P.L.A.Y. Dog Bed Review – After Four Years of Rugged Testing!

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

Updated:

My senior dog has been sleeping on a P.L.A.Y. dog bed for a few years now. Here’s why we still love it (with three major downsides).

Staff Tested

P.L.A.Y. Dog Bed

Highlights: Comfy, very well made, durable dog bed in upholstery-grade polyester. Filled with PlanetFill® polyfiber from recycled plastic bottles. Made by a charitable B Corp and Green America Green Business. Free from PFCs and other stain repellent treatments. Can machine wash and dry!

Overall Score
Durability Score
Toxicity Score
Sustainability Score
User Experience Score
Transparency Score

What we like

  • Made from recycled plastic bottles
  • Machine washable
  • B corporation
  • Upholstery grade fabrics
  • Looks great and holds up well over time

What could be better

  • Not made with natural materials
  • Gets a bit lumpy and requires fluffing
  • A bit challenging to put all the cushions back in after washing

At a glance:

Made in: USA

Materials: PlanetFill® recycled plastic bottle polyfiber, virgin polyester, lead-free zippers, leather logo patch

Certifications: B Corporation, FSC certified paper packaging (and plastic), Green America Green Business

For nearly a decade, my poor dog had been sleeping in the same sad, squashed bed I bought on the way home from the shelter. Enough was enough, and my wife finally stepped in and insisted we got an upgrade for her old bones (the dog’s, not the wife’s). Thankfully, I was looking into eco-friendly, non-toxic dog beds at the time, so I ordered a P.L.A.Y. dog bed to give it a whirl.

Mostly because it was on sale at the time, I chose the Urban Denim Lounge Bed from P.L.A.Y., in a Large to accommodate my 50 lb. or so border collie cross.

What I like

This bed has four elevated sides and a step-through front, and while I worried that it might be a bit too lofty for my slightly arthritic senior pup, she stepped in and got cozy right away.

The big selling point about the P.L.A.Y. bed is that it’s filled with PlanetFill® polyfiber. This stuffing is made from recycled plastic bottles.

Four years on, my pup still loves her P.L.A.Y. bed!

While I chose the original dog bed design, the company also offers covers designed by artists in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

The P.L.A.Y. dog bed covers are a bit more varied than those from Molly Mutt and other outfits, given that they’re largely designed by artists, making for some rather unique dog décor.

Quick stats

The Urban Denim Lounge Bed has four raised sides with a lower front cut-out to make it easy for your pup to step in and get cozy. The bed is made with:

  • Synthetic denim cover with leather logo
  • Lead-free zippers
  • Filled with high-loft PlanetFill® filler made from 100% post-consumer certified-safe recycled plastic bottles
  • Machine washable and dryer friendly
  • Since 2013, P.L.A.Y. has donated 3,055 beds and toys to shelters in the U.S.

The Urban Denim Lounge Bed is available in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large sizes. P.L.A.Y. offers the following as size guidance as follows:

Outer DimensionsInner DimensionsWeight Recommendation
S24″L x 19″W x 7″H16″L x 11″Wless than 20 lbs
M31″L X 25″W x 8″H21″L x 16″Wless than 50 lbs
L38″L x 30″W x 9″H27.5″L x 20″Wless than 90 lbs
XL44″L x 37″W x 10″H32″L x 25″Wover 91 lbs

The company recommends trying to measure your dog while they’re nice and stretched out asleep, and then sizing up if in doubt.

P.L.A.Y. dog bed review

Robust construction

The polyester cover is not recycled, alas. It is tough and durable, though, doesn’t stain easily and hasn’t ripped, faded, or become worn over four years of continuous use by a dog with pretty sharp claws. The cover isn’t rough to the touch and isn’t treated with any toxic chemicals such as stain or water repellents. It’s also stayed remarkably odor-free, given the things my dog likes to roll in, her occasional incontinence, and her habit of stashing food in her bed.

Unsurprisingly, I love that the entire bed is machine washable. It takes a bit of effort though (more on that below).

Other pluses are that the zips are very well hidden and the bed is made with upholstery-grade fabrics. Even-basting stitching is followed by permanent stitching, all by hand, making this really well made. My pup will have to work really hard to rip any seams or to chew on the hardware. Even if she did though, the zipper is lead-free, so there’s no risk of toxic exposure to this heavy metal.

Sustainability at P.L.A.Y.

I like that P.L.A.Y. is a certified B Corporation (rare in the pet industry) and a Green America Green Business. P.L.A.Y pays its workers fairly and donates 2% of profits to various charities. The company also donates beds and toys to homeless pets in need, and hosts senior dog adoption events.

P.L.A.Y. also uses 100% renewable energy at its headquarters.

P.L.A.Y. estimates that it has saved more than 14 million bottles from going into landfill by using recycled fiber fill for its beds. An Extra Large bed in this style uses approximately 108 plastic bottles’ worth of recycled plastic.

P.L.A.Y. makes more eco-friendly pet products and pushes the industry as a whole forward. In addition to using recycled materials, the company offers a Fill-a-Bed and Change-a-Cover system where you get the cover and a stuff-sack to fill with your own textiles.

See also: The best eco-friendly dog beds

The company also tries to minimize packaging and uses FSC certified paper. Unfortunately, P.L.A.Y. also sells memory foam dog beds, made with polyfoam.

The downsides

The key downside with these beds is that they’re not made with organic cotton or other organic materials. However, even these materials would need to be covered with something waterproof to make the bed durable and hygienic. So, while the recycled polyester is still technically a plastic, at least it’s machine washable and not treated with PFCs or other toxic chemicals.

Other downsides include the lumpiness that develops in the main cushion. Because the cushion isn’t tufted or quilted in any way, the fill clumps together and is hard to shake loose. You really have to give it a good shake to get the fill to even out. If you have a senior dog, be sure to check the cushion regularly to even out any totally flat spots where they’re basically laying on the floor instead of a cushion.

A note on reassembly

The other downside to the bed is that it’s a bit of a struggle to get back together if you unzip the sections and take out the cushions. We did this to give the whole thing a thorough wash after a few months and have done it several times over the years. As such, I’ve gotten faster at it and have figured out a way of making it a tad easier.

The trouble stems from the tight construction of the bed. This means it is darn difficult to get the cushions back into the washable exterior cover and zip these up. The hardest, most awkward shaped cushion is at the front and is the second piece to zip up (the zip goes all the way around the base of the bed). You really need to stuff this cushion in to get the zip done up.

My top tip is to put all the cushions in before starting to zip up the cover. That way, you can keep your momentum going as you zip. Be careful to run a finger beneath the zipper to avoid snagging the cushion covers, which could tear.

Despite the struggle, it’s great that you can wash and dry both the covers and inserts of this bed. And the whole thing holds up really well to being washed.

Other nitpicks

Unfortunately, likely due to the third-party vendor, my dog’s new bed arrived wrapped in plastic. Whether it was the bed or the plastic wrapper, there was a bit of off-gassing initially, so I aired it out for a day on the deck, after which it was just fine.

I do wish that there weren’t a leather logo on the cover, especially as P.L.A.Y. doesn’t specify that this leather is chrome-free, upcycled offcuts, or otherwise eco-friendly, non-toxic, or sustainable.

Final thoughts

The P.L.A.Y. Dog Bed has served our family well for more than four years now. This is despite much licking, scuffing, and several rounds of washing (of all parts of the bed). Aside from the dog hair (which is easily vacuumed off the tight weave fabric), this bed looks practically new. I can see this holding up for many more years too, and even being used for a subsequent canine companion (though we won’t go there).

I like that my pup is sleeping on a comfortable bed that isn’t exposing her to nasty chemicals. And I like that the overall environmental footprint of this bed is pretty low, compared with a similarly sized bed made with virgin plastics.

Staff Tested

P.L.A.Y. Dog Bed

Highlights: Comfy, very well made, durable dog bed in upholstery-grade polyester. Filled with PlanetFill® polyfiber from recycled plastic bottles. Made by a charitable B Corp and Green America Green Business. Free from PFCs and other stain repellent treatments. Can machine wash and dry!

Overall Score
Durability Score
Toxicity Score
Sustainability Score
User Experience Score
Transparency Score

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