Skip to Content

Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Dog Bed

Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Dog Bed

As a member of the Etsy affiliate program and an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Kol’s Note: This post is sponsored by P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You. All advice, opinions and endorsements expressed are 100% our own.


When you spend as much time outdoors as we do, it’s important to have a great outdoor dog bed that is not only comfortable, but well made enough to stand up to the elements. How do you know which beds are worth your money and which won’t last the season? We’re sharing our tips for choosing the perfect outdoor dog bed.

how to choose a quality outdoor dog bed

Y’all, this week it has been hot as woof at Casa de Kolchak.

Faced with stuffy air and insufferable heat inside, the dogs have done the only logical thing: we’ve been pretty much living on our dog friendly deck. It is an oasis out there. I grab myself a tray wth a cold drink and a snack, pop an ice bowl out for the dogs, plug in the fan to create a cool breeze, then kick back with a good book and my two favourite pups. While I have a comfy chair to kick back in, I definitely wanted to make sure the dogs had an awesome dog bed to relax on. After all, in the heat of the day, the deck can get uncomfortably warm and, ok you guys know my dogs. As far as they are concerned, they’re actually small, furry sultans. Nothing but the best for these two right? Besides, what dog doesn’t love some fresh air, a warm sunbeam and a soft bed?

I didn’t want just any bed though. The perfect outdoor dog bed had to meet my fussy criteria.

  • Above all, I need a water resistant cover. We live in the Pacific Northwest and let’s get real here, it’s going to rain. I’m a responsible person and I am going to make an effort to ensure I bring the bed in during the rainy season, but at the same time, showers happen. Rainy days happen. I need a bed that can stand up to the to the weather. Look for durable, waterproof fabrics. Avoid covers made of anything “plushy” or fuzzy, it will just harbour water & bacteria.
  • Outdoor appropriate insert & filling. If water should happen to get in, your perfect outdoor dog bed should have a filling that won’t mold before it has a chance to dry. Plastic or foam based fillings will be more resistant to mold, gunk and grodiness than materials like cotton or fleece.
  • Removeable, Washable Cover. You guys, the great outdoors is dirty. My deck gets messy and my dogs get dirty. Plus, I’m a clumsy oaf and the chances I’m going to topple a drink everywhere and ruin everything is generally high. I need a bed where I can remove the cover and toss it in the wash, as often as I need to.
  • Patterns and Designs that fade well. An outdoor bed is going to be exposed to the elements. Over time, it’s going to fade. Choose a design that is going to “wear well” and you’ll be able to use your outdoor dog bed for more than one season.
  • The right size. I know you guys, not everyone has an expansive deck, so the temptation to skimp on size can be really alluring. Still, choosing a bed in the right size makes it more likely that your dog will use it. You can buy the best bed in the world, but if it’s not big enough for your dog to comfortably use, it’s still no good. For me, I wanted one bed big enough to accommodate both dogs.
  • Comfy and cozy. Comfort is so important! After all, if you plan to laze the days away on the deck, your dog needs to be comfortable enough to pull up a piece of sunbeam and nap, right? Look for a bed with enough, firm, dense filling to be comfortable.
  • Quality finishing. Look for tight, straight seams, fabric without frayed edges or rub marks and well made fasteners that won’t be harmful to your dog if knocked loose. Being outdoors all the time can be hard on your dog bed and you will want to invest in one well-made enough to stand up to the elements.

With all that in mind, I started shopping for a new, totally fabulous outdoor dog bed for Koly & Fe.

I had found a few at local shops, but nothing I was in love with. I found a few that looked good, but when I examined them closer they were cheap. Skimpy fabric, shoddy finishing. Not worth the money. I was so woofing excited when I found out that P.L.A.Y. was releasing a brand new line of luxury outdoor dog beds.

Luxury Outdoor Dog Beds

How woofing cute are these, right?

The P.L.A.Y Outdoor Dog Beds checked off everything on my list and more.

  • The cover is waterproof, like for serious. After getting caught in a rain shower the other day, I noticed that the water just beads off it. Jack pot.
  • The cover is removable. Not only that, both the cover AND the insert are machine washable and dryable. I love anything I can toss in the machine. Hand washing is for chumps.Plus, I love the pattern. It’s this funky, irregular chevron from designer, Dave Collins. My favourite part? The pattern has just enough variation that even if it’s in need of a wash, it will still look great.
  • The fabric is UV-Resistant. YES! This means the dover will be fade resistant meaning our outdoor dog bed will look good longer.  (FACT: quality dog beds can be a bit pricey. Buying one that will look good over multiple seasons means you get more bang for your buck.)
  • P.L.A.Y. beds are eco-friendly which warms my West-coast, granola eating dirty hippie heart. Their beds are filled with something called PlanetFill® filler, which is made from 100% post consumer, certified safe plastic bottles. Reduce, reuse, recycle, but in a totally stylish way. I love it.

Not that it really matters what I think. The real judges are the dogs.

choosing the perfect outdoor dog bed

Clearly, Koly is a fan.

Last night, Felix paid the P.L.A.Y Outdoor Dog Bed the highest compliment he can: despite the fact that Koly and I were hanging out in the house, he woofed to go out on the deck, settled himself down, right in the middle and had an evening nap. For a dog with separation anxiety, that is a big deal.

outdoor dog bed

Sound asleep, all alone, out on our dog friendly deck. This is one heck of a bed.

We really did find the perfect outdoor dog bed.

Do you have a bed on your dog friendly deck or in your yard? What was on your list of “must haves”?




Want to learn more about how we created our dog friendly deck? Check out previous post in this series

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

DIY Outdoor Dog Toy Storage & Ottoman | Kol's Notes

Thursday 31st of July 2014

[…] case you missed it, you can check it out here. This is our first year without a yard and so I’ve gone out of my way to create a great […]

M. K. Clinton

Thursday 31st of July 2014

That sounds like a super bed. We don't have outside beds any more. Ours got wet and yucky, so they had to be thrown away. I've looked for something off the ground because we have major fire ants that refuse to die. It worries me when Bentley suns himself on the ground. Those beds are perfect for your deck.


Thursday 31st of July 2014

Kol's Note: We seem to be under SPAM attack today and as such, Mama has put all comments through to moderation. If you have left us a comment and it doesn't appear, don't worry! It will as soon as Mama approves it. I hope she figures out what's going on soon! - Koly

Christina Berry

Thursday 31st of July 2014

I do NOT have a dog bed on my deck, but I've been looking for one. My list of must haves is the same as yours and so far, I haven't found anything I couldn't live without. I'm definitely going to check out the ones you're recommending!

Oh and btw, your deck is really adorable! :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.