In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

The Best High Chair Review

Wednesday March 4, 2020
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Do you know which features are important for the perfect high chair? We put 9 popular chairs to the test to determine which options rule, which are a pass, and which are good for specific situations. With an endless list of functions, fabrics, and designs, how can a new parent determine where to start? We tested each chair for ease of use, ease of cleaning, quality, and more to discover the pros and cons of each contender. Our details along with buying advice can help you find the best option for your little one.


1

Best Overall High Chair


Peg Perego Siesta


Peg Perego Siesta
Editors' Choice Award
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$299.00
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 23 lbs | Usage Range: Birth to 45 lbs
Adjustable
Great quality
Foldable
Tricky to roll
Hard to clean

The Peg Perego Siesta is a high-quality chair that can potentially be used for years. This chair is well-designed and has useful features like adjustable recline, height, and footrest. This option creates a good place for infants to recline with a bottle, perfect for a self-feeding hungry toddler, and everything in between. The Prima Classe fabric comes in multiple colors and has a supple, leathery feel that is easy to clean. The chair has wheels for easy moving, and it features a Stop & Go Brake system that is safe and easy to use. This chair has a compact fold making it perfect for small homes or parents who prefer to keep gear put away.

Some parents find the wheels tricky to maneuver as the back wheels swivel, and the front wheels do not. However, rolling it backward and steering with the rear wheels instead of the front solves this issue. This chair is also challenging to thoroughly clean. While the fabric is easy to wipe and the trays are dishwasher safe (we recommend hand washing), there are many nooks and crannies for food gunk can hide. Despite these minor concerns, we are impressed with the quality and flexible nature of the Siesta and believe it can keep most families happy during mealtime.

Read the Review: Peg Perego Siesta

2

Best Lightweight and Small


BabyBjorn


Baby Bjorn
Editors' Choice Award
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$299.88
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 10.6 lbs | Usage Range: 6 mos to 3 yrs
Easy to clean
Easy to set up
Compact storage
Small
Nonadjustable footrest

The BabyBjorn is a lightweight and simple chair. The sleek, high-quality design gives attention to small details like ergonomics and a well-fitting tray. The tray attaches close to the belly, and we like that is functions as part of the restraint system and prevents children from standing up. This design minimizes the amount of food that can drop off the tray on the journey between bowl and mouth. The minimalist design creates fewer cracks and crevasses, so it is a breeze to clean. We appreciate the ease of initial set up and BabyBjorn's eco-friendly practices. This chair is recyclable plastic that is PVC-free and contains no bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, cadmium, lead, or bromine.

The chief complaint with this chair is its small size. The chair design is for kids up to 3 years old, but the height maximum is only 38 inches, and some children will surpass this before 3-years of age. The height restriction is most important because of the stationary footrest. Despite the ergonomic design, the backrest is small and doesn't reach the top of the child's back. If you want a traditional chair that surrounds your baby, then this chair is not for you. However, we think the compact design, and easy to use features, make the BabyBjorn an excellent purchase for minimalist-minded families.

Read the Review: BabyBjorn

3

Best Bang for Your Buck


Graco SimpleSwitch


Best Value Award
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$80.00
See It

Product Weight: 16.3 lbs | Usage Range: Birth to 60 lbs
Reclining Seat
Cleans easily
Good deal for the price
Tray is tricky
Doesn't fold
Tray doesn't lie flat off the chair

The Graco SimpleSwitch is a basic, sturdy chair that is one of our favorites in its price range. It features a three-level recline adjustment, creating both a convenient dining center as well as a safe space for baby while mom is working in the kitchen. The straps and chair cover are easy to remove and toss in the wash after messy meals. The rest of the plastic chair is quickly wiped down to finish the cleaning job. Also, the legs are removable, turning the chair into a booster seat that can hold up to 60 lbs!

While the tray is removable with one-handed, it sometimes sticks if it is uneven. Also, because the crotch restraint is attached to the tray, the tray won't lay flat when placed on the table or counter, which means that if you need to get your baby out mid-meal, you will have to remove the food before the tray. While this chair has a smaller footprint, it is bulky to store. Overall, we recommend this chair as a practical and affordable option that is useable for longer than the average chair.

Read the Review: Graco SimpleSwitch

4

Best for Durable Lifetime Use


Stokke Tripp Trapp Bundle


Top Pick Award
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$318.00
(12% off)
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 15.6 lbs | Usage Range: 6 mos (with Baby Set) to 242 lbs
Easy to clean
Durable
Pull up to a table
Expensive
Infant accessories sold separately

There are many reasons to love the Stokke Tripp Trapp. It has a simple design that is easy to clean and pulls right up to the table so your little ones can eat with the family. Durable construction and height adjustments for the seat and footrest create a chair that little ones can use through their first ten years of life. The Stokke Tripp Trapp Bundle caters to 6 mo+ infants and includes a removable 5-point harness, Tripp Trapp Baby Set, and Mini Baby Cushion. Additional custom accessories include the Stokke Tray, the Tripp Trapp Cushion, and the Tripp Trapp Junior Cushion. We love the versatility of this seat and European Beech Wood that is free of harmful chemicals like bisphenol and phthalates.

Because this is a solid, durable chair, it costs a premium price; it is the second most expensive chair in this review. With a price this high, it's somewhat frustrating that you have to purchase the baby insert, tray, and other accessories separately. However, in the end, we love that this high-quality chair can grow with your child longer than the average chair.

Read the Review: Stokke Tripp Trapp Bundle

5

Best Value for Long-term Use


Graco Blossom


Best Value Award
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$135.99
(28% off)
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 31.8 lbs | Usage Range: Infant to 60 lbs
Can accommodate two
Easy to clean
Well priced
Does not fold
Cumbersome

The Graco Blossom is a unique chair that converts from a high chair to an infant booster to a toddler booster and finally a youth chair. Because of this 4-in-1 ability, you have far more versatility and options for multiple children. The leatherette seat pad fabric is easy to wipe clean or toss into the wash for big messes. The Blossom offers multiple seat adjustments and food trays, is easy to use, and well made. It is priced well for what you get and considering the potential for long-term use.

The biggest complaint about this chair is that it doesn't fold for easy storing, which can be an issue if you are living in a small space, as this has a larger footprint and is heavy and cumbersome to move. The wheels allow it to glide on hard surfaces, but it struggles over the carpet. Despite its larger size, if you want a chair that can last through multiple stages and children, then this is one to consider.

Read the Review: Graco Blossom

6

Most Compact


Joovy Nook


Joovy Nook
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$99.99
(23% off)
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 15.4 lbs | Usage Range: 6 mos to 50 lbs
Lightweight
Easy to Use
Good price
Difficult to clean
Seat always reclined

The JOOVY Nook is a stylish, modern high chair that is simple to use and comes fully assembled. The tray swings open with one hand, and it conveniently folds down and out of the way. The compact fold and lightweight design make transporting and storing a breeze. The tray has a dishwasher-safe cover and can be moved forward and backward to create more room for your growing child. We think this is a nifty chair with useful features and an affordable price.

While we like this chair for its ease of use, cleaning it is not as simple as some of the others. The comfortable leatherette seat has multiple seams that can catch crumbs and small pieces of food and is especially frustrating to clean if you don't wipe it before it dries; the same is true for the straps. We wish the seat pad and straps could be tossed in the washing machine to simplify the cleaning process. Also, the seat doesn't sit at a 90-degree angle and has a slight recline. At first glance, it doesn't look too bad, but once you put your baby in the chair, it's easier to see the steeper recline. This chair is an excellent fit for parents looking for ease of use and no assembly who prefer to do regular quick cleanups to prevent long term build-up.

7

Modern Chic


Bloom Fresco


Bloom Fresco
Top Pick Award
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$550.00
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 39.6 lbs. | Usage Range: Birth to 79 lbs
Stylish
Adjustable height
Stable
Heavy
Expensive
Quality issues

The Bloom Fresco is a stylish, modern-looking high chair. You can customize the chair when you buy it by choosing the frame color, starter kit, and (optional) universal snug seat cushion. It rotates 360 degrees, has three recline positions and adjusts taller or shorter to fit the countertop or table. These features accommodate infants, toddlers, and kids up to 8 years old. The wide circular base keeps it nice and stable.

The Bloom is expensive, making it less of an option for those on a budget. It is more costly than the next chair by nearly $200. Also, it is heavy, with a weight close to 40 lbs, making it the heaviest chair in the review. Also, some users have issues with breaking parts, but Bloom's customer service is helpful and reportedly sends replacement parts when necessary. Overall, if you are looking for a long-term chair for your kitchen that won't cramp your style, then the Bloom may be the chair for you. If you find its modern look appealing but not the price tag, you might consider the Mima Moon 2G as it has a similar futuristic and straightforward design.

8

A Boost for Little Ones


Keekaroo Height Right with Infant Insert


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$207.03
(10% off)
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 21.1 lbs | Usage Range: 6 mos to 250 lbs
Long-term use
Stable
Easy to clean
Have to maintain
Difficult assembly
Buckle easy to undo

The Keekaroo Height Right with Infant Insert is similar in appearance and functionality to the Tripp Trapp but with a more reasonable price point. The wood chair can hold your 6-month-old infant (with insert) and an adult (up to 250 lbs). The adjustable seat and footrest allow you to customize the seat for the perfect fit. It is stable even when kids are grasping and leaning out of their seats. Also, because the chair is entirely wood and the insert is plastic, it is easy to keep clean.

The screws on this chair need to be checked periodically to ensure that they are tight and secure as they can loosen over time. Users also report a deterioration of the wood tray when used without the plastic cover. Also, some children under 24 months have managed to undo the buckle, so it requires constant supervision to avoid potential injuries. Assembling this chair can be a bit tricky and not intuitive, taking about 30 minutes to complete. While this can be a drawback, it is (fortunately) something that you only do once. Overall, this is an excellent budget-friendly chair designed for use past the toddler years.

Read the Review: Keekaroo Height Right with Infant Insert

9

Height Adjustable without Breaking the Bank


Boon Flair


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$259.99
(13% off)
at Amazon
See It

Product Weight: 28.7 lbs | Usage Range: Up to 50 lbs or 4 yrs
Easy to clean
Wheels work well
Modern style
Does not fold
Temperamental Pneumatic lift

The Boon Flair is a great modern looking high chair that gets the job done. The sleek style and lack of crevices make it super easy to wipe clean. There are no nooks and crannies for food to get trapped as the seat is one solid piece, and you can unhook the straps to wash by hand in the sink. While it is on the heavy side, it has six caster wheels that make it a breeze to roll on hard surfaces.

This chair has a larger than average footprint, and there is no way to fold it if you want to store it. There have also been multiple reports of the pneumatic lift malfunctioning after time. You will want to register the product on the Boon website in case a return or replacement is needed. Despite these minor concerns, we believe this is a great contender if you are looking for a stylish seat at a fraction of the price of similar chairs.

Read the Review: Boon Flair

The SimpleSwitch can be used with children up to 37 lbs.
The SimpleSwitch can be used with children up to 37 lbs.

Why You Should Trust Us


This high chair review and testing are led by our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a board-certified pediatrician. Dr. Spurrier uses her background and education combined with her experience as a mother of two to select products with ease of use and safety in mind. She is instrumental in testing development and final product selection. Wendy Schmitz, the Senior Review Editor, rounds out the team and uses her science education to help guide her in the testing and review process to make thoughtful testing procedures and analysis of test results. Wendy is a mother of two and has worked on most BabyGearLab reviews as a tester and analyst since 2014.

We spent countless hours researching and testing these chairs in-house and in real life to help you find the perfect chair for your family. These chairs were used with little ones of various ages and sizes to determine which ones work well and which lack overall functionality or features parents may need.

The chair can be adjusted to make a perfect ergonomical fit for different size children.
We like the simplicity of the design and ease of use of the SimpleSwitch.

Analysis


Whether you are a first-time parent or have years of experience, most parents are looking for ways to make baby life easy, comfortable, and as fun as possible. Mealtimes can take up a large part of the day, so finding the perfect chair solution can be part of the parenting solution, as it can save you frustration regularly. We started our roundup search with more than 50 high chairs and narrowed it to the most popular 9 on the market to test to help make your buying decision easier.

Types of High Chairs


In this review, we discuss stand-alone, full-size high chairs. These chairs come with a food tray and do not require a table for feeding. Full-size chairs offer everything you need to get your baby fed in one convenient package. These chairs take up floor space and will have a set of legs attached to a base for stability. Some of them have wheels, and others do not.


The footprint of a high chair is important, depending on the size of your home. If you live in a tiny studio apartment, you may want to consider our Editor's Choice, the Baby Bjorn, as it is compact and moves easily. If you want something that takes up minimal space, you'll want to consider using a portable product.

Related: The Best Portable High Chair

Important Terms


The chairs we tested work for a range from infancy up to a 250-pound adult! They are all considered full-size, meaning they are meant to stay in your home in basically one location. To get a feel for all of the features and functions you might find in a high chair, let's start by reviewing key terms you'll see when reading about high chairs.

The simple 3-point restraint system that buckles around baby's waist.
The simple 3-point restraint system that buckles around baby's waist.
  • Harness/Restraint System: This includes the belts, buckles, and straps that retain a baby safely in the chair. Some chairs have a 5-point harness, with two shoulder straps and two waist straps that buckle into a crotch strap. Others have only a 3-point harness with waist straps that buckle into the crotch strap. Still, a minority of options have only side straps that meet in the middle like an old-school seatbelt. Whatever your preference, be sure that the harness is easy to adjust, so you can get a good fit that keeps your baby contained. Also, look for seats with a one-hand buckle release, this provides another level of convenience when getting a squirming baby out of the chair.
  • Crotch Restraint/Safety Post: The safety post goes between the baby's legs to prevent slipping under the tray or out of the chair. Some chairs have a stationary crotch restraint, and others have a crotch post that is attached to the tray or seat bottom. We prefer products with a fixed center post for multiple reasons. With the post built into the chair, it is a little less likely that the baby will slip out. If the post is connected to the tray, it likely won't fit in the dishwasher, and you can't put the tray flat on the counter; something many parents like to do when prepping a meal.

The five-point restraint is easily released with one hand while the passive crotch restraint stays in place as part of the seat.
The five-point restraint is easily released with one hand while the passive crotch restraint stays in place as part of the seat.
  • Adjustments: Many chairs have adjustable features. The two we think are the most important are recline and height changes. Chairs that have adjustable features tend to offer more comfort for the baby or parent.
  • Portability: Full-size high chairs are not "portable" (travel chairs) or boosters. For this roundup, 'portability' refers to moving around your house. Some chairs have wheels, but the chairs with wheels aren't always easier to maneuver.

Ease of Use


Your chair will likely be used every day, multiple times a day, so it must be easy to operate. Also, quirks that could lead to potential injury or leave marks are serious deal-breakers. Here are some ease-of-use features and quirks to consider:

The Siesta has unique the ability to fully recline.  This can be a handy place for a young infant to hang out prior to starting solids while family is cooking or eating.
The Siesta has unique the ability to fully recline. This can be a handy place for a young infant to hang out prior to starting solids while family is cooking or eating.
  • Recline: Some chairs recline, but there is one recline feature we like the best. The Peg Perego Siesta's entire seat tilts back to the footrest. Other chairs, like the Graco SimpleSwitch, offer recline, but only the back of the chair moves. This style can cause the baby's bottom to slide forward and makes it feel like they are going to slide out of the seat. If your baby is unlikely to fall asleep in their chair, then recline may not be a big deal for you.

Recline Safety
Always ensure that the baby's fingers are out of the way of potential pinch points when adjusting the seat back! Some recline features create pinch points, and your baby can get hurt when adjusting.

The highest setting on the Boon High Chair allowed baby to join in during breakfast while sitting at counter-height with older siblings.
The highest setting on the Boon High Chair allowed baby to join in during breakfast while sitting at counter-height with older siblings.
  • Height Adjustability: Determine where you think you'll feed your baby. If you sit down at your table and want your baby nearby, then most of the stand-alone chair should work. If you think you'll be standing while feeding your little one, then you may want a taller chair. In our tests, we like the taller options with adjustable heights, like the Boon Flair. Alternatively, chairs like the Keekaroo Height Right and Stokke Tripp Trapp are great options for the table because they can easily push up to most tables at the right height. Whatever your preference, be sure to check the chair's dimensions to ensure that it will work in your space and with your lifestyle.

The Stokke Tripp Trapp can easily be pushed up to the table to dine together.
The Stokke Tripp Trapp can easily be pushed up to the table to dine together.
  • Comfort Features: Some chairs don't offer padding, but may provide an ergonomic sitting position. The chairs without fabric cushions are generally easier to keep clean.

Many snack trays  like the one from the Keekaroo shown here  are dishwasher safe  but we recommend using warm soapy water to clean them by hand instead.
Many snack trays, like the one from the Keekaroo shown here, are dishwasher safe, but we recommend using warm soapy water to clean them by hand instead.

Ease of Cleaning


Babies are messy. Toddlers are messier. While comfort for your baby is important, comfort often results in more areas for food to collect. A few options, like the Baby Bjorn and the Keekaroo Height Right, have unique design features that eliminate the majority of crevices and provide ergonomic support. To our delight, chairs like the Peg Perego Siesta combine comfort with easy cleanability. Chairs should be easy to clean, especially as you'll be using it frequently. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a chair that is a breeze to clean:
  • Chair cushions: If it has a padded cushion, make sure the cover wipes clean. Chairs with removable, machine-washable seat cushions are even better. We recommend avoiding fabrics that attract stains or absorb liquids as they require more frequent deep cleaning.

Luckily  those sneaky food-collecting creases in the seat cushion were super easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Luckily, those sneaky food-collecting creases in the seat cushion were super easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Base: Larger bases, like the one on the Boon Flair, will catch food and require frequent cleaning. Smaller bases or regular legs mean quicker chair clean up.
  • Buckles: Buckles can collect food like crazy. This tendency to collect gunk is why buckles must have few nooks and crannies. Cleaning them is a lot easier when they don't require Q-tip attention.

Some of the chairs have food trays with a snack tray "cover." For convenience, these tray covers are top-rack dishwasher safe. However, we recommend washing plastic by hand to avoid potential chemical leeching and heat-related damage over time.

Quality


Quality is essential for a product your child sits in multiple times a day several feet above the floor. The product quality can impact safety, and you'll want a chair that keeps your baby safe and secure during use.

Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is very well made and does not scream baby furniture.
Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is very well made and does not scream baby furniture.

Even if you purchase your chair online, we recommend trying to test it in person for yourself; shake it, push it across the floor, adjust the height and recline, remove the seat cushion, play with the tray. Bring your baby, put them and take them out. This in-person experience can give you information on chair stability and the quality of the materials and construction. Buying from a retailer like Amazon allows you to return the chair if it doesn't meet your expectations or needs.

Footprint and Portability


The footprint and portability of a high chair refer to the size and how well the wheels function (if present). This metric doesn't include whether or not they are good for travel outside your home, only how well they move around your kitchen and how easily they store.

Two of our favorites  the Baby Bjorn (L) and the Peg Perego Siesta (R) folded and ready to be stored.
Two of our favorites, the Baby Bjorn (L) and the Peg Perego Siesta (R) folded and ready to be stored.

While only a few of the products have wheels, we think they aren't necessarily easier to move. One of our top performers, the Baby Bjorn, doesn't have wheels, but it is still easy enough to move.

Some things to keep in mind:
  • Footprint Size: The footprint is the floor space the chair occupies. If your kitchen is small, you'll want to pick a chair with a smaller footprint or one that folds.

  • Wheels:
    The Siesta offers an auto-lock feature for the brakes.  Above baby's arm rest  when you see 'Stop'  you know the brakes are on and baby is not going anywhere.
    Moving your chair around via wheels may or may not matter to you, but wheels didn't always result in easy to move in our tests. Plus, the brakes that come with the wheels aren't always effective or user-friendly. Wheels can potentially lead to unsupervised and unsafe "rides" around the house from older children, or the chair could move as you put your baby in if you forget to lock the brakes. Our favorite wheels are on the Peg Perego Siesta, which has an automatic brake lock with an easy press to set and release operation. This method is much simpler than trying to flip the tiny levers located on other wheels.
  • Foldability: You may need or want to stow your high chair out of sight. If you think you'll need to do this, then you'll want to choose one that folds. The Peg Perego Siesta and the Baby Bjorn both fold.


Additional Items to Ponder

  • Easiest to get baby in and out - Do baby legs get stuck at any point getting in or getting out? Is it hard to find the harness after the baby is in the seat? Does the baby slide when you remove the tray? How do the brakes work?
  • Harnessing baby - Is the harness easy to secure? Can you adjust the harness after your baby is sitting? Does the chair have a five-point harness? Can it unbuckle quickly?
  • Baby's comfort and positioning - Can you get your little one comfortable or do you need to reposition regularly? Will the tray squish your baby, or does it allow food to fall? Is there enough legroom and where is the footrest located?
  • Ease of use throughout baby's development - Will this chair work for an infant and an older toddler?


Conclusion


A high chair can be seen as a baby equipment necessity. While you may try to avoid buying one, arguably a high chair makes life easier by providing a safe place for baby to eat. You'll use your chair for several years (maybe more for multiples), so it's a decision we think you shouldn't take lightly. No matter what your unique dining needs or goals are, there is a safe, functional (and even stylish) high chair in our list for your family.


Juliet Spurrier, MD and Lindsay Selig