Memory Foam Dog Beds
Why Memory Foam?
It's space-age technology
Thank NASA for these beds. This material was developed in 1966 by NASA for air vehicle seats that would cushion and support astronauts during lift-off. The material was temperature-sensitive and molded to the body's shape to avoid uncomfortable pressure points.
NASA released memory foam to the public domain in the early 1980s, but the product was difficult to manufacture with consistent results. A company in Sweden, however, developed a proprietary formulation and process to manufacture the beds under the name Tempur-Pedic.
It may or may not be worth the money
Memory form in various forms is still mostly used today for beds, both for hospitals and for the general public. There's much debate whether Tempur-Pedic are still the best. They seem to be the most expensive but usually provide a 90-day 'test' period and a long, long warranty.
Few disagree that memory foam is a good choice for people with arthritis, joint or bone pain. The foam molds to your body which also creates a warming effect. The product worked so well for humans that it began being made in dog beds and advertised especially for senior and arthritic dogs. There's no reason your dog can't enjoy the benefit of memory foam in his puppy or healthy adult phase.
Before you splurge
Before you splurge on a Tempur-Pedic or similar dog bed, however, let your dog try sleeping or lounging on a memory foam pillow (assuming you use one) or buy inexpensive memory foam used for upholstery and see if your dog likes it. Give him a week or so before you decide to buy or not.
You can lead a dog to a $300 bed, but if he prefers to pull a blanket on the hardwood floor and sleep there, don't try to fight it!
What to look for in memory foam
Nearly every memory foam dog bed I've seen advertised is 4 inches thick or high although a few are 3-inches which I'd consider the minimum acceptable. The 4-inch is nice support for any dog, and my small one has no problem climbing on it. Keep in mind, most beds are not all memory foam but some support with a memory foam layer.
Tempur-Pedic dogs beds may or may not be manufactured in the USA but other than that brand, I would limit my shopping to mattresses made in the USA, or in a factory that states its in compliance with US standards.
A few dog beds advertise that they have 'shredded memory foam' rather than a single memory foam pad. This is a cost saving maneuver for the manufacturer and something I wouldn't buy. Shredded foam doesn't provide the same quality of support as a single mat and won't last as long. These mattresses should be cheaper but I'd only consider them as a last resort and only for dogs 5 or less pounds.
There's no way to tell how firm the mattress will be until you try it. In comparing my dog bed to my neighbor's Tempur-Pedic (she's a doctor!), the Tempur-Pedic dog bed was firmer. My Simmons Comforpedic is much softer, but my dog always heads for it when she wants to rest although she also had no problem flopping down on the more expensive Tempur-Pedic.
Good quality memory foam should not be easily chewed by a normal dog. If your dog is an obsessive or extra strong chewer, you 'll need to use a mattress cover that he doesn't like and keep a watch on it.
There are three cautions about any memory foam mattress - yours or his.
One, because they're made of polyurethane material, they often have a strong odor for a period of time. Some people find this offensive although the odor usually subsides over time. I didn't notice any odor with dog bed I purchased but my nose may be less sensitive than yours.
Two, they're like a sponge. Never, never get them wet. You must put a waterproof cover on the mattress. Nearly every older dog is going to have incontinence problems. Protect your mattress. If your dog does soil it, you need to use an enzyme cleaner and let it pour through the mattress. You'll have a stain but you should be able to remove he odor (for both you and your dog).
Three, some people complain that Tempur-Pedic mattresses especially get too hot especially in the summer. Humans can mitigate this by using good quality sheets but if your dog is hot, he'll probably move to the floor. You might want to cover the mattress with a waterproof and cotton cover.
Click Memory Foam Dog Beds for beds in all price ranges.