What Is Better for a Hammock Cotton or Polyester?

Written By Matthew Cordero

There are many different kinds of hammocks to choose from. One of the main differences among them is the fiber or material that it’s made from, especially when it comes to rope hammocks. They can be made from either cotton or polyester, but many people are still unsure of which material is best for their needs.

Cotton hammocks are best for indoor use while polyester is best for outdoor use. Where you intend to use your hammock is the most important consideration when deciding which among these two you should be getting, though each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Since cotton and polyester are among the most common choices for hammocks, it’s important to get to know more about them so you can decide which is best for you.

cotton rope hammocks

There are many factors to consider when choosing a rope hammock. They’re usually made from either cotton or polyester, and they are both great choices as long as you choose the right hammock for your needs and chosen location.

Here’s what you should know when choosing between a polyester or cotton hammock.

Cotton Hammocks

Though cotton and polyester hammocks are both popular, cotton models are traditional and are widely used. Its soft material makes it comfortable for many people, whether it’s for sleeping, reading, or resting.

What Is Cotton?

Cotton is one of the most widely used fabrics in the world. It is a natural material made from the fibers around the seed of the Gossypium plants. These fibers are spun into textiles which are then woven to make the soft fabric cotton is known for.

Cotton is primarily made of cellulose, an organic but insoluble compound that has a soft feel. In fact, cotton has been used in textiles as far back as 5500 BC but since then it has already been pried because of its superior lightness, softness, and breathability.

Advantages of Cotton Hammocks

Cotton hammocks aren’t just comfortable – there’s several reasons why it’s the preferred material of choice when it comes to rope hammocks:

Cool: Cotton absorbs less heat from its surroundings, making it suitable for warm temperatures. They are breathable and efficient in diffusing too much heat from the surroundings and your body, helping to keep you cool.

Light: Quality cotton hammocks are lightweight (without their spreader bars), making them a good choice for those who intend to travel or set it up in multiple locations.

Tear-resistant: High-quality cotton is naturally tear-resistant and soft, and will last you a long time.

Safe for you and the planet: Using hammocks made of organic cotton is best for the environment. Aside from that, organic cotton hammocks are produced without chemicals and pesticides are great choices for individuals with sensitive skin, or babies and young children.

Disadvantages of Cotton Hammocks

High maintenance: Cotton hammocks are prone to damage and fraying when exposed to sharp objects or when its fibers are pulled. Because of this, it is more susceptible to wear and tear compared to other hammocks.

Absorption: Because cotton is naturally an absorbent material, it quickly absorbs moisture and dust whether it’s from your body or from dust and rains. It cannot repel liquids or dirt, requiring regular cleaning especially if you use it outside the home.

Less load carrying capacity: Cotton hammocks will easily stretch and may dip too low to the ground if used by heavy individuals or beyond its load capacity.

Polyester Hammocks

Polyester hammocks have become one of the most popular materials for outdoor use. Here’s more information on polyester hammocks.

What Is Polyester?

Polyester, whose scientific name is actually polyethylene terephthalate, is an artificial or synthetic fabric that is made from a chemical reaction combining air and water with petroleum. Its fibers are made from monotheluene glycol and purified terephthalic acid.

Since polyester has hydrophobic properties, it doesn’t absorb liquids, perspiration, or moisture. For this reason, people who use polyester hammocks or other items made from this material usually feel hot and moist. When compared to cotton, polyester is much stronger and can stretch much more.

Advantages of Polyester Hammocks

Durable: Polyester is durable, and stronger than cotton especially when it comes to outdoor use or wear and tear. It’s an inorganic material that can withstand heavy use and won’t break down, unlike cotton.

Quick dry: Because polyester can dry quickly after being exposed to liquids or rain, it’s more appropriate for use outdoors. It will also dry quicker after washing, making it easier to maintain.

Sturdy: Polyester hammocks can carry significantly more load, even 2 people in a hammock, comfortably.

Easy clean: Polyester hammocks are less likely to catch mold and mildew.

Weather resistant: Polyester can last a long time even when exposed to harsh sun and the elements. Though its colors can fade if exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, it will still do a better job at maintaining its durability and condition compared to cotton.

Disadvantages of Polyester Hammocks

Heavy: Since polyester is denser, it’s heavier compared to cotton hammocks. This can pose a problem for people who want to use it in several locations.

Non-biodegradable: Plastic is the primary material that goes into producing polyester, making it non-biodegradable.

Hot: Polyester isn’t as breathable as cotton. This means that using it can get hot and sweaty when used in hot or humid locations.

Our Recommendations

Below we've listed some great examples of high quality cotton and polyester hammock that are available on Amazon for quick delivery:


It can be easy to see why cotton hammocks are best suited for the indoors and polyester for the outdoors. When it comes to price, quality plays a big role so it cannot be said if one is more affordable than the other. This is because there can be high-quality cotton hammocks that are more expensive than polyester, and the opposite can also be true.

It’s also good to ask yourself if longevity or comfort is most important to you. If your answer is longevity, then go with polyester. On the other hand, if comfort is of top priority, are you willing to take extra care of it to make sure the hammock stays soft and durable for as long as possible, then cotton is the best for you.