Do Head Hammocks Work? (Explained)

head hammock

Are you having really stressful days? You can know from your neck. Neck pains are strongly associated with physical strain, typical of the daily rigors of work, raising family, studying, and traveling. Recently, head hammocks are penetrating the mainstream as the ready succor to head and neck pain. But do head hammocks work?

When appropriately deployed, head hammocks relieve neck pain and spine issues. These hammocks are designed to pull the head up, gently dragging it away from the spine. Such specialized traction releases pressure stacked on your spine and neck. This enhances blood circulation in your cervical region, ramping up the oxygen supply to the nerves, muscles, and tendons around your neck. Ultimately, this decreases pain and amplifies ease of neck movement.

Head hammocks – more commonly referred to as neck hammocks – work majorly via cervical traction. How about we learn more about how they work and deriving the best results from a head hammock?

What are neck hammocks, and how do they work?

To achieve the best results, head hammocks are designed with a sling and strap system. This strap system can be attached to a household apparatus, commonly a wall, railing, or door handle. 

With the sling wrapped around your head, the head hammock creates cervical traction that relieves the neck and spine and improves mobility overall.

This cervical traction is achieved as the hammock gently pulls your head away from your spine, relaxing the ligaments bordering your spine and the muscles stationed along your spinal cord. 

Such gentle stretching opens the spine’s intervertebral space. This is therapeutic, as circulation is ramped with more blood and nourishment flowing to the regions under compression. 

What follows is an improved distribution of oxygen to the nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the neck. The pressure – previously responsible for the nagging neck pain – would then be eased. 

What are head hammocks made of?

Neck hammocks have varying styles, but all are built to cause minimal irritation to the head. The overriding theme for neck hammock design is applying gentle and well-modulated traction to the neck. 

This explains why the generality of head hammocks are made from soft materials, many furnished with premium quality padding.  

Most of the fabrics I have seen in head hammocks are made from polyester and spandex, with polyester the predominant composition. They are appropriately stitched for durability.

The slings are made from strong elastic cords. Some of these cords are consolidated with reinforced safety wire for superior robustness and safety while in use. 

How should you position your head when using these hammocks?

People commonly ask how they should place their head relative to the hammock attachment, say the pole, door handle, or wall to which their head hammock is anchored.

The truth is, there is no definitive distance between your hammock attachment source and your head. You can keep your head just as far as you are comfortable, and you can gently stretch.

It is generally recommended that when your head hammock is fully assembled, the pad of the hammock should be at most 4 inches elevated from the ground (and at least 2 inches raised).    

I would advise you to start with caution and measure your body reaction after the first session. 

Don’t move too fast from the anchor point. Should the stretch be excessive, you may consider drifting back to the door. You can responsively modulate the tension depending on the strength of the stretch on your body.

How far should the inside base of the hammock go against your neck?

This is a frequent question among head hammock users. Should the base of the neck hammock cradle your skull or just go midway through your neck?

There is no general answer to this. Hammock users have different body configurations regarding the position their necks favor to be rested.

Just try out both positioning and determine which was most comfortable for you. Some users feel more comfortable placing the hammock inner’s back pad mid-neck. Some prefer to take the pad as far as the top of their neck such that it cradles their skull.

Another determining factor is your most frequent head posture. Let us assume you are an avid traveler. It is less likely your neck should be predominantly curved during the bulk of your day.

The absence of such sustained curvature means general neck traction from your hammock would do just fine. Therefore, it is OK to simply place your head hammock under your head. 


Let us assume you are a writer and spend the bulk of your day with your head bent down. Such sustained downward head tilts would distort your neck’s natural C-curve. 

To restore this, you need more streamlined cervical traction other than the aforementioned generic traction. Therefore, you would need to hammock’s head pad more at the mid-region of your neck.

Why do people like head hammocks?

There is one major influence behind the interesting adoption of head hammocks today: DIY cervical traction. 

By DIY cervical traction, I mean a therapeutic physical therapy that you can conduct on yourself readily at home, without needing a professional therapist or booking a traditional clinic appointment.

Before now, getting a neck traction treatment would involve securing appointments with a therapist. More than being expensive, this was lethargic, costing time unnecessarily.

Traditional cervical traction devices are typically sophisticated and need significant technicality to install and operate. Head hammocks are a far cheaper, more portable, and more user-friendly alternative for professional cervical traction.  

Head hammocks, in no time, became massively adopted also given their efficiency, compactness, non-marring nature.

Can anyone use head hammocks? 

Well, just anyone experiencing neck pain – except those with special medical conditions – can use head hammocks.

People with conditions like spinal hypermobility, acute cervical injury, rheumatoid arthritis, neck tumors, and spinal instability are advised not to use head hammocks without express approval from their healthcare provider. 

Best Head Hammocks Review

Hammocks have varying designs and functionality. How do you make your best pick for best results? 

Well, the material make, design, style, and accompanying accessories are major considerations. Of course, I am not forgetting to include affordability! 

Here are some of the best head hammocks we have tried out.

FARELOT Neck Traction Hammock 

The Farelot Neck traction hammock comes with excellent memory rebound foams. These are the go-to foams for those keen on hammock longevity and ventilation.

This hammock is supplied with a robust adjustment strap. This gives you a range of positioning for maximum comfort, from 10-12 inches. 

This hammock is easy to use, thanks to its user-friendly design. You can attach it on a pole or at your doorknob. Many users who have tried this out applaud this hammock’s efficiency at reducing cervical and spine tension. 

Neck Head Hammock Cosy Life Breathable Velvet Cervical Neck Traction Device for Neck

This head hammock is supplied with reinforced elastic cords and adjustable straps. It can be readily hung on your railing and doorway. 

The latest versions of the Cosy Life hammock are even more customizable. They give you three adjustable positions to choose from. For improved head comfort, this hammock is decked with a soft cushion at its base.

Perhaps the standout feature of this hammock is that it comes with holes for ear design. Yes, this hammock is enhanced with holes on either side of your head, adapted for you to listen to some cool music while using your hammock. 

THE NECK HAMMOCK Portable Neck Relieving Traction Hammock

This hammock offers more than the traditional cervical traction. It further helps in spine decompression and enhances blood supply to the muscles.

It is designed for gentle neck stretching, furnished with double sewn-in adjustable straps. These straps are of medical grade, giving you a head hammock that feels comfy on your neck and also stands the test of time.

Admittedly, one of the key attractions of this hammock is its versatility. People of various neck sizes can use it. Its flexibility saves you the rigor of setup and bulkiness of carrying oversized equipment about.