Lanyards That Will Make Your Face Mask Last Longer

An infectious disease doctor explains how lanyards may keep your face mask clean and in better condition, plus where to snag one.
Lanyards for masks, like this adjustable one from Amazon, might help maintain the integrity of your mask and make it easier to access.
Lanyards for masks, like this adjustable one from Amazon, might help maintain the integrity of your mask and make it easier to access.

The new omicron variant brought about higher rates of infection, pauses on in-person learning and proof that COVID-19 most certainly won’t be going anywhere ― at least not anytime soon. Inevitably, this also means that mask-wearing will continue as we navigate the coming months of rising cases and ever-evolving Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Erica N. Johnson is a board-certified internal medicine and infectious disease doctor, as well as chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine Infectious Disease Board. Johnson told HuffPost that although vaccines and more treatments have placed us in a better position than 2020, face masks continue to be one of the best ways to prevent transmission of the virus.

“We know vaccines are a key component, but it’s still possible to contract the virus even with a vaccine, so masks really are one of those last layers of protection. The optimal thing would be to prevent getting COVID-19 at all,” Johnson said.

The question then becomes how we can we continue to be better about wearing our masks consistently and ensuring that they are in good enough condition to be protective in the first place?

Johnson agreed that a lanyard, specifically-designed to keep your mask around your neck, can be a great option.

“I think one of the main benefits of a mask lanyard is that it keeps your mask easily on hand to facilitate wearing it and keeping it in place. It can be really useful for children or for anyone who is in a situation where they might need to remove their mask frequently,” she said.

Johnson reminds us of the sanitary aspect in keeping your mask around your neck, rather than shoved into a pocket or purse, which, she said, can increase the risk of dropping the mask on the ground or excessive touching.

“Lanyards might also help in maintaining the integrity of your mask,”Johnson said. “Specifically surgical masks or KN95s, which are more likely be worn out quicker, particularly in areas like the nose piece which keep the mask secure.”

If you find yourself frequently forgetting your mask or like the convenience that a mask lanyard could provide, see below for some lanyard options that range from stylish to functional and above all, safe.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

A washable fabric lanyard with snap button closures
Easily toss this soft fabric mask strap into the wash for easy cleaning on its own, or even still attached to a reusable cloth mask. These herringbone fabric lanyards come in both children and adult sizes as well as 10 different colors.

Get it from RachelShopCo at Etsy for $3.49.
An easy-to-clean silicone lanyard that's also very lightweight
These non-toxic premium silicone lanyards have rave reviews on Etsy for being soft, lightweight and easy to disinfect. Plus, if you buy three, you get an additional one for free!

Get it from HelloDearSmile at Etsy for $5.99.
A dainty rose gold chain that won't clash with your outfit
This stylish 25-inch rose gold plated chain comes with two kinds of lobster claw clasps to accommodate different mask strap thicknesses, as well as silicone attachments to easily convert the chain into a neck holder for your sunglasses.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
A durable and easy breakaway lanyard for safety
Johnson told HuffPost to be mindful of any potential choking hazard for kids that a mask lanyard might present. This 14-inch breakaway lanyard made from durable polyester can easily break apart when firmly pulled to reduce any choking risk and is also offered in 14 color variations.

Get it from Amazon for $6.99.
A chic acrylic chain lanyard with tortoise shell pattern
These 24-inch acrylic chain lanyards can be as much of a fashion statement as they are useful. Choose from several different style options and tortoise shell patterns or get one for every outfit.

Get it from DearSoho at Etsy for $16+.
A personalized lanyard perfect for kids
Made by a small business in Canada, these adorable personalization lanyards with button snap claps, can make wearing a mask a little more fun for your child and might even prevent them losing it. You can choose from over 20 different fabric colors and patterns and even glitter lettering. And yes, they come in adult sizes too.

Get it from ShopStarful at Etsy for $4.10+.
A pack of 10 adjustable elastic lanyards for the whole family
These adjustable lanyards with lobster claw clasps and a sliding spring buckle are made with a natural elastic latex thread so they are stretchy, durable and secure.

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
A delicate beaded lanyard that looks more like a necklace
This delicate and lightweight 24-inch chain is made with quality glass beads and can easily be mistaken for a necklace. One review said that the lanyard was "Sturdy, easy to change from one mask to another, and makes a mask feel fun!"

Get it from LovieaShop at Etsy for $10.99.
A customizable macrame lanyard with a lot of colors to choose from
Hand-woven using soft cotton cord, this 20-inch macrame lanyard can be a good durable and everyday option for keeping masks, work badges or key rings close at hand. You can choose from 35 color options like peony and marigold, as well as several different bead finishes.

Get it from McKMacrameDesigns at Etsy for $16.75.
A DIY kit to make your own beaded lanyard
For the more DIY-savvy mask wearer, Johnson said that you can even make your own lanyard from things you can find around the house. This kit from Madewell comes with everything you need to make a multicolored beaded lanyard, including convertible sunglass holder attachments.

Get it from Madewell for $14.99.

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