You’re getting ready for your child’s birthday party. And you’d rather pick up the balloons the day before than the day of. But how long do helium balloons last? After all, you don’t want them limp and sagging for the party.

Here’s a look at how long you can expect helium balloons to last, as well as tips for extending the lifespan of your helium balloons.

As you’ll see below, lots of different factors influence how long helium balloons will last. The safest thing you can do is wait until the day of an event to fill helium balloons, giving yourself a few hours as a buffer just in case the store is our of balloons or out of helium or your car breaks down on the way.


Key Factors Influencing How Long Helium Balloons Last

There’s no set amount of time that you can expect a helium balloon to last. In fact, there are multiple considerations that can affect the length of time your balloons stay aloft. Here’s a look at seven key factors that influence how long helium balloons last:

1. Size

The larger the balloon, the longer the helium will last. For example, you can count on at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours from a 16-inch latex balloon filled with helium. But an 11-inch latex balloon filled with helium will last only 12 to 24 hours.

2. Material

Latex balloons don’t last nearly as long as foil and plastic balloons when filled with helium. Not only do latex balloons slowly release helium at a faster rate, they are also more prone to pop, rip or tear when they come into contact with other objects.

3. Elevation

Helium balloons will last longest at sea level. The higher you move up in elevation, the shorter your helium balloons will last. So, expect helium balloons to last longer in Florida than they do in Colorado.

4. Sunlight

Heat and direct sunlight can wreak havoc on helium balloons. Any sustained time spent in direct sunlight can lead a helium balloon to pop. So, when it’s hot outside, make sure you’re keeping your helium balloons in a shady, cool place.

5. Air Conditioning

If you run your air conditioner cold, your helium balloons won’t last as long. Why? Because cool air can actually shrink helium molecules, which will then shrink your balloons.

6. Wind

While wind itself doesn’t impact a helium balloon, it can blow it into another object that can cause it to pop. On windier days, your helium balloons are more at risk because wind can blow them against trees or cars or awnings or other objects that can cause them to pop.

7. Ceilings

Any ceiling is covered in fibers and charged with fibers that can cause a balloon to pop. If you want helium balloons to last as long as possible, try anchoring them so that they float freely. If you let them drift into the ceiling, you may find that they pop due to fibers and static.


Treat Your Balloons With Hi-Float

If you really want your balloons to last a long time, try using Hi-Float, which is a treatment used to coat the insides of latex balloons. The treatment creates a coat inside each balloon, which makes it far harder for helium to escape. You could conceivably fill your balloons, treat them with Hi-Float and enjoy them for weeks rather than just a few days.

Perhaps the best part about using Hi-Float is that it lets you plan ahead. You can fill your balloons and set up for a party days in advance without worrying about balloons deflating. The only drawback to Hi-Float is that it can be messy if you’re new to using it. So, try it out and get some practice, and then you’ll be able to use Hi-Float like a pro.


Final Thoughts on How Long Helium Balloons Last

No matter what type of event you’re preparing for, there’s a whole world of helium balloons to explore. For example, my son wanted a triceratops birthday party. Not just a dinosaur party, but a triceratops party. I was able to order balloons shaped like triceratops on Amazon and then have them filled at my local grocery store.

So don’t settle for just the usual balloons. Check out what else is available, and have a little bit more fun with your event.

Have you ever tried Hi-Float? Any other tips for using helium balloons? Let us know in the comments section below, or send a message via our contact page.