In case you weren’t aware, July 22 is National Hammock Day. So what better day to grab your favorite beverage and kick back in the best hammock for the ultimate summer nap?
Mayans are believed to have invented hammocks more than a thousand years ago. They were used as sleeping tools, back when hammocks were made out of plant fibers and tree bark from the Hamack Tree (hence the name). These days you can grab one made from yarn, cotton, canvas, nylon or other synthetic materials for a durable but relaxing hang.
There are several types of hammocks to choose from as well. If you have a smaller area you may want to consider a chair hammock, for example. Or if you’ve got a sprawling yard with lots of trees a more traditional model may be the way to go. There are also tons of portable options for chilling out fireside while camping or when you need a break from that tough hike.
How to Choose a Hammock
There are several considerations when it comes to choosing a hammock to suit your needs and lifestyle.
Material: Cotton may be more comfortable than nylon, but if you live in a climate with a lot of rain, a cotton hammock may not hold up against all of that condensation. In fact, cotton may not last long in many exposed, outdoor situations where nylon is preferred. Alternatively, if you live in a colder climate, a fabric hammock may be more durable. And if you’re camping, you’ll definitely want something like nylon that packs easily and is lightweight to transport.
Style: If you’ve got a sprawling yard with mature trees, you may have space for a traditional hammock setup. However, those with smaller yards or no trees may want to choose a hammock with a stand or a seat hammock instead. It’s also worth considering whether you want a hammock you’ll have to tie, or one that comes with loops. Then, there are also hammocks that come with spreader bars, making them easier to get in and out of, or those without, which take up less space when not in use.
Use: Do you plan on having naps in the backyard with your hammock or are you more likely to take it out camping and hiking? Even then, is your hammock going to be a tool for daytime relaxation or do you need a sheltered hammock for braving the elements overnight? Consider how, where and why you’ll use your hammock before splurging.
Setting Up Your Hammock
No matter where you plan on setting up your new purchase, there are a few tips to keep in mind when you go to set it up. First of all, always aim for a strap that’s angled about 30 degrees up from the actual hammock. That should allow you to nestle without sagging.
When you climb into your hammock, it’s also important to remember to sleep at an angle to minimize how much your back is bending. And before that, consider adding a blanket or a sleeping bag for some extra cushion and protection.
As for where to set up your hammock, try and keep it out of the sun and in the shade. If you plan on sleeping in one overnight you may want to also add a bug net and a tarp to keep you sheltered from bugs and any potential rain.
1. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock
If you’re looking for a basic camping hammock you can hang with ease from trees while you’re out and about camping, this Amazon favorite boasts more than 41,000 reviews averaging 4.8 stars. It takes a minute to set up and features an adjustable height, plus the rip-resistant nylon is ideal against sharp rocks and unexpected branches. The hammock rolls up and fits into a tiny pouch for easy transport and comes with loops that quickly connect so you don’t have to worry about tying and untying knots. We also like that it comes in 14 different colors, so there’s a hammock for every personality out there.
2. Kammok Mantis Recycled All-in-One Hammock Tent
BEST FOR OVERNIGHT CAMPING
If you plan on sleeping outdoors then you can’t beat this all-in-one hammock tent, which comes with an integrated insect net and a rainfly for a comfy and sheltered snooze. It’s lightweight at just two pounds and folds up into a small package for easy transport, and although it’s designed for one person it’s sturdy enough to hold up to 500 pounds with its knotless suspension. We also like how there are built-in pockets to keep important items close, and when the weather is nice you can easily roll back the fly to take in the night sky through the Stargazer panel.
3. Handwoven Classic Double Hammock
There is a lot to love about this classic hammock with updated materials and color schemes, including its lightweight design, versatile setup and social messaging. Each hammock is handwoven by craftswomen moms and their families to help break the cycle of poverty. As seen on Shark Tank, this hammock is weather-proof, fade-proof and strong, holding up to 400 pounds at a time. You won’t get some of the imprints on your body with this hammock that others may leave you with either: the design features more than 15,000 loops for the tightest weave yet. You can use it with trees or a stand, or purchase the hanging straps (sold separately) for even more options.
4. Best Choice Products 2-Person Double Hammock with Stand Set
BEST PORTABLE STAND SET
No trees? No problem with this two-person, portable stand set that holds up to 450 pounds at a time. The fold-and-go steel frame comes with a compact carrying case you can easily sling over your shoulder, which makes it ideal for tailgating or visits to the trailer park. The hammock itself is made from a tightly woven cotton blend that comes in several color options for a stylish but comfy rest.
5. Lazy Daze 12 FT Double Quilted Fabric Hammock
BEST FOR PORCHES
If it’s a comfy porch nap you seek, look no further than this quilted fabric hammock with spreader bars and a detachable pillow, which adds comfort and style to any indoor or covered outdoor space. The model comes in a variety of colors and holds up to 450 pounds, which makes it large enough for two to share. It also comes with two steel chain links for a safe and optimal hang — no trees required. This hammock also works with hammock stands, although they are sold separately.
6. Sierra Designs Single Lightweight Hammock
Looking to hang out in the best hammock without dropping serious coin? This lightweight but heavy-duty option from Target, which holds up to 400 pounds, is a valid choice. The kit comes with everything you need (tree-saver straps and carabiners) to easily set this hammock up between trees, helping you to relax in the shade even sooner. The brushed nylon fabric is comfy and designed to last, which is why this hammock also comes with a two-year limited warranty. So even though this is one of the most affordable hammocks on our list, you can feel comfortable knowing your investment is protected.
7. SUNCREAT Hammocks Double Cotton Rope Hammock
BEST POOLSIDE HAMMOCK
What better way to chill poolside than on your very own hammock? This model includes a hardwood spreader bar and stands that make it easy to climb in and out of, and you won’t need to fuss over knots or straps either. This hammock is also designed with comfort in mind thanks to the reversible quilted polyester pad, which comes in a variety of colors and is detachable for easy cleaning. This thing also comes with a detachable pillow and holds up to 475 pounds, making it an ideal spot for two or for someone solo who wants to rock their way to a nap or enjoy a good book.
8. Miguel Chair Hammock
BEST HAMMOCK CHAIR
If you’re looking to add Boho style and comfort to a porch or small indoor space, this small but sturdy hanging hammock chair will do it. The cotton material is comfortable enough to snuggle into and the circular design allows for gentle and relaxing swinging. Add a cushion for extra style and comfort, or grab a stand to install this one in a kid’s room or a home library.
9. ENO DoubleNest Hammock
If you’re looking for a hammock you can feel just as good about buying as you can swinging in, ENO plants two trees for every hammock purchased through their partnership with Trees for the Future. The company is also a member of the 1% For The Planet organization and donates 1 percent of overall sales to environmental non-profits. As for the hammock itself, it’s great for at-home use or for taking on the road thanks to the lightweight design and triple-seam construction, which protects against rips and tears. It also includes a custom side-release buckle and a cord lock for easy setup and pack-up, and it all compresses down to the size of a grapefruit when not in use.
10. Castaway Living Double Traditional Hand-Woven Cotton Rope Hammock
If you’re looking for a more traditional hammock to set up on the porch or in the backyard, this natural cotton model easily conjures up memories of tropical vacations or beachside hangs. The thick cotton rope holds up to 450 pounds and features a knot-free design, plus it comes with a spreader bar to help you climb in and out more easily. Customers agree the model hangs quickly and easily thanks to the included zinc-plated chains and tree hooks, while others rate it a 4.1 out of 5 for overall comfort.