Buying Guide for Balloon Pumps
Why buy balloon pumps?
Balloons are one of the most common and recognizable party decorations that instantly make a room or event feel more festive and ornamental. But if you’ve ever had to inflate them for yourself, you know how much huffing and puffing it takes to fill even one balloon with your breath. Balloon pumps allow you to fill balloons not just more quickly but also more efficiently. It takes a few flicks of your wrist, taps to a foot pedal, or the flip of a switch. Some models can inflate two or more balloons, further speeding up the process. Not to mention it’s much easier to inflate your balloons to the desired size, or a more uniform size for decoration like a balloon arch, since you have greater control over the process. Depending on the pump, it may be compatible with other items like beach balls or inflatable pool floats, allowing you to get more regular use.
What should you look for in balloon pumps?
- Design: Consider your unique needs when looking at a balloon pump’s design. Will you be inflating balloons with a partner? If so, seek a design that features two inflation points that can work simultaneously. Additionally, finding a model that works well with a wide variety of balloon types (including ones with small openings and foil balloons) can add value to your purchase.
- Extras: Are you throwing a party but falling behind on shopping? Balloon pump kits often come with many great party essentials for a fraction of the cost that you would pay at a party supply store. If you are buying a pump, look for one that comes with features like extensions for smaller balloons and a convenient balloon-tying mechanism. There are even models that work with water and air, so you can use them to fill water balloons on hot days.
- Durability: Some electric pumps generate a lot of heat, which can lower a product’s longevity or cause it to overheat and stop functioning temporarily or permanently. Thus, look for one that is durably constructed and stays cool even after extended use. Additionally, some hand pumps are flimsy and break easily, so durability is always a key factor when shopping for these products.
Should you buy a manual or electric balloon pump?
It depends on your needs, budget, and personal preferences. Handheld, manual balloon pumps are far less expensive than electric ones, but they’ll also take longer to inflate the balloons. If you have an event with a truly high volume of balloons that need inflating, an electrical pump may be worth the extra cash. On the other hand, manual balloon bumps are smaller and more portable, and you can use them pretty much any time, anywhere. Unless they’re battery-powered, electrical ones will require an outlet to use, and they’re much larger and heavier. They’re much noisier as well.
Our Picks for the Best Balloon Pumps
Prextex Electric Balloon Pump
This electric balloon pump can inflate two balloons simultaneously and quickly.
Pros: Featuring two inflation modes (continuous or push-to-inflate), this compact unit is lightweight with a carrying handle for excellent portability. It has a built-in heat exhaust, so it shouldn’t overheat like similar models. It also comes with two extensions that make it a perfect choice for smaller balloons and balloons with small openings and a manual and an automatic mode. Both modes can function simultaneously if desired. Additionally, this product can inflate two balloons at once, making it a huge timesaver when preparing for a party.
Cons: Even with the included extensions, this balloon pump isn’t compatible with every balloon. You won’t be able to use it to fill helium or foil balloons at all.
Bottom Line: This little portable pump provides all the fast-acting convenience of electric pumps without most of their usual drawbacks. You can’t go wrong with this handy model for those seeking a great electric balloon pump that inflates balloons in seconds.
Ideas In Life Water Balloon Pump
This specialty balloon pump works with both water and air and comes included with its own supply of colorful balloons.
Pros: This handheld balloon pump gives you great value for your money. The pump is compatible with air and water so you can use it for party balloons and water balloon fights. It also comes with 250 colorful balloons for a little extra bang for your buck. As it’s a manual, handheld model, you can easily bring it to a friend’s house, the beach, or the park, as long as there’s a source of water handy, and it’s pretty simple to use—much easier, faster, and less messy than filling water balloons with a hose or faucet. If you have children over the age of five or so, they should even be able to use it independently (with adult supervision, of course).
Cons: Depending on the number of water balloons you plan to use, the pump may run out of water, so you need to stop and refill it. Also, follow the instructions about not pumping it more than 10 or 15 times; overpumping risks damaging the device or even causing it to explode.
Bottom Line: If you’re trying to get the best value out of your balloon pump purchase, this 2-in-1 handheld model is certainly worth a look. It can fill balloons with both air and water, so you’ll be able to use it year-round for a broader range of different activities.
COZY GREENS Handheld Air Pump for Balloons
This two-pack of hand pumps feature a durable design and can inflate a balloon in seconds.
Pros: Featuring solid, durable construction and an easy-to-use design, these pumps are much more rugged than most similarly priced hand pumps, and what a nice price they are. Especially since you receive two pumps, allowing two people instead of one to inflate more balloons in the same amount of time quickly. While offering a slightly slower inflation speed than electric pump options, they will still inflate an average balloon in seconds without the associated noise. They even work on foil balloons and other inflatable items like exercise balls, beach balls, and pool floats, though this will be a lengthier process than filling balloons with air.
Cons: If you have longer or oddly shaped balloons to inflate, these pumps may be less effective or take longer to fill them. While they’re just about the best manual pumps you can find, you may find your arms growing tired if you have more than two dozen or so balloons.
Bottom Line: These handheld balloon pumps are hands-down the best option for those searching for great manual balloon pumps that will withstand the test of time.
Carebio B231 Electric Balloon Inflator
This high-powered, top-notch electric balloon pump offers greater control and management over the inflation process.
Pros: Electric balloon pumps and inflators are considered the best for high-volume jobs, and this premium device is among the cream of the crop. Unlike many electric models, it’s powered by a rechargeable, five-hour battery, so you can use it almost anywhere, even if there’s no electrical outlet within range. You won’t have to guess how much time and power is left on a charge; one of the screens on the front of this device keeps track of the battery percentage power for you. It’s compatible with most balloons, even larger or oddly shaped ones, and has a timer that allows you to track your progress as you decorate. The built-in fold-down carrying handle makes it easier to bring along as needed.
Cons: This pump is much higher priced with its extra features, and while still faster than inflating balloons with your breath, it may work a bit slower than other electrical models.
Bottom Line: If you throw parties frequently or otherwise find yourself needing to inflate dozens or hundreds of balloons on many occasions, this premium balloon pump will be well worth the higher price.
ID IDAODAN Electric Pig-Shaped Balloon Inflator
This balloon pump features an adorable, portable design and push-to-inflate functionality plus some extra decoration accessories.
Pros: Featuring an easy-to-use, push-to-inflate design with a single inflation point, this cute little pig-shaped balloon pump is electrically powered and fast-acting; despite its small size and lightweight, 1.5-pound body, it’s capable of filling a standard-sized balloon in just three seconds. It’s compatible with foil balloons as well as classic rubber party balloons. Besides the pump itself, you’ll receive an instructional booklet and a slew of useful balloon and party-decorating accessories with your purchase. This includes two balloon-tying tools, two dot glue strips (with 100 dots each), two balloon tape strips, two hanging wall hooks, two flower clips, and a foil balloon adapter for those looking to get creative with their balloon decorations.
Cons: This pump tends to get hot if used continuously for long periods, so those wanting to inflate hundreds of balloons at a time may want to take a short break every ten balloons.
Bottom Line: Rounding out our list is this little electric pump which scores major points for its adorable design and fast balloon inflation. Cute and lightweight, it’s an excellent value for its price point, especially considering all the extra reusable decorating accessories.
You may not think of investing in a balloon pump as part of your party planning, but you’ll be surprised at how much use you get out of one once you have it. Even if you don’t host parties with much regularity, you’ll appreciate having one on hand when it comes time to decorate.