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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Saskia Kemsley

Best orthopaedic dog beds to support your pup through sleep

Just like us weary humans, our pets enter an aches and pains era when they reach a certain age.

Though we do our very best to ensure our pups remain in tip-top shape throughout their precious lives by feeding them organic, wholesome food, special supplements to make their bones, teeth and fur healthy, waterproof coats to prevent them from catching cold during the winter and so much more – sometimes, especially with certain breeds – chronic pain and slower movements with age are inevitable.

The best we can do for senior pups or dogs with chronic illnesses or pain disorders is to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Heating pads, special blankets and delicious treats certainly do the trick most of the time, but an orthopaedic pet bed could do wonders for your aching pup.

What is an orthopaedic pet bed?

If you’re aware of orthopaedic mattresses for humans, the options for pets aren’t too dissimilar. Often crafted from bouncy, soft yet wonderfully supportive contoured foam (which remarkably resembles an egg carton) – the anatomy of an orthopaedic pet bed usually consists of a plush, washable outer cover, a supportive egg carton foam, a non-slip base and sometimes an additional layer of cushioning.

What are the benefits of an orthopaedic pet bed?

“Orthopaedic dog beds can provide additional support and comfort for dogs with joint pain, arthritis, or other orthopaedic issues,” says Dr Matt Speigle, Medical Director at Vetster. “They can also improve the quality of sleep for pets and provide them with a peaceful environment,” he adds.

They work by providing cushioned support for your pet’s spine and neck while simultaneously adapting to their body weight and evenly distributing it. Some speciality foams are even designed to adapt to your dog’s body temperature in order to help regulate it.

Orthopaedic foam can help relieve symptoms for a wide range of illnesses including joint and muscle pain, while also preventing the possibility for future problems to occur – such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

The Big Barker Orthopaedic Dog Bed with Pillow Top is perfect for pups who need a little extra support for aching joints,” suggests Dr Spiegle. “The Furhaven Round Orthopaedic Dog Bed is also good as it has sherpa and suede sewn into the bed, providing added insulation, and creating a cosy sleeping surface — perfect for dogs who like to burrow and snuggle while they sleep,” says the veterinarian.

What are the signs that your pet is suffering from back or joint pain?

According to the PDSA, the most common signs that your pet may be suffering from joint pain or arthritis are:

  • Stiffness
  • Limping or lameness
  • Narrowing of the hips and back end
  • Slowing down on walks
  • Lethargy
  • Licking areas where they are in pain
  • Reluctance to jump or climb stairs
  • Enlarged or swollen joints

What features should one look for when purchasing an orthopaedic pet bed?

So long as you’re 100 per cent sure that the bed’s mattress is made from orthopaedic foam, the other features you should look for in a pet bed are entirely dependent on your pet’s wants and needs. For instance, an anxious pup might benefit from a high-sided doughnut-shaped bed, while an extra-large dog may prefer to sprawl out on a flat mattress design.

Keep scrolling for a round-up of the comfiest and cosiest orthopaedic pet beds for your precious pup.

Shop now

Bedsure Medium Dog Sofa Bed

Available in sizes medium to extra-large, this wonderfully plush and washable orthopaedic pet bed from Petsure features an anti-slip base to prevent your pup from jumping into a bed which has a tendency to slip and slide away from underneath them. The four-sided bolster design makes for the perfect head and neck rest and also mimics the famous anxiety-reducing doughnut bed design.

The orthopaedic support is in the form of a high-density egg crate foam which serves to distribute your pet’s weight evenly while reducing any pressure on their bones and joints.

Buy now £35.00, Amazon

Ultimate Lounger Full Support Comfortable Orthopaedic Dog Sofa Bed

Thanks to the 3D high-density orthopaedic foam hidden in the folds of this luxurious pet bed, your pup is sure to feel an immediate sense of relief thanks to the pressure-reducing technology. Bite and scratch resistant, you can rest easy knowing that your pet will have an extremely ruff time trying to get into the foam base. This flat-topped option can be popped atop your sofa for puppy cuddles that won’t get fur all over your precious upholstery and can be unzipped for machine washing.

Buy now £91.99, Funny Fuzzy

Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed

We know, the eye-watering price of this veterinarian-approved orthopaedic dog bed isn’t the most appealing. Nevertheless, owners of extra-large breeds will rejoice for this spine and joint saviour. Brilliant for breeds like Great Danes, Rottweilers and German Shepherds – the latter of which is particularly prone to hip dysplasia – this dog bed has been clinically proven thanks to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. Machine-washable micro suede covers durable orthopaedic foam, and the entire bed is put together by experienced craftsmen in the brand's small Pennsylvania workshop.

Buy now £358.88, Amazon

Furhaven 26" Round Orthopedic Dog Bed for Medium/Small Dogs

Available in an array of colours to suit your and your pup’s personality, this igloo-shaped orthopaedic bed is a brilliant option for puppies suffering from separation anxieties, or dogs who simply love to cuddle up in safe, semi-enclosed environments. The inside of the bed is lined with huggable, ultra-soft sherpa fleece and the outer blanket is made from easy-care suede.

Buy now £46.13, Amazon

Pets at Home Gusset Dog Mattress Dark Grey

The vast majority of larger dogs prefer to sprawl out as much as possible, which is why you’ll often find them ditching their specially purchased high-sided, sofa-like beds. If your big, senior pup would nevertheless benefit from orthopaedic support, we recommend going for an extra-large mattress bed like this option from Pets at Home.

Buy now £40.00, Pets at Home

Lords & Labradors Essentials Twill Orthopaedic Mattress Slate

If your small pup is unequivocally attached to their ratty old bed, but their ageing frame is causing them to suffer from some joint pain, try switching out the base of their bed with this orthopaedic mattress from Lords & Labradors. Likewise, you could place the mattress directly next to their usual nap location to slowly encourage them to give it a go.

Buy now £59.99, Lords & Labradors

Perpets Orthopedic Dog Bed Comfortable Donut Cuddler

Get the best of both worlds with this anxiety-reducing, orthopaedic doughnut bed from Perpets. Lightweight and portable, you’ll be able to move this pressure-relieving dream all around the house depending on exactly where your royal pup prefers to sleep throughout the day.

Buy now £34.24, AMazon

Knuffelwuff Orthopaedic Dog Bed

Though on the more expensive side, this hi-tech option is available in sizes small to a whopping XXXL if you so happen to be the owner of a Great Dane in need of back support. The orthopaedic foam which makes up the base of this mattress responds to the temperature, weight and shape of your dog’s body in order to deliver maximum support and comfort.

Buy now £199.41, Knuffelwuff

Orthopaedic Donut Dog Bed - Grey Tweed Small Medium – Grey

This adorable option is best suited for smaller pups. Crafted from high-quality fibres with an attractive tweed exterior, this machine-washable orthopaedic pet bed is also designed to help regulate your pup’s body temperature.

Buy now £32.99, The Range


Chic, sleek and value-for-money, the Bedsure Dog Sofa Bed is our top pick with its no-nonsense and highly effective design. If you’re in the market for a luxury and hi-tech option, however, look no further than Knuffelwuff.

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