Informational Guide

How To Measure For A Tonneau Cover

You don’t want a tonneau cover that fits all trucks, as you might not get the appropriate protection. We cover how to measure a truck bed for a tonneau cover.

With the best tonneau cover on your truck, you get the security and protection you need. But, do you know how to measure for a tonneau cover. In general, truck bed covers are not universal.

You don't want a tonneau cover that fits all trucks, or you won't get the appropriate protection. Instead, we cover how to measure a truck bed for a tonneau cover. 

For the best security, you want tonneau covers made to measure on your truck bed. There are different truck bed sizes depending on which one you drive. How do you know what size your truck bed is? We can look at a few standards across the industry. 

Short Bed 

A short bed pickup will typically only measure 5'8" long or less. These aren't typical but tend to occur more frequently with compact trucks.

With the smaller truck bed, the pickup is simple to park and maneuver, but there is less cargo-carrying room. Some trucks with these bed options include the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, and the Toyota Tacoma.  

Standard Bed 

Most standard truck beds will measure around 6’5”, depending on the manufacturer. This is a common choice because the pickup is still maneuverable but offers more cargo-carrying space. Almost every full-size truck offers a standard bed option.  

Long or Extended Bed 

The extended truck bed is going to measure about 8' long, which is nearly two feet bigger than the standard bed. In many cases, these are on Regular Cab trucks that only have a front seat.

If you need to haul an excessive amount of goods, this larger bed is going to be your best bet. You can find this size available with the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Ram 2500.  

How To Measure For A Tonneau Cover: Truck Bed Sizing 

Do you know how to measure a truck bed for a tonneau cover? In this guide, we will go step-by-step on how to measure your truck bed for a tonneau cover. 

Get your measuring tape that is at least eight to ten feet long. You should also have something on hand to write down the measurements.  

  1. 1
    Lower the truck tailgate.
  2. 2
    Stand behind the truck bed.
  3. 3
    Extend the tape measure across the truck bed floor until it reaches the bulkhead wall. The bulkhead wall is the space right behind the truck cab.
  4. 4
    Measure to the end of the truck floor bed, where there is a gap.
  5. 5
    Convert the measurement from inches to feet by dividing the number you have by 12. Most tonneau covers are listed by this number. 

These steps show you how to measure a truck bed size for a tonneau cover, but there are some important aspects to remember. First, the tonneau cover length is typically rounded off. Your measurement should fall within a few inches of the tonneau cover. If you don’t have an exact match, it should be okay as long as it is close. 

Additionally, it is usually easier to shop for your tonneau cover based on the make and model of your truck. If you know what truck bed configuration you have, you should easily be able to search through the options based on this information. By learning how to measure a truck box for a tonneau cover, you confirm that your truck bed is the appropriate size.  

How To Measure For A Tonneau Cover

Common Variations That Can Affect Tonneau Cover Sizing 

  • Long Bed Vs Short Bed  
    Automakers are going to offer trucks in long and short bed configurations. Looking up the information just by the truck model might not get you what you need unless you know what truck bed it is equipped with.  
  • Stepside Bed  
    The older trucks equipped with large fenders tend to have a step on the truck bed that could affect the size of the tonneau cover. These are known as stepside or flareside beds.  
  • Rambox On Ram Trucks  
    Ram trucks can be equipped with extra storage located on the side of the bed. These boxes can affect the width of the tonneau cover you need, but many popular options are advertised as being able to fit with or without the Rambox.  
  • Cargo Management System On Chevy Silverado/Sierra   
    On some Chevy and GMC trucks, there is a special rail system that converts the bed into a platform. If you plan to use a tonneau cover with this type of configuration, it must be able to accommodate it.  
  • Deck Rail System On Toyota Tacoma/Tundra 
    Toyota Tundra and Tacoma trucks can be equipped with a deck rail system that uses cargo dividers and tie-down cleats. You would need to pick the appropriate tonneau cover based on this configuration.  
Common Variations That Can Affect Tonneau Cover Sizing

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How wide is a full size truck bed? 

No matter how long the truck bed is, the majority of full-size trucks provide four feet of space between the wheel wells to ensure you can haul sheets of plywood and other construction materials with ease.  

Can you tell truck bed size by VIN number? 

With the VIN, you can get a build sheet from the dealer. This printout shows you precisely how the truck was equipped, giving you the bed size, engine type, transmission, and interior specifications.  

Can a truck with a tonneau cover go through the carwash? 

There’s a likelihood of anything getting damaged during a carwash, especially the tonneau cover. It’s recommended that you either take it off before entering a carwash or clean your truck by hand. Learning how to detail a truck can go a long way to making your pickup appear the way you desire.  

What truck has the longest bed size? 

Ram and Chevy have both made truck beds that were longer than 98 inches. However, the models change frequently, so you will want to research what is available on the market now.  


How do you measure for a tonneau cover? The steps are outlined above, but you can simply order a tonneau cover based on the model truck you drive. As long as you know which bed you equipped it with, the cover should fit perfectly.  

Related Article: Do Tonneau Covers Really Save Gas?