A mat or pad can turn a hard metal crate floor into a comfortable place for your pet to sleep. But which are the best dog crate beds? And what should you look for in a crate mat? Keep reading to find out!
Crates are a useful tool for training, travel and providing your pet with a secure place to rest. Despite their "cage-like" appearance, dogs often see crates as a safe environment that they can call their own.
A problem is that most crates - along with hard-sided dog carriers - have hard metal or plastic floors. As your dog may spend a lot of time in their crate, it's important to choose a mat that provides support and comfort.
Unfortunately, the worst crate mats barely provide more support than a folded towel, which can cause pressure points and even joint pain. Even so, many owners overlook the importance of choosing a supportive crate pad - especially for larger dogs or those with arthritis.
To help you make a great choice for your dog, I've listed my top 5 recommendations for a great crate bed. These beds vary in material and price, but all provide value for money. Before we get to the recommendations, however, let's talk about what to look for in a crate mat.
Choosing a crate mat is often easier than a regular dog bed, as there are fewer options. Here are some thing to look for:
I've researched plenty of dog crate beds, but the following five are my favorites. As I mentioned in the introduction, these mats and pads vary in support, material, price and durability, so it's important to read the mini-reviews and pick one that suits your dog's requirements. In other words, the best dog crate pad for your pet depends on his age, size, sleeping preferences and whether he has joint pain.
|Image||Name||Material||Price Range||View Price|
|#1||Milliard Premium Orthopedic||2" Memory Foam + 2" Support Foam||$$||View Price|
|#2||Big Barker Dog Crate Pad||2" Comfort Foam + 2" Support Foam||$$$$||View Price|
|#3||Brindle Soft Memory Foam Crate Bed||3" Shredded Foam||$$||View Price|
|#4||K&H Manufacturing Crate Pad||0.5" Memory Foam||$$||View Price|
|#5||MidWest Deluxe Bolster Pad||Polyester Base||$||View Price|
One of my favourite beds is the Milliard Premium, due to its excellent memory foam support and relatively low price. The rectangular shape of this bed also means it's a great choice as a dog bed for crates.
The internal mattress is made from 2" of orthopedic memory foam above 2" of support foam. This provides excellent joint support for smaller dogs, although the top foam layer is too thin to provide the full benefit of this material for larger breeds. Even so, the support provided by this bed is far superior to thin crate mats.
Keep in mind that memory foam can often be hot to sleep on. If your dog overheats, look for a cooling bed instead.
Aside from the mattress, this crate bed comes with a non-slip bottom and machine washable cover. A useful feature of the Milliard is that the cover is waterproof due to the TPU lining. If your dog often wets the bed, this can help protect the foam mattress. I don't think the cover provides as much protection as a dedicated internal liner (like the one found on other mem-foam beds), but it's better than nothing.
It's also a relatively inexpensive rectangle dog bed - especially considering the high-quality construction.
Quick Summary: The Milliard Premium Orthopedic is an excellent all-round bed for small or medium breeds - and it's also one of the best dog crate mats. The washable and waterproof cover makes it easy to maintain, while the 2" of memory foam helps support your dog's joints.
If you have a large dog, the Big Barker Crate Pad could be the best option. Big Barker is known for producing excellent beds that are specifically designed for larger dogs, and the crate version provides the same quality we've come to expect.
Firstly, what's the difference between the crate mat and standard Big Barker? The crate bed is 4" thick, compared to the 7" stand-alone bed. While this reduces the support, it makes it much more suitable for crates, as 7" is too thick to comfortably fit in a crate. The crate bed also doesn't come with a bolster.
Other than these differences, the Big Barker Crate Pad has many of the same features. It's made from a combination of comfort and support foam that's calibrated for larger breeds. This means it can stop even heavy dogs from sinking through and touching the hard crate surface. The dense foam also doesn't flatten over time, which is a common problem with cheaper foam beds.
While the cover isn't chew-proof, it's designed to resist tearing. As digging is more common than chewing for a crate mat, this is a vital feature that means the bed it likely to last a long time. If you're looking for an indestructible dog bed for a crate, the Big Barker is as close as you're likely to get (although it's still not as tough as the most durable dog beds). The cover is also machine washable.
The biggest drawback to the Big Barker Crate Bed is the price. It's easily the most expensive on this list, so it's not the right choice for everyone. If you have a large dog - especially one with joint pain - then it's a great choice though.
Quick Summary: The Big Barker Crate Pad is a durable bed that's great for larger breeds. The dense foam provides strong support and won't sag, while the cover is dig-proof and easy to wash. It's an expensive option - but will last a long time and your big pup will love it.
If you don't need orthopedic-level support for your dog but still want a comfortable crate bed, the Brindle is one of the best choices. It's relatively cheap crate mat that's still 3" thick and comes with a 3-year warranty. Plus most dogs will love sleeping on it.
Unlike the Milliard, the Brindle is made from shredded memory foam. While this is more supportive than laying on a hard floor, and should stop your dog sinking through, it doesn't provide the same molded support of a solid foam bed. Even so, it's a cozy mat that greatly increases the comfort of a crate.
The Brindle has a soft microsuede cover to further increase the comfort of the bed. This can be quickly removed for machine washing. There are also a range of sizes available (from small to extra large) and four colours.
A downside to the Brindle as a dog mattress for crates is that it's unlikely to withstand heavy chewing or digging. If your dog tends to destroy his beds, he'll probably shred the microsuede cover fairly quickly. It can stand up to light digging though.
Quick Summary: The Brindle shredded memory foam crate bed provides great value for money. It's also a comfortable bed that'll make the crate a more enjoyable place for your dog to sleep. Don't buy it for aggressive chewers or diggers though - and it's probably not the best option for dogs with joint pain.
If you don't want a thick pad, but still want to increase the comfort of the crate floor, the K&H Manufacturing Crate Pad could be a great option. It's only 0.5" thick, but is made from memory foam along with a microfleece cover for extra comfort.
Despite having a foam interior, this mat isn't suitable for dogs with joint pain as it's not thick enough. The foam combined with the soft cover provides a comfortable place to sleep though. You can also machine-wash the cover when it gets dirty.
One of the great things about the K&H is that it has slits in the corners. This allows it to perfectly fit any crate - even if the original dimensions don't quite match. The downside to this design is that it's not as pretty as other crate beds.
There are also six sizes available, making this pad one of the most versatile when it comes to fitting any crate. I would have liked more choice than the Mocha or Gray color options - but this is being picky.
Keep in mind that the soft cover isn't as durable as more expensive options. If your dog is a chewer or digger, the K&G may not last long.
Note: K&H Manufacturing also make self-warming and odor control crate beds. These don't have a memory foam mattress, but may be a better option if your dog often gets cold or if your crate often smells bad.
Quick Summary: The K&H Crate Pad isn't as thick as the Milliard, Big Barker or Brindle, so it's not suitable for orthopedic support or heavy dogs. For small or medium breeds, however, it offers a comfortable sleeping surface that your pet will love. The slit corners also allow it to fit almost any crate.
I'm not a fan of typical thin crate pads. They are cheap, but don't provide much comfort on a hard surface. I know many people are looking for a cheap crate bed though - and standard mats can do a decent job if your dog is only in a crate for short periods and doesn't have joint pain. For this reason, I've decided to include the MidWest Deluxe Bolster as it's probably the best crate mat for the money.
The base of the bed is made from a combination of polyester and cotton, while the bolsters are filled with polyester. There's no detachable cover, but the entire bed can be machine washed so it's easy to maintain. It's a relatively comfortable bed - especially for small dogs - but it can't match the support of thicker alternatives.
One of the great things about the MidWest is that it's available in a range of sizes, so you'll almost certainly be able to find one that fits your pet's crate. There are also five colours available, including blue, pink, black and standard.
As you would expect from such an inexpensive and thin crate bed, this isn't a great option for diggers and it's certainly not chew proof. A strong and aggressive chewer will rip through it rapidly, so I recommend going for one of the more durable options in this case.
Quick Summary: If you need a cheap dog crate bed, the MidWest is probably the best option. It's a thin bed so doesn't provide the support or comfort of other beds on this list. It's also not suitable for heavy dogs, those with joint pain or those that require a chew resistant bed. For a basic bed to increase the comfort of a crate, however, it provides good value.
Crates are useful for training and provide a safe space for your dog, but a comfortable pad or mat is essential. The best dog crate beds provide a comfy and cozy place to sleep, whilst providing enough support to keep your pet off the hard floor.
If you have a small or medium-size dog, I recommend the Milliard bed. It's a comfortable option with 2" solid memory foam for great support - plus it provides great value. For larger dogs, the Big Barker crate pad is my top pick.
I hope this article has helped you choose the best dog crate bed for your pet! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. I'll do my best to help.