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When the time comes to wean your baby, buying a high chair is a number one priority. Chances are it’ll be your first foray into the world of baby seating – so what should you consider when buying?
It’s actually worth planning your high chair purchase before your baby even arrives as some of them can be used from birth, allowing you to adapt the chair as the child grows. This might bypass the need to buy an extra baby seat, saving you money and space.
If you’re going to use the chair pulled up to a breakfast bar or table, think about how many adjustable height options it has. Trays vary in size – if you plan to use the chair right through toddlerhood, ensure it’ll fit all plates, cups and cutlery required for mealtimes.
High chairs get notoriously messy so a surface that’s easy to wipe clean is essential. Most important of all is high chair security – a good security mechanism, like a harness, will ensure your child won’t be able to wriggle free.
We tested high chairs from popular brands in the home environment using babies and toddlers for a true test. Read on to discover how we scored to see which high chair to buy. For over 200 best buys, visit our reviews section, plus find inspiration for feeding little ones in our family and kids hub.
1. BabyBjörn high chair
Best overall high chair
Swedish brand BabyBjörn has a reputation for practical, minimalist design and its high chair follows in the same pared-back vein. The lack of adornments and adjustment options might make you wonder at the price tag, but you’re paying for clever design and innovations such as the tray which locks the child in place. Plus, while it’s expensive, unlike many high-end chairs, it doesn’t require any accessories.
2. Beaba Up & Down high chair
A flexible high chair that’s easy to assemble
French brand Beaba have created a high chair that feels super-secure, plus it’s incredibly easy to assemble with no tools required other than those provided in the box. It offers six different height options, allowing it to nestle perfectly next to a breakfast bar or dining table. The seat itself is snug, which when combined with the safety harness, means the child feels very secure. While it’s not the cheapest option, it has a stylish, minimalist design and practical features.
3. iCandy MiChair high chair
A premium high chair with longevity
The MiChair is British pushchair brand iCandy’s first foray into high chairs. It launched in 2016 and is marketed as ‘the stylish high chair that turns into a beautifully crafted piece of furniture for your child’. It’s a high-end high chair that converts to a chair or rocking chair for three to six-year-olds. At £260 (plus £50 for the cushions), it’s pricey, but the option to convert it means greater longevity.
Buy now from:
John Lewis (£260)
Precious Little One (£260)
4. Oribel Cocoon high chair
An adaptable high chair that’s suitable from birth
The team at Oribel are self-professed tech geeks and develop fun toys and baby gear. The Oribel cocoon high chair has been inspired by the butterfly and was designed to grow with your baby. The chair changes from a cosy recliner suitable for newborns to a seat for your child to join in at the dining table. The price positions this chair on the higher-end of the high chairs market.
Buy now from:
5. Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair
A design classic with space-saving credentials
The Stokke Tripp Trapp first came to the market in 1972, after Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik struggled to find a chair that would allow his two-year-old son to sit at the family table after outgrowing his highchair. Marketed as ‘the chair that grows with the child’, the Tripp Trapp is designed to last well beyond the lifespan of a traditional highchair, and can continue to be adjusted into adulthood. There are now several imitators on the market, but, with its iconic design and high production standards, the Tripp Trapp is still the leader in its category.
6. Mamas & Papas Snax high chair
A comfortable high chair with a spacious tray
The Snax is nursery brand Mamas & Papas‘ higher-end high chair, available in four colours of which the grey hexagon design we tested is the most neutral. It’s an adjustable folding chair with six heights, three tray positions and three recline settings. Of the three very similar folding chairs I tested, it comes with two additional features: a storage basket and castors.
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How we tested high chairs
All high chairs reviewed were tested in a home environment by parents who used them for mealtimes with toddlers and babies over a period of time. Our detailed testing matrix looked at everything from harness effectiveness to material quality. We scored on the following key criteria:
Ease of assembly:
High chairs with instruction manuals that were difficult to follow or fiddly parts that took a long time to put together were marked down.
Comfort for child:
We rated the high chairs on how at ease the child was when strapped in and secured with any harness options.
Ease of cleaning:
No parent wants to spend precious time chipping dried-on porridge splatters from high chair legs. We tested the products based on how easily they could be wiped clean.
Safety and security:
With such precious cargo, safety is absolutely paramount. Not only is the harness important here, but the overall stablity of the high chair too – any wobbly legs and flimsy materials were given low scores.
Ease of storage:
A high chair that folds away for storage is a big bonus. Bulky chairs with large footprints that can’t be collapsed won’t be suitable for all parents.
Value for money:
A key consideration for most parents. While some high chairs excel in the design and quality stakes, overall expenditure was taken into account, especially when accessories were required.
More on infant feeding and family mealtimes
All you need to know about weaning
Weaning recipes for the first year
Baby-led weaning recipes
Weaning safety, storage and hygiene
Our top weaning recipes
Top 11 toddler recipes
Family meal recipes
Visit our family section
This review was last updated in February 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.