Our Top Choices for the 7 Best Dog Crates

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: November 15, 2022

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dog crate is Petmate’s Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to dog crates. To ensure that your dog is comfortable, the crate should have the room he needs to stand up, turn around, and lie down while also being durable and easy to clean.
  • These are the seven best dog crates that we chose based on affordability, versatility, durability, and style.

When you have a dog at home, a good dog crate can be an invaluable tool. A crate can keep your pup safe during brief periods when you can’t supervise them, reduce the chance of accidents, give them a safe space to hide out in, and make traveling much smoother. 

There is, however, more to the purpose of a crate than making life easier for pet owners. Biologically, dogs need dark, sheltered, and warm environments to find refuge. They are able to fulfill this need with the help of a crate. Crates can be loved by pups when they’re introduced to them in the right way. Therefore, it is important to get the right dog crate for your dog if you want to keep them safe at home, as well as when traveling. It is, for example, possible to purchase containers specifically designed for puppy training or hunting dogs, and others that are better suited for travel.

You must take into account the size of your dog and how active they are, as well as your future plans when choosing a dog crate. The crate needs of large hounds, like Boxers, and small lap dogs, like Chihuahuas, are also different. As a result, we will be reviewing several of the best dog crates on the market. We considered five factors during our testing: price, value, style, function, and quality.

  1. Aspen Pet Traditional Dog & Cat Kennel, Gray/Black
  2. Aspen Pet Traditional Dog & Cat Kennel, Gray/Black

    •Sturdy, versatile dog crate

    •Doubles as travel carrier

    •Multiple sizes for different breeds

    •Easy assembly

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. MidWest iCrate Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate
  4. MidWest iCrate Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

    •Basic collapsing crate with double entrance

    •No mess, paw-safe pan bottom

    •Easily stored/transported

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Pet Gear Wire Dog Crate & Fleece Pad
  6. Pet Gear Wire Dog Crate & Fleece Pad

    •Steel wire crate edged with a bumper

    •Fleece mat included for comfort

    •Stylish, roomy, functional, portable

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Casual Home Furniture Style Dog Crate
  8. Casual Home Furniture Style Dog Crate

    •Blends in with your home's aesthetic

    •Easily accessed, part of the decor in home

    •Multiple sizes and color options

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier
  10. Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier

    •Lightweight carrier best for traveling with small dogs

    •Sits well in airline seats

    •Comfortable bedding within for a relaxed trip

    Check Amazon
  11. Petsfit Travel Collapsible Soft Dog Crate
  12. Petsfit Travel Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

    •Versatile, soft dog crate

    •Collapsible, good for indoors or outdoors

    •Multi-door with shades

    Check Amazon
  13. MidWest iCrate Dog Crate Kit
  14. MidWest iCrate Dog Crate Kit

    •Budget-friendly crate kit

    •Crate, cover, bowl holders, pad, rolling wheels included

    •Multiple sizes for puppies to large dogs

    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Dog Crates Today

#1. Best Overall: Petmate’s Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel

The Petmate’s Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel earns our #1 ranking for the overall best dog crate thanks to its versatility, durability, and practicality. 

For sleeping, relaxing, traveling, and training dogs, the Petmate Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel is the ideal choice. For pet owners who are looking for a crate that meets all their pet’s needs, this crate is a fantastic option. A squeeze latch makes opening the door easy, and the 360-degree fully ventilated design will ensure your dog’s comfort and health. It comes with an easy-to-carry handle and only weighs 4 pounds, which makes it a very portable item. With a durable plastic construction, this product is built to last for years to come.

The kennel comes in three sizes — 20″, 24″, and 28″. In addition, because of the unit’s easy assembly, you will never need to fiddle around with tools. Furthermore, it is covered by a one-year limited warranty. Consequently, you can feel safe knowing that the kennel can be repaired as well as replaced if anything goes wrong.

Pros and Cons of the Petmate’s Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel

ProsCons
The kennel is lightweight and easy to transport.It is important to double-check the crate’s size before boarding an airline if you must travel with your pet.
There are multiple sizes for different breeds.
A one-year limited warranty is available.
The plastic of the kennel is produced in the USA.
It is easy to assemble.
Best Overall
Aspen Pet Traditional Dog & Cat Kennel, Gray/Black

•Sturdy, versatile dog crate

•Doubles as travel carrier

•Multiple sizes for different breeds

•Easy assembly

Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Large Dogs: Pet Gear “The Other Door” Crate

Our top recommendation for larger dogs is Pet Gear’s “The Other Door” Crate. This unit is convenient and safe due to its four doors, including a top door. In addition to the bolster bed, it comes with a carrying case made of steel. The gate can accommodate dogs weighing up to 90 pounds, and it can be set up and folded down without tools. In addition, the dog crate is one of the strongest on the market.

Aside from being more stylish than other options, “The Other Door” is sturdy enough to store grooming tools on top. With built-in handles and wheels, you can easily move the crate from room to room. Your pet and you are protected from sharp edges by rounded corners and no exposed steel edges. There is a travel bag included that utilizes the wheels on the crate to make travel convenient. 

Pros and Cons of the Pet Gear “The Other Door” Crate

ProsCons
A built-in four-door design makes entering and exiting easy.The material of the actual crate is thin.
Storage and transportation are made easy with the foldable design.
The material is easy to clean.
Best Crate for Large Dogs
Pet Gear Wire Dog Crate & Fleece Pad

•Steel wire crate edged with a bumper

•Fleece mat included for comfort

•Stylish, roomy, functional, portable

Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Small Dogs: Casual Home’s Wood Pet Crate

A Casual Home Wooden Pet Crate can blend seamlessly into your living room home decor. Considering it looks and works just like an end table, it’s hard to tell that this crate houses dogs.

In addition to being available in three sizes, it complements a wide range of furniture layouts and can be adapted to fit different size dogs. Due to its solid wood construction and dark staining, this crate is an excellent piece for any pet and living space. 

Casual Home’s wood crate isn’t suitable for large dogs, but it’s perfect for smaller and medium-sized dogs. You should also keep in mind that it may qualify as a splurge depending on your budget. However, if you have a smaller dog and live in a small space, Casual Home’s dog crate may be a good option for you. Although it may not be considered a kennel by some, it made our list because it is easily portable. It can’t be used for vet visits, but you can drag it around the house – or roll it if you attach wheels.

Pros and Cons of the Casual Home’s Wood Pet Crate

ProsCons
The crate can also function as a side table for glasses, books, or lighting.This product does not include a cleanup tray, it must be purchased separately.
The wood used in this product is sustainably sourced.It is not a good match for those looking to travel.
Perfect for pet owners who want to make the most of their home decor.
Best Crate for Small Dogs
Casual Home Furniture Style Dog Crate

•Blends in with your home's aesthetic

•Easily accessed, part of the decor in home

•Multiple sizes and color options

Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best for Travel (Carry-On): Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier

There is nothing more versatile than the Sleeypod Air dog carrier for those looking to travel. It has even been approved by the TSA. As a result, not only does this seat fit under your seat on an airplane, but it can also double as a car seat once you get to your destination. 

Made from luggage-grade materials, the Sleepypod Air offers a high level of comfort for your pet. With mesh paneling, it offers excellent visibility and air circulation. Designed to keep pets dry and clean, this airline-approved dog carrier can be washed and dried.

Are there any drawbacks? The answer to that question is twofold, admittedly. First of all, it’s not the most cost-effective option out there. In terms of its size, the Sleepypod is a bit of a splurge. In addition, it is only suitable for dogs that are small in size. It is important to note, however, that large non-service dogs are not allowed in cabins in the first place.

Pros and Cons of the Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier

ProsCons
It can also be used as a car seat.Compared to other options, it is more expensive.
It has been approved by the TSA and has been crash-tested.
The material is luggage-grade, and the cover is water-resistant.
Best Travel (Carry-On)
Sleepypod Air in-Cabin Pet Carrier

•Lightweight carrier best for traveling with small dogs

•Sits well in airline seats

•Comfortable bedding within for a relaxed trip

Check Amazon

5. Best Soft Dog Crate: Petsfit Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Crate

As one of the best soft dog crates in the market, Petsfit’s is versatile and functional. As a starting point, the indoor-outdoor unit is large enough for most dogs. Secondly, it has two doors as well as a top opening, giving your pet plenty of options for getting in and out. Additionally, roll-up shades are available for both doors. There are several sizes available, and it serves two purposes. It’s great for either carrying your dog or containing him safely when you have to leave him alone.

Featuring durable materials and a secure fastening, the Petsfit Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Crate is a great choice. Consequently, your dog will have difficulty getting out of this soft-sided crate on its own. In addition, it’s made from nylon Oxford cloth that ensures your dog is secure, while still feeling comfortable.

Pros and Cons of the Petsfit Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Crate

ProsCons
It is made of lightweight material, making it easy to transport.Crates have been reported to arrive with broken zippers by some customers.
The crate is designed with a mesh panel for breathability and ventilation.
It sets up in seconds without tools.
Best Soft Dog Crate
Petsfit Travel Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

•Versatile, soft dog crate

•Collapsible, good for indoors or outdoors

•Multi-door with shades

Check Amazon

6. Best for Puppy Training: MidWest iCrate Starter Kit

A new dog parent can’t go wrong with the 22″ iCrate Double Door Kit. This kit includes one double-door dog crate, one QuietTime Fleece Crate Bed, and two Snap’y Fit food and water bowls. This kit includes a durable, leak-proof, easy-to-clean plastic pan, a sturdy, detachable carrying handle, rubber floor protectors, and rubber floor liners.

Every puppy is prone to danger, and like human babies, puppies also need supervision! When you’re busy and unable to supervise your dogs, “dog homes” provide a safe space for them to live in. Moreover, puppies instinctively desire protected “dens” in which they can relax. This urge is satisfied by crates. Additionally, since dogs prefer clean sleeping areas, crates encourage puppies to develop bladder muscles, making housebreaking easier. This is a great one for a new pet parent to start with because it comes complete with everything you’ll need!

Pros and Cons of the MidWest iCrate Starter Kit

ProsCons
The ultra-soft fleece adds comfort to the bed.You may find it easy for your pet to open the latch.
The crate is a budget pleaser thanks to everything included in the kit.
It is easy to assemble.
Best for Crate Training
MidWest iCrate Dog Crate Kit

•Budget-friendly crate kit

•Crate, cover, bowl holders, pad, rolling wheels included

•Multiple sizes for puppies to large dogs

Check Chewy Check Amazon

7. Most Affordable: MidWest Homes iCrate Dog Crate

There are many manufacturers of metal dog crates, but Midwest is the most popular. MidWest iCrates are perfect for beginners or for owners looking for a simple, rudimentary crate. There are a variety of sizes available for the Midwest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate. They all come with a divider so you can adjust the crate’s size as your puppy grows, and they come in single- and double-door options. 

A collapsible design makes these crates less than 4 inches tall when folded flat. The latches are also very secure thanks to the slide-bolt design. In order to fold the latch flat against the side of the crate, you must slide the latch through the bolt. As a result, your dog will have a hard time opening the latches on his own. 

Pros and Cons of the MidWest Homes iCrate Dog Crate

ProsCons
In this crate, your dog will find it difficult to escape.The crate doesn’t come with any special comfort features for your pup.
You get excellent value for your money.
It is available in a variety of sizes.
Most Affordable
MidWest iCrate Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

•Basic collapsing crate with double entrance

•No mess, paw-safe pan bottom

•Easily stored/transported

Check Chewy Check Amazon

What Should I Look For When Buying A Dog Crate?

Dogs use their crates as a place to relax when they are feeling stressed, just as adults find comfort in their bedrooms. When dogs need to relax or take a nap, their crates provide them with a safe place to do so. Additionally, crates will come in handy if you have to transport your pup around on vacation, when visiting the vet, or for a playdate. There are many reasons why you’d want to invest in a crate for your pet. 

It is however not enough to simply purchase any crate from a pet store. To choose the right type of crate for your dog and your situation, you should consider several factors. If you fail to choose wisely, then you will end up with something that isn’t suitable for your dog. After all, crates come in multiple shapes, sizes, and materials.

There are a couple of main factors when considering the right crate for your pup:

  • Size 
  • Portability 
  • Durability 
  • Price

Let’s look at them all in more detail:

Size of the Crate 

The size of your dog’s crate is the most important aspect. For your dog to feel comfortable, the crate must have enough room for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down. Too small and your dog will feel cramped, uncomfortable, and have restricted movement. Therefore, he won’t enjoy it. Considering this, it might seem that a larger crate would be more suitable. However, oversized crates might cause unwanted behaviors like pooping in them. Sizes of crates range from approx. 18 inches in length to 54 inches. The crate you buy for your puppy may grow with him, so you might want to buy a few different-sized crates or perhaps even a full-size cage with partitions.  When the puppy grows, the partitions allow you to adjust the crate’s size.  

Portability 

Whether or not you can move the crate easily with your pup inside is another important factor to consider. The amount of travel you intend to do with your dog will determine this. Do you travel a lot with your dog? Do you expect to take them on a lot of trips? What if you just need a simple crate to transport your pet to and from the vet? Those who travel a lot with their pets often invest in crates with wheels. Besides being useful for traveling with your dog, portable crates with wheels are also handy around the house for keeping your pet in close proximity.

Durability 

The majority of dogs do pretty well when they spend time in the crate. However, there are some dogs who may become somewhat destructive during this time. This is why you should choose a crate that is sturdy and will last. You may want to choose one with plenty of ventilation so you can keep an eye on your dog at all times. To ensure that your dog is properly secured in their crate, you might need a heavy-duty crate if they are extremely strong or heavy or have behavioral problems. Your dog might be able to chew through a wooden crate if he/she has bad chewing habits. These are all factors to take into account 

Price 

While not always the case, the price you pay for something determines its quality.  The price of steel-welded thick metal crates, like furniture-style crates, tends to be higher than that of the versatile, cheaper wire crates. Sort through all the models according to your budget.  You can find something that meets your budget with a huge variety of dog cage types and materials available on the market.

Up Next…

About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

Our Top Choices for the 7 Best Dog Crates FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best dog crate to buy?

The answer depends on multiple factors. Canines’ needs change over time, just like humans. Above, we’ve outlined our picks for the best dog crates in several categories.

What kind of crates do dogs prefer?

Dogs have personalities and preferences. What works for Coco the toy poodle may be a nightmare for Sasha the Siberian husky. But generally speaking, all dog crates should have good ventilation and be roomy enough to snooze comfortably. And don’t forget the soft bedding! Think about it: would you enjoy sleeping with nothing between you and a steel, plastic, or wood floor?

Do dogs prefer wire or plastic crates?

Some dogs prefer wire cages, and some love plastic ones. It depends on the dog, their size, their age, and the living or travel environment. When in doubt, go for the vet-recommended option.

What's the difference between a dog crate and a dog kennel?

In short, a dog crate is more portable than a kennel. The latter is typically a permanent structure; the former can easily be moved.

Is a crate or kennel better?

Comparing crates and kennels is like comparing apples and oranges. Yes, they’re both pet products, but they serve slightly different purposes. Many folks with large dogs have both a kennel and a crate. People with smaller pups typically only need the latter.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.