The Battle of the Best High Chair
Looking for a high chair? We took nine of the top high chairs, and put them through a three-month side-by-side comparison test to help you figure out which one is right for your family. With endless options such as size, body style, material, foldability, seat cushions, restraint systems, and portability, it's hard to know where to start. Our review is designed to help you figure out just what features are helpful, and which ones you could pass up without feeling like you missed out on something. We specifically measured each chair on ease of use, ease of cleaning, quality, ease of set-up, and it's footprint and portability. Read on to find out more and see which chairs received our top awards!
Read the full review below >
Test Results and Ratings
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Analysis and Award Winners
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Analysis and Test Results
Whether you're a first-time parent or an experienced veteran, one thing remains the same: you are always looking for ways to make life with baby as easy and comfortable as possible. A high chair is a big part of that commitment. It is a tool you will use every. single. day. There is probably no worse feeling than having to deal with an ill-fitting or ill-performing chair three or more times a day. In fact, because it's so crucial, the scoring metric that held the most weight for us was Ease-of-Use. We loved chairs that were not only easy to get baby in and out of, but also ones that had extra adjustability features and could grow with baby. So how do you pick the chair that's right for you? Read on, we think we can help.
The chairs we tested covered everyone from a days-old infant through a 250-pound adult! They are all considered full-size, meaning they are meant to stay in your kitchen, or wherever you choose to feed baby. There's a lot to learn, so let's start by taking a look at some of they key terms we'll be using throughout our reviews so you can get a feel for exactly what we're talking about.
Where to Get Further Info
We've created a comprehensive Buying Advice Guide, How To Choose The Best Full-Size High Chair that compliments this review. This guide answers most FAQ's, so refer to it often during your decision making process. It will also highlight how to use the chairs safely with your baby, so it may also be a valuable resource even after you've made your purchase. You can also refer to our How We Test article if you'd like to know more about exactly how we scored each chair.
Criteria for Evaluation
Ease of Use
Keekaroo Height Right and Stokke Tripp Trapp can convert to a dining chair that holds up to 250 pounds! Talk about getting your monies-worth! On the other hand, the chairs lost points if certain features were too difficult or annoying to deal with. For example, the OXO Seedling, although a great bang for your buck, had these tiny little brakes on all four wheels that just were not practical.
Ease of Cleaning
Babies are messy eaters. Toddlers are messy eaters. And if your husband has claimed the Stokke Tripp Trapp as his new chair, you'll want to be able to clean that thoroughly, too. We found there to be a fine line between added comfort for baby and added crevices for food to accumulate in. A few chairs, like the Baby Bjorn and the Keekaroo Height Right, offered unique design elements that not only eliminated unnecessary crevices for crumb storage, but also allowed ergonomic seating support during mealtime. To our delight, chairs like the Peg Perego Siesta were able to combine the elements of comfort/padding with cleanability to knock it out of the park!
Additionally, we discovered that the various components some chairs have to offer present a unique cleaning challenge. For example, the round base of the Boon Flair, although sleek and modern, just seemed to collect footprints and food, giving us something one more thing to clean.
avoid potential leaching of harsh chemicals and disintegration over time.
The easiest chair for us to clean was the Baby Bjorn. Not only was this it the smallest of the bunch, it didn't have any fabric on it (yes, machine washable cushions are nice, but really, do we always have time to remove seat cushions and wash/dry them before the next meal?). One of our least favorite chairs to clean was the Summer Infant Bentwood, which seemed to have a certain knack for attracting stains and crumbs in all the wrong places.
When you're spending an average of over $200 on a big-ticket baby item, you want to know that your money is going towards a well-made, high-quality product that will last you for years (and siblings) to come. We scored the chairs on how sturdy and stable they were, how well baby fit based on seat depth, and we gave extra points to those chairs that use nice materials and finishes. Additionally, we made sure that baby was securely supported and restrained by a harness and safety post.
Not all the units we tested are safety certified by JPMA, because obtaining that certification is a voluntary process that the manufacturer can choose to go through. However, if we did see the JPMA sticker displayed proudly on the chair, extra points were earned.
A top, perfect score of 10 was given to the Peg Perego Siesta for meeting all of our quality standards. As parents, we enjoyed its sturdy design, and appreciated all the easy-to-figure-out folding and adjustment mechanisms. As a tester, our toddler enjoyed the soft 'leather' like material of the seat cushion, as well as the ability to sit at the table or breakfast bar with the older kids.
In comparison, the Summer Infant Bentwood only earned itself a 3 of 10 for quality, due to it's not-so-stable feel and uncomfortable edges under baby's legs.
Ease of Set Up
Our Ease of Set Up ranks each chair on its ability to be easily, you guessed it, set up (or assembled) right out of the box. Set up times ranged from a speedy two minutes (Baby Bjorn) to upwards of half an hour (Keekaroo). We appreciated instruction manuals that had good pictures and clear instructions to help facilitate the process.
Footprint & Portability
The second, and equally as important scoring metric looked at the portability of the chair. Like we mentioned earlier, we aren't talking truly "portable" here, just how portable they are around your kitchen, and how easy they are to carry and store. In our case, the kitchen is upstairs, which means we had to carry these things up a flight of steps (you can imagine that the lighter chairs earned a couple extra brownie points here). Although some chairs had wheels and others didn't, it didn't necessarily mean the ones with wheels were easier to maneuver. In fact, one of our top scorers, the Baby Bjorn, doesn't have wheels.
Buying Advice article for a little more insight.
— Jessica Stevenson and BabyGearLab Review Team
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