Best High Chairs: Make Feeding Time A Breeze (2020 Guide)
Before you know it, your swaddled up baby burrito will be sitting up, holding their own bottle, and showing interest in solid food.
That’s why it’s smart to have a high chair in your home and ready to go when the big day arrives.
A high chair not only keeps your baby safe when they are eating, but can serve as a stationary activity center for coloring and other arts and crafts, and also a reading table once your baby turns into a toddler and starts to show interest in books.
Point being, a high chair is truly an investment piece because it grows with your baby and will give you years of multiple use.
Read on to learn all about features, safety tips, as well as the 10 best high chairs that I highly recommend!
In The GuideDo You Need a High Chair?When Do You Need a High Chair?The Different Types of High ChairsWhat to Look for in a Good High ChairShopping & Safety TipsBest Modern High ChairBest High Chair for ToddlersBest High Chair for InfantsBest High Chair for TwinsBest Convertible High ChairBest Cheap High ChairBest Hook-On High ChairBest High Chair for Small SpacesBest Portable High ChairWrapping Up
Do You Need a High Chair?
The answer is yes.
But, If you are limited on the amount of space you have in your kitchen, then you could probably use a modified version of a high chair rather than a traditional model. There are a few different types, which we’ll look at below.
A highchair helps keep your child safe and secure as they eat. It also brings them up to an adult’s level, so they don’t have to hunch over for feedings.
It is a great object to place them in while you are cooking dinner, so you can keep a close eye on them. They can feed themselves snacks and bottles, learn to take a sippy cup, and also explore with arts and crafts since they have a tiny, built in table right in front of them!
High chairs make life easier and ensure your child is sitting up in the proper position as they learn to eat!
When Do You Need a High Chair?
I believe it’s smart to register for a high chair and have one in your home right away, but technically, if you want to wait, you probably don’t need to invest in a high chair until your baby is close to four months old.
Babies begin to eat solid foods at all different ages and stages. Some eat as young as four months old, while others wait to eat closer to the six month mark.
Regardless of when they eat, you can start to get your baby used to the idea and purpose of a high chair by placing them in one as soon as they can sit up on their own, or at least hold their head up.
The Different Types of High Chairs
There are a few different types of high chairs. And, there are pros and cons of each.
Traditional high chairs are big, comfortable, and sturdy. They have a removable food tray, storage underneath, comfortable cushions, and a large footstool.
- Folds Up
- Can use for years
- Take up a lot of space
- Can be difficult to clean, lots of nooks and crannies
- If padded seat is plastic, it can rip over time
- Stationery: can’t move it from room to room, or travel with it easily
Contemporary high chairs have a modern look and feel to them. They have pretty, smooth and clean looking lines, and they blend into a kitchen or dining room set, rather than stand out.
- Easy to clean: they are unlined
- Can be used for nearly six or seven years if needed
- Boast removable trays
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Don’t have a harness, so they aren’t the safest items on the market
- Not as comfortable since they don’t come with pads
- Tend to be pricey
- Generally don’t fold up, are one “solid” piece
Single Stem high chairs are ultra-modern and they stand on only one leg, not four. They are stylish, unique, and noticeable when put in any room.
- Pneumatic lift (like a barber shop) for easy adjustable height and position
- 360 degree rotation for easy feeding
- Heavy and sturdy
- Easy to clean and wipe
- Large: they do not fold up and they have a large bottom section
- Pricey: you’re paying for function and the unique design
- Stays in one place: difficult to move from room to room or travel with
Folding high chairs come in all sorts of designs, but tend to mimic a traditional high chair. They fold up with ease and can be used in the home or on the go.
- Compact: doesn’t take up a lot of space
- Folds with ease: toss it in your car or take it outside
- Boast light padding
- Have a harness
- Not as sturdy: can tip if you have a very wild baby on your hands
- Lots of nooks and crannies to clean
Travel high chairs are meant to be used on the go. They fold up and strap onto a dining chair or bench.
Hook-on high chairs are great for taking to restaurants or when you’re on the go—check out our guide to choosing the best one.
- Compact and lightweight: you can take them virtually anywhere
- Fold up: easy to place on a plane or in your car
- Can be safely strapped to a chair or bench, so they can be taken out to restaurants
- Waterproof, easy to wipe down fabric
- Have a safety harness
- Tray can be removed as babies get older
- Can be dangerous if not secured properly
- Set up is constantly required when taking it with you
- Tray needs to be purchased separately at times, depending on brand
What to Look for in a Good High Chair
While there are many different kinds of high chairs to choose from, some things that remains constant are its features.
If you are shopping for a high chair, be sure it has the following characteristics:
Comfort. You like to be comfortable while you eat. Your baby does too! Look for soft but supportive fabrics that offer padding on the bottom and back.
Material. If you are choosing something with fabric, opt for nylon or leatherette. It’s waterproof, so it’s very easy to wipe down.
Ease of Cleaning. The fewer parts, nooks, and crannies the better. Kids are messy eaters and it can take some time to clean a high chair after each meal if you have a lot of parts and crevices.
Washable and Detachable. If you are choosing a high chair with fabric, be sure it can be taken off with ease and tossed in the washer. It help protect your investment and keeps your child’s eating space looking nice and neat.
Safe. A harness and/or seat straps are the only sure way to guarantee your baby is safe. While no child should ever be left in a high chair unsupervised, you can at least have some peace of mind if you’re turned around cooking at the stove knowing your baby is safe and secure.
Sturdy. Give your highchair the rock test. If you can rock it from side to side with ease and barely any effort, imagine what an upset baby can do! Opt for something strong and sturdy so it stays put (and so does your baby).
Portable. While utilizing a travel high chair regularly isn’t for everyone, it could be smart to invest in a highchair that can at least fold up with ease and can be moved from room to room without exerting a ton of effort.
Tray. Some high chairs do not come with a tray. I say that the tray seals the deal when buying a high chair. Look for something that snaps on and off with the simple push of a button, is easy to wipe clean, and is dishwasher safe to get off super tough stains.
Grows. You want a highchair that will grow with your baby. Many come with adjustable trays, belts, and heights so it makes feeding a baby and/or toddler of any age a snap. Some also turn into booster seats or a mini table and chair to promote self-feeding.
Shopping & Safety Tips
Some other safety tips you should consider when you’re shopping for and setting up a high chair include:
- Not easily tipped (remember, do the test!)
- Folding high chairs should always look into place (you’ll hear a snap or click) every time you are setting it up.
- Make sure straps include a crotch strap and are fully adjustable so they grow as your child does. And, make sure they are strapped in their high chair every time they are in it. It only takes one oversight for an accident to occur.
- Leave some space between your table and chairs, and your child’s high chair. As your baby grows, pushing off objects while in their high chair can be a fun game.
- Only one baby belongs in a high chair. Siblings may try to squeeze in too, but this could lead to tipping the chair over or causing serious injury.
- Try to avoid high chairs that clip onto a table. Some tables just aren’t heavy enough to support a baby’s weight (especially as they get bigger). And, if a baby’s foot can touch the table support, they may push themselves loose and fall.
- Always check to see what’s around your baby’s high chair: anything in arm’s reach is fair game to a curious baby or toddler. So, be very aware of high chair placement.
Best Modern High Chair
4moms High Chair
The 4moms high chair (click here to check the price on Amazon) is really neat. You get the best of both worlds: modern and traditional.
It has a sleek, neutral design that boasts 3 height and tray positions. So, it will grow with your child.
I especially love it’s magnetic tray attachment. There’s no fumbling around with latches or buttons while you have your baby in your arms.
Plus, it comes with compatible magnetic plates and bowls, so items stay put! No more bending and sighing as your baby decides to push their stuff overboard.
In addition to these conveniences, the entire unit is easy to clean. Wipe it down with ease and toss the tray liner in the dishwasher.
It has a foam insert for comfort, which can easily be pulled out when it’s time to wash the cushion cover. It doesn’t fold, but it also doesn’t take up a lot of room.
Your child can enjoy meals in it until they weigh about 60 pounds. Simply remove the tray and push the booster chair up to any table.
Best High Chair for Toddlers
I think the thing I love most about the Joovy Nook high chair (click here to check the price on Amazon) is it’s ease of use.
After all, high chair trays are difficult to use when you have food or a baby in your hands. The Nook uses a swing-open tray to make mealtime much easier.
It features a large swing-open tray that operates with one-hand, so there is no need to remove dishes from the tray before taking your child out. It comes with a seat belt and harness for optimal safety, and it folds up with ease.
You can store it out of sight, or toss it in the car to take with you anywhere. While it’s in your kitchen, it’s not bulky, so it’s friendly to those who have small kitchens.
In addition to its ease of use, the Nook has a tray with four depth adjustments to accommodate your child as they grow, so they can use it for years.
Its seat is also roomy, full-sized, and has comfortable padded seats. It’s leather-like material is easy to wipe down and keep clean.
Another added bonus is that it comes ready to be used, right out of the box, so there’s no assembly and no unwrapping!
Best High Chair for Infants
The phil&teds Poppy chair (click here to check the price on Amazon) is ideal for babies six month of age, all the way up to three years of age.
It’s stylish, comfortable, safe, and best of all, easy to clean.
It boasts a large food tray that can be wiped and is dishwasher safe. Its tray is also easy to be removed and can be taken off for good once you convert this into a child’s chair.
Its seat is seamless, so it stops crumbs, noodles, and other goodies from your baby’s tray from falling into any corners or crevices. The seat is also sponge-like, so your baby will feel like they’re dining on a cloud.
It’s also hypoallergenic, UV resistant (if you’re using it outdoors), and non-toxic. So, if you’re letting your baby eat in just a diaper (spaghetti night?) you’ll have peace of mind while doing so.
The Poppy high chair is lightweight, so it’s easy to move from place to place, but it’s not easy to knock over. Compact to store and travel with, it weighs less than 8 pounds.
There’s also no unscrewing needed to pack it up. It has a button you can push that instantly remove its two back legs.
Not all high chairs are globally safety certified, but this one is. So, you get a high chair that is attractive, functional, and safe!
Best High Chair for Twins
Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1
Ingenuity’s Trio 3-in-1 (click here to check the price on Amazon) is an innovative product.
It fully adjusts as your child grows, so you can use it from baby to toddler. It starts out at a full size high chair, then it turns into a helpful booster seat, and finally an actual chair your toddler can use to eat, draw, play, and read in.
In order to clean it, you can removable its tray and place it in the dishwasher to get rid of tough stains. However, it also wipes down with ease and has four lock positions to adjust to your child’s growing body and needs.
The seat is very safe, as it boasts a five point harness (or three point harness once it’s a toddler chair), so you can rest assured your child is sitting in safety. It’s pad is comfy and machine washable, and can lift up to get in cracks and crevices for cleaning purposes.
It’s recommended that a child of 50 pounds or less use the high chair, and when the seat is used as a booster or toddler seat, it can hold two kiddos at a time, making it ideal for sibling fun at the table (while mom or dad cooks).
Best Convertible High Chair
This convertible high chair from Evenflo (click here to check the price on Amazon) works in three unique stages.
The first stage is stacked, so it is one full-sized high chair that boasts ideal positioning for easy feeding and interacting between any caregiver or child. The full size is used on a baby who is about 6 months old, or who can sit up and support himself well.
Then, at around 8 months of age, it can be lowered, so your child can put their feet firmly on the ground, but still have the support of a tray and chair.
Finally, it turns into a stage three seat by disconnecting and turning into a single chair and a table. At all stages, your child has the option of being securely fastened.
The high chair is very sturdy and durable, so you don’t have to worry about tipping or toppling over. Its padding is removable, machine washable, and it also wipes up nicely.
It’s pretty each to move, but it isn’t classified as an ultra portable, on the go item.
However, when used in the home, it’s fairly compact, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Best Cheap High Chair
Graco’s Simple Switch (click here to check the price on Amazon) can be used in the home or on the go.
Parents enjoy that is has not just a comfortable seat, but three recline positions. After all, not all babies like to eat the same way. So, individual preference and comfort is guaranteed.
It’s also simple to clean because it has a machine washable pad. Its tray has a one hand removal feature, so you can hold you baby or food items at the same time.
Unloading your baby from the seat is also a snap. When it comes to storage, it folds up. There’s no unscrewing or dismantling of any parts.
It also ensures safety with it’s 3 and 5 point harness, which should be used at different ages and stages of development.
Parents also love that they can use it with their baby and all the way into toddlerhood.
Best Hook-On High Chair
Inglesina Fast Table Chair
Looking for the ultimate space saver? Many parents like Inglesina Fast Table Chair (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It can be used solely in your home, or toted around with you when going out to dinner, traveling, or visiting friends and family. It only weighs seven pounds, so it’s ultra light and easy to move. It can even fit in a very large diaper bag since it folds up compactly.
It should be used on table tops that have at least ¾ of thickness and with up to a 6 inch table skirting. Because it’s made of nylon, it wipes clean and is soft and comfortable. You don’t have to worry about tossing any parts in the washer or anything getting stuck between cracks.
Parents also love the fact that it has rubberized hippo grips, so it won’t’ mark up a table. In addition to fitting snugly and securely onto a table’s end, it also boasts a 3 point safety harness to ensure your little one doesn’t fall out.
It doesn’t come with a tray, because it relies on a table in order to function. So, that means one less part to clean and worry about!
Best High Chair for Small Spaces
I actually purchased this exact model from Fisher-Price (click here to check the price on Amazon) for my parents and in-laws to keep at their home when they baby sat for me. They (and I) loved it.
It’s compact, but mighty. Fisher Price’s Space Saver chair offers lots of comfort like a full sized high chair, but just lacked the legs!
It attaches onto an adult chair or bench and has a 5 point restraint system for safety. It can be used with or without a tray, and it was very sturdy when set up.
It’s comfortable and has a removable pad, that can either be wiped or washed. Plus, there aren’t a lot of folds or cracks, so I never worried about putting a lot of time or effort cleaning it out.
When I did need something on the go, I’d just unhook it and borrow it from my parents, pop it in my car, and off we went. It takes but a minute to set up to a chair and adjust.
It can also be placed on the ground if eating outdoors at a picnic or attending another outdoor event. While it doesn’t fold up for the car, it was small enough to tote around and light enough to lift with ease.
It’s a must for apartment living, for those who don’t’ love the look of traditional high chairs, or who want their baby to feel a part of the dinner table, without the use of using a table hook on chair.
Best Portable High Chair
Some friends of mine who were always on the go purchased ciao! baby’s travel chair (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It’s a soft but sturdy one piece chair that literally folds and unfolds when you need it to. It totally resembles an adult portable picnic chair, except it has some extra material where the baby sits, to make it more supportive and safe.
Since no assembly is required, it can be tossed into its carry bag and slung over an adult’s shoulder for easy transport. My friends actually purchased one for each of their cars so they always had an easy to use feeding or play device with them.
It’s super simple to clean and wipe down, and it has won dozens of awards. Use it camping, visiting, or on vacation.
Utilize it’s built in soft tray to hold teethers, toys, and solids to promote self-feeding.
Graco Blossom 6-in-1
Graco’s Blossom high chair (click here to check the price on Amazon) boasts six-(yes, six!) in-one height options: talk about growing with your baby.
It’s one of the only high chairs around that can be used with an infant. It will fit a baby at any size and stage, and can be used for years.
It has a 3 position removable footrest, and 3 recline positions, that help encourage self-feeding once your baby can hold their own bottle. Plus, it gives the option of choosing how far back or upright your child sits to eat, since not everyone likes the same things or positions.
In addition, it’s totally comfortable thanks to it’s leatherette seat pad that can be wiped and washed in the machine. After your child is done with using it as a high chair (recommended around 40 pounds), it can turn into a booster and then a youth chair (with a weight limit of 60 pounds).
It’s sturdy and stationary, so don’t expect to move it around or tote it places with you.
It doesn’t take up a ton of room, so it’s fine for smaller kitchens and dining rooms.
Editor’s Picks: More in Solid Foods
- 10 Tips for Dealing With a Picky Eater
- 15 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
- How to Choose the Best Organic Baby Foods
- How to Choose the Best Toddler Table and Chair Sets
- How to Choose the Best Booster Seats for Table
- How to Choose the Best Hook On Highchairs
- How to Choose the Best Baby Food Maker
A high chair may not be needed right off the bat, but like I said, time flies.
Before you know it, you’ll wish you had a chair in your home!
Consider the type of chair that will work best for your home, your lifestyle, and your baby’s unique needs. Take features and function into consideration, and shop around for something safe and secure.
Remember that a high chair can and should have multiple uses, so you won’t just use it when your baby is small, you’ll use it well into toddlerhood.
Hopefully, you’ll use this guide to check out some of the ten chairs featured above and will soon make one of them a part of your home and your baby’s daily routine!