BALLOON BASICSFoil Balloon Shapes

Qualatex Foil Balloons are made a of thin, continuous film of metal over nylon. Therefore, foil balloons are less porous and remain inflated several times longer that untreated latex balloons.

Foil balloons are available in a wide range of colours and designs that coordinate with Qualatex latex balloons as well as sizes from 4" to 36" and Super Shapes. Standard shapes include Rounds, Squares, Hearts and Stars.


As with latex balloons, foil balloons can be inflated with either air or helium. However, 4" and 9" foil balloons are designed exclusively for air inflation as they cannot hold enough helium to float.

A correctly inflated foil balloon should be tight with uniformly spaced creases along the seam. Unlike latex balloons, where over-inflating results in an exaggerated shape due to elasticity, foil balloons don't have that elasticity and will burst when over-inflated.

For general float times, refer to the Qualatex Helium Chart.


Like latex balloons, high altitudes and extreme temperatures affect helium-inflated foil balloons as helium has left lift in higher altitudes. As a rule, larger foil balloons are recommended for higher altitudes. In addition, 18" foil balloons with very dense designs should be tested before they are used in high altitudes as the ink can add weight to the balloon. For best results, helium inflate various sizes to track the time they float in your altitude.

As for temperatures, the same rules as latex balloons apply to foil balloons. Slightly under-inflate balloons when moving them for a cool environment to a warmer one (as the helium will expand), and fully inflate them when moving from a warm environment to a cooler one (as the helium will contract). Foil balloons may appear half full and may not float in much cooler environments, however when they are moved to a warmer environment, they will expand to their original state. Foil balloon valves rely on back pressure to function, so the balloons may lose gas if they remain in an under-inflated state. Experience is the best method in determining proper inflation.


Smaller foil balloons are designed to be sealed with heat. The preferred method is a bar seal made with a professional Heat Sealer. To ensure a tight seal, lay the tail of the balloon over the bar, making sure there are no creases in the material before applying the heat bar. Larger foil balloons have self-sealing valves, eliminating the need for a heat sealer.


Correct storage of foil balloons ensures maximum float time. To avoid cracking the balloon film or chipping off the ink, which exposes the surface of the balloon and allows helium to escape faster, foil balloons should be stored flat, rolled or in packages. Never crease foil balloons with storing.


The balloon industry has developed Industry Guidelines, in line with the precedent set by the California Balloon Law, to ensure that balloons continue to be viewed positively and Qualatex strongly recommends that all industry professionals adhere to them.