Helium balloons slowly start to deflate as soon as they’re blown up, so most people will wait a few hours before their party begins before inflating them. Knowing how long helium balloons last can be very useful if you want to plan ahead. The lifespan of a balloon is determined by its size and material type. For example, foil balloons usually last longer than those made from latex; however, there are ways to increase their lifespan.
In this post, we will explain how long helium balloons last, plus answer other questions relating to different types of balloons, so that you can plan your perfect birthday party.
How Long Do Helium Balloons Last?
Factors influencing how long helium balloons last include the size of the balloon, the material, the shape, the quality, the temperature, and whether the balloon is treated with Hi-Float.
Smaller latex balloons can last about 8 to 12 hours, while larger latex balloons can last up to 2-3 days and much longer if treated with Hi-Float. Foil (mylar) balloons will generally last 3-5 days.
Let’s look more closely at the factors affecting how long your helium balloon will last:
The material affects how long balloons last. Foil ones seem to last longer than latex ones, as natural latex has tiny pores that release the helium gradually, deflating it over time. Foil balloons have an average life span of 3-5 days to a few weeks with the proper care.
Balloon float times vary from brand to brand, as some heavy-duty type of balloons are designed to hold better and last longer. Since it can be challenging to determine whether the balloons will last as expected, it is best to inflate them just a few hours before the event or use Hi-Float to enhance their lifespan.
3. Size of Balloons
How long helium balloons last also depends on the size of the balloons. A standard 12-inch balloon will last between 8 to 12 hours. But latex ones with hi-float can last two to four times as long, stretching to a couple of days.
An 18-inch round balloon can last between 18 to 24 hours, while size 24-inch latex balloons can stretch to 48 hours. Larger balloons over 36 inches can last 2 to 3 days. For all types of latex balloons, adding hi-float increases their chances of lasting longer by up to four times.
Too warm or too cold temperatures can make helium balloons shrivel and drop to the floor.
Helium is less dense than air. At room temperature, the helium molecules in the balloon are spread out and move about freely. If the temperature drops, the helium becomes denser and moves closer together. As the helium molecules contract rather than push outward to the surface of the balloon, the balloon shrivels. With the helium no longer being less dense than air, the balloon will sink to the ground.
Despite this, the balloon still contains the same amount of helium and has not leaked out. The solution is to move it to a warmer place. When the balloon is moved to a warmer location, its helium molecules get an energy boost, loosen up, move away from each other, and expand. The balloon then fills out and floats again.
If the temperature is too hot, the molecules will expand, and your balloon could pop.
When using latex balloons, it is recommended to treat the balloons with a Hi-float product before inflating them with helium. The hi-float will form a gel coating on the inside of the balloon, preventing the helium from leaking through the tiny pores in the latex.
Make Helium Balloons Float Longer
- 5.0 Fl Oz
- Treats twenty extra large balloons
- It makes latex balloons float up to 4 times longer
- Not for use on mylar (foil) balloons
If you need to inflate your balloons the day before the event and want to ensure that they don’t deflate overnight, it’s best to choose foil over latex. If you have to choose latex, choose a bigger balloon, as the more helium a balloon has, and the rounder it is, the longer it will last.
Using hi-float will also assist in keeping the balloons inflated for longer.
Lastly, try to keep the balloons at room temperature indoors and out of the direct heat of the sun.
In summary, here are the biggest factors affecting how long helium balloons last:
- The size of the ballon.
- The material of the balloon.
- Balloon quality.
- Whether the ballon has Hi-float treatment. Hi-float extends the lifespan of helium balloons.
- Balloon design and shape- round ones last longer.
How long do mylar helium balloons last?
Mylar balloons hold helium for 3 to 5 days in optimum environments. They can stretch their float for up to two weeks or longer, especially if they are in a warmer environment. In air-conditioned environments, mylar balloons with helium may shrivel but get back to shape once exposed to warmer air.
How long do foil helium balloons last?
Foil helium balloons can last 3-5 days to a few weeks, depending on the size, quality of the seal, and weather conditions. If they are filled well, they can last a minimum of 3 days for the smaller ones and from one week for bigger ones.
How long do latex helium balloons last?
Latex helium balloons last between 8 to 12 hours. This is because the natural latex used to make these balloons has tiny pores that release the helium gas over time. This is why filling latex balloons a few hours before the event is advisable, as they are prone to deflating if done earlier. Alternatively, you can treat the balloons with Hi-Float before inflating, which will trap the helium for longer.
How long do helium balloons last with hi-float?
Helium balloons last two to four times longer with hi-float. The hi-float treatment enhances the balloon quality seal keeping them up for longer. Hi-float comprises a solution of plastic dissolved in water that creates a coating inside the balloons to reduce helium loss. People using hi-float have commented that their latex balloons lasted up to 18 days.
Watch this video to see how to use Hi-Float properly:
What is hi-float for balloons?
Hi-float is a type of treatment used in balloons to increase their life and keep them afloat for longer. The treatment comes as a solution of plastic dissolved in water. This solution creates an additional barrier inside the balloons, preventing helium escape or loss. You only need to coat the inside of each balloon with a small amount of the gel before inflating it with helium for the best results.
What can I use instead of hi-float?
You can use hairspray or Elmer’s glue as alternative ideas for hi-float. Simply spray the outside of an inflated latex balloon with hairspray to prevent helium loss and extend their float time. It does not have as much effect as hi-float, but it does make a difference in latex balloons.
Watch the video below to see how long balloons last with these alternatives:
Helium Balloons – Temperature & Weather
Helium is highly sensitive to weather, specifically temperature changes. Cold air causes the helium in the balloon to shrink, while warm air causes it to expand, increasing the chances of the balloon bursting. This is why you must consider the weather factor while using helium balloons.
How long do helium balloons last outside?
Helium balloons can last a few hours outside; however, they are prone to bursting or shrinking depending on the temperature. For example, if exposed to cold temperatures, the helium in the balloon will shrink, reducing the size of the balloon significantly. On the same note, if it is too hot, the warm air will cause the helium to expand, increasing the risk of the balloons bursting.
How long do helium balloons last inside?
Helium balloons can last a couple of days to weeks indoors, as long as there are constant conditions indoors. If the air conditioner is on and it gets too cold, the balloons will shrink and might not last long. The balloons may expand and burst if heating systems are on and the indoor environment gets too warm.
How long do helium balloons last in hot temperatures?
Helium balloons last about a day in hot temperatures. If they are not directly exposed to the sun or extreme heat, they can hold up 8-12 Hours. If they’re kept outside in direct heat, they can burst immediately or in a few hours, depending on how high the temperature is and how fully the balloons are inflated.
How long do helium balloons last in cold weather?
Helium balloons can last 5 days to weeks in cold weather; however, they will reduce in size the more they are exposed to extreme cold. When exposed to cool environments for long periods, the helium molecules in the balloon shrink and move closer together, reducing the size of the balloon significantly.
Is it OK to leave helium balloons in a cold car?
You can leave helium balloons in a cold car, but they will most likely reduce in size. This is due to the shrinkage of helium molecules resulting from the temperature drop. The good news is that you should not worry about them deflating as they will return in size once exposed to warm air.
Can I leave helium balloons in a cold car overnight?
It is advisable not to leave helium-filled balloons in a cold car overnight, as the extreme temperature drop can cause them to go down significantly. But, with warmer conditions, the helium molecules inside the balloon expand, getting the balloons back to their initial size.
At what temperature do helium balloons deflate?
Helium balloons deflate at temperatures between 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, helium molecules start to shrink in size and pull close together, resulting in a reduction in the balloon size.
What temperature is best for helium balloons?
Room temperature is best for helium balloons; that is between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, helium molecules remain stable and can hold the balloon in shape. If the temperature is too high, the balloons might burst, and if it goes down significantly, the balloons may shrink.
How To Make Helium Balloons Last Longer
1. Use Foil or Heavy Latex Balloons
Foil helium balloons and heavy latex ones come in durable materials (SemperTex, TufTex, or QualiTex) and have a longer life in comparison with ordinary balloons as long as they are well-filled and tightly sealed.
2. Use Hi-Float
Hi-float is a liquid material that you can use inside balloons to extend their life. It acts as a layer inside the balloon that seals pores in natural latex balloons, preventing helium loss or escape.
3. Avoid Direct Sunlight
Exposing balloons to direct sunlight results in the helium gas expanding beyond the size of the balloon, causing them to burst.
4. Avoid Extreme Cold
In colder temperatures, the helium molecules will contract, making the balloons shrink.
5. Seal Effectively
A quality seal after inflating the balloons will increase their floating life significantly. Ensure you close the inflating vent properly to keep the helium gas contained for a long time.
6. Apply Hairspray
Applying hairspray on inflated balloons helps to create an extra barrier on the balloons, further preventing helium loss.
7. Keep away from pets.
Keep inflated balloons away from pets, as they may think they’re fun toys to play with.
8. Use 60/40 Mix
Using mixed gas with 60 parts helium and 40 parts oxygen can help increase the floating life of balloons.
How to keep helium balloons from deflating?
The best way to keep helium balloons from deflating is by using Hi-Float. This liquid material is designed to increase the balloon’s life by creating an additional barrier inside the balloon, preventing helium loss.
How do you keep balloons inflated for weeks?
You can keep balloons inflated for weeks by keeping them away from high-heat areas as well as cooler conditions. To increase their float time, add Hi-Float before inflating the balloons. Ensure the seal is tight to prevent helium loss from the inflating holes.
Does hairspray make balloons last longer?
Hairspray helps to make balloons last a few hours longer by creating a thin layer of protection outside the ballon. This helps to prevent the loss of helium from the balloon by sealing the pores, especially in latex helium balloons.
Related Helium Balloon Questions
How do you make helium balloons float again?
You could make helium balloons float again by taking them to a warmer place if they were exposed to a cold environment. The helium inside the balloon will expand, returning it to its initial state. But be careful not to expose the balloons to extremely hot conditions are they risk bursting from the excessive expansion from heat.
Can you fill helium balloons the night before?
You can fill helium balloons the night before as long as you keep them at room temperature to maintain their size. Also, if you use hi-float, the balloons will last much longer. Ensure the seal is tight to prevent helium loss from the inflating holes.
How far do helium-inflated balloons fly?
Helium balloons fly as high as the height that matches the helium weight in the balloon. This is approximately a height of 20 miles above the earth’s surface.
How long does a balloon arch last with no helium?
A balloon arch can last between 2 to 5 days, depending on the quality of the seal, balloon material, and environmental factors. If the weather is cloudy and cold, the party balloons may shrink in size in a few hours, and if it is hot and the arch is overexposed, they may burst.