The Coolaroo Cot-Style pet bed is an elevated bed with a steel frame, polyethylene fabric and relatively low price tag. How does it compare to competing beds though? And which dogs is it best suited for? Keep reading our in-depth review to find out.
Some dogs love memory foam and luxurious cushioning. But that doesn't mean expensive beds are the right choice for every pup.
In fact, there are many advantages to basic raised dog beds - such as the Coolaroo. They are cooler (hence the name!), more durable, less expensive and versatile - plus some dogs prefer sleeping on a firm surface.
That's why the Coolaroo dog bed has become one of the most popular options since its release in 2012. Thousands have been sold, with the bed being highly rated by dog owners around the world.
Overview: What is the Coolaroo?
As I mentioned in the introduction, the Coolaroo is an elevated dog bed that's available in several sizes (Small, Medium and Large). Here's an overview of the most important features:
- Raised sleeping surface keeps your dog off cold and hard ground. All sizes are elevated 8" above the ground to increase airflow and prevent overheating.
- Durable powder coated steel frame that's designed to last. It's also weatherproof and resistant to mites, fleas and mold.
- Relatively low price due to the simple design and construction. It's not the cheapest bed on the market, but provides great value for money.
- Fabric cover is resistant to UV degradation. The bed comes with a five-year warranty for this common issue with outdoor beds.
- Easy to maintain as you can just wash the bed with a hose. The fabric is not suitable for machine washing though.
The Coolaroo is shipped as a set of frame bars, fabric and screws. You'll need to assemble it yourself upon arrival.
Who Is It For?
Elevated beds might look Spartan compared to fluffy memory foam alternatives, but they can be great for dogs that overheat.
The increased airflow and lack of warm cushioning keeps your dog cooler, while the steel frame is much more durable than soft beds. As the Coolaroo is cheaper than many memory foam mattresses, it's also a great choice if you're on a tight budget, or just want a second bed for outdoors.
As a general rule, elevated beds aren't a good choice for dogs with joint problems (including arthritis) though. They don't provide orthopedic support, as the fabric doesn't mold to your dog's shape. An elevated bed also isn't the best choice if your pet likes to curl against a soft surface when sleeping.
Now we've looked at the basic details of the Coolaroo, let's examine the materials, price and comfort in more detail.
Construction, Materials & Support
The Coolaroo is built with a black powder-coated steel frame and a high-density polyethylene fabric cover. The frame is assembled with flush screws, so they shouldn't catch on your dog's fur, while the entire design is weatherproof and suitable for outdoor use.
An advantage of elevated beds is they are able to withstand chewing. While the Coolaroo isn't the most durable on the market (more on that in a moment), the steel frame can handle all but the most aggressive chewers. It's also much sturdier than the average bed in this price range.
As you would expect from a raised bed, the Coolaroo doesn't provide orthopedic support. The fabric surface is comfortable - but it doesn't have the luxury feel or softness of foam beds. Some people add a soft fleece pad for extra comfort, although this adds to the cost of the bed.
On the plus side, it's much cooler than a foam bed. So, if your dog often overheats, it could be a better choice. There are also four color options (Nutmeg, Green, Grey and Terracotta), so you can match it to your home or garden's design.
One complaint I have is that there are small gaps at the corners. This isn't a major problem for most dogs, but could be a chewing target if your pet has destructive tendencies (this is the main reason the Coolaroo didn't make my list of the best chew proof beds). A small dog's leg could also slip down the gap - although this is unlikely.
On a similar note, the cover wraps around the outside of the frame. This makes it easier for chewers to target than beds with hidden cover edges (such as the Kuranda). Whether your dog damages the cover depends on his strength and persistence though.
For an overview of how to construct the Coolaroo, here's a useful video from the manufacturer:
I've got to admit that it can be frustrating to get all the bolts in place. Once you've constructed it you'll never need to do it again - but I wish assembly was a bit easier.
One thing to note about the Coolaroo is that it's not foldable. If you need a folding design for easier transport, it's not the right choice.
There are currently three sizes available: Small, Medium and Large (this may change in the future though).
The small size has dimensions of 34.75x22.75 inches. It has a weight limit of up to 50lbs, but is best suited to breeds such as the King Charles Spaniel and Jack Russell.
For comparison, the Large Coolaroo is 51x31.5 inches with a maximum weight of 100lbs, so it's suitable for much larger breeds. These include German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Golden Retrievers and Mastiffs.
Despite the sleeping area of the "Large," it's probably not suitable for giant breeds. There used to be an Extra Large (XL) version, but it's not currently listed on the Coolaroo website.
One of the most important features of a foam dog bed is a machine-washable cover. Dog beds always get dirty fast, so being able to wash it is vital.
Elevated beds are slightly different though. The simple fabric and metal design of the Coolaroo means washing is just a case of using a hose to wash it down. There's no mattress or soft cover for odors to seep into, nor is there a chance of the mattress losing its shape after being washed.
This makes it far more durable than the average foam bed - even those that can be machine washed.
Note: It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when cleaning a dog bed. The Coolaroo must not be machine washed, bleached, ironed, dry cleaned or tumble dried. It can only be cleaned via vacuum or hose.
Can you buy replacement covers and parts?
Yes, there are official Coolaroo replacement covers on the market. If your dog digs through the cover - or it just needs to be replaced after years of wear-and-tear - there are replacement covers in all three sizes.
One of the reasons the Coolaroo has become such a popular bed is the low price. It's not the cheapest on the market, but it's considerably less expensive than memory foam or orthopedic beds.
More importantly, does it provide value for money?
Yes, in my opinion. It's a basic bed, but has a highly durable design that should last years - even if you use it outdoors. If you want an inexpensive bed that's built to last, the Coolaroo is one of the best value options.
Note: The bed is available via a number of online stores, including Amazon, Walmart and Petsmart. It's also sold in a variety of countries, such as the UK and Australia.
Summary & Final Verdict
Whether you have a small or large breed, the Coolaroo dog bed is a sturdy option that's available for an excellent price. It's UV, mold and mildew resistant, while providing an elevated canvas for your pet to sleep on.
But the most impressive thing about this bed is the durable frame. It's not meant to withstand heavy chewing, but for daily use it should last a long time - even when used outdoors. The cover isn't quite as durable as other elevated beds, but should last as long as your dog isn't a "digger."
Are there any downsides though?
If I was being picky, the fabric should stretch into the corners rather than leaving a gap. A hidden edge to the fabric, which is common for chew-proof beds, would also make it better for withstanding a destructive dog.
Even so, this is an excellent bed for the price. Yes, it's not the most luxurious on the market. Nor is it as attractive or cute as other options. But if your dog overheats when sleeping, or just prefers sleeping on a harder surface, it's a great option.
I hope this Coolaroo dog bed review has helped you decide whether it's the right choice for your pet. Please use the comments form below if you have any questions.
About the Author: Richard Cross
Richard is a journalist who specialises in dog behavior. He's written hundreds of articles and books related to dogs, including for the Continental Kennel Club, Dog Fest (the UK's biggest dog festival) and various veterinary surgeries. When he's not spending time with Jess and Rudy (his beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers), he enjoys reading, hiking and watching sports.