How To Choose A Hammock

Lying in a hammock under a shaded tree has to be one of the most relaxing and restorative leisure activities we know of. But part of that experience is picking a hammock that meets your needs best.

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With so many different types of hammocks out there, it can be pretty overwhelming to figure out which hammock should you choose. Well, that's where our detailed hammock buying guide comes in! Grab your Boba tea or Frappuccino and let's dive in.

Why Do You Need a Hammock?

First things first, you need to think about the reasons for buying a hammock. You need to determine when, where, and how are you planning to use a hammock before making a purchase. 

Once you get this part straight, everything else is really just details. If you're not sure how to answer this question, here are a few uses for hammocks:

  • Trekking, hiking, or backpacking 
  • Lounging outdoors by the pool or in the backyard 
  • Lounging indoors
  • Camping trips 
  • Trips to the beach 
  • As a permanent outdoor shelter  
  • As a bed alternative  

Note down which one of these purposes best describes your situation and you'll find the perfect hammock in no time. 

Once you decide that, you are ready to determine the right type, material, and size for your hammock.

What is the Best Material for a Hammock?

Most hammocks are made of either cotton or polyester. 

Cotton Hammocks 

These hammocks are softer and have a more natural appearance than polyester hammocks. However, with extended exposure to the sun, cotton hammocks eventually turn tan and their color may fade. If you buy this one, make sure you store it in a garage or a shed when it is not in use, otherwise its lifespan will be a lot shorter.

Classic Cotton Hammock With Stand
Bohemian Style Cotton Hammock
Cotton Double Tree Hammock
Cotton Chair Hammock
Recycled Cotton Chair Hammock
Striped Cotton Outdoor Double Tree Hammock

Polyester Hammocks 

If you want a hammock that will withstand any kind of weather conditions Mother Nature throw at it, go with a polyester hammock.

They might not be as soft as a cotton hammock, but that's not to say that they are abrasive or rough in texture. Manufacturers are constantly coming up with ways to make polyester hammocks softer so you won't regret it, unless of course you are super sensitive or allergic to polyester.

In addition to being weather-resistant, polyester hammocks retain their color for longer as well. Continuous sun exposure may not harm them as much, but it is still recommended to keep them indoors (when not in use) to increase their longevity.

Polyester Quilted Double Hammock
Polyester Spreader Double Hammock With Stand
Quilted Polyester Double Spreader Hammock
Polyester Chair Hammock
Simple Polyester Spreader Bar Hammock
Polyester Double Tree Hammock

What Size Hammock Do I Need?

When it comes to the size, you need to consider how big of a hammock bed do you need. Hammock bed refers to the midsection part of the hammock on which you will laze away

There are different width sizes available for hammock bed. The width will determine whether a hammock can comfortably hold one person or an entire family. Here are the common sizes you can choose from:

  • Single: Their bed size width ranges from 39 -- 50 inches which is suitable for one average sized adult. The length is usually 76 -- 79 inches.
  • Double: These are 52 -- 60 inches wide and can hold two average-sized adults. They are typically 74 -- 79 inches long.
  • Queen: Also known as "Matrimonial" sized hammocks, these can easily fit 3 average-sized adults. They are generally 69-inches wide and 79-inches long.
  • King/Family: Much like beds, a king-sized hammock is big enough to accommodate 3-4 average-sized adults. The exact measurements vary from brand to brand, but you can expect them to be 79-inches wide and 79-inches long.

Please keep in mind the weight capacity of a hammock before buying. It is important for your safety that you don't exceed the weight capacity of a hammock.

What Types of Hammocks Are Best?

The choice of a specific type of hammock will depend on your specific needs. Here are some pupular types and their advantages:

  • Rope Hammocks 

As the name suggests, the rope hammocks are loosely woven from thick ropes. Have you seen a hammock, suspended between two palm trees on a tropical beach? That's what rope hammocks look like. 

Their loose weave means they are very breathable, which is perfect for hot days. If you want a durable rope hammock so you can read or nap in it, choose one with polyester cords.

Cotton Double Rope Hammock
Olefin Rope Hammock
Polyester Rope Tree Hammock
Simple Polyester Rope Spreader Bar Hammock
Cotton Rope Camping Hammock
Simple Cotton Rope Tree Hammock
  • Poolside Hammocks  

If you live close to the ocean or in a warmer climate, a poolside hammock will be a great option. They are made with textilene and Sunbrella fabrics which is resistant to mold, mildew, and fading. It means that you can get into the hammock without damaging it even if you are not 100% dry.

Poolside hammocks are equipped with spreader bars so you can easily get in and out of it. Also, these hammocks are easy to clean -- all you need is a little bit of liquid soap and warm water.

Quilted Sunbrella Spreader Bar Hammock
Quick Dry Sunbrella Tree Hammock
Sunbrella Quilted Tree Hammock
Weather Resistant Quick Dry Tree Hammock
Sunbrella Double Spreader Bar Hammock
  • Quilted Hammocks 

If you are looking for a tight hammock that will provide maximum support to your body, consider a quilted hammock. They are made from 2 layers of tightly interlaced fabric with wadding stuffed between them.  

Most quilted hammocks come with spreader bars to keep them from flipping over. Since they don't stretch to different lengths between trees, these hammocks work well on hammock stands.

Quilted Double Tree Hammock
King Sized Spreader Bar Quilted Hammock
Large Quilted Polyester Hammock
Quilted Double Spreader Bar Hammock
Colorful Quilted Double Tree Hammock
Quilted Hammock Chair
  • Camping Hammocks 

These hammocks are especially designed for backpackers and campers so they are light and portable. They usually have an attached sack or pocket which you can stuff the hammock into for quick packing and carrying.  

These are made from nylon fabric, so they are resistant to mildew as well. If you are going to travel with your hammock or you want something highly durable, a camping hammock is the way to go. One downside is, they don't offer much support compared to quilted or polyester hammocks.

Canvas and Nylon Camping Hammock
Nylon Double Camping Hammock
Rope Double Camping Hammock
Nylon Single Camping Hammock
Single Nylon Camping Hammock With Rucksack
Camping Tent Style Hammock
  • Fabric Hammocks 

You may be thinking that fabric hammocks are just another name for cotton hammocks, but that's not the case. Fabric hammocks are made of quick-dry polyester blends which makes them perfect for beach and poolside usage

You can also find a fabric hammock with a pillow sewn into it.

Double Spreader Bar Fabric Hammock
Double Spreader Bar Hammock With Stand
Olefin Fabric Double Hammock
Polyester Fabric Spreader Bar Hammock With Stand
Four Piece Hammock With Stand
Large Soft Weave Double Hammock
  • Woven Hammocks  

We have South America to thank for introducing us to woven hammocks. There are many styles of woven hammocks, like Mayan hammocks and Brazilian Hammocks.

Mayan hammocks are woven out of gauzy-like cotton that is very lightweight but surprisingly sturdy. These are available in gorgeous patterns and bright colors, and they feature a cocoon-like style. 

You can also hang the ends close together so your Mayan hammock can double up as a chair. But these usually don't come with a spreader bar. 

Brazilian or Nicaraguan hammocks are tightly woven with Nylon, so you get the look of a cotton hammock but with additional support. Many campers like to use the Brazilian hammocks instead of a sleeping bag.

Olefin Woven Tree Hammock
Striped Woven Cotton Brazilian Tree Hammock
Nylon Woven Outdoor Hammock

How to Pick the Best Hammock for All Your Needs?

So, now you know why you need a hammock and what types of hammocks are available in the market. You are ready to look at all the factors you need to consider when picking out your hammock:

Construction Quality and Material

Your choice of material must be based on how and where you will use the hammock. For example, if you want to use it for backpacking/camping, you want a hammock that is made of quick-dry, tear-resistant material. 

On the other hand, if you want to install a hammock indoors -- in your living room or bedroom -- a blend of polyester and cotton will be the best option.

And carefully go analyze the stitches and seams of the hammock before buying. If you see frayed seams or stitches unraveling, let it go and buy another one.

Weight and Size

Think about the weight, portability and size of the hammock you have your eye on, especially if you plan to go camping with it. 

  • A lightweight and compact camping hammock is far easier to travel with. For a backyard or indoors hammock, portability is obviously not an issue.  
  • Do you have a partner or small children or pets who would be keeping you company in that hammock? If so, you may want to choose a double or queen-sized hammock that can hold up to 450 or more pounds.
  • Most single or one-person hammocks can hold up to 250 pounds of weight. Even if you are not going to curl up with special someone, a bigger hammock may offer more comfort.


Many camping hammocks come with extra accessories to keep the backpacker/camper comfortable, such as:

  • A mosquito net with super fine netting 
  • Quilts, to keep you cozy and warm 
  • A rainfly or tarp, to protect you from the elements 
  • Straps 
  • A set of locking carabiners 

If you are specifically buying a hammock for outdoor adventures, you may want to pick one that come with extra accessories like mentioned above.

Camping Hammock With Stand
Comfortable Double Tree Hammock With Stand
Jumbo Chair Hammock
Polyester Hammock Chair With Accessories

Quick Tips

Don't have time to go through the whole guide? It's okay, just follow these tips and you'll be fine:

  • Cotton hammocks are salient for indoors or really hot weather, since they are the most breathable.
  • But polyester hammocks are unbeatable in terms of durability and comfort (unless you're allergic to polyester!) 
  • Pick a queen-sized or king-sized hammock if you want to cuddle up with your loved one, small children, or a pet in the hammock. 
  • Pick a double-sized hammock if you want maximum comfort, even if you are flying solo
  • Choose a hammock with accessories like straps, carabiners, mosquito net, tarp, or quilts if you will use it outdoors.