Trucks are designed to be versatile and durable, but they can still be damaged during normal use. This is especially true of the truck bed. Your truck bed is one of the most hard-working parts of your truck, but regular use also opens it up to damage.
Even small scratches and dents can remove the protective layer of paint and allow corrosive elements to seep in. To keep this from happening, it’s common for truck owners to invest in a truck bed liner. However, a cheaper, less protective solution some truck owners take is to purchase a truck bed mat.
Below we take a look at what truck bed mats are and what they do and also what they do not do.
What Are Truck Bed Mats?
Truck bed mats are usually made of rubber and often have a universal fit, which means you may have to trim them to fit your bed. Truck bed mats provide an extra layer of protection for your bed by keeping moisture out and keeping cargo from moving around too much.
Even with a bed liner, your truck bed is likely to stay pretty hard and slippery, which means cargo can easily shift while you’re driving. Truck bed mats also make loading and unloading easier when you have to kneel on the bed.
Why You Need A Truck Bed Mat
There are several reasons for investing in a truck bed mat. The top five reasons are as follows:
- Protect your cargo
- Prevent damage to your truck bed
- Make it easier to load and unload
- More secure than straps alone
- Makes it easier to haul small items
Plastic drop-in liners can actually make your truck bed slicker than it was before. Most drop-in bed liners have a hard surface, which does absolutely nothing to keep cargo from moving around and potentially being damaged.
Another problem is that most drop-in bed liners have a loose fit, which means debris and water can get trapped beneath. If the debris and water are there long enough, it can cause corrosion. Loose drop-in bed liners that shift constantly can also damage your paint due to prolonged rubbing.
Pros and Cons of Popular Truck Bed Mats
BDK Truck Bed Mat – This is a rubber mat with universal fitment. This also comes as a bed mat system where you can get both a bed mat and a tailgate pad together. The BDK mat is made from heavy ridged rubber but may require trimming to fit your exact truck.
The main con of this mat is that the screws that come with it are of poor quality. Other cons are that it is not custom-fit to the size of your truck bed and does not wrap around the wheel wells. This leaves a gap on the right and left of the truck bed which is not protected. In addition to those, you will need to cut it to fit the length of your truck bed.
Bedrug Bed Mat – This mat has more of a carpeted surface than a rubber mat. It’s made from polypropylene and has a rubber backing to keep it from slipping. Despite the carpeted appearance, it’s an all-weather mat. However, some buyers say that the carpet actually shed fibers. Another downside of this mat is it’s not the best at protection from chemical or fuel spills. The carpet tends to absorb the liquids as opposed to shedding them off like a rubber bed mat does.
Dee Zee Bed Mat – This is a bed mat system that comes in custom sizes. These mats are made from ⅜-inch thick nyracord material, which is a combination of rubber and nylon. The main con of this mat system is that it’s more expensive than universal fit mats. Additionally, it is a little more slippery compared to a traditional rubber truck bed mat.
WeatherTech TechLiner – Despite the name, the TechLiner is more like a bed mat than an actual bed liner. It’s made from odorless thermoplastic elastomer and doesn’t require any drilling or chemicals to install. Like most bed mats, it’s easy to install but doesn’t provide the full protection and tight fit of a bed mat and liner system.
Westin Rubber Truck Bed Mat – This mat is another custom-fit style with options for the most popular brands of trucks, including Chevrolet, Ford, Ram, GMC, and Toyota. The Westin mat is a ⅜-inch rubber mat that is heat molded and cut into a custom fit. It can be installed with or without a spray-in bed liner. The weight of this mat is what keeps it secure without cargo. However, some buyers have complained that the mat doesn’t lay flat enough.
Husky Liners Bed Mat – These mats come in various models and are made to fit specific vehicles. The mats are constructed from rubber DuraGrip material and feature Air Dry Nibs to elevate the mat slightly and allow air to flow through, which keeps moisture from getting trapped. The cons of this bed mat are they are not made for all trucks. For a few examples, if you have a 2020 Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Titan or Honda Ridgeline you are out of luck.
Why You Need a DualLiner Bed Liner System
The DualLiner truck bed liner system is a more thorough and comprehensive option to completely protect your truck bed. A truck bed mat only covers a fourth of your truck bed. When you’re looking at a vehicle that costs several thousand dollars, it makes more sense to cover the entire bed.
The wheel wells and the tailgate are especially vulnerable to dings and dents and a bed mat leaves those areas uncovered. When it comes time to part with your pickup, whether you trade it in or sell it outright, a flawless rust-free truck bed will greatly increase the value of your truck.
The ZeroSkid® bed mat has nibs that keep the liner raised, which allows airflow and ensures that your factory drain holes aren’t blocked. The ZeroSkid® truck bed mat installs into a c-channel in the side panels and is designed to stay in place and prevent the liner from rubbing or scratching.
The bed mat that is included with the DualLiner system uses your truck’s factory drain holes to ensure that water drains freely and doesn’t get trapped. Another beneficial aspect of this mat is that you can easily pull the mat out of the sidewalls and fold it over to clean out any debris.
The DualLiner system essentially gives you the best of both worlds: a sturdy, custom bed liner with fitted sidewalls combined with a custom-fit no-skid mat that adds an extra layer of protection. The DualLiner system is the only bed liner plus bed mat system that fully protects your truck bed.