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Best Tonneau Covers to Outfit Your Truck

Best Tonneau Cover
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updated: June 4, 2024

Pickup trucks are great because of their versatility, but adding a tonneau cover onto your truck can make it even more practical. These covers help to keep your cargo dry, deter thieves, and may even improve your truck’s gas mileage. But just as you carefully chose your truck to meet your needs, you’ll need to choose a tonneau cover that’s right for the job. I spoke with truck and tonneau cover experts to find out what you need to look for when choosing the right tonneau cover. Read on to learn the features of a great tonneau cover, then check out our picks for the best tonneau covers to help you get started.

Our top picks for the best tonneau covers

Best hard folding tonneau cover: BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Best hard folding tonneau cover
REALTRUCK BAKFLIP MX4 TONNEAU COVER

REALTRUCK BAKFLIP MX4 TONNEAU COVER

This aluminum tonneau cover offers versatility. It can operated closed, folded, or flipped up, and shock-absorbing bumpers help to protect the panels when you drive with them folded. Full perimeter seals and drain tubes help to keep water out of your bed, and the cover can be opened from either side for easy access.

Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Lockable functionality: None
  • Versatility: Can be operated closed, folded, or flipped up
  • Ease of installation: Easy
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty
  • Features: Shock-absorbing bumpers to protect the panels, full perimeter seals, dual drain tubes to divert water
  • Price on publish: $1,071.55

What we like:

  • Rated for up to 400 pounds of evenly distributed weight
  • Low profile design
  • Matte-finished aluminum for protection against marks, scratches, and UV damage
  • Allows for tailgate operation when open or closed
  • Can be opened from either side
  • Backed by a 5-year warranty
  • Available in 3 bed lengths

What we don’t like:

  • No lock
  • Fits only 2021-2023 Ford F-150 trucks

The bottom line:

This tonneau cover can be operated closed, folded, or flipped up, so you can still retain full use of your truck bed without having to worry about removing the cover.

Best hard rolling tonneau cover: Realtruck BAK Revolver X4S Tonneau Cover

Best hard rolling tonneau cover
Realtruck BAK Revolver X4S Tonneau Cover

Realtruck BAK Revolver X4S Tonneau Cover

This tonneau cover is crafted with an aluminum cover with a vinyl overlay for durability and an aesthetically pleasing look. Its locking rails and easy-to-use mechanism allow you to operate it from either side of the bed, and with one hand. It rolls up fully, so you can still use your full bed, making it a versatile choice.

Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminum with a vinyl overlay
  • Lockable functionality: None
  • Versatility: Rolls up for full use of the bed
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no drilling required
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty
  • Features: Marine grade vinyl overlay, easy latch mechanism, integrated bulkhead seal
  • Price on publish: $1,199.99 - $1,249.99

What we like:

  • Rolls up to the bulkhead to give you full access to the bed
  • Aluminum slats are resistant to cuts
  • Easy, one-handed use
  • Integrated bulkhead seal, flat seals, and rear corner caps maximize weather resistance
  • Compatible with most fifth wheel hitches
  • Latch mechanism is easy to use
  • Supports up to 400 pounds of evenly distributed weight
  • Backed by a five-year warranty
  • Fits a wide range of vehicle makes, models, years, and bed lengths

What we don’t like:

  • No lock

The bottom line:

This tonneau cover features an easy-to-use locking mechanism and can be rolled up with one hand from either side of the bed for convenient use.

Best tri-fold tonneau cover: Lyon Cover Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Best tri-fold tonneau cover
Lyon Cover 5'7" / 67.4" Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Cover Tonneau Cover for 2009-2024 Ram 1500 w/o Rambox | LED Lamp | 3 Years Warranty |

Lyon Cover 5'7" / 67.4" Hard Tri-Fold Truck Bed Cover Tonneau Cover for 2009-2024 Ram 1500 w/o Rambox | LED Lamp | 3 Years Warranty |

This tri-fold cover features a hinged design for easy operation. Quick-release clamps help secure the cover, and you can secure the cover in the open position when hauling materials that won’t fit underneath it. If you need full use of the bed, the cover is lightweight and is designed to be lifted off completely.

Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminum and polypropylene
  • Lockable functionality: None
  • Versatility: Can be folded up, unfolded, or removed
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no drilling needed
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Features: Waterproof cover, quick release clamps for easy adjustment, sealed perimeter design for water resistance, hinged design for easy access to the truck
  • Price on publish: $489

What we like:

  • Lifts up and off so you can have full use of bed
  • Hinge design for easy access to your truck bed
  • Can be secured in the open position
  • Can support loads up to 350 pounds
  • Three-year warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in two sizes
  • Has to be lifted off for you to fully use the bed
  • No lock

The bottom line:

This tri-fold cover features a hinged design for easy folding, and it can also be lifted off of the bed completely if you need to use the full truck bed.

Best electric retractable tonneau cover: Online Electric power retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Best electric retractable tonneau cover
ONINE Electric Power Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Custom fit 2019-2024 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 5.8ft Bed (69.9”), Aluminum Matte Black, Compatible with Crossbar and Cargo Racks

ONINE Electric Power Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Custom fit 2019-2024 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 5.8ft Bed (69.9”), Aluminum Matte Black, Compatible with Crossbar and Cargo Racks

With its remote operation, this tonneau cover is easy to use. It features an electromagnetic brake and can be retracted and locked in any position, giving you access to the bed. An LED bed light automatically turns off, and the cover’s design allows you to pair it with crossbar and cargo racks to maintain your truck’s versatility

Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Lockable functionality: Yes, electromagnetic brake
  • Versatility: Fully retractable and can be retracted and locked in any position
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no drilling required
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty
  • Features: LED bed light with automatic off function, wireless key fob, electromagnetic brake
  • Price on publish: $1,399.99

What we like:

  • Made of powder-coated aluminum for durability
  • Simple wireless operation with a key fob
  • LED bed light automatically turns off
  • Can be paused and used in any position
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Compatible with crossbar and cargo racks
  • Locks with an electromagnetic brake
  • Capable of supporting up to 500 pounds
  • Five-year manufacturer warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in two bed sizes
  • Installation instructions are confusing

The bottom line:

This tonneau cover features an electromagnetic brake, LED bed light, and key fob for easy and versatile operation.

Best soft rolling tonneau cover: Realtruck Truxedo Pro X15 Tonneau Cover

Best soft rolling tonneau cover
Realtruck Truxedo Pro X15 Tonneau Cover

Realtruck Truxedo Pro X15 Tonneau Cover

This tonneau cover is equipped with automatic tension control to keep it taut without your having to make adjustments. The clamp-on installation allows you to remove the entire cover if needed, or you can roll it up and secure it when you need access to the bed. It’s backed by an impressive limited lifetime warranty.

Specifications:

  • Material: Canvas
  • Lockable functionality: None
  • Versatility: Can be rolled up or removed entirely
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no drilling required
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Features: Trigger latch that operates with a single finger, automatic tension control for a tight fit, quick release system for easy removal
  • Price on publish: $599.99 - $649.99

What we like:

  • Extra low profile
  • Aluminum rails and support bows for durability and strength
  • Quick release system allows you to remove the cover in seconds
  • Automatic tension control keeps the cove taut in any season
  • Trigger latch can be operated with just one finger
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Canvas isn’t as durable as some other materials
  • No lock

The bottom line:

This cover can be rolled up for access to your bed, or it can be completely lifted off of your truck without requiring any tools when you need complete use of your full bed.

Best retractable cover: RetraxPRO XR Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Best retractable cover
RetraxPRO XR Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

RetraxPRO XR Retractable Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

This cover features a sealed ball-bearing roller system that allows the aluminum slats to easily glide along the rail. You can lock it in any position, making it a versatile addition to your truck. The cover’s Trax Rail System pairs with most T-slot rack accessories from brands like Yakima and Thule, so you can customize your truck’s performance with cargo racks and other accessories.

Specifications:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Lockable functionality: Key lockable
  • Versatility: Can be locked in any position, pairs with T-slot rack accessories
  • Ease of installation: Easy
  • Warranty: Lifetime guarantee
  • Features: Key lock, Trax rail system, ball-bearing roller system
  • Price on publish: $2,115.99

What we like:

  • Low-profile design
  • Heavy-duty aluminum slats for strength
  • Sealed ball-bearing roller system easily glides along the rail
  • Includes a handle, so there’s no need for pull straps or springs
  • Trax Rail System is compatible with most T-slot rack accessories from Yakima, Thule, and Rhino Rack
  • Can be key locked in any position
  • Can hold up to 500 pounds of distributed weight
  • Backed by a lifetime guarantee

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in two bed sizes
  • Not designed for an easy complete removal

The bottom line:

This versatile cover can be locked in any position and pairs with many T-slot rack accessories, so it’s a versatile addition to your truck.

Most affordable tonneau cover: YITAMOTOR Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Most affordable tonneau cover
YITAMOTOR Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2015-2022 Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Fleetside 6.2 ft Bed

YITAMOTOR Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Compatible with 2015-2022 Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Fleetside 6.2 ft Bed

With its flat design and snap attachments, this cover easily rolls up when you need to use all of your truck bed. Latch locks and adjustable tension allow you to keep it secure and taut, and double layer PVC on the top adds durability. The cover is affordably priced and is also available in a three-fold design.

Specifications:

  • Material: Vinyl tarp, aluminum frame and crossbars
  • Lockable functionality: No
  • Versatility: Can be rolled up for truck bed access
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no tools required
  • Warranty: Not specified
  • Features: Latch locks, double layered PVC, flat design, hook and loop tape closures
  • Price on publish: $154.07

What we like:

  • Latch locks for a secure closure
  • Double layered PVC provides extra durability
  • Hook and loop tape for a secure installation
  • Can be rolled up for complete access to the truck bed
  • Sleek, flat design to help prevent water leaks
  • Affordable price

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in two sizes
  • Manufacturer’s warranty not specified

The bottom line:

This affordably priced tonneau cover can be fully rolled up for access to your truck bed, and adjustable tension lets you easily keep it taut and flat.

Easiest install and removal tonneau cover: Realtruck Truxedo Lo Pro Tonneau Cover

Easiest install and removal tonneau cover
Realtruck Truxedo Lo Pro Tonneau Cover

Realtruck Truxedo Lo Pro Tonneau Cover

This tonneau cover is equipped with a quick-release system, allowing you to remove it in seconds without tools. It also features a trigger latch that you can operate with one finger to easily roll the cover up and access your truck bed. Features like a self-adjusting spring tensioner and tracks that mount inside the bed contribute to a low profile, sleek look.

Specifications:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Lockable functionality: None
  • Versatility: Can be rolled up or removed completely
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no drilling required
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Features: Tracks that mount inside the bed, quick-release system for easy removal, self-adjusting spring tensioner
  • Price on publish: $549.99

What we like:

  • Trigger latch can be operated with one finger
  • Can be rolled up with one hand
  • Quick release system for removal in seconds
  • Tracks mount inside the bed for a low profile look
  • Self-adjusting spring tensioner keeps the cover taut
  • Floating velcro helps to maintain tension
  • Installs with a clamping system, no drilling required
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Available for many truck makes, models, years, and bed sizes

What we don’t like:

  • No lock

The bottom line:

This cover features a quick-release system, so you can remove it entirely in just seconds without needing any tools.

Heavy duty snap-on tonneau cover: TLAPS Hidden Snap On Vinyl Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

Heavy duty snap-on tonneau cover
TLAPS 7422438955906 Compatible with 1994-2003 Chevy S10 GMC S15 Sonoma / 1996-2000 Isuzu Hombre 6 Feet (72") Bed Hidden Snap On Vinyl Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

TLAPS 7422438955906 Compatible with 1994-2003 Chevy S10 GMC S15 Sonoma / 1996-2000 Isuzu Hombre 6 Feet (72") Bed Hidden Snap On Vinyl Truck Bed Tonneau Cover

With its snap-on design, this cover can protect your gear at an affordable price. The cross bars add strength and support, but are also removable if you need to use your full truck bed. The cover installs quickly without any drilling required, and the hidden snap design creates a sleek look.

Specifications:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Lockable functionality: None
  • Versatility: Cover can be rolled up
  • Ease of installation: Easy, no drilling required
  • Warranty: Not specified
  • Features: Removable cross bars, hidden snaps, safety buckle, and strap to secure rolled-up cover
  • Price on publish: $155.00

What we like:

  • Hidden snap design for a sleek look
  • Quick install design uses clamps
  • Cross bars add strength and support
  • Buckle and strap keep rolled-up cover secure
  • Suitable for protection against light rain, snow, and wind

What we don’t like:

  • Cross bars need to be removed for full use of your truck bed

The bottom line:

This cover’s hidden snap design creates a sleek look, and since the cross bars are removable, you can still access and use your full truck bed.

How to choose the best tonneau covers

Build quality

A tonneau cover’s build quality will affect its useful life and your overall experience with the cover. Look for a cover that’s manufactured with quality materials, and try to choose a brand name with a strong reputation for producing quality products. Consider whether the cover is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty, as well as for how long that warranty is good.

Function

Ryan Horton, co-founder of Truck Brigade, explains that how the tonneau cover functions is a key quality to consider. “Tonneau covers function in different ways,” he says. “Some feature a hard folding design where three panels fold up toward the cab. Other options include tonneau covers that roll up toward the cab, and there are also tonneau covers that feature a retractable design.”

When deciding which style and type of function will be best for your needs, think about how you’ll be using the tonneau cover. Consider whether any of these designs might limit or enhance the ways that you’re able to use your truck. You may also have a personal preference about the style and function that you most prefer.

Material

Horton notes tonneau covers come in aluminum, fiberglass-reinforced polymer, marine grade vinyl, and more. “Aluminum and fiberglass reinforced polymers will hold up better in different environments that experience snow and hail,” he says. “Marine grade vinyl tonneau covers are more suited for more moderate climates.”

Weather protection

Consider how well the cover protects your cargo from the elements. Look for features like weatherproof seals, a durable, a water-resistant or waterproof cover material, and secure closures that prevent drips.

Ease of installation

Most tonneau covers will come with instructions and are designed so you can install them yourself, but the installation process can vary. Take the time to review the installation process for each tonneau cover that you’re considering.

Think about whether the cover includes all of the necessary installation hardware, whether the installation requires any special tools, and how many people the manufacturer recommends you have present to help with the installation. You may also want to think about whether the tonneau cover can be easily removed from your truck if you need to haul a large object that won’t fit under the cover.

Security

Think about the level of security you need. Soft tonneau covers can be opened relatively easily, so they’re not necessarily the best choice if you want a cover that’s going to help to protect your cargo. If strong security is important, you may want to opt for a hard tonneau cover with a lock that can physically prevent anyone from being able to open the cover or your truck tailgate.

Accessories

Think about whether accessories are important to how you plan to use the cover. For example, covers are available with storage straps and systems, locks, and more. You can also buy organization systems, truck bed mats, and even truck bed light kits to enhance your use of the tonneau cover.

Fit

Finally, take the time to verify that the tonneau cover you’re considering will fit your pickup truck. Tonneau covers typically fit certain make and model trucks that fall within a rate of manufacture years. Have your vehicle’s make, model, year of manufacture, and bed length handy as you shop to confirm the cover will fit.

Types of truck bed tonneau covers

Tonneau covers are divided into two main categories: soft covers and hard covers. Within those categories, you’ll find covers that operate in different ways. Some covers lift straight up, while others can be folded or rolled. Some covers are hinged while others are retractable. These different types of covers offer different pros and cons, and each style will impact the space in your truck bed and the installation process, too.

Hard vs soft truck bed tonneau cover

John Lin, owner of JB Motor Works, encourages shoppers to consider the level of protection they need and their budget when deciding between a hard and soft tonneau cover. “Hard covers offer more security and durability, but are generally more expensive than soft ones,” he explains. “Soft covers, on the other hand, are lighter, easy to remove, and economical.”

Horton notes it’s also important to understand how you plan to use your truck and what you will be hauling in the bed. Different tonneau covers can be better suited to haul large items, and other covers can be better suited for more volatile climates,” he says. “Tonneau covers have different weight ratings, so if storing something on top of the tonneau cover is an option, it is important to be aware of the weight ratings on the top tonneau cover.”

How to install tonneau covers

Horton explains that the installation process varies depending on the tonneau cover model and application, but most covers are installed by clamping the cover to the bed rails. “I recommend laying out all parts and cleaning your bed rails adequately prior to installing the tonneau cover,” he says. “This will ensure there are no areas where water might leak through into the bed.”

Lin explains that installation is usually straightforward, and most covers come with a manual that’s easy to follow. “However, if you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to go to a professional, as wrong installation could not just damage the cover, but your truck bed as well,” says Lin.

How I picked the best tonneau covers

As someone who owns a pickup and has experience with purchasing several tonneau covers, I was excited to take a deeper dive into this topic. In choosing the best tonneau covers, I considered factors such as the cover’s overall design, the material, and its durability. I looked at how the tonneau cover performs over time, as well as how versatile it is and how well it may work for different drivers. I also weighed factors like how complicated the installation process is, as well as the cover’s overall aesthetics.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do tonneau covers improve gas mileage?

A 2007 study by the Specialty Equipment Market Association found that tonneau covers improved the coefficient of drag for pickup trucks in a wind tunnel. Two fiberglass tonneau covers and two roll-up vinyl covers had the best performance, improving the coefficient of draft by 6.5% or more. By reducing drag, the tonneau covers likely help to improve a pickup truck’s fuel economy.

On average, the covers in the study reduced the coefficient of drag by 5.73%. The study notes such an improvement could amount to a 1.8% improvement in gas mileage.

How does a tonneau cover form a seal with my truck?

Tonneau covers form a seal by connecting with your bed rails. Because of this, it’s important to clean your bed rails before installing the cover, and to make sure that you install the cover properly and tightly. Many tonneau covers include a gasket seal that you can add to your bed rails to create a secure seal.

If you want to further waterproof your tonneau cover, you may want to purchase an extra gasket seal to place over the top of your tailgate where it meets the tonneau cover. This area often has a looser seal and can develop leaks.

Do tonneau covers deter theft?

Tonneau covers help keep your belongings out of sight, and they require thieves to perform the extra step of opening the cover or opening your tailgate. Keep in mind that soft covers can generally be easily rolled or folded up, so if you want to maximize your truck’s security, consider buying a hard cover that locks.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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