There are so many different hammock ideas today, that we're going to start with a little history. Wikipedia defines a hammock as a sling made of fabric, rope or netting, that hangs suspended between two points. Hammocks were originally used by natives of Central and South America for sleeping, and later they were used on ships to maximize space and offer more comfort than sleeping on the deck.
Today hammocks are used throughout the world for relaxation at home or when camping outdoors. If you close your eyes and imagine a hammock, you're likely going to see it as a symbol of summer, leisure, relaxation or easy living. In fact some of today's most interesting hammocks are ones that have found their way indoors, where they can be enjoyed all year (maybe another article?).
Hammock Ideas to Consider When Buying One
When you're buying a hammock today, it's easy to get confused because there are so many different styles and materials to pick from. If you take a few minutes to answer these questions, you'll find shopping for a hammock much easier.
- How often will your hammock be used? For sleeping outdoors all summer or to relax for a few hours each week?
- Where will you use your hammock? Will it only be used in your backyard, or do you want to be able to take it on camping trips?
- What type of exposure will the hammock get? Full or partial exposure to the sun and elements? Year round or limited to a few months each year … or only when it's being used?
Decisions You'll Make When Buying a Hammock
Now that you've got a better idea of when and how you'll be using your hammock, here are the key decisions factors to consider. If you want a lot more detail here, you'll want to check out the hammock buying guide at Designed for Outdoors(dfohome.com).
- How do you want to hang your hammock? From the traditional rings at either end of the hammock or use a hammock stand with four corners or a spreader bar to keep the hammock open?
- What kind of a hammock stand appeals to you? A stand you buy and assemble, a DIY stand you build yourself (lots of great ideas on Pinterest) or the traditional tree?
- What hammock accessories are important to you, like a pillow, a canopy or mosquito net?
Hammock rope is made from cotton, polyester or DuraCord. As you might expect, cotton is the least expensive but fades and lacks much resistance to mold and mildew. Polyester doesn't develop mold or mildew as easily as cotton but it takes longer to dry. DuraCord is a synthetic with UV inhibitors that keeps colors looking bright longer, and withstands mold and mildew because it doesn't absorb water.
Fabric hammocks offer an more comfortable alternative to the traditional woven rope hammock. There are 3 choices made with either Sunbrella or DuraCord fabrics and various fillings sandwiched in the middle. Quilted hammocks use a fiberfill batting that's lock stitched together while pillow top and tufted hammocks use polyester fiberfill made from recycled plastic bottles. The difference between the later is in how they're held together – pillow tops are sewn in equal intervals while tufted hammocks are created with grommets.
Some of My Favorite Hammock Styles
Now for the fun part, picking a hammock that fits your personality and house style. That's not to say that you can't have a traditional hammock with a contemporary house, but it's another factor to consider