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When buying a hammock, you’ll need to choose between a single or double size. If you’ll be sharing then the choice is easy, but if you’ll be solo in the hammock, you might be wondering whether a larger size would be more comfortable. After all, you’d opt for a double bed wouldn’t you.
A double hammock is better for one person as it’s wider so you can find the optimum position and cocoon yourself in the material. If you’re on a tight budget or will be carrying the hammock a lot, then a single hammock is cheaper and more compact.
In fact, some of the most popular brands, such as Yellow Leaf, only sell their hammocks in double or family size. In the rest of this article, I’ll share the full pros and cons of each hammock, provide a size guide, and some recommended hammocks too.
What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Hammocks?
The difference between a single and double hammock is mainly down to the width of the hammock and its weight capacity.
- A single hammock is usually between 3-5ft wide, depending upon the style of hammock, and will have a weight capacity below 400lbs. These are suitable for one adult.
- A double hammock is usually between 4-6ft wide, depending on the style of hammock, and will have a weight capacity between 400-450lbs. These are suitable for two adults.
- There are also family-size hammocks that are wider than 6ft and have a weight capacity above 450lbs. These are suitable for two adults and children or pets too.
Often, you’ll find that double hammocks are slightly longer too, but the difference isn’t as profound as the width and can still vary greatly between different brands of hammock.
Benefits of a Single Hammock
Here are the main benefits of a single hammock compared to a double:
I did some research into the prices of single vs double hammocks. On average a double hammock is 31.7% more expensive than a single hammock.
The difference was more profound in camping hammocks where some hammocks were up to 40% more expensive in a double size. With leisure hammocks, the difference was much lower at around 15%.
This price difference will reflect the extra material used and the additional strength requirements of the hammock.
By their nature, a single hammock can fold up to be more compact than a double hammock and will be lighter too. For example, an ENO single hammock weighs 1lb and takes up 3.5”x4.5” when folded, compared to an ENO double hammock which weighs 1lb3oz and takes up 4”x5” when folded.
This will be important to backpackers and hikers who will want to minimize the storage space and weight of all items in their backpacks. If you won’t be carrying your hammock around with you then this point is not important.
As a single hammock is narrower than a double hammock, there is less of a cocoon effect which helps you get a wider view of your surroundings. This is particularly good if you’re in a scenic place like the beach.
Benefits of a Double Hammock
Let’s now take a look at the benefits of a double hammock:
The main reason I love a double hammock is because of how easy it is to get comfortable. The extra width gives you plenty of material to work with when finding the optimum position for your body.
Plus, the material tends to cocoon your body which adds comfort and warmth.
Single hammocks tend to be shorter and have a lower weight capacity than double hammocks. If you’re quite tall or heavy then you will probably be better off with a double hammock.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be above the 300lb weight capacity, but even if you’re at the top end of this it’s better to opt for a stronger hammock to ensure durability.
With a double hammock, you have the choice of whether to use it solo or share with someone else. You never know when this might come in handy.
Even if you’re just hanging out in your hammock and not sleeping, it’s nice to be able to share it with a friend without worrying about the weight capacity.
Due to the popularity of double hammocks, many hammocks aren’t available in single sizes. For example, Yellow Leaf (the hammock brand made popular by Shark Tank) don’t offer any of their hammocks in a single size with their smallest hammocks starting at 6ft wide.
This is mostly the case for leisure hammocks rather than camping hammocks where both single and double hammocks are equally popular. That’s due to single hammocks being easier to pack and carry for long distances.
Should I Buy a Single or Double Hammock?
A single hammock is perfectly fine for an average-sized adult, they are relatively cheap and lightweight to pack away.
However, a double hammock is much wider which gives you more material to find the perfect position. Remember, the correct way to lie in a hammock is diagonally and not parallel with the hammock posts or hooks.
A double hammock will also cocoon around your body, especially if you’re hammock is made from a material with some stretch in it such as a cotton hammock.
If you can afford to spend a little bit extra and won’t be lugging the hammock around with you, I’d recommend opting for a double hammock. This will come in handy if you end up sharing the hammock at all, even if you’re just hanging out with a friend and not sleeping in it together.
The trade-off of a double hammock is that you can’t see as much of your surroundings as with a single hammock due to the extra material, however, you can still see the stars which is the most important thing for me.
How Much Weight Can A Double Hammock Hold?
A double hammock will usually hold between 400-450lbs. This will be suitable for two average-sized adults. This is based on the average weight of an American at 197lbs for men (source) and 170bs for women (source).
Alternatively, a double hammock can be shared by one adult and a child or pet.
Is a Double Hammock Too Big for One Person?
No, a double hammock is perfectly fine for one person. Double hammocks are wider but if you’re lying in it diagonally as you should be then it just provides more material to help get the perfect position.
The material will wrap around you providing more of a cocoon than a single hammock, but I personally like this. However, the downside is that you don’t get as much view of your surroundings as with a single hammock.
Are Double Hammocks More Comfortable?
Yes, double hammocks are more comfortable, whether you’re sharing it or sleeping on your own. The extra material gives you more options when it comes to your lying position.
What is the Most Comfortable Hammock?
Cotton hammocks are the most comfortable type of hammock because the material is softer and tends to have more stretch compared to other materials. Organic cotton is the most comfortable as it’s hand-picked which causes less damage to the fibers than machine picking.
However, cotton isn’t the most durable of materials so you’ll find that most camping hammocks or those designed to be kept outdoors are made from nylon or polyester. These synthetic materials fare much better against the rain and are easier to clean.
If you need a good double hammock for camping, the ENO DoubleNest is lightweight and durable thanks to the Nylon Taffeta material used to make it.
Vivere Double Brazilian Hammock
For a leisurely choice, this double hammock from Vivere is made from 100% cotton which gives it a slight stretch and makes it very comfortable to lie in.
There are over 30 designs to choose between with bright vibrant patterns and colorfast cotton.