What Is the Correct Way to Lay in a Hammock?

Written By Matthew Cordero

A hammock is one of the most relaxing ways to swing back on vacation or even in your own backyard. However, if you lay in a hammock incorrectly you could end up hurting yourself or simply being uncomfortable.

Instead of lying down straight in the middle, the correct way to lay in a hammock is, by putting your head to one side and your legs to another, making a diagonal with your body, that will help open the fabric of the hammock out so you can lie comfortably without sinking in the middle.

child lying awkwardly in a hammock

If you have more questions about what the right way to lie in a hammock is, the following sections will be helpful.

One may wonder how this can be a question that people do not know the answer to. After all, it’s simply a sac suspended between two poles and all you have to do is lie in it.

However, if you lie in the center of the hammock and get submerged in all that canvas, you will know that there is a technique to lying in a hammock. So, let’s get right into it.

Can You Lay Flat in a Hammock?

A hammock has a natural curve, so it will be difficult for you to lie completely flat in a hammock. Often, people try to flatten the hammock out by making the canvas taut and stretching the ends out. However, this will only add tension to the hammock and it won’t stay up for too long.

If you do not want to fall to the ground along with the hammock, let the natural curve of the hammock be. This means that you cannot lie fully flat in a hammock.

However, there are hammocks in the market now that are shaped slightly differently and have less of a natural curve that allows you to lie almost flat on your back. Even if you cannot lie completely flat on your back, there is a more comfortable way of laying in a hammock.

Can You Lay Diagonal in a Hammock?

Now, let’s get into the crux of comfortable hammock lounging. Laying diagonal, or at least at a slight angle, is the most comfortable way of laying in a hammock. Tilt your head slightly to the left and prop your legs up towards the right and you will get the most comfortable lying position in the hammock.

This keeps the hammock steady and the sides of the hammock will not engulf you. With this method of lying in a hammock, you can also lie practically flat.

If you try to lie down straight in the hammock, at the center, your legs and head will be elevated while the rest of your body will sink along with the natural depression of the hammock. This is an extremely uncomfortable position and is certainly not a good position to sleep in if you are at an overnight camp. Besides, you cannot sleep on your side!

By laying your body at a slight diagonal or angle, you will not only be able to lay almost flat, but you can even sleep on your sides. A hammock can be one of the healthiest ways for you to sleep, only if you know how to use it accurately.

How to Lay in a Two Person Hammock

Even when you are sleeping in a two-person hammock, the same logic applies. You want the tension to apply on the canvas of the hammock at the same angle. So both people should keep their head and legs at the same diagonal angle. It may even be useful to lie down on opposite sides, while still maintaining the same angle.

Even if it is a two-person hammock, you will likely have to lie quite close together. It can be difficult to configure the perfect way to lie in a hammock if there are two people. But if you maintain the correct angle and hit the right spots on the hammock, it can be quite comfortable.

The idea is to position your body in a way that opens the hammock out instead of forcing it to stay open by tying the ropes too tightly. Essentially, even if there are two people in the hammock, it is advisable to lie in it how you would if you were on your own.

If you are alone in a two-person hammock, that’s even more space for you to enjoy! But still, if you are alone, then it would be better to use a single hammock instead of a two-person hammock. The larger the hammock, the more surface area you will need to cover to make it flatter and steady.

How Do Two People Lay in a Hammock?

Now, the above section goes through the technique of laying in a two-person hammock, especially if there are two people using it.

But if it is not a two-person hammock, then it becomes a little difficult for two people to lie in the same hammock.

For starters, the hammock may not be able to withstand that kind of weight either. So, be sure that it has been tied firmly to the posts on either side and do not hang it so high that you risk injuring yourself in case the hammock falls.

The answer for two people lying in a hammock remains the same as what has been described above. You need to find the right angle to lie down in and avoid lying down straight.

Since this is presumably a hammock meant only for one person, you should be prepared to lie very close to the other person. If this is not a romantic partner or someone close, that can get quite uncomfortable. So make all these evaluations in your head before relying on using a single hammock for two people.

Again, ensure both your heads and legs are on the same angle so you can cover the maximum surface area and can open the hammock out to give you better posture. But all in all, avoid doing this as it is likely nobody will be comfortable and you will end up disliking hammocks!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, you know what the correct way to lay in a hammock is. If you still have questions about the right way to lie in a hammock, then the following are some of the frequently asked questions:

How long can you lay in a hammock?

The threshold for laying in a hammock is different for different people. Some people find it comfortable enough to even sleep in every night, while others complain of their back hurting if they lie in the hammock for too long.

So, there is no right answer to how long one can lie in a hammock. For some, it replaces even their regular bed, while others cannot take it for more than a few hours.

There are people who claim that sleeping in a hammock reduces the pressure on their back and shoulders, relieving pain. Besides, the natural rocking of the hammock can also be soothing and makes it easier for you to fall asleep. It certainly works very well for babies! But there is not enough research on this front to prove these claims.

How to lay in a camping hammock?

The right technique of laying in a camping hammock is the same as what has been described above. A camping hammock has more fabric and greater curvature in the centre so it can cradle you completely.

Lying down at a slight angle in a camping hammock is an even better alternative. It can be even more comfortable than a jute or rope hammock that one may have more commonly in their home or backyard.

The only thumb rule is not to plomp yourself in the middle of the hammock when you are lying down as it can make it difficult for you to get out of the hammock. You do not want to sink into the hammock and throw your back out later.