Hard vs Soft Tonneau Cover: Which One Is Better?

A lot of us know and have heard about tonneau covers. It helps us cover our valuable items effortlessly and protect items from direct sunlight, debris, rain, and snow.

However, there isn’t just one type of tonneau cover; they come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. So, before getting a truck topper, it is essential to know the differences between them.

Hard and soft covers are the most common types available in the market. Let’s put an end to the hard vs. soft tonneau cover debate and explore the differences to find out which one is better!

What Is a Hard Tonneau Cover?

Hard tonneau toppers are available in different materials like aluminum, polypropylene, fiberglass, and hardened plastic. These covers usually have a hinged shape which comes with lid-like joints. It almost works like a horizontal door with hinged bulkheads.

BAK BAKFlip MX4 Hard Folding Truck Bed Tonneau...
  • Fits 2021 Ford F-150 5' 7" Bed (67.1") NEW! Precisely engineered for compatibility...
  • ULTIMATE SECURITY | The BAKFlip MX4 tonneau cover has durable aluminum panels that...
  • STYLISH MATTE FINISH | Featuring matte-finished aluminum panels, protecting against...
  • 100% BED ACCESS | Operate this cover closed, folded or flipped up, all without...

Because of the sturdy materials, these toppers are considered highly secure and durable. The heavy-duty construction prevents anyone from prying into the truck bed or cutting it. Therefore, you can easily store your valuable assets using this topper without the fear of losing them.

Moreover, it comes with a convenient locking system that provides added protection. All these impressive features make this cover a popular choice among truck owners. However, firm construction makes this topper a bit challenging to use.

Benefits of Hard Toppers

Let us take a look at the impressive benefits and features these heavy-duty covers offer.

Enhanced Outlook

These toppers boost the appearance of your truck with their sleek and eye-catchy design. Moreover, you can also customize these sorts of covers according to your preference and requirement.

It enables you to choose your preferred pattern, finishing, shade, and size. Hence, no matter what color and design your truck is, you can easily match your vehicle’s aesthetic with this customizable feature.

Most typical truck covers do not offer the option to alter colors and design; consequently, these hard toppers remain popular among people for their easily customizable option.

Highly Secured

As mentioned before, hardcovers come with an exceptionally secure, convenient, and reliable locking mechanism. You can only open the lid with the key; any third party will not be able to break into your truck bed easily. Hence, the theft-proof design makes these covers highly secure for your valuable items.


High-quality materials like fiberglass and aluminum make this cover highly durable and strong. It can effortlessly protect your stored goods from damage while riding and provide added safety against challenging weather conditions. Moreover, the sturdy cover does not break easily, protecting your goods from any probable damage.

Shortcomings of Hard Toppers

These toppers provide a lot of impressive benefits; however, they are not free of downsides either. So, we have discussed some disadvantages of hardcovers.

Hard to Install

The installation process of hardcovers is a bit challenging and time-consuming. It requires more than one person to install and more energy. Moreover, because of the heavyweight, the lid is tough to open and close every time.


Because of the sturdy construction and customizable feature, these toppers are generally a bit high in price than the others. Therefore, if you are looking for affordable toppers for your truck, this might not be a great option.

Not Fit for Big Cargo

These covers are not convenient if you are involved in regular cargo loading activity. Most oversized cargos do not fit into truck beds with lids. Hence, you have to take the cover off entirely to accommodate your loads.

Since these covers are extremely heavy and take time to install, they are not fit for people who are involved in cargo loading jobs.

What Is a Soft Tonneau Cover?

We have discussed all you need to know about the hardcovers. Now let’s explore all the great things the soft tonneau covers have to offer! So without wasting any time, let us dive into it.

These easy-to-operate covers come with an exceptional roll-up feature that allows you to open and close the lid effortlessly. Manufacturers generally use versatile and pliable materials like vinyl, leather, canvas, and cloth.

Tyger Auto T1 Soft Roll Up Truck Bed Tonneau Cover...
  • US Design Patented
  • Cover is dual-coated and made out of heavy duty 24oz. marine-grade vinyl, with...
  • Seals with Velcro strip on the sides and secures with latch lock system at the...
  • Easy no drilling installation with instruction and mounting hardware provided. |...

It usually consists of aluminum frames on the edges that ensure secure attachments on the truck bed’s sides. Moreover, the rib-like material keeps the cover in position at all times.

You can find different types of soft covers like roll-up, folding and tri-folding covers. All of these are extremely easy to use and install. However, roll-up toppers are most popular among users for their flexible features. Also check our Decked Truck Bed Review for expert

Benefits of Soft Tonneau Cover

Soft Covers offer a range of benefits which makes them one of the most popular choices among people. Let’s take a look at some of the features.

Ease of Use

These toppers are lightweight and extremely easy to maneuver. It does not require too much effort to open and close the lid. Hence, it saves both time and energy.

You can easily roll up the topper and make enough space to load and unload different items. Moreover, new versions of the softcover feature a convenient button that can remove the lid with just one click. Learn How To Remove Truck Bed Cover.


Because of their simple and minimalistic design, these toppers are highly affordable and readily available. You can make an economical purchase with these unique truck bed toppers.

Moreover, the manufacturers do not compromise the quality and appearance even though they offer inexpensive pricing. Therefore, you can get reliable truck bed protection with a polished look at a minimal price.

Good Fitting

The simple toppers fit seamlessly on the truck bed. They are easy to install and nicely cover the entire space without missing any spot. Moreover, It does not take up too much space or add too much weight to your vehicle.

Shortcomings of Soft Toppers

Soft covers also come with some disadvantages that you have to consider before buying. So, we have pointed out some of the shortcomings here:

Less Durable

The manufacturers use delicate materials like canvas, vinyl, and leather to make these covers. Consequently, these toppers less sturdy and weaker. So, they are not fit for prolonged use.


These toppers are incredibly lightweight and can break easily. Therefore, they are not suitable if you have to store and protect valuable items. Moreover, any third party and easily break into the truck bed with minimal effort.

Not Fit for Adverse Weather

The soft products may fail to protect against extreme weather conditions. Moreover, these materials react to weather variations; they can expand or shrink due to severe heat or cold. Hence, they may not fit if you travel to places with extreme heat or cold.

Hard vs Soft Tonneau Cover

Now you know everything about these impressive hard and soft tonneau covers. So, it is time for the final comparison between the two.


Hard tonneau covers are hefty in weight, making them a bit tough to handle for regular use. Hence, it is challenging to open and close these toppers, especially if you are involved in cargo loading jobs. However, the heavyweight also ensures extra protection from a malicious third party.

Hard vs Soft Tonneau Cover

Soft tonneau covers come with no extremely low weight; therefore, they are perfect for daily use. You can open and close these products as many times as you want effortlessly without feeling fatigued.


The hard tonneau toppers win the game when it comes to security and protection. Its heavy-duty construction makes them exceptionally hard to break in. Moreover, the locking features add extra protection to your assets. No unauthorized person can gain access without the key. Hence, hardcovers are best for security usage.

However, soft toppers are more vulnerable to theft because of their delicate and straightforward design. You cannot ensure good protection even by adding locks because these covers are easy to break.


When it comes to affordability, soft tonneau covers take the lead. These toppers are available at an extremely low and affordable price. You can ensure an economical purchase and a quality product with these toppers.

Comparatively, hardcovers come with a big price tag. But it is no surprise since these toppers offer durability and customizable options. Moreover, the sturdy construction and quality material add up to the price level.


The hinged style of the hardcover and its heavyweight make it hard to use. Moreover, it requires extra effort and manpower to install this topper. So, these hard toppers are not the best when it comes to flexibility.

Soft covers are easier to use, and you can install them effortlessly. Its lightweight allows users to roll up the cover without any hassle. This flexible product is perfect for everyday use. Hence, these soft, easy-to-use covers win when it comes to ease of use.

Final Words

Finally, we have come to an end to this hard vs. soft tonneau cover battle. However, there is no real winner between the two. Both of these toppers come with considerable advantages and disadvantages.

Therefore, the choice entirely depends on different factors like budget, the purpose of use, type of job, and flexibility.




Leave a Comment