Today, hammocks equal relaxation. You hear the word and picture some beautiful beach oasis with a hammock tied to two palm trees swaying in the breeze. That works, but they're also still great inside. Hammocks are trendy, space-saving and affordable. You can even swap a traditional bed for one. Hanging a hammock indoors, however, isn't always as straightforward as you'd think.
Whether you attach it to your ceiling or walls, buy a stand or get a little creative, here's everything you need to know about putting an indoor hammock in your apartment.
Hammock vs. bed
When dealing with limited space in an apartment, having an alternative to a bulky bed might be worthwhile. Another plus of hanging a hammock indoors is that you don't have to buy a bed frame, mattress, sheet set and decorative pillows (if you're into that.) Hammocks are definitely a more low-key way to sleep, but they also offer some health benefits.
Hammocks can help you fall asleep faster and give you a better night's rest, according to Dr. Sean McCance, an orthopedic spine surgeon in New York. He claims that hammocks can help eliminate tossing and turning, but you have to install them correctly to avoid back pain. “A strong, supportive hammock that is properly hung is the best option for easy relaxation," he says.
How to hang a hammock indoors
The first thing to decide is what type of hammock you can have in your apartment. Depending on the terms of your lease, you may have certain limitations to work around. If putting holes in your wall is a no-no, shy away from hammock wall mounts or ceiling hammocks. Look into freestanding options instead.
If you don't know the specific guidelines in your lease, reach out to your property manager for clarification. You can always ask for special permission, too, and see where that gets you.
1. Hanging a hammock from the wall
If your lease lets you put holes in your wall, then using a hammock wall mount is likely the route for you. Safety should remain the most important piece to hanging your hammock, so make sure to check and recheck as you follow these installation steps.
- Make sure your building has the proper construction to handle a hammock. Most buildings use wooden two-by-fours as the support studs in their walls. However, some modern buildings use metal studs. While you can drill into metal studs, they won't offer enough support to hang and use a hammock without risk of injury.
- With wood studs, make sure you have the right hardware along with either a rope or chain to hang the hammock. The most commonly used hardware for hanging indoor hammocks is a large eye bolt.
- Find your studs, by using either a stud finder or a manual trick. You can knock on the wall to find studs or use an electrical outlet as a guide. Outlets are always built into a stud, and when you hit one in the wall your knock sounds less hollow. Studs usually run every 16 inches throughout the length of the wall in most apartments, though some could be as much as 24 inches.
- Pick two studs across from each other in the location you want to set up your hammock. Mark off the height on these studs at which you'll install your hardware. On average, between five-and-a-half to six feet off the ground gives you the right hang. You can double-check using this online hammock hanging calculator.
- Drill a pilot hole into the center of the stud and then screw in the eye bolt. Repeat with the second anchor right across from the first anchor point.
- Using chain, rope or some combination of the two, it's now time to hang your hammock. Aim for a suspension angle of about 30 degrees for the most comfort. Using a chain instead of rope allows you to tweak your suspension angle faster if something feels off.
2. Hanging a hammock from the ceiling
A ceiling hammock is another option for those tenants who can put holes in their apartment walls. The process is identical to attaching a hammock to the wall. You find your studs, mark the appropriate distance between eye-bolts and install. You don't, however, have the luxury of messing with how the hammock hangs. Changing the slack on a wall-hung hammock varies its curve. Adding or removing slack on a ceiling hammock only makes it move up or down.
Because of this, you'll need to carefully calculate spacing ahead of time to avoid making multiple holes in your ceiling for adjustments. Depending on how taut you want your hammock, the distance between the anchor points should be anywhere from 10 to 15 feet.
3. Hole-less hammock hanging
If you're not able to drill holes into apartment walls for a hammock wall mount, there's an alternative. Many indoor hammocks use a floor stand to suspend them. However, if you're looking for a minimalist approach in your décor, the floor stand might not actually help. While it's smaller than a bed, hammock stands take up significant space that a hung hammock would not. Though they vary, a hammock stand is about four feet wide and between five and 15 feet long on average.
The benefit of using a hammock stand is its easy installation. You just put it together, hook on your hammock and you're all set. There's no hardware to install and no fancy knots to tie. Hammock stands also give you some flexibility on where your hammock sits in your apartment. Should you want to rearrange things at any point, it's much easier to move a hammock on a stand than one attached to the wall or ceiling.
4. Saving space with hammock chairs
For those of you considering a hammock but don't want to commit to the space they take up, hammock chairs make perfect alternatives. Again, you want to make sure the hardware goes right into a stud before you attach the chair itself.
Once done, test it out by setting about 50 pounds worth of books into the seat. If it holds, cautiously sit in the chair, but keep your feet on the ground. If you're still good, lift up your feet until you're swinging gently in the seat. If it still holds, you're done with installation, and have a nice hammock chair that's perfect for relaxing.
Is it safe to hang a hammock indoors?
No matter which type of hammock or hammock chair you decide is right for your apartment, proper installation is key. A hammock is safe to hang indoors when it's done correctly, so make sure you're properly anchoring it to studs within the walls.
Test the weight of your hammock before you get in to avoid injury and make adjustments so you're completely comfortable. Follow all the right steps when hanging a hammock indoors and you'll have a place to sleep that's sometimes even more relaxing and comfortable than a traditional bed.