How To Measure A Truck bed For A Tonneau Cover?

Measuring a truck bed for a tonneau cover is a critical step to ensure you get a perfect fit. Understanding the specific dimensions and features of your truck bed is the cornerstone of this process.

Whether you opt for a roll-up, folding, retractable, or hinged cover, for each style measurements will be taken in the same way.

Key Takeaways:

measuring the truckbed space for tonneau cover
Measure a truck bed for tonneau cover

Here’s an expanded guide on how to measure your truck bed for a tonneau cover in detail.

Identify Your Truck Model

Understanding your truck’s model and year is crucial.

Know Your Truck

Tonneau covers are not one-size-fits-all; they are designed to fit specific models and years. This information is often found in your vehicle’s manual, or you can look up the model details using your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

Model-Specific Features

Pay attention to model-specific features like bed length variations (short bed, standard bed, long bed) that can significantly influence the type of tonneau cover you need.

Check Compatibility Lists

Manufacturers of tonneau covers usually provide compatibility lists for their products. These lists detail which truck models and years their covers are designed to fit. Always check these lists before making a purchase.

Consider Custom Options

If you have a less common truck model or have made significant modifications to your truck bed, you might need to look into custom tonneau cover options to ensure a proper fit.

Measuring the truck bed
Ensure the Accuracy

Trucks with Bedliners

The impact of a bedliner on the fitting of a tonneau cover depends on its installation. If the bedliner covers only the bed floor, it typically won’t affect the tonneau cover fitting.

However, if it extends up to the bulkhead and covers the bed walls, you need to account for it in your measurements for a proper fit.

Removable Bedliner

If your truck has a removable bedliner, it’s best to remove it before taking measurements. This ensures you’re measuring the actual dimensions of the truck bed itself, not the dimensions with the added thickness of the bedliner.

After measuring, consider how the bedliner fits back into the truck bed. Some tonneau covers might sit flush with the bed rails and may not accommodate the extra space taken up by the bedliner.

Fixed Bedliner

For trucks with a fixed bedliner that cannot be removed, measure the bed length and width with the bedliner in place. This is because the bedliner is a permanent part of your truck bed’s dimensions in this case.

Note the thickness of the bedliner, especially if it runs up the sides of the bed walls. This can reduce the width and length slightly and should be considered when selecting a tonneau cover.

Measure the Bed

Equip yourself with a reliable measuring tape. You need a tape long enough to measure the full length of the truck bed.


Begin at the bulkhead, the front wall of the truck bed closest to the cab. Stretch the tape to the inside edge of the tailgate. This is often the most crucial measurement.

Ensure the tape is straight and level for an accurate measurement. Slight deviations can lead to incorrect sizing.


Just like with the length, measure the width between the inside edges of the bed rails. This ensures the cover will sit properly within the bed.

It’s wise to measure the width at the front, middle, and rear of the bed, as some trucks may have slight variances along the length of the bed.

Special Features

  • Utility Track Systems and Tie-Down Some trucks come with built-in utility tracks or tie-down rings. These can interfere with how a tonneau cover fits and functions.
  • Wheel Well Humps and Other Protrusions Be aware of any intrusions into the bed space, like wheel well humps, as they can affect the type and fit of the tonneau cover you can use.

Determine the Style/Type

  • Tonneau covers come in various styles like hard folding, retractable, roll-up and hinged.
  • Each has its own advantages and fitting requirements.
  • Different types of tonneau covers are designed to fulfill a variety of user needs and preferences.
  • Consider Your Usage, if you frequently need full bed access, a folding or retractable cover might be more appropriate.

Final Considerations

Once you’ve taken precise measurements and determined your preferred style, it’s essential to consult a tonneau cover buying guide.

It will help you make a well-informed decision that aligns with both your needs and budget.

Matching Dimensions and Features

After taking your measurements, compare them with the specifications of the tonneau covers you’re considering.

Ensure they match not just in size but also in compatibility with any special features of your truck bed.

Consult Manufacturer’s Specifications

Many manufacturers provide detailed specs and compatibility charts.

Utilize these resources to confirm the right fit.

Seek Expert Advice

If you’re uncertain about your measurements or the type of tonneau cover that would best suit your needs, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.

You can also comment below or reach me out if you need any guidance, I’d be happy to help.

Dealerships and Specialized Retailers

Visiting a dealership or a store specializing in truck accessories can be incredibly helpful.

They can offer tailored advice and even assist with the installation.


Accurate measurements ensure that the cover will fit perfectly, providing optimal protection and efficiency.

By understanding your truck’s specific needs and dimensions, and considering how you intend to use the tonneau cover, you can make an informed decision that enhances the functionality and aesthetics of your truck.

Remember, when in doubt, professional help is just a consultation away, ensuring that your investment in a tonneau cover is sound and suitable for your truck.