It’s impossible to feel stressed out on a hammock. Whether you’re on a tropical beach or in your own back garden, the suspended swaying beds are ideal for reading, relaxing or simply nodding off on a sunny day, so their popularity soared as we holidayed at home in lockdown.
But before buying, decide how you plan to hang the hammock. Traditional hammocks will need to be suspended between two strong, mature trees but you don’t need to miss out if you have a tree-free garden.
Instead, choose a hammock with its own stand for all-in-one relaxing. These can be quite large when assembled so measure carefully before buying to make sure you have room.
If you hope to bring your hammock beyond your garden when camping, look for one made from a cotton polyester mix without wooden spreader bars at each end so it will pack down easily into a bag.
These hammocks came out top in our tests for style, ease of assembly, strength and the all-important nap appeal. Now you just have to hope for sunshine.
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VonHaus single hammock with black frame
This super-stylish striped hammock would look great in any garden. It comes with a black, powder-coated steel frame that’s a doddle to slot together in around five minutes. Once up, we found it light and easy to move around the garden to chase the sun, yet it felt reassuringly sturdy as it holds up to 120kg.
We especially loved the inoffensive nautical look of the 100 per cent cotton hammock, which was a dream to snooze on in the sunshine. This was easy to detach at night to guard against sudden showers, although it would be best to store the stand itself somewhere sheltered over winter to keep the hammock looking tip-top. It’s so easy to take apart that even the seriously DIY-challenged shouldn’t be deterred, and it won’t break the bank either.
The Stripes Company hammock
If you can find a couple of mature trees, this beautifully bright hammock will transform them into the ultimate outdoor lounging space. Made with 100 per cent strong woven cotton and matching ropes, this striped hammock is produced by a small UK company and is of fantastic quality.
It comes in a range of vivid colours including the multicoloured “snorkelling” and a stylish black and white, but we were smitten by “rafting”, a soothing mix of turquoise, white and aqua. Struggling to find decent trees? We think this would also look brilliant hung between walls in a child’s room for a reading corner with a difference.
Decathlon two-person polycotton hammock ultim comfort
Looking for a little more versatility from your hammock? This roomy dark green design made with soft-touch polycotton is easy to string up in the garden at the merest hint of sun, and comes with a handy net pocket to stash your book or phone while you doze.
If you’re after a little more adventure, it also packs up into the included drawstring bag so you can head off to the great outdoors and sleep al fresco almost anywhere. There are no wooden spreader bars at each end so it’s surprisingly comfortable, and there’s even plenty of room for two if you’re willing to share. However, be warned: it won’t withstand prolonged exposure to sun or rain, so it’s worth checking the weather before you head out.
Charles Bentley extra large wooden hammock with arc stand cream canvas
Made for posing, this statement hammock would be a real head-turner in any garden. The lovely looking curved larch wood stand is easy to assemble and can be adjusted if you prefer to be a little lower to the ground. Once up, it feels extremely stable – however, it is huge and very heavy so needs two people to move it, making it best left in one spot rather than lugged around the garden. There’s no need to find room in the shed in winter either as it can be left outdoors in all weathers.
It comes with a thick cream cotton canvas hammock that we found very comfortable and fits two people if you don’t mind snuggling up. We found getting on and off took a little getting used to as the hammock is quite taut but we were contentedly swinging in no time. The only real downside is the light colour means it marks quite easily and can only be sponge cleaned, so it could be difficult to keep looking pristine.
JYSK bergfink hammock off-white
This elegant off-white hammock with macramé edging screams boho chic, but the bargain basement price really wowed us. The thick polycotton is strong enough to stretch out on, without worrying the hammock will collapse any moment, and we found it easy to attach to trees for sky-gazing. There’s only room for one person though, so it’s best for solo sunbathing or Instagram posing. No one will ever guess the cost either.
Dakota Fields urban hammock with stand
The hammock gets a sleek contemporary makeover with this unusual offering from Wayfair. Instead of being hung from each end, the grey PVC-coated polyester fabric is stretched over a durable steel frame that is so comfy, it feels like you’ve just installed a bed in your garden. It rocks gently, too, and comes with a matching pillow for maximum relaxation. Plus, it’s ideal for anyone who feels a little nervous about climbing on and off a traditional hammock as it’s much closer to the ground.
We found the parts a little stiff to put together but assembly was still simple and took a matter of minutes. However, it is quite large when made up so measure carefully if you only have a small garden. Best of all? The material can withstand all weathers so this is the perfect hassle-free hammock for even the laziest lounger.
UST slothcloth hammock 1.0
If you’re looking for a short-cut to adventure rather than a squishy spot to read a good book with a cocktail, the slothcloth has it covered. It’s super lightweight with an expandable design made from 100 per cent breathable nylon and comes with tree-safe straps and carabiners, so setting it up is a cinch.
The whole thing then packs up into an astonishingly tiny integrated drawstring bag, which you can chuck in your rucksack for sleeping on the go when camping and hiking. We managed to repack it easily once used, too, so you won’t be stuck with a heap of material after just one night.
Charles Bentley hammock sling blue
Channel seaside vibes with this summery striped blue hammock made with thick breathable fabric. It’s designed to be used with an arc-shaped stand but can also be strung up between two trees with ropes or straps, although these aren’t included.
The wooden spreader bars at each end keep it in shape and looking good when suspended, too, although they do mean getting on and off the hammock takes a little practice initially. Once on, we felt perfectly supported and were very happy to lie back and rock gently all afternoon.
The verdict: Garden hammocks
The VonHaus single hammock is a fast-track to summertime paradise, with its easily assembled stand and go-anywhere simplicity. If you prefer something more modern, the Dakota Fields urban hammock is a weatherproof winner, but head straight for the fantastically priced Jysk bergfink hammock if you’re lucky enough to have trees ready and waiting.
If you don’t have the space for a hammock why not invest in one of these hanging egg chairs for your patio instead
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