What do you mean?”, “I don’t know”, “I just want some normal balloons”.

Those are all answers I get when I ask customers what type of balloons they want. Of course we all know what balloons look like. Yet apart from balloon professionals and a few informed customers, not many people can tell their foil from their latex balloons.

It you are unsure what type of balloons you need our guide will help you cut through the jargon. So whether you want balloons for a party or event or just want to surprise a loved one with a balloon gift, you can make an informed decision.

Latex balloons

I still remember how giddy I was whenever someone handed me a balloon as a child. I remember blowing into it until my face grew red and my lungs ached… I remember the excitement when I could finally play with my inflated balloon.

If you’ve been given balloons in stores, party bags, or bought a pack of balloons to brighten up a party those will be latex balloons.

They are cheaper and the most popular balloon type. They will need helium to float but can also be air filled with a balloon pump and hung for decorations or handed out on cups and sticks. Find out how to use balloon sticks for best results.

When inflated with helium, latex balloons will float for 8 -12 hours, so you will need to inflate them just before your event.

You can increase the float time on latex balloons by up to 25 times with Hi-Float, a glue like material that forms a barrier coating which helps to hold in the helium and increase the floating life. Read our Hi-Float – the key to Long lasting balloon decorations to find out more about this product.


Light Up LED balloons

The right decorations are key to creating a great party atmosphere. If you’re planning a night time party, light up balloons are flashing / glow in the dark LED latex balloons, that will instantly put everyone in the right mood to celebrate.

Ballominate and illoom are some of the most popular brands of LED balloons and will add an enchanting glow to parties, weddings and other night time celebrations.

The balloons can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are child-safe and contain a tiny LED, causing them to glow or flash for hours. Simply pull the tab to activate the light, and then blow up the balloon as normal.

PS: you can also find glow in the dark balloons. Those are LED-free and can be charged over and over with sunlight.


Foil balloons

Have you ever begged your parents to buy a balloon from the “balloon man” at a fun fair or on the sea front? Those bright helium filled balloons are foil balloons. They are also called Mylar balloons in the USA.

They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. There is a huge range of plain and printed foil balloons featuring popular cartoon characters or messages for occasions. Birthdays, get well, love, thank you and much more… if you can think of an occasion, chances are you can find a balloon for it.

Because of the huge variety of models available, we use foil balloons for our Balloon in a box delivery service, but they are also popular for balloon decorations. Filled with helium they will float for about a week, sometimes much longer. See our Helium balloons: How long do they last post for more information.


Walking balloons or Airwalkers

There are occasions where it is hard to keep a straight face. Seeing a Walking pig, cow or dinosaur balloon in action is just one of those giggle inducing situations.

After years working in the balloon industry, I still smile when I see a group of walking balloons bob about on the warehouse floor.

Walking balloons are helium filled foil balloons that have slightly weighted feet. So instead of floating, they hover at floor level giving the impression of walking. I challenge anyone not to smile when they set off walking and their animal balloon follows them like a well trained pet.

PS: All walking pet balloons are house trained!


Bubble balloons

Bubble balloons are ideal on all occasions where you want to make an impact. These helium filled balloons float and are made of stretchy, see-through plastic. Bubbles inflate perfectly round and have a beach ball-like appearance, so they look good from all angles.

Filled with helium, these large balloons can float for several weeks. With their striking appearance and long floating time they are popular balloon gifts too.

They are also hypo-allergenic and ideal for hospital deliveries where many wards don’t allow patients to keep flowers.

Double bubbles feature a shaped inner balloon inside a large transparent Bubble balloon.