Breastfeeding, pumping, late night bottle feeds — to say that mealtime brings you closer to your baby is an understatement.
But soon enough your little one will begin to transition from feeding in your arms to a high chair where they’ll start on solid foods and purées. That means it’s time to buckle up for a new, fun, and inevitably messy bonding experience!
Whether you’re looking for the perfect high chair for your cramped apartment or need a quick-clean option for your twins, we’ve got a recommendation for you below.
When do you need a high chair?
If your baby is able to sit up by themselves and starting to eat solid foods, it’s probably time to consider adding a high chair to your kitchen set-up. This usually falls around 6 months of age (though you should always check your particular high chair’s age and weight limits for additional guidance).
So, if your baby is getting close to that milestone, it’s likely time to start thinking about your options.
How to choose the best high chair for you
When considering which high chair is the perfect one for you, you’ll want to consider the following:
How much space you have
Depending on where you live, this might be the most important consideration!
If you’re short on space, you may want to consider a chair option that clips onto an adult chair or the table instead of the more traditional stand-alone option.
Prices for high chairs can vary greatly, ranging from around $50 to over $500. With such a range in price it’s important to think about how much you want to invest financially.
How long it can be used
Some chairs are designed for just the infant or toddler stages. Others are convertible models that are designed to grow with your little one.
Some high chairs come with specially designed trays that are easy to remove or have trays that include compartments to better hold cups or plates.
While probably not a make-or-break feature, this can be a very nice touch — especially considering how often you’ll be washing it!
If you’re traveling with your child, or need a high chair that can move throughout your house, you’ll want to put some thought into the chair’s weight, whether it has wheels, and its ability to fold.
Comfort for baby and your personal style
If your little one is always on the move, the last place they’re going to want to be is in an uncomfortable high chair. The right amount of cushion, leg room, or even proper back support can make a big difference in keeping them happy while they eat.
Likewise, you may be miserable if the high chair sticks out like a sore thumb in your beautifully designed kitchen.
While aesthetic and comfort may not be at the top of the list of must-haves, it can definitely be a factor that sways you toward one high chair over another.
High chair safety
When choosing a high chair, priority number one is making sure that your child is going to be safe.
If you’re buying a new high chair, you can rest assured that it has been safety tested and certified.
If you’re accepting a hand-me-down, make sure that everything is still in prime working order and that there are no sharp or broken parts or missing screws.
You’ll also want to check with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association or the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure that it’s up to current safety standards and hasn’t been recalled.
You’ll also want to think about:
- The sturdiness of the legs/overall balance. Make sure that your high chair won’t tip over when your little one becomes bigger and is wiggling with all their might! If it has rolling wheels on the legs, make sure they’re locked in place before your baby is placed in it. You’ll also want to make sure that wherever the high chair is positioned, adults and other children won’t trip over it. If you choose a high chair that attaches to a counter, table, or chair, be sure the surface is heavy enough and properly balanced to support the high chair.
- Make sure that your child is never left unattended. A small child can easily choke on food or even find a way to topple the chair. You’ll also want to make sure that your little one is always buckled up when in their high chair, so they don’t stand up or slide out.
- Double check that your child is a safe distance from any hazards. Children can easily twist and reach out of their chair. High chairs should never be placed near hot surfaces, sharp utensils, lit candles, etc.
- Adhere to weight limits. They exist for a reason and aren’t worth testing!
How we chose
We considered space, budget, special features, and of course, what other parents had to say when choosing our picks for the best high chairs on the market.
Bonus points were given for high chairs with extra comfort and being easy on the eyes!
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $50–$100
- $$$ = $100–$200
- $$$$ = over $200
Best high chair for small spaces
Best convertible high chairs
Weight limit: Up to 40 lbs.
If you’re looking for a high chair that will grow with your family, this option from Graco is an excellent pick. It can be converted six different ways, including an infant high chair, traditional high chair, and toddler booster seat.
As far as the high chair function goes, this chair is easy to move on (lockable) wheels, offers three different height adjustments, and three recline settings.
Most reviews of this chair are positive, but a few folks complain that while the tray removes easily, the chair itself is difficult to keep clean.
High chair with most versatile design
Best budget-friendly high chair
Best foldable high chairs
Weight limit: Up to 37 lbs.
If you’re headed out to a restaurant or on vacation, the ultra-light Inglesina chair collapses to fold flat for easy packing. It clamps on to most restaurant tables or counters (up to 3.3″ thick) without leaving scratches, and leaves floor space free.
The seat itself is machine washable, which most reviewing parents seem to love. A few note that there’s a considerable gap between the table and the chair where baby can drop crumbs — one parent suggests sliding a thin plastic cutting board underneath to supplement the tray and catch dropping food (how savvy!).
Best high chair for all ages
Weight limit: 330 lbs (not a typo!)
This chair is designed to be easily adjustable so you can bring your little one up to the table and their feet up to a comfortable height. While definitely a splurge, parents love that this chair grows with their kiddos and can be used as a kid-friendly seat beyond the high chair stage.
Reviewers say the smooth plastic is easy to clean and that the chair itself looks great and doesn’t take up an excessive amount of space. However, you need to purchase the cushion and tray separately (although a handful of parents say they’re not necessary).
Best high chair for small babies
Best high chair for easy cleaning
There are a wide range of options to consider when it comes to your child’s high chair. With so many to choose from, you’ll want to give serious thought to any restrictions and special needs you have.
But so long as the chair you choose is a safe one and being properly used, you should be able to take a deep sigh of relief as you deposit your wiggly little one into it for meals.