A high chair offers your baby a comfortable, secure, and safe platform to experiment with new textures and tastes that you offer during weaning. The raised height allows you to easily supervise mealtimes as well as making cleanup time easier after meals. Unfortunately, all high chairs are not created equal, and with the myriad of high chairs on the market, picking the right one could be a challenge.
Choosing the perfect high chair depends on several factors, including the amount of space in your home, your budget, and your lifestyle. Just like a baby stroller, the right high chair for one parent may not necessarily fit the lifestyle of another parent. You need something that your little one feels comfortable in where they can enjoy meal time without any hassle.
To make your work easier, we have compiled a comprehensive guide on what to look for when shopping for a high chair. We also cover various types of high chairs including wooden high chairs
, and included a review of the five best high chairs you can find on the market. Hopefully, by the time you’re through reading this, you’ll be a high chair expert. Sounds cool, huh!
As parents, we all know how toddlers can make a mess on our floors and furniture during feeding. That calls for a high chair with an easy to clean surface to help make after-meal cleanups quick and hassle free. A high chair that absorbs fluids and food is difficult to wipe down would make any parent throw their own fit! Choose an easy to clean model from the get go!
It’s a good idea to look at the harness, tray, and frame. Check out any areas that may be difficult to clean, or tiny crevices that may trap food and make it hard to reach.
Cushioned high chairs may provide your baby with a comfortable surface to enjoy meals, but be careful as it’s always a pain to clean up fabrics. Stick with vinyl or plastic, but if you choose to go with cushioned, consider models with removable covers. If you’re looking for extra fun and comfort, consider purchasing a baby play yard
or a baby stroller for the little one
to have fun after a decent meal.
Please go through the guide to get more information on what to look out for when shopping for a high chair, then you can dive straight in to our top picks.
High chairs vary widely in price depending on the features they come with and the materials they are made from. But generally, you’ll find a quality highchair at prices ranging from $30 to $250. Traditional high chairs are the simplest and by far the cheapest on the market. They can be made from wood, plastic, or metal, or a combination of any of these. These chairs don’t have the glamour of bells, whistles, or height adjustment features that come with modern high chairs.
Modern high chairs, on the other hand, cost a fair bit more and incorporate extra features to keep your baby comfortable and entertained. Most models are able to fold up for easy storage, not to mention the height adjustment functionality that allows you to feed your child at your preferred height. They will also usually come with toys or music that can be your best friend when trying to keep your little one entertained as you prepare their food.
You may be able to find cheap high chairs that cost below $30 on the market, but we don’t recommend these to our clients since they are generally made from low quality materials that may not meet your expectations.
High chairs come in a variety of makes and designs. The type of chair you pick will depend on your lifestyle, budget, and the features that matter most to you. Here are some key things to look out for in a high chair:
- Stability - Since a high chair will carry your baby about 3 feet above the ground, you need something stable that won’t expose your baby to the risks of toppling over and causing nasty injuries. Consider chairs with a wider base, high weight capacity, and rubber stoppers to prevent sliding.
- Storage - Consider the amount of space you have in your home and choose a chair that meets your storage needs. Traditional chairs don’t fold up at all, while portable high chairs can be folded down and tucked into small storage spaces.
- Safety - Safety features should be your top consideration. Look out for chairs with a crotch post, a safety restraint with ideally a 5-point harness, models without wheels, or ones that have a the ability to lock wheels in one place. If the chair folds up, ensure that it doesn’t pinch fingers while folding.
- Certified models - A certification sticker on the high chair shows that the manufacturer adheres to the safety standards as regulated by ASTM International.
- Assembly and Returns - If you’re purchasing a high chair that comes in parts, ensure that you keep the receipt and check if all the parts are packed. However, some chairs will come fully assembled hence saving you the hassle of assembling it yourself where you may run the risk of missing crucial parts.
Construction and Design
High chairs come with so many features that make it hard for one model stand out from the rest. Here are some of the important construction and design features to look out for:
The seat can either be padded or hard plastic. Consider padded seats since they’re easier on your toddler’s behind than hard plastic. However, since your baby won’t be sitting on the high seat for long hours, some plastics can still offer the needed functionality. Not to mention that padded seats can be difficult to wipe down.
Consider seats with harness restraints. This is a common feature in modern high seats and will also include a removable tray. This ensures that your baby is safe and sound even after removing the tray.
A crotch post is a vital piece of safety equipment for any high chair. It prevents your baby from slipping down from the high chair and tucking his/her head between the tray and the high chair.
High Chair Trays
Most high chairs will come with a tray, except for booster seat high chairs that will depend on your regular dining table to rest the baby’s meal. Some trays are permanently built onto the high chair while others are removable, making the cleaning easier. Choose a model that suits your lifestyle. Do you like feeding your baby anywhere, or do you prefer using the dining table?
Some parents may not feed their kids in one room all the time. If you need something you can easily move around, consider high chairs with wheels to make your work a lot easier.
Performance and Ease of Use
The right high chair will help make meal times more enjoyable for both the baby and the parent. But with a wide range of features available, choosing the right high chair with good performance and ease of use may not be a piece of cake.
The bottom line is, you need to pick a sturdy, stable, and easy to use high chair that can withstand heavy use coupled with spills and regular cleaning. Also, consider if you’re going to use the high chair purely in your home, or if you want a portable design that you can fold up and take on the go. Sometimes you need something your baby can grow up with from infancy to toddlerhood.
Traditional high chairs are generally meant for home use. You can’t fold them up, hence they are not convenient when travelling. Consider these chairs for home use or as a second chair that you keep at granny’s place to use whenever you visit.
Multipurpose high chairs come with a stable base and a seat unit with tray. The seat can easily be detached and strapped to an adult chair at the dining table, hence serving as a booster seat. With time, you can remove the booster tray and allow your baby to dine at the table. It’s all about versatility!
On the other hand, a “Grow with Me” high chair is mainly made from wood and can be converted into a toddler or youth chair as your kid grows. Some chairs even serve up to young adulthood, supporting weights of up to 175 pounds. The seat height can be easily adjusted via a hex key/Allen wrench as may be desired.
When it comes to choosing which high chair to buy, it can be a bit daunting. This is a chair that will hold the most precious thing in your life––your baby. And again, you need a model that will stay around and be used daily for years to come (if you choose the right quality). With that information in hand, it’s time to go out and pick a great high chair that suits your style and budget.
When you’re trying to decide which high chair is best for you, there are critical factors to consider: Do you need a high chair system that adapts and grows with your baby? Perhaps you want a brightly colored one with a pattern? Or, would you prefer a more neutral chair that’ll blend in? Now that you’ve taken a look at the options out there, you should have a better idea of what your preferred high chair should look like. If you think one of the brands stood out, but the particular chair we featured wasn’t for you, go ahead and take a gander at what other models and colors those brands have to offer–– there’s bound to be one for you!