Roughly estimated, there are currently about 7.9 million dogs living in German households. Yet only little is good enough for the four-legged darlings, because according to a pet study, German dog owners spend an estimated 5.6 billion euros a year on food, toys. Leashes, collars, harnesses and, of course, sleeping accommodations.
The range of sleeping accommodations extends from the classic dog basket to dog beds to blankets and dog pillows. For our product comparison, we have therefore compared different models and worked out the most important aspects.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Dog Cushion: Our Choices
- 4 Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Dog Cushions
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked Questions about Dog Cushions answered in Detail
- 5.1 How do you find the right size dog cushion?
- 5.2 What types of dog cushions are there?
- 5.3 Where is the best place to place the cushion?
- 5.4 Can I buy a dog cushion second-hand?
- 5.5 What does a dog cushion cost?
- 5.6 Can you make your own dog cushions?
- 5.7 What alternatives are there to dog pillows?
- 6 Conclusion
- Dog cushions are available in all colours, shapes and sizes. There are also orthopaedic dog cushions and special cushions for allergy sufferers.
- Important purchase criteria include the size of the lying surface, the material, the cleaning and the anti-slip effect.
- Dog cushions are available in a wide range of price categories. The size of the dog and, in this context, the size of the cushion are the most important factors. The price also depends on the material used.
The Best Dog Cushion: Our Choices
In the following sections, we have compiled our favourites. This should give you an overview to help you choose the right dog cushion for your four-legged friend.
Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Dog Cushions
In order to find the perfect dog cushion for your four-legged friend, we have worked out some buying criteria. These should support you in your decision-making process:
In the following sections, we will take a closer look at the criteria mentioned, so that you can better compare the different dog beds.
Size of the lying surface
Depending on the positions your dog likes to sleep in, you will need a different size of pillow. It is better to buy a pillow that is too big than one that is too small.
The minimum size of the lying surface can be determined with the help of these simple steps:
- Wait until your dog is relaxed and lies down on his side or, if possible, give him a command to get him into this position
- To get a better idea, draw a square on a piece of paper
- To get the length of your dog, measure from the muzzle to the end of the back and note the value on the longer side of the rectangle
- For the height, measure from the paws to the end of the head. Note this value on the shorter side of the rectangle, i.e. the width
Using the numbers of the dog's length and height, you get the size of the lying surface on which your dog can relax. To give your dog enough room to move, add 20-30 cm for the length and 10-20 cm for the width.
Just as there are different sizes, dog cushions can be made of different materials. The different material compositions have different properties. Below we give a brief overview of the cover materials.
For particularly active dogs or dogs with long fur, a dog cushion with a smooth surface (e.g.: artificial leather) is recommended.
Fabrics with long or rough fibres absorb dirt particles more easily, making cleaning more difficult. You can also find out which materials your dog prefers by looking at the preferred retreats and their surfaces.
To match your wishes with your dog's preferences, you can also offer different combinations of lying areas. For example, you can buy an easy-to-clean faux leather cushion and add a cosy dog blanket.
The range of filling materials presented in the following section is similarly differentiated.
- Artificial materials: These include foam flakes, polystyrene balls and fleece. Depending on the filling density, these materials provide a soft to medium-hard base. However, they often create recesses, especially in a favoured lying position. This instability of form quickly makes the cushion uncomfortable. In addition, polystyrene balls are not suitable for anxious dogs, as the noise of the balls can lead to rejection.
- Filling panels: These are usually made of foam or latex and are cut to fit the size of the cushion. Unlike the other artificial materials, these fillers do not lose their shape. There are also different degrees of hardness to buy.
- Visco foam/memory foam: Visco foam is a particularly high-quality foam that adapts to the dog's lying position. It is also called memory foam, which you might recognise from trainers. Due to its elasticity, it is easy on the joints and is mainly used in orthopaedic pillows.
- Natural fibres: There are also fillings made of plant fibres (e.g. cotton) or grain fibres, although the cover of such a filling must be waterproof. Otherwise moisture could lead to mould production. Natural fibres also protect the joints and store heat.
Especially for dogs suffering from arthritis or very large dogs, a conscientious selection of the dog cushion is imperative. This way you can prevent possible damage and support relaxation postures.
The cleaning of a dog cushion depends on whether the cover is removable and what materials the cover and filling are made of. Most filling materials are not washable, which is why water-repellent covers are generally more hygienic.
Fabrics made of plant fibres, such as cotton, can often be washed at 90 degrees. This gives dirt and germs no chance, but low temperatures also clean the covers reliably. The latter must be used for artificial materials such as plush, flannel or imitation fur.
Nylon covers are usually machine-washable, although light soiling can also be wiped off with a damp cloth. Likewise, they can be easily vacuumed.
Leather must always be cleaned by hand and regularly impregnated. Imitation leather, on the other hand, can also be machine-washed, but only on the gentle cycle.
It is important that your dog's sleeping area is stable and does not slip. Therefore, many models have an appropriately coated non-slip bottom. This is how the so-called anti-slip effect is achieved. However, there is also the option of an anti-slip mat on which the cushion is positioned.
An indication of such properties can be provided by designations such as anti-slip effect, anti-slip mat, non-slip underside or anti-slip coating. When buying, be sure to read the manufacturer's description.
Guide: Frequently asked Questions about Dog Cushions answered in Detail
How do you find the right size dog cushion?
If you don't want to design or have a cushion made to measure, you should use the measured sizes of length and width as a guide. So, to choose the right size, you should choose the next largest dimensions of the cushion. This will ensure that your dog can stretch out in all directions and lie comfortably.
You should also buy the size of the pillow that will match your dog's adult size from the beginning. This is because the first pillow is an important retreat for many dogs that they don't want to give up.
So if you buy a cushion that fits the size of the puppy, not only will you have to buy more cushions, but there is a chance that your dog will not accept the second cushion.
What types of dog cushions are there?
- Dog cushions made of imitation leather: Imitation leather is a frequently used cover material with a smooth surface, which makes it easy to clean. In this context, hair can be easily vacuumed off and dirt particles can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth. In addition, imitation leather has a water-repellent function. This makes such a cushion also suitable for young or incontinent dogs.
- Dog cushions made of real leather: Only a few manufacturers use real leather for their dog beds. Genuine leather is a high-quality material that is long-lasting if cared for properly. Depending on the thickness of the leather, it is very robust and at the same time susceptible to scratches and moisture. As genuine leather cushions are not suitable for the washing machine, cleaning them is time-consuming and complex. In addition to a damp cloth, special cleaning and impregnating agents are needed. For this reason, it is more difficult to remove bacteria and dirt.
- Nylon dog cushions: Nylon covers are also considered robust, but these fibres can usually be cleaned in the washing machine. In addition, synthetic fibres such as nylon are rather insensitive to craters and bite marks. As an add-on, some manufacturers offer Teflon-coated nylon fibres. These behave similarly to artificial leather and have a smooth. cool surface. However, they offer the same ease of cleaning and care.
- Fabric dog cushions: The most common covers are made of fabric. These can be made of natural fibres as well as artificial fabric. However, the covers are usually rather thin and soft, which is why they are susceptible to tears from scratches and bites. The cosiest fabric covers are made of plush or faux fur, which is why they are perfect for dogs that like to lie softly. Even though these covers can be cleaned with a hoover and in the washing machine, fabric fibres are rougher in texture, which is why dirt and hair get more caught in them. In addition, fabrics are not water- or dirt-repellent. This means that bacteria or fungi can get into the filling material and be a source of illness.
Where is the best place to place the cushion?
At the same time, the dog bed should not be placed in a place that is too quiet. Otherwise, the dog may use the pillow only for deep sleep or even feel excluded and avoid the pillow.
The optimal place for the dog cushion is therefore the one where the animal can withdraw and still take part in family life. In addition, the dog cushion should not be exposed to extremes, i.e. neither too cold nor too hot or too loud or too quiet.
Can I buy a dog cushion second-hand?
If all these factors do not bother you, there is nothing to be said against a used cushion. Only orthopaedic cushions with an ergonomic structure should not be used.
What does a dog cushion cost?
|Price range||Available products|
(10 - 30 €)
|simple cushions, cover often not removable, washable at low temperatures|
(30 - 70 €)
|cover often removable, higher quality, washable at higher temperatures|
(from 70 €)
|often orthopaedic pillows with ergonomic shape, designer pillows, removable cover, washable at high temperatures|
To find the best price for the desired pillow, it is advisable to browse through various shops. Many manufacturers and retailers regularly offer their customers special deals. When buying, you should always pay attention to your dog's needs. In this way, you will find the right cushion for your four-legged darling.
Can you make your own dog cushions?
There are various patterns and DIY's on numerous platforms to make a dog cushion yourself. You can show off your sewing, crocheting or knitting skills.
You should also get advice on what conditions the materials have to fulfil so that your dog cannot destroy the cushion. You can find suitable fabrics, wool and filling material either on the internet or in your local specialist shop.
What alternatives are there to dog pillows?
These are hard shells made of plastic, wood or willow branches in which a cushion is inserted. In addition to cushions as inserts, there are also covers, which make the basket resemble a sofa.
They are characterised by a high border with a flat entrance. The flat entry facilitates access to the basket and the high rim provides protection and serves as a place to lean against. As a rule, baskets have a simple design and a low weight. In addition, anti-slip feet provide a secure grip on many models.
Dog dens can be seen as an extension of a dog cushion. In addition to a lying surface, some models have a permanently installed roof, while other models are built like a kind of shell into which the dog can snuggle.
The cave-like shape allows the dog to withdraw from the environment and rest undisturbed. Dog caves also come in a wide variety of colours and shapes, so you can find the perfect piece for your darling.
Dog blankets are not only the simplest, but also the most flexible alternative to dog cushions. They can vary in thickness as well as in material, which is why dog blankets are suitable for indoors and outdoors.
These blankets can also be used for the car or the transport box. You must make sure that the blanket can be securely fastened.
To offer your dog the best sleeping accommodation, dog cushions or dog beds are exactly the right thing! Thanks to the large variety, there is a suitable model for every four-legged friend. When making your decision, you should always keep in mind to buy the right size, to pay attention to the anti-slip effect and to choose the right material.
The different dog cushions have both advantages and disadvantages and fulfil various needs. As we have shown, inexpensive fabric cushions are available for as little as ten euros. As with almost every topic, the sky is the limit. However, the dog cushion should not only meet your requirements, but also those of your four-legged friend.
(Cover photo: unsplash / Dex Ezekiel)