1. Balloon Buying Guide
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How to buy balloons

how to buy balloons

A balloon buying guide

Balloons of varying designs, colors and materials are used for dozens of occasions, including birthday parties, theme parties, holiday parties, graduation celebrations and wedding receptions. The right balloon for an occasion helps set the tone and tie together the decor.

Buying balloons requires a bit of planning and some considerations. This guide lists several factors to take into consideration as you learn how to buy balloons.

>> Where will you use the balloons?

balloon designs

The first consideration is if you will be using the balloons indoors or outdoors. Helium is the best option for outdoor use because it resists heat and extreme cold. A photo ID is required to purchase helium. If you are using the balloons inside, balloons filled with air will probably suffice, unless you want the balloons to float above you.

Another important factor when you are learning how to buy balloons is to consider the other items in the space. Sharp objects such as rafters, tree branches, fencing and other decorations can pop balloons. The surroundings are important as you browse through different types of balloons.

The occasion for which you are buying balloons plays a factor in balloon uses. For a birthday party, choose foil-type balloon designs in an appropriate theme, as well as a mix of Mylar balloons. For a formal occasion, single-colored balloons are generally a good option. If you do use more than one color, don't use more than three.

>> Consider the material

types of balloon

As you shop for balloons, the material they are composed of is important. You want to select the right material for the use and the occasion as you learn how to buy balloons. Different types of balloons are made of different materials. Plastic balloons are the best balloons to use when children are involved. They are often made of recycled materials to maintain flexibility and can be stretched very thin without bursting.

Foil balloons are made from thin, compressed sheets of aluminum and are sometimes mixed with plastic. Some balloons are constructed from recycled materials.

Latex balloons are the most flexible and are able to withstand being pinched or rubbed against objects. This is the strongest material used for balloons.

>> Consider the different types of balloons

These essential party supplies require some thought. There are a variety of balloon styles, shapes, sizes and materials to select from. Foil-type balloons are ideal for indoor use because heat causes deflation, and depending on the season, the temperature may be cooler inside than out. Latex balloons can endure inside or outside use. Plastic and recycled material balloons are also ideal for indoor or outdoor use.

Knowing how to buy balloons, you will be able to select the right type for the occasion. Air-filled balloons are ideal for outdoor use on signage to identify where the party location is. Helium balloons serve well for any use. A jumbo balloon is another type to consider. These are great for making balloon designs, using gifts or stuffed animals in a centerpiece. Printed balloons grab the attention of the guests as well as tie in a specific theme.

>> Consider the size of the balloons

Using appropriate balloon sizes is important. If you are adding color and flair to party and occasion decorations, balloons that are too large might get in the way but they do make a statement. Selecting the appropriate size is part of learning how to buy balloons. Try to go with standard sizes, such as 11-inch latex or plastic balloons or 18-inch Mylar or foil balloons.

The balloon comparison chart below describes different types of balloons and balloon sizes.


Best fill (helium or air)

How much to fill the balloon

Best use (indoors or outdoors)

Foil Helium .45 cubic feet for a standard 18-inch balloon Indoors
Recycled material Helium or air Depending on size, a standard amount of 0.4 cubic feet to 0.5 cubic feet Indoors or outdoors
Latex Helium or air .5 cubic feet of helium or air for a standard 11-inch balloon Indoors or outdoors
Plastic Air Depending on size, between 0.3 and 0.5 cubic feet Outdoors

>> Consider safety issues

When safety is a concern, there are a few things to consider as you learn how to buy balloons. One of the most serious considerations is balloons constructed of latex. Many people are allergic to latex. If you are unsure about the possibility of this allergy, select a different type of balloon to achieve similar visual effects.

When children are concerned, safety is of the utmost importance. Proper adult supervision when children are playing with the balloons is crucial to prevent accidental choking. Balloons can burst if they are too full or squeezed too tightly; the resulting bang may startle children.

As you shop for balloons, keep the considerations mentioned here in mind. A variety of balloon designs is available for nearly any occasion. Clear balloons match any decor and make a lovely accent. Select fun themes for younger guests and appropriate color combinations for receptions and parties.

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