If you’ve never tried it before, sleeping in a hammock might not seem all that comfortable.
But with the right hammock, the correct hang angle, and the proper sleeping position, it’s actually quite comfortable to sleep in a hammock overnight, whether you plan to do so solely while camping or on a more regular basis at home.
Here’s exactly how to sleep in a hammock to wake up refreshed.
Can You Sleep in A Hammock?
The short answer is yes, you can sleep in a hammock.
However, the quality of your sleep and your comfort throughout the night depend largely on the type of hammock that you use. A quality hammock for sleeping will also ensure that you don’t experience any back pain or other discomfort during the night.
In fact, there are actually quite a lot of benefits of sleeping in a hammock. First and foremost is the sleeping position. When positioned correctly (a flat, diagonal lay rather than a “banana”-shaped lay"), a hammock puts your body into a natural sleeping position with your head slightly elevated above the rest of your body.
Other benefits of sleeping in a hammock include the potential to fall asleep more quickly. I notice that the gentle swaying of a hammock helps me fall asleep quick and sleep deeply throughout the night.
Beyond these simple benefits, sleeping in a hammock while camping has its own extensive list of advantages. Not only are the best camping hammocks more lightweight and portable than tents, but they also keep you up off the potentially cold and wet ground. They act as an incredibly versatile all-in-one sleep system and shelter.
Best Hammocks for Sleeping Overnight
As mentioned above, some hammocks work a whole lot better than others for sleeping in overnight. A few of our top choices include:
1. Mock One
The Mock One is one of the best hammocks for sleeping in overnight, bar none.
Not only is it lightweight and portable, but it also comes with a built-in hammock stand for an easy-to-use, all-in-one design. Of course, it’s also very comfortable to use for hours at a time, although it is slightly less spacious than other models. Built-in pillows further increase overall comfort.
Try the Mock One Samsara if camping is your primary goal. It comes with the hammock and stand plus a top quilt, underquilt, bug net, and rainfly.
2. Hennessy Hammock
Another top-quality camping hammock, the Hennessy Hammock Explorer Deluxe Asym Zip is one of the most spacious around.
Although it’s not nearly as easy to use as the Mock One, the Hennessy Explorer Deluxe does boast much more interior space. That said, it has a more classic hammock design which can feel more confined and claustrophobic than the open Mock One. The key is to sleep at an angle in the Hennessy Hammock to achieve a flat lay.
3. Warbonnet Blackbird
The Warbonnet Blackbird is another comfortable camping hammock that’s perfect for beginners.
The design is simple and straightforward. Not only is the hammock built with ease of use in mind, but it’s also constructed for the flattest lay possible. This type of flat lay makes sleeping overnight far more comfortable.
Like a Hennessy Hammock, any hammock from Warbonnet requires you to hang it from trees or other objects to use. This isn’t a problem for most campers but can be an issue depending on where you camp.
Top Tips for Sleeping in a Hammock
After you’ve selected the right hammock for sleeping, there are a few top hammock camping tips you can keep in mind to increase the quality of your nighttime rest.
1. Hang Hammock Correctly
The number one tip for sleeping in a hammock is to hang it correctly. With the Mock One, hanging a hammock isn’t even a concern thanks to the built-in stand. However, with most other models, you need to ensure the proper hang angle. Around 30 degrees is most popular, although it largely depends on personal preference. Use this hammock hang calculator to find the best hammock hang for your preferences.
2. Sleep at an Angle
In addition to the right hang angle, it’s important to also sleep at an angle. Most camping hammocks are designed to be used asymmetrically. In other words, you sleep with your head on one side of the center ridgeline and your feet on the other. Sleeping diagonally in a hammock enables you to achieve a much flatter lay which translates into a more comfortable night of sleep.
3. Comfortable Bedding
Just like sleeping at home, sleeping in a hammock is more comfortable when you have your favorite bedding. If you’re using a backyard hammock, there’s no reason not to use your normal blankets and pillows. For camping, on the other hand, a warm sleeping bag coupled with a closed-cell foam sleeping pad is ideal. You can even invest in an underquilt and/or a top quilt for additional insulating warmth. Remember that the Mock One Samsara comes included with both an underquilt and a to quilt for the utmost in comfort.
4. Camping Accessories
If you’re camping in a hammock, bringing the right accessories is essential. Perhaps the most important are a bug net and a rainfly. Luckily, most camping-specific models come included with these accessories. For inclement weather conditions, a larger-than-normal rainfly is beneficial as well as plenty of guy lines to stake your hammock down from the wind. As mentioned above, an underquilt and top quilt are essential accessories for cold weather.
5. Get Ready for Bed
I always take my boots off before entering my hammock for the night. I personally prefer to clip my boots to my hammock straps with a carabiner to ensure they stay up off the ground, although you might have a different method to keep yours dry. Comfortable, warm clothing also helps me sleep better at night. I try to make sure I have everything I need before I get into my hammock so I won’t have to get out again until the morning.
The Best Sleeping Position for a Hammock
The majority of hammocks are designed for back sleeping only.
However, side sleeping in a hammock is possible depending on the model you select. Look for a more spacious hammock with an asymmetrical design if you prefer side sleeping at night.
Side sleepers and those that move around a lot at night might actually prefer a two-person hammock because of the increased space available. A sleeping pad can also help give your hammock more structure which is beneficial for side sleeping.
Stomach sleeping, on the other hand, is usually quite uncomfortable in a hammock. Although it can be done, it likely won’t be comfortable for very long at all. Stomach sleepers should probably avoid sleeping overnight in a hammock altogether.
* If you regularly stomach sleep in a hammock, let us know how it works for you in the comments below!
Sleeping in a Hammock Every Night
I’m most used to sleeping in a hammock only while camping and backpacking.
At home, I’ll use my backyard hammock for short naps, but rarely, if ever, sleep in it for longer than an hour or two at a night.
That said, it is possible to sleep in a hammock every night at home. The key is, once again, to use the right hammock, find the proper hang, and angle your body for a flat lay.
One thing that is nice about sleeping in a hammock at home is that you don’t have to worry about inclement weather, creepy-crawly bugs, and other issues that hammock camping often brings with it.
Although I personally still prefer to use a mattress at home, plenty of people around the world swear by using their hammocks to sleep in each and every night, so it’s certainly more than possible.
Sleeping in a hammock certainly isn’t for everyone – but with the right type of hammock, it can be downright comfortable.
Although the Mock One is always an excellent choice, thanks largely in part to its all-in-one design with a built-in hammock stand, you can sleep comfortably in pretty much any hammock that has enough room for a diagonal lay.