Our new house has a washer and dryer in the living room closet, which is great for convenience, but both units are slightly smaller than a normal appliance. I've been having a lot of trouble washing the dog bed in our new, tinier washer, and it got pretty gross. I could have taken it to a laundromat, but decided to just fix the problem, using a crib mattress and some outdoor fabric. I was searching for foam on Amazon, and a bunch of mattresses came up, so I started thinking about how I could cut a foam topper. Then inspiration struck, and I realized that a crib mattress would be exactly the right size, with the added benefit of being waterproof. I'll never have to wash it! So, a click and a couple of days later, the mattress arrived on our doorstep:
I could have ordered a cover to go on it as well, but they tend to be made of fairly thin fabric, and they're kind of expensive. So I just went and got a yard and a half of blue outdoor fabric for $8 at Joann's and made my own.
It ended up not being quite enough to cover the whole thing, so for the middle part of the cover I used some stash fabric in a coordinating color (also from Joann's, according to the selvedge). I was going to put in a zipper, but I couldn't find one large enough and didn't feel like waiting to get one, so I just whip stitched it closed. It turned out pretty nicely, I think!
Zoey wasted no time trying it out (we were outside for the purposes of better lighting...I'm not crazy enough to make a bed just for outside. Yet.)
It's the exact right size to fit at the end of our couch (which is where her bed has to be so she doesn't guard the cat :P). I think if I were to buy another mattress, I might get one that's slightly thicker, but overall it works well. The waterproof fabric does make a slight rustling noise when she lays on it or rolls around, but it's not bad at all and totally worth not having to wash it! If you decide to try this, just for comparison, Zoey is about 70 lbs and pretty stocky. The mattress we got is 24 X 38 X 2.5 (link here) and would probably fit a dog that was even a bit bigger than her.