Hammock Guide: 5 Different Hammock Designs

Many styles of Hammock are available to consumers, and each one has a unique feel. The “right” style of hammock will depend on the environment you plan to use it in. Since Hammocks are a personal commodity, we decided to create a quick hammock style guide to help you select one with the right fit for you.

Hammock History

The variety of available hammock options gives way to endless opportunities to relax outdoors on your own, or with friends and family. Recent innovations over the past 10 years have seen the arrival of specialized hammocks for almost any environment, which is truly game-changing.

Hammocks transform the outdoor experience, while getting you off the ground, and giving you a completely different perspective of your surroundings. Being suspended above ground facilitates a feeling of freedom, one far removed from conventional furniture.

Most hammocks come from two basic configurations. There's the original Brazilian form of hammock that's been in use for thousands of years. Its style uses a 2-point, in-line hanging system, which envelopes you in a cocoon-like pod that conforms to body weight and shape. These hammocks are known as tropical or jungle hammocks.

Another common style of hammock going back just a few hundred years, is the Spreader Hammock, a re-design known in today's world, as the North American Hammock or Spreader-Bar-Hammock.

The introduction of a spreader bar, allows a hammock's cords to be threaded through the bar, creating a flatter surface versus a cocoon. This spreader-bar system was developed by American pioneers to make dismounting easier.

Let's look at how these two original iterations have influenced modern hammock design.

Brazilian Hammocks

Brazilian hammocks are known for their robustness and comfort. These hammocks are a great choice for colder climates because its thicker weave blocks cold air to provide additional warmth. Bold, vibrant colors are a common feature of this style, along with their trademark 100% cotton fabric, constructed in a very tight and durable weave.

 Brazilian Hammock

Brazilian Hammock

Their natural cotton can sometimes suffer from exposure, that if not properly maintained, can lead to mold and mildew, so prioritize regular cleaning and protection.

Rope Hammocks

Rope hammocks are classic-style hammocks that feature a rope stitching design between spreader bars on both ends. Rope hammocks are often associated with island castaways lounging under palm trees.

 Rope Hammock

Rope Hammock

Spreader bars keep the lounge bed open for easy dismount, while their rope stitching offers additional support and flexibility. Open, airy rope hammocks offer excellent airflow for cooling off on the beach. The drawback to rope hammocks are uncomfortable pressure points created when used without sufficient padding or fabric. Hammock pads make a great solution, and add extra comfort.

Rope hammocks aren't generally used for getting your regular night's sleep. A little caution should be used when getting on to a spreader bar-style hammock, which can flip over. Rope hammocks are normally either cotton or polyester, and each has its advantages.

Cotton hammocks are often the more flexible choice, but keep in mind, polyester is less susceptible to mold and mildew.

Poolside Fabric Hammocks

Fabric, or poolside hammocks use the classic spreader-bar design, allowing for luxury, decorative style and comfort. Quilted materials are frequently used to increase softness and warmth, by using two layers of fabric with a soft stuffing in-between.

 Poolside Hammock

Poolside Hammock

Versatility and variety of fabrics allow for beautiful patterned designs on one side, and a solid color on the other. Environment is a big consideration for poolside, fabric style hammocks. Treated fabrics, polyesters, and cordura are the most popular becasue treated fabrics provide additional protection from mildew, and are resistant to sun-bleaching.

There are also hammock stands treated with waterproof coating, able to withstand splashing from the pool, or salt water from the sea. Remember, treated fabrics may last longer than cotton and have less maintenance issues, but they're not as soft.

Camping, Backpacking, Hiking Hammocks

 The Tammock, a freestanding, portable tent-hammock camping system.

The Tammock, a freestanding, portable tent-hammock camping system.

Exploring the great outdoors isn't new or revolutionary, but here's something that is. We call it the Tammock, a freestanding, portable hammock-tent combination, complete with all the conventional features of a tent, and the blissful comfort of a hammock. Think of it as a sure way to elevate your outdoor experience.

The LIT Outdoors Tammock brings all of these revolutionary features together in a style known as “sport hammocks," made from highly durable, packable and breathable ripstop nylon.

Carabiners hooked to thick, sturdy nylon cords are threaded through each end of the hammock, which weigh less than casual spreader bars to enhance versatility. Its ripstop nylon is resistant to mildew, washes easily, and is stronger than the majority of cottons and polyesters on the market.

The one major drawback to nylon is its weakness to the sun. UV rays from the sun will deteriorate the color and integrity of nylon left exposed for long periods of time. Be mindful of how long your nylon sits in direct sunlight. A variety of UV protectant sprays are also available. 

Chairs & Swings

 Swing-Chair Style Hammock

Swing-Chair Style Hammock

Hammock Chairs or Swings are a great alternative for two or more people. They're ideal if you don't have space for a traditional, full-size hammock.

These hammocks are great for children because the designs are generally more stable and easier to use. You can hang the chair from a fixed point or use a beautiful free standing frame. With an nearly endless variety of designs and colors to choose from, swing-chair hammocks are a great way to complement your decor inside and out.