Best Cell Phone Lanyards

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

47 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
703 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cell phone lanyards

Last Updated September 2020

A misplaced or dropped cell phone presents all kinds of problems. It’s likely your only line out into the world and the main one that connects you through social media, email, and actual phone calls. What’s more, your cell is likely to house private information, such as data, pictures, and contacts, while often cell phone cases are used to hold ID, credit cards, or money.

That’s why keeping your phone tethered to you can be vital. A cell phone lanyard attaches to you (usually around your neck), and your phone hangs on your chest, not only providing safety and peace of mind, but also ease of access. A cell phone lanyard allows you to quickly grab your phone when you need to take a picture of an indelible moment or respond to someone contacting you.

Cell phone lanyards are useful at large events or when exploring nature, providing both convenient access and some protection against the elements and potential loss or theft. Our guide will help you discern what to look for when shopping around and which is best for you.

Cell phone lanyards are meant to create more convenience and comfort in life, but it depends on your lifestyle. They’re inexpensive, so they’re worth a try, but they may not be for everyone.

Key considerations

Types of lanyards

Simple string: The most basic lanyard is simply a retractable string that wraps around your neck and connects to the end of your phone, much like an office ID badge. This offers convenience due to the variable length but may not be the most secure or durable. Heavier phones may be uncomfortable to carry for long periods.

Silicone meshing: This flexible design features stretchy silicone that wraps around your cell phone like a web meshing, holding it in place. As the material can stretch and retract, it fits most devices. However, the design may interfere with some cameras or buttons. The meshing features a clip or hook on one end where the tether connects and sometimes another hook or clip on the back of the phone.

Pouch: This design protects your phone from dirt, dust, and water while still allowing you to use it. Your phone is placed in a clear tight pouch which gives you access to the screen. The outer edge of the pouch has a sturdy frame where a tether is attached. Ideally this design offers both protection and convenience, but the material may not be the most durable, wearing down over time.

Leash: Some lanyards attach to your phone with a tether that takes more time and effort to both connect and remove. Some designs may require you to affix a button to the back of the phone which connects to the leash. Others have you weave the tether through your phone case. Either way, these leash options are more involved and depend on the user, not necessarily the design, to keep the phone tethered.

Connection

The way your phone connects to the lanyard varies. Some are attached with metal hooks while others use buckles, both of which are among the more secure options. Some simpler lanyards require the user to tie a string around a case, which is less stable. If you don’t have a case, some options may not be available.

Usage

It’s important to think about the potential situations you may be in where you can use a cell phone lanyard. Because there is no one specific function of the lanyard, the user can make it work for their lifestyle. If you’re outdoors, you may want something to protect you from the elements. If you’re in a crowd, you may want a lanyard that has a durable and strong strap. If you’re moving around a lot, you want a retractable length for your lanyard.

Camera

The quality and placement of your camera may dictate the lanyard you buy, as some may cover the lens or distort the picture. Most lanyards are designed with different styles of phones in mind, but that doesn’t mean yours won’t be an outlier. What’s more, while a pouch allows you to use your phone seamlessly while it’s inside, the picture quality is inevitably of lesser quality because of the clear coating over the top of it. The extent to which the picture is distorted varies. If your phone has a terrific camera, you may not want to cover it up.

Side buttons

Most phones have their lock button and volume controls on the side. Some lanyards may block these and prevent their use. Similar to the previous consideration, if you can’t use your phone how you normally use it, then the lanyard is making life less convenient. Even those frames or cases that claim you can still use buttons may not be as easy to use as advertised.

EXPERT TIP

To see if your brand new cell phone pouch is indeed waterproof, put a piece of paper inside and submerge it in water. You’ll quickly know if it works!


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Retractable length

Some lanyards have a fixed length, which may be useful in some situations but can often be inconvenient if you’re regularly using your cell phone while it’s attached to you. A retractable lanyard allows you to change the length to make it work for you. It can be tighter if you’re in large crowds or longer if you want to take selfies while still keeping the phone attached to your body. What’s more, a variable length lanyard allows you to hook it to different parts of your body like your wrist or arm and use with ease.

Colors

Just like phone cases, cell phone lanyards are made in a variety of colors. Because of how easy and inexpensive lanyards are to make, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find a color that matches your mood and style. You may be able to find a pack of several lanyards in different colors.

Designs and themes

While most lanyards come in various solid colors, others feature patterns, designs, and specific themes. Some silicone mesh lanyards feature a solid patch on the back of your phone, which is an opportunity to get creative. Some feature cute and clever phrases; others are patriotic and proud.

EXPERT TIP

While your phone may be able to take pictures underwater from within a pouch, quality depends on the camera, the pouch, and the water.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Portable charger: Anker PowerCore Portable Charger
Your phone isn’t useful if your battery dies. If you’re out on an adventure, a portable charger can keep it powered all day. We especially like this fast, versatile charger from Anker.

Screen protector: amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Depending on the type of lanyard you purchase, your screen may still be vulnerable, especially if you’re moving around a lot in crowded or outdoor spaces. Make sure your screen is protected from the elements — we recommended this one from amFilm.

EXPERT TIP

Most cell phone lanyards don’t need cell phones to be useful. You can use them to hold money, ID, or keys as well.


Staff  | BestReviews

Cell phone lanyard prices

Inexpensive: For up to $8, you can find simple string or silicone mesh lanyards. These may come in packs and various colors but focus more on convenience than protection or durability.

Mid-range: Between $8 and $12, you can find lanyards and pouches that offer a bit more protection for your device. These likely fit most phone sizes and may feature more durable straps.

Expensive: For between $12 and $20, a cell phone lanyard should come with metal hooks or buckles for the most protection and feature maximum durability, as well as pouches that are waterproof and dustproof.

Tips

  • Double check waterproof claims. It’s always recommended to test out any claims of waterproofing before you use a pouch on your phone.
  • Consider your phone case. Because the lanyard is not a substitute for a case, you can still use your phone in its case alongside a lanyard. Just make sure you consider that size when shopping around.
  • Shorter lanyards are better when active. It seems convenient to have your phone around your neck or chest when working out but remember that it jostles around when you’re moving. Shorten your lanyard or attach the phone your wrist or arm to avoid this annoyance.
  • Cover your phone in crowds. The lanyard offers some security but when possible, it’s worth putting your phone under jackets or clothes. Advertising your phone in the open may attract unwanted attention.
Some people worry a lot about dropping their phone — it may take time to trust a lanyard when your prized possession is suspended in the air.

FAQ

Q. Are lanyards theft-proof?
A.
Cell phone lanyards provide more safety than if your phone was in your pocket, especially among crowds, but you should always exercise caution. Some lanyards may be ripped or untethered with a swift yank.
 

Q. Will it fit my phone?
A.
Makers usually list the types of phones that fit on the lanyard, but the user may have to do some legwork. Older products may not be up to date on the sizes of newer phone models. If your phone isn’t listed, check the sizes of phones that are approved against the size of your phone, and make a judgment call. Those lanyards that stretch should accommodate most phones.
 

Q. How long is the lanyard?
A.
Many consumers wonder how far down the phone will hang when strung around their neck. If the lanyard is a fixed length, this varies from person to person, depending on their height and neck size. Some lanyards may hang much higher or lower than others. If you’re unsure of the length, find a lanyard that has an adjustable strap.

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