Which Truck Bed Solution Is Best: Mat, Liner, Rug, TMAT, or Spray-In?

Every pickup truck owner knows the struggle: you’ve just headed toward home with a load of lumber, some tool boxes, or furniture for the house. You brake easy - or so you thought - for the stop sign ahead, but you hear the thump, the rolling, or the grind of your load moving a bit. You know that your bed is sporting a new scratch or dent.

Are you looking for a solution that keeps your cargo in place? Ready to protect your truck bed?

If so, you have probably considered a bed mat, liner, BedRug, or Spray-in solution. In this article we are going to compare these options and the Tmat system.

Truck Bed Mats

A truck bed mat is usually a flexible rubber-like material that unrolls and fits into your bed. It is possible to find versions built specifically for your make and model as well as generic models that fit a specific size truck bed. A piece for the tailgate can sometimes be ordered as well.

Bed Mat Pros

A bed mat is easy to install and relatively easy to remove. Since it usually is not secured into your truck bed, it can be rolled up and placed elsewhere. If fit isn’t a concern, you can use it on your trailer, in a workshop, or in another space where added grip or cushion is helpful.

These mats provide added grip for your cargo and can minimize shifting, though heavy loads will still need securement. They are also easy to clean since the material is rubber-like and can usually be hosed off.

Bed Mat Cons

A pickup bed mat will probably only cover the floor of the bed and will not offer any added protection for the sides. It also does not provide any additional securement points or securement options, meaning you still need to rely on the options original to your vehicle.

Truck Bed Liners

Truck bed liners are a molded solution that is built specifically for your make and model of truck. They are typically made from a firm and rigid plastic material and secure using an adhesive.

Bed Liner Pros

Because a bed liner is form fitted to your specific vehicle it will provide excellent coverage and protect your bed. You can even buy a version that covers the bed walls and tailgate for added protection. With a bed liner properly installed, cleanup is easy. It can be swept out or hosed off like your regular truck bed.

Bed Liner Cons

Since these liners are more rigid, they are not easy to remove. They are often secured using adhesives and are not designed for removal and reinstallation. The plastic itself provides texture for your cargo to grip and may help prevent sliding, but its rigidity does make it susceptible to gouges with certain materials.

A bed liner will not provide you any additional securement options. You will need to use those original to your pickup and will want to buy a liner specific to your model to ensure securement points remain accessible.

BedRug or Pickup Truck Rugs

BedRug and similar products use a durable carpet-like material to provide protection for your truck bed.

Bed Rug Pros

Bed rugs are easy to install and remove and come form fitted to your vehicle for maximum coverage. Specialized snaps can be purchased and installed in your truck bed to further secure a bed rug. You can purchase tailgate protection as well. Because the material is carpet-like it is more comfortable when kneeling or sitting on it.

If you are looking for added securement for lightweight items, some products have L-shaped brackets that attach to the carpeting with a velcro-like material. This allows you to make custom securement configurations if needed.

Bed Rug Cons

A Bedrug or similar solution will only cover the bed of your truck and tailgate if you purchase both pieces. The walls of your pickup will still be susceptible to damage.

Because the material is carpet-like, it may not be ideal for hauling dirt, gravel, mulch, or similar products. To do so, it would be ideal to remove the BedRug first.


Tmat is a versatile cargo management system for your truck bed. Though designed for cargo management, it has an added benefit of protecting your pickup bed.

Tmat Pros

The Tmat system is customizable and allows you to build a system that suits your needs. You can purchase the pieces needed to fit your truck bed, keep a few extra pieces on hand for use in your enclosed trailer, and move the system between the two with ease. Tmat is easy to install, remove, store, and reinstall whenever needed. The customizable nature also means that you can use Tmat in the new pickup you decided to buy. Different bed size? No problem! Just buy however many additional pieces you need for full coverage! You can even use the system in an SUV!

Because Tmat is designed for cargo management, the system lets you organize and rearrange securement points however you like. The cargo blockers pop into the mat, letting you customize the bed in hundreds of ways.

Tmat Cons

If you are looking for a solution that covers the walls of your truck bed or tailgate, Tmat may not be right for you. The solution only covers the bed of your truck.

Spray In Bed Liner

A spray in bed liner is a liquid product that is sprayed or rolled into your truck bed. Once it dries, it leaves a firm, textured surface that provides additional grip for your cargo.

Spray In Liner Pros

A spray in liner is a permanent solution that will protect your truck bed, walls, and tailgate. The textured surface is easy to sweep or spray out with a hose and requires little maintenance to upkeep. Do-it-yourself kits are available, though professional installation ensures proper application.

Spray In Liner Cons

Once your spray in liner is installed, it cannot be removed. The solution is permanent and requires repair if there is a large gouge or significant damage done.

Additionally, a spray in bed liner does not provide any additional securement points, though it will not impede use of those already in your truck bed.

How to Choose the Right Solution:

If you are evaluating which solution is right for you, remember to ask yourself the following:

  • Do you need a solution that can be removed after installation?
  • How simple do you want cleanup and upkeep to be?
  • How much money are you willing to spend on your bed liner or mat?
  • Do you need or want additional securement points or options?
  • Do you need something that protects your truck bed 24/7, or is it more important to use only when necessary?
  • Will you want to use the solution in other vehicles, trailers, SUVs, or elsewhere?

Once you have answers to these questions you will be that much closer to finding the right solution for your truck.

Still thinking? Check out our other helpful articles here!

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