What is Hard Tonneau Cover? Comprehensive Guide

Tonneau covers are a great accessory that enhances the overall look of your truck. In the world of tonneau covers, there are two categories; hard and soft tonneau covers. Both bed covers have their pros and cons. However, a hard bed cover provides the next level of security to the cargo. In this article, I will briefly cover What is Hard Tonneau Cover? 

The purpose of a tonneau cover is different for every truck owner. There are different types of tonneau covers that you people buy. Some buy it to cover the cargo inside the truck bed. Or a few install it only for the sake of a stylish look. There are plenty of hardcovers on the market, all sorts of shapes, sizes, designs, colors, finishes, etc. This article will cover about this type and why should you go for a Hard tonneau cover? And which of these covers are best? 

But before I start writing the answers to all these queries, I will first explain the benefits of the hard bed cover. 

Benefits of the Hard Tonneau Cover 

Hard tonneau covers work the same as soft ones but provide extra security and Protection. Below, there are some benefits of hard bed covers. 


Hard tonneau covers are more durable than soft ones. The main reason is the material. Soft tonneau covers are made of vinyl or canvas, while hard covers are manufactured with solid aluminum, hard plastic, and fiberglass. All these materials make the truck bed cover solid and sturdy, so the cover goes long. 

Hold More Weight 

If you use your vehicle for cargo delivery, you want it to hold more weight. As I mentioned earlier, hard covers are sturdy and challenging, so they can hold more weight. The pros of the hard bed cover are that it can withstand any weather condition, whether rain or snow, without falling apart. 

Ultimate Security 

What is the prominent difference between hard and soft tonneau covers? Yes, Security. Hard covers come with an ultimate security system, which means no one gets access to your cargo when you lock the cover. 

The hard bed cover gives more security, and its rigid material makes it difficult for thieves to break into. With a hard cover, you can leave your truck unattended without worrying about stolen cargo. You need a hard tonneau cover if you are hauling expensive stuff in your truck bed.

Next level of Protection

A hard tonneau cover is an excellent option for those who want to protect the cargo from snow, water, UV rays, and other components of natural elements. In addition, a hard tonneau cover does a better job of protecting the gear and truck bed from any damage. 

In case of any accident, your hardcover will get scratches and dents, but your cargo remains safe and sound. So, all in all, a hard tonneau cover is more reliable than a soft tonneau cover. 

Look more Premium

It is not wrong to say that the hard tonneau cover looks more valuable and premium than the soft ones. It probably enhances the truck’s overall appearance and looks more classy and sleek than the soft ones. 

Custom Colors

No more boring tonneau covers. Hard tonneau cover allows truck owners to make a custom-made tonneau cover of their choice. So, you can get a hard truck bed cover in a color of your liking that perfectly accentuates your truck. 

What are Hard Tonneau Covers | Different Types

Hard covers are made of solid materials such as aluminum, plastic, and fiberglass. They are durable and provide more Protection. Hard truck bed covers do not quickly wear and tear, and they are rigid, bulky, and quite expensive. 

There are many hard tonneau covers available on the market with different types. For example, retractable, roll-up, folding, and one-piece hard covers. Here is the rundown of all of them for your better understanding. 

Hard Roll-up tonneau cover

Roll-up tonneau covers are the most common and traditional type of tonneau covers. And if I talk about Hard rolls up, they are flexible and super easy to use. Every truck owner demands a tonneau cover that can open without much effort. This hard roll-up tonneau cover is your best buddy to go. 

It can roll up near the bulkhead and gives you 100% bed access. You can even drive with an open truck bed. Secure the cover at the front of the vehicle with hook and loop straps. 

Hard Folding tonneau cover

Folding is the popular type of tonneau cover. As the name suggests, it can fold into three or four sections, depending on your purchased type. When you need more space for large cargo, fold the cover-up into sections (tri, dual fold), and you are good to go. The nylon straps keep the cover in its place. 

It is a lightweight, low-profile design tonneau cover that helps to maximize the Protection for the cargo. It is best for those who haul big and large loads. 

Gator FX is the best hard folding tonneau cover resistant to scratches, dents, and heat. 

Retractable Hard tonneau cover

The retractable tonneau cover can withdraw and return to the truck when you hit the button. It has a sealed ball bearing system that provides smooth operation for opening and closing the truck bed cover. 

Retractable hardcovers have aluminum slats underneath the cover, which provides ultimate security to the cargo. 

How to use it? You must pull down the tailgate, release the lock, and quickly put in and take out the cargo. 

One Piece hard Truck bed cover

The one-piece tonneau cover is the most stylish and luxurious type. This style gives your truck a classy, sleek look that complements your vehicle. You can even paint a one-piece truck bed cover of your liking color to match your vehicle. 

It uses hinges to open and close the cover. The hinges support the cover to keep it in its place, and the hard one-piece tonneau covers the best to shield your cargo from both worlds. 

Electric hard Tonneau cover 

An electric tonneau cover is an innovative type. It is available in various materials such as aluminum, Lexan, or polycarbonate, making it durable and high quality. An electric tonneau cover is super easy to use and demands less labor. 

It has an electric push button to work remotely with the locking mechanism for opening and closing the cover. The electric tonneau cover is expensive and versatile. 

Heavy Duty Truck bed covers – Best hard Tonneau covers

The following heavy truck bed covers to protect the cargo and secure the truck bed. To know which ones are these, keep reading. 

Why should you go for a Hard Tonneau cover?

A hard cover promises ultimate security to the cargo and keeps your cargo out of sight. Due to its heavy-duty material, hard bed covers withstand weather conditions without damage. It has more strength than the soft ones. A hard truck bed cover gives a low-profile design and looks classy.

Apart from these, there are some factors you should keep in your mind while purchasing a hard cover. These are;

  • Compatibility
  • Ease of use
  • Price
  • Durability
  • Access to Truck bed
  • Storage Space
  • Warranty 

What is better soft or hard tonneau cover?

A soft tonneau cover undoubtedly got more points because of its flexibility and ease of use. They are lightweight, so there is no heavy lifting and awkward folding. On top of it, soft tonneau covers are less expensive than hard ones. 

Still, there are some significant reasons that hard covers are more popular. First, it gives more security to the truck bed of its heavy material. Hard bed covers do an excellent job keeping the rainwater out of bed.  

A hard cover can effortlessly install or remove. In addition, the use is also unchallenging. Some people have a misconception about hard ones that they can be heavy and less convenient. But, to tell them, as I have used many hard covers for my RAM 1500 and Chevy Silverado, opening and closing are super easy.

How does a hard Tonneau cover work?

Hard covers are easy to use. If you have a roll-up tonneau cover, roll up the cover near the bulkhead, providing access to the truck bed. The same goes for the folding tonneau cover; fold up the panels, and you get access to the truck bed.

Are hard Tonneau covers removable?

All the flat surface tonneau covers can easily be removable while the side rails remain attached. It makes it easy to reinstall the tonneau cover afterward. It is a beautiful alternative if you remove a flat tonneau cover to move bulky stuff. You should remove the bed rails if you do not intend to reinstall your tonneau cover.

What are fiberglass Tonneau cover?

A fiberglass tonneau cover is an excellent option if you want a solid and sturdy cover. It is rigid yet lightweight. It gives your truck a new and stylish look. The fiberglass tonneau cover can hold up weights between 80 to 110 pounds.

Conclusion | Is hard tonneau cover worth it?

Hard bed covers are worthwhile unless you end up with a cover you dislike or do not meet your demands. Even though hard covers are more expensive, they are well worth the money. They do an excellent job, endure a long time, and have several advantages. In this guide, I have provided you with comprehensive information about what is a hard bed cover. 

The fact that hard covers are more durable does not mean they are all excellent. Do your proper research before purchasing a hard bed cover. There’s no denying that hard bed covers provide more advantages than soft tonneau covers.

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