Houses fully decked out with Christmas lights are one of the most joyous sights of the holiday season, but string lights aren't the only way to catch people's attention. Holiday yard inflatables have really, ahem, blown up over the years and are a great addition to string lights and other decorations, whether they're for Halloween or Christmas. In fact, they've practically become a staple of homes and neighborhoods that go all-out in their Christmas decorating. If you want snowmen, reindeer and even Santa himself livening up your yard in December, Christmas inflatables are the way to go.
Video of the Day
We've laid out everything to consider when shopping for Christmas inflatables so you make the best choice for your yard. For more Christmas decorating ideas, check out our Christmas lights shopping guide.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Christmas Inflatable
Size: Before you buy anything, make sure you have enough space in your front yard for the inflatable you have in mind, as some of them can get pretty huge—as much as 12 feet wide. If you live in a compact planned community with small yards, you might consider capitalizing on vertical rather than horizontal space. Just make sure your inflatable isn't too tall for any overhanging trees, as some Christmas inflatables easily exceed 8 feet in height.
Power Cord Length: Unfortunately, the power cords on most yard inflatables tend to run quite short. While some Christmas inflatables do come with a longer cord than others, be prepared to use a heavy-duty extension cord (or two) if you'd rather position the inflatables in the middle of your lawn instead of close to the house.
Electric Usage: Make sure you've got an adequate power source on hand. A typical lawn inflatable consumes around 150 to 200 watts per hour. Depending on how many hours each day they're inflated and how many days you leave them up, each individual inflatable could add as much as $10 to your monthly electricity bill. While that's probably not a big deal, it's something to keep in mind.
Durability: For the best results, avoid buying inflatables that haven't been rated for outdoor use. The thicker the material, the better. Common materials include waterproof polyester, nylon or other synthetic blends. To avoid accidental punctures, position the inflatables away from sharp plants or shrubs, and keep them away from low-lying areas that can form deep puddles if it rains. Pay attention to the weather forecast and bring the inflatables inside before any heavy wind or rain.
Setup: Generally, setup is a two-person job. While shorter inflatables or those with a small footprint might be easier to set up solo, in most cases, you'll need an extra pair of hands to hold the inflatable steady as you secure it to the ground. To make things easier for yourself, only buy Christmas inflatables that come with tie-down cords, stakes or weights. Most inflatables don't require an external pump and come with most everything you should need for setup, but in case one doesn't, that might be a deal-breaker.
Lighting: The most basic Christmas inflatables will inflate and stand there. However, many come with backlights, LED lights or even strobe light effects that not only increase their visibility at night, but also give them a touch of kinetic energy—even if they're not moving themselves.
Price: While it's not that difficult to find a decent Christmas inflatable for under $50, many of them cost over $100, with some of the larger sets or more advanced models even exceeding $200. If your budget is more limited, you might consider purchasing a handful of less expensive inflatables to populate your yard and add some variety, instead of putting all your money behind one expensive model.
With these considerations in mind, we've rounded up some of the best Christmas inflatables on the market in 2022. Your house will be the focal point of the whole block!
1. Home Accents Holiday Gingerbread House Archway Inflatable
This scrumptious-looking Christmas inflatable is shaped like a gingerbread house, complete with candy canes and a little gingerbread man in a Santa hat waving at you. It self-inflates within minutes and serves as a perfect archway for visitors to pass under as they approach your home (very tall people may have to duck). Yes, it's tall enough for people to walk through—it measures nearly 8 1/2 feet tall and 9 1/2 feet wide, so this option isn't small yard-friendly. It comes with stakes and tethers for secure attachment to a front lawn or porch.
2. GOOSH 5-Foot Happy Sitting Santa Claus Inflatable
For households with limited outdoor space, this Santa inflatable is pretty compact, yet large enough to still make a visual impression. It stands 5 feet tall and is one of the most affordable options on our list. Due to its small size, it can also work as a festive indoor decoration. It's made from a durable, waterproof polyester with reinforced stitching for extra strength.
The inflatable features built-in LED lights and comes with stakes and rope to secure it to the ground (if you set it up indoors, you may need to weigh the stakes down with something, as you can't drive them into your floor). Its 10-foot power cord isn't super long, but should be enough if your front yard isn't very deep. Everything comes with a storage bag so it's easy to keep the different pieces together when not in use.
3. The Holiday Aisle Snowman Family Inflatable
This happy family of snowmen (or snow-people?) are eager to spread some holiday cheer from your front yard. The snowman trio (which comes in one piece) stands 4 feet tall and can be placed both indoors and outdoors. The whole group is illuminated by nine inner LED bulbs.
The inflatable inflates quickly, thanks to its compact size. It's made from weather-resistant polyester and comes with two stakes to hold the family in place. Overall, it's fast and easy to set up. The only drawback is that the plastic stakes can break easily if you're not careful with them, and a couple of more stakes would've been ideal.
4. Hashtag Home Santa Claus on Sleigh Inflatable
Santa and some of his reindeer can grace your front yard (or even your roof, if you're not afraid of heights) with the Hashtag Home Christmas Santa Claus on Sleigh inflatable. It comes complete with Santa in his red sled being pulled by three of his reindeer (none appears to be Rudolph, unfortunately). The inflatable measures 3 feet tall and 8 feet long and is compact enough to be used indoors as well as outdoors.
The reindeer and sleigh come with 15 bright LED bulbs, a self-inflating internal fan, and two tethers and two stakes for securing it to the ground. The inflatable itself is made from weather-resistant polyester and blows up in a matter of seconds for quick setup. While not necessarily a drawback, the inflatable can seem a little small compared to other Christmas inflatables, but if you've got a small yard or a bunch of mature trees out front, it's short enough to give you plenty of clearance from any overhanging branches.
5. Penguins Riding Polar Bear 8-Foot Tall Christmas Inflatable
These cute animal friends from the North and South poles look like they're on their way to Santa's Workshop in this heartwarming BZB Goods Store Christmas inflatable, which features three friendly penguins perched on top of a large polar bear. The whole unit lights up from the inside for nighttime visibility. We hope the penguins left a good tip!
The polar bear measures over 8 feet long, so you'll want to tie it down using all of the included stakes. The unit automatically self-inflates once it's plugged in. While setup is pretty easy, the manufacturer warns against inflating the unit during storms or strong winds, as the fan can be damaged by water, so best to wait for more optimal weather.
6. Gemmy Star Wars 'The Child' Christmas Inflatable
"Baby Yoda" (real name, Grogu), AKA "The Child," has captured the hearts of millions since he first appeared in Disney's hit Star Wars show, "The Mandalorian," and it appears the Christmas season has captured his heart, as well. Standing 3 1/2 feet tall (which is bigger than the actual Baby Yoda, but who cares), "The Child" contentedly holds a giant candy cane in his little claws.
The inflatable lights up with bright LED lights, inflates within seconds, and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The package comes with stakes and tethers for easy setup, and the inflatable itself is made from polyester. If you like this Baby Yoda look, you might also enjoy the similar 'The Child' Holding a Christmas Stocking inflatable or 'The Child' in Pod Christmas inflatable.
7. Home Accents Holiday LED Animated Christmas Dragon
Santa, snowmen, nutcrackers and gingerbread men are all common Christmas icons, but how often do you see a Christmas dragon? For those with an adventurous spirit or a love for high fantasy theming will love this towering 9-foot-tall dragon wearing a Santa hat and with a candy cane in its mouth. Unlike Halloween dragon inflatables, which tend to be scary, this one has a goofy face and bright colors that are unlikely to scare anyone but perhaps the youngest of children.
The massive inflatable is illuminated with an array of multicolored lights and is made from polyester. The unit self-inflates for a quick and simple setup and includes takes and tethers to secure it into the ground.
8. Hashtag Home Santa Claus Climbing Christmas Tree Inflatable
This silly Christmas inflatable features a bit of rude humor, but should be a laugh for people of all ages. It displays a humorous scene of Santa Claus climbing up a Christmas tree while trying to escape a dog pulling on his pant leg, resulting in an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction for Santa. We wouldn't be surprised if the dog ends up on Santa's "Naughty List" next Christmas. Coal, not kibble, we're afraid.
The inflatable stands approximately 75 inches tall (not life-size) and includes nine inner LED bulbs and two stakes. Made from a weather-resistant polyester, it self-inflates in just seconds. While it should stay in place during normal weather, a couple of more stakes and tethers would have been nice to keep it more secure in the wind, so keep that in mind.
9. Home Accents Holiday Santa and Mrs. Claus Getaway Convertible
Santa and Mrs. Claus are headed off on vacation and this bright red convertible is their getaway car (we hope Santa's delegated the present delivery to some trustworthy elves, if that's the case). The inflatable stands 4 feet tall and 7 1/2 feet wide when fully inflated. It's made from polyester, is illuminated by bright LED lights and comes with sturdy polyester supports to securely display it outside. The only caveat is that the power cord is only 5 feet long, which doesn't give you much flexibility without an extension cord.
10. TURNMEON 3.5-Foot Gingerbread Christmas Inflatable
If you have a tiny front yard, or no yard at all, you can still get in on the Christmas inflatable fun with this inflatable that attaches to the front of your house. Measuring 3 1/2 feet long, the gingerbread boy-themed inflatable comes with suction cups to attach to a window. The final result will look like he's bursting out of your house. You can even use it on an upper-floor window to spread out your holiday decorations even more.
The gingerbread inflatable glows in the night with LED lights and comes with an easy-to-use self-inflating fan. One potential downside is that the light can be distracting for whoever's in the room you place it in, so if you've got an upstairs, street-facing window that isn't located in a bedroom, that might work better.