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

Displaying 1 - 5 of 9 << Previous | View All | Next >>

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Jessica Stevenson & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Thursday
May 21, 2015

Share:

Best Overall High Chair


Peg Perego Siesta


Editors' Choice Award

$299.99
at Amazon
See It

We selected the Peg Perego Siesta because it is the high chair we would recommend to a friend who was looking for the best, most versatile product in this category. It earned an 87 of 100 across our testing criteria and performed beautifully by joining superb safety and comfort features for baby, while at the same time offering essential everyday features like foldability, auto brake locks, and easy cleaning for mom and dad. It had an intuitive design that allowed us to easily figure out how to fold, recline, adjust, and maneuver. It can be used with a days-old infant all the way through late toddler stages, and due to it's sturdy nature and robust design, you should be happy with your purchase for years to come. For all these reasons, we loved the Siesta for all our mealtime needs!

Read Full Review: Peg Perego Siesta

Best Bang for the Buck


Graco Blossom


Best Value Award

$171.32
(10% off)
at Amazon
See It

We loved the Graco Blossom not only for the affordable price tag, but also it's ability to grow with your child from infant through six years old. Additionally, you can use this chair with two children of different ages at once (think high chair that has a removable booster seat), which makes it a knock out in our book. There are a couple different configurations to make this possible, and we think you will find it to be a helpful addition to your dining experience if you have more than one young child. It is a versatile, easy-to-clean, sturdy, well-built chair that will last your family for many years to come. If you are looking to stay on a budget, yet still want a quality product that will grow with your family, consider the Blossom.

Read Full Review: Graco Blossom

Top Pick for Light and Compact


Baby Bjorn


Baby Bjorn Top Pick Award

$299.95
at Amazon
See It

This unique, safe, efficient, easy-to-clean, easy-to-assemble, no-nonsense high chair really has it all without having anything extra to get in the way of how simply perfect it is. Beginning from the time your child is about six months old until they are three years (or up to 38" tall), you will love the straightforward features of this chair. Although there is no cushion, the slightly rounded back of the chair offers a great ergonomic design to keep your child sitting upright, promoting great posture and safe eating habits. The buckles of the three-point restraint are backed by soft fabric, ensuring additional comfort for baby. If simplicity and functionality is your motto, the Baby Bjorn is the one for you!

Read Full Review: Baby Bjorn

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
87
$300
Editors' Choice Award
A well-built, easy to clean, foldable high chair that both you and your baby will enjoy using.
86
$280
After jumping over the hurdle of assembly, you won't be disappointed by the functionality and ability to blend right into the kitchen table.
85
$300
Top Pick Award
This chair did not disappoint, was a breeze to assemble and keep clean, and kept a squirmy toddler safely in place.
74
$190
Best Value Award
An easy to clean, versatile 4-in-1 seating system that can accommodate children in various ages and stages.
73
$320
A quality-made chair best suited for use with children older than three years who would not need the infant insert or buckling system.
52
$120
Gets the job done if you're looking for a reliable product, just don't expect some of the high-end features like easy-set brakes or extra-cushy padding.
49
$250
Love the modern design elements, but not how some of those elements failed to impress with their lack of functionality.
46
$140
Takes up a lot of space in your kitchen, but is an inexpensive option that could last for years if properly cared for.
29
$185
Looks nice in the kitchen with its stylish wood frame, but hard to clean and may not keep baby as comfortable and secure as some of the other chairs in our round-up.

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.

BabyGearLab's top ranked competitor line-up for the high chair category
BabyGearLab's top ranked competitor line-up for the high chair category

Important Terms


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.
  • Restraint system.
    The 5-point restraint system on the Graco Blossom was secure  but cumbersome to latch on a squirmy baby.
    The 5-point restraint system on the Graco Blossom was secure, but cumbersome to latch on a squirmy baby.
    This refers to the belts, buckles, straps, and harnesses that keep baby securely in place while they eat. Some of our chairs had a 5-point restraint system, meaning there were two shoulder straps and two waist straps that buckled into one crotch strap, providing superior safety. Others had a 3-point restraint system which only included waist straps that met somewhere under baby's belly button. All the restraint systems offered some level of adjustability.
  • Crotch restraint/post. This is the post that goes in between baby's legs to prevent them (along with the restraint system) from slipping down and out of the chair. Some chairs offered a stationary crotch restraint, meaning it was part of the actual chair, while others had a crotch post that was attached to the tray, and therefore removable. We preferred ones that were stationary, and those products also earned themselves a couple extra points in the safety department.
  • Adjustments.
    The Boon Flair could adjust all the way up to counter height  and with the tray removed  allowed baby to eat alongside her siblings.
    The Boon Flair could adjust all the way up to counter height, and with the tray removed, allowed baby to eat alongside her siblings.
    There are lots of adjustable features when you look at all the chairs, but the two we are focusing on are the ability to recline, and the ability to change the height of the chair. For the most part, chairs that had more adjustable features offered a higher level of comfort for baby. The reviews on each chair will also mention how adjustable the trays are, and this will always refer to 'depth adjustability', meaning how far away from or close to baby the tray is able to slide.
  • Portability. As we already mentioned, these are full-size high chairs, which are different from truly "portable" units or booster seats. For this review, 'portability' refers to how easy they are to move around your kitchen. Some had wheels, and some didn't, but believe it or not, this didn't necessarily mean the ones with wheels were easier to maneuver!

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


Using the OXO Tot Seedling at it's lowest height setting
Using the OXO Tot Seedling at it's lowest height setting
Of all the metrics we tested, Ease of Use held the most weight for us. Specifically, we focused on the following four criteria:
  • Easiest to get baby in and out of. Did her legs get stuck on the way in or out of the chair? Was she sitting on the harness once you got her in? Did she start to slide out once you removed the tray? How do the brakes work?
  • Harnessing baby. How easily did the harnesses secure around baby? Were those harnesses easy to adjust? Does the chair provide a three or five point restraint system? Does it unbuckle easily?
  • Baby's comfort and positioning. Was it easy to get baby into a comfortable seating position? Was she slipping down? Was she squished or too far away from the tray? Did her legs have enough room? Could her feet reach the footrest?
  • Ease of use throughout baby's development. Can I use this chair with an infant? Can I use this chair with an older toddler?

The Keekaroo Height Right easily accommodated our toddler  as well as older siblings (who quite enjoyed using this chair at the table).
The Keekaroo Height Right easily accommodated our toddler, as well as older siblings (who quite enjoyed using this chair at the table).
Clearly, there is no shortage of questions when purchasing this type of item. The chairs we tested earned points based on how many of the above criteria they met, or in many cases exceeded, answering questions we didn't even know we had. For example, the 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.

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.
Many of the chairs offered trays that included a snack tray "cover". For added convenience, the manufacturers have made these tray covers top-rack dishwasher safe, which was helpful. However, we still recommend washing plastic components by hand to 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.

Quality


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.
Look for this certification on these and other baby products.
Look for this certification on these and other baby products.

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


When folded  the four legs of the Baby Bjorn are only a few inches away from each other  making it super compact for storage.
When folded, the four legs of the Baby Bjorn are only a few inches away from each other, making it super compact for storage.
Lastly, we reviewed the chairs on their Footprint and Portability. The footprint is measured by how much floor space it takes up in square inches, therefore, the smaller the footprint, the higher the score. This is an important feature to consider for apartment dwellers, or for those of us who just don't want our child's eating space taking up half the kitchen! The smallest footprint belonged to the Stokke Tripp Trapp, which took up only 396 square inches of floor space. The largest one, in contrast, belonged to the OXO Tot Seedling, taking up 726 square inches.

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.

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.
For the unlock  or 'Go' feature of Siesta's brakes  you can either hold down the lever and temporarily move the chair  or you can place them into the 'Go' position and leave it locked there when you want the brakes to remain off.
 
That being said, one of our most favorite and unique features was the automatic brake lock on the Peg Perego Siesta wheels. If set to the 'STOP' position, you knew the brakes were on, and baby wasn't going anywhere. Push it down or switch it to 'GO' and it is free to move around the kitchen. This was so much easier than trying flip some of those tiny levers found on every wheel. It was so genius, in fact, we wonder why all high chairs with wheels don't offer this feature!

Conclusion


BabyGearLab's top ranked competitor line-up for the high chair category
BabyGearLab's top ranked competitor line-up for the high chair category
A High chair is something you'll be using day in and day out, so it's important to find one that will be a pleasure to use, not a hassle. We researched, tested, and rated these seats in the hopes that all of it will help you find the perfect chair for your situation. If you're wanting more info on what to consider when purchasing a high chair, take a look at our Buying Advice article for a little more insight.
Jessica Stevenson & BabyGearLab Team

  • Share this article:
 

Follow Us

Unbiased.

You Might Also Like