Best Cat Beds

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
5 Models Tested
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
142 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cat beds

Last Updated December 2019

If you share your home with a feline friend, you probably know that cats will sleep anywhere, which is why it's all the more important to choose the right cat bed. It needs to be tempting enough to encourage your cat to sleep on it rather than on your laptop, on the mantelpiece, or in that space between the sofa and the wall.

Selecting the right cat bed is easier said than done, however. First, you need to know a bit about the types of cat beds on offer. Then, you need to consider your own cat's likes and dislikes to try to figure out the kind of bed he might want to snooze on.

This guide will tell you what you need to know about cat beds and what you should look for when selecting one for your kitty.

A quality cat bed should be constructed from a material that's both warm and durable.

Types of cat beds

Enclosed cat beds

Pods, tents, caves, and cubes – any cat bed with sides and a roof falls into the enclosed cat bed category. Not only do they make cozy spots for sleeping, they also provide a secret hideout for your cat. They're great for nervous kitties or simply for cats who love getting in tight spots.

Bolster cat beds

Bolster cat beds are soft beds with raised edges. The edge provides support for your cat while sleeping and makes the bed slightly warmer. Bolster cat beds can be round or rectangular. Small, round bolster beds are ideal for cats who curl up in a ball to sleep.

Mat cat beds

Perhaps the simplest type of cat bed, mat-style beds are flat, padded rectangles or circles. If your cat would usually rather sleep on a tote bag you left on the table or plonk herself down on a sheet of paper, she'd probably enjoy the simplicity of a mat. Large mat beds work well for cats who stretch out when they sleep.

Radiator cat beds

These cat beds hook over the radiator to create a warm spot for your feline friend to lounge and sleep, which is ideal for cats who often choose to sleep directly in the radiator. If the radiator you hang the bed on is by a window, it doubles as a perch for watching the world go by.

Heated cat beds

Heated cat beds contain a heating mat or other heating element to warm the bed. Cats who curl up on your laptop keyboard, on top of the fridge, or in any other warm spot will adore a heated cat bed. They're also great for senior cats or unwell cats who may feel the cold more or have more trouble keeping warm.

EXPERT TIP

The majority of heated cat beds need to be plugged into an outlet, but you can find some with microwavable heating pads that slip into the bed to warm it.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If your cat likes to sleep high up, consider placing his bed somewhere off the ground, such as on your couch or a windowsill.


Staff  | BestReviews

Considerations for selecting a cat bed

Size

The majority of cat beds come in only one size, which is fine for the average cat, but if your feline friend is larger than most, you should check the dimensions of your chosen bed carefully. It is possible to find a larger cat bed if you shop around. It's also worth considering where you intend to place your cat bed so you can be sure your chosen model will fit.

Comfort

Think about your main concern when buying a new bed for yourself – it's probably that the mattress is comfortable with adequate support for a good night's sleep. Why should that be any different for a cat? Select a bed with plenty of padding that your cat will find comfortable. You can even find cat beds with memory foam that provides just the right amount of support for your cat when he sleeps.

Warmth

A cat bed can help keep your cat warm while he sleeps. This is especially important if you don't heat your home all day in the winter or if you live in a large home with inadequate insulation that tends to get chilly. Enclosed cat beds or models with high sides tend to be warmer than mats and other open cat beds. Well-padded models with cozy fleece are also better at providing warmth. For cats who are often cold, there's always the option of buying a heated or self-warming cat bed.

Color and style

Your cat is unlikely to give much thought to the color of her bed, but you'll be looking at it every day, so it's best to pick one with an inoffensive color and style. Of course, this comes down to your personal preference. Some people might love to have a hot pink leopard print cat bed in their family room, whereas others would prefer something more muted. Generally, grays, blacks, browns, creams, and other neutral colors are more versatile.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some cat beds contain materials designed to reflect your cat's body heat to provide extra warmth. These are known as self-heating cat beds.

Cat bed prices

At the lower end of the spectrum, you can find simple mat and bolster beds starting at $10 to $15. These are fine in a pinch or as a backup bed, but they're generally not well-padded, and they certainly aren't as warm or as comfortable as pricier beds. Mid-range options generally cost $25 to $40. This includes the vast majority of bolster beds and many enclosed options. At the top end, you can expect to pay as much as $60 to $100, but for this type of money, you should receive a high-quality cat bed that will stand the test of time.

Tips

  • Consider how much your cat's hair will show on his bed. A black cat bed might not be the best idea for a white cat, for example.

  • Be realistic about how often your cat will use her bed. There's no point spending $100 on a bed that your cat will only deign to sit on once. If your feline friend has a poor track record with actually sleeping on her beds, it's best to stick with a cheaper option.

  • Buy multiple beds for multi-cat households. Cats can become territorial over the best sleeping spots and don't always like to share. Placing multiple beds around the same area can help.

  • Never force your cat to use his bed. Cats are naturally curious and will generally check out (and lie on) new additions to their environment before long. Let your cat discover his bed in his own time; don't attempt to force him onto it. Gentle encouragement by placing toys or treats on his new bed can help.

Other products we considered

With such a large number of excellent cat beds on the market, it was extremely difficult to narrow down our list of favorites. We considered several other options that were very close to making our shortlist. The Pet Magasin Self-Warming Cat Thermal Bed is like a cozy little sleeping bag that cats love to snuggle in. However, it can also be configured into a pod, cup, or mat-style bed. Another great choice is the Precision Pet SnooZZy Mod Chic Bed, a simple yet comfortable bolster bed. The K&H Pet Products Self-Warming Lounge Sleeper comes in several smart colors and is suitable for both cats and small dogs. Crafted from specially designed materials, it reflects your cat's body heat back at him to keep him warm. Last but not least, we love the Armarkat Cat Bed. This enclosed cat bed is ideal for kitties who love to hide in boxes or under furniture.

You can find multifunctional cat beds that can be configured in two or three different ways, which is perfect for fickle felines who regularly like a change.

FAQ

Q. Can you buy a machine washable cat bed?

A. Although not all cat beds are machine washable, some can be thrown in the washer in their entirety. There are also plenty of options with removable covers that are machine washable. While you can make some exceptions for the right bed, we'd generally avoid choosing a cat bed that isn't machine washable at all.

Q. Should I buy a full-size cat bed for a kitten?

A. Your kitten may be tiny, but he will grow quickly. Cats are usually close to fully grown within a year, so buying a smaller bed for a kitten seems pointless. Just buy a regular cat bed for him to grow into.

Q. Where should I place my cat's new bed?

A. Although cats don't tend to like areas where it's too noisy or busy, they do like to be social with their humans while lounging around. We recommend placing your cat's bed in whatever room you spend the majority of your downtime – such as the living room, family room, or den. If you already know your kitty's preferred sleeping spots, you can't go wrong by positioning her cat bed in a spot where she normally likes to sleep or hang out.

The team that worked on this review
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    Editorial Manager
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    Editorial Director
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    Senior Editor
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