There are 101 Ways to Hang your Hammock - Which technique works best for you?
Hanging your hammock in the right place and in the right way is a personal and practical choice that can mean the difference between relaxing and relaxing. You can hang your hammock between two trees in your favorite shady lawn spot, between rafters, on a porch - even in your bedroom using straps, wall hooks, a hammock stand or a combination of methods.
Hanging your hammock boils down to three key steps:
1. Ensure you have sufficient height and hanging distance; 2. Pick a location (there can be more than one!); 3. Choose a hanging method.
It really is that easy!
Keep in mind when choosing a spot that you will need some basic equipment. All hammocks can be hung from trees, anchored posts, stands and even from wall & ceiling wood studs. An easy and convenient alternative is usinghammock tree straps, but if you choose the more traditional hanging route, you'll want a tape measure to determine distance & height, a drill as well as your hanging hooks (i.e. this hanging kit). If you can't find those perfectly spaced trees, we offer hammock stands that solve the problem.
STEP 1: Determine Height and Distance
Hammocks usually need anywhere from 10 to 15 feet of space to stretch out. Your needs will be based on the size and style of your hammock.
When it comes to spreader-bar hammocks, a rule of thumb is to measure the distance based on the length of the hammock. A good quality spreader-bar hammock is usually 13 feet long - so you need a distance of at least 13 feet between hanging points. Ideally, you could have a few extra feet to adjust the hammock tension based on the relaxer's preference (some like it flatter, some like it more arched). If your chosen spot is longer than the length of the hammock, hanging straps or extra lengths of chain or rope do the trick.
Hammocks with no spreader bars are more versatile because they are designed to hang with a slumped arch rather than flat. They can be hung between points slightly shorter than their length, which makes them suitable for a wide variety of environments.
Hammock height is another important consideration.. keep in mind that hammocks stretch quite a bit after use, so you need to leave sufficient clearance to avoid surprises down the line (nobody likes to touch the ground while relaxing :). This handy table shows you exactly how high to set you straps or hooks:
STEP 2: Where to Hang your Hammock
As long as you have sufficient distance and height- you're good to go anywhere! Pick your favorite spot that will induce total relaxation bliss. With the right atmosphere, laying in a hammock, for a few minutes, can make life perfect. Put some thought into whether you prefer sun or shade; what you'll see when you slowly open your eyes from that restful nap and whether you're far enough from noise distractions such as road traffic, etc..
STEP 3: Choose a Hanging Method
With Hammock Tree Straps
Straps are by far and away the simplest and quickest way to hang your hammock. The advantage of straps is that they can be adjusted for distance, won't damage your trees (they also work on posts) and can be brought anywhere as they're lightweight and compact (ideal for camping).
With Hanging Hardware
This is another popular hanging method. What you need is 2 good wall anchors (usually j-hooks), 2 lengths of chain (we recommend about 1.5 feet long) and 2 large s-hooks. The beauty of this system is that adjusting the hammock tension takes seconds (simply move the s-hooks up or down the chain). Folks hanging their hammocks indoors as bed replacements from wood beams usually use this system.
Simple... 2 lengths of strong rope looped around the hammock end-loops and secured to a strong tree will do the trick. Low-tech, yes... but easy & effective!
On a Hammock Stand
This is the easiest of all. Stands are already geared for hanging- so all you need is the Hammock & you're ready to go. If purchasing both hammock and stand from us, you have all the hanging gear required.. however if you buy one of our stands (with the exception of the Universal Stand, which requires no hardware), and plan to use your own hammock, you'll need 2 lengths of chain + s-hooks for hanging.
A Few other Creative Hanging Spots...
From the Ceiling
Why not hang your hammock from the ceiling? The procedure here is similar to post hanging - just make sure the beam you've chosen can handle the weight. Use a finder to locate the the beam (If the beam is exposed it's even easier!). Drill a pilot hole for both locations and screw in the bolt and hook. If your hammock needs more distance, just add chain or rope to achieve the desired length.
You can also hang your hammock between a tree and a solid building wall, between two buildings, between two vehicles, or between a vehicle and a tree. If you have a solid roof rack and enough height you can pull your car up to a tree, tie the strap around the tree and roof rack and relax. You can do the same thing between two cars - just separate them at the distance you need and get ready for some R&R.
Hammock Tree Straps
Lightweight & compact (great for camping)
Won't harm trees
Adjustable for any distance
Can't use them on walls
With Hanging Hardware
Can be used on walls & ceilings
Easy adjustable distance via chains
Can harm trees
Everyone has rope!
Won't harm trees
Must secure good knots and ensure very tight loops for solid hold- not as easy as with straps
On a Hammock Stand
Mobile, chase the sun!
Lots of different styles
Look fantastic and become part of backyard or home decor
A chiropractor can do wonders for working out those kinks that result from daily activity or waking up on the wrong side of the bed - but you have to keep returning if you want those benefits to stick.
A hammock can be your best buddy and help you reduce or even eliminate those costly chiropractor visits.
Sleeping in a hammock delivers a very different kind of relaxation than sleeping in a bed. Because hammocks hang, they’re incorporating gravity to support only your body weight, rather than battling gravity like a mattress does.
This super flexible kind of support can reduce strain on pressure points like hips, ribs and vertebrae. Your weight is distributed evenly, while the fabric molds to your body naturally.
Take the hammock nappers' challenge
Next time you feel a bit sleepy, do a test: try out your hammock instead of your mattress. Slip in to your hammock and give it a gentle rock. Make sure to lie down diagonally, and make slight adjustments until you feel close to weightless.
That’s the magic spot.
Before you know it you’ll be rocked into a gentle sleep, and our guess is you’ll wake up feeling fantastic. Post your results on our blog and let us know how your back feels - we love compiling hammock stats!
Instead of going back to the chiropractor, just start paying regular visits to your hammock – it’s a lot cheaper and more relaxing! Not only are you likely to get better and deeper sleep, you’re also likely to wake up less stiff and less sore – ready to face the day.
Check out our latest weaves and styles and pick a colour to go with your decor. Hammocks that work well for sleeping are Mayan Hammocks, Brazilian Hammocks and Nicaraguan Hammocks. Whether you’re using your hammock for napping, a good night’s sleep or sleeping off the effects of a bad night, the gentle sway and ultimate comfort is sure to put you in a great mood!
Thank you so much for all the Hammock photos you submitted for our contest- we're truly overwhelmed!
The bitter-sweet feeling for us at this stage is that we couldn't pick more winners. It was such a close call in the end, with over 20 photos chosen as "finalists". I would like personally extend my gratitude and thanks to all who participated! Your pictures were wonderful and inspirational, reminding us how something as simple as a Hammock can make a profound quality-of-life difference.
"Hi, you refer to your Parachute hammock as a "camping hammock", but we refer to it as our Travel hammock and take it with us wherever we go. And we only take carry-on luggage!! This photo was taken on the island of Hawaii, Hawaii (aka, the Big Island) at a volcanic lava-flow lagoon just outside the town of Kona. Your hammock tree straps held perfectly on the only two palm trees in sight." Bruce Chortel, Alberta, CA
My son's room is small and he was finding that he didn't have enough room to spread out when he wanted to build/create. We decided to get rid of his bed and replaced it with one of your hammocks. His hammock is so comfortable that everyone in the house uses it for reading and for naps. We also took it camping last summer and it was a great hit.My son has been sleeping in his hammock for over a year and has a comfortable, peaceful sleep every night. I encourage others to consider this option. It is a natural way of sleeping and has made a great addition to our home" Monique & Oscar, Ottawa, ON.
What do hammocks have to do with productivity, you might ask?
Every week I take time out of my busy schedule to slowwwwww down and read non-fiction for a couple of hours.
As you probably know, a few days ago was St. Paddy's day, but instead of going out with the revellers (like I usually do), I finished reading a good book called "Master Life Faster" by Paul Lem. One snippet was particularly insightful:
"A Japanese study showed that a student group that napped for 20 minutes between work sessions were sharper, less fatigued, and performed better than a group that rested in a chair for the same time."
Now, who woulda thunk that smart siestas are productivity enhancers?
Well, it will come as no surprise that we at Hammock Universe are huge believers in the "mid-day siesta". Although it might sound insane at first, we consider Hammocks in the office a productivity tool. A healthy, rested mind is a productive mind...
Let's face it, we all have time chunks in our day where we aren't particularly productive and laying in a Hammock for even 20 minutes is a recipe to break through that wall. Companies like Google understand this (they have hammocks in most of their offices)- the mainstream just hasn't caught up yet.
I have a confession to make: I’m totally biased. I not only love Hammocks but also sell them.
As founder and “Relaxer in Chief” of Hammock Universe, I have a vested interest of promoting everything about hammocks. Simple: I sell more hammocks, I make more money. That said- and despite my bias, I promise to be as “neutral” as I can possibly be in the next entries- where I’ll be describing my experience of replacing my traditional bed with a hammock for 4 nights. I’ll list the good, the bad, and everything in between.
So... Why do this?
I've been kicking this idea around in my head for quite awhile and figured it was about time. Like most other North Americans, I've been raised with the idea that a bed & mattress is the only modern way to get a good night’s sleep. Seeing as I have much difficulty getting proper deep sleep on a traditional bed, it’s high time I give something else a shot. Curing my insomnia issues would be a god-send... seems that 3 nights on 4 are “incomplete” - with me waking several times during the night. I wonder- is this due to my physical environment (bed) or my psychological state? One of the reasons I'm embarking on this “test” is to find out.
In the mornings, I also feel lower-back pain on a regular basis. Although it disappears after 5 or 10 minutes of movement after I'm out of bed... it’s quite annoying.
Those who have gone there before rant & rave...
I must say that I'm humbled.. enthused.. and rather blown away by what our own customers are saying about their "sleeping in a hammock" experiences. I've always suspected that the millions of hammock-sleepers in Central & South America are onto something - but never realized the magnitude of the impact it could have until reviews started flowing in from our North American customers. In my view, the act of dispensing with the mattress & trying a hammock is fairly recent here in North America. Judging by what we hear from our customers- it’s catching on. I'm convinced that, at some point in the future, there will be some NY Times article on how trendy “hammock-sleeping” is becoming. For now, though, it seems to me that “those in the know” are in on a happiness-inducing secret.
Here are a few samples of reviews we've received:
By: Killhouse Title: Ditch your bed! ...“Everyone warned me that I wouldn't be comfortable, that my back would hurt, that I would sleep terribly. They're all wrong. My back feels just fine - and I have had back problems in the past!”...”
By: hammockgirl Title: What a great bed!! ...“Thanks to the guy who reviewed this who had been sleeping in hammocks for 30 years. His review clinched the deal for me. I had been ill for about 4 days and normally I can't stay in a bed because I would get aches and pains. No issues with this hammock. I rested comfortably and quickened my recovery time. Every home should have one!...”
By: Debbie Title: Changed my life! ...“have a lower back degenerative disk disease. After sleeping for a weekend camping with a hammock I noticed my back pain was almost absent. I ordered this hammock as a bed replacement. I have been sleeping in it every night for over a week now and am off all anti inflammatory medication and no longer take pain meds. to get through my day. This hammock has changed my life! I get up in the morning a little stiff from sleeping so hard I don't move, but I have no back pain and can walk straight right out of the hammock!! So grateful for a good night sleep and a pain free morning that I haven't had for over 10 years!! thank you!...”
In my humble opinion, that’s powerful stuff.
So... here we go... call this a “controlled” experiment if you will...I'm not sure what the results will be but I'm hopeful that my nights are about to become a lot more rejuvenating!
Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 2012 I'm still groggy from my first full night in the hammock. My set-up was quite basic: I used a regular sheet as a first layer, and a blanket as a top layer. I also used a small pillow. My laying position was slightly diagonal to straighten out my body as much as possible. My hammock is a Nicaraguan Hammock, which has a tight doubled-layered open weave. The hammock stand (I chose it out of necessity due to space constraints) is the Universal Stand for non-spreader bar hammocks.
As I settled in.. I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt. My initial thought was that the night would be a blissful one. Unfortunately, the one sheet as a base layer wasn't enough. Winter nights up here in Canada are pretty cold and as a consequence I woke up 2-3 times with a cold back. Live & learn... will have to make some adjustments tonight. The good news is that my lower back (which usually hurts in the morning) feels great.
Monday Dec. 3rd, 2012 The 2nd night was much better. I got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I read for a few minutes and then passed out.
I corrected the cold issue by adding a soft polyester blanket to the mix... so I used 2 soft blankets (one under me and one over) & the same pillow. That ended up being a perfect mix as I woke up warm and toasty. The open weave of the hammock would be wonderful in the summer as it allows air-flow but in colder conditions I've learned that it has to be properly covered.
As I was about to fall asleep last night, I remember a blissful moment of thinking about how great it was that I was suspended in a hammock. The feeling of it is completely different than a mattress. I'm not sure if it’s the novelty of it for the time being, but I loved that feeling.
Another difference I've noticed in a hammock is movement. On a regular mattress, I tend to toss and turn forever before falling asleep. In a hammock, especially if sleeping at a slightly diagonal position, the feeling is more one of being “locked into position”. No tossing and turning, no waking up in a different positions...
My back feels wonderful again this morning.
Tuesday Dec. 4th, 2012 One of the best, most restful nights of deep sleep I can remember. I passed out at 11 PM and slept straight through to 9:30 AM. I even overslept.
Again, another pleasant surprise is how great the back feels. No pain whatsoever, which is unheard of for me 3 nights in a row. I should have tried this way, way sooner.
Wednesday Dec. 5th, 2012 At this point my Nicaraguan hammock bed is almost working too well. I overslept, again. I was in deep dreamland for about 11 hours - crazy. Will need to set-up my alarm tomorrow as that's just too much sleep. 1 more night to go.
Thursday + Friday Dec. 6th & 7th, 2012 Another great 2 nights of sleep. :) The principle thing I noticed last night was that when I slipped into the hammock, I wasn't overly tired and usually in that state it would take be forever to fall asleep. In the hammock, the time required to fall into dreamland was much less (10 minutes at most). Feeling great again this morning...
There is something about laying in a hammock that makes you see the world & your surroundings differently. I've never found an other piece of furniture that does that. On the first night of this experiment, while slipping into my hammock, I wondered how things would go. I had resolved to write this blog whether the experience was good or bad- so what would I say if it turned out to be a disaster? Thankfully, I never had to go there.
It's difficult in the mid-life to imagine such a profound change to an ingrained behavior. I've slept in regular beds my whole life. What this has showed me in that a change in habits can lead to radical improvements. The last 5 nights have been the best "5-night stretch" I can remember. I spend my days feeling rested and alert. I'm going to keep my hammock set-up in my bedroom. Every opportunity I have, I'm going to take advantage and sleep in my hammock bed.
The main benefit for me has been not only deeper sleep - but also how great my back in feeling. I'm pretty sure that hammocks have the potential to put most chiropractors out of business. The anecdotal evidence I've seen and felt points to a monumental improvement for those who suffer from back pains. I'm certainly not a doctor, but I know the effect it's had on me, and many of our customers. Over the last 5 nights, I haven't experienced any back pain whatsoever. I think there's a huge untapped potential here...
The fact a hammock set-up saves a ton of space & is much cheaper than a mattress is just icing on the cake.
Now that I have personal experience with hammock sleeping (and not just snoozing!), I can also properly advise our customers on tossing the mattress & taking the hammock plunge. :)
I've also video blogged this whole experiment, you can watch here.