How do I Choose the Best Mayan Hammock?

Marty Paule

When in it comes to choosing a Mayan hammock, there are three basic considerations: where you will put it, the size you need and how you plan to use it. These considerations will help determine the material out of which the hammock should be constructed. There are many varieties, and which one you choose might be a simple matter of personal preference.

Woman posing
Woman posing

First, decide where will you place it. Determine whether the location offers places for suspending the hammock at its head and foot. If not, freestanding hammock stands are available. Make sure that the stand you choose is not intended for a hammock with spreader bars.

Next, consider how you plan to use your Mayan hammock, because this will help determine what materials and size best serve your needs. You will need to decide whether it will be used outdoors or inside and how many people it will need to accommodate. You also should consider whether it will be used for naps or as a bed, and whether it be exposed to a lot of sunlight or a humid atmosphere.

Traditional Mayan hammocks are made of woven cotton strings, and they offer excellent comfort, ventilation and strength. The cotton strings are prone to breakage and snagging, however, and they will accumulate mildew in humid environments. Mayan hammocks made with polypropylene rope are popular because they have none of these disadvantages and are offered in vibrant colors, but because they are damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays, they shouldn't be used in sunny locations. Polypropylene Mayan hammocks, sometimes referred to as "nylon" hammocks, offer a longer life, but they might not be as comfortable as cotton models.

You can extend the life of your cotton Mayan hammock by taking it down when it's not in use and during inclement weather. Using S-hooks to suspend the hammock can make removal and rehanging simple. You might decide that this extra effort is a worthwhile trade-off to enjoy the superior cradling comfort of a cotton weave.

Deciding what size Mayan hammock to buy is quite straightforward. As with bedding, different brands and dealers use similar sizing standards. Keep in mind that the most comfortable way to lie in a Mayan hammock is at a diagonal angle across its width. Single hammocks expand to about 5 feet (152 cm) in width and make a good choice for daytime naps, camping and backpacking because of their compact, lightweight design.

The next size up is the double, which expands to about 6 feet (183 cm) and is ideal for a single larger adult in daytime use. The double, being only slightly heavier and bulkier than a single, offers a more supportive, comfortable alternative for camping and backpacking. Doubles are also suitable for use by smaller adults and children at night.

The queen is the next Mayan hammock size, and it's sometimes referred to as a "matrimonial" hammock. Opening out to about 7 feet (213 cm), it offers luxurious comfort. A queen provides deluxe accommodations for a single sleeper and plenty of room for two people.

A larger Mayan hammock size, the king, will accommodate more than two people. It expands to approximately 8 feet (244 cm) and offers the greatest comfort for both night use and daytime snoozing. A king also makes the best choice for large and tall people. Some manufacturers might offer an even larger size, such as a super king, that can accommodate more people.

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