Updated October 2018
Part 2 of the Starting Solids Series.
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].
Wait, did we discuss subscribing to my newsletter? Cuz you should.
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 ~ $17 (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, and best of all, there is NO fabric anywhere on this high chair (why can’t anyone else figure that out?), which makes it so very easy to clean. 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 $23 (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…
$$ — Joovy Nook ~ $119 ($79 on sale in select colors)
A swing-open tray, you guys. Finally, someone did it!
The tray on the Nook is all kinds of fancy, as it also adjusts front to back to minimize the size of the food crevasse (you know, that space between tray and tot that food inevitably falls into) as your kiddo grows. Other perks of the Nook are that it comes assembled right out of the box (yay), the seat cover and straps are easy to wipe clean, the pop-off tray cover is dishwasher-safe, and it has a super compact fold. Check out our full review of this high chair here.
*If you like the look of the Nook, but would also like the options to recline the seat for younger babies and adjust the chair’s height, Joovy also makes the popular Foodoo high chair (below) for $199 ($130 on sale).
$$ — Graco Blossom ~ $189 ($129 on sale)
This neat, grow-with-baby system offers seating for two children of different ages, so it’s ideal if you’re planning on getting knocked up again anytime soon. 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 ~ $119
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!
See my full review of the Phil & Teds Poppy.
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).
* Doesn’t recline, so not suitable for babes under 6 months.
$$ — Skip Hop Tuo ~ $159
The simple, elegant Skip Hop Tuo has some handy features that make it a real contender: the seat pad is reversible as well as machine washable, and the tray has an insert that pops off for easy cleaning. The coolest thing about the Tuo, though, is that you can transform it into a toddler chair once you’re done using it as a high chair. This feature makes it useful for years more than most other high chairs. Note: a big complaint is that the chair back is rather short and outgrown too quickly.
$$$ — Boon Flair ~ $249
The award-winning Boon Flair high chair is a single piece of molded plastic that sits atop a pedestal (instead of legs).
In addition to the unique design, the Flair has a couple of kooky features: a pneumatic lift to adjust the height (like a barber’s chair), and a bunch of tiny, hidden casters that allow it to move around (George Jetson-like). And, with no cracks or crevices anywhere, it’s super easy to clean. Yes, this is a neat modern high chair.
$$$ — Stokke Tripp Trapp ~ $249
Never mind that the straps remind me of an electric chair (creepy), the Tripp Trapp by Stokke is a true classic and an all-time parent favorite.
This tray-less high chair is designed to pull right up to the table, so your child can sit and eat with everybody else. The signature footrest is infinitely adjustable and designed to grow with your child (see below). Later, the footrest acts like a ladder, allowing your child to seat herself on her own.
Once your child is finished using the high chair, the whole thing can be converted to a stool or an adult chair. This chair is pricier than most, but you’ll use it for MUCH longer. They also hold their resale value very well, as you will notice on Craigslist.
The Tripp Trapp is made from beechwood and comes varnished in a rainbow of colors – or just classic wood.
*Doesn’t recline, so not suitable for babes under 6 months. However, for our readers outside of the US, Stokke makes an infant seat attachment. Visit your local/regional Stokke website for more info.
$$ — 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!
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.
$ — Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat ~ $32
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).
- Cleans up easier than the Phil &Ted’s Lobster, IMO.
* If you buy this chair, save the receipt/shipping packaging until you’ve confirmed it fits your table.
There you have it, the best of the best. Good luck!