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Best dog beds of 2021

Give your best friend the coziest possible bed.

Finding the best dog bed for your pup might feel a bit like trial and error. While you can compare features like design, price and washability, your dog likely gets the final vote. We tested 10 beds -- five budget options (under $150) and five luxury beds (over $150) -- with help from three obliging canine testers, Bailey, Halley and Huckleberry. 

Bailey and Huck preferred beds with side bolsters, so they could rest their heads on them or roll around without falling off. Halley liked the flat pillow-style bed with no sides at all. Then again, you might have a dog who, despite having all these beds to try out, still prefers to hop on the nearest couch or get in the big human bed at night. Along with our dogs' input, we also considered how easy each bed is to clean, how it looks and its overall value.

Three of the 10 models stood out to us (and our dogs). We've compiled the details below on the best beds for even the most discerning doggos.

Read more: Dog essentials list: 13 necessities for new dog owners

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Meet Huck, a 55-pound Australian shepherd mix. By the time I snapped him here mid-yawn, I had taken about 10 pictures of him -- and he was over it. But one thing was clear early on in the testing: He consistently went to this bed more than any other. My 40-pound border collie/Aussie mix, Halley, also liked the bed.

At $309, the Orvis Memory Foam Couch Dog Bed bed isn't cheap. I tested the medium size, which Orvis says is best suited for dogs between 40 and 60 pounds. It's also available in small for $269 (for dogs up to 40 pounds) and in large for $349 (for dogs up to 90 pounds). The bed comes in six colors -- heathered khaki, brown tweed, slate (the one I got), gray tweed, heather gray and blue tweed. 

The "hypoallergenic, water-resistant" bed cover unzips for easy cleaning (yes, you can put it in the washing machine). It's an attractive, well-made bed, too, with sturdy bolsters on three sides, piping and a thick "orthopedic memory foam" cushion to support your pup. I like this feature for Halley, in particular, who is 10 and has occasional joint pain. This bed was by far the firmest, most supportive bed of the bunch.

Molly Price/CNET

Furhaven offers dozens of options when it comes to bed style, size and color. My colleague Molly Price's 65-pound wirehaired pointing griffon, Bailey, liked this three-bolster sofa style bed from Furhaven best, tested in a large ($49).

A supportive layer of orthopedic, egg crate memory foam is surrounded by three bolsters, filled with 100% recycled material, that wrap around to the front. This three bolster approach leaves a large portion of the front unobstructed for easy entry and exit or for a place to stretch out.

Like other budget models, Furhaven notes this bed is not suitable for dogs with excessive teething or destructive chewing behavior. The cover is a mix of faux fur and micro velvet, and it zips off for easy machine washing. This texture felt like a nice middle ground between rough and overly fluffy. This particular model comes in three colors: brownstone, granite gray and celadon green; and in sizes small to large for the Egg Crate Orthopedic Foam model tested here ($26-$50).

This Furhaven bed is similar to the Orvis model at a much lower price. It doesn't have the same level of support, but it's a great budget alternative.

Megan Wollerton/CNET

The Harry Barker Grain Sack Rectangle Dog Bed is a complete departure from the Orvis and Furhaven models in this list. It isn't memory foam and it doesn't have bolsters. Instead, this bed is basically a giant soft pillow with a zippered cover. Because of its shape, it is by far the easiest to unzip and toss in the washing machine. 

This bed comes in small ($160), medium ($180) and large ($200). Harry Barker provides sizing information to ensure your dog will fit the bed based on breed. The company says the small bed is best suited for pugs, Yorkies, dachshunds and other small dogs. Medium works for spaniels, beagles and terriers, while the large bed is for German shepherds, huskies and retrievers. 

Since both my dogs are bigger than beagles and smaller than retrievers, I sized up to the large and it was the right call. Halley regularly went to this bed, likely because its open design free of bolsters made it easier for her to climb on from any side. Huck liked it too, although he preferred the Orvis model.

This bed comes in three colors -- grain sack red, grain sack blue and grain sack black. I got the red version and while it's soft to the touch, it's a sturdy cover that has the look and durability of burlap. For cleaning instructions, Harry Barker suggests machine-washing the cover on the gentle cycle in warm water. It can either be air dried or dried in a machine on low heat.

How we tested dog beds 

To test dog beds, Molly and I compared a variety of features for each model, weighed against their price to determine the overall value. We considered price, durability, support, ease of install (if necessary), washability, size and design.

Then we let our dogs try out each bed. Molly tested the budget beds with Bailey at her house and I tested the luxury beds with Halley and Huck at mine. We both set out the five beds we were testing and spent time observing how (or if) the dogs interacted with each one. Here are some of the questions we asked during testing: Which beds did the dogs spend the most time in continuously? Which beds did they return to the most? Did they have any trouble getting in the beds? Did the bed sizes as advertised actually fit our dogs? All of those things combined helped inform the value of the bed -- and whether it was worth buying. 

A rundown of the other models

The other dogs beds we tested include the Best Friends by Sheri Original Calming Donut Dog Bed, the Barkbox Memory Foam Platform Dog Bed, the Barkbox 2-in-1 Memory Foam Dog Bolster Bed, the Bedsure Egg Crate Foam Pet Bed, the Orvis Memory Foam Bolster Dog Bed, the Casper Dog Bed and the Club Nine Pets Metro Orthopedic Dog Bed

  • Best Friends by Sheri Original Calming Donut Dog Bed ($30-$150, depending on size): If the algorithms know you own a dog, you've likely seen these fuzzy, round dog begs on social media ads. They are popular and oh so soft. While the bed is delightfully fluffy, and Bailey slept on it without prompting, it lacks the supportive bottom memory foam mattress of other models. The entire bed is washing-machine safe, but the large model we tested was too big to fit in my standard washer. It would be much better to wash only a zip-off cover.  
  • Barkbox Memory Foam Platform Dog Bed/Barkbox 2-in-1 Memory Foam Dog Bolster Bed ($28-$114, depending on size and model): BarkBox is primarily a subscription service for dog accessories, but you can purchase their dog bed without subscribing. We tested both a flat bed and a four-bolster model. Both beds use the same 3-inch memory foam mattress as a starting point, but the bolster model (preferred by Bailey) includes four round pillows you'll need to assemble by zipping into the provided covers. Assembly isn't difficult, but we preferred Furhaven's preassembled bed for easy setup. Both beds included washable covers that felt a bit too heavy duty to be comfortable or inviting, but would likely stand the test of time. 
  • Bedsure Egg Crate Foam Pet Bed ($30-$40, depending on size): The Bedsure model we tested is made up of an egg-crate foam pad and a zip cover. This is a very basic option that is budget-friendly with no frills. The convenience of a washable cover is good, but the foam mattress lacked the thickness and support of the other models we tested. As the care tag notes, it isn't intended to be chew-proof.  
  • Orvis Memory Foam Bolster Dog Bed ($229-$349, depending on size): This bed shares a lot of similarities with the Orvis Memory Foam Couch Dog Bed. It has bolsters on three sides, four size options, including, small, medium, large and extra large -- and 10 color options. That said, it wasn't as sturdy as Orvis' Couch Dog Bed, which has an extra thick cushion and supportive bolsters. 
  • Casper Dog Bed ($129-$229, depending on size): We liked this bed's four-bolster design and firm support. That said, the bed arrived unassembled in six parts -- the bed cover and five cushions (the mattress and the four bolsters). It wasn't difficult to put together, but the bolsters were a little tricky to zip into the liner. That modular design also means that you can entirely remove the cover to wash it and spot treat the individual cushions, as needed. Even though the medium bed ($149) is designed to fit dogs up to 60 pounds, Huck barely fit in it. It was a much better size for Halley, who weighs 40 pounds. 
  • Club Nine Pets Metro Orthopedic Dog Bed ($219-249, depending on size): Club Nine Pets make a wide range of modern luxury dog beds. The Metro Orthopedic dog bed truly looks like a mini dog-sized sofa. It's cute, but not as functional as some of the others we tested. The back support was difficult to secure in place, and, despite having armrest-style bolsters on either side of the bed, Huck didn't rest his head on them (like he did with the other bolster-style beds). Again, like much of the bed, the armrests were more cute than functional. Halley never got in this bed, possibly because it was taller than the others. 

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