Expert Picks: Best Affordable Cat Beds on the Market

grey British shorthair cat in bed cuddled in a white blanket

Key Points

  • Self-warming beds use Mylar material to reflect a cat's body heat to keep them warm.

  • Senior cats with cognitive dysfunction commonly experience anxiety and need a calming bed.

  • A cat tower doubles as a place to nap and exercise.

Pets require a lot of your time, energy, and money, but a comfortable bed for your cat doesn't have to cost a fortune. These expert picks are the best affordable cat beds on the market. Each has special qualities and functions to provide your feline with the most pleasant sleeping experience possible. These beds relieve stress, serve as a retreat, and warm their bodies.

No matter the season, it's never too early to make sure your cat has a cozy bed to snuggle in. You may even want to change out the types of beds to match the seasons or perhaps your cat is a bit more fancy and prefers a luxury cat bed.

Options are endless, but this article narrows the field. Read the descriptions and qualities of each bed and choose the right one for your cat.

Bolster Dog Bed
$9.99

by MidWest Homes for Pets 

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03/08/2024 07:51 pm GMT
MidWest Homes for Pets Plush Cat Bed

The list begins with a basic, no-frills cat bed. MidWest Homes for Pets Plush Cat Bed is a lightweight, rectangular bolstered bed that fulfills the need for a sleeping area. It's the least expensive option on the list, but it does the job.

When you travel with your cat, you want their journey to be as comfortable as possible. The MidWest Homes bed is a perfect size and thickness for a small pet carrier. It's thin enough to prevent struggling to get your cat inside but thick enough to provide comfort.

It also has an elastic strap on the corners to hold it when using it in a pen or keeping it in place on a tower or other high shelf. Customers remark on the combination of comfort and durability but say it's thin, and the bolsters aren't super supportive. For a basic bed, it's a great option.

Cat Condo Tree Tower

by Amazon Basics 

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AmazonBasics Cat Condo

Going from one extreme to the other, the AmazonBasics Cat Condo is anything but basic. It has two tall perches that your cat uses for napping or lookout points and a cave for secluded sleeping. A scratcher lines the ramp leading up to the cave for cats with difficulty jumping. Natural jute fiber ropes line all the tower's support beams while plush carpeting covers the platforms and cave.

A multi-cat household needs a cat tower. It gives your cat an opportunity to exercise and creates spaces for them to enjoy solitude. This tower design works well in the corner of a room, but setting it up near a window gives your cats an entertaining view of the outside world.

Heated Thermo-Kitty Mat
$34.56

by K&H Pet Products 

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03/08/2024 08:01 pm GMT

K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Mat Heated Pet Bed

If your cat seeks warmth on cold winter nights, the K&H Pet Products Thermo-Kitty Mat Heated Pet Bed is what they need. Powered by an electric cord, this bed saves energy by heating to capacity only when your cat is on it. It doesn't feel warm when not in use, but place a pillow on it for 20 minutes to test it out. Feel underneath for warmth.

Heating blankets intended for humans get way too hot for cats and can be very dangerous. This bed uses only six watts.

The removable cover is machine washable. Air or line dry it to prevent shrinkage. The bed is reversible to prolong its life and to accommodate cats who may prefer one sleeping surface over the other.

A YouTube video posted on January 21, 2023, rates the Thermo-Kitty as the best heated cat bed. They point out you can use it on days when you're gone and want to turn the heat down in the house but want your cat to stay warm.

Self Warming Bolster Round Kitten Bed
$12.14

by Frisco 

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05/13/2024 12:06 am GMT

Frisco Self-Warming Bolster Cat Bed

If you want a warming bed without the hassle of a cord, the Frisco Self-Warming Bolster Cat Bed meets your needs. A kitten likes to play and chew on things, and you don't want them getting an electrical cord between their teeth.

This oval self-warming bed uses your cat's body heat to warm them. Be aware that the self-warming material makes a crinkly sound when your cat moves around on the bed. It also has a short, bolstered rim to add comfort.

This is one of the least expensive self-warming beds available. The self-warming feature doesn't warm as much as a heated pet bed or mat. A heated mat may be better for a senior cat with joint issues.

DOSKOCIL ASPEN PET
$27.94

by Petmate 

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03/08/2024 08:10 pm GMT

Aspen Pet Self-Warming Cat Bed

Aspen Pet Self-Warming Cat Bed is another self-warming option, but this rectangular bed works well in carriers. While the MidWest Homes bed gives comfort while traveling, it doesn't generate heat for cold climates. An airplane cabin may get a bit chilly for your cat, so this self-warming bed makes a nice addition to make their carrier experience a positive one. It's also good for carrying your cat in and out of the vet's office during winter.

Your pet isn't exactly a "Cat From Outer Space," but the bed's Mylar interior layer is the same technology used for astronauts' space blankets. If it's good enough for space travelers, why not give your cat a warm space?

Cave Shape Cat Bed
$29.39

by Armarkat 

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03/08/2024 07:51 pm GMT

Armarkat Cave Shape Covered Cat Bed

If your cat enjoys enclosed places, the Armarkat Cave Shape Covered Cat Bed is for them. This spherical bed has a luxe velvet lining with a flexible foam wall. The plush, poly-filled cushion is removable and machine washable. The base is waterproof and skid-free, so the bed stays in place as your cat goes in and out.

The plush lining around the rim of the entrance is soft but relatively small. This cave may be more appropriate for smaller cats and kittens.

Cat owners say their pets enjoy this cave bed and prefer it over other sleeping spaces. It tucks easily into a corner of the room and provides a secluded retreat for your cat.

Calming Oval Cat Bed Pad
$19.99

Best Friends by Sheri 

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02/19/2024 04:00 am GMT

Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler

Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler may be the answer if your cat needs a retreat from anxiety. Cats feel vulnerable to danger when they sleep and need to know they are safe in their home. This gives them that feeling of security.

You may wonder what's so special about this bed compared to a fluffy blanket. The difference is that when your cat sinks into the calming bed, the bolstered rim creates equal pressure on all sides of their body to let them know they are secure and protected.

Senior cats with feline cognitive dysfunction or other forms of dementia are especially prone to anxiety. The ASPCA says, "A distinct feature of geriatric anxiety is that it can manifest as nighttime anxiety. It may be anxiety about being separated from family members (who are asleep) or worry about navigating the house in the dark. Your cat may keep you awake by calling, pacing in your room, purring by your head, and by pawing at you for attention."

Although separation anxiety is common in senior cats with dementia, it occurs in all ages. A kitten weaned too early from their mother and littermates can have separation anxiety. If you worked from home for a while and then returned to daily commutes to the office, your housemate can develop separation-related fears.

The Best Friends Calming Bed works wonders if your cat needs a calming bed or a soft place to curl up.

An Investment That Pays Dividends

Whether your cat needs exercise and space, seclusion, warmth, or stress relief, one of these options is perfect for them. You can pay much more for other brands and styles, but these affordable beds deliver what your cat needs. Investing in one of these beds pays dividends — in comfort, calm, and contented sleeping for your cat.

Each cat has individual sleeping patterns and preferences, so choose the bed that fits their needs and personality. Cats love their naps, so give them a place that makes their sleeping experience a cozy one.

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