Hammocks: Cotton Vs. Polyester


Hammocks are synonymous with relaxation and lazy days. They are a great addition to your backyard and seem to be a pretty simple contraption. There are important nuances to hammocks that you should consider before purchasing your hammock. Specifically, you should consider the material of your hammock given the weather conditions of where you live.

Hammocks Generally

  • A hammock can be placed in between two trees by drilling holes into those trees and tying the ends of the hammock to large eyehole screws sticking out the tree. Or hammocks can be self-contained and have a metal frame supporting the hammock. Additionally, hammocks may be made from a myriad of different fibers and made in various styles. But if you choose to purchase a rope hammock, you will need to consider that rope can be made from polyester or cotton.


  • The single most important aspect of a hammock is how comfortable it feels to you. The human body is particularly acclimated to cotton (most our clothing derives from cotton). Moreover, cotton is a malleable material that over time will conform to your body shape. Cotton is a breathable fabric, reducing sweat during the summer months. Polyester does not have any of these characteristics, so it is less desirable in terms of comfort. Polyester is derivative of plastic, so it tends to be less "soft" to the touch.

Hammock Location

  • Cotton is a natural fiber and is more prone to deterioration from the elements. If you plan to place your hammock in direct sunlight, you should avoid cotton rope hammocks. Alternatively, a more shady location will be better for the cotton rope hammock. If you would prefer to place your hammock indoors, then cotton will not experience much deterioration. As a synthetic material, polyester is more resistant to the sun and will not deteriorate in the sun as readily as cotton.

Water Resistance

  • A hammock located outside will invariably be exposed to water, either from rain or from morning dew. Most hammock manufacturers recommend that you bring your hammock indoors during the winter months. Cotton is more prone to mildew, mold, and rot after extended exposure to moisture. This is especially problematic if the hammock is in the shade and does not properly dry out during the afternoon. There are claims that you can purchase waterproof cotton, but such claims are unfounded. Polyester is not vulnerable to moisture damage, but you can purchase a protective cover for your cotton hammock to limit moisture exposure.


  • On the whole, polyester is less expensive as compared to cotton. You must keep in mind that the more high-end brands of polyester will be more expensive than low-end brand cotton hammocks. For outdoor use, polyester is the better choice because it is more durable, making cotton a less cost effective choice for outdoor use. Whereas indoors, cotton will better suit your comfort requirements and a little extra in cost is worth the added benefits.

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