Choosing the Best High Chair: A Buyer's Guide for Parents
When Do You Need a High Chair?
When Baby can sit up on his own and is eating solid food—usually around 6 months—it's time to add a high chair to your kitchen set-up.
Finding the Best Baby High Chair
Since the chair has to withstand about two years of heavy use (not to mention possible hand-me-down duty), you want to make sure it's a model that's safe, sturdy, and easy to clean. Before you shop, ask your friends if they have high chair recommendations. Then once you're in a store, check if it has the following criteria.
What to Look For: Functionality
Here’s the main question: Can you get Baby in and out of the high chair without a problem? If so, you should make sure it has the other functions and features you’re seeking.
- Does it have a tray that you can operate with one hand?
- Does it have wheels that lock to keep the chair stationary when in use? You might look for models with wheels if you’ll move your high chair around a lot — for example, pushing it to the table for meals and then back against a wall for storage.
- Does it take up a lot of space? Some options fold up, making them a good choice for occasional use, such as at grandma's house.
- Can it grow with Baby? Most high chairs today come with a transition option. This means the seat can be used as a comfy cradle, in an upright position for first-time feeding, as a toddler booster for independent eaters, and maybe more.
What to Look For: Safety Features
Safety is also key when choosing a high chair. Ask yourself the following questions before buying.
- Does the high chair have seat straps that easily to buckle and unbuckle? The majority of high-chair accidents occur because parents don't use the buckle feature. Using a three- or five-point harness keeps your little one safe.
- Is it JPMA certified? Manufacturers can opt to have high chairs tested and approved by the independent Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. If there's a JPMA seal on a high chair, it's one of the safest.
What to Look For: Comfort
You'll want your baby to stay seated for a decent period of time. Here are some comfort-related questions:
- Will the high chair be comfortable for Baby?
- Does it have a well-padded seat and footrest?
What to Look For: Cleanliness
Babies are notoriously messy eaters, and that means you need to consider how easy it is to clean up the high chair after a messy meal.
Most chairs come with a vinyl seat that can be wiped clean. Look at how the cushion and frame fit together and imagine a scenario involving applesauce and crumbs. The fewer seams and crevices, the better.
A recent update in high chairs is a tray-within-a-tray feature, where the top tray pops out for cleaning in your sink or dishwasher. Some high chairs even come with an extra tray so that if one is being washed, you've got another.
The Best High Chairs
Looking for specific product recommendations? Here are some of the best high chairs on the market currently.
Graco Blossom 6-in-1 Convertible High Chair
This best high chair converts to suit your child as he sprouts through the months. It boasts six different modes, including an infant seat, a conventional high chair, a booster seat, and a big kid's dining chair. An optional footrest and three recline options ensures Baby is always positioned comfortably for feeding. The dishwasher-safe tray is removable with one hand, and the chair can even be adjusted to accommodate two kids at once!
Peg Perego Siesta
You don’t need to wait until starting solids to use this high chair. It fully reclines to support an infant during feedings—or whenever you simply need free hands in the kitchen. As your child grows, the Peg Perego Siesta also adjusts with nine seat heights and five recline positions. This easy-to-clean product is also one of the best high chairs for small spaces, since it folds for compact, easy storage.
Stokke Tripp Trapp
Calling all modern design lovers! The iconic Tripp Trapp makes the list of best baby high chair for many reasons, including its easy-to-clean surface, wooden exterior, and ergonomic seat that brings Baby to the dining table. It's also adjustable for different stages of life—in fact, it can hold a 242 pound adult! Choose from 16 different colors for a personalized piece of furniture.
Cosco Simple Fold High Chair
The Cosco Simple Fold High Chair comes in at around $40, making it perfect for parents on a budget! It has a three-point safety harness, adjustable straps, and tray that moves into three positions—and it’s suitable for those up to 50 pounds. This Cosco product is also our pick for best travel high chair since it folds quickly and easily for on-the-go babies.
OXO Tot Sprout Highchair
Children aged 6 months to 5 years can use the OXO Tot Sprout, which adjusts via removable parts and height changes. Your baby will be extra comfortable with the cushioned back and seat. You’ll also love the five-point quick-adjust safety harness, study legs, and removable tray (hooray for easy cleaning!)
Are you always on the road? The Spacesaver wins our vote for best portable high chair! Its compact size doesn’t take away from key functions like a five-point to three-point safety restraint, adjustable settings, and removable trays. This high chair also boasts a unique design feature: a Fastfinder Link for hanging towels, toys, and bibs. How convenient!
Graco SimpleSwitch Highchair
The Graco SimpleSwitch is like two products in one: a sturdy high chair and a toddler booster seat. Aside from the product’s convertibility, we also like its three-position reclining seat, machine-washable seat pad, three-point and five-point harness, and tray that comes out with one hand. No wonder it’s one of the best baby high chairs on the market!
Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 High Chair
Another affordable option, this high chair has three separate settings: infant high chair, booster seat, and toddler chair. Your child can use the product from 6 months to 5 years of age, which gives you even more bang for your buck. This Ingenuity chair also has a five-point harness, removable seat and tray, and three recline positions. Wheels roll 360 degrees, so it’s easy to move around the kitchen or dining room.
Antilop High Chair from IKEA
This $20 high chair from IKEA has a surprising number of benefits. The simple design works for modern homes, while the seat belt adds safety for your little one. The chair has zero nooks and crannies; simply spray it down with a mild soapy solution and wipe clean. There’s also no need to worry about set-up, since you simply need to pop in the legs and you’re good to go! You can also buy a high chair tray for $5, a cover for $4, and a support pillow for $6.
4moms High Chair
After conducting consumer research, 4moms found most parents wanted a better tray attachment and overall cleanability, so they made a shift in their design. Magnets secure the tray latches and tray top, making it easy to take it on and off with the only hand they have free while tending to Baby. And the added addition of magnets within the tray itself means plates and bowls stay put, making it one of the best high chairs in terms of functionality.