Hammocks bring a smile to everyone’s face; it’s hard to have a bad day when you’re just hanging around in a hammock. Even your most pressing problem becomes a non-issue once you hop inside one. Hammocks can be set up literally anywhere, and in this article, we’re going to cover the most common questions people have and then share ten great options for any hang time fan.  

What Is The Best Way To Hang A Hammock?

What is the best way to hang a hammock?

You certainly can’t achieve hang-time without setting it up correctly. But before we get into the details, if you’re seeking to hang a hammock somewhere besides your backyard, you better ask for permission. Believe it or not, some state and federal parks do not permit hammock use. If you find yourself in Colorado, for example, you might be hard-pressed to find a park that does. If hammocks are hung improperly or overused repeatedly on the same trees, they can cause extensive damage, so this is the reasoning behind the ban in some places.

In terms of positions, staying away from animal and plant life is a must. Setting up above some random bush that you can’t identify is a no-no. You should also seek out a spot at least 200 feet from a water source. Trees in close proximity to water are typically more fragile, and the extra stress of a hammock could damage them.

Once you’ve identified a good spot, a 30-degree angle (opening toward the tree) is the optimal hammock set-up. You’ll want to hang the straps a bit higher than you’d initially anticipate to hit this 30-degree angle. Once you hang the hammock, ensure the surface is not completely flat when unweighted; you’ll want a bit of a dip before you sit down. Once you sit, having the hammock roughly 18 inches off the ground is the sweet spot. From here, you’re good to go!

Is Sleeping In A Hammock Bad For You?

Is sleeping in a hammock bad for you?

Most of us sleep on a flat surface. In much of the Western world, this has been common for centuries. Yet, there are many places in the world where folks sleep in hammocks year-round. So while sleeping lying down is extremely common, sleeping “full-time” in a hammock is certainly doable.

There are a handful of studies that point to certain benefits for babies and hammocks. The rocking motion of a hammock has been theorized to provide a deeper sleep for babies who are otherwise fussy while sleeping lying down. This makes intuitive sense, especially to all you parents out there. A hammock might spare you the necessity of having to load the little one in the car and drive around the block a couple of times just to get them back to sleep!

Studies on adults and the rocking motion of a hammock, however, are scant. There is some evidence that the rocking motion might create a more calming feeling and lead to a deeper sleep, but it is anecdotal at best. What most folks point to with hammocks is pressure point relief. We’ve all had the experience of sleeping on a crummy mattress; the pain points, especially on the shoulders, back, and rear, can be downright unbearable. Some people suffer these issues year-round, and hammocks do indeed relieve pressure on those areas.

Most of the benefits of sleeping in a hammock are summarized around a deeper sleep, reduced insomnia, and decreased back pain. While medical confirmation is still lacking, the anecdotal evidence is certainly there. If you have trouble sleeping and are seeking an alternative, giving a hammock a try might be the trick. Just make sure to bring a blanket, especially if you’re going to do this outside in Minnesota in January. Check out this article at npr.org for info on how hammocks can promote better sleep.

Do Hammocks Kill Trees?

Do hammocks kill trees?

As we alluded to earlier, hammocks can have adverse effects on trees. Like anything, added stress and poorly designed hammock straps pulling on a trunk can lead to an early death. Yet, you’d be surprised how easy it is to minimize a hammock’s effect on a tree via the use of the right equipment. But before diving into equipment, let’s talk trees first.

Not all trees are alike. Forests are full of healthy and strong trees, while others have lived a long life and are in their elder years. You’ll want to avoid hanging a hammock on a tree that is close to death. If you don’t see leaves on every branch or even note some dead branches on the tree, that isn’t the tree for you. Trees near rivers should also be avoided as they tend to be lighter and not as strong.

On a normal, healthy tree, the right equipment will not inflict damage. Wide straps are key. Some cheaper hammocks come with thin straps, but wrapping a thin strap around a tree and then placing your weight in the hammock will cause that strap to dig into the tree trunk.

The best way of describing this is to take fishing wire and tie it around your finger. In a matter of seconds, this can turn quite painful. Yet, doing the same thing with a wide piece of cloth inflicts little or no pain. The same holds true on a tree trunk. The wider the strap, the less “digging” will result into the trunk of the tree.

Backyard Hammocks for Relaxing Outdoors this Summer

Zupapa Double Hammock With Stand and Carrying Case

Double hammock with stand and carrying case by Zupapa.

The Zupapa is a hammock lover’s dream. Known for their “unmatched softness,” you can’t ask for much more when you’re lying under the stars or burrowing into a good book. This particular model is made from a highly breathable cotton-poly material, and the assembly is a snap.

The set comes with five tubes, and the total set-up won’t take longer than a couple of minutes. No trees necessary as this hammock can be used literally anywhere. Available in aqua, blue, and sand, this hammock is also quite stylish, a win-win for everyone!

To learn more, click here.

Hennessy Hammock – Leaf Lounger Series

Hennessy Hammock- Leaf Lounger Series.

One look at this Leaf Lounger and you’ll be lured into a woodsy setting in no time. Marketed as a “stay-at-home” hammock, the Leaf Lounger is lightweight, flexible, and easy to get into. Designed for anyone weighing up to 250 pounds, the nylon is tightly woven (70d high density), and the polyester ropes are even stronger – 954 kg.

The Leaf Lounger’s asymmetric shape conforms to your anatomy, and the structural ridgeline guarantees a snug fit every time you hop in. This is what we call professional lounging equipment.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Sunnydaze Hand-Woven Portable Mayan Hammock

Handwoven portable Mayan hammock by Sunnydaze.

Feast your eyes on this serious relaxing machine. With room for up to two folks, the Mayan Hammock is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Online reviewers comment on its cocoon shape, literally enveloping you as you sink into the 80% cotton and 20% nylon construction.

With a weight capacity of up to a whopping 660 pounds, you can pile the kids in, as well as the neighbor’s kid! The overall dimensions are a generous 157” L x 79” W.

To read reviews, click here.

Castaway Living Quilted Hammock With Stand and Pillow

Castaway Living weather resistant hammock.

All hammocks are functional, but some are functional and also look fantastic. Castaway falls into this latter category, and this navy polyester hammock is an absolute stunner. The weather-resistant fabric is available in navy, medallion, buffalo plaid, and blue and green stripes, making this a natural choice for either your backyard or a week-long adventure into the wilderness.

The durable spreader bars are a unique touch here, creating a “spread-out” relaxed shape without that enveloped feel. Some people like to have a cocoon shape around them, while others prefer a flatter feel. If you fall into the latter camp, this is the hammock for you. 

To see pricing, click here.

Sunnydaze Tufted Victorian Hammock Chair

Tufted Victorian hammock chair by Sunnydaze.

Now we’re talking! The Sunnydaze chair, while still considered a hammock, is a chair in all its glory. This hammock chair screams, “come read in me!” Sturdy and guaranteed to accommodate up to 300 pounds, this is the type of chair that can easily serve as a permanent fixture on your porch year-round.

The measurements are 43” L x 39” W coupled with a 23” W seat. There are some awesome photos online of dogs and cats curling up in this chair, further proof that it’s one of the most comfortable options around.

Love it? Click here to buy now.

Sunnydaze Hanging Rope Hammock Chair Swing

Hanging rope hammock chair swing by Sunnydaze.

Picture this – it’s a gorgeous, sunny day. You’ve got your Piña Colada in hand, your Kindle in the other, the dog is gazing up at you sheepishly, wondering when you’re going to settle in and get on with this Sunday afternoon. Sunnydaze has you covered for days like this, and this absolute beauty of a chair swing checks all the right boxes.

Measuring 47” W x 36” D x 48” H, the seat on this swing is a generous 40” W, and you can easily pile on up to 300 pounds without a care in the world. Whether you’re an offensive lineman in the NFL or a lighter guy or gal with a handful of kids, jump in, Sunnydaze can take it!

To read the latest reviews, click here.

Double Hammock with Steel Stand, Two Pillows, and Cup Holder by Oncloud

Colorful double hammock with stand, pillows, and cup holder by Oncloud.

Most hammocks come with standard colors – red, blue, orange, etc. But if you’re looking for something more bold, then you can’t go wrong with this vibrant hammock that makes a visual statement while still being comfortable.

The stand is heavy-duty and powder coated with plastic end caps that are second to none. This is a hammock keeper for the long-term, no doubt about it. 

To learn more, click here.

Sunnydaze 2-Person Quilted Fabric Bar Hammock and Pillow

2-person hammock with pillow by Sunnydaze.

The more the merrier! Sunnydaze is a leader in the hammock game and naturally realized that a hammock made for two people makes the whole lounging experience that much sweeter.

Few hammocks will include a pillow, and while it might sound minor, this thing was made for ultimate relaxation. The quilted polyester cotton fabric is one-of-a-kind, and online reviews rave about its durability. You can’t go wrong with this number!

Ready to buy? Click here.

Portable 2-Person Brazilian Hammock With Stand And Carrying Case

2-person portable Brazilian hammock with stand and carrying case by Super Deal.

Anytime you read the word “Brazilian” in a title, you know the result is going to be relaxing and cool. Brazilians understand hammock culture, and this 2-person hammock is an ideal addition for any backyard or camping trip.

The hammock comes with a 9-foot metal stand that is weather-resistant and super sturdy. A carrying case is included, as are six optional hook positions. The dimensions are a generous 78.7” L x 61” W, and there is more than enough space for two grown adults.

To learn more, click here.

Hammock Sky Store XXL Hammock Chair Swing

Extra large hammock chair swing in the color peach echo.

Last but certainly not least is the XXL Chair Swing from Hammock Sky. The Hammock Sky Store is chock full of some truly remarkable products, but this XXL number is one of their top sellers. The color selection is peach echo, limpet shell, or iced coffee. They’ve put some serious creativity into these selections, and you won’t be disappointed.

Whenever a company offers a lifetime warranty, it’s worth mentioning. Hammock Sky states on their site that if you aren’t happy for any reason, you can request your money back, no questions asked. We like this attitude! 

Like it? Click here to buy now.

To Sum It Up

Just reading this post should have lowered your blood pressure and made you want to put on your flip-flops. Relaxing is a full-time hobby, so don’t buy just any old hammock without having done your research.

Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard part for you, reviewing ten great choices. We also touched on the best way to hang a hammock, whether they were dangerous for trees and if sleeping full-time in a hammock was beneficial in some cases. At this point, you’re likely more knowledgeable about hammocks than most folks on your block. So now that you’ve got the knowledge, time to put it to work and start relaxing!

Looking for more backyard inspiration? Check out Hot Tubs: Everything to Know Before You Buy.