Discover the three crucial steps to choosing the best hammock for you!
Step One: Assess your priorities. All hammocks combine comfort, durability, and appearance in varying degrees. Which is most important to you?
Step Two: Determine your location. Indoor and outdoor hammocks present different requirements for optimum performance.
Step Three: Analyze your expected use. Who will be using the hammock? What will it be used for? Hammocks out by the pool will be expected to perform differently than a hammock used as a bed.
Hammocks fall into three general categories-rope, fabric, and string, and two subcategories-hammocks with spreader bars and those without.
Information you can use to help you choose!
The Mayan string hammock without spreader bars provides the ultimate in floating comfort, and hot weather ventilation. Indoors it will last for a decade, outdoors, one or two years if not cared for. Because the thin strings are subject to snagging and breaking, this hammock requires a little more care in use than some.
The Mayan heavy string hammock is more rugged, and nearly as comfortable. For more information on these hammocks visit the Mayan Hammocks page.
The Nicaraguan double sprang woven string hammock uses a medium gage yarn, a tighter weave, and considerable ornamentation. It is, perhaps, the most luxurious of all hammocks, less "floaty" than the Mayan, but well ventilated, durable, and available in indoor and outdoor yarns. For more information on these hammocks visit the Nicaraguan Hammocks page.
Fabric hammocks from Brazil and Colombia are extremely comfortable, less ventilated than the string hammocks, but also less susceptible to snagging. These hammocks often make ideal beds for all season use. Those made of cotton fare better if not left out in the weather. The Coralino fabric does well in the elements. For more information on these hammocks visit the Brazilian Hammocks page.
Rope hammocks, which are also known as American Style hammocks, are considerably less comfortable than other hammocks, and, because they are invariably constructed with spreader bars, less stable. They are prized for their rustic charm.
As for materials, the most comfortable hammocks are generally made of cotton, string or fabric, with polyester and nylon being used for greater durability, but giving up some comfort in the process.
The use of spreader bars in the hammock produces a wider, flatter, more open look, but does not actually increase carrying capacity. Spreader bars are necessary if you are using a low American style hammock stand, as these stands require that the hammock be stretched fairly tight to keep it off the ground. We offer Several Fine Spreader Bar Hammocks for those who wish to replace a rope hammock in such a stand with something more comfortable, and also for those who appreciate the look of a beautiful bar hammock.
So, then, how do you choose? Well, first, where is the hammock going? Is it going inside or outside? If inside, or in a covered area the cotton hammocks will be the most comfortable, and are available in many beautiful styles. Outside hammocks can be cotton also, if you take them out of inclement elements, using the convenient S hook system. For outside hammocks, which are not going to be taken in during bad weather our top recommendations are the nylon and deluxe nylon Mayan hammocks, the polyester and polycotton Nicaraguan hammocks, and all of the Spreader Bar hammocks, as they are designed with outdoor use in mind. The cotton Mayan hammocks are also a good bet if you can live with a two year life cycle.
How much space do you have to hang the hammock in? It is critical to know how much room you have before selecting the hammock, as space requirements vary widely. The Colombian hammocks are the shortest overall, and some can be hung in 9 or 10 feet. The Mayan hammocks and Brazilian hammocks generally require 11to13 feet minimum distance. The Nicaraguan hammocks need 13 to 16 feet, depending on size. In the "get info" section of each hammock description in the shopping section, there is information on recommended hanging distance. To avoid disappointment and needless returns, we urge you to check this information and measure your available space before ordering. If you have questions we are always happy to answer them by phone or e mail.
What size do you need? That depends on how big you are, and how many people will be sharing the hammock. Hammocks classified as "single" are generally adequate for any one person, while the double and queen size will provide extra comfort, particularly for the large and tall. In the Brazilian and Colombian styles, the "double" is more capacious than the single, but not as much so as in the string styles. In the Mayan and Nicaraguan styles the "family" hammocks can really accommodate the family (so long as everyone is getting along). Weight limits for each hammock are posted in the "get info" section of each hammock description.
A final consideration is who will be using the hammock. A classic Mayan hammock is believed by many to be the most comfortable; but if it is to be used by kids, dogs, and careless neighbors, a thicker stringed variety might be in order. And be aware that the lovely fringes on the Nica and Brazilian types can be as attractive to a cat as they are to a discriminating decorator.
Hammocks For Child's Bed
For children I recommend Brazilian or Colombian cotton hammocks. They are easier to manage than the Mayan or Nicaraguan. You can pick them by whatever cost and decor criteria you wish, as they all make comfortable beds. The Amazona has the softest feel; but all the cotton fabric hammocks are comfortable. And the thicker, more durable ones increase in comfort with the passage of time, and washings. Hanging space requirements vary from about 11 feet for the Amazona to 13 feet for the longer Brazilians. This hanging length information is in the "get info" section of each hammock.