Trucks are made to haul. Toyota Tacomas do so exceptionally well. With up to a 6-foot bed, there is almost no limit to what you can carry around. Bed mats are a great addition to your truck to help get the most out of your hauling.
Bed mats are great for a couple of things: they help keep things in place, and they help protect your bed. From the factory, the Tacoma bed has ridges that run the length of the bed, and the plastic material is textured. Both of these features help with keeping your load in one place and assist with other functions such as channeling rainwater.
The stock plastic, however, is easy to scrape up with heavy and sharp loads such as logs, rocks, or scrap metal. While you’re supposed to do this with a truck, sometimes you weekend movers want to keep your ride looking good. Maybe you don’t want to hear the scraping or some rocks shifting as you accelerate and brake.
Benefits of Rubber Bed Mats
Bed mats are generally made out of thick rubber. Rubber is a soft, flexible material, but also extremely durable. Rubber also absorbs impacts, which helps with two concerns: damage and noise. When your load impacts the rubber surface, the rubber will absorb the impact and distribute the force over a greater surface area. In doing so, it will flex, then regain its original shape. This will help protect your bed from chipping, cracking, denting, and other related damage.
With rubber being much softer over plastic and metal, it also absorbs sound. You no longer have to worry about an ear jarring slam when tossing in your junk. If you have anything loose rolling around in the back (which you should not, but if you do), you won’t have to hear the constant scraping and rolling across the harder material. If you’ve been in this situation before, you know that sound resonates throughout the whole truck, and if the item is large enough, you can feel it. That gets very annoying.
Benefits of Carpet Bed Mats
Some are made of carpet as well. Think of them as a large floor mat that you might find in the interior of your truck. While these offer the same basic protections as the rubber mats, they might be a little cheaper. However, they may not be as thick as the rubber ones, and they can absorb moisture which could lead to mildew and mold. Due to the carpet nature, they are also harder to clean.
Mats Protect From What You Can’t See
When you throw stuff in your bed, it’s easy to see what can cause damage. Over time, there is another culprit of damage: the sun. With its deadly UV rays, the sun will destroy any vehicle over time. Without a physical cover, some type of chemical or protecting fluid/formula, or shade, the UV rays will destroy everything. Paint will fade, plastic and cloth will fade and become brittle, leather will crack, and so on. A bed mat will create a physical barrier between your bed and the sun to help protect the stock coating of your bed (paint or plastic).
A downside to having this cover is the potential for rust. A cover, by definition, covers whatever is under it. Water can become trapped, and if you have a metal bed, this can lead to some serious rust. Rain can easily find its way under the mat. After all, the mats are not designed to keep rain away. Water will have a hard time evaporating, as it will have nowhere to evaporate. During mornings when you find your ride covered in dew, the same thing may be happening under the mat. While beds are designed to help channel water out, small areas may still hold on to the moisture. Over time, damage may occur.
To avoid this, you might want to remove your mat every now and then and inspect the surface of your bed for any troubled areas. Try to dry off the areas, and you may need to tread any rust if it’s developing.
Cleanup Is Easy
While hosing down a bed is not particularly hard, a textured surface may be a pain if mud cakes in it, or you’re dealing with a sticky load, such as wood covered in tree sap. A mat can either be hosed off in the same way, but even easier is the fact that it can be removed and cleaned outside of the truck.
Cost of a Tacoma Bed Mat
For what bad mats accomplish, they are very inexpensive. Prices range from $40 to about $200, but the average is going to be around $80-$100. There is no installation cost since you just throw them in (and maybe hold them down with one bolt), so after shipping and tax, you have nothing else to worry about.
Some Popular Bed Mat Options
As always, here are some popular options that our Tacoma lovers recommend. These brands are sourced from Taco forums, Facebook groups, and more. As always, find what works best for you and your budget. There isn’t too much that separates these mats apart except for maybe thickness and type of rubber, so support the brand that works best for you.
WeatherTech Tacoma Bed Mat
For around $170, WeatherTech offers a durable liner and options for a tailgate liner as well. Though more on the expensive side, the great technology that they have in their floor mats gets carried over to the bed mats for superior protection, durability, and lifetime warranty. You can check it out here.
Tacoma OEM Bed Mat
At just over $110, Toyota offers a mat that they make. It is made specifically for the Tacoma, so you can be sure to get a direct fit. With it coming from Toyota, you know that it will be of good quality. Toyota offers both a carpet and rubber model that you can get from the factory, or online. I have this one in my Tacoma and I love it. You can check it out here.
BedRug Tacoma Bed Mat
Around $55-75 will get you a good carpet mat from BedRug. It also comes with a lifetime warranty and is UV resistant. For closer to $450, they have a mat that covers all the sidewalls of your bed as well. I have a couple of friends who have these and they swear by them. You can check it out here.
Here’s a bit of a wild card, but if you want to make something completely custom, horse stall mats are a great way to get that done. Here on Amazon you can get them in different sizes. You can cut them to size to make the type of bed mat that you want!
WeatherTech - Courtesy of WeatherTech
Toyota Mat - Courtesy of Toyota Canada
BegRug - Courtesy of Truck Accessories Plus
Tacoma Bed Mat - Courtesy of Tacoma World User Texaslaw
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