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Hammock Stands 101

May 28, 2018

Wooden hammock stand set up in sun room of home.

Everything You Need to Know About Hammock Stands

Hammock stands are the easiest way to hang a hammock. With a hammock stand, you can simply hook and unhook your hammock whenever you please.

You don’t need to be skilled at tying knots in ropes or hanging hammocks from trees or beams to enjoy your hammock.

And you can move your hammock stand anywhere you please around your home and backyard. So even if it’s raining out, you can hang under the shelter of your porch or in your sunroom.

Here’s a comprehensive look at hammock stands to see if they're the best hammock-hanging option for you.

Pros and Cons of Hammock Stands

Pros

Hammock stands are mobile. You can move and set up your stand anywhere you want, indoors and outdoors.

Many hammock stands are lightweight and easy to carry and set up.

Both backyard and portable hammock stands are easy to set up and hang your hammock from. And you don’t need to measure the distance between anchor points.

Hammock stands come in a variety of materials and styles to suit your backyard and indoor décor, making for attractive pieces of furniture.

Hammock stands can be used for many hammock types, both with and without spreader bars. Some stands are adjustable for different lengths, while others suit specific types and lengths of hammocks.

Cons

Some backyard stands may be too heavy or large to take camping, especially if you plan to hike or portage with your camping gear.

Hammock stands take up space. The dimensions vary, but hammock stands are usually 4-feet wide and 5- to 15-feet long.

A pair of crossed legs with bare feet and painted toenails sit in a blue hammock in a stand on a deck overlooking mountains and the sea.

What They're Ideal For

If you don’t have two trees or posts that are ideally spaced apart to hang a hammock, then hammock stands are for you.

You can hang your hammock anywhere you want without having to worry about suspension between to trees, posts, or anchor points.

These stands also come in handy for those who aren’t comfortable with suspending hammocks from trees, tying knots, or installing hammock hanging hardware in their homes.

If you want to hang indoors, you can move your hammock stand inside to any room you want. And you won’t have to drill holes in your walls to hang indoors.

Hammock stands are ideal for use:

  • In backyards;
  • On porches;
  • On patios;
  • On balconies;
  • Indoors; and
  • While camping (with portable stands).

Types of Stands

Hammock stands are, essentially, an inverted arc. The hammock itself hangs between the two ends of the curve. Stands come in many sizes and designs to suit your hammock and décor needs, including:

Backyard Hammock Stands

Backyard hammock stands are usually made of steel, bamboo, or other types of wood.

Steel hammock stands have rust-proof coatings to withstand the outdoor elements.

Wooden hammock stands typically feature oil or stain coatings and are most often made from a moisture-resistant wood such as bamboo. Cedar is also a popular option for durability and style.

But just because they’re intended for use in your backyard doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these stands indoors, too. Try finding wood textures that compliment your indoor décor for the ultimate in stylish relaxation.

A forest of healthy, green bamboo shoots, perhaps destined for use as a hammock stand.

Portable Hammock Stands

Designed for camping and moving around your home and backyard, these hammock stands offer quick and easy set-up times and sturdy support for most weights Portable hammock stands are available in a wide variety of materials, including wood and fiberglass.

Some people even make their own DIY hammock stands out of metal or PVC pipes. While these might be a cheaper option, DIY hammock stands might not be the safest option. You have to be 100% certain that a stand will support your hammock and weight securely.

How Much Weight Will My Stand Support?

The weight capacity of hammock stands depends on the style you choose. Maximum weight limits typically range from 350 lbs to 500 lbs.

To determine the weight capacity of hammock stands, make sure to read the model specifications when shopping for stands.

How to Set Up Hammocks on Hammock Stands

Hammock stands usually take a few minutes to assemble. Once you’ve done your setup, it’s time to hang your hammock.

Depending on the type of hammock you have and the stand you buy, you may not need any hanging hardware.

Some hammock stands are made to secure the end loops to each end of the stand, allowing for a simple hook and hang.

If you buy a hammock with a stand that requires hanging hardware, that hardware was likely packaged in with your stand, and may include S-hooks and two lengths of chain.

When hanging your hammock from a stand, make sure:

  • The bottom of the hammock hangs about 18 inches from the ground—the average chair sitting height.
  • The chain suspensions hang at around a 30-degree angle so there isn’t too much force on the suspension and stand. The more taught, flat, and tightly hung, the greater the force when you put your weight on the hammock.

The beauty of chain suspension is that you can easily adjust the height of the hammock by moving the hooks up and down the chain.

Size of Hammock Stands

There are various types of hammock stands to suit different sizes of hammocks. Hammock stands are usually two or three feet longer than hammocks so you can hang your hammock comfortably.

But if the distance between the posts of the stand is much longer than your hammock, you can add chains to compensate and reach the stand’s posts.

The bases of hammock stands are usually around 4 feet wide. As for the length, hammock stands typically come in the following sizes:

  • 5 feet long for hammock chair stands;
  • 9.5 feet long;
  • 14.5 feet long; and
  • 15 feet long.

Spreader Bars or No Spreader Bars?

Choosing a hammock with spreader bars will depend on your personal preferences.

Spreader bars are located at each end of a hammock, and are made of wood, plastic, or nylon. These bars keep hammocks open at both ends, giving them a flat and taut surface.

While spreader bars provide a sturdy, supportive surface, without proper balancing, hammocks that use them may be more prone to tipping.

So if you plan to sleep in your hammock regularly, you might be better off using a hammock with no spreader bars.

When choosing a hammock stand, make sure it is designed for use with (or without) hammocks with spreader bars, depending on the type of hammock you choose.

Care And Maintenance

Since quality hammock stands are designed for use outdoors, they are weather-resistant. But to ensure your hammock stand remains weather-resistant and in good shape for longer, follow the recommended care instructions depending on the stand materials.

Wooden Hammock Stands

To maintain the appearance and moisture-resistance of wooden hammock stands, coat your stand with oil or a clear stain. While a good stain or oil will protect the wood year-round, consider covering it with a tarp in the winter, or bring your hammock stand indoors.

A woman runs her hand through her hair as it blows in the wind, standing next to a hammock on a metal stand.

Metal Hammock Stands

Steel hammock stands are weather- and rust-resistant, so they don’t require any special care. But to keep your stand looking great for longer, consider covering it in the winter, or enjoy it indoors.

Whether you buy a backyard hammock stand or a portable hammock stand to take camping, enjoy the ease of use of the most convenient way to hang a hammock.

The less time you have to spend securing a hammock, the more time you’ll have to hang and relax.

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