Balloons WITH a Self-Sealing Valve
Balloons with self-sealing valves are made by sealing two pieces of film lengthwise with an additional layer in the tail of the balloon.
As air or helium is forced through the valve, the pressure opens and closes the valve.
If you do not need a balloon to float, then it is strongly recommended to inflate balloons with air from an air pump.
Please Note: If you use the wrong equipment to blow up a foil balloon– the self-sealing valve will expand and/or tear.
Balloons WITHOUT a Self-Sealing Valve
Balloons without a self-sealing valve are made by sealing two pieces of film lengthwise without an additional layer of film in the balloons' tail to make the valve.
A balloon without a self-sealing valve will require you to heat-seal the tail. Heat-sealing is when you melt the two sides of the tail of a balloon together to make a seal. Because there is no self-sealing valve in these balloons– air will escape from the tail of the balloon unless you heat seal it.
This can be done with an impulse sealer or with a flat/curling iron. Please see the article How to Heat-Seal Airfill Balloons for more information.
Which Balloons Have a Valve and Which Do Not
Almost all foil balloons 17-inch or larger have a self-sealing valve manufactured into them and can be filled with helium. However, most 14-inch and smaller balloons do not have a self-sealing valve and require heat sealing. These balloons do not float with helium, are typically paired with sticks and cups, and are often used in centerpieces or gift baskets. They can be found in florists, grocery, and discount stores already filled with air.
Please Note: There are a small number of manufacturers who have begun making balloons 14-inch and smaller with valves. This is a small percentage of balloons compared to the thousands of airfill designs Bargain Balloons sells.