Instructables

Net-Bed / hammock style / Mattress alternative?

Hi Everyone,
I saw this bed on a blog and it keeps coming back to me.
Unfortunately I don't know anything about it, who made it, and how.

I did some research (didn't find the source) but learned that many people consider sleeping on a hammock very comfortable.
So maybe this could be used as a real bed?

This is a burning question because I'll might have to buy a new mattress at the and of the month but I feel like DIY :)

So, any ideas on how to build such a thing, or on how usable it is?
Or maybe you are the guy in the picture? ;)

Thanks,
elbotho

Picture of Net-Bed / hammock style / Mattress alternative?
jwolfe14281 year ago
I helped make this! Its definitely very comfortable, but it can be cold to sleep on because you get air from all sides. A blanket on bottom and top would be recommended, which also helps with the criss-cross feeling / sleep marks. Here're the details on making it:

The net came from netting.com in 2008. Their website isn't great, I found it
easier to deal with them via email. Initial response from them:

"It sounds like you intend to build a hammock? On our website
www.netting.com, you can view several options. I would recommend
either 30K or 35K netting. Both are knotless construction made from
High Tenacity Polypropylene. The model 30K has a 2" hole size, the 35K
has a 2.5" hole size. Either netting is priced at $1.50 per square
foot without a finished border. A rope border would cost approximately
$2.00 per linear foot."

We decided to go with smaller hole size (30K) -- incidentally, just
the right size to hold a beer bottle. Some more details on this one:

"The model 30K netting can hold a dead load of 2,000lbs. You can
install the netting without a finished border. We do sell our netting
in any size; however a minimum order is $100. Shipping is UPS ground
and varies by weight and distance. Currently, we have model 30K in
white, black, tan and light grey."

We got two pieces; one 36" x 228" for the hallway, and the 102" x 144"
one for the big net, in the diamond pattern. These were actual
dimensions of the spaces we wanted to fill; the netting ended up
stretching quite a bit, so we could have probably gone with about 80%
these dimensions. Total price was about $250 shipped.

Anchoring is a bit tricky, since the forces on the wall anchors can be quite large (see how the board is pulling out in the back right corner in the picture). We used a large number of medium-duty eyehooks (each rated for about 100 pounds), and two ropes through the eyehooks and net to mount fairly securely and safely. We've had about 8 people on there, and no deaths yet (we added the second rope and attached the board more securely later).

Let me know if you have any ?s ...

Cheers, Jason

hey I was wondering if you could put the link to the specific netting you used because I am having a hard time finding it, and what was the best way to anchor the wall and how did everything fit together.

Sorry, this is all the info I have about the netting -- I don't see an obvious candidate on the website, but my guess is they still have something similar. I would just email them about it, they were very helpful 5 years ago at least.

For anchoring to the wall, IMO you really shouldn't proceed without the advice of someone who understands structural engineering and the particulars of your particular situation. I don't feel comfortable giving you specific advise, since I understand neither of these things (others helped out with this in our case).

For example, you better be sure your wall can handle a lateral load on the order of the amount of weight you want to put on the net -- and many walls are not designed to have thousands of pounds of lateral force applied to them. I did a quick google search and here's a thread with some examples of things going wrong.

https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-56002.html

also I was wondering how did you get the netting in that specific shape because I am planning on making one but to make it bigger mine wood have to be an irregular rectangle, and I was wondering what is the best way to take the wooden planks and keep them on the wall and what is the best width for one

Update number 1:

At the moment I have laid out all of the dimensions and the size boards that i am going to use, i have made detailed drawings and at this point i am waiting for some free time to go buy the lumber that I need to build the bed/hammock. I will most likely be under way in the building process before July is over. I will try and keep everyone updated.

hey, i am attempting to replicate your idea with my own twist by placing it in a large 8ftx4ft frame and i am confused on what kind of anchors and netting i should be using to do so. the wood i am using is going to be 6 inches wide so the actual space for the net is 7ftx3ft. sorry i am around a year late on this post.

elbotho (author)  THUNDRBYRD542 months ago

Hey there,

i guess at that size it shouldn't be critical. Find some netting (preferably without knots) and holes smaller than 2.5" (~6cm) and some stronger rope for the border . Use a lot of hooks and make sure the frame itself is quite strong.

Maybe Jason has some more insight…

Please post updates and pictures on your progress!

Yeah, it's hard to say much without knowing what your frame looks like. That's the most important thing -- hammocks put a huge amount of lateral force on the frame, so it has to be properly reinforced.

elbotho (author)  jwolfe14281 year ago
Thanks so much for taking the time to share those details!
When I have some more space I'll build one.

It could be nice to have something like this outside.
caitlinsdad2 years ago
1. Use a pillow, waking up with chain-link waffle marks on your face is not fun.
2. Do you have a fear of heights and trust your skills in anchoring the net suspended about 8-feet up?
3. The trampoline looks like it is stretched pretty taut, it may not be comfortable depending on the size of the "mesh" or spacings of the grid.
4. You would have to determine the safety or load bearing capacity of your cargo net.
5. Weave nylon webbing like a lawn chair instead of using rope or paracord or mix it up for a cool design.
6. People sleep in all kinds of hammocks every day. Make it and test it out. If bad, throw a matress pad, sleeping bag, blankets, bamboo reed pad or futon over it.
Good luck.
It looks great, but the thing I always think of is "will this bed be comfortable when I get the flu/cold of death/raging sinus infection/stomach bug of DOOM?" I kinda think I'd want a regular bed then. :(
elbotho (author)  Lithium Rain2 years ago
Thanks for your reply!
I wouldn't build the exact same thing. I'd make a kind of platform bed, not so high above the ground and mine would be smaller (don't have the space).

The pillow part is good though :) and if its cold or to hard a duvet over the net might do the trick.

Ok, so you'd "weave" it yourself? Any instructables on that?
It looks so very regular in the picture...
I personally would not weave it myself if it was going to be more than like 3 feet off the ground (and even then that's iffy), but if you're skilled at that kind of thing it wouldn't be a problem.

There are a couple of relevant instructables:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Sellf-Adjusting-Hammock/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Instant-Hammock/ (steps 5-9)
Does your waterbed come with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer?
KrisOlsonMA15 days ago

Review this site for making a charpoy.

http://howtomakeacharpoy.blogspot.com

DaniT19 days ago

Found the source with some diggin ;D http://www.jeremyperson.com/my-ultimate-bachelor-pad-on-airbnb-com/

Llamacorn2 months ago

hey I was wondering if you could put the link to the specific netting you used because I am having a hard time finding it, and what was the best way to anchor the wall and how did everything fit together.

nreed410 months ago
Could this be done outdoors, on posts?
k24tea2 years ago
It's been a while since your post, but if you're still interested I have a few ideas that might help. I dumped the traditional bed and mattress a long time ago, and I doubt I'll ever go back.

Maybe you could consider hanging a Mayan (mesh) or Brazilian (fabric) hammock instead. Mayan and Brazilian hammocks don't have those very unstable spreader bars like you see on typical rope hammocks, so you won't tip out, and they're VERY comfortable to sleep and lounge (and "play") in. You lie ACROSS them, so you can get a good flat sleeping surface, but it's highly flexible and conforms to your body as you move, so it minimizes pressure points, and the gentle rocking motion is really relaxing. (Ask any baby!) This is what I sleep in almost all the time now, and it has done wonders to relieve my back and neck pain from long-ago injuries. Hang it loose and lie across it, and then you won't get that "banana" curve in your spine. If you're interested, Google "Mayan hammock" They're not expensive and will last a long time with reasonable care. Some folks sleep all the time in a nylon camping hamock, but I find a Mayan or a Brazilian to be MUCH more comfortable and spacious when I'm at home. You'll get extra points for its intriguing & inviting appearance, too!

If you want something that has a flat, firm mesh sleeping surface, what you probably want is a charpoy, as you already commented. Google shows some pix of some really nice charpoys. I made one a few years ago (gave it to a friend, so I no longer have it) and slept on it every night. I made the frame from hardwood poles and 4x4 post legs, and I wove a close mesh with cotton cord instead of the traditional (and itchy) jute. There are several issues with a charpoy, but I really loved mine and plan to make another. If I do, I'll post an Instructable. One thing you need to know is that a charpoy only works well for small beds (no wider than a twin bed) because (1) it's hard to keep the side rails from warping inward due to the constant tension from the cords, plus your body weight, and (2) the mesh will stretch, no matter what you use, and start to sag in the middle. That's OK if you have a way to tighten it up, but it's not easy. Finally, it's not comfortable sleeping directly on mesh unless it's very closely woven, so you'd probably want a pad on it. I used a cheap Kmart air mattress on my charpoy, with a fitted pad & sheet on the air mattress to keep my cats from popping it with their dagger claws. It was very comfy, and not hot in summer like an ordinary mattress. In winter I just added a wool blanket under the mattress pad.  I'm thinking about making a double or queen-size charpoy that won't bow in across the middle, but the air mattress was key to distributing my weight to keep the mesh from stretching and sagging on my old twin-size one.

Another possibility might be a trampoline, but to buy one big enough would be very expensive. Maybe you could find a used one, or make it. The replacement tramp mesh and springs can be purchased online if you decide to go this way. The springs and strong tight mesh would give you a flat, firm, no-sag surface. And you could have quite a lot of fun on a trampoline bed!

If you really want to sleep suspended, please don't try it over a stairwell or loft as in the photo! Lose your mattress, yes, but not your life!
elbotho (author)  k24tea1 year ago
I realize it's more than I year since your reply, ups :)
Thank you for sharing your experiences. Now I'd like to try all those options.
Great how this thread turned out to be such a rich collection of ideas!
Toga_Dan1 year ago
This design might actually be an advantage when one has stomach ailment, provided that it was open to the sea below, rather than having your book collection underneath.
Takelababy1 year ago
If you're worried about strength try chain link fencing.
Bodey2 years ago
I looked into this because uh duh I want one hahaha. Anyway you could buy what's called a pool safety net
milamber2 years ago
not trying to be a typical horney teen but, err how do we think this bed or other hamock would work with well lets be mature , sex ???
Lol
1. Go to google
2. Type in "hamacasutra"
3. Be amazed
elbotho (author) 2 years ago
Ok my flatmate will leave her bed+mattress so it's not a burning question any more, but now I can experiment while sleeping ok, maybe not the worst option ;)

Thanks for the great ideas!
elbotho (author) 2 years ago
Just found: In India they use(d) beds called charpoy.
It's a pretty simple frame on four posts and some sting woven around that.
A quite similar concept, still it's rather hard for a "western" taste in comfort I guess.
charpoy.jpg
Yes, it would work "better" on a smaller bed, but still there will be some stretching, and you'll be the center of a gravity well as it were :-)
Goodhart2 years ago
To be honest, the thing I "don't" like about this, is that it "reacts to weight" like my old bed did (when I was much MUCH yonger). It was comprised of steel mesh much like what you show here, and springs to attach it to the frame. One had little cloice but to lay in the center, gravity forced you that way before the night is over. So, definitely not good for two persons, unless you like to be REALLY close. Hopefully there is nothing valuable below that bed pictured, as droul and other nightly exuded fluids could make for a problem.
elbotho (author)  Goodhart2 years ago
That might really be a problem, because if it would have to be really tight so you don't end up in the middle but then its probably to hard?

But the idea of not having a mattress is still thrilling.