How to Find the Best High Chair for Your Baby (2018 Reviews)
Your baby is going to be spending a lot of time in their high chair and you’re going to be spending a lot of time cleaning it. So you need a chair that you’ll both be able to live with.
Not only will your high chair be used frequently, but it’ll be used for a long time too. You need something that is going to hold up well month after month.
When looking for the best high chairs, you need to make sure it’s comfortable and easy to clean so you aren’t annoyed every time you look at it.
Quick Comparison: Our Top 10 High Chairs in 2017
1. Abiie Beyond
6. JOOVY Foodoo
*All links above will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com or you can read our in-depth high chair reviews below.
When Should My Baby Start Using a High Chair?
It’s hard to believe it now when your baby is still a newborn, but your child’s high chair days are right around the corner. It’s going to feel like you blinked and your baby is suddenly ready to sit in a high chair.
If you start your baby in a high chair too soon however, you’ll be setting them up for failure because they won’t be ready to sit themselves up fully.
Some babies are ready for high chairs as early as 4 months old, while some babies aren’t ready until closer to 6 months old. The key to determining if your baby is ready is if they can sit up with a little help and if they seem pretty stable while they’re doing it (source).
Obviously, your baby must be able to hold their head up before they sit up in a high chair. If you put your baby in a highchair and they lean forward, slumping over like they are starring in a Weekend at Bernie’s sequel, they aren’t ready yet.
How Many High Chairs Do I Need?
The only exception is if you want a spare high chair for your baby to use at a caregiver’s house. If your mom is babysitting at her house while you and your partner get a rare night out on the town, you might want to have an extra high chair to let her use.
I only had one and it wasn’t one you could fold up and take with you. When it was assembled, we couldn’t fit it in our car. So whenever someone babysat our child at their house, they would have to improvise so they could feed our baby without the help of a high chair.
It was difficult at the time, and if we would have been thinking in advance, we would have purchased a folding high chair. That would have allowed us to easily fit it in our trunk to take with us for babysitters to use.
If you’d like, you can purchase a high chair for home and a portable, inexpensive high chair to let your babysitter use. But if you’re worried about saving money, it would be better to find a folding one you can take back and forth.
What Kinds of High Chairs Are There?
You’ll see several different types of high chairs when you’re searching for the right one for you.
They each have their own pros and cons. Let’s look at some of the types out there as well as the highs and lows for each of them.
1. Metal or Plastic High Chairs
These are the most common types of high chairs you’ll see. Plastic seems to be more popular than metal ones are -- although you’ll often see a combination of the two materials in a single high chair.
The good thing about these types of high chairs is that they aren’t usually very expensive. Some of them will fold so you can store them in a closet instead of setting them up on permanent display in your kitchen or dining room.
The bad thing is that the padding that comes with them is often hard to clean and sometimes doesn’t remove from the chair at all (source). That’s a real problem when your child seems to make it their personal mission to drop more food into the abyss of their chair than they get in their mouths.
2. The Cadillac High Chairs
You can think of this kind of high chair as the deluxe model of the typical high chair. They have more features than the standard chairs do -- the trays may be able to be cleaned in the dishwasher, they may recline and the seats and backs are often padded really nicely.
The bad news is these fancy high chairs don’t come cheap -- you’ll pay for that extra quality.
The good news is that these high chairs are usually built to last so you may be able to get additional use out of them if you have more than one child. Plus, many of these Cadillac models have multi purposes -- they can often be transformed into a booster seat for your table when your child outgrows the high chair.
3. High Chairs Made Out of Wood
Some people still value the beauty and long-lasting appeal of wood. With the bad rap plastic has earned with parents after the BPA scare, wood can be an attractive alternative for parents.
The big problem with wood high chairs is that they weigh a lot more, which isn’t attractive for parents who don’t want to lug around heavy seats. And if they don’t come with padding, they aren’t as comfortable for babies to sit in.
The good thing about wood high chairs is that they aren’t as hard to clean as plastic chairs that have the padding in the way.
4. Hook-On High Chairs
Hook-on high chairs are seats that attach to a table.
They’re a great option for families who live in small apartments or homes who don’t have the space to dedicate for a full-size high chair. They’re also usually less expensive than full-size high chairs are. Another perk is that they are highly portable -- you can bring them anywhere you’re going, whether it’s on vacation, to the babysitter’s house or out to eat.
The biggest drawback to hook-on high chairs is that they don’t fit every table (source). Also, some types of these high chairs can scratch up tables, which is a bummer if you have a really nice table or a family heirloom you want to protect.
What Should I Look for In a High Chair?
You need to be picky when choosing a high chair. Your baby will need it for quite a while -- until they are about 2 or 3 years old.
Here are a few of the things you should think about before purchasing a high chair.
1. How Durable It Is:
Durability is a big deal. You’re going to be using this chair at least once every single day for two or three years. It needs to be able to withstand heavy usage.
I spent a little more money than I was comfortable with when picking out a high chair for my first child.
But after I had my second child, I was happy I had spent that extra money. The high chair was still in good shape after everything my first child put it through. That meant that I could use it for my second child too and skip the expense of buying another one.
2. Whether You Want a Removable Tray:
Some of the trays that come on high chairs can’t be removed -- they just slide forward a bit so you have more room to get your baby in and out of the chair.
But a removable tray can make it easier to clean a high chair and it will be simpler to give the tray a good thorough washing if you can put it in the dishwasher.
3. How Easy It Is to Clean:
If you get a high chair that traps food in the crevices of the seat, you may go certifiably insane trying to get all the pieces of food out of there.
One of the moms I know is a real neat freak, which I halfway admire and am halfway terrified of for her sake. She couldn’t stand that food kept getting trapped in the plastic padding on the high chair and the padding wasn’t removable.
Rather than take the chance that her baby would find some old food in the padding of the high chair and decide to eat it, she thought it would be safer to cut the padded seat out of the high chair. After that, she had a super clean high chair all the time, but her baby had to sit on a towel each meal since the seat was now so hard.
4. If You Need It To Be Multi-Purpose:
If you want to get more bang for your buck, you may want to consider looking for a convertible high chair. If you can use it as a booster seat when your child is almost ready to join the adults at the big table, you’ll get an extra couple year’s worth of usage from your high chair.
5. How Comfortable It Is:
In addition to having padded seats, you may want to make sure the high chair you pick out has a footrest. As your baby gets bigger, it’ll be more comfortable if they have a footrest instead of letting their feet dangle.
6. What Kind of Belt It Has:
All high chairs should have a safety belt. Little kids are contortionists. They can get out of almost any seat unless they are securely buckled in. And strapping in babies correctly with safety belts in the high chair is the best way to prevent injuries (source).
If you want your child to be secure in the high chair, you should look for a 5-point harness. If you can’t find that in a high chair style you love, you can go with a 3-point harness instead.
High Chair Reviews
Now that you know about the safety precautions and exactly what to look for -
Here are our 10 favorite high chairs in 2018:
Best Modern High Chair
If you’re looking for a modern high chair, you’ll want to find one that has sleek lines so it will have the look that you love. But you should also look for one that has comfortable features so your child won’t suffer because of your love for modern decor.
This modern chair will last from the infant stages all the way to adult usage and the clean lines and timeless appeal should look nice in your home.
It can be converted from a high chair to a toddler’s chair. It can also be used as a regular chair for any age. The conversion is easy to do and only takes about 20 seconds and the best part is you don’t need tools to make the switch.
It comes with a safety belt feature that can be used as a 5-point harness or a 3-point harness. The chair also has a footrest so your child will be comfortable in their high chair past the infant stage.
The stain-resistant cushion is easy to clean and it’s waterproof so it won’t absorb stains. The tray can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning.
If you want your child to join the rest of the family at the table, you can use the high chair without the tray.
- It can be used as more than just a high chair.
- The chair is manufactured in the U.S. and it’s built to last.
- The wood is scratch resistant.
- It can hold up to 250 pounds.
- The chair part on the head area doesn’t have any cushioning, which means if they toss their head back, they’ll hit it on the hardwood.
- The tray isn’t big enough to fit most plates.
Best High Chair for Twins
Unless you have a huge disposable income, you’re going to want to buy high chairs as cheaply as possible for your twins. They’ll often want to eat at the same time, so you’re going to need two high chairs. That can add up quickly, along with all the other baby gear you have to purchase doubles of.
These high chairs are so affordable, you’ll easily be able to buy two. These are actually a small table and a seat you can stack to make into a full-size high chair. As your child becomes more comfortable with sitting at a table, you can take the pieces apart to let them sit lower to the ground at their little table.
When it’s stacked together, this high chair can accommodate up to 40 pounds. When the chair and table are used separately, the chair can hold up to 50 pounds.
The seat cover can be removed for washing purposes.
You won’t need to be an engineer to figure out how to set up this high chair. You can have it assembled in five minutes and you may not even need to glance at the instructions to do it.
You’ll have your choice of two colors with this high chair.
- The safety belt does have shoulder straps.
- It’s convertible to use as a toddler table and low chair.
- The high chair is super affordable.
- You have to tilt the tray up pretty high to remove it from the chair -- that means any uneaten food on the tray may fall off.
- The tray is not adjustable so there will be a large gap between the baby and the tray where food can fall.
Best High Chair for Camping
Camping introduces babies to the great outdoors, but trunk space can be limited because you’ll already have a packed trunk from all that camping gear. So you still have room for a tent in your vehicle, you should get a hook-on high chair that will clamp onto picnic tables.
This chair can be attached to any picnic table at your campsite since it will fit tables up to 3.5-inches thick.
It won’t take up much room at all in the trunk of your car because it folds flat and it comes with a carrying bag that is sewn onto the bottom of the chair so you won’t have problems with misplacing it.
Even though you’ll be roughing it, your baby won’t feel like they are. There’s enough padding to make this a comfortable chair for your baby to sit in.
The seat has a rear pocket so you can store some wet wipes or other supplies you would need. You can take off the seat cover and clean it in the washing machine in cold water.
These seats can hold up to 37 pounds.
- It only weighs 4.2 pounds.
- This seat folds flat and comes with an attached carrying bag.
- It holds onto tables well when attached correctly.
- There’s a small gap between the chair and the table where babies can drop a lot of food.
- If you want the tray you can use with it, you have to buy it separately.
Best High Chair for Down Syndrome
Children with Down Syndrome may not have the same amount of muscle tone that other children will at certain ages. So a child with Down Syndrome won’t typically be ready for a high chair quite as early as children without that challenge will be. You may want to opt for a high chair that can recline so your child will have some additional support.
This high chair is made from a combination of plastic and metal. It reclines so your baby will have all the support they need until they have enough muscle tone to hold themselves in position as long as they need to.
Plus, this chair offers head and body support for your baby. It also has a convertible harness that can be a 3-point harness or a 5-point harness, depending upon what your needs are.
When your child is past his high chair days, you can transform the high chair into a booster seat so they’ll still get a couple years of use out of it.
It has a dishwasher-safe insert you can pull off the chair to make for an easy cleaning experience.
Despite being a heavy-duty high chair, it will fold up so it doesn’t become a permanent fixture in your dining room.
- You’ll get three colors to choose from.
- You only need one hand to remove the tray.
- You can remove the infant body support once your child outgrows it.
- It has wheels on the legs, but they don’t have brakes so it slides around rather easily.
- The plastic padding on the chair is pretty hard and a little noisy.
Best Portable High Chair for Travel
When you’re hitting the open road, you’ll want a portable high chair that can go wherever you can. A good portable high chair should be compact enough to fit in your car trunk without taking up too much room. And it needs to be sturdy enough to get the job done.
You’ll be able to easily take the chair with you on trips. At 8 pounds, it’s so light that it’s simple to carry around without feeling tired. It comes with a carrying bag so it won’t get dirty when you’re transporting it.
This high chair can be used for children who are up to 3 years old. Moms who hate putting together baby gear should appreciate there is no assembly required for this chair -- it comes ready to use.
Even though it’s a portable unit, it doesn’t mean the company skimped on safety features. It comes with a five-point harness and a lap belt to keep your baby safe even when they’re away from home.
It comes with a vinyl tray that has a cover and a built-in cup.
- It’s affordable.
- The fabric is easy to clean.
- It’s easy to carry around.
- Round food can roll off the vinyl tray since the tray does tip downward some.
- It’s difficult to get babies out of this chair.
Best High Chair for Toddlers
Toddlers need a little more room than infants do. And that even applies to their feet and legs. When you’re buying a high chair for a toddler, you should make sure you buy one that has a foot rest. That will make your toddler much more comfortable.
Toddlers come in all sizes -- one may be little, while the next could be off the growth charts. So to find an all-purpose toddler high chair, you’ll need one that is adjustable. This Joovy chair has eight different adjustable height positions, five reclining positions and two different positions for the footrest.
The tray can adjust to two different positions and it has an insert that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Plus, it’s a large tray so you can use plates on it.
It can hold children who weigh up to 50 pounds. If you need to move the chair from room to room, it has wheels so you can easily transport it. But your toddler won’t be able to move it around.
While it’s a bigger high chair than some other ones on this list, you can fold it up when you’re not using it.
- It has a storage compartment on the back of the chair so you can store bibs and anything else you might need.
- The chair has locking tabs on the back to keep the shoulder straps in place.
- The tray can be adjusted with one hand.
- Food can be tricky to get out of the stitching areas on the padding.
- It may be a little too big for some houses or apartments.
Best High Chair for Baby-Led Weaning
Baby-led weaning is when you allow children to feed themselves as soon as they begin eating food -- you won’t be spooning food into their mouths. The key to not creating an enormous workload for yourself with baby-led weaning is finding a high chair that is easy to clean because there will be a lot of dropped food.
This plastic is easy to clean and there aren’t many crevices for food to hide in. Besides being easy to clean, this high chair can be converted to a booster seat and a toddler chair so you’ll get your money’s worth out of this chair because you’ll be able to use it for years.
The chair reclines into three different positions. It also have a five-point harness to keep your baby safe. It has locking wheels so you can move the chair, but your toddler won’t be able to.
The tray is dishwasher safe and it can be removed with only one hand. The seat pad is also safe to put in the dishwasher. Because the safety straps on high chairs can often become filthy from food and drink spills, moms should like that they can remove these straps and clean them in the washing machine.
- The tray can be adjusted to four different positions.
- This chair is easy to clean.
- It has safety features like the five-point harness and locking wheels.
- The high chair is a little wobbly.
- The plastic bends a bit because it is so thin.
Best High Chair for Wood Floors
When you have wood floors, you don’t want them getting all scuffed up. High chairs can be rough on wood floors, unless you know what you’re looking for. Hook-on high chairs for your table might be your best bet if you have nice floors.
When you have wood floors, you don’t want to take the chance of them getting scratched up because of a full-size high chair when there are other options.
This hook-on chair will attach to your table so you won’t have any part of it touching your floors at all. It can accommodate table skirting up to 5.5 inches so it fits a wide variety of tables.
When you’re done with it, it folds flat so it doesn’t have to be hooked up to your table when it’s not in use. Since it only weighs 7 pounds, it will be easy to put away.
It has rubberized grips so you won’t get scratches on your table. It can hold children who weigh up to 37 pounds.
- It won’t scuff up your floor at all.
- It’s easy to store since it folds flat.
- It has a seatbelt.
- The fabric is hard to clean.
- There’s a gap between the table and the seat.
Best Folding High Chair
Folding high chairs save a ton of space. When you look for one, you’ll want to make sure you find a lightweight option. You don’t want to lug a heavy high chair to the nearest storage closet after every meal -- why put yourself through that much work when there are better options?
This high chair has an easy-to-wipe seat and it can be folded flat. After it’s folded, it can stand up on its own, which means it will stand up in your closet without having to be propped up against anything.
When you need it again, you’ll be able to grab it out of the closet and have it set back up in just seconds.
It uses a 3-point harness that will work for children weighing up to 50 pounds. The straps are adjustable so you’ll be able to find a comfortable fit for your baby.
The seat is easy to assemble, which is nice because sometimes assembling baby products is incredibly difficult.
The tray has a cup holder which will be handy when your baby reaches the toddler stage. The chair is sturdy and will hold up really well even after heavy usage.
- Because the seat is lightweight and folds flat, you could put it in the trunk when traveling.
- It’s very affordable.
- It’s a smaller seat which works well for people with small apartments or houses.
- The fabric seat part can’t be removed which makes fully cleaning the seat really difficult.
- The seat leans back a little and isn’t adjustable.
Best High Chair for Infants
When you want to introduce the high chair early, you’ll want one that allows your baby room to grow so they can use the chair even when they are a toddler. Make sure any choice that you select also has a five-point safety harness to give your infant even more support.
This high chair has the five-point safety harness you’ll need to make sure your baby stays put. It also has three reclining positions and a four-position tray so you’ll always be able to get your tray as close as your baby needs it to be.
The reclining positions on the high chair are good for giving your baby her bottles. It can be reclined easily by pressing two buttons at the same time.
The tray is removable and it can be put in the dishwasher to be cleaned. This high chair is made for babies from birth all the way up to 40 pounds. So you’ll get a lot of use out of this high chair during that time.
You’ll be able to adjust the tray with one hand, which is nice for busy moms who never seem to have enough hands to get everything done.
- Infants will be able to recline in three different positions with this chair.
- The tray also has a removable insert tray that has compartments for snacks and drinks.
- This chair has a footrest, which kids will like to use as they get older.
- It takes a while to assemble.
- The padded seat slides around easily.
My Favorite High Chair Is...
The Joovy Foodoo is one of the best high chairs on the market because it can fit all sizes with its eight adjustable height positions, five reclining positions and two positions for the footrest.
The tray is big enough that you can use a plate on it to get your baby used to using plates before they start eating at the table.
This chair can hold up to 50 pounds so you’ll be able to use it for a long time. The shoulder straps having locking tabs on the back is a nice touch that will help protect your baby.
Cherish these high chair days because it won’t be long before you’re packing that high chair away and you’ll be wishing you could go back in time to when your child was that young again.