The best high chair
Eating as a family is important -- a high chair helps you do this by bringing your child safely and securely up to table height so you can all eat on the same level. High chairs are also useful for feeding your child at times when you're not eating as a family, whether you're spoon-feeding them or they're old enough to feed themselves.
Choose a high chair with a large stable tray with an appropriate eating surface and a secure safety harness to keep them from slipping out. Our top high chair is from Graco, a reliable name in products for babies and young children. We chose this model for its versatility and overall quality.
Considerations when choosing high chairs
Standard vs. convertible
Decide whether you want a standard fixed high chair or one that's convertible to grow with your child. Convertible high chairs may convert into booster seats to place onto dining chairs, tall seats to provide extra height for toddlers, or small tables and chairs for kids to sit at. While convertible high chairs sound good in theory, if you go on to have another child, you'll need to buy a second high chair. Keeping the same fixed high chair for your next baby and buying a booster for the older child may work out to be more cost effective.
Compact high chairs
Compact high chairs are types that either clamp onto a tabletop or a dining chair. These are helpful for households that lack space, but they don't have the features or versatility of regular models. Plus, not all tables or chairs are compatible with these kinds of chairs, so you need to check how they affix first.
Ease of cleaning
Since your child's high chair undoubtedly gets messy, picking a high chair that's easy to clean is a must. Any seat padding should be removable and machine washable. It's a bonus if it's made from a material that's easy wipe down. Ideally, the tray should be dishwasher safe. If not, make sure it doesn't have too many nooks and crannies that make it difficult to clean.
A high chair must have a safety harness; it may be a three-point or a five-point safety harness. Five-point safety harnesses always fit over the shoulders and around the waist, but three-point harnesses only fit either over the shoulder or around the waist, not both.
A high chair may be adjustable in different ways. Some have an adjustable seat back so you can set different degrees of incline, which is especially useful for babies. Some have an adjustable seat height so the chair grows with your little one. All should have an easily adjustable safety harness.
High chair prices
Inexpensive high chairs start at less than $50. In this price range you generally find basic fixed high chairs and compact models. Mid-range options generally cost between $50 and $100, including simpler convertible models. At the high end of the price range are high chairs between $100 and $200; these are the most high-tech and feature-rich models.
Q. Can you find high chairs suitable for use at counter-height tables or breakfast bars?
A. Yes, you can find extra-tall high chairs that are meant for use at breakfast bars or counter height tables, but they are few and far between, so you might have trouble finding one you like. Alternatively, you could choose a model that clasps to the counter or tabletop or that fits to a high-backed barstool.
Q. What type of high chair is best if I don't have much space at home?
A. If you don't have room to keep a high chair set up all the time, we'd recommend either a foldable high chair or one that affixes to an existing dining chair.
High chairs we recommend
Best of the best: Graco Blossom 6-in-1 Convertible High Chair
Our take: A hugely versatile high chair that's suitable for babies to preschoolers and can even seat two kids at once.
What we like: Comfortable and well-padded. Removable and interchangeable seats can also be attached to dining chairs. Large tray. Five-point safety harness.
What we dislike: Tray isn't dishwasher safe.
Best bang for your buck: Fisher-Price SpaceSaver High Chair
Our take: This space-saving high chair fits onto a dining chair so it won't take up any more room around your table.
What we like: Offers excellent value for money. Machine-washable padding. Converts into a booster as your child grows.
What we dislike: Tray isn't as sturdy as we'd like.
Our take: Thanks to its foldable design, you can easily pack this high chair away when you're not using it, which is great if you're short on space.
What we like: Easy to clean with a dishwasher safe tray. Three position tray adjusts to growing children. Wipeable seat pad for easy cleaning.
What we dislike: Three-point harness doesn't secure over shoulders.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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