Balloon Inflator Pump: The Ultimate Guide How To Choose, Use, And Different Types

Balloons are undoubtedly the best way to add color, style, and decorations to any celebration. Whether you are a balloon enthusiast, have a weekend balloon hobby, or just planning a celebration, you will likely find yourself in need of a balloon inflator pump.

There are so many different types of balloon inflator pumps on the market, that it may be hard to know which one is right for your specific situation. Let’s start with what is a balloon inflator pump.

Balloon Inflator Pump

What Is A Balloon Inflator Pump?

A balloon inflator pump is a handheld or electric device specifically designed for efficiently and swiftly inflating balloons, often utilized in various settings, including parties, events, and balloon decoration. A balloon inflator pump may go by many different or variations of the same names, but they all refer to the same device.

Balloon inflator pumps can work for a variety of different balloon jobs. They can make your job of inflating balloons a breeze. Balloon pumps are reusable, compact, and easy to transport.

A balloon inflator pump does not have helium. A balloon inflator pump fills balloons with air. Balloons will not float after being inflated by a balloon inflator pump.

Types Of Balloon Inflators Pumps

Just like there are several different names for a device that inflates balloons, there are also other types of balloon inflator pumps. There are two main types of balloon inflator pumps: manual balloon pumps and electric balloon pumps. Next, we will cover the different types of balloon inflator pumps.

Manual Balloon Pumps Or Manual Balloon Inflators

Manual balloon pumps are balloon inflators that are powered manually or by hand. There are two main types of manual balloon pumps: single-action balloon pumps and dual-action (or double-action) pumps.

Parts Of A Manual Balloon Pump

  • Nozzle (shown in black)
  • Base (shown in green)
  • Inner Shaft (not shown in picture)

The nozzle part of the balloon pump has ribs to prevent the neck of the balloon from slipping off the nozzle during inflation. If you need more information about the anatomy of a balloon, check out my post, Anatomy Of A Balloon. The base part of the balloon pump is a cylindrically shaped shaft that, when moved or pumped, will push air into the base of the balloon.

Manual balloon pumps work when you attach a balloon to the nozzle part of the balloon pump. Then, with one hand on the nozzle and the other on the base. Extend the balloon pump, and the air is pulled into the balloon pump, then, as you contract the balloon pump, the air is pushed into the balloon, causing it to inflate.

Single Action Balloon Pump

Single-action balloon pumps pull air in and only inflate the balloon on the contraction of the nozzle back into the base of the balloon pump.

Dual Action Balloon Pump

Dual-action balloon pumps pull air in and inflate the attached balloon on both the extension and the contraction of the balloon pump. Hence, a dual-action balloon pump is also sometimes called a double-action balloon pump. Check out my post How To Size A Balloon Using A Balloon Hand Pump.

Electric Balloon Inflator Pumps

An electric balloon pump, also known as an electric balloon inflator, is a compact device that allows balloon decorators to quickly inflate more balloons than they could with a hand pump.

Parts Of An Electric Balloon Inflator Pump

  • Nozzle(s)
  • Base
  • Cord (sometimes)

An electric balloon pump works by sucking in plain air and blowing out that same plain air through a nozzle to which a balloon can be attached, therefore inflating the balloon. An electric balloon pump can be a very effective tool for any balloon enthusiast.

An electric balloon pump is super easy to set up and use. Most electric balloon pumps or inflators work in generally the same way. The Twobiu Electric Balloon Pump (shown in the video below), which I reviewed, came with a user’s manual, caps for the inflators, and fill tip extenders for filling smaller balloons. It has an on/off switch, a plug-in cord, and a storage compartment for the cord. The balloon pump has two nozzles for filling balloons. The yellow nozzle turns on when you turn the switch on. The pink and yellow nozzles turn on when you press the pink nozzle down. This pump is very lightweight, making traveling to a job site easy and convenient. It makes a decent amount of noise when in operation, about as much as a vacuum cleaner, but that is to be expected.

To use a manual electric balloon pump/inflator, place a balloon over one or both of the nozzles and gently push the balloon(s). The balloon(s) will inflate. Stop pushing down when the balloon(s) reach the desired size. Check out my post on the parts of a balloon, here.

Which Balloon Inflator Is Right For You: Manual Vs. Electric

There are several things to consider when deciding if you should go with a manual balloon hand pump or an electric balloon inflator pump.

How Many Balloons Do You Have To Fill

In my opinion, this will be the first and most important thing to consider when determining if you should use a manual balloon pump or if you need to use an electric balloon pump. Inflating balloons with a manual balloon hand pump is going to take significantly more time and energy (in the form of elbow grease) than if you were to use an electric balloon inflator.

If you have 100 balloons or more to inflate, you might want to consider using an electric balloon inflator. Although, this might change if you have several people helping you inflate balloons. If you only have 20 balloons to inflate, you might want to use a manual balloon hand pump. This is going to be a personal decision that only you can make.


The next thing to consider is going to be the cost. A manual balloon hand pump costs significantly less than an electric balloon inflator. I have included several options for both manual and electric balloon inflator pumps below, along with links where you can check them out on Amazon. Some of these (and others) are often sold at your local Walmart or Target stores as well.

If you do choose to purchase these products through the links I have provided, I will receive a small percentage of the price at no additional cost to you. These small donations help me grow my blog so I can continue providing valuable resources for you.

*These are estimated prices at the time of writing this article. Make sure to check the links for current and up to date prices.

How Often Do You Fill Balloons

Next on our list of considerations will be how often you fill balloons. If you need to fill balloons for a one-time event, even if you needed to fill a lot of balloons, I would probably opt for the manual balloon pump and save some money. However, if you fill balloons on a regular or semi-regular basis it might make more sense to invest in an electric balloon inflator pump. Which will also save you time in the long run.


Time is often a big consideration when it comes to balloon decorating. Do you have a lot of time or very little time? Can you inflate your balloons early or will you need to inflate them all right before the event? Check out my post Everything You Need To Know About Inflating Balloons Early And Still Have Them Look Professional here. Along with the time consideration is going to be how much help you have. Do you have a thousand balloons to inflate but you have four helpers or will you be inflating them all yourself?


Another thing to consider is going to be is do you have access to electricity where you will be inflating your balloons. If the answer is yes then you could use an electric balloon inflator pump that needs to be plugged in, however, if you won’t have access to electricity then you will also need to think about that.

Balloon Sizing

This may be the least important consideration when it comes to deciding if you need to use a manual balloon pump or an electric balloon inflator pump. Balloons can be sized whether you use a manual balloon pump or an electric balloon inflator pump. To size a balloon using a manual balloon pump, check out my post How To Size A Balloon Using A Balloon Hand Pump here.

CostBalloons To FillNeeds Electricity
Manual Balloon Pumpless expensivebest for fewer balloonsno
Electric Balloon Pumpmore expensivecan be used for any amount of balloonsyes

A final note about which balloon inflator pump is right for your situation. Each one of these things will need to be thought about and taken into consideration for your specific situation. And just because one balloon inflator will be a good fit for a specific event doesn’t mean it will be the best option for the next event. You may have to walk through these considerations for the next event you might have.

Here are some other posts you might find interesting; All About Balloon Boxes – Different Types, How To Use, How To Make A Big Balloon Dog, The Proper Way To Inflate Bubble Balloons, and How Many Balloons To Lift A Person.

I hope this post brought value to your day. If it did, please consider sharing with a friend or on your favorite social media. Thanks For Reading Fun With Balloons!

Christie @ FWB

I am the creator of the blog and the YouTube channel Fun With Balloons. I will show you step by step how to make different balloon decor such as; balloon columns, tabletop decor, centerpieces, and more.

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