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Hammock Buying Guide

June 27, 2019 7 min read

Cotton rope hammock with spreader bars hangs between trees in the backyard with a cozy blanket on it

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Your One-Stop Guide to Help You Buy the Hammock of Your Dreams

When picking your feature piece for lounging, whether it’s outside or at home, you’ll want to make sure you do your research first. Despite being a relatively care-free purchase, there are still a few things to consider before you buy a hammock. You’ll be spending lots of time lounging in it, after all!

This guide will help you find the best hammock based on your intended use, location, size, and many other factors. But the bottom line is that no matter what type of hammock you choose, you’ll never be disappointed with the quality and craftsmanship.

Now, let’s find the perfect hammock for you and your needs!

Things to Determine Before Your Purchase

To find the perfect hammock, you need first to determine where to buy a good hammock (e.g., hammocks on sale online) and decide on the main purpose of your hammock. Will it be your go-to bed for camping, or will it stay at home in your backyard?

The purpose of your hammock will determine the type of hammock you should get. So think carefully and consider some of these popular uses for hammocks.

Staycation, Relaxing, Sunbathing

Do you plan to spend your summer days relaxing in the backyard, maybe by the pool or under the trees? A hammock will certainly help make your summer staycations in your backyard that much better.

Sleeping

Around the world, people sleep in hammocks instead of beds because there are so many amazing benefits to sleeping in hammocks. Hammocks are comfortable stress-relievers that provide a better night’s sleep than your boring old bed. Hammocks are also more affordable than beds.

The best hammocks for sleeping in do not have spreader bars and hang with a good sag in the shape of a smile or a banana.

Home Lounging/Reading Nook

If you want a hammock for lounging by the pool or in the backyard, hammocks with spreader bars and stands are the way to go.

And hammock chairs are perfect for reading nooks both inside and outside. Hammock chairs can be suspended from a porch beam, tree branch, or a stand.

Hammock Camping

Hammock camping provides a convenient alternative to camping with a tent. Hammocks are easy to set up and more comfortable to sleep in than on the ground. They also double as seating, so you don’t have to lug camping chairs with you on your trip.

Office Naps

If you’re able to sneak away for a quick nap during the work day, kudos to you! But instead of sleeping under your desk, consider hanging a hammock in your office for the most comfortable nap you’ll ever have when you should be working.

Size and Width

Hammock size is important. So ask yourself, “What size hammock do I need?” Will you be sharing your hammock, or hanging solo? Hiking with your hammock, or keeping it in the backyard?

Hammocks typically come in single, double, or XL family sizes. Single hammocks are designed to be large enough for one adult, with a width of 4 to 5 feet, and a weight capacity ranging from about 250 to 400 pounds. Single hammocks are lightweight, making them ideal for camping and hiking.

Double hammocks for sale are large enough to comfortably fit two adults, with a width of 5 to 6 feet. These hammocks are also strong enough to support the weight of two adults, with a typical weight capacity of 400 to 500 pounds. But lighter double hammocks will have a weight capacity near 350 pounds.

People will also choose a double hammock for single-person use just because the roomy space is more comfortable.

Extra-large hammocks for sale are strong enough to hold 3+ people, depending on their combined weight. Some XL hammocks can hold more than 800 pounds!

Location

Where you plan to use your hammock will determine the type of suspension you use. For example, if you plan to hang a hammock in your home, you will need to install it using the support beams in your walls.

If outside in your backyard or at your cottage, two trees or a hammock stand will do. Note: some hammock stands are small enough for use on porches, balconies, and even inside homes.

Travel

If you plan to travel with your hammock, you will likely want to get a lightweight, compact camping hammock, not a heavy quilted hammock. And you’ll also want easy-to-use, lightweight suspension, such as tree straps.

Accessories You'll Need

  • Hammock-hanging tools, which often come with hammocks, such as hooks and carabiners.
  • Suspension. Many hammocks will come with suspension systems, while others may require that you buy these separately. Suspension systems include tree straps, carabiners, S-hooks, rope, springs, swivelschains, and cords.
  • Tree straps. These are webbing straps that won’t damage trees when you hang your hammock. These straps easily wrap around trees. And the wider the strap, the less likely it will dig into the tree.
  • Rain tarps. For shelter from the rain and wind, you can install a rain tarp above your hammock and use guy lines to hold a taut pitch. Rain tarps come in various sizes and shapes with different levels of cover.
  • Bug nets. Look for hammocks with mosquito nets that provide 360-degree protection to protect your front and back from bites while you sleep. These nets should also have “no-see-um” netting to keep even the smallest bugs out.
  • Chains. If your hammock isn’t long enough to reach the anchor points, you can add chains to lengthen the suspension and avoid having a hammock that is too taut.
  • Top and under quilt. When sleeping outside, especially overnight, you will want insulation when the temperature drops, especially underneath you. Top quilts and under quilts will help keep you warm, even in chilly temperatures. Also, consider using a hammock sleeping pad for added insulation.

Understanding Hammock Types

With so many hammock types to choose from, here’s a quick rundown so you have an idea of what’s out there.

READ MORE: YOUR HAMMOCK BUYING GUIDE – FABRICS EDITION

Cotton

Cotton hammocks are breathable and comfortable. But cotton isn’t very weather-resistant, so you shouldn’t leave your cotton hammock outdoors in the rain.

POLYESTER ROPE HAMMOCK - SOFT-WOVEN DELUXE

Polyester

Polyester hammocks are more durable and weather-resistant. And these hammocks can be just as comfortable as cotton hammocks.

Recommended Product: Polyester Rope Hammock – Soft-Woven Deluxe

COTTON ROPE HAMMOCK - DOUBLE

Rope

Rope hammocks have a classic style. And rope hammocks for sale can be made from cotton, polyester, or weather-resistant rope.

While cotton is the softest type of rope, it is not mold- or mildew-resistant, so you will need to bring your hammock indoors when not in use.

Polyester rope is mold- and mildew-resistant. But it does tend to absorb water and take a while to dry.

Recommended Product: Cotton Rope Hammock – Double

OLEFIN DOUBLE QUILTED HAMMOCK WITH MATCHING PILLOW

Quilt/Olefin

Quilted hammocks have a plush layer in the centre for extra comfort. Quilt hammocks are also made with weather-resistant fabrics so that won’t fade in the sun or develop mildew if left outside.

Their quick-drying materials make these hammocks ideal for use by the pool or lake.

Recommended Product: Olefin Double Quilted Hammock With Matching Pillow

MAYAN HAMMOCK - XL FAMILY-SIZED THICK CORD

Mayan

Mayan hammocks are non-spreader bar hammocks handwoven by artisans using brightly coloured strings. Mayan hammocks tend to be loosely woven with a diamond weave for breathability. These sling hammocks cocoon when inside, making for a comfortable hang and sleep.

Recommended Product: Mayan Hammock – XL Family-Sized Thick Cord

DELUXE BRAZILIAN STYLE DOUBLE HAMMOCK

Brazilian

Brazilian hammocks are more tightly woven than Mayan hammocks, making these ideal for cooler climates. They do not have spreader bars. Instead, Brazilian hammocks have cotton fabric gathered at both ends and hand-crocheted lace along the edges.

Brazilian hammocks for sale are also excellent, affordable bed alternatives.

Recommended Product: Deluxe Brazilian-Style Double Hammock

NICARAGUAN HAMMOCK - DELUXE

Nicaraguan

Nicaraguan hammocks are similar to Mayan hammocks but are not as loosely woven. These hammocks are made with double-weaved soft cotton cords. And, unlike Mayan hammocks, they usually come with spreader bars.

Recommended Product: Nicaraguan Hammock - Deluxe

COLOMBIAN DOUBLE HAMMOCK

Colombian

Columbian hammocks are made of soft, high-quality cross-weave loomed cotton. These hammocks also come in vibrant colours, are comfortable alternatives to beds, and do not have spreader bars.

Recommended Product: Colombian Double Hammock

MOSQUITO NET HAMMOCK NYLON 210D

Camping Hammocks

Camping hammocks are lightweight, durable, and easy to pack. These hammocks stuff into small bags the size of a softball. And they weigh less than two pounds, so you don’t have to worry about losing valuable space or over-exerting yourself if you go hiking with this hammock in your pack.

Camping hammocks are often made of durable quick-drying material, such as nylon. And they can also come with mosquito nets, a bottom slit for easy entry, a ridge line for easy setup, and webbing tree straps for easy hanging.

If you’re wondering where to buy camping hammocks, look no further. We’ve got the hammocks and gear you need for the ultimate hang in nature.

Recommended Product: Mosquito Net Hammock – Nylon 210d

BRAZILIAN HAMMOCK CHAIR WITH UNIVERSAL CHAIR STAND

Hammock Chairs

Hammock chairs are a great alternative to full-size hammocks when you want to relax in smaller spaces and sit upright. These are also ideal for families with small children since they are not prone to flipping and tend to be closer to the ground.

Hammock chairs are also made with many of the same materials as full-size hammocks.

Recommended Product: Brazilian Hammock Chair With Universal Chair Stand

Hammocks with Stands

Hammock stands are available for an easy hang anywhere you choose. They come in metal and wood, and you don’t need to find two perfectly spaced trees to hang your hammock on a stand.

Keep in mind that a stand should be two feet longer than your hammock and support the same if not more weight than your hammock can.

Recommended Product: 

Hammocks with spreader bars versus non-spreader bars

Spreader Bars vs. Non-Spreader Bars

Spreader-bar hammocks have wooden or metal bars on each end to keep it stretched open and flat. These hammocks are used for lounging in backyards and by pools, and often on hammock stands.

Spreader-bar hammocks tend to dry quickly due to being spread open while also having quick-drying material.

Non-spreader bar hammocks are more comfortable for sleeping in since they cocoon around your body and have a comfortable sag. They are also lightweight and easier to carry than spreader-bar hammocks, so you can pack them up and take them anywhere your heart desires.

READ MORE: QUICK HAMMOCK BUYING GUIDE

Whether you’re in the market for big hammocks for sale, or you want to quickly buy a hammock online, keep this guide in mind to help you find the hammock of your dreams.

Once you find it, you can spend countless blissful hours relaxing and swaying your days away.

What's your favourite hammock to lounge in?
Let us know in the comments below!