Do you want something cool, different, and just plain comfy for your home? If that’s the case, you really need to think about getting some hanging chairs for your home. There are several names used for these chairs, including hammock chair, hammock seat, hammock swing, or lounging hammock. By whatever name you call them, they’re all the same—they’re very comfy chairs you hang instead of set on the floor.
What is a Hanging Chair?
A hanging chair is just what its name describes. It’s a chair you hang from high up, instead of setting it down on the floor on its legs. That’s because in general they don’t have legs at all.
Hanging chairs or hammock chairs are variations of the traditional hammock. However, the primary function of the hammock was to let the user sleep comfortably. Letting people just sit wasn’t always easy for the user.
So the hammock chair came about, and this time it was designed to let people sit up instead. Over time, some people began looking for a hanging chair that also allowed them to lie back if they want to fall asleep. They wanted the hammock version of the EZ chair. So the hammock lounge came about as a result of this consumer demand. This designed allowed people to sit up or lie down comfortable on the hammock chair.
Usually (but not always), the hammock chair is suspended from a single point. That makes it different from the standard hammock design that comes with 2 points of suspension. However, with the hammock chair there’s usually a spreader bar that makes the top look like a clothes hanger. The ends of this spreader bar functions as the 2 suspension points for the hammock chair.
There’s a wide range of variety for designs for the hammock chair, just as regular chairs can have many different shapes, sizes and colors. How you pick the right one for you depends on many factors.
Pros of the Hanging Chair
Should you get one of these things? Many families have already done so and have enjoyed these chairs in their homes. Here are some reasons why they may perhaps work for your home too.
- They’re great for the outdoors. These hanging chairs work great right there on your backyard or beside your pool. After all, hammocks work well when used outside, so why should hammock chairs be any different? Sit on this right by your pool and you’ll find yourself relaxing as you enjoy the fresh air. Many hammocks use netting so air can pass through, which makes these chairs great for the summer season. As many of these chairs are designed for use by 2 people, a couple can also use this chair simply to relax together after a long day. They can cuddle up and enjoy the cool evening breeze, while they gaze up to the heavens with so many stars in the sky. It’s very romantic.It’s also relaxing and freeing. After being cooped in in the office or after being stuck in traffic, the hanging chair helps you vent that feeling of stress with the more airy vibe of the hammock chair and the outdoors.
- You can use this indoors too. One good place to hang this is in your library room or reading nook. You just need to pick a book to read, and then you can sit back on your hanging chair and relax while the book transports you to another place and time.
You can also just put this in the family room too, although you may want to make sure that its location isn’t too near the major walk paths. Plonk your rear on is chair, sit back, and you can enjoy many hours of TV binge-watching.
You don’t even have to worry about the chair fitting in with the overall look of the family room. You have many styles and colors to choose from, so it’s very likely you’ll find the hanging chair that complements the overall look of the room. You can use several accessories such as decorative hanging straps and pillows to complete the look.
- They’re very comfortable. Of course, this is perhaps the most noticeable feature once you sit down on it. It gives you that feeling of sitting on a cloud as you’re up in the air. It’s so comfy that you can conceivably spend many hours sitting on it, as you read your novels or watch your favorite TV shows and movies.
- They can be portable. Of course, this all depends on the particular model you get. Some chairs are very easy to assemble and disassemble, so they can be brought along on your next camping trip. You can even bring it to Grandma and Grandpa’s place if you want. Don’t forget that these hammock chairs are based on the basic hammock design. This means that a lot of them are made from just a strong piece of fabric. This makes them very easy to pack along in your travel bag or back pack.
- These things can swing. Some people just like this feature. It’s the kind of motion that can get adults to relax, although kids may be excited about this instead. This can also lull babies to relax in the arms of mommy or daddy.
- They can be made to accommodate the whole family. Usually, these hammock chairs are designed for one or two people. But some large enough to carry more, so parents can sit together with their kids as they watch Finding Rory or Frozen for the umpteenth time.
- There are so many styles to choose from! The hanging chairs from the US alone offer a wide range of options. However, many countries around the world—especially in Central and South America—have a distinguished history of fine hammock manufacturing. So you really will find styles that you’ll love, and many other styles that you’ve never even imagined.
Cons of the Hanging Chair
To be fair—and in an effort to be more objective—we have to admit that hanging chairs do have their drawbacks too. They’re not really for everyone. Here are some potential disadvantages you need to be aware of before you buy one.
- These are decidedly informal. Their very appearance is a tribute to relaxation, and they have this definite vacation vibe that’s hard to deny. So you may your work cut out for you if you’re looking for something that’s elegant and formal.
Seriously, can you imagine this sort of chair inside a stylish aristocratic home filled with portraits, antiques, and various classic pieces of furniture? There’s also no way to look intimidating and formal when you’re seated on one of this things. Sit on this when you greet important guests, and they’ll find it hard to take you seriously.
That’s why this is great in your backyard and by your pool. These places are meant for casual and informal interactions, and hammock lounges emphasize that feeling.
- They’re not secure on the ground. That means there’s always that small risk that the hanging will fail and the chair—with you on it—will drop to the floor. Granted, that’s not exactly a very great height to fall from. But it can be painful for adults and bad for little kids. Also, it may become harder for you to relax when you’re always worried about how the hanging straps can fail.
- It’s easier to fall off these things. Again, there’s that small risk that a slight turn can drop you from where you’re sitting. This is more of a problem with kids, especially when they make the hanging chair swing too hard.
- You have to set these things up. Many people are very much averse to DIY activities, and that’s why this can be a problem for them. It’s true that many of the newer designs are now much easier to set up. But the fact remains that this may still require some skill to set up properly, or else the chair will fall to the ground.
- You can’t move these chairs very easily. You can place a typical chair anywhere you want, and then you can just move it to another location without so much of a problem. You can even push a couch against the wall if you want some space in your living room.But a hanging chair will take some time and effort to disassemble before you can set it up again at a different place. It can be especially annoying to go through all that trouble, and then you’d decide that you don’t like the look of the hammock chair in its new location.
If you’re buying a hanging chair, take note as to how the chair counters these particular problems. Some hanging chairs for example, are very easy to securely set up even for those with very little DIY expertise. Others are also very easy to disassemble so you can store them away during the cold season.
Most of these chairs are designed to hold up a considerable amount of weight, and the materials used are very durable. So they shouldn’t easily fall to the ground either.
Different Types of Hammock Chairs
Hanging chairs, like hammocks, come in any different types. Here’s a closer look at some of the more common hammock chairs you may come across.
Rope Hammock Chairs
These tend to be simple, informal, and very affordable. They’re also airy too, so they’re great for the outdoors during the summer season. The breeze will feel great, and the cool feeling will help you feel relaxed and stress-free.
In this type of hanging chair, you have ropes tied and woven together so they resemble some sort of netting.
While actual ropes may be used, many manufacturers op for greater comfort by using cotton or polyester instead. Some are even made of tough Duracord. They also generally use a spreader bar so that the netting is spread out. This makes it easy for you to take a seat right away. The spreader bar also keeps the netting from trapping you up inside.
The down side to the rope style is that the holes can create unsightly patterns on your skin when you sit on them for too long. They’re also not quite all that comfy, compared to other hammock chair styles. Also, your fingers can get caught in the holes as you move your hands. Many customize these hanging chairs by using blankets, cushions, or pillows on them.
These rope hanging chairs can be made from many different materials.
- This is one of the most commonly used materials for a variety of reasons. It’s very economical. It’s also the softest material you can use for rope-style hanging chairs. It can conform to the shape of your body very well so you feel quite cradled as you relax and take a seat.
- On the other hand, cotton ropes don’t really last for a very long time. You may also want to keep them from getting wet, as it takes a while for them to dry out.
- This works very well with rope hanging chairs, although they may be a bit more expensive than the cotton ones. Many manufacturers use soft spun polyester so they’re also soft, but they’re more longer-lasting than cotton rope. Polyester even dries faster than cotton. As a bonus, they’re also resistant to mildew and mold.
- Nylon is soft, very light in weight, and quick to dry. It’s just that it’s not quite as comfy as cotton.
- This is perhaps the strongest of them all, yet it is soft too. It’s resistant to stains, mold, and water. Even if it gets wet, it dries quickly. It can withstand outdoor weather conditions very well, and even its colors don’t fade quickly. Many consider it the best material you can use for rope hanging chairs, except that it’s darn expensive.
Quilted Hanging Chairs
These provide greater cushioning than the rope versions, so they’re more comfortable. Often you have several layers of fabric, and there’s also greater support than with rope hanging chairs. You’re more like to enjoy spending hours on this kind of hanging chair, which does help when you’re trying to enjoy a whole novel or an entire season of your favorite TV show.
It’s very cushy, on account of the layers of fabric it uses. There’s also no rope or cord that feels like it’s cutting into your skin. So in a way it feels like you’re sitting on a cocoon-like chair that cradles you comfortably while it also lets you swing in different directions. Since there aren’t any holes, you don’t have to worry about getting your fingers caught.
On the other hand, this style may feel a bit warmer since may keep the air from passing through the fabrics. Also, with style you have it worse when you spill drinks while you’re sitting. The same thing is true when you’re wet after taking a dip on the beach or in the pool. The fabric will absorb the liquid spill or drops of water, and then it will get wet and maybe even stain.
Many types of fabrics can be used for this kind of hammock chair. Aside from the materials for rope hanging chairs we’ve already mentioned, there are some other possibilities.
- Textilene. This is a special kind of polyester mesh coated with PVC. It is non-stretch, flame-retardant, resistant to mildew, and stable even under hot or cold conditions. This is extremely durable and doesn’t need much maintenance. The colors of the fabric can last for years outdoors.
- Dyed acrylic. This is a very tough fabric and it’s expressly suitable for outdoor use. It has a feel that’s similar to soft cotton, and it’s breathable too. It’s great when it’s dyed because it can keep its colors from, fading for a very long time. It’s also great for poolside use because it can be used even in water. It’s also resistant to mildew.
- This is a special line of proprietary fabrics which can be used for hammock swings too. It’s expensive, but the features are often worth the expense. They can be as soft as cotton. They endure outdoors regardless of the weather conditions, and they’re also resistant to mildew and mold. The colors on the fabric also last for a very long time.
Central and South American Hanging Chairs
These deserve a category of their own, since hammocks first appeared among the Mayans in Central America more than a thousand years ago. Thus, countries like Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico have a very rich tradition in this craft. The Mayans also traded with tribes from further down south, which explains why Ecuador and Brazil also have rich histories with hammocks.
Most of the time, these hammocks used woven fabrics. They’re often distinguishable by their use of very bright and festive colors. In contrast to the hammock chairs used Westerners, the Latin hanging hammocks didn’t always use spreader bars especially when you can also lie down on them.
Many of these are lovingly handcrafted, so they exude a special feeling that’s absent in their factory-made counterparts. They make for special indoor and outdoor chairs for many homes in the US.
Poolside Hanging Chairs
Some of these hammock chairs are designed specifically for use by the swimming pool. You take a dip, and then you can lounge around and read your summer bestseller cradled in an airy and relaxing hanging chair.
Since most of the time you’re going to be a bit wet when you take your seat, the materials used for these hammock chairs are generally water-resistant. They tend to use only a single layer or fabric, and they also generally dry in just a few minutes.
Hanging Chair with Stands
In general, you have 2 basic options when it comes to hanging your hammock chairs. Either you hang the chair from the ceiling or you use a tree branch. But sometimes these options aren’t always preferable or even possible. So some chairs come with their own hanging stands.
Stands, as you may surmise, can be made from several possible materials.
- These can be very elegant, despite the essentially casual look of hanging chairs themselves. Usually they’re coated with a sealer especially when they’re designed for outdoor use.
- Usually you have to assemble this first, although it shouldn’t be too difficult. It can be painted in a wide variety of colors. This has to be powder-coated to protect it from corrosion.
- Metal with wicker. Wicker itself may not be strong enough to bear the weight of the hanging chair, but many like its look especially for outdoor use. That’s why it’s used with metal, and the wicker wraps around the metal pieces. This gives it a great combination of strength, functionality, and style.
Portable Hanging Chairs
Hammock chairs are so comfy that people sometimes like to bring it with them on their travels. Maybe they want to use it when they’re at Grandpa’s place or on vacation at a resort or beach somewhere.
Also, many want the same convenience of easily moving the hammock seat to any other suitable spot they want. So you may want to bring your hanging chair inside the house when the winter season comes in. Or perhaps you prefer to put it in a different room.
In any case, hanging chairs of this type usually easy to disassemble and set up in a new lace. Also, they’re generally very light in weight. They also shouldn’t come in too many pieces, as they may get lost.
Rattan or Wicker Hanging Chairs
These look great, and they’re very easy to clean. Also, they’re quite strong. However, you need cushions for comfort. They can also be quite expensive.
How to Buy a Hanging Chair
So how do you go about buying a hammock seat? Your best bet is to first try it out before you buy it. If you’re lucky, you may come across a hanging chair in the home of a friend or a relative, and you can try it out extensively over a few days. You can also ask questions about its setup and maintenance requirements, and hopefully you get honest answers.
If that’s not possible, then here are the three steps you ought to take instead:
- Go to a store that sells hanging chairs. You can find these in department stores or in furniture shops. This should be a store that lets you sit on the hammock chair so you can find out just how comfy it is for you. Also, see if there’s any sort of demonstration as to how the hanging chair is set up.
- Take note of the price of something you like, and then go online. You will find that in most cases the price online is lower. That’s because the seller doesn’t have to pay for salespeople and for store space.
- When you find the model you like, check out the reviews on it. What’s the average rating? Make sure you pay attention to the most recent ratings, as the manufacturer may have corrected some mistakes of the past. If you’re unlucky, the manufacturer may also have cut some corners for their item and now it’s no longer as good as it was before.
- Look at the negative reviews and see what kind of complaints reviewers have made. Some reviewers give one-star ratings for stupid reasons. But in some cases reviewers may note the same problem.
When you read the reviews, you also have to focus on the comments regarding the following factors:
The Right Size
When you buy a hammock swing, you should already have a definite spot in mind for it. So you need to check that the hammock seat will indeed fit in that space you have in mind. The size should be available in the product description. However, you should read the reviews and see if some people have noted that the product measurements given were inaccurate.
Here you also need to double check that the space really is big enough. Remember. It’s also called a hammock swing. So it should away from other pieces of furniture. There should be enough space for the sitting person to actually swing in any direction without hitting anything.
How’s It Hanging?
If it’s indoors, then you will need to hang it on the ceiling. So you better check if the hanging chair has the necessary parts for that. Others can be hanged on tree branches, although you better make sure that the branch is actually strong enough to bear the weight of the people who will use the hammock chair.
You may also want it to come with a stand of its own. If that’s the case, you need to see if you can assemble the entire thing yourself. Also, you better make sure that you take the space requirement of the stand into account.
Is it for the Outdoors?
Many plan of putting up their hammock swings outside the house. If that’s the case with you, then perhaps you can make sure that the hanging chair has a roof so it can last longer. You can put it on a covered porch.
If that’s not possible, then at least consider putting the hammock seat in a shaded area. This helps with your own comfort, especially in the summer. Also, the shade keeps the sunlight from damaging the hanging chair. Nonetheless, you still need to find out if the hammock seat comes with some sort of UV protection.
A roof is also great because it protects the chair from the rain and snow. But you also should see if it has features that make it water-resistant. This can be because of the fabric used, or because of the special treatment applied to the hammock seat.
Ease of Setup
This is a factor that you shouldn’t overlook. It doesn’t matter how great a hammock swing is if you’re not able to put it up properly. So it should be easy for you. This will help if you’re also fond of moving the hammock seat from one place to another.
Many of the reviews you read will note this, so take the time to read them. Just bear in mind that DIY veterans may find the setup easy while DIY newbies may find the entire process too complicated. See if you can Google the installation video for the hammock chair. Watch it, and then determine if you can do the same thing yourself (and if you have the right tools).
The best hanging chairs should have all the necessary components and the tools also included in the purchase. If the tools aren’t included, then they should at least be listed. Then you can check if you already own these tools or if you can borrow them from a friend. If you have to buy these tools, then you should factor that in too as part of the purchase price.
You also should factor in how easy the chair is to disassemble. This is important especially if you’re going to keep putting it in storage or if you will want to bring it along with you on your travels.
When you check a hammock seat’s size, you try to see how many people can fit in the seat too. But you also should find out exactly how many pounds the hammock chair can carry. If it’s just for a single person, then it should be rated for at least 200 pounds. With the skyrocketing rates of obesity all over the world, it is better if this is actually 250 pounds at least.
If it’s possible, you may also do some additional research on the quality and strength of the rope that’s holding up the entire hammock seat. Read the reviews and see that there aren’t any complaints about hanging ropes that were unable to bear the weight.
Some hammock chairs are designed exclusively for just children. However, this can be a problem as an adult visitor may sit on it and cause some damage. So if you’re going for a child’s hammock seat, place it in their bedroom or in their play area. Also, warn adults not to sit in that hanging chair.
How Comfortable is it?
How comfortable a hammock chair is depends greatly on personal preferences. However, you stand a better chance of enjoying a hammock swing if many of the reviewers note just how comfortable it is.
Some hammock seats, such as rope hammock swings, are inherently less comfortable than other types. So you also need to see if they have some extra accessories such as cushions or pillows that are part of the purchase.
Also, check if there’s some sort of back support. We’re talking about hammock “chairs”, after all. You also should find out where you can put your feet. It’s much more comfortable if you don’t have to keep them on the floor all the time. See if the hammock swing comes with a separate footrest or of the hanging seat is long enough to accommodate your stretched-out legs.
Finally, see if you can find any extra features that may make your life much easier. For example, the addition of a cup holder is a great idea. Many of these hammock swings aren’t designed to make it easy for you to drink a cup of coffee with a coffee table nearby. But with a cup holder, now you can enjoy a drink while you watch TV or have a cup of java as you read the paper in the morning.
How Durable is it?
The durability of a hammock chair is actually not all that simple to determine. It’s a combination of several factors all together:
- First you need to check the weight capacity. It stands to reason that a hammock swing that’s rated to accommodate 500 pounds of weight is tougher (and therefore more durable) than its counterpart that’s only able to hold 200 pounds.
- Then you need to check the fabric used. Cotton isn’t really all that strong, especially when you compare it to many modern synthetic materials. DuraCord is especially durable.
- You also have to find out what kinds of materials are used for the spreader bars and for the stands. That goes for the hanging accessories as well.
- You should also check for features specifically for outdoor use. The hammock seat should be water resistant, especially if you’re going to use it by the pool or if you’re going to leave it outside during the rainy season.
- There should be some sort of UV protection too.
- Check if the colors are supposed to last for a very long while. Some fabrics can keep their colors from fading or bleaching.
- Can it handle kids? Kids can be very imaginative when they’re hell-bent on destruction.
- Can it handle pets? If you have pets, make sure that the hammock swing can withstand nail scratches and bouts of gnawing. Some of these hammock swings are even designed to carry pets too, so your pet dog can cuddle with you while you’re sitting.
- You should find out how long the warranty is, as well as the quality of the customer support. Generally, a longer warranty denotes a more durable hanging chair. But that won’t matter if the customer support doesn’t really act on its warranty promises.
- Read the reviews, especially the updated ones. You may find rave reviews have been updated with additional complaints about how the hammock swing didn’t last for long.
How Good Does It Look?
Hanging chairs are like chairs in general. They’re just too many styles to choose from!
So before you buy anything, check around online. Look at the pictures of the hammock seats we’ve reviewed on these pages. Then imagine them in your backyard or inside your home and see if the hammock chair fits in the overall look of your place.
At least you don’t have to worry about color. With hammock chairs, colors and designs are almost unlimited when it comes to the number of options you have available. This is especially true if you get the Central or South American hammock chairs, as most of those manufacturers seem to revel in truly eye-catching color schemes.
Just make sure that its look fits the space for it properly. A hanging chair is already a natural focal point for any space. It’s so different that most eyes are drawn to it already. So you don’t need loud colors that clash with the overall color scheme of the place. That only makes the hammock chair seem out of place.
Some hanging chairs can be expensive because they’re imported and they’re made with expensive materials such as DuraCord. But some good ones are available for less than $100. In fact, you can find good hammock chairs for less than $$60. The various hammock swings we feature on this site are all affordable, and most of them don’t go over $100.
Final Maintenance Tips:
Once you’ve bought your hammock chair, it’s up to you to make sure that you don’t have to buy a replacement or it anytime soon. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Find a shady spot for the hammock chair. The rope will last longer, and so will the paint and the varnish of your wood and metal hammock chair parts.
- When its winter time and you know you’re not really going to be using the hammock swing, disassemble it and then store it away in a dry place. Make sure that it’s an area where bugs and rodents can’t get at it.
- Take care of the rope by cleaning it regularly. You can just use a scrub brush with soft bristles, plus some warm soapy water. Don’t worry if it’s a cotton rope and it shrinks, as it will stretch again when you use it.
- The wood of the spread bar will benefit from refinishing from time to time. Just don’t detach the spreader bar from the chair. Leave them all tied together and just work around the rope.
So buy a good hanging chair, out it up in a good place, and take care it properly. It should give you a great spot to relax in for years to come!