Hard Vs Soft Tonneau Covers: Which One The Best in 2020

The tonneau helps us in delivering many items at a time without damaging their quality. Any pick-up truck or vehicle with a tonneau protects the objects beneath it from snow, rain, dust and harmful UV rays. As a result, it has proven to be quite an important aspect for companies delivering cargo regularly.

However, they don’t come in just one standard format. Tonneau covers can have many variations based on size, structure and more. Most users categorize them into two broad divisions - hard and soft. But which one is better in the competition of Hard Tonneau Covers Vs Soft Tonneau Covers? We are here to debunk just that!

What is Hard Tonneau Cover?

Hard tonneau covers are typically the ones that come with a hinged structure. You can mark them easily by identifying their lid-like joints. They function almost like bed lids with hinged bulkheads.


These covers are built from fiberglass, aluminum or polypropylene. All of these materials are quite famous for their strength. You cannot cut or pry into them without exerting a considerable amount of energy. They have heavy-duty construction which makes it a little hard to operate on.

However, this sturdiness is also the reason why hard tonneau covers are so reliable for holding in the cargoes. No matter how much someone tries, their weak mischief will not let this cover open up.

You can keep the cover locked to secure the things within it even more! Such security features have made hard tonneau covers a popular choice among the individuals involved in cargo businesses.

Advantages of Hard Tonneau Covers

There are a number of advantages you can get using hard tonneau covers. Some of the most prominent ones are:


Hard tonneau covers provide much higher security to anything stored beneath them. They can get you a convenient and highly reliable locking system for keeping the stored items safe from any malicious third party.

Anyone without the key will not be able to crack through this lock. As a result, you can limit its accessibility to only the authorized personnel and ensure its protection. It almost works like a vault in keeping the preserved objects safe and secure.


As we mentioned earlier, these covers are sturdy in construction. Their heavyweight structure allows for carrying similar heavy objects. If you prefer to have more rugged looks for your vehicles, the hard tonneau covers surely deliver that quality.

Customized Finish

These covers are well-known for their perfect appearance. That is because they give you the option of painting it in a customized way.

It allows you the freedom to choose the kind of finishing, pattern and shades for accentuating your truck. With this possibility, you can make your truck tough or low-key, quirky or professional - anything you want.

Such customized finishing is what categorizes these covers as the high-end alternatives. The smooth looks it can deliver are sure to grab the attention of each passer-by.

Disadvantages of Hard Tonneau Covers

Although there are many perks of going for a hard tonneau cover, you may face these drawbacks as well while using them:

Less flexible

We love that the harder covers can make your truck more robust and secure. However, there is also a downside to it. You will find it much harder to open and close up the cover every time. They are not flexible enough to let a human do it at an optimum speed or with a comfortable stamina.

Not convenient for cargo loading

If you are involved in regular cargo loading and unloading tasks, these covers bring in more advantages for you than the alternative.

For the typical hard tonneau covers, you will need to take off the entire cover in order to access its bed fully. This gets in the way of continuing the cargo activities at a productive speed. It can cause delays for the task completion on a regular basis.


Hard tonneau covers are usually much more expensive than others. Of course, that comes as no surprise since sturdy construction and customized painting will definitely have a higher cost. So if you are running on a tight budget or just don’t prefer expensive objects, these covers are not the best choice for you.

What is Soft Tonneau Covers?

Now let’s dive into the budget-friendly soft tonneau covers! These come with the roll-up structure which makes it quite easy to maneuver.

Soft Tonneau Covers

Now let’s dive into the budget-friendly soft tonneau covers! These come with the roll-up structure which makes it quite easy to maneuver.

They are usually made from flexible materials like cloth and vinyl. There are rib-like elements inside which help to keep the covers rigid. The softer parts can stay taut with the help of a stronger aluminum frame.

Aside from the roll-ups, there are some soft covers with a snap system as well for opening and closing. However, this is not so much popular since it involves the extra step of installing the snaps first through drilling or adhesives.

Advantages of Soft Tonneau Covers

For the majority of truck users, soft tonneau covers are a popular choice because of its affordable price points and ease of use. Let’s discuss that and other advantages of having these covers:

Easy to Use

The soft tonneau covers are very easy to use. All you have to do is roll up the covers as much as you need to get the space.

It is quite lightweight compared to other covers. As a result, the constant opening and closing do not cause much fatigue. This is why they are a common choice for individuals involved in cargo loading and unloading.

The soft covers with latest technology also allow removing the cover with just a button. No wonder such electronic systems are gaining more and more popularity every year!


Because the soft covers are so simple in structure, it comes at an affordable price. So the truck-lovers can make a good purchase and keep their tonneau secure without breaking the bank.

However, don’t think that cheap cost equals to cheap quality! Even though the price point is low, your vehicle can still have a smooth and polished appearance with the soft covers on.


These covers can fit easily on your truck’s back. They aptly cover the entire space there and reach the sides snugly. As a result, you don’t need to put in extra effort or expense to set it up properly. Such fitting carries vital significance in order to keep your truck safe from snow and rain.

Disadvantages of Soft Tonneau Covers

A couple of drawbacks can hamper the long-term usability of soft tonneau covers. Let’s take a deeper look into them:


The simple structure of these covers is certainly helpful in daily operation. However, this also raises the risk of thieves and other mischievous individuals getting under the covers. To avoid this risk, make sure the soft tonneau cover of your choice has a locking mechanism.

Weather Compatibility

These covers are not built to cope with adverse weather conditions. In extreme cold or snow, opening them up may prove to be quite a tedious endeavor. You can easily get frustrated while spending hours on getting this one task done.

Comparing Hard Tonneau Covers vs Soft Tonneau Covers

Now that we know both the covers well enough, let’s compare them on some important points to see which one is better:

Flexibility Of Use

Flexibility is what dictates the usability of tonneau covers on a regular basis. The easier it is to remove and lay down, the less time it will take to complete your tasks!

Soft tonneau covers easily win this round. Their roll-up structure is much easier to handle than the hinged hard covers. As a result, jobs like cargo loading becomes faster and less tiring.


Weight can be conceived in both positive and negative lights. A heavyweight structure like hard tonneau covers instills more confidence for the user but makes the daily activities quite exhausting.

On the other hand, lightweight soft covers make regular uses easier for you but cannot fight against adverse weather conditions. So they can make things frustrating for you in the snowy winter days.


The hard tonneau covers provide higher security for any truck. Their sturdy structure combined with locking systems makes them hard to break. Any unauthorized third party or thieves cannot gain access to the items stored under these covers.

Comparatively, soft tonneau covers are much more vulnerable to such risks. Their simple design and easy operation can prove to be hazardous unless the bed is empty.

Price Point

For those of you with a limited budget, the soft covers make a much better option. The hard ones come at a pretty high price because of their high-end sturdy construction. Soft tonneau covers are much more affordable for the masses.


Both covers have their own kind of appeal to customers. Being the high-end option, hard ones bring in more sleek and smooth appearance for trucks. They can also be customized according to your preferences. You can paint it in any color you want to suit your personal style or brand.

On the other hand, soft tonneau covers have a better fit on trucks. They will not leave any space uncovered on the bed and snugly fit into both sides.

Bottom Line - Which One The Best?

It all depends on your needs and preferences. Both hard and soft covers provide a number of impressive advantages for carrying products in the tonneau.

If security is a huge factor for your business or personal use, hard tonneau covers are the wiser choice. They also come with more customization options which can make your truck stand out in the crowd. So they are ideal for the individuals or companies who value branding as one of their highest priorities.

In contrast, the soft covers are much better for regular cargo loading and unloading services. Besides, their cost is set at a very reasonable price compared to harder ones. But they will prove to be harder to operate if it has been a snowy or stormy day.

So you get to decide which one serves your purposes the best. Either of them can be the right one if used and taken care of properly. Hopefully this Hard Tonneau Covers Vs Soft Tonneau Covers guide will help you with the decision process.

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