Dog bed filler material found in an orthopedic dog bed is typically one of two varieties – foam or stuffing. When it comes to buying a quality dog bed, expect to get what you pay for.
That is to say, if you buy a cheap bed, then expect it to use cheaper filling that is weak, spongy, or will flatten out within a short period of time. Do you want a quality bed that will last your dog years, or do you want to buy a cheap bed that may only last a few months, after which time it may be more harmful to your dog than comforting and supportive?
So let’s look at the various types of orthopedic dog bed filler.
Poly fill dog beds like the name suggest are beds filled with polyester foam. Good quality poly fill material is often described as high loft. What it basically means is that bed will not flatten. Something else to look for in the description of the bed is that the filling is resistant to being shifted around.
This is sometimes described as baffled chambers. The filler can quickly end up thinned out or flattened in the middle and/or shifted to the outer edges in cheap dog beds.
Foam filler is typically used in mattress dog beds. Mattress dog beds filled with foam are good for large dogs. Some beds may contain more than one different type of foam, this can be to enhance the comfort and support or to provide a cheaper and more market friendly alternative to only using high quality foam.
As with human mattresses, the firmness and bounce of the bed can vary according to the firmness and density of the mattress.
Orthopedic Dog Bed Foam Types
For dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia or any other kind of joint problem, then you are looking for filler described as orthopedic. Orthopedic dog bed filler material helps cushion and support the dog’s joint. This is of course desirable to help maintain the dog’s comfort joint health.
Types of foam used in orthopedic dog beds, from cheapest to dearest:
Egg Crate Foam / Convoluted Foam)
This is the main filler in the cheapest orthopedic dog beds. It is not used in human orthopedic mattresses as the material is thin and collapsible, so you may wish to bear this in mind when buying a dog bed if your dog is particularly large or heavy.
Upholstery Grade Foam
A reference to the strength (grade) of the foam. Usually stronger and hence more expensive than convoluted foam.
Dual Density Foam
This is a mixture of two types of foam. A thin top layer of high density foam for pressure reduction. And a thicker lower density foam for support and/or ventilation.
Memory Foam / Visco Elastic Foam
Memory foam is a high density foam. It is also one of the most common and in demand varieties of orthopedic dog bed filler material, as it is with human orthopedic mattresses because of its effectiveness in providing comfort and support to the joints, and also for its ability to return to its natural shape after use.
It is also one of the most expensive dog bed fillers. As such, an orthopedic dog bed is sometimes described as a memory foam dog bed.