Hammock Instructions, Use and Care Guide

Congratulations on your purchase of a traditional Mexican Hammock. You can look forward to many years of enjoyable use and relaxation. Please find below some information about the care and use of your hammock. Following these simple steps will enhance your hammocks longevity.  

For our range of hammock stands online assembly instructions can be found through the following links;

Instructions for your Hammock 

Hanging your Double, Queen, King, Thick Cord or Spreader Bar Hammock

Hammocks are very versatile and can be hung nearly anywhere, through attaching to a strong wall, tree, fence, post and so on. A good size hammock space is around 4m between your hanging points, but anything from 3.5m upwards will generally work. After finding your perfect spot.

  1. Unwrap (for spreader hammock unroll) and stretch out your hammock in a clean, 'snag free' area. Ensure there are no twists/turns with respect to each end. 
  2. Only handle the loops of the hammock to prevent tangling or 'pulled cords'.  
  3. Install your hanging points, whether using rope, tree straps or screws, so that you can hang each end from a height of approximately 1.8m (6 feet) from the ground and a distance of around 3.5-4.2m apart. This should allow the hammock to hang down to a level between your knees and your hips. Longer distances can easily be adjusted for by using longer lengths of rope and adjusting the hanging height slightly higher as the distance increases. Shorter distances can also be achieved through either knotting the ends of your hammock to shorten its total length (see the bottom of the page for more details) or hanging the ends higher to give you more ground clearance.
  4. The correct height for the centre of the hammock can be found by sitting in it with feet flat on the ground and with knees slightly bent.
  5. Using a smooth hook, rope, chain, or strong cords when tying your hammock will reduce wear on the loops ends of the hammock.
  6. For solid wood walls, you can use ‘screw eye’ hooks or bolts (Fig 1 & 2) screwed directly into studs or joists, giving you a solid fixing point to attach your rope and hammock. 
  7. For concrete walls, you can drill a heavy duty hook (Fig 3), or use a dyna bolt (Fig 4). Hardware stores have a variety of these. You may wish to speak with your local hardware store guru as to what will suit you best.  
  8. When using a rope to tie your hammock check our knot tying guide (below) for the best knots to use. 

Note: A new cotton hammock stretches over time. Assume that when the hammock is first used it will come to hang about 50cm lower in the centre. 

Hammock Chair 

Hammock chairs only require one fixing point. This can be a tree branch, a beam, etc. You can tie directly onto this using rope. Attach one end to the eye of the hammock and the other onto the beam or branch. You can also use ‘screw eye’ hooks or bolts (Fig 1 & 2.) screwed directly into a ceiling beam giving you a solid fixing point to attach your rope and hammock. Once in the hammock chair move around to change your centre of gravity and find the most comfortable position.  

Using you Hammock

To enter the hammock spread it out with your hands first to find the centre and then sit in the middle. Spread the cord out around your body by pushing the material up above your head, and out with your feet as you lay back. This will give you support from head to toe. The ideal position and the traditional position for sleeping is lying diagonally across the hammock as this gives you a flat surface. The hammock is also great fun and very comfortable when sharing with a friend(s) - provided it is large enough - the king size is ideal for this. While it is perfectly fine to gently sway in your hammock, remember a hammock is not a swing. Heavy swinging is not only dangerous but will shorten the life of your hammock. Never step or jump into your hammock and ensure children are supervised and instructed on how to use safely. Do not overload past recommended weight limits.

YouTube Video – How to Get into a Hammock


Looking After Your Hammock

Your hammock will last for many years given proper care. It should be sheltered from the elements where possible when not in use, such as not being left outdoors for long periods of time, especially in direct sunlight and rain. Take care where hanging that unattended the hammock doesn’t get caught up in trees or shrubs in windy conditions.

We also suggest wearing appropriate clothing while you are resting in your hammock. Try to avoid buttons, belts, velcro, jewellery, shoes, watches or any other object that might grab or cut cords. Nevertheless, cut or broken cords can be repaired by tying off the broken ends to another cord or knotting together the broken ends. 

If you want to leave your hammock outside for extended periods of time, try our hammock cover, a simple and easy way to protect your hammock when not in use.

All hammock materials require similar levels of care to prolong their life. Hammocks made from polyester do offer greater levels of resistance to the elements and are a good choice if you like to leave your hammock outside more regularly and for longer periods of time during summer. Over winter and during extended wet weather periods we do still recommend storing your polyester hammock in a safe dry space.

Remember to regularly check your ropes, hanging fixtures, and fittings, plus hammock for signs of wear or damage and replace as necessary.

When it comes time to store your hammock for extended periods of time ensure it is stored dry and kept in a dry location - not a damp garden shed, and not in direct sunlight.

Hammock cover for protecting hammock from the elements


Folding Your Hammock

If you are storing or travelling with your hammock it is important to fold or tie it to prevent damage or tangling. An easy way to do this is to hold both loop ends together and slowly twist in the opposite direction; this brings all the cords together. From there you can create one or two big knots by bringing the bottom up and folding it across your arm creating a big knot in the midsection. It doesn’t need to be tight. Gently feed the ends back through when untying. Storing inside a pillowcase is also an easy way to store and travel with your hammock whilst preventing tangling. 

YouTube Video - Folding a Mexican Hammock


With the spreader bar hammocks, the easiest way to pack this up is to just roll the hammock around the wooden bars. Roll to the middle from each end. You can then tie a piece of string or rope around to hold it tight.

With the Chair Hammock you can also easily wrap the hammock around the bar, and secure with string.

Tip: Note how your hammock is folded or rolled up before opening, this gives you an idea of how it should look when packed down for storage of transport.  

Cleaning your Hammock

The best way to clean your hammock is to hand wash it in warm water and soft detergent. Wash it by hand by simply soaking it in a large bucket for a few hours with mild detergent and rinsing it thoroughly in cold water. Hang it out to dry.

For machine washing hammocks, use a special detergent for coloured wash. Extend each end loop apart so the hammock is stretched to its full length. Using thick string or cord bind the end cords and body at about six-inch intervals to prevent tangling. Place in a pillowcase and put it into the washing machine. Wash with mild detergent and cold water. Do not spin dry.

A cotton hammock will shrink straight after washing but it returns to normal size when you use it.  

Additional Hammock Hanging Information  

Various Attachments for Hanging Your Hammock

Hammock hanging accessories

Hammock tree straps

 Screw and eye hooks

Knot Tying Instructions

Hammock knot tying instruction photo

VIDEO - Tying a Hammock Using Wall Hook



If you find the space you wish to hang your hammock is too short, you can make an adjustment to your hammock to shorten its total length.

By simply making a knot in each end (arm) of the hammock you can shorten the total length by approx 40cm. Such as in the picture below. A second knot on each end can be added if required.

We do recommend you to make the knots close to the loops not to the body. Always take care when tying to ensure the cords do not tangle.

Shortening hammock length

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Thank you again for your purchase from the Mexican Hammock Store New Zealand. We wish you a good swing! 


Cielo & Mexican Hammock Store Team