We Review Big Barker Dog Beds
Have you ever encountered a dog bed that just wasn’t tough enough for your large-breed dog? If you have ever found yourself in this situation, you might find today’s article to be particularly interesting.
When you have a large and energetic canine, you need a bed that is tough enough to last. Every product that we will review today is designed with this idea in mind.
Today, we will be looking at six products from the “Big Barker” product line. This is one of the most popular and well-regarded brands when it comes to beds for large dogs.
Their products tend to be a little more costly, but your dog will certainly appreciate the quality of these beds. So, without any further ado, let’s look at our top six Big Barker products.
Best Overall Product: Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed With Headrest
This is one of the softest, most well-cushioned dog beds that we have ever seen. It is about seven inches thick, which provides plenty of space between your dog and the floor. Not only is this great for providing support and comfort, but it also helps to keep your dog warmer when it’s cold.
This version of the Big Barker bed has a headrest on one side. This headrest functions like a pillow on which your dog can lay their head. Most dogs seem to prefer the use of a pillow, although some dogs will prefer a bed without a headrest.
This is marketed as an orthopedic bed, which is one of the reasons for its high cost. By providing better support, you can help to promote good bone and joint health in your dog.
If you have hard floors, this factor becomes even more important, and it’s probably the main reason that people pay so much for these beds.
This bed consists of memory foam with a soft covering, which is pretty simple. Unfortunately, we worry that some dogs will feel a strong desire to chew on this foam.
If this happens, it can add up to a lot of wasted money. Thus, owners of dedicated chewers might want to avoid this one.
- The headrest is preferred by most dogs
- Promotes healthy bones and joints
- Guaranteed to never go flat
- Machine washable
- Available in quite a few sizes
- Very expensive
- Some dogs will chew the foam
Best Budget Product: Big Barker Waterproof Liner Dog Bed
This is the cheapest product offered by Big Barker, so it is a natural choice for our best budget product. In essence, this is a very simple device that is meant to upgrade and enhance BB’s standard pillow-top bed. By adding a waterproof liner, you ensure that your dog’s bed will stay dry in all conditions.
Some dogs have a problem with wetting the bed, and it’s not always easy to correct this behavior. In many cases, the dog is not intentionally doing anything, especially if it happens while the dog is asleep.
Because of this, you may not be able to break your dog of this habit. In that situation, a waterproof liner will be worth its weight in gold.
BB isn’t the only company that makes waterproof liners for their dog beds. However, this one is notably softer and more comfortable than most of the others we have seen.
Most liners of this sort are made from cheap plastic, but this one is made from hospital-grade materials. Now you can understand why it’s so much more expensive than most other bed liners!
This one doesn’t crinkle and make noise when the dog settles onto its surface, which is a nice bonus. It should be able to stand up against even the nastiest of spills, as each batch of liners has been stress-tested. This is a good thing because it probably translates to a lower risk of product defects.
We also like the way that this liner is virtually invisible. You start by removing the soft outer cover of the bed, and then you add the waterproof liner and zip it in place.
You can then replace the outer cover, giving your dog the fuzzy outer texture that they like while protecting the foam within from damage.
- Protects inner foam from damage
- Each one is stress tested
- Doesn’t crinkle when moved
- Uses hospital-grade materials
- Not visible when used properly
- Cannot be machine-dried
- One puncture ruins the whole thing
Runner Up Product: Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed
It is only fitting that we choose this bed as our runner-up product because it’s not that different from the first product on our list. In fact, the only significant difference is the fact that this product has no headrest. As such, its price is lower, but only slightly.
Some dogs simply don’t like pillows, and this product is a fine choice for such a dog. The position in which your dog tends to sleep will have some impact on this decision, as the primary purpose of an orthopedic bed is to provide good support.
These foam dog beds provide superior bone and joint support because they distribute the dogs’ weight more evenly.
Like its pillowed cousin, this one is guaranteed to keep its shape for at least ten years. This is a great thing because not all memory foam is created equal.
Cheaper types will not do a good job of keeping their shape, and will soon look thin and flat from repeated compression.
The use of high-quality foam is one of the reasons for the high price of this bed, but only the best will do for man’s best friend.
This bed is offered in three sizes, but all three are intended for large dogs. These beds are not meant for smaller dogs and would be absolutely unnecessary for them. The available sizes are large, extra-large, and giant.
The large version is suitable for Labradors, Pit Bulls, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, and other dogs of similar size.
The extra-large version is meant for German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and smaller Mastiffs.
Finally, we have the giant version, which is meant for Great Danes and the larger breeds of Mastiff.
We like the fact that this bed is machine washable. Even if you opt for the use of a waterproof cover, the bed will require washing from time to time.
When that happens, it is very easy to remove the cover from this bed and throw it in the washing machine. The foam itself is not machine washable, which is why you should probably think about investing in one of those waterproof liners.
Of course, there are some potential problems here that could cause you to waste your money. For one thing, any kind of foam bed will present a strong temptation for your dog to chew.
A particularly large dog could shred this bed in a day if they made a dedicated effort, so it’s not the best choice for dogs with a more destructive nature.
It is also worth mentioning that the bed cover is not cheap to replace, should that become necessary. The cost of a new cover is equal to about half the retail price of the entire bed.
While this does reflect the manufacturing costs, it can be a real pain in the neck for those who find themselves in need of another cover.
- Some dogs don’t like pillows
- Wide variety of sizes
- 10-year warranty
- Helps provide support for bones and joints
- Handmade and machine washable
- Very expensive
- Not easy to replace the cover
- Might present a strong chewing temptation
Honorable Mention: Big Barker Mini Orthopedic Dog Bed with Headrest
Although this article is primarily focused on beds for large dogs, we don’t want to leave all you small-dog owners out in the cold.
Big Barker makes a premium foam bed for smaller dogs, and it’s one of the best ones on the market. Everything about it screams “comfort” and “support.”
The primary selling point of this product is its size since it is only a smaller version of a popular product.
Big Barker beds have a good reputation among large-breed owners, and this product gives small-breed owners a way to give their dog the same comfortable rest enjoyed by larger dogs.
The top cover of this bed is very soft, and it has a cushion-like headrest (commonly called a “bolster”) that most dogs find quite appealing. When a dog lays on their stomach, they tend to drop their head.
This is an instinct that is meant to shield them from the wind, but it also takes their spine out of alignment. That’s why a headrest can be one of the most important parts of a therapeutic bed.
The velvety dark brown look of this bed should also look nice in your home. It doesn’t have any bright colors to clash with your existing decor.
In fact, the color of this cushion seems to match well with most furniture. Your dog might not care about this kind of thing, but it’s a nice little bonus feature for you.
As you might guess, this one is also guaranteed to hold its shape for the next ten years, showing you the high quality of the memory foam used in its construction.
There is a little bit more craftsmanship that goes into a bed like this, as all of Big Barker’s beds are handcrafted rather than being produced on an assembly line.
We only see two potential issues here: One large and one small. The small issue is the fact that this bed is only four inches thick.
That’s not bad, but we think it would have been better to include six or seven inches of padding so that this bed would have been equal to the larger version. Still, it’s a minor issue because smaller dogs have less weight to be distributed.
The larger issue is the fact that you can’t get a waterproof liner for this bed. The aftermarket liner that we examined earlier is going to be a little too big for this bed, but this will hopefully change in the future.
If this bed becomes popular enough, there is little doubt that BB will create a suitable liner. Unfortunately, you are out of luck in the meantime. This disadvantage is the main reason that this bed is not listed a little bit higher.
- Suitable for pups and smaller dogs
- The top cover is very soft
- Looks good with most furniture
- Guaranteed to keep its shape
- Made with exceptional craftsmanship
- Not as thick as the others
- The waterproof cover doesn’t fit
Alternate Product 1: Big Barker’s Backseat Barker: SUV Edition
This is not a standard dog bed, but it’s a great thing to have when you want to take your dog on a road trip.
The whole thing is basically just a large cushion that fits into the backseat of your SUV. By doing this, you effectively turn your whole backseat into a comfortable and well-padded dog pen.
Like all of Big Barker’s beds, this one is made with an advanced type of memory foam that is intended to cushion the bones and joints.
This might not seem like an important consideration for young dogs, but older dogs will be very grateful for the extra padding. It is guaranteed to keep its shape for ten years, just like every other bed on this list.
The foam on this one is a little bit thinner, but they make up for that deficiency by using an innovative mix of two different memory foams.
The top layer is meant to be soft, forgiving, and comfortable. The bottom layer is a little stiffer and is intended to provide the support aspect.
This is a very large bed, which is why it doesn’t need to be installed or secured in place. It should fill up the back, with its two padded wings pressed against the sides of the vehicle body.
You can get a no-slip insert, which is meant to keep the bed from sliding around when the car is in motion, and this is recommended if your backseat is a little bit larger than the bed itself.
Because this bed provides padding on the sides, it can give your dog a little bit of impact protection in the event of a car accident. Obviously, no one wants to think about such things, but it’s always wise to plan for the worst while hoping for the best.
The only true problem comes from the fact that there are many different sizes and types of SUVs on the market. There is no way that one size could fit them all, so you may end up having to secure this bed in place with straps, wire, or string.
If you are thinking about buying this product, you should get a tape measure out and get the exact size of your backseat area.
We also find this bed to be a little bit awkward. It is very large, and it’s too thick to roll or fold. This makes it a little bit harder to move around, and it also takes up a lot of space.
When not in use, storage could be a problem just because of its size and width. Still, it’s not all that heavy for a bed of this size, so we should give the manufacturer some credit for that.
- Advanced two-layer construction
- Gives your dog plenty of room to stretch
- Bolsters on both sides for added comfort
- No installation required
- Provides a little bit of impact protection
- Might not fit all SUVs
- Somewhat heavy and awkward to move
Alternate Product 2: Orthopedic 4″ Dog Crate Pad by Big Barker
For those who need to keep their dog in a crate, BB has created a pad that should prove to be a lot more comfortable than most.
Dog crates and cages usually come with a plastic tray at the bottom, but this tray isn’t very comfortable. That’s where a good-quality cushion comes into the picture.
There are multiple sizes of dog crate, and that’s why you can get this cushion in several different sizes as well. Unless your crate is very uncommon or homemade, you should have no problem finding the right pad for the job.
No one likes putting their dog in a crate, but it is sometimes necessary. At those times, you can at least take solace in the fact that you have made that cage as comfortable as possible.
When it’s time for them to leave the cage, the cushion can be pulled out and used as a stand-alone bed. Even without any kind of crate, this would still make an above-average travel bed.
You won’t have to shell out extra money for a waterproof liner, because this bed already has one. It is attached to the top cover and does a good job of keeping liquids from soaking into the memory foam at the center.
This bed isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s definitely cheaper than most of Big Barker’s other products. Thus, it gives you a relatively cheap way to test the company’s claims (which do seem a little bit expansive at times). Still, that’s an expensive test, so we would advise you to consider the matter with great care.
At this point, there is little need to mention that this bed is guaranteed to keep its shape for ten years, just like all the rest. This is a standard feature of BB beds, as they all use the same kind of memory foam at the core.
This bed is not without a few problems, however. The top cover is supposed to be “tear-resistant,” but we think these claims might be exaggerated.
Some reviewers claim that their dog was able to destroy this pad in less than a week. Some others said that the top cover developed cracks after being washed in a machine.
- Much more comfortable than a plastic tray
- Multiple sizes that can fit most crates
- Also makes a good travel bed
- The cover is water-resistant and very thick
- Keeps its shape for ten years or more
- Not very tear-resistant
- Some have reported problems with machine washing
It’s always good to do your homework before spending your hard-earned money, and this is no exception. Having reviewed some good examples, let’s look at some of the most common questions that we receive on this subject:
What Size Of Bed Does My Dog Need?
This is one of the first questions that a new customer will often ask. Since this brand is focused on large dogs, it goes without saying that they need to be bigger than usual. To find out how large it needs to be, you will need to get that tape measure out and take some measurements.
First, measure your dog from head to rump. You don’t need to include the tail because it can hang over the side without a problem.
Next, wait until your dog is sleeping and measure a square around them. When you do this, make sure to add an extra inch or two so that your dog can move around at night without falling out of bed. These measurements will tell you how large your dog’s bed needs to be.
Why are Big Barker beds so expensive compared to most others?
You’ve probably noticed that these beds are a little more expensive, and there are multiple reasons for that. Although these beds have several special advantages, their price tags are mainly determined by the materials of which they are made.
BB uses very high-quality memory foam for all their beds, and that stuff is going to be more expensive than your average piece of bed foam. Not only that, but these beds are made by hand instead of being mass-produced.
Is there such a thing as a “chew-proof” bed?
To give you the short answer: No, there is no such thing as a chew-proof bed. However, there are definitely plenty of “chew-resistant” beds on the market.
Some of the beds on our list are designed in such a way, but you should realize that a dedicated chewer will probably destroy the bed anyway.
Once again, we are focusing on large dogs here, and large dogs can dish out some serious destruction when they are so inclined. Thus, you need to think about your dog’s behavior before you put out the extra money for a fine bed like one of these.
Big Barker Dog Beds Buyer’s Guide
If you have read all of the above, and read it carefully, you should have a better idea of the qualities that you should look for in a good dog bed.
However, we want to dive a little deeper into the main benefit of these beds. It is alleged that Big Barker beds (and similar products) will produce better bone and joint health. Of course, no one wants their dog to be in pain, so this is probably the main selling point of the BB line.
That leads us to the big question: Do orthopedic beds (like these) actually help to make your dog healthier? Let’s see if we can find some evidence. For a start, we should realize that orthopedic memory foam beds are also commonly used by humans.
Since humans can communicate more clearly than a dog, we should get some good feedback here. We will evaluate memory foam beds for their pain-reducing qualities and look at any risks that might be present.
A study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine was meant to determine if waterbeds and memory-foam beds were effective in reducing overall back pain.
They surveyed three large groups of people, all of whom had a history of back pain issues. As you might guess, each group used a different kind of bed. To make a long story short, both the waterbeds and the memory foam were judged to be effective in reducing several forms of back pain.
A study by ScienceDirect seems to further confirm our findings. By using 22 people as test subjects, they were able to determine that therapeutic bedding can have a positive effect on back pain, shoulder issues, and spinal stiffness.
Now that we know this method is effective for humans, let’s look at something more specific to canines. About 30-50% of all dogs (and cats) will experience some degree of osteoarthritis during their lifetime.
Most often, these problems occur toward the end of life. The authors of this paper seem to agree that memory foam beds promote greater blood flow throughout the limbs and better support for the spine in general.
Unfortunately, some evidence suggests that many orthopedic beds are not effective in combating bone and joint problems.
By mapping the pressure pattern of each bed, the people at Big Barker determined that most other orthopedic beds were not doing a good job of distributing the weight and pressure evenly.
Most of the time, these deficiencies were caused by insufficient thickness. To be fair, this video comes from Big Barker, so it may have a little bias.
Although they may be a little biased, Big Barker seems to be correct when they state that some memory foam is toxic.
The process of making memory foam can be done in more than one way, and at least one of those methods involves the use of various toxic chemicals. These can include formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene.
If that doesn’t mean anything to you, formaldehyde is used to embalm dead bodies, while benzene is often used in paint thinners.
Naphthalene is a flammable and toxic substance that is often used in mothballs. In general, you can avoid this danger by avoiding memory foam beds that are made in China.
Unfortunately, their safety standards have been shown to be less than adequate, especially in recent history. The
Informa UK Limited shows how emissions from standard memory foam can be enough to inhibit the breathing of laboratory mice.
So, let’s recap what we have learned. There is no doubt that orthopedic beds can be helpful in treating disorders of the spine, joints, and bones.
Not everyone likes these memory-foam beds, but their benefits are well-proven enough to apply them to dogs.
At the same time, it is important to avoid low-quality foam, as it can sometimes be toxic. It’s kind of funny, actually…in this case, humans experimented on themselves before using a particular product for animals.
Usually, it’s the other way around! This only goes to show how strong of a bond we have formed with the noble canine.
We hope that this guide has been both helpful and informative and that you have enjoyed reading our work.
Big Barker makes some of the best dog beds on the market, but an informed consumer should educate themselves about the pros and cons before buying.
We should mention that we are not attempting to endorse this brand in any way. Although it is a high-quality brand, Big Barker isn’t the only company that makes high-quality beds.
As such, we have tried to give you a fair and balanced picture so that you can make the best decision for you and your canine friend.