Let your feline friend nap (and nap, and then nap some more) in style and comfort, with our pick of the best cat beds you can buy
Cats are expert sleepers, commonly kipping for 15-20 hours a day in nooks and crannies around the house. Laundry basket, cardboard box, your favourite armchair, your folded-up clean clothes – anywhere cosy will do. But maybe it’s time your kitty had his or her own bed to sleep in?
It’s not just about protecting your clothes and furniture. A proper cat bed gives Mr/Ms Whiskers their own personal space. Privacy is paramount for felines, who only curl up in the laundry basket because it’s a warm, enclosed hidey-hole. And just as our bodies benefit from warmth and support while we sleep, so do those of our furry friends, especially as they get older.
No roundup of cat beds can ever hope to please every puss, since they’re such fusspots. So in our list we’ve offered a fairly wide range, with top picks for window-loving mogs, cocooning cats, elderly felines and more. First, here’s a quick buying guide.
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Best cat bed: At a glance
- Best cat bed under £50: Silentnight Airmax Pet Bed | Buy now
- Best for smaller cats: Rosewood Swirl Cat Bed | Buy now
- Best for older cats: Silentnight Orthopaedic Pet Bed | Buy now
- Best wipe-clean cat bed: Scruffs Expedition Box Bed | Buy now
- Best cat cave: Joules Cat Hideaway Bed | Buy now
- Best self-heating cat bed: Scruffs Thermal Ring Cat Bed | Buy now
- Best for cats who love to hide: Gapzer Drawstring Cat Bed | Buy now
- Best designer cat bed: Pets & Pods Biscuit | Buy now
How to choose the best cat bed for your cat
What type of bed should I buy for my cat?
Cats are notoriously picky, so it can be hard to find a bed your kitty will deign to touch, especially at first. Think about the places he or she already likes to curl up in, then choose a bed to fit their habits.
Standard pet beds have a supportive mattress-style base and soft but sturdy “walls” to give your pet their own space. A dropped front isn’t really necessary for younger and fitter cats, who’d much rather jump into a private enclosed space than sociable dogs would. We’ve included a couple of standard pet beds in our rundown, but remember that cats often like to curl up in small or high-up places, and don’t need as much room to move around in bed as dogs do.
Teepee, igloo and tunnel beds provide more of the enclosed security that cats love. If your cat likes to curl up under your bed or in the hidden depths of your laundry basket, an enclosed bed will give your grateful kitty their own secure escape from the world – and they’ll stop shedding hair all over your laundry!
Radiator beds hang securely on the radiator like a bike basket, giving your cat a warm place to sit in the winter months. Radiator beds also appeal to cats’ liking for high places. Most are open hammock-style canopies, but you can get tunnel-style radiator beds that offer the best of both worlds.
Window beds are an ingenious way to give indoor and flat-dwelling cats a taste of the outdoors without exposing them (and the local wildlife) to danger. Even if your cat is a regular outdoor adventurer, a bed secured to the window will let them watch the world go by in comfort, and also give them a nice high-up place to sleep.
What other features should I look out for in a cat bed?
A washable cover that you can remove and stick in the washing machine – ideally after de-furring it with a lint roller – will help ensure the bed stays clean and inviting. Cats love cleanliness, and will quickly reject a bed that’s less than fresh.
A reversible central cushion offers an even quicker way to give your cat a fresh surface: simply flip it over. Some cat beds even let you flip the cushion to suit the weather, with a warm cosy surface on one side and a cooling surface on the other.
A sturdy, supportive filling will help entice your cat away from the sofa and provide good insulation and joint support. Very light beds won’t be supportive or durable enough. If your cat is elderly or suffering health problems, look for orthopaedic support that helps to distribute their weight and take the pressure off their joints.
Self-heating beds are clever innovations for winter, especially for older cats who struggle to keep warm. Radiator beds are a cheaper alternative, though – and they have the extra benefit of being off the ground.
A non-slip base isn’t as important in cat beds as in dog beds, although it’ll help to keep the bed from zooming around the floor if you’ve got a whole crew of energetic cats hoping to share it.
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The best cat beds you can buy in 2022
1. Silentnight Airmax Pet Bed: Best cat bed under £50
Price: From £38 | Buy now from Argos
Mattress supremo Silentnight has just launched a range of pet beds, using the same carefully researched comfort technology that helped its human bedding into our lists of the best pillows, best mattress toppers and best mattresses for bad backs.
It’s an ideal size (not too big, not too small). The removable cushion cover has a velour-like cosy fleece on one side and a cool quilted polyester wicking fabric on the other, so it’ll help keep your cat warm in winter and cool in summer.
We were also impressed by the bed’s solid, durable construction. It’s all very soft but carefully and thoroughly stitched, certainly enough to last for years despite the challenge of claws and constant washing. You also get a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee for extra peace of mind.
Key specs – Sizes available: M,L; Dimensions: 19 x 75 x 58cm (M), 20 x 90 x 70cm (L); Material: Polyester; Removable cover: Yes (machine-washable)
2. Rosewood Swirl Cat Bed: Best cosy bed for smaller cats
Price: £20 | Buy now from Argos
This deep, round plush bed creates a lovely warm nook for your cat to curl up tightly inside, giving them the security of a soft hug all the way around their sleeping body. The bed offers privacy without being too enclosed, like a teepee or igloo.
One thing to bear in mind is that the Swirl is one of the smaller beds on our list, and only comes in one size. While it’ll comfortably fit the majority of cats, if yours is particularly chunky you may want to look at some of the larger options.
While the Swirl feels fairly robust, we don’t think it will last a cat’s lifetime, but at this price it’s hard to resist.
Key specs – Sizes available: 1; Dimensions: 38 x 38 x 20cm; Material: Polyester; Removable cover: Yes (machine-washable)
3. Silentnight Orthopaedic Pet Bed: Best cat bed for older cats
Price: From £55 | Buy now from Pets At Home
Silentnight pulls out all the engineering stops again with this orthopaedic pet bed, which is essentially a medium-firm mattress with a faux-fur cover and durable fabric “walls”. The contoured foam layers are designed to distribute your pet’s weight evenly, so it’s ideal for older cats who struggle with sore joints.
Our cat found it a little too large (we tried the medium, which is almost a metre across), but the high sides and drop front make it perfect for less agile felines who want an easy-to-access place to curl up.
Key specs – Sizes available: 3 (S, M, L); Dimensions: 65 x 49 x 17cm (S), 80 x 59 x 18cm (M), 95 x 69 x 19cm (L); Material: Polyester; Removable cover: Yes (machine-washable)
4. Scruffs Expedition Box Bed: Best water-resistant cat bed for outdoor cats
Price: From £26 | Buy now from Amazon
This neat, classy-looking bed from Scruffs is water-resistant – so it won’t soak and end up smelling whiffy. Even adventurous felines want their favourite cosy spots to be clean.
The fabric itself is durable, heavy-duty polyester, with a waterproof backing to stop any damp, drool or urine from soaking through. This means the bed would also be a good choice for older and incontinent cats, although they may find the cover fabric lacking in warmth. The bed feels very supportive, though, and many cats will really love its sturdy box-like construction.
Key specs – Sizes available: 4 (S, M, L, XL); Dimensions: 50 x 40cm (S), 60 x 50cm (M), 75 x 60cm (L), 90 x 70cm (XL); Material: Polyester with PET (recycled) fibre filling; Removable cover: Yes (machine-washable)
5. Joules Cat Hideaway Bed: Best cat cave
Price: £30 | Buy now from Joules
British clothing brand Joules has expanded into pet clothes and accessories with great success, and this wonderfully cosy cat bed is just one example. Both designs (this delicate bee stripe, and a bold floral print) make a stylish addition to any home, and your cat is sure to appreciate the added touch of class.
The bed is made with the comfort and habits of cats in mind. Cats love to hide in places that make them feel enclosed and safe, so your feline will be immediately keen to climb inside this teepee-style cave. It’s lovely and warm inside, with a reversible cushion that you can remove and machine wash, and the bed’s non-slip base ensures it won’t move around the room while your cat gets comfy.
Key specs – Sizes available: 1; Dimensions: 42 x 42 x 42cm; Colours available: 2; Material: Polyester; Removable cushion: Yes (machine washable 30˚C)
6. Scruffs Thermal Ring Cat Bed: Best self-heating cat bed
Price: £40 | Buy now from Scruffs
The term ‘self-heating’ may conjure up notions of electric blankets, but there’s no electricity involved with these ingenious heated cat beds from Scruffs. The bed contains a foam layer, backed with reflective foil, that is sandwiched between quilted hollow fibres and the bed’s main filling. When your cat curls up to nap, this special inner layer reflects their body heat back to them, creating a virtuous circle of additional heat without the risk of the bed overheating and causing harm.
Heating features aside, this is a really comfy and practical cat bed. It’s upholstered in a stylish corduroy outer fabric, with a sumptuous soft plush interior. Unlike most cat beds, this one can go entirely in the washing machine without the need to remove any covers. The main downside is it may be a bit too small for larger cats, and it only comes in one size.
Key specs – Sizes available: 1; Dimensions: 50cm diameter; Colours available: 3; Material: Polyester, with aluminium foil/EPE layer inside; Removable cover/cushion: No, but the whole bed is machine washable at 30˚C
7. Gapzer Drawstring Cat Bed: Best bed for cats who love to hide
Price: £46 | Buy now from Amazon
If you often find your cat curled up in the laundry basket for warmth and privacy, then this stylish new bed may finally persuade them to stop getting hair all over your clothes. Its deep, cave-like middle offers your cat the enclosed space they crave, and its velvet cotton fabric is wonderfully cosy.
The outside is hard-wearing corduroy, built to withstand plenty of happy claw-sharpening, and the underside is non-slip.The drawstring is brilliant for cocooning your cat better than a laundry basket ever could, but we recommend leaving it untied (or tied only loosely) for safety, especially if your cat is especially young.
Key specs – Sizes available: 2 (M,L); Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 20cm (L); Colours available: 2; Material: Polyester and cotton; Removable cushion: Yes (machine-washable 30˚C)
8. Pets & Pods Biscuit: Best designer cat bed
Price: £125 | Buy now from Pets & Pods
Your cat is the most beautiful creature in your home, so it’s only fitting to give them your finest-looking piece of furniture. Independent UK company Pets & Pods designed the new Biscuit bed for large or multiple cats, but it’s also big and solid enough for a small dog. If you have a solo feline who prefers a cosier bed, there’s also the Mini Biscuit (£86).
The Biscuit is a practical winner as well as a stunning statement piece. Its bouncy faux-fur cushion can be removed for a machine-wash, while the zig-zag felt and wood frame is easy to sponge down. The bed arrives flat-packed but is quick to assemble, and individual sections can be replaced independently if they become worn out or are shredded to bits by enthusiastic claws.
While we haven’t had any problems with the Biscuit, owners have reported excellent customer service from the small Kent-based company, which is always reassuring to hear.
Key specs – Sizes available: 2; Dimensions: 66 x 32cm (Biscuit), 44 x 28cm (Mini Biscuit); Material: PET felt (made from recycled plastic bottles), FSC poplar plywood, pine, polyester/acrylic cushion, cotton cushion cover; Removable cover: Yes (machine-washable)