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Bed Mat, Bed Liner, Bed Coating - Which One is Better for My Pickup Bed?

Hauling heavy objects, sharp-edged debris, lumber, and equipment damages your pickup bed. We look at soft, hard, and spray-on forms of liner protection for the bed.
Bed Mat, Bed Liner, Bed Coating - Which One is Better for My Pickup Bed?
Bed Mat Bed Liner Bed Coating Banner

If you carry heavy objects, sharp-edged debris, branches, lumber, rubble, and equipment in your pickup truck regularly, you know it doesn't take much for this kind of cargo to leave scratches and gouges on the painted metal surface of your bed floor and walls. Odds are you've experienced this. No matter how gingerly you place items in your bed and tie them down, the unexpected panic stop that always comes up sooner or later still manages to create chaos as things shift around.

Maybe you've even felt and heard a dreaded thump behind your seat after heavier items broke free and slid forward hard - leaving a noticeable dent in your bed wall. While these are problems inherent with any metal bed floor, there is a better way to carry cargo while keeping your pickup bed looking good.

Scratched Pickup Bed
Traditional automotive paint won't protect pickup beds from scrapes and gouges. We've got bed mats, liners, and spray-on coating kits that prevent this kind of damage and improve the looks of your truck.

In the scope of this article, we'll look at the different forms of protection that are available for this most vulnerable area of your pickup. In the Truck Bed Mats and Liners section of our website, you'll find products which do more than just protect your truck. They'll reduce the risk of cargo damage, improve the looks of your ride, and boost its resale price in most cases. When you consider how much they will prevent damage to your truck, their initial cost seems like pennies on the dollar.

Truck Bed Protection In Use

We've got bed mats that unroll and drop in place, semi-permanent bed liners which attach with adhesive and Velcro, and permanent spray-on bed coatings. No matter which style of bed protection you choose, you'll gain a number of advantages. Since all bed protectors provide a grippy surface, damage caused by sliding cargo is virtually eliminated. And if you've ever lost your footing on the slippery wet metal surface of your bed floor, you'll appreciate how a higher level of traction translates to enhanced personal safety. Bed mats and liners themselves are not prone to bunching up or shifting out of place.

Pickup Truck Loaded With Rocks

Each style provides a level of cushioning and shock absorption that serves to protect what you're carrying from big jolts and high-frequency drivetrain vibrations. So if you carry any electronic-based equipment regularly, this is a big plus. All materials used in the products we sell are extremely resilient, because they've been designed to handle the elements, oily spills, mud, gravel/grit, and sharp-edged debris without cracking, tearing, corroding, or peeling off in layers. And after you've unloaded your cargo, the bed liners we sell will wash clean handsomely and easily using just a hose and soap.

Truck Bed Power Washing

Knowing Your Pickup's Bed Size & Wheelbase Classification Is Important

Pickup Truck

As you look through bed mats and liners we offer, you'll see that each individual product is categorized as either "vehicle-specific" or "universal fit". Vehicle-specific products will prompt you to enter make, model, and year (even trim level in some cases) because they're tailor-made to match the dimensions of your specific truck.

For example, universal fit mats are offered in a selection of sizes and are designed to fit anywhere or be adapted to fit. It's also essential to know your pickup's cab configuration and bed length when selecting many of the products in this section. We invite you to read our related article Pickup Truck Cab And Bed Sizes Are Important When Selecting Accessories that will help clarify these details you'll need to know.

Bed Mats That Unroll And Drop In Place

Black Armour Bed Mat
The Black Armour Bed Mat.

Offering best value, bed mats are intended to cover just the floor of your bed and tailgate (see Product Options for tailgate sections that may be sold separately). They're meant to be more flexible in nature, can be removed if desired, and they can even be used in other locations such as your home, workshop, boat, patio, or other areas where cushioning and grip are useful.

BedRug Bed Mat With Layer Of Plastic Based Carpet Material
BedRug's Bed Mat is made with a top surface layer of plastic-based carpet material. If used in conjunction with Bed Rug brand bed liners, tiny pegs on the bottom of the mat are designed to line up with holes built in to the top surface of those liners.

We've got several bed mats that feature a top surface layer made of durable, polymer-based "carpet" material. For example, there's the BedRug .5" (thick) Bed Mat. If used with BedRug brand bed liners, tiny pegs on the bottom of the mat are designed to line up with holes built in to the top surface of those liners. If you've got a Ford F-series pickup with the optional "step gate" style tailgate, you can select a version that's designed to accommodate the Ford step gate and swing handle. BedRug designs their bed mat with the exact dimensions of your make and model.

However, if you don't see your truck listed in the selection, they offer a universal-fit Bed Mat for Drop-In Liner with the same characteristics in a single size of 66" x 98". Additionally, Access offers the .5" vehicle-specific Truck Bed Mat that's designed with buttons on its underside which mate to adhesive-backed snaps you can stick onto the bed surface, should you choose to.

Access Truck Bed Mat With Polymer Carpet Top Layer
The Access Truck Bed Mat with polymer "carpet" top layer features buttons on its underside that mate to adhesive-backed snaps which you can stick onto the bed surface, should you choose to.

If you prefer a bed mat with all-rubber construction, we've got the DeeZee Bed Mat and the Westin Bed Mat. Both are .375" thick, vehicle-specific, and feature grooved lines in their top surface. Or, choose the universal-fitting DeeZee rubber Black Utility Bed Mat (bed only) and Black Tailgate Mat (tailgate section only) - both of which are .375" thick and come in a choice of pre-selected dimensions which can be trimmed as needed.

For those who like the look of diamond plate pattern in a rubber mat, we've got the Westin Bed Mat and the Black Armour Bed Mat. These rubber mats are equipped with small cleats on the underside that provide maximum grip against your truck's bed floor. For the tailgate area only, there’s the Outland Automotive Black Truck Tailgate Protector.

DeeZee Rubber Utility Bed Mat
The DeeZee rubber Bed Mat comes in a choice of pre-selected, universal fit dimensions which can be trimmed as needed.
Outland Automotive Truck Bed Mat
The Westin Bed Mat is one of several that offer the look of diamond plate pattern in a rubber mat.

Bed Liners That Attach With Adhesive And Velcro

Pendaliner Over Rail Bed Liner
Bed liners typically feature a harder, less flexible surface made of plastic or a thermoplastic/rubber composite blend. They often cover the sidewalls of the bed in addition to the floor. The Pendaliner Over Rail bed liner shown here protects the tops of bed rails as well.

Drop-in bed liners typically feature a harder, less flexible surface made of plastic or a thermoplastic/rubber composite blend. They come form-fitted for your specific make and model truck. No drilling is required to install the bed liners we sell because they are designed to be affixed in place using peel-off adhesive strips. As such, they're really not meant to be removed and used for other purposes the way bed mats are. While the adhesive strips do an effective job, it is possible to "undo" them without great effort should you need to remove your liner from the truck.

Overlapping Material For Floor And Tailgate Section
BedRug brand bed liners offer the advantage of overlapping material for the floor and tailgate sections that prevents debris from entering the gap in between.

If you're interested in bed liners that are slightly softer and offer more flexibility, we've got the BedRug .75" cushioned Bed Liner with plasticized carpeting on top. It comes with matching sections for the bed sidewalls that can be attached to or removed from the floor section via built-in zippers. BedRug also offers the BedTred Ultra Bed Liner made from tightly packed, "closed cell" foam for those who prefer maximum cushioning. There's also Weathertech's plastic/rubber Bed Liner that can be bent and rolled up, but is rigid enough to snap back into shape on its own.

If you're interested in adding an extra layer of bed protection, Weathertech's UnderLiner Bed Liner is a very thin layer of plasticized rubber (only .065") that's designed to sit on the bed floor beneath a second bed liner. This helps provide cushioning for bed liners that are more rigid in nature, and it can also add protection for drop in bed mats.

Rubber Weathertech Under Liner Bed Liner Installed
Weathertech's Under Liner Bed Liner is a thin layer of plasticized rubber that's designed to provide extra cushioning and protection by mounting on the bed floor underneath a traditional bed liner.

Lund's Cargo-Logic Bed Liner is a hard-shell plastic liner with a raised lip around all four sides and a plasticized carpet layer on top. Buyers of this liner also have the option to select a set of L-shaped braces designed to hold cargo in place by sticking to the carpeted surface via Velcro-like hooks along their bottom. Should you prefer a hard plastic liner, Pendaliner's Over Rail Bed Liner includes protection for horizontal bed rail surfaces, while their Under Rail Bed Liner extends up to the bottom of the bed rail. In both cases, the liners include indentations which allow you to straddle 2x4s across the bed, as well as cupholders which can be used when the tailgate is lowered.

L-shaped Plastic Braces Designed To Hold Cargo
Lund's Cargo-Logic Bed Liner offers the option of a set of L-shaped plastic braces designed to hold cargo in place by sticking to the carpeted surface via Velcro-like hooks along the bottom.
WeatherTech Plastic/Rubber TechLiner Bed Liner
The WeatherTech plastic/rubber Bed Liner is more flexible, and can be bent and rolled up.

Spray-On Bed Liners

Installing Spray On Bed Liner

“Spray on” liners come in a liquid form that can be applied by spraying or with a roller brush. Once applied, it dries relatively quickly to form a durable, hard coating that is impermeable by water. Spray-on liners are perfect if the bed of your truck already looks terrible with a multitude of scrapes because, this way, you're not hiding anything. You're simply "repainting" your truck bed to a like-new condition. Spray-on liners require a thorough sanding and cleaning of your existing bed surface before application to ensure proper permanent adhesion.

Painted Bed Surface
The Al's Liner Do-It-Yourself Bed Liner Kit.

Al's Liner DIY Truck Bed Liner Kit comes with various different ingredients in separate bottles. As you blend them yourself, you can mix in any amount you like of black, tan, or gray dye to create your own preferred color. Dupli-Color's Bed Armor Truck Bed Liner is a water-based polyurethane coating that's more rubber-like thanks to a special blend included with the ingredients, which are mixed by hand before application.

Al Liner Do-It-Yourself Bed Liner Kit

Dupli-Color also offers their Truck Bed Coating that's available pre-mixed in quart-size or gallon-size containers. It's designed to be applied with a spray gun or roller, both of which can be selected in the Product Options field.

Dupli-Color Bed Armor Truck Bed Liner
The Dupli-Color Bed Armor Truck Bed Liner.

There you have it: "ultimate" protection for your pickup truck bed, in your choice of material, thickness, and installation type. Whether you are leasing the truck and need to keep the bed pristine, or own an older truck that can use a "refreshing", one of these bed protection products will get the job done for you.

Bed Mat / Bed Liner / Bed Coating Variety Gallery

Our customers tell us all the time about how much peace of mind these bed protectors have given them, and how they've recommended mats and liners to friends, co-workers, and family. We hear these things because our once-new customers have now become repeat customers - coming back to purchase additional products, either for themselves or as gifts. We're confident you'll feel the same way, but before you purchase, we urge you to call us with any questions you may have. We're available seven days a week!

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