Picture yourself on a nice afternoon, reading a book or magazine while lying on a hammock slung between two trees in your backyard. It’s a small slice of affordable homeowner heaven. Intrigued? Take a look at the best choices in outdoor lounging.
Hammocks are a longtime favorite for backyard laziness. In a shaded area, hang your hammock between two trees about eight feet apart. Don’t have trees placed in the right position? No problem. Get a free-standing hammock on its own frame, or sink four-by-four wooden posts with eyelet hooks on each from which to sling your hammock. Hammock prices start at about $60 but go to $100-plus.
Hanging chairs. Whether from a stout tree limb, a shade arbor or the ceiling of a covered patio, a hanging chair offers a nice place to curl up with a good book. Usually made of wicker and shaped like a large egg or birdcage, hanging chairs are most comfortable with a cushion. Prices start in the $230 range.
Round-hanging hammock. This combines the hammock and the hanging chair. It is round, about five feet in diameter, with birdcage-style wicker enclosure. A plush round cushion fills the basin. Another option has a sheer fabric tent draped over it. Prices start at $350.
Outdoor couches or daybeds usually come as part of a set of outdoor furniture. They can be traditional rectangles or round. Choices in material range from heavy wicker to aluminum to teakwood, with luxurious cushions. They can seat three people or allow one to stretch out. Prices average $400.
Where to shop. You’ll often find outdoor furniture cheaper online than in retail stores. (The prices cited here are from online sellers.) Unfortunately, you won’t be able to inspect it for quality or test it for comfort. An outdoor furniture specialty store can provide these advantages plus the customer service to answer your questions and guide your choices.