On hot, summer days, we sweat as a way to keep cool. Dogs, on the other hand, cannot sweat; instead, they cool themselves down by panting.
But if you live in a region that gets very hot, or your dog is getting older and is having a harder time regulating its body temperature, you might be curious about some other ways to keep your dog nice and cool when the temperature rises.
One of the best things you can do in this situation is get your dog a cooling dog bed. These beds are designed to either improve airflow or absorb your dog’s body heat so that it stays cooler and therefore sleeps easier.
Now, choosing a cooling dog bed might seem like a simple enough task. But there are a surprising number of options out there on the market, so how do you narrow them down to the best picks?
Don’t worry — this article is just what you need. We’ll review and compare our picks for the best cooling dog beds across a range of different budgets.
We have tested all of these beds, and all give excellent value for the cost.
Our Top Cooling Dog Bed Picks
Based on our own testing, research, and experience, here are our top selections:
- FurHaven Ultra-Plush Deluxe Mattress Bed
- Tall Tails K9COT Elevated Mesh Dog Bed
- The Green Pet Shop Gel Cooling Mat
- Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Pet Bed
- FurHaven Microvelvet Luxe Lounger Dog Bed
There are a couple of things that make the FurHaven Ultra-Plush Deluxe Mattress Mattress Bed, which has a near perfect average customer rating, an excellent cooling bed.
First, the simple, flat, rectangular design of the bed helps improve the airflow around your dog, keeping it cooler. Second, the cooling gel foam mattress filling reduces the temperature of the sleeping surface by 1-2 degrees.
It’s important to note that FurHaven offers many different mattress types for the Deluxe Mattress Bed; to achieve the status of the best cooling bed, be sure to choose the cooling gel foam when ordering.
While this bed is great for keeping your dog cool, it’s also very comfortable. The bed is made of plush, soft faux fur, with a suedine gusset that is dyed to match.
The “step-on” mat design of the bed is easy for older dogs and dogs with mobility issues to jump onto.
Unlike most other beds, both the core and cover are washable. The cover, which has a two-sided zipper, can be machine-washed with cold water, and line dried or tumble dried on low. Clear wash instructions are provided.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want the cooling gel foam, you can also choose high-loft fiber filling, convoluted orthopedic, full-support foam, and memory foam.
The bed comes in small (20″x15″x3″), medium (30″x20″x3″), large (36″x27″x3″), jumbo (44″x35″x4″), and jumbo plus (53″x42″x5″) sizes.
The Ultra-Plush Deluxe Mattress Bed is an open canvas that can accommodate just about any sleeping position for your dog or puppy, and it’s great for lounging too. Your dog is sure to find it very comfortable.
Aside from beds that use cooling gel, elevated dog beds are among the best choices for cooling dog beds. And the Tall Tails K9COT Mesh happens to be our top pick for elevated dog bed.
It’s not only great for dogs that tend to overheat, but it’s also ideal for dogs that make messes (with urine, etc.) and for chewers. If you’re willing to give up the aesthetics of a traditional dog bed, an elevated bed like this will solve a lot of problems.
The K9COT comes in medium, large, XL and double-XL sizes. We recommend measuring your dog from the nose to the base of the tail to determine the best size. If in doubt, go one size up.
The K9COT Elevated Mesh Dog Bed is comfortable, durable, and conforms to your dog’s preferred sleeping positions. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, keeping your dog off hard surfaces while providing orthopedic support for joints.
The mesh fabric of the K9COT allows for plenty of airflow for cooling and for liquids to drain through and away from your dog.
The anodized aluminum frame of this bed not only adds a ton of stability to the build, but is lightweight, chew-proof, and resistant to rust and corrosion. The construction of the frame also hides the mesh fabric edges, which is another layer of protection against chewing.
Keep in mind that there’s a lifetime guarantee on the frame and a 1-year warranty on the mesh surface. For more information, go to this page.
This bed is great for dog owners who want an effective, practical dog bed or who have an outdoor dog.
Mats are a great option for staying cool because they have an open design and let in the maximum amount of airflow from the sides, as opposed to a bed with bolsters or something similar.
This is The Green Pet Shop’s original self-cooling gel pad for dogs. It has a 4.3/5 customer rating (4400+ reviews) on Amazon, which is impressive given how easily dog owners will leave negative reviews about pet products. Compare this mat with others, and you’ll see what we mean.
This cooling mat uses a patented gel technology that is pressure-activated. When your dog lays down on it, the gel chills and soothes your dog for up to three hours. Once your dog gets off, the special gel formula recharges in 15-20 minutes, ready to work its magic the next time!
The Green Pet Shop Gel Cooling Mat is known to prevent dehydration and overheating, and is perfect for getting your dog through a hot summer. You can put it on floors, in a crate, in the car, on furniture, or wherever else would be best for your dog.
The pad works without you having to do anything, so you can essentially set it and forget it until you need to wash it. No refrigeration, electricity or water is needed.
You can clean the bed with a damp cloth as needed. It’s lightweight and folds very easily. We recommend being generous with the size (consult the sizing chart here) because it gives your dog more room to shift to cold spots as other spots become warm.
Note that although the contents of the bed is non-toxic, you should still be mindful if your dog is a chewer — it’s preferable for them not to ingest the gel in any case.
We just had to include this elevated dog bed on our list; it’s simple, very affordable, and has a 4.6/5 average rating with a whopping 30,000+ reviews!
The Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Pet Bed (made under Amazon’s own private label brand) is a real winner. It has a cheaper construction than the K9COT bed we reviewed above, but it’s still very effective.
The bed consists of an iron frame and mesh cot fabric that keeps your dog at least 7 inches off the ground. This produces an airflow cooling effect that is ideal for warm interiors or hot days.
The mesh PVC fabric of this elevated bed is strong and breathable, although the edges are exposed, which leaves it vulnerable to chewing. Watch out for this if your dog is a chewer.
The iron frame is sturdy and easy to assemble, with corners that are gently curved. The legs, tubes, screws and hex tool needed for setup are included with the purchase.
The Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Pet Bed is also lightweight. It comes in extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes, accommodating a maximum of 110 lbs.
Wiping the bed with a damp cloth is usually all that’s needed for cleaning.
Although the bed can be used by small and large dogs alike, we find that larger dogs tend to get the most out of it.
FurHaven’s Microvelvet Luxe Lounger bed, which has a perfect 5-star average customer rating, would be one of our top recommendations for a cooling dog bed, particularly when you opt for the cooling gel foam mattress type.
Why? Not only does the cooling gel foam reduce the temperature of the sleeping surface by 1-2 degrees, but the bed also has an open design that tends not to trap heat.
This bed is available in a wide variety of sizes (small-giant) and colours (espresso, blue, etc.). Whatever the breed and size of your dog, you’ll be able to find a version that’s perfect for it, and FurHaven provides a sizing guide to make it easy for you.
The Microvelvet Luxe Lounger bed has an ergonomic design and provides therapeutic back and neck support. It’s soft yet firm enough to support the back and neck, it cradles the body of dogs that prefer to sleep on their side, and it has a step-on design that is easily accessible.
The quilted, lightly padded, micro velvet sleep surface provides maximum comfort and a cozy experience. Orthopedic and memory foam mattress types are also available for the bed, but since you’re here, we’re assuming you’d prefer the cooling gel foam.
Note that FurHaven uses CertiPUR-US foam, made in the USA and without harmful heavy metals, flame retardants, or other potentially dangerous chemicals.
The zippered cover is removable, washable, and made using overlock safety stitching for enhanced durability. The cover can be machine or hand-washed.
In our experience, this bed is very comfortable, very well-made, and easy to vacuum, with a cover that washes nicely.
It can be very beneficial to invest in a cooling bed for your dog. These specially designed beds give your dog extra airflow and will help provide it some much-needed relief on hot days.
There are so many beds out there and it can get a little overwhelming, so we’ve written this buying guide to help you narrow down your choices. Before you go out and buy just any cooling bed, here are a few things that you should consider:
The size of your dog’s bed is always something that you need to keep in mind.
Measure your dog from the snout to the base of the tail — its bed should be at least this long. But also keep in mind how your dog likes to sleep.
Does Fido like to spread out to sleep? Or does Spot love to sleep curled up in a little ball? Don’t forget to double check the dimensions and the weight limits of the bed you’re looking in to, especially if it’s an elevated dog bed.
The material of your dog’s bed is also a very important consideration.
Think about your dog’s personality: is it a big chewer or scratcher? If so, look into getting a cooling bed that has a chew-resistant cover or is made out of ripstop fabric.
Does your dog love swimming or playing in the rain? If so, avoid a cotton bed that holds moisture and takes a while to dry.
Plus, there are different materials that work better for indoor use as opposed to outdoor use. Cotton beds are great for indoor beds, but lean towards mesh or polyethylene fabrics if you are planning on using the bed outdoors.
How It Works
Most cooling beds are filled with water or a special heat-absorbing gel.
How these types of beds work is that when your dog lays down on it, its body heat is absorbed by these substances. This lowers its internal temperature a little, making it feel nice and cool.
A good analogy to this is when you put a cool glass of water in your hand. The heat moves from your hand to the cup, which eventually makes the glass and your hand the same temperature.
Eventually, the bed will heat up again, and your dog will move to another spot — this allows the bed to “recharge” and become cool again.
Both water and gel cooling beds work well, but beds that are filled with water are usually larger because it takes more water to cool a dog down than it does gel.
Additionally, there are some electric cooling beds. These beds use batteries or an adapter to keep the bed cool. They’re a good option if you are planning on going on a long car ride and you want to keep your dog nice and cool.
Ease Of Transport
If you just want to use your dog’s bed at home, then this is not an important factor, but for many pet owners, it is important that their dog’s cooling bed is easy to transport.
Keep this in mind if you are planning on bringing the bed with you on vacations or even to day trips to the park. Some gel-filled cooling beds can easily be folded up and stored, and most water-filled beds can be emptied for easy transport, but remember that you then have to refill it before your dog uses it.
How Cool The Bed Is
Look at the information provided by the manufacturer — it should give you an idea of how cool the bed’s surface will be.
Some of the best cooling dog beds can remain at a temperature of about fifteen to twenty degrees cooler than the ambient temperature.
What about cooling mats?
On top of cooling beds for dogs, you can also get a cooling mat or pad.
Cooling mats are a little more convenient and can easily be placed anywhere your dog likes to go: the living room floor, the bottom of its crate, on top of its regular bed, in the car, outside, etc.
They are very easy to use, too. Once one side of the mat gets hot, simply flip it over to the other side and your dog can cool down.
How beneficial a cooling dog bed will be will depend on the individual and breed. Not only are breeds like pugs, English Bulldogs and Boston Terriers prone to overheating, but dogs with dark (especially black) coats are more likely to need help cooling down.
Whatever the reason is that you believe your dog would benefit from a cooling bed, you still want to make sure that it’s comfortable and has all of the other fixings that make a dog bed great and long-lasting.
Keep in mind that your dog may like many or even all of the beds listed here, so don’t overthink finding the “perfect” bed.
When you do decide to buy one, the dog beds reviewed above along with our buying guide will help you come to a great decision.
It’s also beneficial to read customer reviews of dog beds and/or get the opinion of experts, if possible. This can help you a great deal in the decision-making process.
Thanks for reading this guide. Which cooling bed are you interested in for your dog? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.