“Choose a poodle to keep your pillows pristine and your duvet dog-hair-free,” says sleep expert James Higgins as he unveils the top dogs that the nation should consider in the quest for the perfect night’s sleep.
The Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Basenji, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, and the versatile Schnauzer family (Miniature, Standard, and Giant), along with the Scottish Terrier, Italian Greyhound, and Whippet, round out the list of breeds that promise minimal shedding.
Drawing insight from a range of dog experts, reputable breeders, and devoted pet owners, James comments: “For those of us who can’t resist the puppy eyes at bedtime, choosing a dog breed that doesn’t shed extensively is crucial, particularly if you’re keen on maintaining a clean, hygienic, and allergy-friendly sleep environment.”
At the “tail end” of the list are the dogs one might want to reconsider inviting under the duvet. James, who is also the CEO of Ethical Bedding, the UK’s only BCorp-accredited sustainable bedding company, continues: “It may come as little surprise that larger breeds such as the Saint Bernard and Siberian Husky come out on top. However, it’s not just their size that creates a hassle at bedtime; both breeds are known for their extensive shedding due to their dense undercoats. Huskies also have thick double coats that shed, especially during spring and autumn.”
Other breeds on the list are known for their heavier shedding, including Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Akitas, Chow Chows, Great Pyrenees, and Newfoundland. Mindful of pet owners who already share their homes with these lovable but shedding breeds, James offers some tips on selecting pet hair-resistant fabrics.
“These popular pet-hair-resistant bedding fabrics are designed to prevent a buildup of animal dander and dirt,” says James. “Linen, one of the longest-lasting and most durable bedding textiles, has been a firm favourite for quite some time. It’s also one of the best pet-hair-resistant fabrics and the ideal choice for dog and cat owners. Alternatively, for an eco-friendly option that is durable, breathable, and temperature-regulating, bamboo is a popular, pro-planet bedding choice that your pets will love.”
“Bamboo is not only luxuriously smooth and hypoallergenic, meaning it effectively repels loose hair and manages common allergens, but it’s also naturally moisture-wicking, ensuring that both you and your furry friends stay cool and comfortable all night long. Or, for a synthetic option, microfibre fabrics make excellent pet-hair-resistant bedding,” he adds.
“Microfibre is naturally hypoallergenic, soft, and durable. It’s an excellent all-rounder, though it does retain heat. While the cosy warmth is often appreciated during the cold winters, your furry, thick-coated companions might struggle when temperatures rise.”
James further elaborates on fabrics that pet owners might want to avoid, specifically highlighting velvet, silk, and flannel due to their propensity to attract and retain pet hair.
“Velvet’s rich texture, whilst luxurious and warm, unfortunately also makes it a magnet for pet hair,” explains James. “It may not be the wisest choice for bedding if you regularly share your space with pets. Should you prefer velvet, regular vacuuming can manage the hair, but be prepared to do so more often if you notice an accumulation.”
He continues: “Silk, renowned for its smoothness and cool comfort, also presents challenges for pet owners. Its delicate nature means it can suffer from pets’ claws and movements. But for those set on the indulgence of silk, safeguarding it from your pets’ antics could make it a viable, albeit luxurious, option.”
James also cautions against flannel, despite its popularity for its cosiness. “Flannel’s breathability comes from a looser weave, which unfortunately also traps pet hair. This can make it quite a task to clean. Moreover, it might not be the most comfortable for pets, particularly in warmer conditions, as it can cause them to overheat.”
However, James believes that what works for the owner and pet should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
“There’s a whole host of reasons why it’s beneficial to welcome your dog into your bed, regardless of the shedding,” says James. “The companionship of a four-legged friend has been proven to lower anxiety and depression levels.
One of the main reasons for this is the increased production of oxytocin you experience when lying alongside furry companions. Oxytocin is a hormone that evokes positive feelings and interactions, which, when combined with their rhythmic breathing and warmth, are proven to subconsciously make you feel more comfortable and secure, especially if you otherwise live on your own.
Additionally, rather than triggering allergic reactions or nighttime sneezing, studies show that sleeping with pets and regularly exposing yourself to shed hair and dander can actually help to strengthen your overall immune system and boost your ability to combat future infections.”