Quick Hammock Buying Guide

Not sure which hammock to choose? No problem. View this Hammock Choosing Guide for a helpful snapshot of the subtle differences between hammock types.

Interactive Hammock Buying Guide

View Rope Hammocks
View Quilted Hammocks
View Mayan Hammocks
View Brazilian Hammocks
View Nicaraguan Hammocks
View Poolside Hammocks
View Camping Hammocks

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Rope Hammocks
Whether it’s from watching reruns of “Gilligan’s Island” or “Robinson Crusoe,” a rope hammock is the first image that comes to the mind of most people. Rope hammocks are recognized as the most tradition form of hammocks. Generally made of cotton or polyester, rope hammocks come with spreader bars that separate the two sides, thus keeping it open for easy access and offering support. Rope hammocks can be hung between two trees or posts, as well as used in conjunction with a prefabricated stand.

Hammocks made of cotton ropes are considered by most to be more comfortable, as the ropes will stretch and match the contour of the body. The drawback is moisture; the cotton absorbs it and makes it more prone to mildew.

Hammocks made of polyester ropes are more durable. They are better able to withstand the effects of the elements, such as high humidity levels, salt air and ultraviolet rays. The polyester ropes are less susceptible to mold and mildew, meaning they can be expected to last longer. The ropes are less flexible than cotton, but not necessarily any less comfortable.

It is important to measure your area before hanging your hammock. Because most rope hammocks are 13-feet long, your trees or posts should be at least 13 to 17 feet apart. If that’s not possible, you’ll need a hammock stand.

Because of the large space created by the woven ropes, the rope hammocks are not recommended for young children. It can be easy for small children to get their hands or feet caught by the hopes in the ropes.

Quilted Hammocks
A quilted hammock is similar in style to a rope hammock, as it also includes wooden spreader bars. But the quilted hammock features two layers of fabric with some sort of filling (usually a polyester material) between them to offer additional comfort. The quilted hammocks are also reversible, usually with a pattern on one side and a solid color on the other. This is like getting two hammocks for the price of one.

The quilted hammocks can be enjoyed anywhere and are ideal for a cooler climate. The quilted hammocks can also be stretched between two trees or used with a stand. With no gaps or holes in the surface, the quilted hammock is an excellent choice for families with young children.

Mayan Hammocks
The bright colors and unique appeal make the Mayan-style hammocks a popular choice for many people. Craftsmen who make the hammocks use a thin string that is creates a very flexible, but very supportive product. Mayan hammocks may be constructed of cotton or nylon thread and come without a spreader bar.

The cotton Mayan-style hammocks are softer and conform more easily to a body’s size and shape. Made of natural cotton fiber, this variety can be used outdoors, but will last longer if sheltered from the weather in a setting such as a porch unless hammock protection such as a hammock sock is used.

The nylon Mayan-style hammocks are more durable and less susceptible to the mold and mildew problems that occur with the cotton variety. An added plus: the sheen of the nylon string helps add intensity to the already bright fabric.

Mayan-style hammocks may be lightweight, but they are capable of holding a large amount of weight. They don’t have a spreader bar, which makes them popular with outdoor enthusiasts, such as backpackers, campers or those who enjoy spending time in the back country.

The strength of the strings on these hammocks will is surprising, but they can also be easily damaged. Commonly items such as buttons and zippers can hurt the weave on these hammocks. Those who plan a heavy-duty use for their hammocks may consider the thick-stringed version, which has the same level of comfort but offers additional durability.

Brazilian Hammocks
Hand woven from cotton fibers and crafted into lovely thick fabrics, the Brazillian hammocks are known for their variety of colors and the elaborate fringe that offers a unique look. Brazillian hammocks are both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. They can be used indoors or outdoors.

The Brazillian style hammock is a good choice for families with children, as the hammock bed is solid, with no holes in the weave. This also means there is no air flow, which is ideal for use in cooler climates or on cooler summer nights.

Most Brazilian hammocks do not have spreader bars, creating a cocoon effect. There is, however, a special model with spreader bars that creates the same bed-like effect that’s similar to that of a rope or quilted hammock.

Nicaraguan Hammocks
Spun using soft cotton cords by using a double-weave technique, the Nicaraguan-style hammocks offer comfort and beauty. Some varieties are available with a special fringe, which adds to the uniqueness of the product. The Nicaraguan hammocks typically come without spreader bars.

The weave is similar to that found in a Mayan hammock, but is pulled together much tighter. This means the Nicaraguan weave is more durable and harder to snag or tear with buttons and zippers. The unique weave also allows the ideal amount of air to flow, which makes it adaptable for almost any climate or temperature.

While these hammocks are usable either indoors or outdoors, it is suggested they not be left outdoors for extended lengths of time when not being used unless hammock protection such as a hammock sock is used.

Poolside Hammocks
Exceptional fabrics make the poolside hammocks the most durable option. They are ideal for those who want a place to spend time by the pool or take long to the beach.

The poolside hammocks are perfect for anyone in a warmer climate or who lives close to the ocean. They are created from fabric that is more resistant to fading, less susceptible to mold and mildew, and able to take the incessant wetting and drying that comes from wet swim suits.

Poolside hammocks come with spreader bars and are sold in a variety of colors and patterns. The fabric may not be as comfortable as other spread bar styles, but you more than make up for it by gaining durability. These units can be placed on stands on the deck of a pool or hung between a couple of trees near a babbling brook.

These poolside hammocks are easy to clean, too. A solution of warm water and liquid soap can take care of most problems. You can also use a diluted solution of bleach water to knock out any mildew that might pop up.

Camping Hammocks
Lightweight and portable, these camping hammocks are a superlative choice for those who enjoy the outdoors or who want a simple source of safe outdoor sleeping on an overnight trip.

Using a camping hammock means you won’t need to sleep on the damp ground while on your cycling or backpacking journey. And with these hammocks made of durable, lightweight material, you won’t be taking up valuable space, either.