Balloon Types You Need To Know About


Balloons come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Despite their seemingly endless selection to choose from, there are only a few different types of balloons used in the balloon industry.

Three of the most common balloon types include latex balloons, Mylar or foil balloons, and plastic balloons. While each of these balloons is similar, they are also very different for uses and application.

There are other types of balloons for specific applications but we are going to focus on the three most used balloons in parties and decorating. While each of these balloons is similar in that they are all balloons they are also used very differently. Let us take a look.

Latex Balloons

Latex balloons are made from rubber from a rubber tree. A high-quality latex brand will use only 100% biodegradable latex, they won’t use any fillers or substitutes in the manufacturing process to ensure the best helium retention. Latex balloons come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors. You can get latex balloons as small as 5” or as big as 5’, maybe even bigger.

Latex balloons can be filled with air or helium depending on what you need. When filled with helium a latex balloon must be 9” or bigger to float. Although keep in mind a 9” balloon may not float for very long. A typical size latex balloon is about 11” or 12” depending on the manufacturer.

160, 260 or Entertainer Balloons

Sometimes you will see long skinny latex balloons referred to as a 160 or a 260. These are also oftentimes called entertainer balloons or modeling balloons. They are most typically used to be twisted into animals or beautiful hats or a sword. To better understand these numbers let us look at why they name the balloons this. The first number refers to the diameter of the balloon fully inflated and the second number refers to the length of the balloon fully inflated. For example, a 260, would be 2” diameter and 60” long when fully inflated.

Mylar Or Foil Balloons

Mylar or foil balloons are mylar coated with a metallic finish and come in either solid colors or printed designs. Mylar balloons come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colors, and prints. You can get Mylar or foil balloons as small as 5” or as big as 5’, maybe even bigger. Foil balloons can be filled with air or helium depending on size. When filled with helium a foil balloon must be 18” or bigger to float. It takes more helium to make a foil balloon float than it does a latex balloon.

Plastic Balloons

Cloud Buster Balloon
Bubble Balloon

Plastic balloons, which include Bubble Balloons and Cloud Busters, are made of stretchy clear plastic and are shaped like a big ball. Bubble balloons come in 20” – 24” and a variety of different colors and printed designs. Bubble balloons can be filled with air or helium. Cloud Busters are better for outdoor use because they allow for more expansion due to hot weather and they are puncture resistant. 

Some other posts you might enjoy are Parts of A Balloon, How To Tie A Balloon, and How To Tie A Ribbon And Balloon.

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