Which balloon pump is best?
If you love to throw parties for your friends and family and love balloons, you need a balloon pump. Balloon pumps make quick work of a job that would be time-consuming and tedious if you tried to blow them all up with just your own lung power.
The best balloon pump is the ID Idaodan Portable Dual Nozzle Electric Balloon Pump. It’s affordably priced, and the airflow is regulated to be safe for a child to use.
What to know before you buy a balloon pump
Electric vs. manual balloon pump
It may seem like electric balloon pumps are the only way to go, but manual pumps have their benefits too.
- Electric pumps are best for inflating large amounts of balloons quickly and regularly. Some have enough nozzles to let multiple people fill balloons at once, increasing your balloon-filling potential. Most are designed to pull air from around them but some are specialized to work with helium tanks.
- Manual pumps are best for inflating a few balloons at once, or if you don’t plan on inflating balloons very often. Their output rate is small and they require more effort, but they cost a fraction of an electric pump’s price and can be used anywhere.
Electric balloon pumps can generate a tremendous amount of noise. In professional settings, extended exposure to high noise-generating pumps can damage your hearing. In personal situations, the noise can disturb your family or give away the game if you’re trying to make it a surprise.
What to look for in a quality balloon pump
Ease of use
Electric and manual pumps each have their own ease-of-use aspects.
- Electric pumps’ ease-of-use is all about portability and intuitive design. The easiest to use are lightweight and have handles for carrying, since the best place to inflate your balloons is where the party will occur. They have nozzles spaced far enough apart not to interfere with one another and offer quick access to the power button.
- Manual pumps’ ease-of-use is about limiting the effort required. Easy hand pumps force air into the balloon in both pull directions rather than having one direction prime air and the other force it in. Easy foot pumps have long enough tubes to enable use without hunching.
For electric balloon pumps, controllers determine how air is pumped into your balloon. Most are triggered by pressing a button, which takes a hand away from the balloon and can make things more difficult. The best use either a foot pedal or a pressure-sensitive nozzle that starts and stops the airflow as needed, without taking hands away from balloons.
How much you can expect to spend on a balloon pump
Manual pumps rarely cost more than $10. Electric pumps usually cost $20-40, though a few professional-grade pumps cost $50 or more.
Balloon pump FAQ
Can I use a balloon pump to inflate other objects?
A. Technically a balloon pump could inflate other objects, but two factors typically prevent this. First, balloon pumps just aren’t that strong. They’re designed to inflate a tiny object, not your mattress. Secondly, balloon-pump valves aren’t meant for objects that aren’t balloons. You might be able to jury-rig something, but it’d be much easier just to get a matching pump.
Can I use other pumps to inflate balloons?
A. Once again there’s the issue of mismatching valves. Also, a non-balloon pump is likely to be too powerful and cause your balloons to immediately burst.
How quickly can a balloon pump inflate balloons?
A. That depends on if it’s manual or electric, and how powerful an electric pump is. Manual pumps have the greatest variance in inflation rates. How the pump operates, and how easy it is to remove and tie off a filled balloon, can make inflating a single balloon take as long as a minute. Meanwhile, even the weakest electric pumps can fill a balloon in seconds.
When you factor in most electric pumps having multiple nozzles, if each nozzle has someone working at it, electric pumps can fill hundreds of balloons in an hour. The only slowdown is how quickly one can tie off a filled balloon.
What’s the best balloon pump to buy?
Top balloon pump
What you need to know: This is perfect for non-professional balloon lovers.
What you’ll love: It has automatic and manual modes so you can blow up just a few or a whole bushel of balloons with speed. It has two nozzle sizes to inflate a wider range of balloons. Users were impressed by the low noise generation.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have the power or long-term durability for professional party throwers. A few consumers received U.K.-based plugs rather than U.S.-based ones.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top balloon pump for the money
What you need to know: This is perfect for smaller events.
What you’ll love: It lets you push air into the balloon while pumping in both directions, saving time and energy. It’s roughly a foot long and 2.25 inches thick, making it easy to use for both older kids and adults.
What you should consider: It takes up to an hour to inflate roughly 40 balloons, making it best for small events. The nozzle isn’t compatible with all balloon types.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The pig-like design makes this a fun family pump.
What you’ll love: The pink pig design is perfect for tricking your kids into helping you blow up balloons for their own birthday parties. Inflation is triggered by pushing down on the nozzle and stopped by releasing pressure, so there’s never wasted air or excess noise.
What you should consider: This pump can’t be hooked up to helium or hydrogen. Some consumers noted it can become hot quickly, though not hot enough to burn.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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