Wondering about the benefits of sleeping in a hammock and what type of hammock to look for? You’ve come to the right place. In this article I’ll highlight the different types of hammocks and which are best suited to use for nightly sleeping.
Rule #1 – Comfort Above All Else
This may be obvious, but many people have never owned a hammock, and therefore don’t know what makes a hammock comfortable. Follow the keys below and you’ll want to replace your traditional mattress with a hammock bed in no time.
First is the weave. Open weave hammocks are the most comfortable. You may have seen a lot of solid fabric, all-weather hammocks online. While these are great for resisting mold and mildew and surviving the hurricane season, they’re equally great at resisting relaxation and comfort. Why? The solid design means they can’t stretch or conform to your body shape.
A Mexican (often referred to as “Mayan”) or Nicaraguan hammock, on the other hand, will feature a “double-spring weave” that allows the hammock to stretch and conform perfectly to your individual weight and shape.
Second, on the comfort priority list is fabric. With the proper weave nearly any fabric is comfortable. Cotton will be the softest and therefore generally most comfortable but it also requires more maintenance than synthetic fabrics such as nylon or polyester. One benefit of those synthetics? They won’t grab the fabric of your clothes as much as cotton, which will allow you to move around easier.
Lastly on the comfort subject: Ditch the spreader bar. Why? It makes the hammock rigid and unstable, and don’t allow for the natural cocooning effect that makes a hammock so great. If you’ve ever wondered why that lakeside hammock is so darn tippy and hard to get into – the spreader bar is to blame. Take it out and it’s much, much easier to use and you won’t fall out if you try. The people who make them in Nicaragua and Mexico don’t use them, and neither should you.
Where to Hang the Hammock?
You don’t need trees or even a hammock stand. All you need is a pair of lag screws (eye screws or “S” hooks will work fine), a pair of spring links and two 10 ft. lengths of 3/8″ nylon 3-strand rope. You can pick this all up at your local hardware store for about $ 30. Better yet, if you’re buying hammocks online chances are that same website will sell an optional wall hanging kit along with it.
One Last Thing…
Before you go off to purchase that hammock, here’s one last bonus tip: look for a hammock with macramé fringes. These frilly add-ons appear to simply be decorative add-ons that hang from the bottom sides of the hammock but they add another great feature: a convenient blanket on a cool night. You can simply reach down and pull these fringes over you for added warmth and comfort. Fringes are mostly exclusive to Nicaraguan hammocks but Lazy Bandido sells a great hybrid Mexican model that uses them as well.