Why you should choose a retractable lanyard


When looking for a lanyard, you may be faced with multiple options for design, material, attachments, and clips. There is now such a wide array of choices when it comes to lanyards, you may be overwhelmed and not know what it is that you actually need.

In this blog, we focus on retractable lanyards, why they are so popular and why they should be on your shopping list!

What is a retractable lanyard?

A retractable lanyard is simply a retractable pass holder or badge reel that has been sewn into the material of a lanyard to make it an integral part of the product.

Why are they so popular?

Badge reels are one of the most popular attachments for lanyards, so it makes sense that instead of purchasing a lanyard and badge reel as separate products, customers can purchase an all-in-one solution.

This type of lanyard is popular for several reasons. They are the perfect accessory to carry badges, access cards and forms of identification. If you are a business or organisation that needs a level of security for your property or premises, then they are the ideal answer.

The badge reel has a clip which can attach to a card holder or a set of keys for example, and acts as an extension to the lanyard. The key or card is drawn from the reel by a cord to the point of access, which allows for an easy and fast entry, whether it’s an electronic ID card reader or a manual lock to any given part of a building. The cord then retracts back into the badge reel eliminating the need to remove any staff ID cards or keys, reducing the risk of loss. This secure way of dealing with identification and access can work exceedingly well, especially if you have a lot of on-site visitors.

Another reason why retractable lanyards are so popular is their price. Despite being a more expensive option than a plain lanyard or screen-printed lanyard, they are still extremely cost-effective, which makes them an attractive yet practical choice for businesses and a cheap purchase for personal use.

What are my options?

Any of the standard materials can be used in the making of a retractable lanyard, the most common options you will find are listed below:

  • Polyester 
  • Nylon 
  • Tubular 
  • Woven
  • Eco – friendly: Bamboo and recycled PET (made from plastic bottles)

Lanyards are usually a standard length of 90cm; however, you can customise the width depending on the material you choose.

Once you have chosen the material for your retractable lanyard, then you should consider design. Retractable lanyards are customisable to you, the same way any other lanyard would be. If you are a business, then you should consider how your lanyard design can play a role in effective promotion and marketing. Choose to personalise your lanyards with your brand colours and logo or choose a wider width to accommodate text. Remember to keep your text simple that can also be scaled down to the size of a lanyard while being easily read.

The next thing to consider when personalising a retractable lanyard is what you want it to hold. If you are using it for access passes or ID badges, then you will need an accompanying accessory. The two most useful ones are:

  • Clear Soft PVC Badge Holders: These are clear wallets with punched holes to accommodate both single and double ended lanyards. They come in a range of sizes, are inexpensive to buy and provide easy accessibility for security purposes. The ID can be slotted in at the top and the PVC is weatherproof.
  • Rigid Plastic ID Card Holders: These can be used for ID’s or membership cards as they are available in both portrait and landscape orientations. They are also available either open faced or enclosed and can be used for double sided ID purposes. Around the size of your credit card, they can be customised to your business or organisation, or simply bought in a range of colours. These are sturdier and less flexible than their soft PVC counterparts, so offer a durability suitable for long-term wear.

However you decide to customise your lanyards, make sure you choose a reputable company that can provide support with personalisation and design.

Retractable lanyards from Only Lanyards

Here at Only Lanyards, we offer a range of retractable reels - both a standard circular or square one, that can be customised with your logo, or carabiner types that can be attached to an existing fitting such as a split ring of metal clip. These can be added to our full range of plain or screen-printed lanyards, or if you require something a bit more special, check out our great range of designer lanyards!

Not only do we have a fantastic range of retractable lanyards and accessories, but if you cannot find what you are looking for, then you can contact us for a personalised quote on amounts and sizes, and we are happy to send you samples before you make your choice.

We also ensure that we will beat any like for like quotation, with our price match guarantee. If you find the same product cheaper elsewhere, contact us with your quote and one of our amazing team will get back to you with our price!

At Only lanyards we pride ourselves on client satisfaction and as we have such faith in our price and our suppliers if you are not completely satisfied with your product, we will give you a 100% refund.

If you want to get a price quote quickly and easily, just use our quote feature on the website, it is designed to make the process smoother for our customers. If you would prefer to discuss your lanyard needs or design in person, then please do not hesitate to give us a call and we can talk through your specific requirements. You can get in touch using the form on our website, directly by phone on 01765 233 144 or by email at