Ultimate Guide to Hammocks

Hammocks can be found in gardens, back yards, porches, and many other outdoor locations and provide a place to relax, unwind and enjoy some time in nature. They are also considered necessary gear for those who like to go on adventures. Even if you are in the wilderness, hammocks provide a place of comfort where they can sleep and feel rested when they wake up the next day.

Choosing a hammock is tricky because you must keep various factors in mind. Only then can you ensure that your hammock will be comfortable and fulfill all your needs.

Different Types of Hammocks

There are various hammocks available on the market. Still, to pick the perfect one, you should evaluate all the different kinds available. 

Rope Hammocks

Rope hammocks are made using loosely woven ropes that are thick and supportive, meaning they can handle your weight with ease. These hammocks are the most common kind and are mostly seen suspended between two trees.

Rope hammocks are perfect for relaxing, reading, or napping outdoors. The loose ropes are also breathable, meaning you won’t feel hot even if the sun is bright. These hammocks are available with and without spreader bars. If you want them to be extra durable, choose one made of polyester cords. 

Camping Hammocks

Camping hammocks are light and portable hammocks that can be taken with you on your adventures. They are effortless to pack, and you can carry them and set them up wherever you want. 

These hammocks usually come with various accessories, including sacks and small bags that you can use to carry the hammock in. Camping hammocks are typically made using nylon, which keeps them lightweight. Nylon also makes them resistant to mildew growth, increasing their longevity and durability. Additionally, nylon is extremely easy to clean because all you need to do is hose it off. 

Camping hammocks are a must-have item for camping because they are highly durable and portable. The support is low on such hammocks, which may be a problem for some.

Quilted Hammocks

A quilted hammock is supportive and tight, meaning it is incredibly comfortable to relax on. It features two layers of tightly woven fabric like regular quilts and has batting between them. These hammocks usually have spreader bars, which prevent them from flipping over. 

Quilted hammocks are usually used with hammock stands because they can’t be stretched to different lengths if you attach them between trees. 

Fabric Hammocks

Fabric hammocks are the cheaper of the bunch, but they are still durable and long-lasting. They are usually constructed using quick-dry materials, which makes them perfect to be used near the pool and to leave out in the rain. 

The quick-dry material used is mostly polyester blends, available in various styles, colors, and patterns, making fabric hammocks extremely versatile. Some even have pillows sewn into them, making them excellent to relax and sleep on. 

Woven Hammocks

Woven hammocks are definitely one of the most stylish hammocks. They originated from South America, where they have been used for beds for centuries, meaning they are extremely comfortable to lie on and provide ample support.

Woven or Mayan hammocks are woven using lightweight material that is almost cotton but much more sturdy. They are usually available in various bright colors and even patterns, and these hammocks typically do not have spreader bars. Woven hammocks almost look cocoon-like, and you can hang them close together and use them as chairs.

Brazilian hammocks are another kind of woven hammock similar to Mayan hammocks but are more tightly woven. They also often use nylon instead of cotton. Brazilian hammocks are the way to go if you want something that looks more traditional and provides ample support. 

Hammock Bed Sizes

Size is an important feature when choosing a hammock to buy. You should not buy one that is either too small or too large. When purchasing, you should always check the weight limit. Most one-person hammocks have a 250-pound limit. 

Bed Size Use
Single Hammocks Single hammocks are suitable for one adult. They are usually sized around 76 inches to 79 inches long and 39 to 50 inches wide. 
Double Hammocks Double hammocks can easily hold two average-sized adults. They are usually 52 to 60 inches wide and 79 inches long.
Queen-sized Hammocks Queen-sized hammocks are designed to hold more than two adults. They are usually sized around 69 inches wide and 79 inches long.
Family or King-sized Hammocks Family or King-sized hammocks are typically very large and can hold entire families at the same time. They measure around 79 inches wide and 79 inches long.

Spreader Bar vs. Non-Spreader Bar Hammocks

Hammocks usually come in two configurations, with or without spreader bars. Hammocks that have spreader bars are usually pre-stretched for you to provide optimal comfort. They have rods running along their sides that hold the fabric taut. 

Spreader bars are usually ideal to use with hammock stands. Due to the spreader bars, the fabric is often taunt, which makes them slightly uncomfortable to sleep on. They are perfect for other uses, such as lounging, sunbathing, etc. You will mostly find quilted hammocks with spreader bars.

Hammocks that do not have spreader bars are much looser, which allows them to better mold with your body. Without the spreader bars holding the fabric taunt, you can easily get in and out of these hammocks. These hammocks also provide a cocooning effect that can be comforting for many.

Installation Options

How you will hang your hammock is also an important consideration when picking out a hammock. You have several different installation options to choose from.

Stands

Hammock stands are perfect for porches, backyards, and patios. They are extremely easy to set up, and you can move them around because they are not tied to something permanent. The size may make it inconvenient to move around. Still, this option is often unavailable with other kinds of installation options. 

If you have plenty of space, a hammock stand is the perfect installation option, as it gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility. 

Posts or Tree Straps

Tree straps are the easiest way to install a hammock. Additionally, when the hammock is attached to a tree, you won’t have to fear going a little over the weight limit as the tree bark won’t be harmed. If you plan on installing your tree strap between trees, you need to consider the distance between the trees and how high you are installing the hammock. 

Ideally, the trees should be 10 to 15 feet apart, and the hammock should sit around 18 inches off the ground. This height is perfect because it allows you to easily get in and out of the hammock. 

How To Choose a Hammock

If you need a hammock, you should stop and consider a few crucial factors before making your purchase. Features such as the material, comfort level, portability, and ease of installation can make or break a hammock.

The Use

Hammocks are incredibly versatile and can be used for various purposes. You can use them for camping, backpacking, in your backyard, inside the house, etc. Due to its versatility, you need to decide how you will use it to get one suited for that purpose. 

If you intend to use your hammock when you go camping or on a trip to the mountains, a camping hammock is the best kind to purchase. Camping hammocks are portable, lightweight, and compact, allowing you to easily carry them around. Camping hammocks are also called parachute hammocks because of the material they are made out of. In such situations, ensure that your hammock comes with a tarp and a rainfly and is a hammock tent hybrid. 

Many people also install hammocks in their backyards. If you intend to do that, ensure that your hammock is made using weather-resistant material. These materials include canvas, quilted, and rope. You can opt for traditional Brazilian or Mayan-style hammocks as well. 

If you plan on installing the hammock inside your house, choose a hanging hammock chair, which is smaller in size but serves the same purpose. 

The Material

When choosing a hammock, it is essential that you consider the material. The reason hammock prices vary so dramatically is the large variety of materials they are made of. Hammock materials are usually rated 20D, 30D, etc. The D means denier, which indicates how heavy the fabric is. The higher the denier number, the stronger the material will be. 

If you want a hammock to carry around, you want it to be lightweight. In this case, you should choose one with a lower denier number. 

Size and Comfort

Hammocks are designed in various sizes, from small ones that can only accommodate one person to huge ones that can fit a whole family. Single and double hammocks are the most popular kind purchased. Single hammocks are usually 4 to 5 inches wide, whereas doubles are 5 to 6 inches wide. 

Many people prefer double hammocks even when they are the only ones using them because it allows extra room to move around. With a larger hammock, you don’t need to scrunch up in a small area. It also lets you lay diagonally to relieve pressure on your lower back. 

Ease of Setup

When purchasing a hammock, ensure that it is easy to set up. Assess all the accessories it comes with. Ideally, it should come with everything you need to set it up, but you may need to purchase a hammock stand if required. For information about the installation process, you must read the product description.

Portability

The portability of hammocks depends on the material they are made out of. Some hammocks are made using lightweight material and can be packed down into a sack or stuffed into a bag. On the other hand, those made using canvas or yarn are larger and much heavier. You can not load these into a bag, which is why they are primarily used for hammocks that stay in one place.

Hammocks that require a hammock stand can also be moved, but it is challenging if the stand is made using heavy material. If you are looking for a portable hammock that you can use for camping, choose one that is lightweight and does not require a hammock stand.

Accessories

Hammocks often come with various accessories that allow you to use your hammock more efficiently. These include a suspension system, a rainfly or tarp, a big mesh net, and an under quilt or sleeping pad.

A suspension system or straps are incredibly useful in helping hang a hammock. Most hammocks are shipped with carabiners attached to the ends, meaning you just need a pair of straps to attach them. Straps are usually not included with hammocks, so you may need to purchase them separately.

A rainfly or tarp is helpful for camping hammocks, as they help protect you from snow, rain, and wind as you sleep under the sky. A mesh or bug net is also a helpful inclusion. If you purchase a hammock to go camping, ensure that you buy one with a 360-degree bug net. Such nets cover you from side to side and from front to back.

When purchasing a hammock with a bug net, you should consider whether you want it attached or detachable. Depending on your area, you may prefer one over the other. If your area does not have a lot of bugs, detachable allows you to remove the bug net, which can help lighten the load.

Choosing a hammock with an under-quilt or sleeping pad is essential if you live in a cold environment. It allows you to stay warm in your hammock even if chilly winds are blowing.

Price

Although there are a lot of really expensive hammocks available, you do not need to spend a lot to get a decent and comfortable hammock of decent quality. If you intend to go on many adventures with your hammock and use it a lot, you may want to invest in a high-quality one. 

No matter how much you use it, purchasing the cheapest hammock can have a lot of disadvantages. The main difference between well-made and affordable hammocks is in the team’s strength. Most cheap hammocks rip at the seam when they experience any heavy load.

Pros and Cons of Hammocks

Hammocks have both advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before purchasing one. Here are a few that you should check out before you make your purchase.

Pros of Hammocks Cons of Hammocks
They help you have a more restful and deeper sleep. Challenging to get in and out of.
They help relieve back pain. They are not as spacious, and you can’t sprawl on them.
Most hammocks are portable and can be stuffed in a backpack. They tend to sway and do not remain still.
They save space.

FAQs:

Are hammocks good for you?

Yes. Hammocks help you sleep much better because they provide ample support for your back. They are also much more relaxing and eliminate the risk of bed bugs. Hammocks are also significantly cheaper than mattresses.

What is the most comfortable material for a hammock?

Hammocks come in a variety of different materials. Those made using cotton are the most comfortable, and polyester and nylon are pretty comfy too. Polyester is a very thick material that provides support and feels comfortable to sleep on.

Nylon is a comparatively firmer material but also strong and quick drying. 

Is a wider hammock better?

Wider hammocks give you a lot more space to sleep in, meaning you can sleep at a greater angle and change positions much more quickly than if you chose a narrower hammock.

Conclusion

A hammock is an excellent way to enjoy nature and sleep under the stars. Due to their portable nature, they are essential to many adventurer’s kits. They allow hikers and campers to set up a base anywhere and have a comfortable place to sleep. Hammocks are known to support your back and will enable you to get a good night’s sleep.

When purchasing a hammock, you must consider a few factors, such as size, length, material, and portability. By focusing on these, you can ensure that the one you purchase fits your needs the best.