High chairs are among the most indispensable tools for parents, and they come in every style imaginable. Gone are the days of high chairs turning into kitchen eyesores—they come in sleek and compact designs, with finishes for every style of home décor.
The choices can be overwhelming, so, we’ve done the homework for you, with tips for choosing the right high chair as well as a list of our favorites.
There are several factors to consider before you purchase a high chair, and let’s start with the “when.” You won’t need the chair the day you bring your bundle of joy home from the hospital. Equally, you should not put it off for too long because your newborn will be ready for it in the blink of an eye! Most babies will be ready for a high chair around six months old, and most parents will have limited time for shopping then. Not too mention the fact that in your state of sleep deprivation, high chair shopping may be the last thing on earth you want to do! So if you are able, purchase the high chair before your baby is born and store it out of the way until it’s needed (we’ll get to more on storage and compact designs below).
Safety First! Your number one priority for a high chair should be safety. “Style” takes a backseat to this, though rest assured you could achieve both. Your high chair should be certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. It should be sturdy, steady, and well tested. Product reviews will help in this area, too! Be sure there are no negative reviews about the chair’s safety and functionality before you purchase. A well-constructed chair will include not only a strap to secure your baby but also a crotch restraint which will prevent them from slipping out. The tray itself is not enough to keep your little one in place: be sure the chair has additional features to keep baby secure.
Ease of Cleaning. This chair is going to endure some serious messes, from splattered spaghetti o’s to “finger painting” with carrot puree, so you want to be sure it can be easily cleaned. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning and be sure that detachable parts can be wiped down easily or even run through the dishwasher. If the chair’s seat is padded, be sure you can either wipe it clean or, better yet, run it through the washing machine.
Space Saving Functions. If space is at a premium in your home, consider whether the chair can be converted into a compact unit for easy storage. In some cases, a detachable chair that connects to your kitchen chairs or table can work best. These kinds of chairs are also easily portable, which can come in handy, for example, if you and your little one make frequent trips to Grandma’s house.
The Longer it Lasts. Many chairs are designed to grow with your child, converting from infant to toddler seats, so you don’t have to purchase yet another chair once your little one leaves babyhood behind. Consider the fact that you will need some type of chair well into the toddler years (and perhaps for future siblings, too!)
No More Eyesores. The fun part of high chair shopping is the fact that you can tie it in with your home décor, whether that’s sleek and modern or more traditional and understated. A word the to wise about “vintage:” while you may be tempted to use Great Aunt Evelyn’s lovely wooden hand-me-down chair in your farmhouse-inspired kitchen, bear in mind that it is highly unlikely to meet current safety standards.
The Fisher-Price Space Saver is a favorite for many reasons, not just for the reason the name implies! Beyond the fact that it takes up little room (attaching to your kitchen chairs), it comes with height adjustments and the ability to recline, plus a tray that pops up for easy dishwasher cleaning. This space-saving high chair is the perfect addition to your dining room.
This chair is BIG on style, but without sacrificing safety and functionality. The Boon Flair Pedestal High Chair mimics a salon chair in its design, with the ability to change its’ height by pumping your foot on the pedestal base (which also makes it easy to slide under tables). The seat cover and tray are dishwasher safe, and the chair was designed without the cracks and crevices that can be difficult to clean in other designs. A portable high chair with a booster seat as functional as this one makes mealtime super easy.
This simple and sleek chair packs a lot of punch at an affordable price point. Best of all, the compact design means this one folds up like a beach chair for easy storage and portability. An adjustable tray makes room for your growing baby, and the seat can be wiped clean (and the tray is dishwasher safe). The Joovy is a great value for a simple, safe, and easy-to-use high chair. We love this design for style, functionality, and your child’s safety.
Graco is one of the most trusted baby brands, and this chair is big on functionality. It transitions from an infant to toddler to youth chair, and the components can be separated to seat two children, for parents with both an infant and a toddler. Front-locking wheels ensure safety, and the seat pad can be machine washed. For small spaces, a simple and durable design like the Graco is a great addition to the dining table alongside any dining chair.
Loved for its minimalist design, the Stokke chair from Norway comes in a variety of colors to suit any décor and is one of the easiest chairs to clean –wipe it down with a damp cloth! We love that the Stokke plastic highchair wipes clean so easily, and looks cute too!
Inglesina Fast Table Chair Designed for parents on the go, the Inglesina can be attached to almost any table and comes with its travel bag. An optional, removable dining tray snaps on to the arms of the chair, and it is available in a rich palette of colors as well. This fast table chair is on the top of our baby trend list.