If you have a truck, you know that they don’t come cheap. Purchasing a bed liner is a great way to protect your investment. It just makes sense to extend the life of your truck with a rugged and durable bed liner that will help prevent rust, dents, and scratches. Yes, trucks are made to take a beating and keep working hard, but you can still minimize potential damage to the bed of your truck.
Carrying cargo, tools, supplies, landscaping materials, and other heavy items really take a toll on the integrity of your truck bed. When it comes to choosing a great truck bed liner, there are plenty of great options. To help you figure out the difference, our hard-working team has come up with a list of favorites in a handy buying guide.
Truck bed liners are not all created equally, so the top picks were selected by taking an in-depth look at their design, fit, durability, and price. Overall reliability and performance, as well as manufacturer reputation and trustworthiness, were also major factors. Only companies with a solid track record of delivering reliable and durable products were chosen for this list. For more information on selection criteria and methods, check out this link to The Drive’s Gear About page which explains our methodology further.
Best Truck Bed Liner Reviews & Recommendations
If you want a bed liner that’s rugged and durable as well as quick and easy to install, the Husky Liners Heavy Duty Bed Mat is tough to beat. It’s constructed from a heavy-duty rubberized DuraGrip material that provides a decent amount of anti-slip coverage for your truck bed. Unlike some other options, this liner doesn’t emit a strong, offensive chemical odor that can cause headaches. It features cleverly designed air-dry nibs on the bottom of the liner that promote airflow underneath the liner and prevent water from getting trapped.
This liner is also chemical resistant and can protect delicate cargo like signs, paintings, and furniture from getting scratched or damaged in transit. One complaint is that it can take a long time to lay down completely flat once it’s out of the package. While this is a heavy-duty padded liner, it’s somewhat less anti-slip than some other options.
- Brand: Husky Liners
- Material: Rubberized DuraGrip
- Warranty: Lifetime warranty
Easy to install
No chemical odor
Only protects truck bed
Can get slippery
The SmartLiner Rubber Bed Liner Mat gets big points for being a rugged, durable, easy-to-install truck bed liner that is also affordable. While it doesn’t offer as comprehensive coverage as a typical bed liner, what you do get is a thick rubber mat that is custom fit to your specific truck bed and won’t crack or roll up. The material is a textured, skid-resistant surface that can be quickly hosed or wiped off and will stop liquids from seeping through and damaging your truck bed.
Raised edges on the liner and a strengthened lip help trap and direct fluid runoff, keeping the main portion of your truck bed dry. For added versatility, you can also get custom-cut floor mats to fit the inside of your vehicle. With four color options and more than 160 vehicle makes and models to choose from, chances are good that you’ll find the right one for your needs. One drawback is that this bed liner doesn’t anchor securely to the bed and may shift during travel.
- Brand SmartLiner
- Material Rubber and plastic
- Warranty Limited lifetime warranty
Textured, skid-resistant surface
Thick and rugged rubber material
Custom-fit to your vehicle
No anchors to keep it securely in place
Liner edges may curl slightly in extreme temperatures
The BedRug Bed Liner is an innovative and different take on the typical truck bed liner. It resembles a rug in terms of appearance and name, but in terms of ruggedness and protection for your gear this thick, pile-woven polypropylene liner goes above and beyond. It provides a forgiving, non-skid cushioned surface that completely covers the bottom and sides of your truck bed. This liner is made in the U.S. and even makes a comfortable seat for your tailgate.
The material of this truck bed not only offers superior cushioning, but it’s also resistant to damage from chemicals such as battery acid, motor oil, and gasoline. Installation of this liner is much less time consuming than a spray-on bed liner. Most people reported that they finished installation in about an hour. It does lose points for having weaker anchors than some other bed liners. It’s also one of the costliest bed liners on the list. This liner is also easy to clean with a pressure washer or vacuum.
- Brand BedRug
- Material Polypropylene fibers
- Warranty Lifetime warranty
Anchoring hardware is flimsy
If you’re a die-hard DIYer or are looking for a budget-friendly way to line your truck bed, check out the Rust-Oleum Professional Grade Truck Bed Liner Kit. It’s a complete professional-grade liner kit that comes with enough product to cover a full-sized, eight-foot-long truck bed. It consists of a two-part epoxy formula that provides superior protection and durability for almost any truck bed, even if you have previous damage or rust. The cross-linking technology of the epoxy creates a waterproof, chemical-resistant, impact-resistant, and scratch-resistant barrier that’s ideal for carrying almost any type of cargo.
Rust-Oleum offers DIY products in an easy-to-use spray-on aerosol, a brush-on liquid, and clear coating. The drawback to this liner kit is that it is very time consuming to install yourself and takes plenty of patience. It also requires you to wear special eye and clothing protection, and you need a very well-ventilated area to prevent headaches or respiratory issues during application.
- Brand Rust-Oleum
- Material Epoxy
- Warranty None
Many application methods and colors
Requires special gear to install
Difficult to install
Another great and affordable DIY roll-on truck bed liner is the J-B Weld Herculiner Brush-on Bed Liner Kit. This kit applies in three simple steps and features a relatively quick curing time of 10-12 hours with a full cure in 24 hours. This liner kit is extra versatile in that you can apply it to metal, wood, fiberglass, concrete, rubber, PVC, plastics, and composites, giving you the option to provide non-skid waterproof protection to a variety of items. It can be used on brand-new trucks to protect factory paint, or you can apply it to your beat-up truck to extend its life and improve its appearance.
Once applied, this truck liner will bond and seal to virtually any surface and resist chipping, fading, cracking, or peeling. It won’t curl up at the edges like some pre-cut bed liners. It also provides a heavy-duty resistance to chemicals, solvents, oils, and gasoline. The drawbacks to this option are that it takes a long time to install and installation can be difficult. It’s also only available in black.
- Brand J-B Weld
- Material Textured Polyurethane
- Warranty Against manufacturer defects
Quick curing DIY liner
Thicker than other roll-on liners
Can be difficult to install
Only available in black
What to Consider When Buying a Truck Bed Liner
When you’re looking high and low for the perfect truck bed liner to suit your needs, there are some key considerations that will guarantee you’re getting the best bang for your buck and not just some bargain basement bed liner that’s going to chip, crack, or fade quickly and need to replaced after just a couple of years.
Types of Truck Bed Liners
Custom-Fit Full Liners
These are the most comprehensive truck bed liners that provide the greatest amount of coverage for the entirety of your truck bed. They are made based on your specific vehicle and usually snap into place or are anchored to your truck bed, sides, and tailgate. They might even cover the side rails of the back of your truck.
These are usually the most expensive option but most come backed by a lifetime warranty and are built to withstand some serious wear and tear.
These kits are a favorite for budget-conscious buyers who want to get the full coverage of a custom-fit truck bed liner without the jaw-dropping price tag. They can come in a few color options and with different methods of installation, including spray-on or roll-on. They’re great for protecting brand-new trucks as well as slowing or stopping the spread of corrosion on older, more dented or damaged truck beds.
The rub with this type of bed liner is that it takes much longer to install, can be difficult to install evenly, and is a permanent solution that can’t usually be removed once applied.
Bed Liner Mats
These are a great middle-of-the-road option that are usually offered at an affordable price and provide heavy-duty, thick-coverage protection for your truck bed. Made from waterproof, crack-resistant, and fade-resistant rubber or composites, these bed liners often come backed by a limited lifetime warranty. They’re super quick and easy to install or remove as needed. They’re also easy to clean and resistant to chemicals.
The drawback to this option is that it only offers protection for the truck bed itself and not the sides. If you want to protect your tailgate, the mat for it usually needs to be purchased separately. Some types of bed liner mats can also tend to curl at the corners in extreme weather conditions, and they can be difficult to anchor securely to the bed compared to some other options.
Truck Bed Liner Key Features
Any decent bed liner should be constructed from a rugged and durable non-skid material that will help keep your cargo or payload from shifting or rolling around during transit. Materials like rubber, polyethylene, polyurethane, and epoxies can provide a safe, textured, waterproof surface that’s ideal for most items.
A solid anti-slip surface is ideal for wet or cold climates that get lots of rain and snow, but it’s also great for warm, humid climates, where moisture can be an issue and cause an unlined truck bed to become overly slippery and unsafe.
Most of the bed liners on our list come with a warranty of some sort. A truck bed liner can be a significant financial investment, so you want to purchase one that’s backed by a solid guarantee that any manufacturer’s defects will be taken care of.
A good lifetime warranty tells you that the manufacturer stands behind its product and most likely has a solid track record of producing high-quality, dependable, and rugged bed liners that will provide your truck and cargo with protection for years to come.
Ease of Installation
The best bed liners are relatively easy and straightforward to install or remove. Custom-fit liners should come with precision cuts to accommodate for any tiedowns or anomalies in the truck bed based on your specific vehicle make and model. Anchoring systems should be strong and user friendly so that you’re not fighting with the liner to get it to lay flat, stay put, or properly reach the edges of the truck bed, tailgate, or sidewalls.
DIY bed liners should be able to go on with relative ease. Rollers should be high quality and not slip or slide off during installation. Aerosols should spray evenly without clogging or clumping. Curing times from 2-12 hours are best, depending on which brand of DIY bed liner you choose.
Truck bed liners can run the gamut of pricing options. Most decent DIY spray-on or roll-on liner kits can be had for less than $100. These offer a durable, budget-friendly coverage suitable for light to moderate use. For between $100 and $300, you should be able to get a well-made custom-fit truck liner that will cover the bed of your truck and the tailgate. These liners are usually thick mats that are designed to fit your specific make and model. If you’re looking for a full-coverage custom bed liner that will cover not only the truck bed and tailgate but side walls and side rails as well, be prepared to spend upwards of $350. These liners should last you the life of your truck.
Tips and Tricks
As with anything you do for years, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way. That’s the case with us and truck bed liners. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- When installing a DlY bed liner for the first time, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. You can also check out a few online tutorials or videos to get a better idea of how to roll on or spray the coating evenly.
- Before installing any bed liner, remove any existing rust, dirt, debris, and corrosion in order to allow the bed liner to sit evenly and securely.
- When cleaning your bed liner, if a pressure washer isn’t cutting it, use a mild car soap or detergent that’s free of harsh chemicals or waxes that won’t change the anti-skid properties of the liner.
- If installing a DIY liner, be sure to wear protective eye gear, a respiratory mask, and coveralls and do it in a very well-ventilated space.
- For pre-cut truck liner mats, it’s a good idea to lay them on a flat surface at a moderate temperature for a few days to a week before installing in your truck bed to limit the chances of bowing or curling at the edges.
Car Autance answers your burning questions.
A: Most spray-on or roll-on liners will be dry to the touch in 2-12 hours, depending on the type of epoxy. Full curing is usually achieved in 24 hours. That said, it’s probably a good idea to wait a few days to a week before putting any seriously heavy or sharp cargo in the bed of your truck.
A: Most bed liners require little to no maintenance, other than cleaning with a pressure washer or a mild detergent. Avoid using silicone-based cleaners on your bed liner, as this can damage the non-skid coating. The addition of a good quality tonneau cover for your truck bed will protect your truck bed liner from UV rays, rain, or snow, thus extending its life even further.
A: For stubborn stains, the safest way to remove them is to use a pH-neutral car soap or shampoo that’s not silicone based. Apply the soap and use a stiff-bristled deck brush, nylon scrubbing brush, or mop to scrub the stain and get down into the non-skid textured surface of the truck liner. Rinse thoroughly with a pressure washer and repeat as needed.
- Truck bedliner – Wikipedia