Unlike many of the products that you register for when you’re pregnant, the high chair is one that you’re going to be using for a long time. While swaddles and pacifiers are eventually phased out, the best high chairs that will stand the test of time can serve your child through toddler age and beyond. Point being: If you’re asking yourself if you even need a high chair, the resounding answer from us is YES.

Why? Because when baby is around six months old and starts eating solids—pureed peas, carrots, meats and more!—it’s going to be messy. Very, very messy. This is not something you want to attempt with baby on your hip.

Let’s not forget that we also want to establish good eating habits early—and encourage family time around the table! Investing in a high chair that invites baby to the meal is a fundamental way of doing that.

How to pick the best high chair with longevity in mind

We hand-tested all of the picks below and are sure there’s one for you on the list. Looking for a bang for your buck? Opt for a high chair that grows with baby from infancy to school-age. Live in a tiny city apartment? Then you’re going to need one that folds and can be tucked away when it’s not meal time.

And considering you’re going to be serving up three meals a day (minimum), you want a baby high chair that is safe and easy to clean! Cushions and pads that get grimy relatively quickly aren’t going to cut it.

8 best high chairs for the first years

Lalo The Chair High Chair

Lalo

$235

The Chair

Why it’s our fave: The Chair by Lalo made our list because of its simple and clean design. With nary a neon giraffe or ugly brown hue in sight, it’s perfect for minimalist parents who don’t want an eyesore in their kitchen. Weighing only 10 pounds, the high chair has a five-point harness, beech wood legs, a BPA-free plastic seat and tray and a cozy cotton insert (yes, it’s machine washable!) that can be added for smaller babies. And because Lalo aims to include baby at mealtime, the seat is table-height. The hardest part will be choosing between the soft blueberry and grapefruit hues, and the chic white and black options. (More about why we are loyal members of The Chair fan club here!)

More to know: The chair grows with your little and can convert to play chair (with an extra set of legs that comes in the “Full Kit” for $20 more) that will look adorable in a playroom or nursery.

Age range: As a high chair for four months to three years old and as a play chair for two years and beyond.

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Oribel

$230

Cocoon High Chair

Why it’s our fave: The Oribel Cocoon chair grows with your child (6 months to 3 years) it has three different recline positions and six different heights to help your little one transition from drinking bottles, trying food for the first time, to then drinking from a sippy cup and practicing eating solo. The design is also super cool allowing both comfort for your child and also making cleaning easy thanks to the foam pad. If you rather have fabric on the chair you can purchase a separate insert to go with it.

More to know: The Cocoon is easy to store as it folds in two, making ideal to hide behind doors when you need extra space in your kitchen or dining room. You can choose between a full tray or a mini side tray that holds a bottle, depending on the stage your child is at.

Age range: Six months to 44 pounds.

Graco Slim Snacker High Chair

Graco

$79.99

Slim Snacker High Chair

Why it’s our fave: Ok, we’ll admit. The Graco Slim Snacker High Chair isn’t going to win you any interior design awards. But its ability to easily be tucked away is part of the reason we love it so much. The lightweight, compact design is a great choice for small spaces and when it’s not in use, it folds down with one hand in a literal second. And what do you have to sacrifice for such convenience? Nothing! Unfolded, it’s got a full size tray with a cup holder, three-reclining positions, a wipeable seat pad which can also be machine-washed, a footrest and even a storage basket underneath.

More to know: Not only is it Amazon’s #1 best-selling baby highchair, it also boasts an impressive 4.8 star rating.

Age range: Six months to 40 pounds

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Stokke

$299

Tripp Trapp High Chair

Why it’s our fave: We’re fairly certain there’s not a “best high chair” roundup on the planet that hasn’t included Stokke’s Tripp Trapp. The OG of high chairs, Tripp Trapp first debuted in 1972 and was ahead of its time for two reasons—for one, its minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic is perpetually stylish, and the chair grows with baby from birth to up to 242 pounds. (Yes, really!) We love its adjustable, ergonomic seat design that supports both your child’s back and feet, and the fact that chair is meant to belly right up to the table (though the brand does sell a tray accessory). Easy to wipe down after meals, Tripp Trapp also has extended gliders to prevent backwards tipping and comes in myriad colors, from natural light wood to fire-engine red.

More to know: You want to get the Tripp Trapp in its baby set configuration, which means it comes with a five-point harness that can be removed when baby is big enough. Want to use it from day one with your infant? Purchase the Newborn Set for an additional $119.00.

Age range: Without the Newborn Set, six months to 242 pounds in size. With the Newborn Set, from birth onwards!

Infantino-Fox-High-Chair

Infantino

$110

4-in-1 High Chair

Why it’s our fave: Don’t ask why kids love the Infantino characters, but they do. So what better way to keep them happy during dinner time than sharing a seat with Mr. Fox? This chair is 4-in-1 as it goes from high chair, multi-stage booster to toddler seat with ease, making it really good money spent.

More to know: It comes with a meal mat insert that keeps food separated for those picky eaters and it’s dishwasher safe making clean up super easy and fast.

Age range: Six months+.

Joovy High Chair

Joovy

$119

Nook High Chair

Why it’s our fave: If you’re an apartment dweller—or if you’re just someone who prefers the high chair to be out of sight when the meal is over—look no further than the Joovy Nook. Why? Because it easily folds flat and can be tucked in a nook (get it?!). That said, just because it’s compact doesn’t mean it’s flimsy. One of our editors actually used the same Nook for all four of her children, with zero problems and very little wear and tear. She loved the easy-to-wipe leatherette seat that has a five-point harness, is padded and machine washable and that the one-handed swing-open tray has four placement options giving baby as much (or little) space as they need. Available in kicky hues like coral, stark black and turquoise and accented by pure-white everywhere else, this slick high chair will be giving your baby some major hipster vibes.

More to know: With nearly 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon, Nook is quickly becoming a cult favorite among mamas looking for an affordable high chair that’s durable and compact.

Age range: Six months to 50 pounds.

4Moms High Chair with Magnetic Tray

4Moms

$225

Connect High Chair

Why it’s our fave: Okay, we’re just going to say it, the 4Moms High Chair has the most genius design of any on our list, thanks to its tray. What’s so great about it? With one hand, you can snap the tray into place guided by magnets—no rails to line up, no masters degree in engineering needed to get it to close. It’s. That. Easy. The tray top is also embedded with magnets and can be paired with 4Moms’ line of bowls, plates and utensils that stay in place when baby is learning to eat on their own. (File that under: “Why didn’t we think of that?!”) We also love the soft, squishy foam seat insert that is rounded and leaves no place for crumbs to gather. Plus, the removable tray liner that can be placed in the dishwasher.

More to know: The chair has a five-point harness, three height adjustable positions and two footrests, making it work for babies both small and big.

Age range: Six months to 60 pounds.

IKEA Antilop High Chair

IKEA

$30

ANTILOP High Chair

Why it’s our fave: Price, price, price. Listen, mamas; we get it. The other chairs in this roundup are an investment and one that you may not be interested in making at the moment. If you’re looking for a place to put baby for mealtime that is safe, easy to clean and super portable (it weighs only 7 pounds!)—oh, and that is currently under $20—well then Ikea’s Antilop is your answer. It perfectly matches the all-white-and-stainless-steel kitchens that are so trendy right now, but the high chair does have some limitations. Its harness is around the belly only, for example, and there isn’t a footrest—details that make this seat a better option for babies that are a bit older and don’t need as much support.

More to know: Antilop is super easy to take apart and reassemble, making it a great option for bringing baby to an impromptu dinner party at your neighbor’s house. Traveling across the country and don’t want to lug your high chair? At this price, you can ship one to your destination and leave it there (or donate it) when vacation time is over.

Age range: Six months to 33 pounds.

Phil&Ted Clip On High Chair

phil&ted

$99

Lobster Clip-On High Chair

Why it’s our fave: You can go anywhere with this high chair as it clips on to almost every surface you can imagine. Countertops in the kitchen, restaurant tables, dining room tables. Ideal for small living spaces, this chair takes absolutely no floor space while still being super safe for your child. We used this one also long as possible with our first kid, keeping him in it until the last ounce the chair could hold because we loved it so much.

More to know: The phil&teds chair is easy to clean, the tray is dishwasher safe and the seat can be spot cleaned or thrown into the washer for bigger messes.

Age range: Three months to 37 pounds.

Choosing the best high chairs to last

If you really only want to shop for a high chair once, then you need to prioritize durability and versatility.

While assessing the durability, consider how the high chair is designed: Will it clean easily? Is it made from quality materials? Are there a lot of little parts that could be prone to breaking?

As for the versatility, you can start by looking at the suggested age or weight limits for the high chair. Beyond that, think about whether you want a high chair that can evolve into a toddler seat or more.

There are many high chair options out there—and there’s no need to make this a high-stress decision. We hope these tried-and-true high chair recommendations will help!

A version of this article was published September 9, 2020. It has been updated.

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