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 will eventually be phased out, high chairs are going to be with you for years, through toddler age and beyond, depending on the chair. 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. And considering you're going to be serving up three meals a day (minimum), you want a high chair that is safe and easy to clean.
Let's not forget that we also want to establish good eating habits early—and encourage family time around the table!—and investing in a high chair that invites baby to the meal is a fundamental way of doing that.
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 one that grows with baby from infant-hood 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.
These will stand the test of time… or, ya know, 10,000 post-meal wipe downs.
Why it's our fave: Brand new to the market this summer, 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 mamas, 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 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 four months to three years old, as a play chair, two years and beyond.
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, it's 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!
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 900 positive reviews on Amazon, Nook is quickly becoming a cult favorite among mamas looking for an affordable high chair (it's the second cheapest on our list!) that's durable and compact.
Age range: Six months to 50 pounds.
Why it's our fave: The BabyBjorn High Chair prioritizes safety thanks to the tray that locks into place between baby's legs, ensuring that they can't stand up during the meal or use their feet to push away from the table. And we're not joking about the "lock"—it's totally child-proof and can only be opened by an adult. The tray is also adjustable and can grow with baby, and you can put it in the dishwasher at night (or in the morning, depending on how messy your little one is.) Tthe BabyBjorn practically snuggles baby in the compact seat, leaving little room for discarded food.
More to know: The High Chair weighs just 11 pounds and is only 10 inches wide when folded, making it compact enough to tuck away when guests come over. And while white is amenable to any space, we're a little obsessed with the sweet, "powder pink" hue.
Age range: Six month to three years.
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.
Why it made the list: 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. Perfectly matching the all-white-and-stainless-steel kitchens that are so trendy right now, the high chair does have some limitations. It's 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.
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