If you’re planning on hitting the road with Fido, you definitely want to check out the best dog beds for cars!
Not only will they make riding in a crate more comfortable but they’re also perfect for overnight stays in hotels along the way.
First, let’s learn a bit about the safest dog car travel solutions, since they play a role in choosing the best bed.
Then we’ll check out my top ten recommendations on Amazon!
Content & Quick Navigation
Safest dog car travel solutions
The number one safest place for your dog in a car is in a sturdy, secured crate. Period.
However, for those of us with larger dogs and smaller cars, a crate isn’t always feasible.
In that case, for smaller dogs, your best bet is a car seat. Yep, a car seat!
We’ll check out my top pick below (even though it’s not technically a bed, it’s still a comfy place for your dog to nap in the car).
What if you have a big dog that won’t even fit in a car seat, though? In that case, the safest places in the car for dogs in order are:
- In the back seat with a dog car harness
- In a plush carrier in the back seat with a harness
- Secured in the back of your SUV with a dog guard
- In the back seat in a hammock (some of the beds below will fit into that just fine)
- In the back seat with a barrier installed between you and your dog.
I have seen a lot of people asking about a dog bed for a car’s front seat. I won’t even go there, as it’s the most dangerous place to put your dog.
If you really must put your dog up front, at least use a console dog car seat. I share my top pick for one below.
Now that we know more about the safest travel solutions for dogs in cars, let’s get into bed specifics.
Choosing the best dog bed for cars
When you’re looking for the best dog beds for cars, safety always has to come first.
You don’t want anything that can hurt your dog in the event of a crash! That includes dangling strings or straps as well as hard edges.
In other words, even though there are elevated beds that fit into crates, they’re not ideal for road trips.
Of course, the overall best dog bed really depends on where your dog rides, so we’re going to look at a good variety of options below.
We’ll check out fantastic crate beds, my favorite dog bed for the back of SUV, the best car seat and more.
Let’s get started, shall we! We have a lot to talk about!
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Best Dog Beds for Cars on Amazon
1. Big Barker Backseat Barker: SUV Edition Review
My #1 pick for the best dog bed for the back of an SUV is made by one of my top 5 favorite overall dog bed brands, Big Barker.
The brand specializes in beds for large-breeds, although I had no idea until recently that they made dog car travel solutions!
Features & Pros
- Three different sizes designed to fit pretty much all SUVs (and all dogs!).
- Fantastic shock-absorbing features, including two layers of foam.
- The top layer of foam is designed for orthopedic comfort (or as orthopedic as you can get in a dog bed for your car)
- Adaptable wings adjust to the width of your SUV.
- Machine-washable and easy to clean
- Easy to put and take out of your SUV, making it a perfect travel bed for the hotel room, too.
- Made in the USA
- It’s pricey
- Measurements are a bit tricky, as they’re for the entire bed (including wings) and not the flat “usable” area
High price aside, you really can never go wrong with Big Barker. I love that this bed easily goes from your SUV to your hotel room and back.
It’s thicker than a lot of the other SUV dog beds that I looked at, so it’s going to give your dog a much smoother ride.
- SUPERIOR “SHOCK-ABSORBING” SUPPORT. Engineered with 2-Stage American Made foam construction. Top layer of therapeutic comfort foam. Bottom shock-absorbing layer for protection
- FLEXIBLE SIZING. Unique “pillow wings” adapt to the width of your SUV. Dimensions listed are for total width of the bed, including pillow wings. Bed should be wider than SUV so pillows lean against side walls
- EASY TO CLEAN. Machine washable. Hidden zippers extend a full 70% around the foam for lightning fast cover removal
- NO INSTALLATION NEEDED. Easy to take out and put back in. Use as a travel bed or an extra bed at home
- MADE IN USA. We only ever use American-made foam to allow us to protect you with our "Can't flatten, Won't flatten" manufacturer warranty.
2. Snoozer Luxury High Back Console Pet Car Seat Review
If you’re looking for the safest dog car seat for your console, the Snoozer gets high marks.
While it’s a bit pricier than other models, I love it because it’s cozy enough to double as a travel bed.
Features & Pros
- The luxurious removable microsuede cover is super gentle on your dog’s skin.
- Includes a leash harness inside that attaches to your dog’s harness
- The non-skid bottom keeps it from slipping.
- A high back provides extra support and helps keep your dog from jumping out.
- Comes in several cute styles and colors
- The console really isn’t the safest place for your dog in your car
- Runs small (dimensions are for the whole thing, not just the area your dog uses).
- Difficult to attach
I’m going to be honest, I really don’t like the idea of a console dog seat at all. I feel like there are so many other safer ways to travel with your dog.
That said, if you insist on a console seat, this is a great choice. Just make sure you follow the directions carefully to install it properly.
- SAFE WAY TO RIDE UP FRONT. Lots of us love to ride with our dogs in the front seat, but riding unrestrained in the passenger seat or, worse, in the driver’s arms, is dangerous. With its patented design, the High-Back Console car seat allows dogs to lean back and enjoy the ease and security of riding right up front alongside their best friends. It secures firmly to the lid of the console and includes a strap to attach to your dog’s harness to keep them secure and allow you both to ride safely.
- CALMER, HAPPIER DOGS. The High-Back Console dog car seat gives your dog a front-row view of the road right next to you! It’s especially great for dogs who get carsick or anxious in the car, as seeing outside can help calm anxiety and reduce queasiness. Even dogs who dislike car travel can learn to love it once they have their very own secure, comfortable spot to snooze in or look at the world go by.
- QUALITY. Made with firm foam, the High-Back Console keeps its shape while providing a safe, supportive seat for your dog. The interior is lined with microsuede fabric for incredible softness and luxurious comfort. The zipper on the removable cover makes it a cinch to take the cover on and off for easy cleaning. Your dog will love having their own safe, secure spot in the car, and you will love how long this Console lasts.
- FABRIC. This High-Back Console features microsuede fabric on the exterior and interior of the car seat. Our microsuede is luxuriously soft to the touch, which means your dog can relax in cozy comfort for the ultimate, restful ride. Our strong and durable microsuede cover stands up to daily wear-and-tear from even the most enthusiastic pups. Our microsuede fabrics are stain-resistant, water-repellant, and machine washable, too. Just remove the easy-off zippable cover to wash cold, then hang dry.
- SIZE. This XL High-Back Console is only recommended for pets up to 20pounds. The exterior is 18″L X 16″W X 7″H(front) / 12″H(back). The interior is 15″L X 12″W X 5″H(front) / 10”H(back). Before buying measure your pet’s sitting/sleeping dimensions and your car’s console size and compare to the Console’s interior/exterior measurements. The size you order needs to reflect the size of the space available in your vehicle as well as the size of your pet. Scroll down to our sizing guide for more info.
3. Sit. Stay. Forever. Dog Bed for Cars Review
If you’re looking at this super simple mat-style travel dog bed and thinking, “what on earth could possibly justify a $100+ price tag?” you’re not alone.
I almost didn’t give it a second glance because of that. However, the words “hypoallergenic” and “organic” drew me in for a closer look.
So, let’s see what makes it one of the best dog beds for cars, shall we?
Features & Pros
- Made from certified organic eco-friendly hypoallergenic cotton duck fabric (think canvas-like material).
- Pre-washes and pre-shrunk, so you don’t have to worry about it getting ruined the first time you wash it.
- The batting is quilted to keep it from shifting around when you wash it.
- Strong poly-thread holds the whole thing together.
- Handmade in the USA
- Comes with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- Only comes in one bright green color (as far as I could tell)
- Definitely not chew-resistant, so not good for puppies
If you need a hypoallergenic dog bed for your car and you don’t mind paying a bit extra to support a small company, it’s a great solution.
I will say this, though, if it was made by a larger pet product company and priced that high, I wouldn’t have included it on this list.
In other words, no, I don’t think the bed itself justifies the price tag. However, when my budget allows, I am open to paying a bit more to support a smaller company.
- SAFETY FIRST Hefty and Luxurious 10oz cotton duck is CERTIFIED ORGANIC, ECO FRIENDLY, CHEM SAFE and dyed using low impact dyeing, which helps conserve our planet's resources.
- Hand constructed in our shop in New York's Hudson Valley. Batting is quilted before assembly to keep from shifting during washing. Poly thread used for strength.
- EZ CARE! All beds are constructed from fabric that has been pre washed and shrunk. Please be aware that this process leaves the natural cotton fibers looking a bit crinkled. These wrinkles will somewhat smooth out with use. MACHINE WASH -- COOL. MACHINE DRY .. LOW
- 100% GUARANTEED. If your experience with your bed or shopping experience is anything but complete SATISFACTION, send the bed back for a full refund of your purchase price.
- PROVIDE YOUR PET THEIR PERSONAL SPACE. Much like the rest of your family, your dog needs a space where they feel safe, protected, and relaxed. By providing your pet with their own bed, you can help your dog feel as though they have a valued place in your household. EZ TRAVEL - light enough to roll up and stick in a bag. Be a welcomed guest...always travel with your pet's own bed.
4. PetSafe Solvit Dog Car Seat Cover
If you’re looking for dog car seat covers that double as beds, try the PetSafe Solvit Car Cuddler.
It’s a budget-friendly solution for both small and large breeds, depending on which style you get. Let’s check it out.
Features & Pros
- Comes in two styles: one for just a single bucket seat and one for the whole backseat bench.
- Made from luxurious micro suede & other soft yet durable materials to keep Fido comfy.
- The durable fabric helps keep your car clean and clear of pet hair, dirt, and more.
- Faux sheep skin fabric zips off for easy cleaning.
- Fits over the headrest and uses a Sta-Put tube device to keep it in place.
- While the bench version is great for all dog sizes, the bucket seat style is only good for dogs up to 30lbs.
- Not the most secure option
- Tends to slide around (especially the bench version)
If you’re just looking for a car seat cover and don’t need a ton of other features, this is a good pick despite the cons.
While I think the bucket version (which is pictured here) is a bit cozier than the bench version, the bench style is really the only one that works for large dogs.
- PET BED AND SEAT COVER: The perfect combination for road trips with your pup; measures 40 in L x 23 in W x 5 in H; dog bed portion is 19 in deep; suitable for dogs up to 30 pounds
- PROTECTS YOUR SEATS: Durable materials keep hair and pet messes off your seats; works with all vehicle seat types, even leather seats
- COZY COMFORT: Soft, microsuede liner covers the over-stuffed bolster cushion and pillow; this comfy cuddler is perfect for pups who like to snooze on long car rides
- SAFE TRAVEL: Easily access your car's seat belt and use with the PetSafe Happy Ride Seat Belt tether (sold separately) to keep restless pups out of your lap while you're driving
- QUICK SETUP: Use the adjustable headrest strap to install on any front seat or back seat with headrests; the seat anchor and lower strap help the dog bed stay in place
- EASY CLEANING: Machine washable; the bolster cushion and seat pillow are easy to remove from zippered compartments
5. iBuddy Dog Bed for Car Back Seat
The iBuddy is a great back-seat solution for larger breeds that can’t ride in a crate or car seat.
I spent a crazy amount of time looking for the best dog bed for a car back seat, and this is by far my favorite.
Features & Pros
- Works well for most cars from small sedans to ginormous SUVs
- Durable zippered side flaps and hammock keep your dog safer when you have to brake quickly
- Protects your entire back seat from hair and dirt.
- Includes a free nylon dog seat belt.
- The barrier between you and your dog helps prevent him from trying to hop on up front with you.
- Nonslip, durable, and comfortable. Designed for heavy-duty use with oxford fabric.
- Extra padding for comfort.
- Super reasonably priced
- Short return window (only 30 days for a full refund)
- NOT ideal for white leather seats, as it can leave stains
- Not great for diggers or chewers
As I said, I spent a lot of time looking at back seat solutions. I love that this one is a barrier and seat cover in one.
The fact that it’s super-duper affordable is a HUGE draw for me, too!
- COMPATIBILITY DIFFERENT CARS-No more worries about hair, scratches, liquid, and dirt on the back seat with our excellent size 54"W x 58" L (Truck option for this style) dog car seat covers and your dog. This dog seat cover available for most cars, SUVs.
- THICKEN MESH WINDOW- Dog seat cover with breathable mesh is great for the air to flow into the back to keep your dog cool and warm. You can check the pet's behavior and its mood at any time helps to reduce the pup’s anxiety when they see you through it.
- FULL PROTECT FOR CAR-With zippered side flaps, the dog car hammock protects your dog from injury when the emergency brake and turn. The car seat covers for dogs protect the doors, and meanwhile, prevent scratching the leather bench when your dog jumps in.
- NONSLIP&DUTABLE&COMFORTABLE-The pet car seat cover is designed with the anti-slide bottom and seat anchors to ensure not move around. With heavy-duty waterproof oxford fabric and extra padded for comfort. Ensures the best protection and long-lasting use.
- EASY TO INSTALL&MACHINE WASHABLE-Just needs 1 minute easy to install with quick release clips, The dog seat cover offered for maximum comfort and safety for your dog. Enjoy your road trip never before! Wash it anytime in your washing machine.
6. K&H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat Review
Since the safest dog car seat is one that fits in the back of your car, the K&H earns high marks with me!
The brand is pretty well-known for making great budget-friendly dog beds, so I’m confident that their Bucket Booster is no exception.
Features & Pros
- You can use it either as a dog bed for the car front seat or back seat (please, though, try to stick with the back seat)
- The elevated bottom makes it easy for your dog to look out the window.
- The contoured back of the seat fits inside your vehicle better
- Adjustable security tether to keep your dog safer
- The zippered cover comes off and can be machine-washed
- Two leashes make it possible to use the seat for two small dogs
- Only two sizes- large and small
- The large isn’t really all that big (it’s not a good seat for medium to large breeds)
- A bit pricey
K&H is probably one of my top 10 favorite dog brands, if not one of the top 5 (it fluctuates, as I’m always finding new brands that I love).
So I’m confident in recommending this one, but only for small dogs. Honestly, though, you’re not going to find many car seats for large breeds.
- DOG CAR SEAT WITH A VIEW: Booster pet car seat elevates pet(s) for a better view, while the firm foam bolster around the edge keeps dogs in a safe and controlled spot for a distraction-free drive
- SAFETY FIRST: Dog booster seat securely buckles in place with the seat belt hidden under the removable booster cushion (includes two adjustable security tethers attach to pet harness) and the bolster secures pet to the doggie car seat
- EASY PET TRAVELING: Doggy car seat is great for small dogs as it dips down in the front so your pet can easily climb in and out for easy buckling up; Pet booster seat for car is perfect for small and medium dogs, puppies, cats and kittens
- EASY CLEAN-UP: Removable, washable, plush quilted fleece cover ensures pet comfort and easy maintenance of dog car carrier
- PET CAR SEAT SIZING: The contoured back is designed to fit snugly in the front or back seat of any size car: small bucket booster is recommended for small pets and large booster can fit up to two small pets or one medium sized breed
- BRAND YOU TRUST: Designed by K&H with OVER 20 years of experience in creating safe, innovative, quality products for pets
7. MidWest Quiet Time Crate Bed for Cars Review
While the MidWest Quiet Time Crate Bed isn’t designed specifically for cars, it’s a good buy if you’re keeping Fido in a crate during your journey.
Depending on which size you buy, it’s a fairly inexpensive option (the largest size is still just under $50).
Features & Pros
- Made with Ultra-Soft Synthetic Fur on one side and Ultra-Plush Synthetic Sheep Skin on the other.
- Uses the best quality materials so it’s built to last.
- An extra stuffed poly-fiber bed that will keep your dog comfy on your trip.
- Keeps dogs warm when it’s cold in the car, or flip it over to keep them cool when it’s hot.
- Completely machine washable.
- Not even remotely chew-resistant
- No removable cover
- Sizing is a bit off according to some customers, so triple-check before buying
If you just need a very simple crate bed that’s super cozy, this is a fantastic pick.
Just keep in mind that it’s not ideal for chewers. The last thing you want is to hear your dog chomping away on his bed while you’re going 75 on the highway!
- For use with 48-Inch Crates, or as a stand alone bed
- Ideal for pets 91 to 110 pounds
- Ultra-soft Synthetic Fur, Non-Skid Bottom Surface
- Completely Machine Washable
8. Arf Pets Self Cooling Solid Gel Crate Mat
Another good dog travel solution for crates, I recommend this one if you’ll be traveling during the summer.
It’s not much to look at, but don’t that fool you. It’s actually a highly rated crate mat with some neat features. Let’s take a look.
Features & Pros
- “Self-charging” cooling mat helps keep pets cool for up to three hours.
- Recharges after just about 15-20 minutes of non-use.
- Perfect for traveling in the summer as well as for dogs with achy joints (the cool is very soothing).
- Works for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can use it at a picnic along the way!
- Solid gel interior with a puncture-resistant exterior.
- Non-toxic, of course.
- Folds up when not in use.
- Easily wipes clean with soap and water.
- It’s thin, so it’s not really a great everyday bed
- A smidge on the pricey side (although I think the features warrant the price)
- Puncture-resistant doesn’t mean puncture-proof, so not good for chewers or diggers
Like I said, if you’re traveling during the summer, you definitely want to consider picking up the Arf Pets Cooling mat.
I personally would get it in addition to another dog travel solution, like the crate bed or maybe the iBuddy.
To be honest, I kind of want to buy it for myself since I always seem to be hot these days (thanks a lot, hormones)!
- BEAT THE HEAT – Keep your pet cool and comfortable with this solid gel self cooling mat. Your dog unleashes the cooling power of this mat simply by laying down on it for up to 3 hours of cooling comfort, and the mat recharges after 15 minutes of nonuse.
- SIMPLE, POWERFUL COOLING – With a solid gel interior, this cooling mat provides cooling relief for your dog without any water, electricity, or hassle. The simple design makes it easy to clean and maintain.
- 100% SAFE – This cooling pad is lab-tested and proven to be completely safe for every member of your family. Made from 100% non-toxic materials, lay this gel mat out for your pet without any fear or concern.
- VERSATILE COMFORT – Bring this mat anywhere to help your dog beat the summer heat. Place this cooling mat in crates, cars, and on top of pet beds to keep your pet comfortable anywhere.
- THE PERFECT FIT – This solid-gel cooling mat is 23” x 35” and supports dogs up to 80 pounds to give your pet the most comfortable cooling possible.
9. K&H Pet Products Travel & SUV Pet Bed
We once again turn to K&H to find another fantastic dog bed for the back of your SUV.
This one is a bit different from the Big Barker mentioned above at Amazon, as it doesn’t have the side “wings.” It does have cozy bolsters, though.
Features & Pros
- The outside bolster is made from strong 600 denier nylon to make it more durable.
- Water-resistant backing
- Microfleece removable cushion is soft and cozy for your dog
- Cushion has tufting to keep the polyfill in place
- A”stay put” non-slip fabric on the bottom to keep it from sliding.
- Machine washable
- No “wings” to protect the sides of your car.
- Not chew-resistant
- Doesn’t fold for easy storage
If the Big Barker is out of your price range but you still want something really comfy for the back of your SUV, go with this one.
- Water resistant bolster surrounds your pet in comfort
- Stay put bottom for stability
- Easy wash and care
- Matching Cargo and Seat Covers available
- Great for travel, camping, or in the home
- One year limited warranty
10. PetSafe Happy Ride Waterproof Bench Seat Cover
Our final pick for the best dog beds for cars is another option from PetSafe (formerly Solvit). This bench car seat cover lets you use your comfy back seat as the bed while keeping it safe from hair, dirt, mud, and water (or urine!)
Features & Pros
- Made from heavy-duty waterproof materials.
- Adjustable straps make it easier to fit into your car just right.
- Seat anchors help keep it in place.
- Multiple attachment points are made at high-stress areas of the cover.
- Comes in 4 sizes and styles, so it’s designed to fit almost every type of car.
- The padding isn’t very thick (about half an inch, so still better than some other similar covers)
- Some customers said that it doesn’t last long when you use it frequently.
- Straps are prone to breakage from sun damage.
While I kind of like the iBuddy a little better just because it also helps keep your dog in the back seat, I do really like this one, too.
It’s simple yet gets the job done, providing you’re not using it every single day and you take steps to protect the straps from sun damage.
- KEEP YOUR SEATS CLEAN: This waterproof bench seat cover protects your car seats from damp, muddy paws and dog hair when you and your pet are on the go together
- EASY-TO-USE: Quickly and easily secure the bench seat cover in place with the two adjustable straps and seat anchors
- SECURE FIT: The two elastic panels and adjustable lower straps secure the bench seat cover to keep it in place
- MACHINE WASHABLE: Simply toss your bench seat cover into your washing machine when it is ready to be cleaned
- SEAT BELT ACCESSIBILITY: The loop tabs and slits on the bench seat cover allow for easy use with your seat belts when a passenger rides in the back seat
- SIZING: The back seat cover is 47 inches long and 54 inches wide; the cover fits most cars, trucks and SUVs
- FORMERLY SOLVIT BRAND - Packaging may vary
- Age Range Description: All Stages
It’s hard to make a final recommendation for the best dog beds for cars because we covered so many different types.
Just remember what I said about the safest places in your car for your dog. If you can, go with a crate and one of the crate beds (I love the Arf).
If not, all of the other solutions will work just as well, depending on your dog and your car.
Your turn! Tell me your top picks for the best dog beds for cars. How about your other favorite dog car travel solutions? Use the comments below!
Last update on 2023-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API