How Many Balloons Do You Need To Take Flight


Balloons floating away

I have been in the balloon industry for a long time, one question that I get asked a lot when I mention balloons is, how many balloons would it take to lift a person? At first, I wasn’t sure how to answer so I decided to do some math and figure it out. Let’s take a look at how many helium balloons it takes to lift the average person. According to Livescience.com, the average body mass, globally, is 136 pounds (62 kilograms.)

You will need 6,400 standard 11″ balloons to lift the average person of 136 pounds or 62 kilograms. If you are using 12″ balloons, you will need 5,181 balloons to lift the average person of 136 pounds or 62 kilograms.

Check out the chart below for information on how many balloons to lift other weights assuming each balloon lifts the amount each individual balloon can lift.

This post is for informational purposes only. Fun With Balloons does not recommend, suggest or endorse the use of balloons to lift a person or the release of balloons. PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE BALLOONS.

How Many Helium Filled Balloons To Lift The Average Person

How many balloons to lift a girl?

The Average Lift Of A Balloon

Balloons come in many different sizes and shapes. A standard size balloon is an 11″ balloon and some balloon brands use a 12″ balloon as their standard size. Let us take a look at how much volume a standard balloon has and how much a standard balloon can lift.

A standard 11″ balloon can hold about 0.5 cu. ft. of helium and can lift about 0.34 ounces or 9.67 grams. A standard 12″ balloon can hold about 0.6 cu. ft. of helium and can lift about 0.42 ounces or 11.9 grams.

In the chart below, I will show both 11″ and 12″ size balloons for various weights of a person, in case you are like me and not so average.

Weight (lbs)Weight (kg)11″ Balloons12″ Balloons
90414,3203,510
100454,8003,900
110505,2804,290
120545,7604,680
130596,2405,070
140646,7205,460
150687,2005,850
160737,6806,240
170778,1606,630
180828,6407,020
190869,1207,410
200919,6007,800
2109510,0808,190
22010010,5608,580
23010411,0408,970
Chart showing weights and how many balloons to lift a person

These numbers are based on math and the lift of each individual balloon listed above. These numbers have not actually been tested or verified in a real life situation.

What About Other Size Balloons

As mentioned above, balloons come in many different sizes and shapes. From the smallest of round balloons at 5″ to as big at 5′, with specialized balloons being even bigger than 5′. For more information about the different types of balloons, check out my post Balloon Types here.

So what if we used bigger than the standard 11″ or 12″ balloon size to lift the average person. How many balloons would we need to lift a person with large balloons?

It would take 1,814 16″ balloons, 1,209 18″ balloons, 544 24″ balloons, or 182 36″ balloons to lift the average person of 136 pounds (62 kilograms).

Check out the chart below which includes various weights to figure out how many balloons you would need to lift a person of different weights.

Weight (lbs)Weight (kg)16″ Balloons18″ Balloons24″ Balloons36″ Balloons
90411,260810360180
100451,400900400200
110501,540990440220
120541,6801,080480240
130591,8201,170520260
140641,9601,260560280
150682,1001,350600300
160732,2401,440640320
170772,3801,530680340
180822,5201,620720360
190862,6601,710760380
200912,8001,800800400
210952,9401,890840420
2201003,0801,980880440
2301043,2202,070920460
Chart showing how many large balloons to lift a person

How Much Helium To Lift One Pound

Let’s say you wanted to lift something significantly lighter than the average person. Let’s say you wanted to lift one pound. How much helium would you need to lift one pound?

You need 24 cu. ft. of helium to lift 1 pound or 0.45 kilograms.

How many standard-sized balloons would you need to lift one pound?

You will need 48 standard 11″ balloons to lift 1 pound or 0.45 kilograms. You will need 39 standard 12″ balloons to lift 1 pound or 0.45 kilograms.

How Much Helium To Lift The Average Person

Helium on the Periodic Table

Ok so now that we know how many balloons it would take to lift the average person, how much helium would you need to lift the average person?

You will need 3,264 cubic feet of helium to lift the average person of 136 pounds or 62 kilograms.

Check out the chart below which includes various weights to figure out how much helium you would need to lift a person of different weights.

Weight (lbs)Weight (kg)Helium (cu. ft.)
90412,160
100452,400
110502,640
120542,880
130593,120
140643,360
150683,600
160733,840
170774,080
180824,320
190864,560
200914,800
210955,040
2201005,280
2301045,520
Chart showing how much helium needed to lift different weights

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