Bedliners are an essential accessory for those that want to preserve and protect their truck beds against damage and wear. This also helps to preserve the value of your truck overall.
As they also have extra grip, they also reduce the chances of cargo moving around in the trunk during transit.
Two main methods that people use to protect their truck beds are:
- Spray-On Bedliners (AKA Spray-In Bedliners)
- Drop-In Bedliners
So How Do Spray-in and Drop-in Bedliners Compare?
Drop-in bedliners are a very common and accessible method of protecting truck beds.
They come in several forms, but all are made up of one or several pieces of material that are physically installed into the truck bed so as to provide a physical cover.
Drop-in bedliners are usually made from plastic and can also have a carpeted surface.
The carpeted surface helps to keep cargo gripped to the floor more effectively and is also a lot easier in the knees than the harder plastic surface.
Another good thing about drop-in liners is that the plastic variation allows cargo to be slid into the trunk with less effort than spray-on liners.
However, while this is great for loading and unloading cargo, this isn’t great if you want everything to stay in place.
Part of the reason why drop-in bedliners are a popular option is that they are generally more affordable than spray-ons and are very easy to install.
Usually, it’s easy enough for a normal person to just simply drop the bed liner into the truck bed, so there’s no need to source a reliable professional to do the job.
The easy install means that they are also very easy to remove allowing you to swap them with minimal fuss if needed.
With the exception of carpeted bedliners, drop-in bed liners can look more functional than pretty, especially after prolonged regular usage. This can put people that are looking for something more stylish off making a purchase.
Drop-in bedliners can cost in the region of $100 – $500.
Spray-on bedliners are a form of protection of your truck bed surface that is applied like spray paint.
When sprayed, this paint-like material creates a tight bond to your truck bed and as such will appear perfectly flush with your vehicle’s contours.
After the spray-on bed liner has cured, the protection provided is excellent and looks just as good.
This tight bond means that zero amounts of water and particulates will stray beneath the surface, unlike the drop-in liners.
These same features make them quiet whilst driving due to there being no moving parts when you are on the move.
With that said, however, spray-on bedliners take a lot of effort to install perfectly and as such ideally requires a professional to do this properly.
Much like spray painting a vehicle, the surface first needs to be cleaned and prepped before being sprayed.
After spraying, the surface needs time to cure before going through a quality control process to make sure everything is in order.
Quality of Finish
Depending on your requirements the spray-on bed liner can be provided in various finishes.
These finishes can vary from smooth to rough to rubbery – the options are numerous.
They can also be matched to your vehicle’s paint color, which is great for show trucks and those that want something that looks awesome.
The versatility of spray-on bed liners allows you to spray this onto virtually any part of the vehicle, meaning that you can ensure that every crevice is covered to your satisfaction.
Due to this very involved, time-consuming process, spray-on bed lining is by far the most expensive method of protecting your truck bed.
Depending on your specific requirements, installing a spray-on bedliner can cost anywhere from $500 – $1500.
Can I use Spray-on and Drop-in bedliners together?
Yes, you can. If you have already sprayed in a bed liner, but are concerned that it may get damaged then a drop-in bed liner will provide excellent protection.
The only downside is that you won’t see your lovely spray-on liner.