Investing in a durable and comfortable toddler highchair right from the start can save you money in the long run and keep kids comfortable during mealtimes for years to come. Find the best picks for baby highchairs and toddler seats at all price points.
Best Baby and Toddler Highchairs
In my book, the best high chairs are the ones that are durable, easy to clean, and comfortable for the kids to sit upright. There are so many out there that fit into that criteria and there’s no one right fit for every family. There’s a range of budget and space considerations, and whether you might need to use the highchair for future babies.
My recommendations in this post are based on a few factors including:
- How easy the material is to wipe off and wash up, including the base and any seat pads or cushions.
- The versatility of the highchair in terms of height adjustments for baby’s size as they grow.
- Ability to work as well with a baby as it does through the toddler years.
- Ease of assembly and adjusting.
- Dishwasher-safe tray.
- Proper body positioning, by which I mean that baby is supported at a 90-degree angle, which is ideal and safest for eating solids, as is recommended by both feeding experts and the American Academy of Pediatrics. You do not want the high chair to be in recline positions, as that could be a choking hazard.
My decade-plus experience reviewing products for print and digital media enables me to review products in real life, plus vet customer service and reviews online. That brings us to our best high chair list to help you make a confident purchase for mealtimes.
(My toddler booster seat post may help, too.)
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This is my favorite high chair of them all, whether as a baby highchair or a toddler highchair, because it lasts for years and years, as one child grows from babyhood well into elementary years—or through multiple kids. We’ve had ours for 8 years and it’s going strong.
It transitions from a highchair into a stool (eliminating the need for a booster), is easy to clean, and is incredibly sturdy. You can also use it with a tray or without, pulling it right up to the table. It comes with a five-point harness, numerous height positions, an adjustable footrest, and the recommended upright position—plus optional removable baby attachments, seat cushion, and an easy-to-clean tray.
This chair is an investment and is a perfect one to add to your baby registry. If you do the math on the 5 years (minimum) that you will use it, the price is easier to understand.
Starting at $319 (without the tray; we never used the optional cushion).
With an adjustable seat and footrest, this is another great highchair option that can grow with your baby. The cushions make this comfortable, there’s a 3-point strap to keep baby’s high chair secure, and it’s easy to clean. I love the natural wood set that comes with a removable tray. Starting at $181.
This chair is similar to the two above in that it can transform from a highchair for a 6-month-old baby to a dining chair that fits a toddler through an early elementary-age child (or even older!). It’s a nice price and has fun color options available for the cushion. It also has a nice and slim profile, so it won’t take up much room in the dining room (or in a closet if you need to put it away for storage). Starting at $195.
This modern highchair has a sleek design and is easy to assemble. You can simply adjust the legs and footrest to fit the child as they grow—as a high chair for children 6 months of age to 2 years, and a booster chair conversion kit to use for ages 3-4, and a kids chair for children 5+. You can shorten the legs to use it as a playroom or desk chair, too!
Starting at $139.99.
If you prefer to have a more traditional highchair that you use only for the baby years and that works in small spaces, this is a lovely option. It’s easy to clean and assemble and fits babies age 6 months to 3 years. It also comes in a few fun colors!
Starting at $169.
(I do also love the Lalo chair, though the price is high comparatively.)
With a lower price point and still a lot of ways to continue to use the chair as the kids grow, this is a great option. You can use it for a baby, then as a toddler chair with a little table. The cushion is also machine washable and comes in a few fun designs. Starting at $57.99.
Frequently Asked Questions
I would check to make sure that they have enough space and that their bellies aren’t being squished. Check to make sure that they aren’t sitting back too far that might be making them uncomfortable. See if you can bring them closer to the table to make them feel more involved in the meal (they might feel left out if they are away from the rest of the family).
It could also be time to consider a booster seat, but also remember that the way kids sit at meals is about both comfort and habit, so trouble shoot the set up of the chair before changing to a booster, especially with kids under age 2 or 2.5.
It depends on a lot of factors including the chair style you have, the size of the child, and what the rest of the context is. Kids may outgrow conventional highchairs starting around 18 months depending on their size (and would need to transition to a properly sized booster seat)—though can use an adjustable chair like the Stokke Tripp Trapp with adjustments for years.
Any highchair that doesn’t have a lot of nooks and crannies, cushions, or spots where food can get stuck. (A self-cleaning highchair would be nice!)
I suggest waiting as long as possible since a booster seat is less secure than a highchair and it may lead to a lot of squirminess at the table. But if your child seems like they are too big for their chair or are uncomfortable, it could be a good time. It really depends on the chair you have though, and could be anywhere after 18 months to 2 years depending on the age of the child.
Best Tips for Highchair Usage
- Wash it down after each meal and snack to limit the amount of food buildup. (I know, it’s a pain!)
- Store any removable parts in a safe, clean place so they are ready for future kids.
- Launder any removable cushions regularly, treating stains appropriately.
- Adjust the setup of footrests and straps as needed to allow the chair to grow with the child.
- Adjust it as needed so that the child is sitting upright at 90 degrees as much as possible, with their feet on a foot rest for proper support. This will keep them comfortable and reduce the risk of choking.
- If the baby high chair comes with a removable tray or insert, keep an eye on the fit of the chair after the child turns 1 year old. If they start refusing their chair, it may be time to make some adjustments so that it’s more comfortable.
- Pull the highchair right up to the table so the child is part of family meals from the start.
If I missed your favorite baby high chair or toddler highchair, drop it into the comments with why you love it—I’d love to hear!
This post was first published January 2021.