Orthopedic vs Memory Foam Dog Bed: Which one to Choose?

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There are several differences when it comes to the construction and uses of memory foam and orthopedic dog beds. Thus, before purchasing one, you need to ask yourself whether your dog needs an orthopedic bed or a memory foam bed.

It is possible for a memory foam bed to be an orthopedic bed, but a memory foam bed is not always an orthopedic bed. An orthopedic bed is also not defined by the materials used in it.

But without getting too technical, let’s take a look at some of the differences and similarities so you can work out which would be best for your furry friend and his needs.

What is an Orthopedic Dog Bed?


Orthopedic dog beds come with a much thicker and more padded base to help relieve pressure on a dog’s joints. Many of these orthopedic beds make use of a memory foam mattress to provide a stronger and sturdy base.

However, it is not just memory foam that makes an orthopedic bed, as any other materials that provide a firm base will also do. That is the reason why an orthopedic dog bed is not a memory foam bed, but the opposite can be true.

Is an Orthopedic Bed Necessary?

An orthopedic bed is necessary for some dogs to provide them with a good night’s sleep. This is especially the case for older dogs that have joint pain or even arthritis, as well as dogs that are recovering from certain illnesses or operations.

An orthopedic bed is a great way to help dogs get relief from joint pains, as well as any other discomfort. The following is a list of the positives and negatives regarding orthopedic beds for dogs.

The Good

  • Helps stimulate the alignment of bones and joints
  • Good for older dogs and their aching joints
  • Also helps alleviate pain while lying down on the mattress
  • Can help dogs have much better posture
  • Increased comfort levels will improve energy levels

The Bad

  • Much more expensive than standard dog beds
  • Sometimes difficult to determine what is an orthopedic bed and what is not

What is a Memory Foam?


Memory foam is a mixture of polyurethane materials and other chemicals. It has low resistance qualities that make it retain its form. This means the memory foam will simply go back to its original shape when you move off of it.

It is firm but soft and will quickly adjust to the form of the body that is lying on it to provide great support. As soon as you move, the area where you were lying will go back to the original shape of the foam.

With a memory foam dog bed, all weight is evenly distributed to prevent more pressure on certain parts of the body.

Do Dogs Love Memory Foam?

Dogs certainly love memory foam because it is firm and provides a nice warm place to curl up for a nap. Memory foam is elastic and changes shape slowly when you apply pressure to it, and then will return to the original shape.

Memory foam will also not wear out as fast as other materials, allowing it to last much longer than other materials. Let’s take a look at the good and bad of memory foam to see whether it is worth all the fuss.

The Good

  • Very comfortable and provides relief for pain and discomfort
  • Much more affordable than orthopedic dog beds
  • Wide range of options and configurations available
  • Will generally promote much better posture for dogs

The Bad

  • Some of the lesser quality memory foam options give off toxic odors
  • Will eventually sag after many uses depending on the quality of the memory foam

Orthopedic vs Memory Foam Dog Bed: Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that we have looked at the ins and outs of each of these dog bed materials individually, let’s take a look at them side by side to see the differences so you can choose which is best for you and your pup.

  • As you can see, both of these are good for relieving pain for older dogs, as well as those recovering from operations.
  • Orthopedic dog beds and memory foam mattresses will provide ample support and pressure relief for better overall posture.
  • Memory foam is antimicrobial, while orthopedic dog beds will prevent inflammatory changes.
  • They both relieve stress and provide a warm, soft place to lie down.
  • Memory foam can be used as part of an orthopedic dog bed.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are just as many similarities as there are differences between memory foam and orthopedic dog beds, so it is a good thing to evaluate which one your dog needs. As all the signs of aging appear in your older dog, provide it with the right type of bed to make life easier for them.

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