What is a commercial grade inflatable anyway?

Did you know that the first inflatable structure was invented in Louisiana in 1959?

Since the first inflatable structures, the models used have been improved countless times. The toys we see and use today are nothing like the original toys.

Since day one, however, inflatable toys have been very popular. Many companies buy them to use at events. Others base their business entirely on inflatable toy rentals.

Want to make informed purchasing decisions for your business? So it is crucial to understand the differences in the inflation options available.

This article gives you all the information you need about commercial grade inflatable products. This includes how they compare to their residential counterparts.

What is a commercial grade inflatable?

Most people know commercial-grade inflatables as "bouncy rooms." It is an inflatable object that can be played on or in it.

The widely used term "extend house" is not entirely accurate. Because?

Does not include "bouncy houses". Inflatable toys can be bouncy houses. But it can also be a giant slide, a splash zone or a game.

If you see any of these inflatable toys, you'll recognize them immediately. You probably played with them (usually when you were a kid). You probably received them at your child's birthday party or other celebration.

What is it that most people don't know? There is a big difference between residential and commercial inflatables.

Residential vs. Commercial Inflatables

The term "residential" means for home use and "commercial" means for business use. Inflatable toys that fall into these categories often look exactly the same. But they differ in several notable ways.

The main differences between commercial-grade inflatables are materials, size, and capacity. The "extra" part of commercial inflatable toys is also different.


Inflatable toys purchased for personal use are made from one of two common materials. These include heavy-duty nylon or polyester oxfords. Polyester oxford is also sometimes called an oxford.

Less expensive residential inflatables are made from polyester oxford. While the material isn't as strong, it does have some advantages over nylon. Polyester is lighter, absorbs less moisture, and is easier to pack for storage.

The Better House models are made of nylon. This is a thicker, stronger material. The downside is that it is more difficult to pack and will absorb more moisture.

None of these materials are suitable for commercial grade inflatables. Commercial models are usually made of heavy-duty PVC vinyl.

PVC vinyl is a stronger material. This strength allows commercial inflatables to be larger or support more "add-on features."


Residential inflatables are for personal use only. They tend to be much smaller and focus on a single function.

For example, a residential inflatable could simply be a bouncy house or slide. It could just be a small splash center.

There cannot be two or more splash centers. Unless, of course, the owner purchases a commercial model for home use.

The extra force of commercial grade inflators allows them to go bigger. They can have various characteristics. Some of the larger commercial inflatable toys have many parts, with many functions.

This extra size is perfect for entertaining a large number of people at once. The downside is that it makes those inflatables harder to store. Folding and storing larger inflatable toys requires two or more people.

That's why they're great for commercial but not residential use. Companies have the extra manpower (and often the expertise) to use industrial-sized inflatables.


Capacity refers to the number of people who can use the inflatable device at the same time. Some models display it as a real number. Others express their capacity with a weight limit.

The capacity of domestic inflatable toys is significantly less than that of commercial models. Residential inflatables can be suitable for one to six children. Exceeding capacity can pose a serious security risk.

The weight limit for residential inflatables may be too small for an adult to participate. It could go up to two or even three hundred pounds. The most expensive model.

A commercial grade inflator has ten times the capacity. In some cases, they may be able to support up to £1,000 or more. Commercial inflatable toys are almost always suitable for at least one or two adults.

Additional Features

There is a big benefit of being stronger for commercial inflatables.
Allows them to support "extras" that their residential counterparts cannot.

As mentioned above, residential inflatables can specialize in a single function. It could be a bouncy house, a slide, or a splash zone, but not all three.

Commercial grade inflatables can support many additional features. It costs extra money. But companies are often willing to pay more to accommodate more people at the same time.

Commercial inflatable toys don't just have more than one main function. They can also withstand things that residential inflatables can't. Some of these include:

  • Obstacle Courses
  • Climbing Walls
  • Multiple Slides
  • Sections or Extra Sections

Tips for Choosing Commercial Grade Inflatables

Want to choose commercial grade inflatables for your business? You need to consider several factors.

Your budget is one of the most important considerations. How much money do you have available to invest in commercial inflatables? Larger inflatables or those with lots of extra features will cost more.

Think about how many people your bouncy house will need. Will you be using it for a small local business meeting? Or will it be used for a larger event, such as a state fair or celebration?

How often is your inflatable device used? To get a return on your investment, your budget must match the use of your inflatables. Those that are used once a year should not be as expensive as those that are used several times.

Any questions?

The above information should have answered all your questions about what commercial grade inflatables are. Any question?  Tell us about it in the comments section!