Hammocks are the ultimate relaxation device. Sling one between two trees, tether it to your balcony or hook it onto a hammock stand, and you’ve immediately got a cosy sanctuary for reading, napping or catching some rays.
Most hammocks conform to the same basic idea and shape, but there are a few main types to choose between. ‘Spreader bar’ hammocks have a crossbar (usually made from wood) at each end of the fabric, to keep them taught and make them easier to climb into (and get out of). Camping hammocks don’t have bars, instead sticking with the traditional fabric-and-ropes shape, to be as light and compact as possible.
Hammocks of all kinds are selling out fast as spring turns to summer, so in our recommendations below we reveal the best hammocks still in stock. First, here are some tips on choosing the right hammock for you.
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Best hammocks currently in stock: At a glance
How to choose the best hammock for you
What type of hammock is best for me?
Spreader bar hammocks have two wooden bars at each end that keep the fabric in the middle tight. The design is open and inviting, allowing you to lie relatively flat as compared to other hammock designs.
Classic hammocks are based on the traditional design used first by Native Americans, and they’re considered the comfiest and easiest to use. They tend to curl up and have a bigger dip in the middle than spreader bar hammocks, though, so make sure you tie them high enough.
Camping hammocks tend to be made from lightweight durable material, and can be tied to trees or any suitable support.
Chair hammocks are handy for families with children, because they’re more stable and less prone to flipping than traditional hammocks. They only require one support point, and often come with their own stands.
What material is best for hammocks?
Cotton is great for lazing in the garden on summer days, and it conforms comfortably to your body shape. It may also be machine-washable at high temperatures. But it’s not mould resistant, so don’t leave a cotton hammock out overnight.
Polyester is lighter and more durable, so it’s used for most camping hammocks. Most commercially-sold hammocks have polyester ropes, which are strong, durable, and resistant to mold and mildew.
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The best hammocks you can buy
1. Vivere Double Cotton Hammock: Best classic hammock with stand for indoors and outdoors
Price: From £112.08 | Buy now from Amazon
This stylish cotton hammock comes in oodles of colours (prices vary, up to £160), from bright red stripes to wistful lacy white. The one in our pic is Denim, priced at £140. Whichever pattern you chose, you get a beautiful carry bag and super-sturdy steel stand included for free. It’s easy to assemble and the whole lot weighs about 13kg, so it’s light enough to shift into the garden or onto the balcony. The steel frame is coated with zinc, so it won’t come a cropper if you leave it outside (take the canvas off, though), and the legs have rubber end caps so it’s also safe to use indoors if you prefer. I mean, who needs sofas?
At 160cm wide the canvas is big enough to accommodate two, and the lack of spreader bars at each end means you’ll roll together cosily, whether you like it or not. The hammock can hold more than 200kg, so the pair of you are unlikely to go crashing to the ground.
Key specs – Canvas size: 239x160cm; Canvas material: Cotton (hand wash); Capacity: 204kg; Stand included: Yes; Colours available: 18
£140.00 Buy now
2. Easy Eagle Outdoor Cotton Hammock: Best hammock under £50
Price: £44 | Buy now from Amazon
Climb in and out of this lovely sunny hammock with ease, thanks to the curved wooden spreader bars at each end. Unlike some spreader bars, these ones don’t pull the fabric completely taught, so there’s still plenty of fabric to get cosy in and even wrap around yourself when the air starts to cool in the garden. A carry bag and inflatable pillow are included for free.
Key specs – Canvas size: 220x120cm; Canvas material: Cotton; Capacity: 300kg; Stand included: No; Colours available: 3
£43.99 Buy now
3. Quechua Two-Person Hammock: Best camping hammock
Price: £25 | Buy now from Decathlon