Truck Bed Liners: What You Need to Know

Exploring the world of protection for the bed of your pickup.

James Tate | 
May 2, 2023 | 3 min read

Ford

Anyone who owns a pickup truck should consider adding a bed liner. If you haul tools, equipment, or cargo on a regular basis, a bed liner is essential to protecting your truck's bed along with anything you carry in it. Even if you don't load up your bed that often, the protection from the elements a liner offers makes one well worth the expense.

There is a bed liner out there for every need. The hard part is choosing the right type and the best version of that type. While no liner is one size fits all, we have some examples that are well regarded by experts and consumers.

Chevrolet

Bed Mats and Rugs Are Easy to Install

The easiest liner solutions can be found in bed mats, usually made from a hard rubber. The Husky Liners X-act Contour Series bed mat is a good example of what a mat can offer, with a surface soft enough to protect cargo and keep it from sliding, while allowing air to pass under it and prevent moisture from getting trapped between it and the bed. Best of all, most mats can simply be laid down and removed as you want or need.

Rugs are another easy option, and they come in a variety of shapes. BedRug offers everything from a very basic bed cover made to go over an existing drop-in liner to full-coverage bed liner sets. These are lightweight, they're easy on the knees when loading and unloading, and they provide great slip protection.

Ford

Drop-in Bed Liners Protect the Floor and Sides

Drop-in bed liners offer exceptional durability and ease of installation. DualLiner has a range of drop-ins available for popular pickup models that snap together and include a rubber mat that protects both cargo and bed while keeping items in place. Another benefit of a drop-in such as the DualLiner is that they're easy to install.

GMC

Spray-on and Roll-on Bed Liners Cover Everything

Spray-on bed liners are very popular among DIYers, and there are many to choose from. U-Pol's kit is about $130. It's a great way to protect your bed inexpensively. Roll-on liners such as the Herculiner can be easier to apply, though it requires multiple coats for full coverage, including hard-to-reach spaces. Larger beds may call for more than one gallon, so weigh cost factors accordingly.

For trucks that see heavy work use, higher-end options from Rhino and Line-X might be worthwhile. Applied by pros at licensed franchise stores or auto shops, both offer various compounds for different needs, warrantied work, and high levels of protection. The downsides are the cost, which can run upwards of $700-800 depending on where you have the work done, and the lack of warranty for commercial-use trucks.

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