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How Long Do Helium Balloons Float?

The time in which a helium balloon floats for depends on a lot of factors. From size to material and attachments, to what the actual balloon is filled with, there are lots of reasons for why a balloon will float longer than another.

Given the rising variety of balloons you can get your hands on today, it’s understandable that you may be confused when wondering just exactly how long your helium balloon would last/ float for. Want to find out?

Latex Balloons

When you think of balloons, your mind will probably go straight to an image of the traditional ‘teardrop’ balloon. A popular variety of balloon, these are usually used at celebrations and promotional events and look fantastic when filled with helium!

Latex Balloons filled with Helium can float for around 12 hours dependant on size

Latex is a porous material, which means that helium will begin to seep out from the moment you fill the balloon with it- sadly, this can’t be helped. Because of this we would recommend you fill the balloons as near the time of your event as possible, so they look their best!

10 Inch latex balloons would float for approximately 8-10 hours; however, a 12-inch balloon would float for around 12. A 9 inch would float for around 8-9 hours, but don’t forget to counter in factors such as the temperature of the room in which they will be floating around.

Our helium canister kits usually include latex balloons and some even have enough helium to fill 50 9” of them! Our trade canisters hold enough helium to fill as many as 400 + balloons!

Foil and Plastic Balloons

Foil and plastic balloons, often referred to as ‘Bubble balloons’ can stay afloat for days when filled with helium. This means they can be filled up days before your event. But why do they float for longer?

The materials which these balloons are made from are Mylar for the foil and plastic for the bubble balloons. These two materials do not allow the helium to escape as quickly as other materials as they are tighter and more condensed.

Float times do vary with these balloons however due to the different sizes and many shapes. The most common foil balloon size is 18” and round- these can stay looking fresh and floating fit for around 3-5 days. For bigger shapes and other ‘unique’ shapes, they can be filled with more helium, which means they can stay floating around for weeks- sometimes even months!

Couple in a field stood with a large foil and plastic helium filled balloon spelling baby

Effects on Float Time

Essentially, the more helium you can get in a balloon, the longer it can float for. You may not necessarily think this would be the case, but it’s true!

Besides the room temperature and size of balloon, there are some other factors that may affect your balloons float time.

Anything which adds additional weight will reduce your float time; a hot air balloons net even reduces its overall flight time- every gram counts! When it comes to filling your balloons with helium, consider whether you are putting confetti inside, adding a garland or even a valve to the hole! While balloon valves are great invention and they can save time, they do add weight to your balloon.

Our trade helium canisters can fill 175+ 18” balloons and even our smaller disposable helium canisters can fill up to 170 18” balloons.

additional weight will reduce your float time; a hot air balloons net even reduces its overall flight time

Here at Adams Gas, we like to keep the party going for as long as possible – which means keeping your balloons partying alongside you. After all, what is a party without balloons?

If you would like any more information about our helium canisters and cylinders for both home use and trade use, simply get in touch with our helpful team of experts who will be more than happy to help you.