What’s the Most Comfortable Way to Sleep in a Hammock?


sleeping in hammock over sunset 800What’s the most comfortable way to sleep in a hammock? This is one of the most frequent questions I receive. It is also one of the most important. A good night’s sleep is extremely important to fuel your body for the next day’s adventure!

I love to bring my handy dandy hammock along on camping trips for sleeping under the stars. It took me a lot of trial and error, but I finally figured out the most comfortable position for hammock sleeping.

To find out which method, and why it works best, stay tuned!

Things You’ll Need

  • A Hammock (single or double is up to you)
  • 2 trees at least 13 to 15 feet apart or 2 poles the same distance
  • 2 lengths of rope, bungee cords, or webbing


  • Instead of 2 trees, you can use 2 of anything the right distance apart. If you are setting up in your backyard, think about setting up 2 poles that are 13 to 15 feet across.
  • If there are two rock formations or boulders the right distance apart, use them to set up your hammock.
  • Purchase a hammock for home use that is already set up.

Overall, I recommend using trees or poles. Why? One of the big parts of getting cozy in your hammock is hanging it up the right way. If you purchase a pre-setup hammock, it may not follow the best dimensions for the greatest comfort.

For example, there are a certain number of inches a hammock needs to hang for maximum potential. Additionally, the angle of these hanging sleeping bags needs to be a certain number or you won’t be able to get comfortable.

Optional for Even More Comfort:

  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad

hanging in a hammock in snow

Step #1: Hang Your Hammock at the Correct Angle

As I mentioned earlier, hanging your hammock at the correct angle is important.  Without this step, you are guaranteed to not want to sleep in your hammock again! You want the rope to hang at a 30 to 35-degree angle and the suspension length to be around 42 inches.

The reason the rope angle and length ratio are so important is that they create the most comfortable curve in the hammock.

Step #2: Ensure there is a Deep Enough Curve in Your Hammock

Although contrary to common sense, you do not want your hanging bed to be flat. Tightening your ropes too much is one of the biggest mistakes made by new hammock sleepers. Loosen up!

In order to ensure you have a deep enough curve, hang your hammock a good 4 to 6 feet above the ground. Then, adjust the rope so that the lowest point is around 18 inches above the ground. Remember, you don’t want to touch the ground in the hammock so adjust accordingly.

Step #3: Get in the Hammock the Correct Way

Yes, there is a correct way to get in your hammock and it will help you get comfortable faster. Beginners may need to slow this process down to get used to balancing in a hammock.

The first thing to do is spread out the fabric. You want it as wide as possible. Do this with your back to the hammock as you are about to sit down.

Now, take a small step back with the leg furthest from the hammock for some momentum, sit down, and swing your legs into the hammock. Ideally, this is one smooth motion but you can do it in small steps as well. Practice makes perfect!

Step #4: Angle In

At this point, your body is inside the curve of the hammock. Notice how claustrophobic it is. The sides are probably rolling in on you giving you the classic shoulder squeeze. Unfortunately, many people stop here and sleep in this position.

However, these people are sure to experience back pain. In fact, the most comfortable way to sleep in a hammock is diagonally. Angle into the coziest position by sliding your feet onto one edge and your head onto the opposite edge.

Play around by sliding up and down the hammock until you find the position naturally comfortable to you. A big bonus of lying this way is that you end up on a fairly flat surface…the right way. Say goodbye to the neck, shoulder, and back discomfort and say hello to bliss!

Pro Tips

  1. Purchase a hammock made for overnight use.
  2. Discomfort in your legs? Try putting a rolled up towel or pillow underneath.
  3. If you are feeling claustrophobic, tighten the ropes to make a flatter position.
  4. Insulate the bottom of your hammock on cold nights by using your sleeping bag or sleeping pad.
  5. If you want to use pillows, sleeping bags, or blankets, make sure they are in position before you leap inside!
  6. Keep your shoes where they belong: outside of your hammock! This one step will extend its life.

One Last Word

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on the most comfortable way to sleep in a hammock. This step-by-step list is sure to save you from the aches and pains that come with using hammocks incorrectly.

With better sleep, you will have fewer things holding you back. No matter if the next day holds a big outdoor adventure or a normal day at the office! To experience less fatigue, more energy, and greater motivation, sleep diagonally on your hammock.

Do you think the diagonal method is the most comfortable? How do you lie when you want to get comfortable sleeping in your hammock? If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share