Somewhere around when Baby turns 4-6 months of age, he’ll be able to sit upright and eat at the table. That means he is going to need a high chair! You’re going to be using the high chair at every mealtime, so it pays off to do some extra research to make sure you are selecting one which is safe, easy to use and clean, and which has all of the features you are looking for.
You will quickly discover that there are a lot of options out there. Designs can vary quite a bit, as can materials. Some high chairs can be wheeled around or locked in place. Others can be folded for easy storage.
Don’t know where to begin? Check out my top recommended high chairs for 2018 below. Click through to read detailed reviews, or scroll on down to the buying guide to learn all about shopping for high chairs.
|Product||Pros||Cons||Age Range||Max Weight||Intended Height||Price||Recommendation|
|Stokke Tripp Trapp||Nice looking, will fit any age kid, durable||It's pricey, especially since you have to buy the tray separately.||6 months to adulthood||300 lbs||Table||$$$||Yes, if you can afford it.
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|Boon High Chair||Pedestal base, allows you to adjust to any height. Very sleek, nice looking chair||A little bit expensive takes up space. No instructions so you have to guess.||0-4 years||50 lbs||Table or Counter||$$$||Yes, if you value the design of a baby chair highly and if you need to switch between table height and counter height.
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|Keter Multi-Dine High Chair||A fantastic chair that converts from a high chair to a booster seat and then to a toddler chair. Easy to clean.||The only issue is that this chair will not work at counter height, even though it is adjustable. It works at table height and lower.||6 months to 3 years||33 lbs/55 lbs||Table or kid table||$$||Yes, with no caveats
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|Phil and Ted’s Convertible Baby Chair||It converts between a high chair and a booster seat. Three bright colors are available. Easy to clean, folds up to a minimal space.||You have to make sure you get all of the nooks and crannies when you clean, plus you want to clean it right away or else some foods will stain.||6 months to 3 years||44 lbs||Table height||$$||Yes, this chair is recommended. It isn’t the best chair on this list but it offers everything that a parent could want in a baby chair. If you have a small kitchen though, you might be better off with something else.
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|Chico High Chair||Features easy snaps that make removing the tray painless and straightforward. Plus, it has several different height adjustments so that you can use it all the way up to three.||Difficult to move because the wheels stick. Also, food can get caught in crevices.||6 months to 3 years||40 lbs||Table height||$$||Great chair, although you can probably choose a slightly less expensive one on this list and get almost the same features.
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What Is a High Chair?
Most people are familiar with what a high chair is, but for those who are new to parenting, a baby chair is simply a chair that keeps your child safe and secure and gives them a surface to eat on.
Infant chairs are built to contend with all of the problems that come with feeding a baby – namely, throwing food, spillage, wriggling around in the seat and in general, making it difficult to feed. There are all kinds of different baby chairs, but the most common type includes a strap like a seat belt to keep your baby secure, a tray that fits over their lap and a height that makes it comfortable for parents to feed while sitting down in a kitchen chair.
Do You Need a High Chair?
For parents on a budget, you might be asking whether or not you need a seat for your baby. The answer to that question depends upon you.
High chairs make it much easier to feed your baby when he or she stops bottle or breastfeeding and starts eating baby food. Not only can it be difficult to feed your baby when he or she is sitting on your lap, but it isn’t very safe because you may need both hands to feed and that means having to let go of the baby for a moment.
For most parents, a baby chair it not only a beneficial “tool” to have, it is a vital part of mealtimes, and you probably won’t want to do without one.
When Do You Need a High Chair?
So, when do you need a baby chair? That depends on your baby, but a good rule-of-thumb to go by is the six-and-three rule. If your baby is less than six months, you probably don’t need a baby chair because they are too young to be eating baby food.
If they are older than three, then they are going to be too big for most of the high chairs out there. However, if you buy the right seat for your baby, you can keep using it after age three. At three, children still cannot reach the table to eat comfortably, but a booster seat will put them at the right height.
Types of High Chairs
Now, we’ll take a look at the various types of chairs that are out there, so that you know all of your options and can choose the best one for your baby.
Traditional high chairs are the most common types of chairs that are out there. You have probably seen these before and may even have used one yourself as a child.
A traditional seat for your baby usually has a padded seat and a large tray that fits over your baby’s lap. They may or may not have straps as extra security, but they are usually easy to clean, comfortable and easy to find. These are also relatively inexpensive compared to the more specialized types.
- Widely available at most department stores
- Usually one of the least expensive models of chair
- Wide legs so they remain stable
- Comfortable because they are padded
- Large footprint – not great for small kitchens
- Padded seats can contain nooks and crannies which makes cleaning take longer
Contemporary: Next, we’ll discuss contemporary high chairs. The word contemporary (in a furniture sense) means modern, so these chairs make use of latest technologies like materials and construction techniques.
They also look modern or post-modern because of the styles that are used. These high chairs are usually functional and safe as well, as there are regulatory organizations that determine if a chair gets a safety rating. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
- Sleek and stylish – they look great in any room in the house
- Lightweight and mobile because of modern construction materials
- Few or no nooks and crannies for food to get stuck in due to the lack of padding
- Usually more expensive than their traditional counterparts
- Sometimes preference is given to style over safety and function
- Not nearly as comfortable as they typically use molded plastic or other hard materials rather than padding
Single stem high chairs are chairs that have a single leg instead of four, this is done for functionality as much as it is style, but they end up being some of the most stylish high chairs out there.
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to using this type of chair, but they are a recent addition to the market and have already become quite popular. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this type of seat for your baby.
- These offer excellent stability due to the wide base
- Single stem chairs often feature a pneumatic lift to make it easy to change positions
- Single stem chairs also usually switch between table height and counter height, so you have more choices when it comes to where you use them
- Single stem high chairs also rotate most of the time, a full 360 degrees, which makes it easy to get your baby in the right position
- Like traditional chairs, these have significant footprints and may not be practical for small kitchens
- Single stem high chairs are a lot more expensive than most of the other types out there
Folding high chairs are not always a specific type of chair. Instead, the folding part can be a feature of many of the different types out there.
However, there are some infant seats where the entire design is based on the fact that you can fold it up and store it when not in use, this can be useful in small spaces. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this baby seat.
- Folds up to a slim profile that can be stored in a closet or a corner
- Usually still includes everything you need to feed your baby
- Sometimes have wheels so that you can roll them somewhere after they are folded up
- If there are no wheels, they are often made to be as light as possible so that they can be moved
- May not have extras such as a basket underneath
- Also, these often have smaller trays so that they can save space
The travel chair, if you are traveling by car or any other conveyance mode, you are unlikely going to have enough room for a full-sized seat for your baby. Plus, you aren’t going to want to be digging it out when you need it, that’s where the travel high chair comes in.
These are small chairs that will fit on a standard adult chair and perform the same function as a regular baby seat. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.
- Easy to store, takes up a tiny amount of space
- Light and portable; easily carry it on one hand
- Can be used anywhere that adults sit to eat
- Usually is secure with straps and a method of securing it to the chair
- May not work for larger children
- Often does not contain a tray, so you have to use a table or make a tray yourself
Booster Seats. If your children are past the age of three, then you may want to just go with a booster seat. This type of chair allows children to reach the table and sit with the rest of the family.
- Very small and lightweight; can be stored anywhere and carried in your car
- Can be used anywhere that an adult might sit and eat
- A great deal less expensive than a regular baby seat or high chair/booster seat combo
- Can only be used for small children and not for babies
- Does not have a tray
- May not have safety harnesses and other safety equipment
Harnesses. This is the final type of baby seat that is out there, and you don’t see too many of these, even though can do have some advantages over all of the other ones on the list.
A harness fastens your child to a standard chair. Another type of harness is an infant chair that fastens to your kitchen table – called a clamp on a harness. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
- Clamp-on and regular harnesses are probably the least expensive baby seats of any on this list
- Very light and portable – chair harnesses can even be carried in a purse or diaper bag
- Small so they can easily be stored when not in use
- Clamp-on harnesses may not fit every table type
- Chair harnesses do not allow your baby to sit and eat at table height
What to Look For When Buying a Baby Born High Chair
Next, we’re going to discuss some of the things that you’ll want to look for when it comes to buying a baby seat. You will have to decide in which order you want these factors to go in. Let’s take a look at each one in turn.
Comfort is undoubtedly one of the most important of all of the qualities, just for the fact that if your child cannot comfortably sit in their infant seat, then they are not going to eat.
Some chairs have padding that makes them more difficult to clean, yet more comfortable for your child, but along with that are things like tray fit, whether the chair reclines and other comfort factors.
Materials: The materials used to construct the chair will affect everything from the price to the weight of the chair.
If you’re on a budget, or you need something lightweight and portable, then you may want to keep the materials in mind. Also, construction materials can affect the style of a chair, so if compatibility with your décor is a concern, you may want to look at different materials to find one that works best.
Sturdiness is unquestionably something to consider. You do not want your child to be able to tip over the chair when they are sitting in it. That’s why chairs with four splayed legs or a broad, heavy base are preferable over flimsy chairs.
While flimsy chairs might be cheap, your child’s safety shouldn’t have a price tag on it.
Safety: there are some other factors to consider when it comes to a baby seat’s ability to keep your child safe.
One is whether or not the chair has a safety harness in addition to keeping your child secure with the tray. If not, then there is the possibility of them tipping forward and landing on their hand while you remove the tray.
Take all of the safety features into consideration when you are considering a chair.
Versatility is another factor. Some infant seats convert into other types of chairs. For example, you can turn some of them into booster seats, which allow you to keep using your chair even after your child has passed the baby seat age. Some of them also fold up for storage.
Durability: Also, you want to consider how long a chair is going to last. Even if you have an infant chair that is only going to be used by a child until they are three, what about other children that you might have in the future?
They have to last even longer if they convert to a booster seat because you can use them for a couple more years after that.
Conclusion: Choosing the Best High Chair
So, the bottom line question is, how do you choose the best infant seat? You have to take everything into consideration before you buy.
Think about whether or not you will need a baby chair and for how long. Consider whether you will have other children that might require a baby chair.
Most of all; look at your budget and try to see if you can fit a decent high chair that converts into a booster because these are the best option.