Plastic vs Metal Wire vs Soft Dog Crate: Comparison, & Which Is Best


As three of the most popular crates, we thought we’d do a plastic vs metal wire vs soft dog crate comparison.

We consider which dog crate might be the best for you based on what you might want the crate for, and what features they each offer.

If you want to check out each type of crate individually, you can do so in these guides:

Best Soft Sided Dog Crate

Best Metal Wire Dog Crate

Best Plastic Dog Crate

Let’s take a look!


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

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Plastic vs Metal Wire vs Soft Dog Crate: Which Is Best For You?

Some of our top picks for each type of dog crate are:

Best Value Metal Wire Dog Crate


Other affordable metal wire crates options:


Soft Dog Crate

Soft dog crates mostly use some fabric and mesh in their construction – so keep this is mind for durability concerns, and more heavy duty applications


Best Plastic Dog Crate


*Note – a dog crate should be able to safely and comfortably fit your dog when it is standing, sitting and laying down.

Make sure you measure your dog, and read the product sizing details, and product description prior to purchasing to make sure a dog crate is suitable for your dog. 


Plastic vs Metal Wire vs Soft Dog Crate Summary – Which Should You Get?

You’d consider getting a plastic dog crate if…

You want a lightweight crate and you intend on transporting your dog around or flying with them.

They come in heavy duty molded and separate piece hardened plastic models.


You’d consider getting a metal wire dog crate if…

You want a popular dog crate that is affordable, has decent strength and folds up and can be used at home, as well as transported easily. These are the best cheap crates for home use in our opinion


You’d consider getting a soft sided dog crate if…

If you want a very lightweight and portable dog crate that can be for indoor or outdoor use


Plastic Dog Crate

There’s essentially two types of plastic dog crates – the heavy duty and specially molded crates like the Rough Tough Kennel and Gunner G1 crates.

These plastic crates are extremely strong and heavy duty, but lightweight.

Then there’s the regular hardened plastic dog crates that aren’t molded and are simply constructed on separate hardened pieces of plastic.

You have to be careful with this second kind of plastic dog crate because their strength decreases as they get bigger.

That’s why if you have a big dog, you’d be better of with the strong molded plastic crates.

Plastic crates are for small through to large dogs, and are commonly used for airline checked baggage travel


Why Get A Plastic Dog Crate

If you want a lightweight crate and you intend on transporting your dog around or flying with them, or you want a heavy duty molded plastic crate


Why NOT Get A Plastic Dog Crate

If you don’t plan on taking the dog crate away from your home much, or don’t plan on flying with it


Metal Wire Dog Crate

Metal wire dog crates are the most popular dog crate on the market because of their affordability, durability, and portability and ability to fold up.

They are made of thin metal wire, and usually have an easy to clean plastic tray base.

In our opinion, the most versatile and best value metal wire dog crate is the MidWest iCrate which is suitable for small through to large dogs.


Why Get A Metal Wire Dog Crate

If you want a regular dog crate that folds up and can be used at home, as well as transported easily. They are the easiest to use and best home crate in our opinion


Why NOT Get A Metal Wire Dog Crate

If you want the strongest dog crate on the market or a dog crate for airline travel


Soft Sided Dog Crate

Soft sided dog crates are made of nylon fabric, mesh and a metal frame.

Their main strength is that they are very lightweight, and extremely portable.

They’re great for camping and car travel especially.

In our opinion, the Elitefield and 2PET soft dog crates are the best value, with the Elitefield Crate making up to a 42 inch crate for large dogs.


Why Get A Soft Sided Dog Crate

If you want a lightweight and portable dog crate


Why NOT Get A Soft Sided Dog Crate

If you want a hard or heavy duty dog crate


I’m Still Confused As To Which Type Of Dog Crate Is Best For My Dog …

Check out this guide which list all the different types of dog crates and why and why not they might suit you.

This guide is also a summary guide of the best rated crates across different crate categories.



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You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.


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