If your dog thrives and enjoys being one with nature, you should consider getting them an outdoor dog bed. Even if your dog spends most of their time indoors, purchasing a high-quality outdoor dog bed is still a great investment.
We’ve put together a list of our top picks, including the K&H Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot, and a guide on what to look for while shopping the dog bed market.
- BOLSTERED OUTDOOR DOG BED: Dog cot made of waterproof, heavy-denier fabric with fluffy plush bolster...
- STRONG & STURDY: Dog cots lightweight metal frame and heavy denier cover holds over 200 pounds, dog...
What Makes the Best Outdoor Bed for Dogs
One of the things you probably realized after starting your outdoor dog bed search is that the market is flooded with different products claiming to be the best. Deciding which outdoor bed has the best features and at the greatest value can be a little overwhelming. We want to help make it a little less stressful for you by sharing the features we feel make for an ideal outdoor dog bed.
There are many different designs and styles of outdoor dog beds, but there are several specific features we recommend you consider before making your purchase. Durability, comfort, and portability are all great features for an outdoor dog bed to have. We know you want the most for your money, and we want to help make sure that happens.
An outdoor dog bed needs to be rugged and durable. It should be tough enough to handle the weather and your dog’s frequent lounging. Most durable outdoor dog beds will be designed with a tough nylon or PVC fabric. Nylon and PVC are strong materials that will last and are flexible enough to hold your dog’s weight without making your dog feel uncomfortable. Besides, no one likes to sleep on a stiff bed.
We also recommend purchasing a bed that is waterproof or water-resistant, as well as resistant to mold and mildew. Most nylon and PVC dog beds can be kept clean by simply hosing them down with a water hose. If possible, you should consider purchasing one with a machine washable or replaceable cover. Generally, these dog beds can be dried out in the sun or hang dried after a good cleaning.
It’s important for a dog bed to be comfortable enough that your dog will enjoy using it on a routine basis. If your dog spends most of their time outdoors, then you will want to purchase one with intentional design features for your dog’s comfort.
There are different ways that comfort can be achieved in an outdoor dog bed, including elevated frames and cool fabrics, as well as plush beds and removable canopies. Several of our recommended outdoor dog beds include one or more of these options.
Elevated dog beds are a great option if your dog frequently sleeps on hot concrete or other warm surfaces. Elevated dog beds are also highly recommended because they keep dogs safe from bugs and dirt. Some elevated dog beds are also specifically designed to ease your dog’s joint pains. Furthermore, elevation helps keep your dog cool by allowing plenty of airflow beneath the bed. Generally, the greater the distance from the ground to the bed, the better. Larger elevation designs help to better prevent the amassing of pests and will keep your dog even further away from hot surfaces. Though there are many great non-elevated outdoor dog beds, elevation is always a really fantastic design feature.
Breathable fabrics are an important design option since dogs can get really hot spending time outside in the sun. Mesh is the most common breathable fabric used in outdoor dog beds. Many designs will include multiple sections of mesh to allow for adequate airflow and ventilation. Breathable fabrics, like mesh, are also generally more resistant to water. So if your dog bed ends up sitting out during a rainstorm, you won’t need to panic about it molding or getting waterlogged. A quick visit from the sun will dry it out so your dog can pick up right where they left off, and feel cool and comfy while doing so.
If your dog likes to prop their head up or feel like they’re laying on a plush pillow, there are plenty of outdoor dog bed options for them. One of our favorites, the Snoozer Waterproof Round Dog Bed, is a great example of an outdoor dog bed designed for excess comfort and durability. It’s full of a fluffy cedar poly blend to give it that extra cushioning your dog desires.
Other outdoor dog beds may have fleece covers or extra padding around the bed frame. Just be sure that any type of bed with extra cushioning or soft fabrics are weather resistant and can be easily washed or replaced.
If you and your dog enjoy camping, then purchasing an outdoor dog bed is a great idea. Many owners take outdoor dog beds with them on their camping trips or outdoor excursions. Most of the time, lugging around a big dog bed just isn’t an option. Outdoor dog beds should be lightweight and easy to tote around. A number of outdoor dog beds are made with foldable designs for easy packing. Our favorite, the K&H Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot, is designed for tool-free assembly, so it’s a perfect option for camping or hiking trips. Buying an outdoor dog bed that is easy to put together and take apart is great, especially when you’re in a hurry or need to put together while under the sun.
Safety should always be a top priority when purchasing any product for your dog. Elevated dog beds are often made with mesh to keep fleas, ticks, and other parasites from hanging out by your dog while they sleep. If your dog is likely to use their outdoor dog bed in an environment without a lot of natural shade, you may choose to purchase a bed with a canopy. For most dog beds that include a canopy, you can easily fasten it to the bed frame or remove it. The sun is great, but can also be your dog’s worst enemy. Overheating should always be a precaution when leaving them outside in the sun, so purchasing a dog bed with either mesh or a built-in shade is a good idea to consider.
Before you move on to our list of favorites, check out this funny video of a Siberian Husky literally howling in excitement over his new outdoor dog bed.
My Siberian Husky, Ghost, also likes to sing the songs of his people when he’s excited. If I got gifted with my own outdoor bed, I’d be excited too.
Our Picks of the Best Outdoor Beds For Dogs
1. K&H Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot
I’m happy to start us off with our favorite, the K&H Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot. This outside bed has some pretty impressive features and is a great price. The steel frame alone can hold up to 150 pounds, so Mini Chihuahuas all the way up to Great Danes can fall in love with this bed. The bed is lined with plush bolsters so your pup can prop their head up and get comfortable. They are machine washable and can be easily removed. The bed is resistant to mold, mildew, and other bacteria. It is elevated seven inches off the ground to keep your dog cool and away from bugs. The bed is waterproof, durable, and has a ton of extra options that you can purchase.
- Affordably priced
- Steel frame
- Weight capacity up to 150 pounds
- Three size options
- Plush removable bolsters for added comfort
- Mesh breathable fabric
- Elevated seven inches from the ground
- One-year limited warranty
- Strength tests
- Easy to assemble without tools
- Replacement covers can be purchased separately, including upgraded cooling and self-warming covers
- Frame has rubber feet to prevent skidding
- Mold, mildew, water, and bacteria resistant
- Only comes in one color option
- A few buyers complained that the fabric lost color over time or had seams come apart, but this was not a common complaint and there were very few negative complaints overall
2. Coolaroo Original Elevated Dog Bed
The Coolaroo Original Elevated Dog Bed is one of our favorites because it’s durable and inexpensive, and will keep your dog cool and comfortable during those hot summer days. This elevated bed comes in three sizes with the largest size holding up to 100 pounds. There are six color options, so you’ll be able to pick the one that looks best with your outdoor furniture or camping gear. It’s portable and can be used both indoors and outdoors. You can clean it by simply spraying it down with a water hose and the material is mildew resistant. It’s also designed with a 100% recyclable lead and phthalate-free fabric, so your purchase will be good for your dog and the environment.
- Can be easily cleaned by spraying with a water hose
- Mildew resistant fabric
- Elevated more than seven inches off the ground
- Three sizes with the largest size able to hold up to 100 pounds
- Six color options
- Lightweight for easy carrying
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Environmentally safe fabric
- Easy assembly
- Inexpensive pricing
- Platform has low-impact areas for less stress on pressure points and joints
- Powder-coated steel frame for greater durability
- Replacement parts can be purchased separately if needed
- Breathable fabric
- Some buyers complained that the instructions provided in the box were not clear or helpful during assembly
- A few buyers reported that they needed to periodically tighten the bolts in the frame, though this was not a common complaint
3. PawHut Elevated Portable Cooling Cot with Canopy
If your dog enjoys napping in the shade, then this outdoor bed with a canopy is sure to get their tail wagging. The price compares reasonably with other similar models on the market. It can accommodate most dogs because of its optional sizes with different weight capacities. The bed is elevated off the ground to keep your dog cool and is made of breathable polyester. The canopy is easily secured to the bed using bungee cords. Whether you’re going camping, hiking, or just visiting the local dog park, this bed is designed to travel. It easily folds and comes with its own travel bag. It’s a great overall package.
- Four size options with four different weight capacities
- Largest bed holds up to 110 pounds
- Simple assembly
- Folds up and fits into its own travel bag
- Canopy height is based on the bed size, so the amount of shade will be appropriate
- Breathable polyester material
- Elevated between seven to nine inches off the ground depending on bed size
- Canopy is easy to attach and is secured to each corner using bungee cords
- Reasonably priced
- Lightweight portable design
- Mesh fabric for added cooling
- Powder-coated steel frame
- A few reviewers complained that the bed stained easily, though this wasn’t a commonly reported issue
- Only one color option
4. Snoozer Waterproof Round Pet Bed
This pet bed by Snoozer comes with a waterproof cover, making it a durable pet bed with all the squishy comforts of indoor dog beds. The cover is machine washable, so you’ll never have to stress about handwashing. The bed is filled with a cedar poly blend for a plush and comfortable feel. Your dog will enjoy sleeping on this bed in the shade and listening to the birds and crickets chirp. The bed comes in a range of colors and sizes to make it both aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable for most small to large size dogs.
- Waterproof and machine washable cover
- Can be used in the backyard, the deck, or while camping
- Ideal for elderly dogs and those that suffer from bladder issues
- Great for poolside lounging
- Comfortable cedar polyfill
- Comes in two sizes
- Has seven color options
- For the quality and size, this bed is well priced
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- May not be ideal for dogs with a long history of chewing or destructive behavior
- Some buyers complained that the bed held in air and would take some time to deflate, though this issue was resolved after a few uses or unzipping the zipper slightly to let air escape
- Price may be too high for some buyers
- Should only be hung or lined dried
5. K&H Outdoor Heated Bed
I’ll go ahead and personally confess that I love a good heating pad. They are comforting, can ease body aches, and will keep us warm on chilly nights. By purchasing the K&H Outdoor Heated Bed, your dog can enjoy the benefits of a heating pad too. You can control the temperature of the heating pad to make sure it’s within a safe range. This bed is ideal for those cold starry nights on the patio, and for outdoor sheds, barns, and other outdoor shelters. The bed is also designed with an orthopedic foam pad to make sure your dog is fully supported and comfortable. The heated bed also comes with a free fleece cover to make it extra cuddly.
- Runs on low wattage so you won’t have to stress about your electric bill
- Soft pvc exterior to keep the bed from absorbing and holding onto water
- Orthopedic pad for comfort and support
- The heated pad is ideal for cold temperatures and outdoor shelters
- The temperature can be controlled and adjusted
- Ideal for pets with joint pains
- Three size options
- Replacement fleece covers can be purchased separately
- Fleece cover can be machine washed
- The heated pad can be easily cleaned by wiping with a damp rag
- Steel-wrapped cord to keep it chew resistant
- The bed is not recommended for dogs that are prone to chewing or destructive behavior
Outdoor dog beds are a great investment for any dog that likes to spend time outside. These dog beds are generally elevated off the ground to keep your dog safe from bugs and parasites, as well as hot surfaces. All outdoor dog beds, including non-elevated beds, should be weather resistant and made with durable materials. They should also be designed to keep your dog cool and comfortable. Many outdoor dog beds accomplish this by using breathable mesh, elevation, or removable canopies. Finally, there are a number of manufacturers who have come out with heated outdoor beds that are especially ideal for dogs who spend most of their time outdoors or in outdoor shelters during the night.
We think each of our five favorites includes the features needed for a high-quality outdoor dog bed. Our favorite, the KH Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot, is well priced, comfortable, elevated, easy to clean, and resistant to water, mold, and mildew. It’s an amazing value and a great investment. We know that your dog is special and unique, and you may decide that our recommendations are not the right fit for your lifestyle or your dog’s temperament and health. No matter what bed you decide to purchase, we hope that we have helped you better determine what kind of outdoor dog bed is right for you and your dog.
Last update on 2022-12-10 at 22:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API