Float Times

How Long Will My Balloon Float For? Helium Filling and Float Times.


We are often asked about the different float times of our balloons, which is understandably confusing given the range of shapes and sizes available!

Float time depends on a number of factors including size, material and attachments and atmospheric conditions. We hope to shed some light on these aspects for some of our most popular balloons!

Latex Balloons


Here at Donna’s Cards & Party Balloons we want you to enjoy the balloons that you buy from us for your celebration. When most people think of a balloon, they usually picture the traditional ‘teardrop’ shaped latex one. Our most popular latex balloons like these include the 10 and 11 inch varieties, which are often used for promotional events and celebrations. These balloons look fantastic when filled with helium but do require some thought when using them for your event. Since latex is a porous material, helium begins to seep out from the moment the balloon is filled. We recommend inflating latex balloons with helium as close to the event as possible in order for them to look their best throughout.

As a rough guide, 10 inch balloons will float for around 8-10 hours whilst 11 inch balloons will float for around 12. However, factors such as temperature, who the balloon is manufactured by and what accessories are used will all have an impact.

We only recommend latex balloons will last for the life of your party that they are intended for. We accept no responsibility for float times beyond those specified in the details above. This information is the same for any balloon bought here or elsewhere as per manufacturers recommendations

Foil & plastic ‘bubble’ balloons

Foil and plastic ‘bubble’ balloons are long-lasting when filled with helium and stay afloat for days (sometimes weeks), so can be filled a day or so prior to an event. This is because the material they are made of (mylar for foil balloons and plastic for bubble balloons) does not allow the helium to escape as quickly as latex balloons.

Float times vary between sizes and shapes of all balloons but the most common foil size is the 18 inch round balloon, which can stay looking fresh for around 3-5 days. Foil Supershapes are larger and can be filled with more helium, meaning they will stay inflated for a week or so, albeit a little saggy to touch! Foil balloons will temporarily go down instantly in cold temperatures so we recommend that they are stored in ambient temperature before use and not in a garage of in a car where they will be cold overnight. This said the foil balloon will inflate immediately when put in a room that is of ambient temperature once you get home or to your event. Plastic balloons are less prone to inflation and deflation in cold temperatures.

What affects float time?

Besides Hi-Float, most balloon attachments will reduce float times due to the additional extra weight. For instance, a hot air balloon net may look light but it will reduce the overall float time as every gram counts! Similarly, adding tassel garlands and filling balloons with confetti will also reduce float time.

Balloon valves are a great invention, saving time (and fingers) when filling latex balloons, however they also add weight which (you guessed it) reduces float time!

If you need any assistance on float times please ask.