How Long Do Balloons Stay Inflated

Balloons are, in their own right, the centerpiece of any celebratory occasion. It is the main visual when you make balloon arches. They are easy to set up and inflate, either by blowing air into them with your mouth or utilizing an air pump for balloons and a balloon blower to air them up. So either natural air or helium will suffice. However, air and helium produce different results. Helium will make your balloons floatable, but your balloons will only stay inflated for a few hours. Whereas air can stay in for weeks.

So if you want to prepare for whatever celebration beforehand, the best option is air, as opposed to helium.

  • Foil balloons are superior to latex balloons, in that, it will stay inflated for weeks, compared to latex which will only give you the benefit of a few hours.

#1 Two Main Types Of Balloons

  • This one is made out of a substance called Mylar – a more versatile plastic consisting of polyester polyethylene, keeping air or helium locked in for longer.
  • Because they are so permeable, air and helium escape faster than the foil balloons.

#2 Which Is Best Air or Helium

  • This is a very dense element. As such, depending on the type of balloon, how long the air stays trapped will be dictated by its material makeup.
  • The elements that cause balloons to float are helium, which has smaller molecules than air, as such, allow the air to escape faster, causing the balloons to deflate more rapidly.

#3 Variables In Flatable Time

There are many factors that come into play to keep your balloons inflated for longer. For example, the size and quality of the balloon will also be a deciding factor for how long they stay full and pumped. A 12-inch latex balloon will stay full for about 7 to 10 hours depending on the environment, indoors or outdoors.

Foil balloons can last anywhere from 30 hours to a couple of weeks, depending on size and quality. As you can see both types of balloons, foil & latex has there strong and weak points. What it comes down to is your unique situation and the different elements you expose them to.

With foil balloons, you simply fill them with air or helium and you have the benefit of them staying inflated for up to a couple of weeks. However, with latex balloons, you need to prime it beforehand to prevent helium from escaping, and also to get a longer inflated and floatable lifespan out of it.

What you would do is you would coat the inside with a material called Hi-Float before you fill it with helium. Another option is you can buy higher quality latex balloons to offset the difference. For hot and humid days, opt for bigger ones and don’t under inflate them, tie a tight knot, and you’re good to go for another day or two. So how long do balloons stay inflated, well, it’s situational, meaning hot or cold weather, size of balloons, quality, air or helium.


Balloons are an exciting visual element of any occasion. To reap the full benefit of it, get quality ones and keep your timing right before inflating them with air or helium, you don’t want saggy decorations ruining the look and feel of your celebrations.