What Is the Best Height to Hang a Hammock?

  • February 20, 2022
  • / By Matthew Cordero
hammocks over water

Determining the right height for a hammock plays a big role in how comfortable you’ll be on it. However, many are still unsure about the best height for a hammock.

The best height for a gathered hammock without spreader bars is 6-8 feet above the ground. Meanwhile the optimal hammock height for those with spreader bars is 4-5 feet off the ground. The hammock sag should be 18 inches off the ground when you’re on it, but check the manufacturer’s directions.

hammocks over water

There are other factors to consider when deciding how high to hang a hammock. Read on below to learn more.

How High to Hang a Hammock

Being comfortable and safe are always a priority when relaxing on a hammock.

There are many ways to achieve this, and one of them is by ensuring that your hammock is hung at the ideal height. Here are some things to think about:

Manufacturer’s Recommendation

There are a few tried-and-tested ways to achieve the best hammock height, even trying a hammock height calculator. However, the first rule should always be to check the manufacturer’s recommendation because they provide a safe limit that has been tried and tested for safety and comfort.

Generally speaking, most would recommend to hang it in such a way that when it sags, there is 18 inches of space between it and the ground. This is also called the sit height.

Hammock Purpose

It’s important to consider the purpose of your hammock when deciding on hammock height. For example, if you are going to use it as a camp chair in the daytime, you may prefer it to be much closer to the ground. You would be uncomfortable if you were trying to eat in the hammock, then struggled to get in and out of the chair.

Additionally, the environment you are hanging your hammock in should also be considered together with its purpose. For example, if you are hanging it to sleep but are on a steep location such as a hill, the hammock shouldn’t be so high to ensure your safety. Only seasoned campers and hammock users have the confidence to set up hammocks high on cliffs and hills, otherwise this can be a dangerous experiment if you fall.

On the other hand, if you will be using the hammock in a permanent location such as inside your home, outside on your patio, or by your pool, you will want the hammock to be high enough that your toes can easily touch the ground when you sit on it.

Suspension System & Type of Hammock

Hammocks can be divided into one of two categories: those with spreader bars and those without. This refers to the suspension system and kind of hammock used, because its flexibility plays a role in how high your hammock can be hung.

Hammocks with spreader bars should usually be hung around 4-5 feet high, while gathered hammocks or those without spreader bars are hung at 6-8 feet off the ground, ideally. In addition, if you use a hammock stand, there aren’t many options for height adjustment though a ridgeline can be used to get it to your desired height. Carabiners are another great tool to help you adjust hammock height.

Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about the suspension system and height is that the hammock suspension should ideally be hung at a 30 degree angle. It’s always best to follow this rule whenever you hang your hammock between trees or anywhere else, as it has proven to lend just the right amount of force.

Effort

For most users who want to relax on a hammock, a height of 3-4 feet off the ground is recommended. But you also should take your height into consideration to find a comfortable foot resting location.

A hammock that is too high will require too much effort to get into, and may be dangerous in some cases. You can also do a simple check by evaluating if your feet are hanging when you sit on the hammock since this means it will require more effort on your part to get in and out of it.

Safety

Another good starting point is to measure your height in relation to the hammock, in order to increase safety. Hammocks that are above your waist are generally safe, while hammocks that are higher than your head can be hazardous.

Conclusion

There is no such thing as the universal hammock height. Manufacturer recommendations are always a good place to start; it tells you where they feel it’s safest for the hammock to hang from but you should always keep your own comfort and safety in mind. However, the factors we just mentioned should help you come up your own number.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should one end of a hammock be higher than the other?

When a hammock is hung correctly, the end where you will be resting your head can be a little higher than the foot area. For some people, they find it more comfortable to have the foot end slightly higher than the head. However, it shouldn’t be much higher because when you lay down on it, you will be sloping at a strange angle and it will no longer be comfortable.

Having said that, it isn’t necessary for one end to be slightly higher than the other since it boils down to a matter of preference and the position you find to be most comfortable to lay in.