Behind every well-constructed balloon arch on social media is (likely) a balloon pump. This handheld device has become a party essential, allowing you to quickly and easily create balloon arches and artwork. It can also be easily stowed in the closet. Here’s what to know about electric balloon pumps before your next celebration.

Comes With Everything

Includes more than 100 inflatables for every kind of celebration you can imagine. KOSBON

Electric balloon pumps are pumping plain old air—so the balloons you make won’t fly in the air like helium balloons. Still, the advantage of an electric balloon inflator is that it allows you to blow up a lot of balloons—including novelty foil balloons and balloons needed for designs like an arch—in a hurry.

Bargain Pick

Product has “automatic” and “manual” modes along with multiple tips to customize sizing. IDAODAN

Some balloon pumps have an “automatic” mode, if you’re blowing up standard balloons. Automatic mode may cause some smaller balloons to pop or become filled too quickly, since the machine will send out a predetermined amount of air. A balloon inflator with a standard mode can allow you to control the amount of air inside the balloon.

Fun Design

Festive pig adds to decor; manual option allows you to control the flow. LiKee

Balloon pumps sometimes come with additional party accessories, including glue dots, balloon tying tools and tape strips. Even if you’re not picking up a balloon kit, it’s smart to consider these add-ons before you begin inflating balloons. They can help make it easier to create an arch or column. And as always, it’s a good idea to give new equipment a trial run before a big celebration instead of waiting an hour before the party begins to prep.