How to choose and set up a patio hammock

Liven up your outdoor space with a cheerful hammock

Before you head out for a hammock, consider the following helpful tips to learn how to choose the best one for your outdoor space and how to set it up.

How to choose and set up a patio hammock

1. Size

Take the time to thoroughly consider the size, material and type of hammock you want. Once you narrow down the specifications, you'll be well on your way to finding one that suits your patio perfectly.

Do you need an oversize hammock? In addition to single and double hammocks, there are ones designed to fit numerous people. Measure your available space, and choose accordingly. As a general rule, you should aim for a hammock that's between 2.3 and 4.5 metres.

2. Material

This selection essentially comes down to cotton or polyester. Nylon is an option with some types of hammocks as well. Cotton is cozy, looks nice, and breathes well, but it can get mildew or mould if exposed to wet conditions. Buy a cotton hammock if your patio is covered. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, or if your patio isn't covered, consider a polyester hammock. Polyester is a durable, weather-resistant option, and even though it's not as comfortable as cotton, at least you won't have to worry about mould.

3. Type

The two main types of hammocks are quilted fabric and rope. Rope is the classic, durable choice; it's also quite comfortable, especially rope made of cotton (it will contour to your body). Quilted hammocks are made with two layers of polyester or cotton and padding in between, making it a bit more like a bed; these often have two sides and a spreader bar. Note that hammocks with spreader bars may flip if not set up correctly.

The Mayan hammock, a comfy, gorgeous hammock made with thin nylon or cotton strings, is a lightweight yet strong patio hammock suitable for warm weather. The Brazilian hammock is notable for its hand-woven cotton design and lack of holes; it functions like a warm cocoon, which makes it ideal for patios in cold climates. For something low-maintenance, go with a poolside hammock, as this type is designed to handle rough elements.

4. Set up

Hang it from a tree with straps, or attach it to stands. Make sure the hammock is neither tight nor loose, since this will upset the balance. You can also hang a hammock from your patio ceiling using an S-hook.

5. Between two trees

The length between the attachment points should be slightly more than the length of the hammock. When choosing the height off the ground, first choose a spot, and then move it 20 to 40 centimetres upwards to account for sag. You don't want the hammock to be touching the ground. When hanging, attach hammock straps to the tree, and then hook them to the hammock on both sides. Note that hammocks with spreader bars sag less than ones without, so those don't need to be as high off the ground.

6. Hammock with a stand

The two stands are made of either metal or wood. Both are stable. Wood is a more natural looking option for your patio, while metal is a lightweight, portable option. Set the two stands at an appropriate distance from each other, and hook the hammock to the stand.

A hammock can make your patio a fantastic place to relax. To ensure you get all the benefits that a hammock offers, take the time to choose one that suits your patio, and carefully set it up once you arrive home.

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