What are Pet Beds?

Michael Giuffre
Michael Giuffre
Cats and dogs.
Cats and dogs.

Realizing that the kitchen floor may not be the ideal, comfortable sleep surface that a pet deserves, many pet owners choose to buy pet beds. A pet bed is simply a bed for your pet. Pet beds differ from human beds in that they rest on the ground without a frame. Pet beds also lack sheets or blankets, but many have a coverlet that can be removed and laundered. Pet beds come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and materials.

Pet beds may make sleeping more comfortable for a pet.
Pet beds may make sleeping more comfortable for a pet.

Being that comfort and suitability with one's pet are the most important goals of a pet bed, some pet beds are shaped simply as a pillow while others have raised sides to provide an enclosure for the pet. "Cave" pet beds even have a soft arching top. It is important to note the size of the bed first when considering pet beds for your pet. If the bed is too small it won't fully serve its purpose, and if it's too large, your pet may not feel safe or relaxed.

Only second to the size of the bed comes comfort. Most pet beds are made of foam varying in quality and density. Some foam materials may lend themselves to your pet's comfort more than others. For instance, dogs with hip or joint problems can benefit from orthopedic pet beds. These beds use a special type of thick, convoluted foam, specially suited to reduce pressure points and ensure optimal comfort.

The covering of your pet bed should also be considered. Synthetic lambs wool may be more comfortable than vinyl, and cotton more comfortable than polyester. Check to see if the cover is removable for easing cleaning. Additionally, if your pet is going through a teething stage or tends to claw often, you may want to avoid certain materials that lend themselves to destruction. A fine example might be woolly material that can be easily pulled by teeth or claws, whereas fine-stitched cotton might be more resistant to snagging.

An alternative to the pet bed is the pet sofa. Pet sofas come in many sizes and resemble actual couches on a miniature scale. They can double as a "sofa bed" or they can be used simply as the "pet's furniture," sparing your own.

In addition to pet beds and pet sofas, there are also pet mats. These are similar to a carpet mat and provide little or no cushion against the floor. If the owner's floor is already carpeted then the pet mat may be a viable alternative. These mats merely provide a buffer between the carpet or floor and the pet, so that the floor beneath the mat does not become overused, scratched, discolored, faded or worn.

In the process of purchasing a pet bed, make sure to focus again upon size, comfort and quality of foam. Bedding for your pet should be restful, cozy and hassle free. In the end, whether it is a pet bed, orthopedic bed, pet sofa or pet mat that you choose to purchase, be sure that your pet will thank you.

Discussion Comments


We live in the country and our dogs love to be outside most of the time. We also have some very cold winters and they will sleep in the mud room when it is extremely cold outside.

I bought a heated pet bed for them to sleep on and they really love it! I can't imagine sleeping on a cold, hard floor and don't want my dogs to either. This bed is big enough that both of them can curl up on it at the same time.


I work from home, so enjoy the companionship of my dog during the day. I have more than one dog pet bed in my house, but the one that gets used most often is the one in the office.

Anytime that I am working away, she is laying right next to me on her soft, cozy bed.

Dogs love to sleep on soft places as much as we do, and as they get older, comfortable pet beds can be a source of comfort for old, achy joints and bones.


I have a golden retriever who loves to be anywhere I am in the house. At night she has a pet bed at the foot of my bed where she enjoys curling up and sleeping.

One of the things that is most important to me when buying a pet bed is that the cover can easily be removed and be washed. This can accumulate a lot of dog hair and get pretty smelly after awhile, so I try to stay in the habit of washing the cover once a week.

If you have a large dog, just make sure you buy a large pet bed that is big enough for your dog to sleep comfortably on it. If they can stretch out and still be on the bed, that is plenty big for them.

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