Wireframe design of an angled arch structure, showcasing the geometric framework and connections.

Continuous Air vs. Sealed Air Inflatables: Which is Better for Your Event?

What’s the difference between continuous air vs. sealed air inflatables?

The key difference lies in their air supply: continuous air inflatables require a constant flow of air from a blower to stay firm, while sealed air inflatables are inflated once and then sealed to hold their shape without additional air supply.

Whether you need something portable and quiet or durable and robust, understanding the differences between continuous and sealed air will help you make an informed decision. Making the wrong choice can disrupt your event, cause noise issues, and lead to safety concerns.

Imagine your inflatable losing air mid-event because it wasn’t designed for continuous use, causing chaos and disappointment among attendees. Or, consider the constant noise from a blower needed for a continuous air inflatable in a quiet setting, disrupting speeches, presentations, and the overall ambiance.

These disruptions not only tarnish your event's reputation but also leave a lasting negative impression on your guests. Choosing the right type of inflatable is crucial to avoid these issues and maintain a smooth, enjoyable experience for everyone.

Read on to learn how to select the right inflatable to meet your needs and avoid these potential pitfalls.

Understanding Sealed Inflatables

Giant inflatable promotional can for Candy Cloud placed in a shopping center parking lot

A large inflatable can of Candy Cloud bubble tea, showcasing the portability and ease of use of sealed air inflatables for outdoor advertising.

Sealed inflatables, also known as airtight inflatables, are innovative structures designed to hold their shape without requiring a continuous air supply. Once these inflatables are filled with air, they are sealed off to ensure no air escapes, allowing them to stay firm and functional until they are manually deflated.

Typically constructed from durable materials like PVC or polyester denier, sealed inflatables offer both strength and flexibility, making them a versatile choice.

yellow inflatable arch with a person standing underneath for scale
MVP Visuals' inflatable arches are available in both continuous and sealed air designs, providing versatile options for various events and applications.

Shop Inflatable Arches

How It Works

The airtight design of sealed inflatables makes them ideal for situations where a continuous power supply isn't practical or desired. 

Here’s a simple step-by-step explanation of how they work:

  1. Inflation: Use a pump or blower to fill the inflatable with air.
  2. Reaching Firmness: Continue inflating until the inflatable reaches the desired firmness.
  3. Sealing: Close the air intake valve to trap the air inside.
  4. Maintaining Shape: The inflatable remains firm and maintains its shape without needing additional air.


  1. Portability and Ease of Use: Sealed inflatables are highly portable and easy to set up, making them perfect for mobile events and activities.
  2. No Continuous Power Supply Needed: Once inflated and sealed, these inflatables do not require a constant power source, making them suitable for remote or outdoor locations.
  3. Quieter Operation: Without the need for a continuous blower, sealed inflatables operate silently, making them ideal for noise-sensitive environments.


  1. Limited Size and Complexity: Sealed inflatables are generally smaller and less complex compared to constant air inflatables, which may limit their use in larger or more intricate applications.
  2. Potential for Air Leaks: Although designed to be airtight, sealed inflatables can develop air leaks over time, requiring regular maintenance to ensure they stay in good condition.
  3. Less Suitable for High-Impact Activities: Sealed inflatables might not be as durable for high-impact activities, such as bounce houses or obstacle courses, and can be more susceptible to punctures or damage from rough use.

Understanding Continuous Air Inflatables

Inflatable promotional replica of a lemon-lime flavored electrolyte beverage bottle

An example of a continuous air inflatable, this SueroX beverage bottle product replica remains firm thanks to the blower connected at the base.

Continuous air inflatables, also known as continuous air inflatables, are structures that need a continuous flow of air to maintain their shape and rigidity. A blower constantly supplies air, keeping these inflatables firm and ready for action. 

This design makes them perfect for bustling events where consistent firmness and stability are crucial, ensuring your inflatable stays upright and functional even with a crowd.

How It Works

The design of continuous air inflatables makes them suitable for large-scale and high-impact activities where continuous firmness is essential. 

Here’s a simple step-by-step explanation of how they work:

  1. Setup: Connect the inflatable to a blower.
  2. Inflation: Turn on the blower to start filling the inflatable with air.
  3. Continuous Airflow: The blower must remain on to supply a constant stream of air, maintaining the inflatable's shape.
  4. Maintaining Shape: As long as the blower is running, the inflatable stays firm and ready for use.


  1. Support for Large and Complex Designs: Continuous air inflatables can accommodate more intricate and larger designs, making them ideal for bounce houses, obstacle courses, and large advertising displays.
  2. Durability for High-Impact Activities: These inflatables are designed to withstand high-impact activities, providing a robust option for events and recreational use.
  3. Consistent Firmness: The continuous airflow ensures the inflatable remains firm, providing a safe and reliable structure throughout its use.


  1. Need for Continuous Power Supply: Continuous air inflatables require a blower to run continuously, necessitating a reliable power source. This can limit their use in remote locations without access to electricity.
  2. Noise from Blower: The operation of the blower can generate noise, which may not be suitable for noise-sensitive environments.
  3. Less Portable: Due to the need for a blower and continuous power, Continuous air inflatables can be less portable and more cumbersome to set up and transport.

Differences between Sealed and Continuous Air

When choosing between sealed and continuous air inflatables, it's crucial to understand the key differences that can impact your decision. Each type has unique features and benefits that make them suitable for different applications.

Feature Sealed Inflatables Continuous Air Inflatables
Setup Quick and easy; no continuous power needed Requires blower running continuously; needs reliable power source
Maintenance Minimal; check for air leaks and patch punctures Ongoing blower and air tube maintenance; regular monitoring
Durability Durable but more susceptible to punctures over time Extremely durable; designed for high-impact and frequent use
Portability Highly portable; lightweight and compact when deflated Less portable; bulkier and heavier due to blower
Storage Compact; requires minimal storage space Bulkier; requires more storage space due to blower and equipment
Noise Operates silently Generates continuous noise from blower
Energy Consumption No ongoing energy required once inflated Continuous power required; ongoing energy costs


A blower in action, inflating a giant sports entrance tunnel to maintain its shape and stability.
  • Sealed inflatables are quick and easy to set up. Inflate them using a pump or blower until firm, then seal the air intake valve. No continuous power source is needed. This makes them perfect for mobile or remote events.
  • Continuous air inflatables need a blower running continuously to stay firm. Setting up involves both inflating the structure and keeping the blower operational. A reliable power source is necessary. This makes them ideal for high-traffic events where consistent firmness and stability are crucial.


  • Sealed inflatables require minimal maintenance. Regularly check for air leaks and patch small punctures as needed. This low-maintenance design is convenient for busy events and frequent use.
  • Continuous air inflatables need ongoing maintenance of the blower and air tubes. Regularly monitor the blower to ensure it remains operational. This ensures continuous airflow and optimal performance, which is vital for high-traffic activities.


  • Sealed inflatables are durable but can be more susceptible to punctures over time. They are best for moderate use and less intense activities.
  • Continuous air inflatables are extremely durable, designed for high-impact and frequent use. They are ideal for bounce houses, obstacle courses, and other heavy-duty applications.
inflatable mascot phoenix custom made for university of chicago
A student poses with Phil the Phoenix, the giant inflatable mascot made by MVP Visuals for the University of Chicago.


  • Sealed inflatables are highly portable and easy to transport. They are lightweight and compact when deflated, making them perfect for mobile events and activities.
  • Continuous air inflatables are less portable due to the need for a continuous power source. They are bulkier and heavier, making them better suited for stationary setups or events with reliable power access.


  • Sealed inflatables are compact and easy to store when deflated. They require minimal storage space, making them convenient for businesses with limited storage capacity.
  • Continuous air inflatables are bulkier to store due to the blower and additional equipment. They require more storage space, making them best for businesses with dedicated storage areas.


  • Sealed inflatables operate silently since no blower is required. This makes them ideal for noise-sensitive environments and events.
  • Continuous air inflatables generate continuous noise from the blower. This can be a consideration in certain settings, especially where noise reduction is important.

Energy Consumption

  • Sealed inflatables do not require ongoing energy once inflated. This makes them energy-efficient and cost-effective for long-term use.
  • Continuous air inflatables require continuous power for the blower, leading to ongoing energy costs. They are suitable for events where power consumption is not a major concern but may impact overall operating expenses.

Which is Better? Sealed vs. Continuous Air

Choosing between sealed and continuous air inflatables depends on your specific needs and the context in which you'll be using them.

Why Choose Sealed Inflatables

  • Best for Mobility: If you need an inflatable that’s easy to transport and set up quickly, sealed inflatables are ideal. Their lack of a continuous power requirement makes them perfect for mobile events and remote locations.
  • Quiet Environments: Sealed inflatables operate silently, making them suitable for noise-sensitive areas such as indoor events or locations with strict noise regulations.
  • Simple Maintenance: They require minimal maintenance, mainly regular checks for air leaks and patching small punctures.

Why Choose Continuous Air Inflatables

  • High-Impact Activities: If your event involves frequent interactions, bouncing, or high traffic, continuous air inflatables are the better choice. Their continuous airflow ensures they stay firm and safe for intense activities.
  • Large and Complex Designs: For more elaborate and larger structures like inflatable tunnels, obstacle courses, or extensive advertising displays, constant air inflatables provide the necessary durability and stability.
  • Stationary Installations: These inflatables are ideal for events where they can remain stationary and where a reliable power source is available. The continuous blower operation ensures consistent firmness.
  • Long-Term Durability: Designed for high-impact use, continuous air inflatables are built to withstand frequent and rough use, making them suitable for permanent or semi-permanent installations.

Quick Decision Guide

  • Choose Sealed Inflatables if: You need portability, silent operation, energy efficiency, and easy maintenance for moderate use and less intense activities.
  • Choose Continuous Air Inflatables if: You require high durability, support for large and complex designs, consistent firmness for high-impact activities, and have access to a reliable power source.

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