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21 Different Types of Hammocks

A lady lying on a hammock whilre reading a book and waiting for the sunset.

The hammock comes from the Spanish word hamaca, which has a related Haitian word that means “fishnet.” South America is thought to be the origins of the hammock while Christopher Columbus introduced it to Spain from his 1492 adventure.

The British Royal Navy brought along the canvas hammock on ships as their official bedding and brought them back home with them. The US Army, on the other hand, used waterproof hammocks during the Vietnam war. Hammocks were also used in prisons during the 1800s as an experimental space-saving bed.

A. Types

1. Rope Hammocks

Rope hammock with blue and green curvy lines as the main design.Source: Wayfair

Rope hammocks are likely the first thing that will come to your mind when you are envisioning a hammock. It is the most commonly used hammock in pop culture and you have probably seen it represented in many popular television shows. This is a traditional hammock and you will find that the majority of these are made from either polyester or cotton. Rope hammocks are popularly hung between two trees, and this is the classic image that you think of when people tell you they are going to go relax in a hammock.

Most rope hammocks will come with something called a spreader bar. This makes the hammock significantly easier to use. The bars will keep the two sides separated so that you can get in and out of the hammock much easier. Without a spreader bar present, you might find that you will have trouble properly laying down in your new hammock.

Polyester rope hammocks have proven to be more popular than cotton rope hammocks over the years. Both work very well, but the polyester variants have proven to be the most durable. They are able to withstand the elements to a much higher degree and will generally last you longer. They also don’t have any problems with mold, as polyester is resistant to mold and mildew.

Cotton rope hammocks are a bit more flexible than their polyester cousins. Some people really enjoy the added flexibility, but it really comes down to personal preference. The more flexible cotton rope hammocks are not necessarily more comfortable, so you can choose whichever option will appeal to you the most. You should just consider how you are going to use the hammock and whether or not the mold-resistant properties of polyester would prove to be the most useful in your situation.

2. Camping Hammocks

Red and black, portable hammock great for camping..Source: Wayfair

Camping hammocks are really common as well because they have a lot of utility. People are able to use camping hammocks very effectively to provide comfortable sleeping and relaxing options for people who are out camping. These hammocks are very light and are easy to take with you. The portability is definitely the big selling point and you will love being able to take your hammock with you for some relaxation out in nature.

These hammocks are very compact, so you won’t have any trouble fitting it into your car. You can even carry it with you without it being a burden because it really is that light. The hammock itself is easy to set up too, as all you really need is two trees that are the right distance apart to be able to make proper use of it. There are also certain camping hammocks that will come with a built-in stand, so you should consider which type of hammock is going to work out for you the best.

3. Quilted Hammocks

Quilted hammock with Gray and light beige stripes.Source: Wayfair

Quilted hammocks are probably the second most common type of hammocks behind rope hammocks. Many people prefer quilted hammocks as they provide significant comfort while also being very aesthetically pleasing. They really aren’t too dissimilar to rope hammocks, but they do differ in a few important ways. One of the biggest differences is that quilted hammocks are typically reversible, giving it even more appeal from a visual perspective.

The reversed side of your quilted hammock will usually have a pattern while the normal side is a solid color. There are some variations with this trend, but it is overall pretty neat to get a hammock that is versatile with the way it looks. Many people do enjoy hammocks for the vibe and the look that they can provide. These quilted hammocks have proven to be very popular for both their significant comfort and overall cool look.

People who live in colder environments have really taken a shine to these quilted hammocks. They work wonderfully in cooler weather and they provide a significant amount of comfort. Most of these hammocks will come with wooden spread bars to keep the hammock open for you. Some of them may come with a stand but they are popularly used by being hung between two trees in the traditional fashion.

Those who have families will really enjoy how easy these quilted hammocks are to use. You can enjoy lounging around with your children in a large quilted hammock while being quite comfortable. Kids will find them easy to use because there are no large gaps in the hammock for their smaller appendages to get stuck in. This makes it perfect for if you have young ones at home, so you may want to choose this over the rope hammock option depending on your circumstances.

4. Poolside Hammocks

Taupe, poolside hammock good for two persons.Source: Wayfair

It should come as no surprise that people have come to really enjoy having hammocks located by their pools. Pools are excellent for relaxing in the summer weather, and what is more relaxing than a hammock? Combining two very relaxing activities at one convenient location is very sensible. Of course, you will want to get a hammock that is specifically made to be hung near a pool.

The fabric that is used for poolside hammocks is made to be resistant to mildew and mold. It is made this way because they know that people are going to be getting in the hammock without being perfectly dry. Also, the air around a poolside area is going to be damper than usual. This is true if you decide to hang one of these hammocks on the beach or someone else that is near a body of water as well.

These hammocks will come with spreader bars just like most of the other hammock types. You can enjoy getting on and off of this hammock with ease so long as the spreader bars are on. Most of these spreader bars are made to look very fashionable as well, coming in many different colors and having patterns on them. Poolside hammocks are meant to be fun, so it makes sense that the hammocks should look as interesting as possible.

You will also enjoy the fact that these poolside hammocks are quite easy to clean. All you really need to do is use some warm water and a little bit of liquid soap to take care of any nagging dirtiness. If you happen to encounter any mildew, diluted bleach will be able to take care of the problem. It is unlikely that you will have mildew problems so long as you clean your poolside hammock somewhat often, as it is resistant to mildew and mold due to the material it is made out of.

5. Mayan Hammocks

Mayan hammock made out of natural-toned cotton fabric.Source: Wayfair

If you are a fan of bright colors, then you will want to take a look at some of the stunning Mayan hammocks that are available. For the most part, Mayan hammocks are made using very bright colors and this gives them a significant amount of visual appeal. They have become incredibly popular among people who want their hammocks to not only be functional but to also be pretty. Some people even decide to put a Mayan hammock inside of their home due to enjoying its aesthetic appeal so much.

These hammocks are very finely crafted. They are usually very lightweight, but they’re incredibly durable despite being so light. If you want to have a hammock that can handle carrying a heavier amount of weight, then a Mayan hammock may be your best option. They are well-known for being able to hold weight very well. It’s also worth noting that Mayan hammocks do not use spreader bars, but they are still fairly easy to use despite this.

Two different materials are used to make Mayan hammocks depending on the style. These are nylon and cotton. Cotton is generally seen as being the softer and more comfortable of the two. Nylon is much more durable and is resistant to mildewing, though.

If you decide to buy one of these, you will need to be careful not to damage it. The design of a Mayan hammock is susceptible to being damaged by zippers and buttons on your clothing. They can get stuck in the weave and cause damage when you move around. You could choose to buy a design that uses a thicker string for increased durability.

6. Nicaraguan Hammocks

Red, Nicaraguan-style hammock.Source: Wayfair

Nicaraguan hammocks are another popular option that is distinct from other hammock types in a few ways. These hammocks are spun using exceptionally soft cotton cords. This allows them to use an intricate double-weaving technique that makes these hammocks very comfortable. They are gorgeous to behold and a joy to take a nice nap in.

The weave that is used in the design of this hammock is somewhat similar to the Mayan hammock, but it is a little different. Both the Nicaraguan hammock and the Mayan hammock are popular for similar reasons. People who enjoy buying hammocks that stand out for their visual appeal usually gravitate towards these types of hammocks. Their beauty does not come at the cost of comfort though, as these hammocks are some of the best on the market for taking naps in.

If you decide to buy a Nicaraguan hammock, then you should avoid keeping it outside at all times. The material isn’t as well-suited to being outside permanently unless you use some sort of protective cover. It is possible to buy something called a hammock sock to keep it safe from harm. Many people decide to make use of these hammocks indoors and some people even like to sleep in them as their main bed.

7. Brazilian Hammocks

Brazillian-style hammock in yellow and green.

Source: Wayfair

Brazilian Hammocks are generally hand-woven and are seen as aesthetically pleasing options for both indoor and outdoor use. For people who like to use hammocks for everyday lounging, the Brazilian hammock is able to provide significant comfort in an indoor environment. They work very well outdoors too, and it isn’t uncommon to see people with one of these hammocks set up on their patio. This beautiful piece of furniture is going to add to the visual appeal of any space that you decide to place it in.

These hammocks are known for coming in a wide variety of different colors. The fringe on these types of hammocks is also noteworthy as it has a unique look that is appealing. If you want a hammock that combines comfort and style expertly, then you will definitely want to look into purchasing a Brazilian hammock. These hammocks are steadily becoming a more popular option and are sure to be even more prevalent in the years to come.

Families who have young children really enjoy these hammocks as well. Much like the quilted hammocks mentioned above, these hammocks are safer for kids to use. They don’t have the large gaps in their weave that can cause children to get stuck. This is a solid hammock and that also means that you won’t have any airflow to contend with.

The lack of airflow can be an issue if you are planning on using this hammock outside in a hotter climate. These hammocks are perfect for cool nights or slightly cooler climates, though. Most of these hammocks will not come with a spreader bar, so you will be enjoying them in a more natural cocoon-like fashion. You might be able to find some Brazilian hammocks that come with spreader bars if that is what you prefer, but these are less common.


B. Styles

1. Hammock with Stand

A contemporary-style hammock with a wooden stand.Source: Wayfair

You can buy hammocks that come on their own stand. This allows you to use them very effectively without having to bother hanging them on a tree. For many people, this is ideal as it can be tricky for some to hang a hammock in the traditional way. This also allows the hammock to be used indoors very easily.

2. Tree Hammocks

Cotton tree hammock with black, white and brown stripes.Source: Wayfair

These types of hammocks are specifically meant to be hung in trees. When you buy this type of hammock it will be meant for outdoor use only. You will be able to place it between two trees that are at the right distance apart and have a good nap. Hanging a hammock isn’t too difficult once you get used to it and many people love to use these in their backyards.

3. Swing Chairs

Swing hammock with blue, green and yellow stripes.Source: Wayfair

Some people have really started to enjoy purchasing these swing chair style hammocks. They are like a normal hammock, but you will be able to sit in them similarly to how you sit in a chair. They come on a little stand and you will be able to swing or sway while you sit in it. These can be quite relaxing and are ideal for both adults and children.

4. Portable Folding Hammock

Blue, portable hammock great for camping.Source: Wayfair

If you are a camping enthusiast, then you should look into purchasing one of these portable folding hammocks. This hammock will conveniently fold up so that you can store it for transportation. Taking this hammock with you to a campsite is simple and it is incredibly lightweight. You will find that the convenience of having these hammocks available is preferable to having to sleep on the cold ground, so it will appeal to intelligent campers everywhere.

5. Hammock with Canopy

Red hammock with canopy.Source: Wayfair

If you want to be able to enjoy laying on your hammock when it is lightly raining, then it could be fun to buy a hammock with a canopy. These hammocks are generally very big, so they can be ideal for multiple people to cuddle up in and enjoy the atmosphere. The canopy will keep you from getting raindrops in your face and you can enjoy the tranquility of a light rainstorm. Hammocks like this are very popular with couples, so if you like the rain you should definitely look into it.

6. TearDrop Hammock

Dark gray, teardrop tree hammock.Source: Wayfair

One very interesting hammock style is the TearDrop hammock. This hammock only has a single rope and it will hang down from a strong tree branch or other structure. It is sort of a hybrid between a hammock and a tent, as you will be encased in a little structure that has windows, so you can see outside. These are rather comfortable and can support a fairly significant amount of weight, meaning two people can use it comfortably in most cases.

C. Features

1. Spreader Bars

Navy blue hammock with spreader bars.Source: Wayfair

You can find many hammocks that will come with spreader bars. These spreader bars are going to make it much easier to get in and out of a hammock. Some people don’t like having to subtly hop in a hammock, so this makes it a lot more practical for people to use. Many of the most popular hammocks on the market will have spreader bars included, but you can also buy them separately if you so choose.

2. Included Stand

Modern-style, off white hammock with a stylish stand included.Source: Wayfair

Some hammocks will come with an included stand. This will allow you to use the hammock without having to hang it on a tree. It can be really convenient, and there are even some hammocks that give you the option to hang it off of the stand as well. If this appeals to you, then you will want to look into finding a hammock with this convenient included feature.

3. Two-Person Hammock

White hammock that can accommodate two people.Source: Wayfair

There are certain hammocks that are specifically designed to hold two people. These hammocks are very desirable for couples, but they can be great for the whole family as well. It is possible to find really durable hammocks that have a high weight capacity, but many of the ones meant for couples happen to cap out at 350 lbs. This is fine for most average couples but do be aware of the weight limits before purchasing for the best results.

4. Reversible Hammock

White and green, reversible hammock.Source: Wayfair

Some hammocks are reversible. This can be really neat as the reversible option sometimes will have another color or pattern on the other side. This can make your hammock experience even more fun as you will be able to change up the look when you want to. Many of the reversible hammocks with have a plain color on one side and a pattern on the other.

5. Weatherproof

Colorful and weatherproof chair hammock.Source: Wayfair

You will be able to find hammocks that are made to be weatherproof. These hammocks have been made to withstand the elements and will be safe to leave outdoors at all times. You will still want to maintain these types of hammocks properly, but they just do a significantly better job of dealing with the elements. If you want to have an outdoor hammock as a permanent fixture in your yard, then it would be a good idea to search for a hammock with this feature.

D. Materials

1. Cotton

Cotton hammock with brown and olive green stripes.Source: Wayfair

Cotton is known to be the most flexible material that hammocks are made out of. Most styles of hammocks will use cotton for some of their hammock designs. Hammocks made from cotton are very comfortable and many people only buy cotton hammocks because they love the way it feels. These hammocks are more prone to having problems with mildew, so you will need to be diligent about that.

2. Polyester

Polyester hammock with blue and white-patterned design.Source: Wayfair

Polyester is another material that is commonly used to make hammocks. It isn’t quite as flexible as cotton, but it does have a few advantages. Polyester is much more mold-resistant, and it won’t have as many problems with mildew. If you are thinking of putting a permanent hammock outside of your home, then it may be beneficial to consider buying one that is made from Polyester.

3. Nylon

Dark orange, nylon hammock.Source: Wayfair

Certain hammocks, such as some Mayan hammocks, are made using Nylon. Nylon is very durable and works excellently for making quality hammocks. Much like Polyester, Nylon has some mildew-resistant qualities. This makes it easy to use them hammocks outside without having to worry about them getting too dirty. Nylon is also easy to clean, so you will have a good time when you buy a hammock made of this material.