What’s the Best Fabric to Use for a Dog Bed?

Dog beds are meant to be a comfortable place for your pet to relax and sleep, but you also want it to be durable and easy to clean. There are many types of fabrics to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best.

We have rounded up six different types of fabrics that work well for dog beds. Each fabric has its own strengths and weaknesses, and there are factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the one that not only works best for you but also provides a great bed for your dog.

First, consider your dog’s demeanor. If you have a dog who likes to chew and scratch at fabric, you will need something durable. If your dog is laid back and prefers to sleep the day away, a softer fabric will do well.

Keep in mind how easy the fabric is to care for since you will want to clean it regularly. If you want to use the bed inside and outside, you will want a material that is tough enough to handle the elements. All of the following fabrics are easy to find, though some are more affordable than others. Here are six fabrics that are great for a dog bed, in no particular order.

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1. Outdoor Fabrics

dog on outdoor bed
Image credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

These are durable fabrics made to withstand the elements, so they can also withstand certain amount wear and tear from your dog. This type of fabric is ideal for diggers and scratchers. Typically, it’s an open weave fabric, so it’s water-resistant, not waterproof. Such fabrics are also breathable and softer to lay on than canvas or denim. Outdoor fabrics are machine washable but they need to be air-dried.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Breathable
  • Softer than denim
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Have to air dry
  • Price
Kuranda All-Aluminum (Silver) Chewproof Dog Bed -...
75 Reviews
Kuranda All-Aluminum (Silver) Chewproof Dog Bed -...
  • Patented, CHEWPROOF HIGH STRENGTH, lightweight aircraft grade aluminum frame supports up to 250lbs.
  • Elevated/Raised orthopedic design to keep your dog dry, cool, and comfortable indoors and outdoors.

2. Canvas

canvas
Image credit: Melissa Manning, Pixabay

Canvas is a plain weave made from cotton. Duck Canvas is more tightly woven, offering a softer finish. It can withstand a certain amount of chewing and scratching and provide some traction for your dog to get in and out of the bed with ease. Canvas won’t be as soft or cushy as other fabrics, but it is machine washable and dryable. Canvas is not waterproof or water-resistant, but it is breathable and lightweight.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Will withstand some abuse
  • Washable
  • Dryable
  • Provide traction
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not as soft
  • Not water resistant
Carhartt Durable Canvas Dog Bed, Premium Pet Bed...
1,107 Reviews
Carhartt Durable Canvas Dog Bed, Premium Pet Bed...
  • Exterior shell in 12 oz. firm hand cotton duck canvas for durability and a water-repellent coating
  • Baffle constructed interior cushion that allows polyester fill to stay in place

3. Ripstop Nylon

Round Dog Bed-K9 Ballistics-Amazon
Image credit: Round Dog Bed/K9 Ballistics, Amazon

This is a great fabric made from woven nylon that is tear and abrasion-resistant. So, if you have a dog that scratches or digs, this fabric is durable enough to tolerate that. It comes in different weights: light, medium, and heavy. However, even the heavyweight will not hold up to aggressive chewing. It is machine washable and dryable. Although it is not water-resistant, you can find ripstop nylon that is coated in polyurethane to add extra protection. This nylon is affordable, but once you add water protection or use a higher weight, it will be pricier and less breathable.

Pros
  • Tear and abrasion-resistant
  • Machine washable and dryable
  • Breathable
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Will not hold up to chewing
  • More expensive if using a higher weight or waterproof
K9 Ballistics Round Dog Bed Deep Den, Bagel,...
166 Reviews
K9 Ballistics Round Dog Bed Deep Den, Bagel,...
  • CHEW PROOF RATING: 3/5; the number of raised edges and corners on this bagel shaped dog bed gives...
  • Bagel and donut shaped dog beds offer a sense of security and comfort for dogs who love to cuddle....

4. Cordura

Cordura
Image credit: Wikimedia

This is a nice fabric for older dogs, since it provides traction for them to get in and out of bed. It is also great for dogs with sensitive skin and/or allergies. On the downside, it won’t be as soft, as it is textured. It is abrasion-resistant high-denier nylon that will hold up to light chewing, scratching, and digging. It is water-resistant and can be machine washed and dried on low heat. The fabric is breathable as long as it is uncoated. But it is pricier than other fabrics because it is so durable.

Pros
  • Provides traction
  • Great for dogs with allergies
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Machine washable and dryable
Cons
  • Pricier
  • Rough texture, not as soft
DOGHELIOS 'Combat-Terrain' Cordura-Nyco Reversible...
  • Features Cordura Nyco a U.S. Army grade fabric that is lightweight, windproof, waterproof and...
  • Features a specially weaved sewing line preventing the inner filling from moving

5. Microfiber

Microfiber Chenille Dog Bed-My Doggy Place-Amazon
Image: Microfiber Chenille Dog Bed/My Doggy Place, Amazon

Microfiber is a soft and comfy fabric that most dogs will love to snuggle on. Most microfibers are made from polyester, so they are not as breathable but will hold up to regular use. They aren’t durable enough for a destructive dog, though. You can spot-treat microfiber in between regular washings. It is not tolerant to heat, so it has to left out to air dry. Also, microfiber will be twice as expensive as cotton fabric.

Pros
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Holds up to regular use
  • Washable
  • Durable
Cons
  • Not for destructive dogs
  • Pricey
My Doggy Place - Ultra Absorbent, Soft Comfort,...
20 Reviews
My Doggy Place - Ultra Absorbent, Soft Comfort,...
  • SOFT COMFORT: The Ultra Soft Chenille Microfiber Bed massages and supports your pup
  • CLEAN: Microfiber is antibacterial, ultra fast drying, and odor free

6. Fleece

fleece
Image credit: M W, Pixabay

This is a great choice for dogs who prefer more comfort in their lives and don’t chew, scratch, or dig. Fleece will not hold up to aggressive dogs, and it will also collect hair, which makes it difficult to keep clean. Fleece can be either natural or synthetic. Most prefer synthetic, since it is comfortable and lightweight and has anti-perspiration qualities. Synthetic fleece is affordable and comes in different weaves, so you can pick from fluffy to a smoother finish. It is easy to clean, being machine washable, and you can dry it on low heat.

Pros
  • Comfortable and soft
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Affordable
  • Machine washable and dryable
Cons
  • Not as durable
  • Collects hair
AmazonBasics Round Self Warming Pet Bed For Cat or...
4,729 Reviews
AmazonBasics Round Self Warming Pet Bed For Cat or...
  • Plush self-warming pet bed for dogs and cats
  • Made with the same technology as self-warming mylar “space blankets”

Conclusion

We hope that this list gives you a great starting point when making the decision for what fabric to use on your dog bed. You can buy these fabrics at craft and fabric stores, either in your hometown or online. Prices will vary depending on the type of fabric and the store you choose.

More durable fabrics are canvas, outdoor fabrics, ripstop nylon, and Cordura. These will work well for dogs who are more destructive, though they aren’t chew proof by any means. Softer, comfy fabrics are the fleece and microfiber, but they aren’t as durable.

Even though there are many fabrics available, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each in order to pick the one that provides the perfect place for your dog to rest.


Featured Image Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock