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Hammock Buying Guide

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.


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

View all Hammocks

View Hammocks with Stands

Rope Hammocks
Rope hammocks are similar in design to quilted hammocks, but feature rope stitching between the spreader-bars. These are the classic hammocks that most people associate with island castaways lounging under palm trees. Spreader bars keep the lounge bed open for easy access, and the rope stitching offers both support ant flexibility.

Rope hammocks are either cotton or polyester, and each has its advantages. Cotton rope hammocks are more flexible than polyester, but polyester styles are less susceptible to humidity, mildew and mold. It’s a good idea to consider nylon if you live in a very humid climate.

Whether you sling your rope hammock between two trees, on a stand or between posts, it’s important to pre-measure your chosen spot. Most rope hammocks measure 13-feet, so your hanging source (posts or trees) should be from 13 to 17 feet apart. You can always get a hammock stand if such a spread isn’t available to you.

Though quilted and rope hammocks are similar in appearance, the large gaps in the weave of rope hammocks makes them potentially dangerous for little ones, since there is a chance a hand or food could get stuck between the ropes.

Quilted Hammocks
Quilted hammocks are so named because of the filler material between fabric layers, which offers quilted softness, comfort and extra warmth. Quilted hammocks are ideal for cooler climates and easy to flop into, since they come with spreader bars that offer stability and keep the bed area wide open and accessible. They offer the added attraction of being reversible, so you get two hammocks in one – usually a pattern on one side and a solid color on the other. Sling your quilted hammock between two trees or purchase an easy-to-use stand. These hammocks are normally made of solid fabric, meaning no rope holes or stitching gaps. This makes them a great choice for families and young kids.

Mayan Hammocks
Mayan craftsmen weave their brightly colored hammocks using either cotton or nylon in thin threads, with a stitch that is both breathable and flexible. These softer hammocks flex easily with movements and adapt to body shape and size.

Cotton-weave Mayan hammocks are made of all natural materials and require protection, such as a hammock sock, if stored outdoors, whereas the nylon weaves are more durable under humid weather conditions and not as susceptible to mildew. Nylon might be a better choice since the sheen of the thread used in weaving adds vibrancy to bright colors used in weaving.

The Mayan weave and lightweight materials make these hammocks easy to carry, so they’re a favorite among campers, jungle trekkers and outdoor types. No spreader bar also means less to carry, so they provide a great place to sleep no matter where you are.

Mayan hammocks are similar in appearance to Nicaraguan hammocks, but the looser stitch makes them more breathable and flexible. Though the strings are deceptively strong, they can be easily damaged by snagged buttons or zippers, so for those who want a little more durability with the same airy, flexible Mayan design, the thicker stringed version is the best choice.

Brazilian Hammocks
Brazilian hammocks come in a variety of lively colors, and are hand woven using thick cotton, great for keeping warm on cool evenings. They normally come without spreader bars, so you can cocoon into your own snuggly universe. Some feature unique and elaborate fringe work that has a luxurious look.

The Brazilian weave is very solid, so there’s no chance you’ll snag your clothing when you’re curled up or stretched out. This solid, snuggly quality makes it great for families with kids, and a great choice for cooler climates.

Though Brazilian hammocks are typically not spreader-bar hammocks, there is a special model with spreader-bars that combines the open-bed comfort of a rope hammock with the snuggly thick cotton weave of the Brazilian style.

Nicaraguan Hammocks
These double-weave beauties are comfortable and easy on the eyes, and often feature fringing that makes them even more inviting. Nicaraguan hammocks are tightly stitched but breathable cotton hammocks. This means you’re not going to get your buttons or zippers stuck in between stitches. Nicaraguans normally belong to the non-spreader-bar class of handmade sleeping hammocks.

Nicaraguan hammocks can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors, slung between trees, beams, rafters or custom stands. Make sure to get a hammock sock or other protection if you plan on leaving your hammock outdoors for extended periods.

Poolside Hammocks
As the name indicates, these hammocks are ideal for relaxing near water, because their fabrics are designed to be fade-resistant and water tolerant. They are the best choice for a beach outing or a nap beside the pool. Poolside hammocks are typically designed with spreader bars for easy access right from the water, and can either be hung from stands or between trees.

Poolside hammocks are most popular in warm climates and seaside locations due to their tolerance of wet and dry conditions. Their fade-and-water-resistant fabric makes them a little less comfortable than other designs, but the trade-off is a hammock that loves you, wet swimsuit and all.

Not only are poolside hammocks extra durable, they’re easy to clean: all you need is liquid soap and warm water. An occasional dunking in a solution of diluted bleach will keep your poolside hammock free of any mildew.

Camping Hammocks
Whether you’re cycling, backpacking or just backyard camping, choose these portable hammocks for safe and comfortable outdoor sleeping. Because they are made of super lightweight material and fold extremely small, so they save space and won’t weigh down your pack.

Camping hammocks get you up off the damp or hard ground, which gives you more sleeping options than a tent. They are normally slung between trees, though some come with portable stands.

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