Most people spend around $1,0001 on a new mattress with $500-$1,500 being the mid-range23.
In addition, you need extras such as a base, a frame or accessories.
While you only spend 1/3 of your daily life in your bed, your dog will sleep for 50-75% of his life.
Of course, your dog’s bed nap mileage may vary, but it’s an important part of his life.
So isn’t it natural to see the bed we buy for our dogs as an investment?
I’m telling you this because it will put the high price of the Big Barker into perspective.
After testing it for a couple of years, I feel confident in offering a hands-on review.
I could sit here and tell you all the great reviews, that the bed is vet approved, that there was a study4 done on these beds, and you might drool over the fact that there’s a 10-year warranty.
But today, consumers should be used to taking everything with a grain of salt.
Yes, there are over 10,000 reviews on your own site that have a “verified” badge. But no one trusts reviews anymore, even though unbiased third-party verification tools would help with credibility.
At the time of writing, only 21 reviews are 3 stars or less, all of them within the last 6 months.
Does it seem too good to be true? Maybe. But maybe big dog owners will love this bed.
The truth of the matter is that I can’t personally vouch for these reviews, I don’t know if the old timers have anything in the game, if the studio will stick with it, or if Big Barker will honor the 10 year warranty (although I think they will).
But I can tell you about living with this bed for over 2 years and the daily abuse it takes with my 100 pound Rottweiler.
That includes dozens of wash cycles.
I’ll just tell you what I like and what I didn’t like.
These are the main points I will discuss.
- Why is Made In USA important?
- Toxicity of many foam mattresses
- Cleaning (high temperature, stains, odor)
- price and size
Made in EE.UU.
Big Barker dog beds are made exclusively in the USA with no plans to change that, a fact the company is understandably very proud of.
Made in the USA including the foam, the zippers that go around 75% of the bed and even the water based latex glue is made in the USA.
Personally, local production is crucial for me.
For starters, it’s better for the environment not to ship things all over the world.
Second, it’s probably safer since many things used in China would not be approved in the US or Europe.
The CertiPUR5 the certification positions it as a superior option in my opinion. Very few dog beds have this that I know of. I have linked the technical guidelines below.
Lastly, I personally love supporting companies that choose not to produce in Asia.
If you want your Big Barker shipped internationally, be careful with taxes. Supposedly a third party calculates all of that for you at checkout.
The Big Barker Dog Bed Cover can be washed on cold and dries quickly, but to avoid staining the foam, I suggest using a waterproof liner. The foam has not absorbed any odor or significantly changed color.
While washing with cold water is recommended, I wash it with hot water at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) from time to time.
Because? Because when my female Rottweiler is in heat, a few drops of blood fall on the bed at night.
So although it is not recommended, I wash it with hot water And it works for me.
The waterproof lining, on the other hand, is only washed in cold water to avoid losing its waterproofness.
Good news: my waterproof liner has not suffered any significant stains. Even blood stains could be removed in a cold wash cycle, which surprised me quite a bit.
This brings me to the waterproof lining.
The waterproof liner is quite expensive at an additional $70-$100, but it’s worth itespecially for large, drooling dogs.
Some recommend the waterproof liner solely for incontinent dogs or puppies.
However, I have seen foam that has not stayed as fresh as mine and I would like to think that part of that is due to the fact that I protected the foam.
In fact, Big Dog Mom’s review shows that their 6+ year old foam did suffer from a bit of yellow staining, but that may be due to how you use it. She noted that she still doesn’t smell bad.
I am happy to say that our foam doesn’t smell bad not at all either and suffered no permanent stains.
Also, a big plus for me is the fact that it doesn’t stick to the dog’s hair.
Opinions on this differ somewhat.
Some owners notice dog hair sticking to the bed, but honestly, I haven’t noticed it to the same extent as other microfiber beds.
If you notice hair, it’s easier to brush it out.
The quality of Big Barker beds is superior to the most popular dog beds, which is to be expected considering the price. The cover does not degrade after dozens of wash cycles and the foam has not flattened in recent years.
I did manage to rip a very small piece off my bed, which is largely my fault.
The bed looks sturdy but I would not recommend tearing off the cover when washing or grabbing the bed by the headrest, that’s what happened.
Also, I have noticed a couple of worn threads on the inside which, however, do not influence the functionality.
This bed is definitely not chew proof, but it is not advertised as being.
It’s tear-resistant, which means scratching probably won’t damage the fabric, but full-blown chewers may need a truly chew-proof dog bed.
My Rottweiler will occasionally dig into his bed a bit and jump on it or start running around, but he never chews on it at all, so I can’t vouch for how much he can resist chewing.
Price, Size, Colors
The Big Barker dog bed is more expensive, but it may be worth it for you, considering how long it should last and the benefits in potentially saved vet bills.
There are 3 editions: elegant, headrest and sofa.
All three come in L, XL, and Giant.
If you are not sure of the size, they have a size guide and many examples.
Expect to pay an extra $70-$100 for the waterproof liner, $40-$60 for the cooling feature, and $30 if you want your furry friend’s name on the bed.
My Big Barker would be around $400 right now.
I am absolutely intrigued by the KulKlote cooling feature for hot summers, I may have to buy it for my next Big Barker!
Another fact that I love is that you can get the cover separately so you don’t have to replace the entire bed if something happens to the cover.
However, that replacement is quite expensive in my opinion.
Colors you ask?
The Big Barker comes in charcoal grey, khaki, chocolate, burgundy, and pink (new).
While I’m not too much of a fan of colors, I feel like there’s a solid option out there for everyone.
I chose gray and I would recommend choosing something that looks as understated as possible in your home.
They occasionally have limited edition colors and that’s where I saw the purple edition that doesn’t seem to be available anymore.
Do I recommend The Big Barker?
All in all, I can definitely recommend the Big Barker Dog Bed if it doesn’t break your bank. The certifications and the fact that it’s made in the USA are big selling points for me.
You might prefer a natural, undyed cotton fabric and swap out the foam (even if it’s made in the USA) for natural rubber as used for regular mattresses, but that’s personal preference.
That ties into overall sustainability, as I’d love to see recycled material in the covers/liners or perhaps a money-back guarantee so the foam can be recycled internally. Another idea would be to run the manufacturing process on green energy.
However, longevity is one of the key points when it comes to sustainability and the Big Barker bed ticks this box.
If you don’t replace it due to changing trends or your dog chews on it, I’m pretty sure it will hold up longer than most other beds out there.
- Consumer Issues: How much does a mattress cost?
- CreditDonkey: How much to spend on a mattress
- Sleepfoundation: How much does a mattress cost?
- Big Barker Upenn Clinical Study: An Ivy League university put Big Barker to the test
- CertiPur US Technical Guidelines: Technical Guidelines
Disclaimer: This blog post is not a substitute for veterinary care and is not intended to be. I am not a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any signs of illness, call your vet.
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