Lie back and relax in a hammock you built yourself. ATTRIBUTION: Chad Sparkes (Flickr)

There’s nothing quite like spending a lazy day cocooned in a hammock. These simple slings constructed of cloth or netting have been around for hundreds of years. They are also relatively easy to make yourself. In honor of National Hammock Day on July 22, here’s a look at some of the most popular types of DIY hammock styles and how to properly care for each.


The Mayan hammock features a tightly-woven webbing that opens up to accommodate the user. Mayan hammocks are considered one of the most comfortable types of hammocks in the world as well as one of the most beautiful and durable. Traditional Mayan hammocks must be handwoven with string, and while not overly difficult to do, this can be very time-consuming. However, the end result is usually worth the effort. Mayan hammocks can be easily maintained by hand-washing the strings with mild detergent and water.


Brazilian hammocks are generally constructed of cotton fabric, which provides a lightweight, breathable material for users to lie and relax upon. To build one yourself, you will need a large piece of durable cotton material and strong string or rope that connects to each side. Brazilian hammocks are generally hung from two opposing trees or from a free-standing hammock stand. This type of hammock is susceptible to extreme weather conditions and should not be left outdoors long-term. Washing the hammock requires a brief dip in tepid water with mild detergent.


The Nicaraguan is considered to be one of the most luxurious types of hammock, often made from soft-spun cotton that is tightly woven and double-layered for durability. Nicaraguan hammocks are made from a series of separate strings and woven together to provide support for the body. Like the Mayan hammock, the Nicaraguan must be constructed using a special weave technique. What makes the Nicaraguan truly unique is the beautiful crocheted edge. Due to their fragile nature, these hammocks must be hand-washed with gentle soap and rinsed in cold water.


Venezuelan hammocks, also called jungle hammocks, consist of panels of breathable materials, which allows the fabric to quickly dry after exposure to high humidity or rain. This type of hammock is often accompanied by a waterproof top sheet or fine-woven netting, which protects the user from moisture or insects. Venezuelan hammocks are generally made from different-colored cotton strings woven together and fitted with heavy braided strings at the heads or ends of the hammock. Wash your hammock with mild detergent and water about twice a year to remove any airborne dirt, mold spores, and other debris. Allow it to air dry.


Indian hammocks differ from your traditional lounge hammock. These hammocks are generally designed for use by infants and toddlers and feature a lightweight, ceiling-mounted textile. Also referred to as Indian-style cradles, these cloth swings are made from soft cotton and can be attached to hooks on a free-standing hammock stand. Indian hammocks are relatively durable and can be hand-washed with soap and water and allowed to air dry.