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IKEA BLÅMES high chair
Pros: Attractive design that fits in with other dining furniture, extra-large tray, reasonably priced, good size for toddlers
Cons: A little tricky to assemble, doesn’t adjust or fold away, tray is hard to remove, angular design not the most comfortable for younger babies
Overall score: 3.3/5
Most of us are familiar with IKEA’s ubiquitous white plastic Antilop high chair. At just £14 including the tray, it’s among the cheapest high chairs on the market and popular both with parents and restaurants for its simple, no-fuss practicality.
The elegant-looking black wooden BLÅMES is IKEA’s more expensive option but, at £45, it’s still at the lower end of the scale for high chairs. The price certainly compares favourably to other design-led chairs, though this one won’t last a child beyond the age of three.
What are your first impressions of the IKEA BLÅMES?
An attractive but understated highchair that blends well with modern dining furniture, but possibly favours aesthetics over practicality and comfort.
IKEA BLÅMES assembly – how easy is it?
It took us about half an hour to build the chair, which, in classic IKEA fashion, comes flat-packed and requires assembly. If you’ve made IKEA furniture before, you’ll be in familiar territory – but, as with most things, it’s a bit more challenging when sleep-deprived.
The chair itself is put together using dowels and screws with an Allen key (supplied in the box), but a screwdriver is required to attach the clips for the tray. The diagrams are largely straightforward to follow, though the attachment of the harness had us stumped for a while.
What age is the IKEA BLÅMES suitable for?
Suitable from sitting unaided up to 36 months.
How secure is the IKEA BLÅMES?
The chair feels solid and sturdy, without any wobble, and the tray is also very robust.
What is the safety harness like?
The harness is one of the less impressive features of this high chair. The seat is fairly deep, so you want to be certain the child can’t wriggle out of it, but the three-point harness feels a little flimsy. The straps and buckles are quite slim, and the crotch strap can easily get hidden under the baby as you sit them in the chair, making it slightly fiddly to secure.
The straps are also adjusted underneath the seat, which makes it tricky to see what you’re doing – though it’s the same harness used on IKEA’s Antilop, so most parents will have tackled this at some point before.
How big is the tray and is it a good height for the child?
The tray is particularly wide and, fairly unusually, round, which gives an impressive circle of coverage and is particularly helpful for baby-led weaning. My daughter enjoyed spreading her food out, and a little less of it ended up on the floor than usual. The deep rim also helps to contain spillages.
On the downside, the size and shape of the tray does slightly detract from the clean lines of the chair itself, and means it doesn’t push up to the dining table very neatly.
The tray doesn’t adjust, but it was at a good height for my daughter and was level with our table. There’s quite a large gap between tray and baby – some food does fall down into the baby’s lap. The tray can be removed for cleaning, or for pushing the chair up against the table, but it’s made from very thick, inflexible plastic and it can be difficult to unclip.
Can you adjust the high chair in any other way?
No. Like an adult dining chair, it’s fixed as it is. Some parents might miss having recline options (perhaps, if the baby likes to have a bottle in the chair) or the ability to alter the seat height.
What is its footprint?
At 52cm x 53cm, it’s relatively neat – though the super-sized tray does add to its wingspan. With four separate feet, rather than bars across the floor, it’s easy to clean around.
What is the overall quality of the the IKEA BLÅMES?
The chair feels well made and durable, although the paint could potentially be chipped by a careering toddler in a ride-on toy. The tray is made from a rather coarse and rigid plastic – a material with slightly more give, or a different release mechanism, would make it much easier to remove.
Is it comfortable for the child?
Those stylish angular surfaces don’t scream comfort. My toddler seemed to enjoy the relative roominess of the chair, but this, coupled with the rather flimsy harness, hard edges and lack of cushioning, make it less well suited to a baby only just able to sit unaided, or one prone to flinging his or her head around.
Is the seat padded?
Neither the seat nor seat back are padded. This helps to preserve the chair’s sleek design, and makes it easier to clean, but it does detract from the chair’s cosy factor.
Can you get the child in and out easily?
There’s a fair bit of room between seat and tray which, whilst inviting Weetabix splodges, makes it fairly easy to get the child out without needing to remove the tray.
Is there adequate support for the child?
The chair has a tall, slightly slanted back that helps to keep the baby in a good upright position, though the size of seat and lack of cushioning make this chair better suited to older babies and toddlers who can sit well by themselves. The footrest is in a fixed position – little legs may not reach it.
Is it easy to clean?
The tray and wooden surfaces wipe clean easily, although the chair’s squareness means crumbs can collect in the corners, as well as in the holes for the harness. The stiffness of the tray might discourage you from removing it to clean, which would gradually lead to a build-up of grime around the edges.
Is it easy to store?
The chair doesn’t fold down so you’ll need to have a permanent space for it; for long-term storage, you’d need to completely dismantle it. But with its smallish footprint and unobtrusive design, it shouldn’t get in the way too much.
Are there any accessories available for purchase?
IKEA sell a generic inflatable cushion (£3) which can help to make the chair more snug and supportive for a younger baby.
Are there any special features?
Overall star ratings for IKEA BLÅMES
Ease of assembly 3/5
Comfort for child 3/5
Ease of cleaning 3.5/5
Safety and security 3.5/5
Ease of storage 3/5
Value for money 4/5
Overall score: 3.3/5
Suitable from sitting unaided to 3 years.
Up to 15kg
Base – Solid rubberwood, acrylic paint
Back/Seat – Fibreboard
Tray – Polypropylene plastic
Seat recline options:
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This review was last updated in May 2019. 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.