Why do I need a stand?
Some types of hammocks, such as Brazilian and Mayan hammocks, are hung directly from trees, posts, ceiling joists etc, however, other hammocks have to be attached to a hammock stand to make them useable. You can buy these types of hammocks in packages, and the stand and hammock will come together, ready to be set up. If you have found yourself in need of a stand, however, then you'll need to know if your hammock has "spreader bars" or not.
The entire range of hammocks can be spilt into two categories regarding stands - those with, and those without spreader bars. The reason for this is that hammocks which don't have spreader bars must be hung much higher than those with spreader bars. Spreader bars are pieces of wood or metal attached horizontally at each end of the hammock bed to spread the fabric out.
Generally speaking, if you have spreader bars, you need to buy a stand for that hammock, and if there are no spreader bars, then, if you think you would like a stand, you need to buy a stand designed specifically for a hammock without spreader bars. Hammocks which don't use spreader bars, like Mayan or Brazilian hammocks, hang much deeper than their spreader-bar counterparts, and as a result, if you have a hammock which doesn't have spreader bars, and you try to use it with a stand designed for hammocks with spreader bars, you'll most likely find yourself dipping so deep that you connect with the ground - not fun.
Metal (steel) hammock stands These are the most affordable hammock stands, and, whilst not as elegant, or sturdy as wooden hammock stands, are the most widely used of the three types. They will last a very long time, and if chipped, automotive paint can be used to repair the damage, whilst providing protection from rust and the elements.
Simplicity and ease of assembly and disassembly are one of the advantages of Metal hammock stands, and storage is also very straight forward. Most metal hammock stands only fit hammocks with spreader bars, although a limited number of metal stands can be used with hammocks which don't have spreader bars. Hammock stand wheel kits can also be used with metal stands to make your hammock much more portable.
Stainless steel hammock stands The obvious advantage of a stainless steel hammock stand over a regular steel hammock stand is that the stainless steel stand won't rust, making it ideal for wetter or salt-water air environments, or places in your home where you don't particularly want to see a rust-covered piece of metal - for instance on a porch or patio. The non-rusting benefits of stainless steel hammock stands are reflected in their price, but the extra investment may be well worth it in the long-term, justifying the higher cost.
Wooden hammock stands Wooden hammock stands offer the most durable, and elegant solution, however, this can also be reflected in their price. The wood comes in various types, Cypress is often used in high quality stands, but whichever type of wood you buy, these stands stand out as the classic choice of hammock stand. The fantasy image of a hammock is rarely complete without the strong natural wood which supports it, whether that be a tree or a stand. Wood hammock stands are designed for hammocks both with and without spreader bars, and add a beautiful organic framework for relaxation.
Wooden hammock stands can be treated with water-repellant, or oiled to preserve their natural beauty, but, being an organic material, the effects of time itself can do a better job than any designer, producing wonderful variety and character as the stand ages.