Hammock supports can be two trees or posts, or you can use a manufactured hammock stand to suspend the bed. The scaffold material and the hammock style determine the security of the stand.
Hammock Stand Types
There are two types of hammock stands. The simpler type suspends each gathered end of the cloth with a single hook, which makes either end of the hammock smaller than the middle and provides minimal stability. Hammocks with spreader bars stretch the material on each end and attach it to either end of the connecting bar with two fasteners that connect to both ends of the stand with a single hook. This creates a uniform sleeping platform that is easier to lie on than the optional style. Spreader bar hammocks are also easier to access because they are lower to the ground than the simpler style, which has high ends and a low, slumping middle.
Wooden stands are generally more stable and durable than metal ones because they are heavier and less likely to tip or move when someone gets into the hammock. Spreader bar arc styles made from five to eight layers of cypress are considered the most stable wood types, followed by cypress stands made for hammocks with no spreader bars. Both cypress stands remain stable holding weights in excess of 450 pounds. The cypress becomes stronger as it ages and its natural golden color turns to a rich gray hue if left untreated with water repellent.
Metal hammock stands are lighter than wood ones but not as attractive and less stable. Most are made only for hammocks with spreader bars. If the hammock is stored outdoors in areas with high precipitation or moist, salty air, stainless steel stands will last longer than other metals. To keep non-stainless steel hammock stands in good shape, paint them with a rust resistant paint.
Hammock stands with wheels are available to easily move hammocks around decks or porches. The wheels lock to keep the hammock in place. Those designed for outings have folding stands and collapsible beds for easy transport. Although portable stands are convenient for travel, they are the least stable as they have parts that hook together and bend for portability unlike regular ones without these features that are made from solid pieces of wood or metal not attached with screws and hinges.
Tips and Hints
If children or fragile adults will be using the hammock, choose a cypress wood stand for optimum safety and stability while climbing in and out of the structure. Hammocks made from stiff, solid fabrics such as canvas or duck pose fewer risks of entanglement, cocooning and snagging than those made from rope, netting or other materials with open weaves.
Hammocks.com: Hammock Stands Info [ http://www.hammocks.com/hammock-stands/hammockstandsinfoarticle.cfm]
Yard Envy: How to Choose a Hammock [ http://www.yardenvy.com/pages/how-to-choose-a-hammock.htm]