How to Choose the Right Tonneau Cover for Your Truck

There's a cover for nearly every truck bed. Here's how to make finding one easier.


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The utility of a pickup truck's bed is one of the best things about trucks. From being able to haul work equipment, furniture, or debris to becoming your friends' first texting option when they need help moving, your truck's bed can help you handle many hauling jobs. Lots of truck owners also want the ability to protect the cargo in their beds from the elements or theft, which is where the tonneau cover comes in.

A tonneau cover is a covering for the bed of a pickup. The variety of tonneau covers on the market can be surprising, but with a simple game plan and some light reading, finding the right one can be easier than you might think. Let's walk through how to find the tonneau cover for your truck and get that bed protected.


Determining Your Tonneau Cover Needs

Knowing what you use your truck for is the first step toward choosing the right tonneau cover. With a clear vision of what your needs are, you'll make the rest of the process easier, and it's more likely you'll choose a cover option that meets your needs..

What are your needs for a tonneau cover? Does your truck have a short or long bed? You might need something more rugged for off-roading or extended sun exposure. Perhaps you have a performance truck and want to improve its aerodynamics, or maybe you just want a cover that matches your paint for a cleaner look. Try to imagine how you want your truck to look and work when you're done.


Narrow It Down

With a general type of tonneau cover in mind, it's time to refine your search, check those prices, and explore the available options and features that appeal to you. For example, someone who wants the durability of a hard cover might find the restricted access of a large one-piece to be a dealbreaker and decide a folding cover suits them better.

Another driver might need a cover with a toolbox. Those tonneau covers are out there, with folding and one-piece options of their own. Retractable covers are good for those who don't always need to cover their beds. Within that segment, there are hard and soft choices.


Make Your Tonneau Cover Choice

There might be a handful of tonneau covers that would work for you. Search the internet for expert and consumer reviews, compare prices between various retailers, and weigh the benefits of each of your potential purchases.

It shouldn't take too long to find the right one for you. And the next time someone asks to borrow your truck, you can enlist them to help install your new tonneau cover.

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James Tate
James Tate has been writing about cars professionally for 15 years and he remains obsessed with them. He enjoys digging into the incredible technology of new vehicles as much as he likes the tactility and the driving experience of yesterday’s cars. He has written for a variety of legacy automotive magazines and websites.