THE Hammock Buying Guide

Ah, hammocks…

Hammocks offer an escape from the hurried pace of everyday life.  They welcome you to unplug and unwind. Relaxing in a hammock can help relieve that stress and pressure of whatever weighs on your mind and can open you up to the beauty of nature. Lying in a hammock can help to relieve many types of pain but most importantly, many forms of back pain. The subtle contour it has with your back helps relieve ache muscles and stress-induced nerves. Installation is a snap and within minutes you can be on your way to a peaceful rest.

Choosing the Right Hammock

So you want to get a hammock but you’re not sure where to start?  We have you covered. In this guide you will be introduced to the main types of hammocks, hammock chairs, types of stands and hanging methods.  We’ll even get into types of materials used on hammocks and the properties of each.  We want you to be the most informed about hammocks or chairs so you can find the best fit for your needs.

Types of Hammocks

Rope Hammock

 
These are the traditional North American style hammocks that have wooden spreader bars on each end. These offer classic styling and have superior resistance to the elements. They add an element of décor to any cottage or backyard setting.  This type of hammock is probably the most recognizable style in the US, and conjures up an image of a porch hammock gently swaying in the breeze on a sunny Sunday morning. Spreader bars create a more flat surface and are more conducive to multiple persons.  This style is often used with stands which gives you the ability to put your hammock in just the right spot.
 Hammock Universe : Cotton Rope Hammock : Natural

Quilted Hammock

 
One of the reasons that quilted hammocks are becoming increasingly popular is the unquestionable comfort it provides.  This material is soft and pleasant on the skin.  Hammocks of this material are thicker and therefore provide more comfortable padding.  Most quilted hammocks are breathable enough to allow you to stay cool on a hot summer day. They tend to be more durable than other types of materials and because of the nature of the material it allows for lots of colors and design variations. Quilted hammocks are also recommended for children since they don’t have to worry about hands or feet going through the netting as can be the case with traditional rope hammocks.
Bliss Hammocks : 2 Person Quilted Hammock with Pillow
 

Mayan Hammock

Want to re-create that tropical vacation you went on? The Mayan hammock with thinner, light strings that spread evenly for a very comfortable airy hammock. The mesh size is much smaller than the traditional rope hammock so it creates a delightful and relaxing experience.  Because of the tighter weave and lighter rope it contours every part of the occupant’s body.  Mayan hammock is the one which seems to hang lower than all the others when it is laid in. They are ideally laid in diagonally, and usually have ornate tassels hanging from the edges of the hammock bed.  Mayan hammocks typically do not use spreader bars except in very rare occasions.  Like many other hammocks this style has exceptional weight tolerance but usually requires a little more distance between anchors as they tend to dip down with occupants a little more than other styles.
 Hammock Universe : Mayan Hammock Double : Ultramarine

Nicaraguan Hammock

A real art creation is the Nicaraguan hammock. With customized hand woven materials, the fine fibers give added comfort as well as a beautiful look. Hand woven by artisans, these hammocks often take on beautiful patterns.  The Nicaraguan hammock is most often associated with the ornate tassels and other woven types of flare hanging off both sides of the hammock.  They are made of cotton and have a tighter weave than the Mayan. They are often used as comfortable beds.
 Hammock Universe : Nicaraguan Deluxe Hammock : Blue, White & Green Stripes

Brazilian Hammock

Lounging on a multi-colored, original Brazilian hammock is a decidedly relaxing experience. Tightly woven fibers provide a strong support even for heavier loads. It was developed by Brazil’s Tapeba Indians, and its distinguishing features reflect their needs. With a weave even finer than that of the Nicaraguan this hammock is much more comfortable to sleep in when the air is a little cooler. The tight weave cuts down on ventilation, making it a less suitable choice for very hot climates. However, the spacing of the weave gives the Brazilian hammock a canvas-like feel and many believe the comfort this adds is unparalleled as, being made of cotton, these hammocks are also very soft to the touch.
 Hammaka : Brazilian Hammock : Green

Camping Hammock

This type of hammock is made of durable and lightweight nylon (parachute-like material). These hammocks take up little space in the trunk or a backpack. They are reliable, sturdy and easy to set up.  The ground can be lumpy, rooty and rocky but with camping hammocks you can simply rise above all that!  But what about bugs and rain? No problem. With rain flys and bug netting you can easily keep out the rain and stinging intruders.  In the morning, you won’t have to deal with a dirty and potentially muddy tent to pack up- just detach the hammock from the trees, roll it up and be on your way.  Camping hammocks are starting to gain popularity in the camping and hiking world as legitimate replacements for tents and for good reason.

 Hammock Universe : Mosquito Net Hammock : Spruce Green

Types of Materials Used and their Applications

Rope Hammocks

Rope hammocks have long been a popular style of hammock because they are inexpensive, durable, portable and lightweight. It can be made with different materials such as:

Cotton rope

It is softer than the synthetic rope and is not usually scratchy or itchy on bare skin. Many people prefer cotton rope hammocks for their comfort although both types will almost leave rope impressions on your skin after prolonged use. You can, however, use a blanket or sheet to eliminate the rope prints on your skin

Polyester rope

It can last much longer outdoors in comparison to a cotton rope hammock. This is attributed to the fact that these artificial fibers have a stronger resistance to the natural elements.

DuraCord material

It is considered as the best material for a rope hammock. This synthetic fabric combines the advantages of both polyester and cotton, providing durability and softness. DuraCord is stain resistant, holds its color, dries very quickly and needs very little maintenance, making it a very popular choice of rope hammock material.

Fabric Hammocks

Fabric hammocks are a common type and are found in many family backyards. It is easier to place on stands and easier to carry from one place to the other. Fabric hammocks have been around for thousands of years, and there are some still woven by hand, especially in Brazil. Fabric hammocks have a closed, almost overlapping weave, so it is tough and flexible to heavy use.

Quilted

Hammocks usually feature two layers of DuraCord or Sunbella, sandwiching a center of fiberfill batting resulting in ultimate comfort. These fabrics are resistance to mildew, mold, rot and staining. One of the best things about this material is that it feels just as soft as cotton.

hammock Universe : Quilted Hammock Deluxe : Red Stripes

Pillow-Top

Hammocks with pillowy perfection. It comes with two layers of DuraCord or Sunbrella fabric sandwich a thick layer of polyester fiber that is often made from recycled materials. Moreover, the fabric is often sewn in lines going across the length of the hammock. These multiple lines occur at regular intervals on the hammock end to end creating peaks and valleys of cushiony comfort.

Hammaka : Hammaka Pillow Hammock : Red & White Stripes

Tufted

Just like the pillow-top, tufted also features pillowy perfection. In the case of tufted hammock tops, the comfort derives from the creation of dense clusters of cushion just as it is seen in tufted couches. Typically, the tufted top hammocks will have an attached head-pillow made of matching fabric.

Soft Weave

These hammocks feature woven ribbons that are hand crafted of cotton with polyester batting. This hammock is also known as a hybrid hammock since you will experience the best of the both worlds. The ribbon provides a breezy feel with a comfort of a quilted hammock. In addition to this, the soft weave hammocks offer uncanny level of comfort for each season.

Hammock Considerations

There are countless benefits to sleeping in a hammock bed.  The gentle rocking motion leads to falling faster asleep and achieving longer, more sustained periods of sleep. The proper hammock weave can also reduce pressure on your joints and back. The end result from sleeping in a hammock is that you’ll awake more refreshed, recover faster when you’re sick or in pain.  Here are some of the important factors that you should consider when choosing a hammock bed.

Style

People spend a lot of time trying to pick out the right color bedspread, wallpaper, carpet or paint.  Selecting the right hammock for your home should be no different.  Is this hammock going to be on the porch where design will be more important?  Will be hanging out on your property subject to the elements?  Is this hammock going to replace your daybed for long naps or is it going to be more for just hanging out and reading a book?  These are important points to consider when deciding which style to choose.

Origin

Mayan and Nicaraguan hammocks both feature an elaborate weave that has been perfected over centuries. They feature an interlocking spring weave in which one strand will intertwine with 2-3 others, resulting in a hammock that stretches and adapts according to your own body weight and shape.  Brazilian hammocks, with their tighter weave, make for a more solid hammock that’s great for those cooler summer nights.

Application

How is your hammock going to be used?  Consider what will work best with your intended use and location.  Is this hammock going indoors, outdoors, only summer use or all year long, how many people does it have to accommodate at once, do I have porch space or a good spot between two trees?

Bed Sizes of Hammocks

The bed sizes of hammocks refer to the footprint of the hammock on which you will relax and lounge. The main difference in bed sizes of hammock is the width. The hammock’s width determines whether the hammock is for a single person or multiple people.

Family or King

King or Family sized hammocks are sufficiently big. They are intended to accommodate 2-3 averaged-sized people. The usual dimensions of King or Family sized hammock is 79 inches long and 79 inches wide.

Queen

Queen sized hammocks are commonly large enough for 2 averaged-sized people. The usual sizes of Queen or matrimonial hammocks are 79 inches long and 69 inches wide.

Double

Double sized hammocks are huge enough to accommodate 2 average-sized people. The width of double size hammock ranges from 52 inches to 60 inches and the length is commonly 74-79 inches long.

Single

Single size hammocks are perfect for one average size person. The width size of single hammock ranges from 39-50 inches and the length of single hammock bed is commonly range from 76-70 inches.

Hanging your Hammock

Stands

If there are no trees around, you can simply use a hammock stands.  They can be set up anywhere and come in different materials and colors to suit your style needs. 

Hammaka : Adjust-to-fit hammock stand

Trees

Trees; they’re free and always willing to help you hang a hammock.  Just make sure you find two trees that are at the right distance.  Here is a guide for proper separation distance and height. (include guide on proper distance and height)  Only one tree available? No problem, check out this easy solution. 

Byer of Maine : Madera Hammock Stand

Springs

Often used in tandem with the main hanging ropes or chains, hammock springs add an element of shock absorption.  When getting in or whenever weight is applied to the hammock or hammock chair the spring adds a little give to the hanging rope.  The springs will flex with the hammock movements and it is an excellent way to hang indoor and outdoor hammocks and hammock chairs.

Hammaka : hammock Chair Spring

Hanging Chains

It can be used for increasing the hammock length and load capacity.  They also give you the peace of mind.

Hammock Universe: Chain Hanging Kit

Selecting the Right Model

  • First, you should consider the width of the hammock. In order for you to be comfortable in using a hammock, you need a hammock that is wide enough. It should be wide enough to accommodate you (if that’s all who will use it) or multiple people (if that is likely to be the case).
  • Weaving technique plays a vital role to get utmost comfort while using your hammock. Mayan hammocks are made with a roomy weave compared to Brazilian hammocks. Woven from thin fiber, they are much more breathable than their southern cousins. The tighter weave used in Brazilian hammocks, constructed from bolts of cloth, makes them retain your body heat better.
  • Material choice is equally important. Among other things, the material affects the amount of stretch. A Mayan hammock or Rope hammock will be stretchy.  Hanging from a tree requires that you add a few inches in height to compensate from where you end up at the lowest point.
  • Nylon will generally wear longer and often be more moisture proof. Cotton blends have come a long way and are soft to the touch.  Polyester will weather extremely well.  On the other end of the scale, Olefin is used in some more expensive models; it wears well, cleans easily and can be woven into a very comfortable product.
  • Baby hammocks are popular today with parents of newborns. They are said to promote sound sleep through comfortable hammock design and springing motion. Experts say the natural rocking movement and soft womb-like feel of the baby hammock can enhance the emotional, physical and intellectual development of a baby sleeping soundly within it. Hushamok is a popular pick amongst baby hammocks.

 

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