What is the Difference between Grommets and Eyelets?

September 13, 2018

Grommets versus Eyelets | What's the difference

One of the most common mistakes made by users is buying an eyelet, when they mean to buy a grommet. This is an understandable mistake, because novices often use the two terms interchangeably...even though they are two completely different kinds of products, that work with two different kinds of machines. So what's the difference between grommets and eyelets? Let us help eliminate the confusion.

This chart compares the most notable differences between grommets and eyelets, so you can easily differentiate them. Below the chart we have additional information to help.

Two-Piece Set
(Grommet & Washer)
Single Piece
Many Colors Available
(Nickel, Brass, Satin Brass, Antique Grass, Black Oxide, Gun Metal, Copper Oxide, White)
1 Color Available
Many Sizes Available
(1/8" to 1 ½" Holes)
1 Size Available
(3/16" Hole)
Set with a Grommet Press MachineSet with an Eyelet Press
Used in print and sign shops, the fashion and design industry, for home goods (like curtains), and moreUsed in crafting and thin-stacks of paper binding

Some refer to grommets as “eyelets”, but as you can see from the chart above, this is not accurate. They use different machines to press / bind them, they have a different configuration, they work a different way, they are vastly different in size, and they are used for vary different applications.

Here are some more details about the differences...

Eyelets are one piece of material such as brass or metal that is t-shaped and punched through the material. It is then compressed to make sure it stays in place. Eyelets are often used in cases where a smaller answer is needed such as scrapbooking, crafting, clothing and even in shoes for shoelaces.

Grommets on the other hand are made up of two pieces; a grommet and a washer. For example, two metal rings are placed on either side of the material (think canvas, vinyl, corrugated plastic, etc.) and then compressed to form a more durable grommet. Grommets are much stronger than eyelets and used in situations that call for a more reinforced and longer lasting hold, such as permanent signage and heavy curtains or drapes.

Ready to shop?
Buy Grommets HereBuy Eyelets Here

Mallory Morsa, Binding101 Product ExpertAbout the Author • Mallory Morsa is the product expert and content specialist at Binding101, and has been a valued team member since 2008. She started her career here in customer service, moved onto sales supervisor, product management, and then onto content. She takes a hands-on approach to products, and truly gets to know how every item works before she writes about them, with a goal to give you all of the honest information you need to make a confident buying decision. She has a bachelor's degree with a focus on management and marketing, and has been a writer, photographer, and videographer for many years. In her free time, she loves to read by the pool, volunteer at the local animal shelter in the kitten nursery, and snuggle her three furbabies while she binge watches Netflix.

Posted in: Grommets 101