• 5 Year Guarantee
  • Made in Britain
  • Innovative Design
  • Easy to Clean

Dog Bed Buying Guide

A quick dog bed buying guide to help you choose the perfect bed for YOUR dog.

There are thousands of different dog beds available in the UK. Therefore choosing a bed that perfectly suits the requirements of you and your dog can be extremely confusing.

A dog’s bed is literally an investment in your dog’s happiness, health and overall well-being. It’s worth taking the time to make the right choice for your dog. Our Dog Bed Buying Guide will help you choose the best bed possible for your dog.

Nearly all new dog beds LOOK great – That’s how they sell. Try asking some key questions before parting with your cash –

  • Will it last?
  • Is it easy to keep clean and hygienic?
  • What’s inside it?
  • Will the filling provide adequate insulation and joint support? (If you can press on the bed and feel the floor the answer is No).
  • Is it solid and heavy enough to avoid it slipping around the floor or ‘bunching-up’ when my dog starts nesting?
  • Is it big enough for my dog to fully move around unrestricted?
  • What will it look and smell like in 6 months time?
  • Does it come with a Guarantee?
  • Where is it made?
  • Is the cover removable / replaceable / washable?
  • Will the fabric wear well?
  • Can I talk to a knowledgeable person for help and advice?

Here are a few points to consider:-

The Dog Bed Mattress Cover

In an ideal world, a dog bed cover needs to be soft, breathable, warm and stylish. It also should be durable, easily cleaned and replaceable. It needs to provide a casing and barrier. Thus ensuring that the mattress core can retain its shape without becoming damp, smelly and a potential home for dust, mites, fleas, mould, excess body oils and dog hair.

Unfortunately, we have found that using one cover alone always results in a compromise.

Our solution therefore is to clad our Berkeley Dog Bed Mattress as standard in a tough 100% waterproof PVC – backed polyester material. We then offer a range of Optional Fabric Overcovers that can be used to provide a warmer feel outer in a range of stylish materials to complement your home decor.

This ‘belt and braces’ approach allows us to meet the demands of every dog from the most pampered pooch to the toughest of working breeds.

Our Waterproof Covers are an obvious choice for wet and muddy dogs but they are also invaluable for dealing with bitches in season, excessive drooling or incontinent dogs. The main cause of smelly dog beds is when the inner ‘core’ of the bed becomes damp or soiled. Our Waterproof Cover forms an impermeable barrier to avoid this. It also provides an inert, clean surface resistant to mould and mildew for dogs prone to allergies and helps to reduce infestations by fleas and mites. As an added bonus, loose dog hair does not readily adhere to the material.

Our Waterproof Cover can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth, hosed down or put in the washing machine to keep it clean and fresh.

For owners preferring to use one of our Optional Fabric Overcovers these still have to meet some very tough criteria to make sure that they are up to the job. Our fabrics are upholstery grade, machine washable and have very high Martindale rub test ratings of 40,000 to 80,000 rubs.

It’s important to mention that although the wear properties of a fabric are important, they are not the sole determining factor in whether a fabric is going to be suitable in the long term for this intended use.

As a general rule of thumb, the most suitable fabrics to use where pets are concerned are those which have the tightest weave structures, in combination with a surface weave which avoids loop construction. Put another way, the less there is for claws to snag on the better.

Both our Waterproof Covers and our Optional Fabric Overcovers are secured in place using a heavy duty ‘hook and loop’ (Velcro) fixing in a fully fitted pillow case style construction. We avoid the use of zips on all our outer covers as they are very prone to damage from chewing.

Having easily replaceable and washable covers provides a highly cost effective way of maintaining your bed in excellent condition so that it lasts a lifetime.

The Dog Bed Mattress

The heart of any premium dog bed is the mattress. Any cushioning material has to be supremely comfortable –soft, yet firm enough to keep its shape and provide adequate insulation and orthopedic support over many years.

Dog Bed Buying Guide - Pocket Spring Support

Cheap mattresses very quickly become lumpy or the filling is pushed to the edges providing uneven insulation. As a rule of thumb, if you sit on the bed and you can feel the floor it isn’t going to provide any meaningful degree of comfort or support.

However, also beware of overstuffed beds which prohibit the dog’s natural nesting ability and result in the dog sitting on or in ridges or hanging uncomfortably over the side of the bed.

Under-stuffed or over-stuffed – Neither is going to provide adequate joint support for your dog.

All mattresses will flatten slightly over time as the filling settles. However, a good mattress should be able to retain its shape and a degree of ‘bounce’ over a very long period. The individual pocket springs in a Berkeley Mattress provide a unique way of addressing this issue making it particularly suitable for larger dog breeds.

Check also the weight of the mattress – a mattress of lightweight construction is very likely to contain some blown polyester fibre or foam and a huge amount of fresh air! Beds that can be placed ‘whole’ into a washing machine are unlikely to provide effective insulation and support.

Please see our Guide to Dog Bed Fillings.

Dog Bed Size and Shape

To determine the right size of bed for your dog, measure his height to the top of his shoulders and his length from his chest bone to the base of his tail. Then allow around 6 inches to these dimensions to give a guide to the best bed size for optimum comfort.

If in doubt, always choose a larger bed size.

Dogs, like humans, move around a lot in their sleep. Most dogs will adopt both nesting and sprawling positions during a prolonged sleep. It is critical that your dog’s hips and shoulders are fully supported at all times. Round dog beds look snug and comfy but they can severely restrict movement and provide uneven support – That’s why we only make rectangular shaped beds.

Berkeley Dog Bed Product Sizes

Berkeley Dog Beds are available in 3 sizes to suit most dogs:-

Small / Medium – 80 x 70cm Large – 110 x 75cm Extra Large – 140 x 90cm*
(Most small Terrier breeds, most smaller Spaniels, Beagle, Miniature Schnauzer, Corgi, Dachshund, Italian Greyhound) (Labrador, Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Basset Hound, Boxer, most Pointers, Setters and Vizslas) (German Shepherd, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Husky, Great Dane, Greyhound – or two dogs sharing a bed)

*125 x 90cm in the Berkeley Raised Dog Bed

N.B. All sizes are approximate


All Berkeley Dog Beds are made in the UK by British craftsmen who share our goal of providing the best value, highest quality luxury dog beds currently available – anywhere.

We build our dog beds and mattresses to last – We pay the highest attention to design, materials sourcing and construction and back this up with a rigorous inspection process and a 5 year guarantee.

The Berkeley Dog Bed Mattress simply oozes quality. The components and techniques used are similar to those employed in the manufacture of the best quality orthopaedic beds for humans yet we also recognise the need to make our dog beds tough, easily maintained and practical in line with their demanding working dog heritage.

We never lose sight of the fact that we want to provide the very best sleep experience for your dog. You can’t achieve this if you cut corners.

We hope this Dog Bed Buying Guide is useful but if you have any additional questions PLEASE call us!

Visit Our Shop