We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

It’s likely that pickup truck bed covers were initially considered the first time a truck owner got everything in the back of his pickup wet on a rainy day, or a tarp blew off of his gear. Thankfully for pickup owners today, modern tonneau covers used for keeping things dry and safe in the back of your pickup truck are light years ahead of even the models of the not-so-distant past.Today’s tonneau pickup covers are easier to install, with better access points than ever before. Also, the variety of different opening and closing styles give you plenty of options to choose from, which can make selecting one a bit confusing. When shopping for the perfect pickup cover for you, consider the following factors.

Top Pick

This folding model lets you quickly get to whatever you carry in your pickup. Tyger Auto

In years past, most tonneau covers were the hatch style, which opened at the tailgate and had hinges just behind the cab. Other kinds are now more popular and convenient. Roll-up soft covers, as their name implies, roll up, usually from the back of the truck to the cab. Many are held in place by hook and loop fasteners or by snaps, although some are secured inside a channel along the truck bed side rails. Retractable soft covers allow access to the truck bed by rolling up from the tailgate into a container just behind the cab. Lastly, fold-up covers fold over in sections so you can uncover part or all of the bed. They’re handy because they allow fast access to your gear. Soft covers cost less than hard covers.

Smart Design

It’s easy to put onto your pickup, and simple to use. BAK

Tonneau covers are installed in a number of different ways, depending on the individual model and design. Most install on a rail system clamped to the inside edge of the truck bed side rails and don’t usually require drilling or bolting since they are generally clamped to the bed rails. Others are attached directly to the bed side rails rather than using mounting rails as an attachment. Depending on the style of rail and how it attaches, the cover might ride flush with the top of the bed or might sit up a little higher. Difficulty of installation varies from one model to the next, so if you’re not very handy at such things, it would be a good idea to read reviews to see which are easiest to mount before making a purchase.

Great Value

This easy-to-retract model lets you choose how much space you want access to. Tyger Auto

Tonneau covers aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, so you can’t just jump online and order any cover you want and expect a perfect fit. Make sure and measure all dimensions of your bed before making a purchase, as even ordering by pickup model can be iffy since they can have different bed dimensions within models and over a number of years. Gather together all the info you can on bed length, bed width, make, model and any other information pertaining to the model that affect fit, and have it available when ready to order.