Picture this: It’s 8 a.m., and you’ve overslept for work. You rush around, pouring coffee, getting dressed, and brushing your teeth. Just when you’re ready to finally head out the door, you can’t find your car keys. Ugh!
We’ve all been there, and it’s in these moments of complete chaos where lanyards are real lifesavers. They’re designed to keep your most important items literally close to your heart!
What is a Lanyard?
A lanyard is a cloth necklace made from a soft material like polyester, plastic, or cotton. It has a clip or attachment at the bottom that’s designed to hold keys, ID badges, and other small items like USB drives and flashlights.
What is a Lanyard Used For?
Almost everyone has an ID or car keys they need to carry around, which makes lanyards useful across the board! They’re particularly handy, however, for the following situations:
Students and teachers are always on the go, rushing from their dorms or offices to the classroom. They need their IDs or keys in easy reach, which is why lanyards are often found in the world of academia. You’ll find lanyards sold in the bookstores, or handed out as free promotional gifts during orientation day.
It’s important for nurses and doctors to quickly access each wing in a hospital, which is why they should attach retractable badges to lanyards. There’s no fumbling around in pockets in those moments when your patients need you, stat!
The last thing you want is for some random person to walk into your office. Keep your building secure by setting up badge scanners. Your employees can then attach their access cards to lanyards and store them in their car or work bag.
Trade Shows & Conventions
Over a thousand people can be at a trade show or convention at any given time, including staff, exhibitors, and attendees. Attach name tags to complimentary lanyards, so you know who’s who at a quick glance.
The military relies on lanyards to provide a fast, easy way to access equipment. For instance, the Coast Guard attaches compasses to their lanyards so they can avoid losing them while on the water.
Gyms & Health Clubs
Do you go to the YMCA or a gym every day after work? Put your membership card on a lanyard so you can take it out of your bag and scan it when you need to hit the weights, do cardio, or take a yoga class.
Congrats – you just scored VIP passes for an upcoming concert! You have special access that other fans won’t, which is why it’s important to wear that pass around your neck on a lanyard. Security personnel and roadies may also wear lanyards as proof that they belong backstage.
Referees and coaches often wear whistles on lanyards around their necks. It’s a fast way to stop the action on the field or court if they need to make a play call or give out a penalty.
Whether it’s at a community pool or water park, it’s important for every lifeguard on duty to wear a lanyard with an attached whistle. If there’s room, it also doesn’t hurt to also attach a little bottle of sunscreen on the end.
Buying a new car is a big deal, and your dealership should go the extra mile to win over customers. Hand over their new keys attached to a lanyard, so they can drive off in style!
What Can You Attach to a Lanyard?
A lanyard is designed for the little, lightweight items that you want to have within arm’s reach. This may include any of the following:
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Cell phones
- Lip balm
- Ballpoint pens or Sharpies
- USB flash drives
It’s easy to keep your house and car keys nearby if they’re attached to a lanyard. Please note: Experts recommend removing your car keys from the lanyard before you start driving as it’s less of a safety risk.
Your driver’s license, student ID, or work badge should always be easy to access. Hook it onto a lanyard, and you can worry less about it falling out of your bag or pocket.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks were required in public areas. Some people attached them to lanyards so they could easily take them on and off during the day.
Ugh! It’s taking you forever to find your credit card since it’s buried in your backpack. A wearable neck wallet is a better solution, especially if you’re going on a shopping spree, or navigating a busy airport to go on a vacation.
Are you going hiking or camping? Wear a keychain flashlight on a lanyard for your nighttime walks. It’s the best way to stay safe on the trails and will also come in handy later for ghost stories by the campfire!
Lifeguards, coaches, police officers, and many others wear whistles around their necks while on the job. A whistle on a lanyard is also a great accessory for college students when it comes to campus safety.
People with poor eyesight seem to misplace their glasses at least once a week. Avoid that struggle by wearing your specs on a lanyard. This also works for sunglasses!
Some lanyards are strong enough to hold cell phones. Store your device in the little plastic pouch, and you can take it out quickly for social media updates, texts, and pictures!
It seems like your lips dry out faster in extremely hot or cold weather. Be sure to never forget your lip balm at home by keeping it hooked onto your favorite lanyard.
Ballpoint Pens or Sharpies
If you have a long day of writing ahead of you, it doesn’t hurt to secure a ballpoint pen or Sharpie to your lanyard. All you have to do is grab it from around your neck, remove the cap, and you’re good to go!
USB Flash Drives
Did you spend all day working on an essay? Save your work on a USB drive. By keeping the flash drive on a lanyard, you won’t have to worry about forgetting it at home.
What Are the Different Types of Lanyards?
It may seem like it’s one-size-fits-all when it comes to lanyards, but surprisingly, there are many styles you can choose from. The different types of lanyards include:
- Breakaway lanyards
- Designer lanyards
- Beaded lanyards
- Double-ended lanyards
- Pocket lanyards
- Tubular lanyards
- Full color lanyards
- Woven lanyards
A breakaway lanyard is the most common type of lanyard. It has a little buckle at the top that you can latch and unlatch if you don’t want to slide the lanyard over your head.
Designers like Kate Spade, Prada, and Gucci have taken lanyards from everyday wear to bona fide fashion statements! You can find a variety of trendy lanyards that match your style.
You’ll feel like you’re wearing a piece of jewelry if you go with a beaded lanyard. It’s made from metal instead of fabric, which may be more comfortable for prolonged use.
Let’s say you want to clip both your ID and a pen to your lanyard. A double-ended design has two hooks, giving you more room for everything you need.
Most lanyards are worn around the neck, but you can also find some that hook onto your belt loop with the help of a carabiner. You can then tuck your ID or keys into your pocket. These lanyards are a lot smaller and less noticeable than regular ones.
Tubular lanyards look like shoelaces around your neck. They are typically thinner in design and more lightweight than other lanyards. This makes them extremely comfortable to wear all day.
Full Color Lanyards
Wear a rainbow by shopping for full color or sublimated lanyards. You can use as many ink colors as you want in the printed design without having to pay any extra for additional colors.
For woven lanyards, the custom text or images are embroidered into the fabric instead of printed with ink. This makes the design last for an insanely long time!
What Are the Different Lanyard Clips?
A lanyard is just a cloth necklace without the attachment on the end. There are many different clips, rings, and hooks that come with the lanyard, shown in full detail in the infographic below!
Lanyard clip types:
- Bulldog Clip – A metal clip that grips onto an item via grooved “teeth”
- Crocodile Clip – A longer version of a bulldog clip with “teeth” that bite down on the object
- Swivel Clip – A thin wire clip that typically rotates 360 degrees
- O-Shaped Ring – A basic, round keychain attachment
- D-Shaped Ring – A basic keychain attachment, usually tucked into the lanyard at the top creating a “D” shape
- J-Hook – A thin “J” shaped clip that doesn’t rotate
- Oval Clip – A clip that is oval in shape; typically longer on the sides
- Lobster Clip – A metal clip shaped like a lobster claw; usually has a push down button to latch and unlatch
- Snap Button – A clear plastic button that snaps onto ID badges
How Do You Wear a Lanyard?
Let’s face it – lanyards can look kind of nerdy when you wear them around your neck. The good news is there are many other ways you can wear one, making it look a bit more stylish. Try any of the following!
Tuck the Lanyard in Your Pocket
Clip the Lanyard to Your Bag
Wear the Lanyard Like a Purse
Make the Lanyard a Belt
Turn the Lanyard Into a Bracelet
Wrap the Lanyard Around Your Shoelaces
Attach a Few Pins to the Lanyard
What is the Best Lanyard?
You have a ton of lanyards you can choose from, so it helps to know what is most important to look for when shopping. Take the time to search around and find a lanyard that you don’t mind using every day!
The best lanyards have the following qualities:
The lanyard shouldn’t be tight or itchy on your neck. It should be so lightweight that you barely remember that you’re wearing one.
You’re going to take your lanyard on and off throughout the day, and may even throw it into a bag. A good lanyard can withstand all that movement and won’t rip or fray easily.
The clip or hook on the end of your lanyard should be insanely strong. It shouldn’t bust or break when you hook your car keys or any other item onto it.
Why not have some fun with your lanyards? Choose a bright color, or a lanyard that’s printed with cartoon characters or movie quotes. It can be a reflection of your interests or personality!
Life is expensive, and you shouldn’t be spending your hard-earned money on lanyards. The good news is you can find one for less than $5.
What is the Purpose of a Lanyard?
Your bag or pocket can get full awfully fast, and sometimes you want the most important items in arm’s reach. That’s the purpose of a lanyard. It’s designed to give you quick access to whatever you need in the moment, whether it’s an ID badge or your car keys.
It’s definitely worth owning at least one lanyard, especially if you work in education, healthcare, or an office building. Shop around and choose one that’s less geek and more chic!
The Bottom Line
It may not be the most glamorous item on the planet, but that doesn’t mean the lanyard isn’t amazing! It’s designed for speed, efficiency, and ultimately, making your life a little bit easier.
Safety Lifting Gear. (2018, September 18). What is a Safety Lanyard? Retrieved from,
Imperial War Museums. Lanyard (White): British Army. Retrieved from,
Gonzalez, D. (2020, July 24). Face Mask Holders for Around the Neck So You Don’t Lose It. Retrieved from,
A Blog on Blogging. How to Wear a Lanyard: Top Tips for Wearing One with Style. Retrieved from,
are experts on all things printed and promotional. Let our team of awesome, incredibly good looking, and fun promo nerds help you select awesome promotional swag today!