Best Elevated Dog Beds: 5 Cooling Raised Beds for 2017

Raised beds can be comfortable and cooling - but which are the best to buy?

Raised dog beds can be great for keeping your dog cool - and many are also near-indestructible. What are the advantages of this type of bed though? And which are the best elevated dog beds? The Dog Clinic editor Richard Cross investigates...

A dog in a hammock - which is an example of a basic elevated bed

The days of dog beds being little more than a rug are long gone (luckily for our pups!) These days, beds come in all shapes and sizes - with many even using human-grade materials such as memory foam.

One of the most interesting types is the elevated bed. As the name suggests, these have raised sleeping surfaces that are often around 7" high. They are usually constructed with a PVC or metal frame, and a fabric cover that acts as a stiff hammock. If you imagine a cot without sides, that's pretty close to an elevated bed.

Raised beds don't provide the padding of more luxurious beds, but that doesn't mean they are uncomfortable. The elevated surface prevents pressure points and allows air to circulate to keep your pet cool. So if your pup often overheats, they could be a great choice.

As with all types of dog beds, however, not all elevated beds are worth buying. In this article, I'll take you through the benefits of this type of bed, before listing the five best elevated dog beds for 2017. So let's get started!

Why Buy an Off-The-Floor Dog Bed?

If you've never bought an elevated dog bed before, you might be wondering what the fuss is about. Here are some of the advantages of this type of bed.

  • Cooling. One of the main advantages is that elevation increases airflow around your pet. This, combined with the lack of warm stuffing, keeps your pet cool. If you have a dog with a double coat, such as a golden retriever, this can make a big difference.
  • Comfort. While elevated beds aren't stuffed with comfort foam, they keep your dog away from cold and hard floors. They don't provide orthopedic support - for that you'll need a proper orthopedic bed. But elevation is much better for joints than thin beds that "bottom out" on a hard floor. Many dogs also love sleeping on elevated beds.
  • Durable. As elevated beds aren't filled with soft padding materials, they are often highly durable (it's not a coincidence that the two most durable dog beds we found were both raised models). This doesn't apply to all raised beds - some have weak fabric surfaces - but they are less likely to be destroyed by chewing dogs.
  • Relatively Cheap. The best and most durable elevated dog beds can be bought for less than $150. Some excellent raised beds are also available for less than $50. Compared to the best orthopedic beds, which can cost $250+ for larger breeds, raised beds provide great value.
  • Versatile. As raised beds don't contain foam or polyester filling, it doesn't matter if they get wet or muddy. Most can be washed down quickly with a hose or wipe. This means many can be used both outdoors and indoors. Elevated beds also tend to be lightweight, making them easy to move around the home.

There are some drawbacks to this type of bed too. As I mentioned, they don't provide orthopedic support, so I don't recommend them for dogs with joint pain - especially large breeds. They may also not be the best choice if your pup likes to curl against something when sleeping.

How to Choose a Raised Bed

There are plenty of elevated beds on the market. But what should you look for when buying? Here are some of the most important factors.

  • Frame Material. There are typically two types of frame - PVC and metal. Aluminum or steel frames are the most durable, but PVC is also strong unless your dog is an aggressive chewer. Rounded corners can also discourage chewing.
  • Cover Material. As there aren't any fabric edges on a raised bed, the cover is much harder to chew. Some dogs love to dig at the surface though, which can quickly ruin cheaper options. Look for a bed with a strong and tight mesh to prevent damage.
  • Cover Attachment. Most elevated beds attach the cover by wrapping the edges around the frame. This is fine for most dogs, but can provide a target for chewers. If your dog loves to chew his bed, look for one with the cover hidden within the frame tubes (the Kuranda listed below is a great example).
  • Protective Feet. Rubber feet can protect your floor and provide grip when your dog gets onto the bed. This is especially important if the bed is placed on hardwood or vinyl floors.
  • Size. As with all dog beds, it's important to buy the right size. Ideally, your pet should be able to stretch out in any position without hanging off the side (unless he wants to!). Keep in mind that the quoted size of the bed includes the frame - so the sleeping surface will be slightly smaller.

5 Best Elevated Dog Bed Reviews

Now you know what to look for in an elevated dog bed, here are five excellent options. While I don't think you can go wrong with any of these beds, make sure you read the mini-reviews to find out which is best for your pet.

ImageNameFrame MaterialPrice RangeView Price
Kuranda Chew Proof Almond BedPVC$$$View Price
Coolaroo Elevated Dog BedSteel$View Price
K&H Manufacturing Original Pet CotMetal + PVC Corners$View Price
Pawhut Elevated Cooling Dog Bed CotSteel$$View Price
AmazonBasics Elevated BedSteel$View Price
The Kuranda Chew Proof Almond can be used both indoors and outdoors

1. Kuranda Chew Proof Almond Bed

The Kuranda Chew Proof Elevated bed is my top pick in this category. It's a highly durable model with hidden fabric edges to prevent chewing, strong cover material and a range of sizes and colors. In short, the Kuranda is close to the perfect raised bed.

Unlike the other beds on this list, the Kuranda is made with a PVC frame. While this isn't as durable as steel, it's still more than a match for all but the strongest and most aggressive chewers.

The cover is highly doggy-proof, as it's made from tough Cordura to resist determined digging. It also provides plenty of traction to help your dog get into the bed.

This particular model (the Almond PVC version) is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. If you prefer the Walnut vesrion, which is identical in most respects, it is not suitable for outdoors. Make sure you keep this in mind when buying.

​A slight drawback is that it's only suitable for dogs up to 125lbs. If you have an extra large breed, or a dog that's an aggressive chewer, Kuranda also produce an aluminum frame alternative. This can hold up to 250lbs and is one of the best elevated dog beds for large dogs.

Quick Summary: The Kuranda Almond PVC elevated dog bed is a great choice for dogs under 125lbs. The Cordura cover is tough and durable, while the PVC frame is designed to be "chew proof." It's also available in sizes up to 50" in length, so is suitable for all dogs other than giant breeds. Not just a great elevated bed - this one of the best dog beds in any category.

  • ​Elevation: 7"
  • Frame Material: PVC
  • Sizes Available: 30 x 20 inches, 35 x 23 inches, 40 x 25 inches, 44 x 27 inches, 50 x 36 inches
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Fabric edges are hidden to discourage chewing
  • Tough PVC frame
  • Supports dogs up to 125lbs (a pricier aluminum version is available that supports dogs up to 250lbs)
  • PVC frame isn't as durable as steel
  • Relatively expensive
The Coolaroo is a great bed for non-chewers

2. Coolaroo Elevated Dog Bed

If you're looking for a basic elevated bed that doesn't cost too much, the Coolaroo is a great choice. It's one of the most popular raised beds of all time due to its excellent price, strong steel frame and breathable cover.

There are four sizes available, with the largest being nearly 60" long. This makes it great for dogs of almost any size.​ You can also choose between several colors to get a bed that matches your interior decor.

As a bonus, the fabric is designed to resist mold, mites, fleas and mildew. This means it's suitable for outdoor use - especially as the cover can be easily washed.​

​A minor complaint about the Coolaroo is that it has small gaps in the corners. While these are unlikely to cause a problem, it could be possible for a small dog's paws to slip down them.

Even so, it's difficult to find any complaints about this elevated dog bed.​ It's sturdy, available for a great price and comfortable for your dog. The Kuranda is the better option if your dog is an aggressive and determined digger though, as the fabric cover is tougher.

Quick Summary: The Coolaroo is an outstanding elevated bed that's available for a great price. The fabric isn't as durable as the Kuranda, but it still resists most digging and chewing attempts. 

  • ​Elevation: 7"
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Sizes Available: 35.4 x 21.6 inches, 42 x 25.5 inches, 51 x 31.5 inches, 59.8 x 37 inches
  • Price Range: $
  • Great price
  • Comfortable and cooling fabric
  • Strong steel frame
  • Gaps at corners of fabric
The K&H Manufacturing is a popular raised option

3. K&H Manufacturing Original Pet Cot

K&H has a reputation for producing top quality products, and their Pet Cot is no exception. With a low price and 1-year warranty, this bed could be the perfect option if you're on a tight budget.

The Pet Cot is made with a durable metal frame and 600 denier fabric. The mesh at the centre helps keep your dog cool, while the outsides provide greater comfort. The fabric is also waterproof which can help protect your floor if your dog has an accident.​

One of my favorite things about this elevated dog bed is how easy it is to put together. You can assemble or take it apart without using any tools​, so it's a portable option. Like the Coolaroo, the K&H also resists moisture, mold and bacteria.

​A downside is that the corner joints are made from plastic. These are likely to be targets for chewing if your dog is a chewer. There are fairly large gaps in the corners, which could be potentially dangerous for pups with small paws. It's also not the most durable elevated bed - although this is to be expected from such an inexpensive model.

Quick Summary: The K&H isn't the most durable raised bed, but it provides a cooling sleeping surface for a great price. It's also easy to assemble without tools, so it's great for taking with you while travelling.

  • ​Elevation: 7" (9" for largest size)
  • Frame Material: PVC Corners + Metal Tubes
  • Sizes Available: 17 x 22 inches, 25 x 32 inches, 30 x 42 inches, 32 x 50 inches
  • Price Range: $
  • Assembles without tools
  • Cooling fabric that resists bacteria and mold
  • Rubber feet protect your floor
  • Gaps at corners of bed
  • Not the most durable
The Pawhut is an easily portable option that can be used outside

4. Pawhut Elevated Cooling Dog Bed Cot

If you're looking for a portable elevated dog bed that can be used outside, the PawHut could be a great option. As you can see from the picture, it comes with a canopy to provide shade for your dog, and can be folded into a small bag for storage or travel.

As you would expect from a travel bed, the Pawhut isn't as durable as some of the other options on this list. Despite the steel frame, the mesh fabric isn't likely to last long against a determined digger. For less destructive dogs, however, it provides a comfortable and cooling sleeping surface that's easy to take with you. You can also remove the canopy when it's not needed.

A complaint I have about this bed is that it's only available in three sizes. The largest is also only 48 inches long, which means it isn't suitable for large breeds or even big Labradors (check out our beds for big dogs page for more info). For small or medium size dogs, however, it's a great option if you need a foldable elevated bed.

Quick Summary: The Pawhut is a great option for an outside dog bed - especially with the canopy for shade. The foldable design also makes it suitable for travelling. It's not as tough and durable as other beds on this list though.

  • ​Elevation: 7"
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Sizes Available: 24 x 19 inches, 36 x 30 inches, 48 x 36 inches
  • Price Range: $$
  • Foldable for easy storage and travel
  • Canopy to provide shade
  • Durable steel frame
  • Fabric isn't as tough as other options
The AmazonBasics bed is a cheap option

5. AmazonBasics Elevated Bed

The final elevated dog bed on this list is also the cheapest. Made by AmazonBasics, this is (unsurprisingly) a straightforward elevated bed without extra features such as hidden fabric edges, tool-free assembly or a foldable design. It's also not as durable as other options.

Even so, it provides a comfortable sleeping surface for a much lower cost than options such as Kuranda. The fabric is simple to hose down and is made with a breathable mesh to keep your pet cool. You can also remove the cover for machine washing if it gets really dirty. 

A bonus is that the bed is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The lightweight design also makes it easy to carry around the house.

​One of the biggest drawbacks is that the largest version only has a length of 38". This just isn't big enough for big dogs, so for larger breeds you'll need one of the other beds. For small dogs, however, it provides a great value option.

Quick Summary: The AmazonBasics Elevated Bed is a decent budget choice for small or medium dogs. The cover isn't as durable as other options, but it still provides great value.

  • ​Elevation: 7"
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Sizes Available: 22 x 21 inches, 30 x 23 inches, 38 x 26 inches
  • Price Range: $
  • Excellent value for money
  • Durable steel frame
  • Cover can be machine washed
  • Not suitable for big dogs

Summary

An elevated dog bed can be a great choice if your dog overheats. The raised surface and breathable mesh provide extra cooling and greater airflow. Most are also durable, so can be a good option if your dog has a habit of destroying his bed!

My top recommendation is the Kuranda. It's a durable model with a gap-free sleeping surface and high-quality materials. If you're looking for a budget alternative, the Coolaroo is fantastic for the money.​

Do you have any questions about choosing the best elevated dog bed for your pet? Let me know in the comments - I'll do my best to help!