Best Truck Bed Mats: What to Choose? (2018 Guide)
Truck bed mats are used by truck owners to protect the surface of the vehicle from dents and scratches. Choosing the best truck bed mats can be overwhelming for most people as there are so many brands and models available in the market. This guide will help you choose wisely so that you are able to protect the floor of your pickup truck from damage.
What is Truck Bed Mat?
Truck beds see more action that any other part of the pickup truck. When loading and unloading cargo the bed is under constant attack from wear and tear and spills. Even when you take good care, an unprotected truck bed is susceptible to wear and damage. A good quality truck bed mat will help protect the life of the truck bed.
A truck bed mat is a mat that is installed in the bed of the pickup truck. It helps protect the vehicle bed surface from dents and scratches especially when you load and unload cargo into the truck bed. Apart from this, it safeguards the cargo when the pickup moves on the road. Cleaning the truck bed also becomes an easy task when you install the mat.
A good quality truck bed mat prevents the cargo and goods from slipping in the truck bed. Direct sunlight can damage the bed surface and the mat helps prevent it. You will also be able to reduce the maintenance fee. The only disadvantage of using a mat is that it occupies a little bit of space on the truck bed.
Materials of Truck Bed Mats
Depending on the manufacturer, truck bed mats are made from different materials. The common and popular materials that are used include:
- Rubber – The truck bed mats will be the best if they are made of rubber – recycled or virgin rubber. They are thicker when compared to their counterparts and this enables them to provide better protection. Rubber doesn’t stain and can withstand extreme weather conditions. The material fights UV rays and this lessens fading. It is also easy to clean a rubber mat compared to plastic and carpet mats. All that you need is some soap and water to remove the dirt and grime from the mat. This can make it look as good as new.
- Plastic – Mats that are made of plastic are lightweight. They do have a big disadvantage when it comes to temperature. They can easily melt in extreme heat. You need to make the choice of this material depending on the kind of weather in your area.
- Carpet – Carpet mats add style and protect the truck bed from dirt and grime. These mats are cheap but they may stain easily in the long run. They are also much thinner than rubber and plastic and may not last long if you are hauling heavy cargo.
Some Popular Brands of Truck Bed Mats
The popular brands of truck bed mats include Dee Zee, Westin, Bedrug, Dual Liner, Promaxx, Access, BedTred, Toyota, Genuine, Loadhandler and WeatherTech. Before you make the choice, it is advisable to learn about the pros and cons of each brand so that you are able to make an informed choice. When choosing a popular brand, you need to ensure that they fulfill your specific requirements and budget.
The Different Points of Truck Bed Mats and Truck Bed Liners
When choosing the truck bed protection, you need to be aware of the differences between truck bed mats and truck bed liners. This can help you make the choice as per your specific requirements.
Truck Bed Mats
Most pickup truck beds get unsightly dents and scratches due to shifting cargo. A good quality truck bed mat protects the truck bed by preventing the cargo from shifting during transportation. Mats help safeguard the truck bed bottom but will not be able to offer protection on the sides.
- Mats are made of rubber and plastic and this makes them affordable. You can choose mats as per your budget.
- The truck bed mats can be easily installed and removed. This makes it convenient to clean and maintain.
- The entire flat surface of the truck bed is covered by the mat. When it is combined with the tailgate, it offers better protection and prevents damage to the tailgate.
- They offer long lasting protection to the truck bed.
- The mats can be customized as per the specific dimensions of your pickup truck.
Truck Bed Liners
Do you want to protect the truck bed from dents that are usually caused by shifting cargo? Truck bed liners extend across the entire flat surface of the truck bed and this prevents the cargo from shifting and damaging the truck bed.
- The bed liners are available in different sizes and shapes and they fit perfectly to safeguard all three sides of the truck bed. Damage to the bottom and the two sides of the truck bed is prevented due to this. Your cargo gets the best protection due to this feature.
- Different kinds of materials (rubber, carpet and roll on polyurethane) are used to make the bed liners. When compared to the bed mats they are slightly expensive.
- You can choose to install the bed liners permanently or semi-permanently. You do need to remember that if you install it permanently you will find it difficult to access anything that is concealed in the truck bed compartments. You may have to dismantle the liner to gain access to the compartments and this can be a time-consuming process.
How to Choose a Good Truck Mat?
There are many factors that you need to consider when making the choice of a good truck mat.
- Shape and Size – The size and shape difference of the truck bed depends on the manufacturer. You need to choose a mat shape and size that matches the dimensions of the truck bed. Customized mats can be easily cut to create the perfect fit. They need to be cut to fit the exact dimensions of the truck bed. If they are not cut to the correct size they will not be able to prevent shifting of cargo in an effective manner.
- Durability – Irrespective of the type of cargo you are hauling, you need to choose a mat that is durable. This is one of the first things that you need to look for when buying a truck mat. Look at the quality of materials that are used to construct it. High-end durable mats are made from rubber and polypropylene. Depending on your choice of material, you will be able to ensure that the truck bed withstands loading and unloading of heavy cargo. This also makes it resistant to abrasion, corrosion, breaking, cracking, tear and rust.
- Traction – One of the important things that you need to consider when choosing a good truck mat is traction. The bed mat should be skid proof. This is necessary if you want to keep the mat in position. When the mat maintains its position, the cargo will also be able to maintain its position and will not skid off the truck bed. A textured surface can prevent the cargo from shifting even when the vehicle is driven at top speed. If the cargo skids all over the bed surface, it can damage the item that is been transported and the interiors of the truck bed.
- Ease of Use and Maintain – Ease of installation and removal needs to be considered when making the choice. The truck bed mats should be easy to install. You should also be able to remove it within minutes. Avoid buying mats that are too complicated to install and remove. There are some mats that are secured with fasteners or some kind of adhesive or held in place by bolts that are designed to fit into pre-drilled holes in the truck bed. Buy truck mats that are resistant to stains and spills as this makes them easy to clean and maintain.
- Price – The price of the mat depends on the quality of materials that are used in its manufacture. Carpet is cheap but may not last long. Mats that are made from rubber and plastic are affordable. If you are on a tight budget you can choose mats that are made of recycled rubber. They are affordable and offer good protection.
- Warranty – The warranty will vary depending on the brand and choice of materials. Buy brands that come with good coverage but without any considerable increase in price. The terms of the warranty can vary from state to state and it is advisable to gain awareness about it before making the choice.
- Weather – The weather in your area should also be considered before making the choice of truck bed mat. If the weather is too hot, you need to avoid choosing mats that at made of plastic, as they can easily get damaged. If you face rain and snow on a frequent basis, you need to choose mats that can withstand such weather. Rubber mats will be able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Some Additional Information
The Thickness and Weight of Truck Bed Mats
Truck bed mats are available in different thickness. Thick mats last long and offer adequate protection to the truck bed.
- The thickness of the bed mat will affect the space of the truck bed. The thickness of most brands of mats is usually 0.375 inches. You will be able to carry less cargo if you opt for thick mats.
- Weight is also an important consideration when making the choice. Lightweight mats ensure that the pickup truck uses less fuel but they may not be as strong and durable as the thick ones. This makes the thick mats a preferred choice of truck owners who haul heavy cargo.
Other Necessary Accessories for a Pickup Truck
- Tailgate Mats – Tailgates tend to get damaged when you load and unload cargo. The tailgate mats provide the next level of protection to your truck tailgate. They can help shield the truck beds from dents, scrapes and scratches when loading and unloading heavy cargo.
- Cargo Bar – The will help hold cargo and prevents its movement. This ensures that even the heaviest cargo loads will not shift during transportation. The bars can be adjusted to fit any pickup truck. You will be able to carry multiple items using the cargo bar.
- Tonneau Cover – The covers provide added style and security to your pickup truck. They help protect the cargo from all types of weather. You can choose from a wide variety of categories including folding, hinged, retractable and roll-up.
- Bed Extender – The bed extender increases the truck bed’s hauling area. This can enable you to carry cargo that is larger than the truck bed. You will be able to carry a large number of items in a safe and orderly manner. This can also help you cut down on the number of trips you need to carry large cargo.
Tips to Use and Maintain the Truck Bed Mats
A good quality truck bed mat protects the pickup truck bed from damage. Even though they protect the truck they can attract a lot of dust and debris. Regularly clean so that you are able to remove dirt and grime. If dirt and grime are left to accumulate they can cause corrosion.
Before you start the cleaning process, you need to remove all cargo from the truck bed. Most manufacturers specify the cleaning process to be followed. Wash the mat with soap and water. Use a clean microfiber cloth to remove excess water after you complete washing the mat.
The truck bed mats that you choose should be easy to install. It is advisable to choose bed mats depending on the appropriate size of your pickup truck.
- Avoid using harmful chemical on the mat. Avoid using acid to wash and clean the mat. Harsh chemicals can damage the mat and it can develop cracks.
- Avoid loading and unloading sharp objects directly on the mats.
- Clean the truck bed mats with soap and water. This can help in removing dirt and grime. You will have to wash harder if you want to remove stains from spills that have accumulated on the truck bed.
Before you choose the truck bed mats, you need to ascertain your specific hauling needs. If you haul heavy cargo, it is best to choose thick mats. Purchasing a truck bed mat is a big investment and you need to consider all features and benefits before making the choice.
When you gain knowledge about the different things that you need to consider when buying a truck bed mat, it can make the process simple and rewarding.