What Are The Different Types Of Truck Bed Covers?

Looking at the different truck bed covers on the market might give you analysis paralysis. Don't worry! We researched the different types for your convenience. Here’s the information we gathered from our search.

Also called tonneau covers, there are many different kinds of truck bed covers are on the market. These types are:

  1. Roll-up
  2. Retractable
  3. Folding
  4. Solid or one-piece
  5. Expandable
  6. Snap-on

Take note that each truck bed type has its unique features, advantages, and shortcomings. So continue reading as we talk about these covers in greater detail.

Cars running on the beautiful road along the mountain, Rear view of pickup truck on wavy road, What Are The Different Types Of Truck Bed Covers?

Types Of Truck Bed Covers

 Trifecta 2.0 truck bed cover


As its name implies, roll-up tonneau covers fold or roll like a carpet or rope ladder for storage. You can unfurl them to cover the truck bed when needed.

Roll-up truck bed covers also have types: soft and hard. Soft roll-up covers are generally low-profile models made of vinyl. These options might be ideal for budget-conscious buyers, thanks to their relatively inexpensive prices.

On the other hand, hard roll-up tonneau covers are often more expensive than their soft counterparts. However, these selections typically have enhanced constructions, promoting improved durability, security, and lifespan.


• Improves security
• Compact profile while in storage
• Multiple stylish options on the market


• Might be susceptible to leakage, regardless of the variant
• Might be difficult to patch
• Restrictive design for aftermarket accessories

Check out this soft truck bed cover on Amazon.


Twist slide rail cover at the rear of the pickup truck.

Retractable tonneau covers can be advantageous for truck owners that don’t want to remove and store these materials after each use. This type of truck bed cover is reasonably easy to use and typically disappears from view while in storage.

You can also find retractable models with automatic or powered features for added convenience. In particular, these choices allow you to retract or store them with a push of a button.


• May allow users to open or close the cover partially
• Added convenience, thanks to the remote features


• Improved accessibility may also increase costs
• Often requires additional space in the truck bed for the installation

Check out this retractable truck bed cover on Amazon.


Usually called tri-fold covers, folding tonneau covers help expose or hide the amount of truck bed space desired. Despite being commonly known as tri-fold, these models may also come with two or four panels.

Moving forward, material choices for folding covers typically allow them to provide suitable safety and security for the truck bed and the items in it. Many options come with composite plastic constructions, which may also protect the truck bed from harm from the weather.

Folding truck bed covers also have soft and hard variants. The latter classification is also often more expensive than the latter. But hard folding tonneau covers are generally sturdier and supply better security than their soft cousins.


• Choose among different-numbered folding panels on the market
• Sufficiently durable constructions to help safeguard items in the truck’s bed
• Interested buyers can select from hard and soft materials


• Might not have excellent water resistance compared to other cover options on the market
• Might be difficult to install because of the heavy weight

Check out this folding truck bed cover on Amazon.

Solid Or One-Piece

Solid or one-piece truck bed covers typically work like the trunk of a sedan. They open and close like a lid, providing excellent coverage. Certain models also have hydraulic struts, allowing users to expose or hide the truck bed without exerting significant effort.

The single-piece design also helps create a uniform look. This design can be an excellent choice for truck owners that may not want the creases and ridges found in other tonneau cover options.

Plus, you might be able to paint your one-piece truck bed cover. Solid tonneau covers often use fiberglass materials, which are often relatively easy to paint and repair.


• Cohesive appearance enhances the truck’s aesthetics
• Typically comes with locking kits for enhanced security


• Often more difficult to install and remove than other truck bed cover selections
• Can be more expensive than other tonneau covers, especially when compared to fabric choices

Check out this product on Amazon.


Expandable truck bed covers are a rarity in the tonneau cover product category at the time of writing. Still, they can benefit its users, especially when it comes to installation.

As its name implies, you only need to expand the cover’s material to cover the bed. You might also not need any special tools or skills to install, use, or remove it.

The fairly stretchy material also provides additional flexibility in covering different items in the truck bed. Unlike hard options, expandable truck bed covers’ elastic properties allow you to store taller items in the truck bed, such as small furniture. In comparison, hard bed cover choices, such as single-piece models, may make it difficult to store those objects at the back of these vehicles.


• Flexible material provides additional item storage options
• Easy to install and use


• Might be challenging to find on the market


Snap-on truck bed cover kits often come with frames. These additional components allow the covers to snap onto place, protecting the items stored in the truck’s bed. Despite the additional parts, these tonneau covers should still provide fairly easy installation procedures.

Also, snap-on tonneau covers generally have relatively inexpensive price tags. It's because these options usually come with fairly soft constructions. Still, the materials used in developing these covers should provide adequate security for stored objects.


• Can be a relatively low-cost option for budget-conscious buyers
• Easy to install and use


• May not provide the same level of security as compared to hard cover choices
• The material might shrink in cold temperatures

Check out this snap-on truck bed cover on Amazon.

How Do I Measure My Truck Bed For A Cover?

Black truck bed tonneau cover.

Take note that relatively any truck bed needs to be the correct size for it to provide the most benefits. So here are the steps to measure your truck bed as you’re looking for a cover that fits it:

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Lower your truck’s tailgate.
  2. Extend your measuring device (e.g., steel measuring tape) from the bed’s floor to the wall directly behind the cabin.
  3. Document the acquired measurement.

You can also check your truck manufacturer's website or ask the company's customer service department for information about your vehicle's bed size.

How Much Should You Spend On A Truck Bed Cover?

Red Chevrolet Truck

Prepare to spend about $100 to $500 to buy a soft truck bed cover. Note that this price range may increase to $500 to $2,000 if you’re looking for a hard cover for your truck’s bed. Plus, the expenses may skyrocket if you choose to take advantage of professional services for the material’s installation.

Do You Get Better Gas Mileage With A Truck Bed Cover?

Installing the correct bed cover may help enhance a truck’s fuel economy. Certain models may help reduce air drag, reducing the strain on the engine to move the vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Remember, take the time in choosing the ideal truck bed cover that fits your needs and preferences. Don’t be hasty in purchasing a tonneau cover for your truck’s bed. You can always go back to this post and allow it to serve as your shopping guide for the best cover for your truck’s bed.

If you’re looking for the answers to other truck bed concerns, check out these other great reads:

Ford F-150 Truck Bed Size & Dimensions

GMC Sierra Truck Bed Size & Dimensions