Yucatan hammocks are among the best made and most comfortable in the world. And there are excellent buys to be had on these elegant and useful items both on Cozumel and the nearby mainland.
Always inspect your hammock carefully before purchase, however, as there can be wide variations in the quality of the work and materials. Here’s a few tips on how to make sure you’re getting a good one.
Size–Hammocks come in at least 6 sizes but the two you’re most likely to meet up with shopping are either “Matrimonial” or singles. Matrimonial should measure around 16 ft. long at least a third of which is the woven section and weigh in at between 4.5 and 5.5 lbs. (The best shops in Merida actually sell hammocks by the lb. and this is the way to get the highest quality for the money.) A matrimonial hammock should stretch sideways easily to between 10 and 15 ft.
The single size is suitable for one adult or a couple of children. They are comparable smaller in size and price. A good one should weigh in at between 2.5 and 3.5 lbs. Just be sure you’re not getting the bait and switch and paying for a matrimonial only to be handed a smaller one.
Strings–Matrimonial should have 200 or more pairs of strings at either end. Singles comparably less. Material–Cotton (algondón) is the most comfortable and longest-wearing material for a hammock–and the finer the thread used the better. Although many hammocks are now being woven from synthetic materials, be sure you’re paying less than for a cotton one should you decide to purchase it.
Weave–A great hammock will be tightly woven of nice, fine thread. The best are double or triple woven. Stretch out the woven area. There shouldn’t be much of a hole between the threads in the weave. Also check the edges. It’s important to make sure there are about 15 strings (minimum 10) along each edge to hold the body together trimly. And check the end loops to make sure they’re good and thick and tightly wrapped.