Soft or firm: what’s the best type of dog bed for your dog?

Soft or firm: what’s the best type of dog bed for your dog?

When choosing a dog bed, among the many things you will be considering is the firmness of the mattress. Is a soft or firm bed best for your dog? We take a look at your options and help you make the selection. Here are the key things to consider:

  1. Choose the bed that suits your dog - their age, their size etc.
  2. Consider their current sleeping arrangements 
  3. Do they need a soft bed that they can sink into?
  4. Are they better off with a firm, more supportive bed?
  5. What type of bed will suit your home and the space available?

That’s the short version. To discover more about whether a soft or firm bed is best for your dog, carry on reading below.

Article contents:

The difference between soft and firm dog beds

You may be wondering how much difference there is between a soft and firm bed - how do you know which is which? Not everyone produces a range that offers a choice of mattresses or firmness of mattress. 

A memory foam topper for example is a firmer mattress than a blended memory foam option which allows the dog to sink and mould more into the bed. This softer option is great for dogs that like to snuggle and ‘nest’ but not so good for dogs that can often struggle to get on and off their bed. 

About your dog

Is your dog a large dog, medium or small dog? How old is your dog? Do they have any particular ailments or injury? Often, when deciding whether to choose a soft or firm bed for your dog, these are the key factors you will need to consider.

The size of your dog

Large dogs often need more support than smaller dogs. While a small or medium sized dog will be quite happy to hop off and on most types of beds, a large dog can often need more support for their larger frames. In these circumstances, to assist them getting on and off the bed, a firmer mattress is often advised. 

Special conditions or injury 

If you have a dog that has suffered an injury or a condition such as hip dysplasia, you may find that they need assistance when getting on and off of their dog bed. Having a firmer mattress will help. The mattress won’t sink as much and they will have more of a spring when getting off the bed. Some dogs can find a softer surface more of a struggle when getting up.  The firmness of an orthopaedic dog bed is much more beneficial and supportive. 

Your dog’s age

Just like humans, getting up and down when you reach a certain age can be trickier than when you are young and spritely. This is why it’s important to consider the type of mattress and whether a soft or firm bed is right for your dog. As is the case with dogs that suffer from injury or illness, or in the case of larger breeds, older dogs will also benefit from the support of a firmer bed. 

Their sleeping habits and behaviours

Some dogs may prefer a hard floor to their dog bed. This could be an indication that their bed is too soft and they are seeking a firmer surface to get comfortable. Sometimes it can signify that they just prefer the cooler surface of the floor. 

Alternatively, they may be a dog that likes to nest, surrounded by soft, comfortable surfaces such as blankets and pillows. In this case, you can be confident that they would prefer a softer surface to a firmer one. Do dogs prefer soft or hard surfaces? This is often down to their individual preference although all of the aforementioned factors need to be considered - size, age, weight etc. 

The different styles of bed

The style of dog bed that you choose may also be determined by any of the above. For example, in the case of a large breed dog, a larger mattress may offer much better support and ease of access than a walled box bed where they have to get in and out. 

Choosing a large sofa bed or a mattress with a memory topper will offer the firmest support. For those who want something softer, that moulds more to your dog then a blended memory foam bed would be a better choice. 

In summary, when deciding between a soft or firm dog bed for your bed, consideration should be given to all of the above. We do however, have a handy dog bed selector tool and our team is always on hand to offer professional advice and the benefits of their experience.