There are all kinds of ways to decorate a room or an outdoor space for a party, from music and streamers to colorful tablecloths and yes, balloons. Today, customers can find foil balloons and latex balloons at local party stores or online, and if you order balloons online, be aware of which kind best suits your needs. A person who wants to order balloons online might find foil ones that need to be inflated with a helium pump, or they may get some packages of latex balloons. What is the difference between latex and foil balloons? And should they be filled with helium or air? This is something to decide upon right before you order balloons online.

Latex Balloons

When you are planning a party and need to order balloons online, perhaps you will find packages of latex balloons. These are the “typical” balloons, the ones shaped like a tear drop. They were invented quite some time ago, when professor Michael Faraday fused together the edges of two rubber sheets and inflated them with air. Today’s balloons are usually made from latex instead, to help protect forests. Harvesting rubber for balloons would put a serious strain on forests, but a latex tree can provide materials for 40 years without getting killed in the process. This makes for an environmentally sustainable resource for balloons.

Whether a customer gets these balloons from a party supply store or decides to order balloons online, they will have a whole package of latex balloons that can be filled with either air or helium. An air filled balloon will not float, but it may last longer than a balloon filled with helium, and a person can use a simple pump or even their own breath to inflate them. These balloons are a fine idea for a child’s birthday party, for example, and they can be taped to the wall or backs of chairs, or even scattered on the floor to form a sort of ball pit. Meanwhile, if a latex balloon is filled with helium, it may float around, and will probably be tied to a ribbon or string so that a person can carry it around or anchor it somewhere. And a package of these balloons may have dozens or even a hundred of them.

Where else can latex balloons be used? They are a great choice for other types of parties too, such as a bridal shower or baby shower, such as pink and white balloons. Meanwhile, a senior high school prom can have a wooden cage built on the ceiling of the dance floor, and hundreds of air filled balloons will be inside. At some point, all those balloons will be released onto the dance floor, and this is great fun for the dancers.

Care should be taken when using latex balloons. Until they are inflated, they are a choking hazard for small children and pets, and if a balloon pops, its remains should be gathered up and discarded, just in case. Also, it’s a good idea to keep inflated latex balloons away from a heat source such as a light bulb or fire, since the air inside will expand when heated and make the balloon pop.

Foil Balloons

These are a more recent invention, and they can be quite stylish. A foil balloon is made of two foil sheets fused at the edges, and then inflated with helium to float (and probably held down with a string and weight). These foil balloons, unlike latex ones, can come in a wider variety of shapes, depending on how the sheets are cut at the factory. They can be shaped like circles, squares, or even numbers or letters. Also, these balloons can have graphics printed on them, such as “happy birthday!” or pop culture images. Often, these foil balloons can be found at grocery stores, already inflated and held down with a long ribbon and weight. Others may come folded up in a package, ready to be inflated with a helium pump. These balloons are a fine idea for a birthday party, or they can be a gift for a recovering hospital patient, with a “get well soon” message printed on them.

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