Keep Anxious Pups Relaxed with These 12 Calming Dog Beds

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PEOPLE Best Calming Dog Beds

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Whether you have a rescue dog, a puppy with separation anxiety, or a generally anxious and excited pet, many dogs need a little extra TLC — and a calming dog bed can be the perfect soothing mechanism.

What is it about these beds that help an animal feel that sense of calm? One TikTok-famous veterinarian who specializes in fear-free medicine weighs in. “I believe most small dogs especially like the donut bed because it allows them to naturally curl up, preserve body heat, and feel protected on all sides,” veterinarian Hunter Finn, DVM tells PEOPLE. “Having their bodies touch a wall allows them to feel less threatened from that side and rest more comfortably.” But one size does not fit all when it comes to dog beds, so the right bed comes down to your dog’s preferences.

Animal behaviorist Victoria Cussen, PhD, CAAB, tells PEOPLE, “Individual dogs have unique preferences for beds; for example, some dogs prefer beds with bolsters while others prefer a level pad.” The Senior Director of Applied Behavior Research on the ASPCA Behavioral Sciences Team, suggests “pay[ing] attention to where your dog chooses to rest and try to accommodate their preferences. This will ensure they have a comfortable place to rest available to them.”

After comparing many of the best calming pet beds on the market, these 12 were our winners.

Best Overall: Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Bed in Shag Fur

The Original Calming Donut Dog Bed

Best Friends by Sheri

Who It’s Good For
  • This plush bed is ideal for dogs who like to burrow, curl up, and snuggle down into material. Basically, if your dog is always nestled in pillows and blankets and likes a good cuddle, this bed is perfect.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • It’s not ideal for dogs who only prefer to lay stretched out.

As one of the most popular pet beds, the donut soothes animals by providing plush comfort, a solid border — which provides a head rest and sense of protection — and a faux-fur material that’s perfect for snuggling. For many dogs who need their bed to be a refuge, this circular fluffy bed is exactly that. While this bed is primarily for dogs who like to curl up, there are many dogs who sleep in different positions throughout the day, so if your dog lays stretched out sometimes, and curls up other times, it could still be a good fit! 

“We got our puppy the famous donut bed and then bought her another one when she outgrew the first. She absolutely loves it!,” says commerce writer Madison Yauger. “As a high energy breed (springer spaniel), she’s always moving, but when she’s ready to lie down, she will nap in this bed for hours. She’s a tough chewer, but has yet to do any damage or even chew on the shag material. Usually she curls up in a ball, but occasionally she’ll just sprawl across it, so it’s definitely versatile.”

Some extra features include the plush filling which can allow some relief for dogs that have joint pain and need some orthopedic support. And to help you out, especially when buying this bed for a puppy — it’s completely machine washable and dryer safe, so fret not if your dog is accident-prone. It comes in a range of sizes and calming colors so you can find the best option for your dog and your home. 

“This bed has 100-percent helped with our dog’s separation anxiety,” said Yauger. “We watch her on the Furbo when we’re gone, and she always just goes to her bed and snuggles up until we get back.”

Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Material: Shag fur | Shape: Donut, round | Extra Features: Machine washable, dryer safe

Best Budget: SlowTon Calming Dog Bed

Calming Dog Bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • This fluffy bed is similar to the OG donut bed in many ways, but it’s a bit cheaper in price. It’s good for dogs who like to sleep curled up.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • Some owners may find the filling to be a bit thinner, so it's not great for large dogs who require more cushion.

This plushy bed is so comfy, you may find yourself sitting next to your dog in it from time to time. Made with a faux-fur exterior and a cotton filling, this bed is extremely soft and provides a border for head and neck support. If your dog likes to take a running start before jumping into their bed (as some excitable dogs do!), this bed also has non-slip material on the bottom to keep it in place. For added convenience, you can put the entire bed in the washing machine and tumble dry it on a low setting.

Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large | Material: Faux-Fur, fill is cotton | Shape: Donut, round | Extra Features: Non-slip safety bottom, machine washable

Best Splurge: Animals Matter Ruby Puff Ortho Companion-Pedic Luxury Dog Bed

calming dog bed

Animals Matter

Who It’s Good For
  • This ultra plush dog bed is ideal for dog owners who want a beautifully designed bed, and for dogs who like a soft place to snuggle up.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • While the cover is machine washable, the delicate filling is not, so it might be better to save this bed for adult dogs who are house trained.

For the ultimate luxury, consider this premium plush bed from Animals Matter. Made with blanket-soft faux fur on top and velvet on the bottom, this bed is so soft you’ll envy your dog. Inside is a hypoallergenic high memory-spring filling that supports your pet and surrounds them with comfort. 

“Most dogs like to curl up against an object whether it’s your leg, a couch edge, wall surface, or a circular bed structure," says Finn. "This allows the dog to fully rest rather than having to be on high alert from all angles." Also, from a young age, puppies instinctually huddle together with [their] siblings and mom for warmth, so this may carry into adulthood especially in anxious animals,” he adds.

This bed is somewhat elevated off the ground due to the amount of filling, and the filling is hand wash-only, so this bed might be best for non-shedding, house-trained dogs. The design is gorgeous and it comes in three neutral colors so it will fit in with any design scheme as a sophisticated statement piece.

Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Material: Faux fur and micro velvet exterior, hypoallergenic high memory-spring luxury filling | Shape: Round, elevated | Extra Features: Cover is machine washable (cold), vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly

Best Indestructible: K9 Ballistics Tough Rip-Stop™ Deep Den Dog Bed

calming dog bed

K9 Ballistics

Who It’s Good For
  • This bed is ideal for tough chewers given its durable fabric, and it could also work for camping trips, or dogs that go with you on outdoor expeditions.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • It’s not as soft as other calming beds, so it may not be ideal for dogs who gravitate toward plushy bedding.

This durable bed from K9 Ballistics is a great option for dogs who are a little rough on their beds. Some dogs like to scratch, dig, and play with their beds, and that’s fine if you have a material that can hold up to rough play. This fabric is water-resistant, holds up against teeth and claws, and dirt resistant for dogs who bring their outside fun indoors. 

But don’t think it’s not comfortable, because it is — especially with its certified clean recycled polyfill filling. When it comes time to wash, you can either spot clean it or throw it in the washing machine. This bed would be great for a highly active dog or for pet parents who take their dogs on outdoor adventures and need a bed that can hold up and last for many years.

Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Material: Water-resistant rip-stop ballistic fabric | Shape: Round, elevated | Extra Features: Non-skid bottom, removable bottom cushion, fits in most wire crates, machine washable

Best for Small Dogs: Friends Forever Self Warming Indoor Round Pillow Cuddler

calming dog bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • This bed is another great option for dogs who like to sleep curled up.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • Since this bed is so warm, it may not be as good for dogs with really thick fur or dogs who live in warm climates.

This Friends Forever bed works well for small dogs because it gives them a place to burrow and feel secure. With the donut shape and plush material, it provides the comfort of something soft to lie on and a barrier to sleep with their backs up against or to use as a neck pillow. Due to the faux-fur fabric, this bed warms very quickly so it can keep small dogs nice and toasty while they sleep (but may be too warm for breeds with really thick fur). It’s machine washable, and dryer safe so cleaning this bed is a simple task. It also comes in five colors with some neutral options and some whimsical colors depending on your (and your dog’s) preference.

Sizes: Small, Medium, Large | Material: Faux fur, polyester filling | Shape: Donut, round | Extra Features: Machine washable and dryer safe

Best for Medium Dogs: Bedsure Calming Dog Bed

calming dog bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • This plushy donut bed provides enough space for a medium-sized dog to curl up while providing microfiber plush for good joint and muscle support.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • Since the middle section is rather compact, this bed wouldn’t be a favorite among dogs who like to stretch out when they sleep.

Another version of the popular donut bed, this plushy dream from Bedsure will have your pup excited about nap time. Made with a soft faux fur cover and microfiber filling, this bed is extremely comfortable and provides neck and joint support with its raised edge. To keep it in place with more high-strung, medium-sized dogs, this bed has a non-slip bottom to grip the floor and keep it from moving around. It’s super easy to wash: just throw it in the washing machine on a cold gentle cycle and tumble dry on a lower setting.

Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large | Material: Faux fur, microfiber, plush | Shape: Donut, round | Extra Features: Non-slip bottom, machine washable

Best for Large Dogs: Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed Lounge Sofa

calming dog bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • Built with a sofa-style memory foam base, this bed is perfect for large dogs who sleep stretched out, as well as those with joint issues and arthritis. 

Who It’s Not Good For
  • It might not feel as secure to a dog that needs barriers around the entire bed (like a donut!).

This comfy sofa-esque bed is a large dog’s dream — giving them plenty of room to spread out on top of an extremely soft (memory foam!) base. As large dogs can be very active, this bed provides joint support throughout the base and comfy barriers around the edge so they can lean against it with their heads for additional support. 

Designed with orthopedic issues in mind, this bed is also great for older dogs with arthritis, joint and mobility issues, and stiff limbs who need additional support while still having a soft bed to lie on. The cover is machine washable, the liner is water-resistant, and the non-slip bottom grips the floor, so it won’t slide when your dog tries to lie down.

Sizes: Small, Large, X-Large, XX-Large | Material: Polyester cover, memory foam fill | Shape: Sofa style, flat, rectangular | Extra Features: Water-resistant liner, machine washable cover, non-slip bottom, hair-resistant material

Best with Memory Foam: Casper Dog Bed

4.5
Casper Dog Bed

Casper

Who It’s Good For
  • With premium memory foam, this dog bed is ideal for dogs who need good support and still like to snuggle up at night.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • Since even the large breed size is still rather compact, it may not be great for dogs who sleep stretched out or on their sides.

When your dog’s bed is made by a top-rated mattress company, you know it’s going to be a high quality place to sleep. With pressure-relieving memory foam and foam bolsters around the edges, this “dog mattress” is supportive, comfortable, and built to last. 

Made with a microfiber blend and equipped with extra material on the top, this bed allows dogs to dig and scratch without damaging the bed, and is resistant to clingy fur, drool, and other things that make a bed look weathered faster. Of course, when you are ready to clean it, the outside liner (with a hidden zipper for aesthetics and to protect your floors) is removable and machine washable.

Sizes: Small (up to 30 lbs), Medium (up to 60 lbs), Large (up to 90 lbs) | Material: Nylon, microfiber, memory foam | Shape: Rectangle | Extra Features: Mattress-grade memory foam, machine washable liner

Best for Senior Dogs: FurHaven Ultra Plush Pet Bed

calming dog bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • As an easily washable bed, this is great for dogs who are prone to messes.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • Due to the shape of this bed, it’s not ideal for dogs who like to stretch out when they sleep, as well as hot sleepers or dogs in warm climates since the faux fur gets warm easily.

This bed is perfect for dogs who like to nest and have the security of barrier walls with the comfort of a plush pillow underneath. As opposed to beds that come with barriers all the way around, this one has a cutout in front, making it easy for small dogs, puppies, and senior dogs to enter. Design-wise, this bed is highly versatile with 21 colors to choose from. 

We’d like to note the sizing is a little misleading, so to provide some clarity, the small size fits dogs up to 12 pounds (so really it’s an X-small) and the jumbo fits dogs up to 75 pounds. So generally, this bed is better for smaller to medium-sized dogs. But the real selling point is how easy it is to clean: the pillow, wall color, and foam core are all individually washable, so now matter how dirty this bed gets, you can clean it with ease.

Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, Jumbo | Material: Polyester, synthetic fabric, plush, fiberfill | Shape: Oval | Extra Features: Completely machine washable

Best Orthopedic: Furhaven Orthopedic Dog Bed

4.8
Furhaven Pet - Plush Orthopedic Sofa

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • This bed is perfect for large breed dogs, and especially dogs with weak joints, arthritis, and needing extra support.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • This bed isn’t designed for strong or destructive chewers.

With almost 69,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, this widely popular dog bed is perfect for large breed dogs that need a little extra support. It comes in three large sizes including large, jumbo, and jumbo plus for breeds like Great Danes, and can even fit two medium-sized dogs if your pets like to snuggle. 

Made with a medical-grade orthopedic foam, this calming dog bed is designed to cradle and support pressure points, provide neck and hip support, and help cushion sore joints. “Keep in mind that some anxious dogs are nervous destroyers and may tear up a bed that has a ton of feathers or fluff on the inside,” says Finn. “I prefer orthopedic foam beds as it gives just the right amount of softness and firmness combination.”

It also comes in 12 colors, and with a removable and machine washable cover. “Most dogs prefer a softer surface such as plush or orthopedic foam, but some can actually become more anxious if the bed is too soft and feels like it closes in on them,” says Finn. This bed also comes with an option for a cooling gem foam instead of the orthopedic foam, depending on your pup’s needs.

Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo, Jumbo Plus | Material: Polyester, plush faux fur, egg crate orthopedic foam filling | Shape: Chaise lounge-style, rectangle, flat | Extra Features: Orthopedic features like pressure point support, neck, back, and hip support with foam-filled bolsters, and improves air circulation

Best Waterproof: PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed

calming dog bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • This bed has a water-resistant and tear-resistant outer covering, making it ideal for accident-prone puppies. 

Who It’s Not Good For
  • It’s quite comfortable, but since it doesn’t have that plushy exterior, it won’t be a favorite for dogs who prefer a higher level of softness.

This durable calming dog bed is perfect for puppies, because it offers water-resistance and protection against tears. The bottom specifically has a waterproof liner to protect your floors from accidents, and the material is strong enough to withstand teething (even with razor-sharp puppy teeth!). 

All materials on this bed are easy to spot clean, and the cover is removable and can be thrown in the washing machine, making this bed ideal for new pup parents. It also comes with a comfortable memory foam filling to support your growing dog, and is free of any harmful manufacturing materials.

Sizes: Small, Large, X-Large, XX-Large Jumbo | Material: Polyester, cotton exterior, memory foam fill | Shape: Rectangle | Extra Features: Water-resistant, anti-tear outer covering

Best Covered: FurHaven Pet Bed Sherpa and Suede Snuggery Blanket Round Egg Crate

calming dog bed

Amazon

Who It’s Good For
  • This covered bed is ideal for dogs who require an extra sense of security.

Who It’s Not Good For
  • It’s not good for teething puppies or destructive chewers.

This soft sherpa blanket bed offers dogs a covered area to sleep — which for some animals can provide a sense of security and protection. It’s incredibly soft with a faux sheepskin blanket cover to let your dog snuggle under. 

“Some beds have an actual cover over the top where dogs can feel like they are going into their own den,” says Finn. “These can be great for anxious dogs who are looking for their safe space to get away and still have a small window of access to the outside world.”

This bed comes with three different fill options: a memory foam, cooling gel foam, and orthopedic foam. While this lining is easy to wash, and has a completely removable cover, its soft material makes it susceptible to damage. So if your dog is a strong chewer (or teething puppy!) it might be best to find a more durable option.

Sizes: 18”, 26”, 35”, 44” | Material: Faux sheepskin, polyester | Shape: Round, covered | Extra Features: Three mattress types — orthopedic foam, cooling gem foam, memory foam

How to Pick the Right Calming Dog Bed

Shape

As Cussen mentioned, the right calming bed will depend on your dog’s preferences, and you’re the expert in that field. So pay attention to where your dog likes to sleep: If they tend to stretch out on the floor, they might want a flatter bed like the FurHaven orthopedic dog bed. Conversely, if they bundle up in blankets and pillows next to you on the couch, a furry donut bed or covered sherpa bed like the ones we picked could be the right choice. Other factors like age, coat, and special needs can also play a role in what bed will be the best fit.

Material

You know your dog better than anyone, so it’s important to be realistic about the material that will best suit them. Though a faux fur bed might look more aesthetically pleasing, if your dog has messy tendencies (drips water everywhere, has accidents, brings dirt in from outside) then a bed with water-resistant and dirt-resistant material will be a more durable option. The same goes for dogs that like to play rough with their beds and dig and scratch the surface. On the other hand, if your dog likes to snuggle and is soothed by softer materials, then the faux fur option will be ideal.

Size

While size may seem self-explanatory, through our research, we found many dog bed sizes are a little misleading, so make sure to read the specifics for each. For instance, some dog beds advertise a full range of sizes, but then the X-Large will only fit a dog up to 75 pounds when there are many dogs far larger than that. In other words, just make sure to read the specifics — such as dog weight for each size — and you should be good to go with your selection. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Where should a dog bed be placed in a house?

    “This completely depends on the dog,” says Finn. “I would personally recommend you give your dog multiple bed locations and options to determine their favorite spot. Most dogs do want to be near you or sometimes depending on their breed, they may want to be in an area of the home that can alert you — such as near a window or door.” 


    For instance, this writer’s dog likes to move between the TV room and the front hall to watch for visitors, so she has a bed in both locations. “I like to have a bed in my bedroom where I sleep, my home office, my living room, and even in my garage gym,” Finn says. He jokes, “Yes, my dog sleeps in the garage when I work out.” He points out that usually your dog just wants to be where you are, so “wherever you spend most of your time is probably the ideal location.”

  • How do I keep a dog from destroying their bed?

    A little horseplay is fine, and some dogs do play with their beds instead of just sleeping on them, but what you don’t want is excessive chewing. Generally, destructive chewing comes from boredom, so as long as your dog is being stimulated with interactive toys, lots of playtime, and exercise, they should leave the bed alone. However, if you have a “super chewer”, you can always look for beds designed for tough chewers that are made with more durable materials.

Take Our Word For It

Madison Yauger is a staff commerce writer for PEOPLE who’s tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources. She’s previously covered many different pet topics, including training and behavior. For this story, she spoke to an animal behaviorist from the ASPCA and a veterinarian, in addition to heavily researching the market of calming dog beds to determine the best picks for different dogs.

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