BALLOON BASICSLatex Balloon Shapes

All latex balloons made by Pioneer Balloon Company and its subsidiaries are made of a plant based product made from natural rubber harvested from rubber tree plantations which are a renewable resource. Latex is a natural product of the Rubber Tree Per Cambium and breaks down and decays when exposed to the elements of nature.

Research shows latex balloons breakdown faster than plastics when exposed to specific conditions, including the amount of UV exposure, the amount of oxygen present, the temperature and biological influence (bacteria, fungus and algae). In some experiments, degradation occurred at slower or faster rates depending on whether the object was on land or in water. The rate of degradation is not a constant - it depends on the conditions stated above.

Qualatex latex balloons are available in a rainbow of colours and styles, printed designs for every occasion, as well as a broad range of sizes and shapes.


Latex balloons may be inflated with either air or helium. Because latex is a porous material, the gas (helium or air) molecules pass through the surface, eventually causing the balloon to deflate or descend. When air-inflated, latex balloons stay inflated considerably longer than those inflated with helium because air molecules are larger and slower moving than helium molecules, so air doesn't escape as quickly as helium.

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

To extend float times, treat your latex balloons with Ultra HI-FLOAT.


Helium-inflated balloons are affected by extreme temperatures and high altitudes. The rule for temperatures is to slightly under-inflate balloons when moving them from a cool environment to a warmer one (as the helium will expand), and slightly over-inflate them when moving them from a warm environment to a cooler one (as the helium will contract). For example, moving helium-filled balloons from an air-conditioned room to one that's not or to the outdoors on a warm or hot day will result in the balloon expanding. Test the balloons to determine proper inflation in each circumstance.

Altitude effects the float time of latex balloons as helium has less lift in higher altitudes. Balloon will not float as long in higher altitudes, so larger balloons should be used. For more precise results, helium inflate various sizes and track the times they float at your altitude.


Latex balloons can become covered with a velvet finish when atmospheric conditions change, such as in high humidity, in high ozone or when exposed to sunlight. This velvet finish is the result of oxidation, the first step in the bio-degradation (or natural breakdown) of the natural latex. To decrease the possibility of oxidation, cover balloons with a plastic bag, especially if they will be exposed for an length of time. When inflating large quantities of balloons for decorating, many professionals recommend inflating the balloons on-site to try and avoid oxidation when the balloons are transferred for the store to the site, especially when moving the balloons in and out of air-conditioned facilities.

To slow the process of oxidation, apply a product such as HI-FLOAT or Balloon Shine to the exterior of the balloon (following the manufacturers instructions).


Tying knots in balloon necks is the preferred method of sealing latex balloons as it provides the best seal, it doesn't add weight so the float times are not reduced, it is less time consuming and it is more cost effective. 

To seal 36" and larger latex balloons, use Giant Quickie Clips or cable ties.


Qualatex latex balloons are sensitive to light (both sun and fluorescent) and heat. It is best to protect them from the elements. Though storing latex balloons in clear, acrylic containers many be convenient and look colourful, it can lead to poor quality unless the balloons are used within approximately 30 days. Opaque containers offer more protection.


The balloon industry has developed Safe Balloon Practices, in line with the Pro Environment Balloon Alliance, to ensure that balloons continue to be viewed positively and Qualatex strongly recommends that all industry professionals adhere to them.