Should You Use an Elevated Dog Bed? 5 Things to Consider

Vet Approved

This article has been fact-checked by Dr. Dilber Hussain, DVM, to ensure we're providing the most up-to-date guidance. READ MORE

Elevated dog beds are becoming increasingly popular amongst dog owners for their orthopaedic and temperature regulating benefits. Different from traditional dog beds, an elevated dog bed raises your dog off the ground by a few inches and usually has a sturdier sleeping surface. Their advantages are appealing, especially to owners of elderly dogs, but should you use an elevated dog bed? We’ve got everything you need to know along with our recommendations.


What are the benefits of using an elevated dog bed?

Elevated dog beds, sometimes referred to as raised dog beds, offer many benefits that can improve your dog’s sleep quality and their health. We’ve included our top 5 benefits that have made buying an elevated dog bed worth the investment.

1. Elevated dog beds provide firm support

The main reason you should consider switching to an elevated dog bed is the orthopaedic support it provides to your dog. The tightly stretched mesh provides even support over your dog’s body and joints, preventing them from feeling stiff after a long sleep.

Dog beds that are super cushioned can swallow your dog up. Whilst this might seem like a more comfortable option, this lack of support can lead to pain and is especially problematic for dog breeds that are prone to joint problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.

An elevated dog bed is more comparable to a mattress that we would sleep on. Pressure is relieved on joints that would be sore if your dog was left to sleep on the floor, but support is provided to the rest of the body to keep them in a relaxed position.

2. Elevated dog beds can’t be chewed up

One of the most common reasons we hear from owners who have changed to an elevated dog bed is that it can’t be chewed up. It’s not uncommon for dogs to love chewing furniture but it can be very frustrating if you’re spending a lot of money on a new bed for them, only to find it devoid of any stuffing the next morning.

One of the best features of an elevated dog bed is that they have no stuffing, and instead provide support through a tightly stretched mesh. Most manufacturers use a mesh that is extra durable to deter particularly persistent chewers, meaning their bed will last significantly longer than a standard fabric bed.

3. Elevated dog beds are easier to clean

What really sets an elevated dog bed apart from standard fabric beds is how easy they are to clean. Fabric has a habit of clinging to everything, from dog hair and dirt to pollen and grass.

Once a traditional dog bed gets covered in something, it’s going to take a full machine wash to get it off again and even then, the stuffing can still hold on to small particles and hairs. This is especially troublesome for owners of dogs who suffer from allergies or dogs who seem to get themselves dirty without even trying.

Investing in an elevated dog bed can be a huge timesaver as both the mesh and metal support can be wiped down with a damp cloth. If it gets especially dirty, simply give it a quick blast with the hose and let it dry outside. The bed will be as good as new again without the effort of having to take it apart to thoroughly wash its components separately.

4. Elevated dog beds keep your dog cooler in hot weather

Do you have an extra fluffy dog that struggles in the heat? Or do you simply live in a climate that’s prone to hot weather? We all know that high temperatures can make sleeping uncomfortable and it’s no different for your dog.

Using an elevated dog bed provides better air circulation around your dog as air can flow underneath them which is usually restricted in a regular bed. The bed itself is made from a breathable mesh which makes it easier for your dog to lose excess heat and prevents any stuffy odours from developing.

Elevated beds are also insulating against the cold, especially if your dog would normally sleep on colder surfaces such as concrete or a tile flooring. Keeping your dog raised off the group means they will be surrounded by room-temperature air which will help them feel comfortable whilst they sleep.

5. Elevated dog beds are portable

If you love to travel with your pup and are looking for a dog bed that can be taken with you, then an elevated dog bed could be your best option.

These beds can usually be disassembled easily into separate supports and a foldable mesh that take up little room and are very lightweight. This is especially handy for those of you with extra large breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute or Great Dane as traditional beds that are big enough for them are usually very heavy and understandably have to be very large.

An elevated dog bed’s waterproof components make it suitable for outside use and perfect for taking on camping trips. Its lighter weight also makes it easy to move outside for the day during nice weather if your dog likes to sleep in the sun.


Are there any downsides to using an elevated dog bed?

Whilst elevated dog beds have many benefits that can improve your dog’s sleep and make your life easier as an owner, there are still some potential negatives to consider before buying.

1. Dogs with joint problems may struggle to get on

It should be clear by the name, but elevated dog beds are raised off of the ground. These beds are available at various different heights, each claiming to have different benefits that aid in joint support amongst other things.

Ironically, the added height can actually be a problem for dogs who already have joint issues as lifting themselves onto the bed can be difficult. This is usually the case for smaller dogs who would normally have to jump a little to get on, or for dogs struggling with joint problems as a result of obesity.

We have seen some people who have made a staircase or ramp for their dog to reach the bed easier, but in these situations we would personally recommend looking at dog beds that are made with orthopaedic foam instead. These beds provide a similar kind of support but are closer to the ground making them more accessible.

2. Some assembly is required

In the majority of cases, some assembly is required when purchasing an elevated dog bed. The legs and support usually come separate to the mesh requiring you to screw the frame together and thread the mesh through it.

This is a lot easier than it sounds, and we mentioned it as a positive previously as the ability to disassemble it makes the bed very good to travel with. We do recognise however that not everybody will be physically capable of assembling the bed, so if you’re looking for something ready to go as soon as you buy it then an elevated dog bed may not be for you.

For alternatives to an elevated dog bed, you can check out some of our personal recommendations here.


What are the best elevated dog beds?

Hopefully by now, you know whether an elevated dog bed is the right choice for your dog. To save you from searching for one that ticks all the boxes, we’ve compiled a list of our favourites that are sure to keep your dog comfy and cool without costing a bomb.


The Original Elevated Pet Bed by Coolaroo – $

Buy on Amazon

If you’re looking for durability, the Original Elevated Pet Bed by Coolaroo is one of the best. Available in three different sizes, the bed is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 100lbs and comes in a wide range of colours. Replacement covers are available to buy separately if necessary.


+ Highly durable with steel frame and HDPE cover

+ Very affordable, even for largest size

+ Quick assembly

+ Replacement covers available


– Extra-large dog breeds not covered in their recommend weight guides


Cooling Elevated Pet Bed by AmazonBasics – $

Buy on Amazon

It doesn’t get more simple than the Cooling Elevated Pet Bed by AmazonBasics. The bed raises your dog by a comfortable 7 inches and has a breathable mesh that is bound to keep your dog cool during hot weather. The bed is available in five different sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large and supports dogs up to and over 110lbs.


+ Largest size is suitable for dogs over 110lbs

+ Has a 1-year limited warranty

+ Extra breathable mesh


– Limited colour options


Elevated Folding Pet Bed by YEP HHO – $$

Buy on Amazon

Those of you who regularly go camping with your dog should consider buying the Elevated Folding Pet Bed by YEP HHO. This bed can be folded up in seconds and comes with a handy travel bag that makes storing it a breeze. The bed is only available in a large size but is still suitable for smaller dogs, especially if they love to sprawl out.


+ Folds up without being disassembled

+ Large size holds dogs up to and over 100lbs

+ Available in several colours

+ Very easy to clean


+ Not available in smaller sizes

+ Not as appealing to keep inside the home


Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot – $$$

Buy on Amazon

The Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot provides a little extra for your dog compared to other raised dog beds by adding a padded bolster around most of the perimeter. This gives your pup somewhere to rest their head, reducing strain on their neck. The base is still made with a breathable mesh to keep them cool, and the whole bed is waterproof.

The bed is available in three different sizes, with the largest supporting dogs up to 200lbs.


+ Added bolster for neck support

+ Material is waterproof

+ Anti-skid feed on the supports

+ Largest size supports dogs to 200lbs


– More expensive than others

– Can make travelling with it a little harder


Final Thoughts

Using our advice and recommendations you should be able to find an elevated dog bed that’s right for you and your dog. If you have any questions about using an elevated dog bed or about the products mentioned in this article, don’t hesitate to contact us here.


Photo of author

About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

Read More

Leave a comment