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Which cooling dog beds are best?

Just like us, dogs can become uncomfortably hot in summer. While they may not have the luxury of simply removing their coats, providing your pooch with a cooling dog bed can offer some welcome relief. Cooling dog beds come in a handful of different styles, but they’re all designed to help canines beat the heat.

While some cooling dog beds are elevated for improved air circulation, others may be crafted from breathable materials or enhanced with cooling gels, like the SEALY Lux Cooling Dog Bed

What to know before you buy a cooling dog bed

Types of cooling dog beds

  • Elevated cooling dog beds typically consist of a metal frame with four legs and a mesh surface. Breathable mesh combined with a raised design allows for improved airflow while elevating dogs off hot surfaces at the same time. Elevated dog beds that are designed for outdoor use sometimes come with canopies to provide shade.
  • Gel cooling dog beds are usually made of supportive foam topped with a cooling gel layer. Quality gel cooling beds often deliver a hard-to-beat blend of support and cooling comfort. These can be ideal for older dogs or large breeds who may require extra support and cushion for their joints. 
  • Cooling dog mats are rather basic, with a design that consists of a sturdy shell that’s filled with either water or heat-absorbing cooling gel. While not always necessary, some cooling dog mats need to be refrigerated to work. Cooling dog mats tend to be affordable and easy to transport, but if your dog is a die-hard chewer, this type of cooling dog bed may not be the best fit. 


As with any dog bed, it’s important to choose an appropriately sized model. Luckily, cooling dog beds come in sizes to fit both the smallest and largest dogs. Keep in mind, though, that dogs often prefer to spread out when they’re feeling hot, so you might want to size up. For instance, if you have a small dog, it’s a good idea to opt for a medium-size cooling dog bed rather than a small one. This way, your pup is sure to have enough surface space to stretch out on. 


Dogs can be tough on their gear, and beds are no different. While no dog bed is entirely chew-resistant, some do hold up better than others. If chewing is a problem, it might be best to pass up foam cooling beds and cooling pads, as these tend to be more easily damaged by chewing. Although steel-framed elevated cooling dog beds can still be damaged by determined dogs, they’re likely to last longer than other types. 

What to look for in a quality cooling dog bed

Removable covers 

When it comes to keeping your cooling dog bed clean and odor free, a removable cover can be a real lifesaver. For the most hassle-free cleaning experience, look for removable covers that are washing machine-safe and zip on and off easily. 


As mentioned previously, some cooling dog beds are made of foam and layers of cooling gel, while others have a steel frame and a mesh surface. Dog cooling pads, on the other hand, typically have a robust nylon or vinyl exterior and either come prefilled with cooling gel or need to be filled with water before use. 


If you plan to use your cooling dog bed on the go, portability is a feature that requires some thought. While foam-based cooling dog beds aren’t usually designed for portability, some elevated dog beds and cooling pads fold down quickly and easily for on-the-run convenience. 


Canopies are usually exclusive to elevated cooling dog beds. If your dog loves lounging outdoors or you plan to take your cooling dog bed to the dog park, beach or other unshaded outdoor areas, a canopy can offer some much-needed protection from the unrelenting heat of the sun. However, not all elevated cooling dog beds come with canopies, so if shade is something your dog requires, be sure to keep an eye out for this feature. 

How much you can expect to spend on a cooling dog bed

Cooling dog beds usually range anywhere from $5-$100, depending on the materials they’re made of, the type of bed and any special orthopedic features or canopies that may be included.

Cooling dog bed FAQ

What’s the best cooling dog bed for outdoor use? 

A. The best option for outdoor use is hands-down an elevated dog bed, particularly those that come with canopies. The elevated design will ensure your dog is kept off hot outdoor flooring while the mesh surface allows air to circulate. An elevated structure can also help keep your dog’s sleeping surface clean and dry. 

What type of cooling dog bed works best for older dogs? 

A. Orthopedic foam dog beds with a cooling gel layer generally provide the best support and cushioning for joints, making them a top choice for both older dogs and large breeds. With that in mind, elevated cooling dog beds can also be an option worth considering, especially if your dog has a difficult time getting in and out of low-positioned beds. 

What are the best cooling dog beds to buy?

Top cooling dog bed

SEALY Lux Cooling Dog Bed

SEALY Lux Cooling Dog Bed

What you need to know: This luxurious dog bed keeps dogs cool and supremely comfortable with multiple layers of orthopedic foam and cooling gel technology. 

What you’ll love: It includes a quad-layer construction that consists of cooling gel, memory foam, supportive orthopedic foam and a charcoal foam base to help beat odors. It also features bolsters along the back and sides for dogs to rest their heads on. The cover is easy to remove and is machine washable. 

What you should consider: This cooling dog bed is quite expensive, though the quality is superb. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top cooling dog bed for the money

Coolaroo The Original Cooling Elevated Dog Bed

Coolaroo The Original Cooling Elevated Dog Bed

What you need to know: This elevated cooling dog bed features a raised design and a sturdy metal frame, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use or dogs who simply can’t resist shredding foam beds. 

What you’ll love: A sturdy metal frame combined with a breathable mesh surface keeps dogs cool and comfortable while discouraging chewing at the same time. The bed’s flexible surface is easy on the joints and the powder-coated steel frame holds up well to outdoor use. It’s also very lightweight.

What you should consider: A handful of reviewers found assembly a bit difficult. A few people complained that the bed creaked with movement, but this is easily remedied by tightening the bolts. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Worth checking out

Arf Pets Solid Gel Self Cooling Dog Mat

Arf Pets Solid Gel Self Cooling Dog Mat

What you need to know: This dog cooling mat features nylon cushioning and a cooling gel interior, making it ideal for both using on its own or for placing on top of an existing dog bed. 

What you’ll love: The mat’s pressure-activated gel keeps dogs cool for up to 3 hours and self-recharges in as little as 15 minutes. The straightforward design is simple and easy to use. It also provides a decent amount of cushioning and folds down quickly.

What you should consider: It’s only available in blue. A few reviewers complained that the outer shell tends to get a bit scratched up. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Erica van Blommestein writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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