pains. Orthopedic dog beds, memory foam, and heated beds may be better. Consider getting a bed at the right height so that your pet does not need to jump up to get into it or struggle to stand up and get out.
Other special needs Your vet will be able to give you special advice regarding the best sleeping environment after surgery, during treatments, or managing conditions such as joint problems. Memory foam beds are often recommended as they keep pressure off sores and ease joint aches.




Blankets, fleeces, quilts and even pillows, are an optional extra to consider. Your pet may appreciate a blanket during winter for extra warmth or they might prefer to use it all year round to 'make their own bed' if they often display nesting behaviour before they go to sleep.

Bedding may extend the life of your pet bed. Bedding is easily washable and relatively inexpensive to replace if your pet likes to chew blankets or you want to change them to match your decor.  



To find the best size of bed for your pet, simply measure them while they are asleep.  If your pet likes to hang their head over the edge of their basket or use a head support, then measure from their neck to their tail. Take a note of their longest length and width measurements. If they like to sleep curled up add approximately 5 inches to each of the two measurements. If they like to sleep stretched out then add approximately 10 inches. It is always better to get a pet bed that is too big than one that is too small.

If buying a bed for a puppy or kitten, then find out what size they will grow to and buy a bed to fit (you can always line the bed with lots of blankets to fill up any empty space in the bed until they grow into it.)

When selecting the perfect dog or cat bed, it is the internal measurements of the bed that are most important, especially when buying a donut bed or snuggle bed.