Congrats, parents. You’ve made it so far! Can you believe your little one is getting ready to start solids? They grow up so fast [wipes tear from eye].
Before you dive into this next chapter, you’ll probably want to get a high chair and some other feeding supplies. Essentially, there are two types of high chairs: one that stands on its own and one that sits on top of an existing dining chair…
Stand-Alone High Chairs
A stand-alone is great if you have the space for an extra high chair in your kitchen or dining room. You can easily move it around, even from room to room. Also, you don’t have to worry about damaging or staining your existing chairs, especially if your chairs are upholstered.
Or upholstered in white.
Anywho, here are the best stand-alone high chairs in each price category:
$ — Ikea ANTILOP ~$19 (say what?)
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking: twenty dollars for a high chair? Must be pretty crappy. Actually… not really. This chair is pretty awesome!
Pop the legs off this chair and it comes apart very easily for storage or for taking along on a trip (see below), and best of all, there is NO fabric anywhere on this high chair, which makes it so very easy to clean (why can’t anyone else figure that out?). In fact, many parents have ditched their expensive, full-featured, pain-in-the-rear-to-clean chairs for this one.
This chair is also perfect for grandma’s house or some other place you need a spare. See it in action here.
At $22 (including the tray), this chair is a best buy. Don’t ask me how these people make money. Like “where does their sausage come from?” I don’t think I want to know…
$$ — Joovy Nook ~$119
A swing-open tray, you guys. Finally, someone did it!
The tray on the Nook is all kinds of fancy, as it also adjusts front to back to minimize the size of the food crevasse (you know, that space between tray and tot that food inevitably falls into) as your kiddo grows. Other perks of the Nook are that it comes assembled right out of the box (yay), the seat cover and straps are easy to wipe clean, the pop-off tray cover is dishwasher-safe, and it has a super compact fold.
*If you like the look of the Nook, but would also like the options to recline the seat for younger babies and adjust the chair’s height, Joovy also makes the popular Foodoo high chair (below, ~$240).
$$ — Graco Blossom ~$189
This neat, grow-with-baby system offers *simultaneous seating for two children of different ages, so it’s ideal if you’re planning on getting knocked up again anytime soon (hah!). The Blossom can be used as a regular high chair, an infant booster, a toddler booster, and a child seat (click here or see below to see what I mean).
We have the Graco Blossom chair at home and have enjoyed using it in all configurations, especially when we have guests. I also like that I can easily wheel it from room to room as needed. This is a great, full-featured high chair that grows with your family. *This chair does not fold, but it does recline. Therefore, it can be used for younger infants who don’t yet have tummy control.
*Runner Up in this category: Chicco Polly
$$$ — Peg Perego Siesta ~$299
The pricey newborn-to-toddler Siesta, made by the Italian Peg Perego company (of car seat fame), comes with loads of features parents will appreciate. Its adjustable tray attaches with one hand, plus they included a spot to hang the tray on the back of the seat (why don’t all high chairs have this feature?!).
This chair also has a comfy faux leather seat that’s easy to wipe clean (or take a much-needed siesta in), a rubber net on the back of the seat for storing bibs, utensils, etc., an adjustable footrest, wheels with an automatic safety brake, and nine possible seat heights. The whole thing folds up extremely compactly for a stand-alone fold… but wait! There’s more! The seat also has five different recline positions and it can be tilted back to a flat position, so you can use it for your newborn too. Crazy!
Yep, this one is the Alpha Romeo of high chairs. Mangia, bambinos!
If you want something that’s a little more sleek, check out these modern design favorites:
$$ — Phil & Teds Poppy v2 ~$99
The Phil & Teds Poppy is a cute, modern high chair that meets all of my stringent requirements:
It doesn’t have any fabrics, it’s easy to assemble and store, easy to clean, it will last through several stages (not just babyhood), and it’s super cute!
While perhaps not as much of a space saver as others in this category, I love that you can take one row of legs off the Poppy and it becomes either a) a “low chair,” for people with small kids’ tables (ahem, me), and/or b) a cool looking big kid’s chair (below), which can be used for years to come (trust me, extra kids’ chairs ALWAYS come in handy). (Also comes in a wooden version, see below, ~$149.)
*Doesn’t recline, so not suitable for babes under 6 months.
$$$ — Stokke Tripp Trapp ~$269
Never mind that the straps remind me of an electric chair (creepy), the Tripp Trapp by Stokke is a true classic and an all-time parent favorite.
This tray-less high chair is designed to pull right up to the table, so your child can sit and eat with everybody else. The signature footrest is infinitely adjustable and designed to grow with your child (see below). Later, the footrest acts like a ladder, allowing your child to seat herself on her own.
Once your child is finished using the high chair, the whole thing can be converted to a stool or an adult chair. This chair is pricier than most, but you’ll use it for MUCH longer. They also hold their resale value very well, as you will notice on Craigslist.
See also: Abiie Beyond Junior Y ~$194
Abiie is an Austin-based company that makes a high chair that grows with your child… from babyhood to infinity and beyond! (see below).
Does this chair look a little… familiar? Though it seems like a rip-off of the modern Stokke Tripp Trapp design (see above), this wood chair is the most highly rated high chair on Amazon. It is quick and easy to adjust the seat height for a baby, toddler, little kid, or even an adult without using any tools.
Parents say it’s much easier to get a baby into this chair than into the Tripp Trapp. It also features a waterproof seat that’s easy to wipe clean and a tray that can be removed with one hand (and is dishwasher safe). The Beyond Junior Y comes with a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer— not too shabby, Abiie!
$$$ — Nuna ZAAZ High Chair ~$299
This high chair from one of our all-time favorite baby gear brands has it all: the functionality, the longevity and the looks. Sleek and modern, this high chair won’t do a number on your decor. The ZAAZ is so easy to clean. Not only is the tray detachable, the chair doesn’t have any fabric, so all you have to do is wipe it clean. It’s also easy to adjust for your child and eventually transform into a chair for older kiddos. It will be with you for the long haul.
Space Saver Chairs
The space saver or sit-on-top chair is better if you can sacrifice an existing chair or if you don’t want a big ‘ol honkin high chair taking up space in your kitchen. They also tend to be collapsible and portable, so you can easily take them from place to place.
If you’re looking for a basic space saver high chair/booster, look no further.
This seat easily attaches to almost any dining chair. And when babe gets older and is ready to sit at the table, simply remove the back and it converts to a regular booster seat. Easy!
$$ — Inglesina Fast Table Chair ~$79
This last high chair is a major parent-fave: the hook-on style Inglesina Fast. The ultimate space-saver, you can attach it to pretty much any tabletop or counter top and it takes up far less room than a high chair. Perfect if you typically eat at a “breakfast bar” or high counter top.
It fits tables up to 3.5″ thick (yes, you should measure just to be sure) and holds up to 37 lbs of baby meat. Stuff this chair in its self-contained bag and carry it along to a restaurant or to grandma’s house: it’s the cat’s ass. If you do not love this high chair, you can hold me personally responsible (just kidding).
There you have it, the best of the best in high chairs. Good luck!