What Is a Stanchion? The Stanchion Definition Guide

Do you want to know what is a stanchion?

Whether you are at your favorite coffee house, the airport or in the museum, the chances are you will spend at least a little time in line. And there is a very good chance that this line will be made up of stanchions and ropes.

Stanchions offer many benefits to business owners. The most important benefit is increased sales. Why? Because studies show a decrease in sales by as much as 60 percent with a lack of stanchions.


Because a customer who is confused is an unhappy customer who will take their business elsewhere.

What Is a Stanchion?

Stanchion Definition
What Is a Stanchion?

Stanchions are defined as upright fixtures that provide support for other objects. Stanchions can be free-standing or permanent fixtures.

The purpose of stanchions is to guide patrons or customers, telling them things like where to line up to get tickets or where to line up to check-in. Stanchions serve as critical safety devices as they keep people orderly and organized, decreasing the chances of crowd crushes or surges.

Who Benefits From Stanchions?

Really, anyone who owns a business with a physical location can benefit from stanchions. Stanchions improve customer experience by creating a sense of calm and order in what might otherwise be a stressful situation.

Calm customers who know where they need to be are more likely to make a purchase than customers who are lost. For example, there is no way you are going to a chaotic checkout line where nobody knows where to stand or who is going next.

Stanchion Definition: Types of Stanchion

what is a stanchion types
Types of Stanchions

There are four basic types of stanchions. Take a look:

Post and Rope Stanchions

Post and rope stanchions are classic stanchions that have stood the test of time. If you have ever visited a museum or watched red carpet events on television, you have likely encountered this type of stanchion.

This type of stanchion looks just like you imagine it would. Basically, you have a rope attached to a post. When you line up several posts with rope, you create a very simple and effective way of crowd control.

Post and rope stanchions typically set on a weighted circular base that stabilizes the post. There is a ring at the top of the stanchion where the rope is attached.

Depending on the type of business you have or what you plan on doing with the stanchions, there are several styles to choose from. There are also different styles of rope you can use including velvet, Naugahyde and twisted polypropylene.

The stanchions themselves can come in a variety of finishes including brass, chrome and silver, and the top style can be shaped like a ball or an urn or it can be flat. Some are made to hold a sign.

Retractable Belt Stanchions

Retractable Belt Barrier Stanchion
Retractable Belt Barrier Stanchion

The most popular stanchion is the retractable belt barrier stanchion. Retractable belt stanchions are designed to handle all different types of crowds. These wall-mounted or free-standing stanchions come in a variety of colors and styles and will fit in almost any space.

Retractable belt stanchions are very durable and will hold up to just about anything. They have replaceable parts so that will save you money should you own your own.

Safety Stanchions

Safety stanchions are typically used to restrict access around maintenance areas, construction zones, and warehouses. This type of stanchion comes in bold and bright safety colors like yellow and orange and often comes with a sign warning of the dangers in a particular area.

Plastic Stanchions

Plastic stanchions are great for businesses on a budget. Plastic stanchions are also a good choice for outdoor use.

If you want to know what is a stanchion better, Contact Sonco Perimeter Security to learn more about the types of stanchions we stock.