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The best high chairs for babies and toddlers in 2021

Victoria Woollaston Thomas McMullan
3 Nov 2021
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Our pick of the best high chairs for your little one as they grow from a baby to a toddler

After six months of liquid lunches, your baby may be ready for weaning. That means it's time to buy the best high chair you can find.

As with many things baby-related, there’s often an intimidating variety to choose from. Do you opt for a lightweight design that’s easy to pack away? Do you buy a high chair that will last from when your child is six months up to ten years old? Are you happy with plastic or would you rather have a natural material?

Worry not: we've explained the main features to look for when choosing a high chair and when to know your baby is ready for weaning, followed by our pick of the best high chairs on the market, from basic to deluxe.

How to choose the best high chair for your baby

Is your baby ready for weaning?

Most babies are ready to try solid foods from around four months, but the NHS guidelines on what they can and can't eat are a little restrictive at this time. By six months, however, almost all solid foods are on the table. Signs your baby might be ready for solid food include the ability to sit upright with their head held steady and without support, chewing and swallowing motions without the tongue-thrust reflex pushing objects out of the mouth and curiosity about what you’re eating.

Chances are you'll want to get a high chair just before your baby starts showing these signs so you're ready to go with the puréed fruit from the get-go. Many high chairs are designed for babies who can support themselves, although a handful can be used as reclining seats for younger babies until the time comes for weaning.

What types of high chairs are there?

There are three basic types of high chair :

  • The standalone high chair: This is the most popular type of high chair. Most models are height-adjustable and come with a removable tray, which means you can use the high chair freestanding in your kitchen or (with the tray removed) tucked against the family dining table.
  • The table-clamped chair: Good as a portable alternative if you’re taking your baby out to a café or to a friend’s house. These foldable fabric chairs clamp onto the table and pack up into a small bag for transporting in the car boot or bottom of your buggy.
  • The chair-mounted booster seat: A booster seat straps onto your dining chair. Check the specifications to make sure the model will fit your chairs. These are good for older babies who are sitting confidently but need help to reach the table.

How long will I need a high chair for?

Depending on your child’s height and confidence with sitting, you’ll be using your high chair three to five times daily for around 18 months, so it’s worth getting one that will comfortably fit your baby for this period and will last the distance. This is why it's worth spending a little extra. Most high chairs fit children up to around three years old, but it’s likely your child will be sitting on a standard dining chair before then – six months to around two years is the range most children will use a high chair for.

What essential features should I look for?

As well as easy-to-clean surfaces, the best high chairs have a means of keeping your baby from slipping out the bottom. Many high chairs feature a safety harness similar to the kind you find in a buggy, while others have integral waist and leg straps to keep baby in place.

A removable tray makes it possible to feed your baby in any room of the house (to begin with, we recommend having lunch in the easiest room to clean) and doubles up as a play surface for toys and drawing. Adjustable seats mean you can choose a height that keeps you comfortable while you help baby eat.

What else do I need to buy?

So you've chosen a high chair, now what? Regardless of whether you're choosing to feed your baby pureés and jars or letting them lead the way with baby-led weaning, there are a couple of essentials you'll need.

These include bowls, spoons, a cup and bibs. It helps to have at least two of each so one can be washed while the other is being used. There are dozens of options to choose from, but we recommend a pair of plastic bowls, a plate with compartments, a pair of plastic spoons, a sippy cup, a pair of bibs with a catch tray (typically made of silicone), and a pair of wearable bibs for when you're ready to let them get really messy.

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The best high chairs to buy

1. Stokke Steps: The best high chair for long-term use

Price: £189 (attachments extra) | Buy now from Stokke

This sleek, adaptable high chair is built to last. Designed to be useful from the first months right through to when your child is toddling around and beyond, the Stokke Steps consists of a simple but sturdy frame of wooden legs and a chunky plastic seat. It’s easy to put together and strong enough to support an adult’s weight.

On its own, the chair is a good fit for older children, with an adjustable step and supportive backrest, but the setup really comes into its own when you throw in the clip-on attachments, which cost extra. Stokke’s baby bouncer, for example, can be slotted on the top of the chair to transform it into a raised seat for newborns. In our experience, this is a real lifesaver if you need to put your baby down for a few seconds while you grab a towel or a bottle, or if you want to let your little one sit at the table when the adults have their dinner.

For six months and up, there’s the baby set and tray, which turns the Stokke Steps into a more traditional high chair for feeding. Each of these attachments clips into place without the need for screws and feels robust, complete with in-built harness belts for keeping your baby safely in place. The chair doesn’t come cheap – nor do the attachments – but for the money you get premium Scandinavian design and a chair that has the potential to stay with your family for years to come.

Key specsHeight: 71cm; Weight: 5.13kg (without attachments); Other: Fully adjustable from baby to adult seat with use of attachments, 4 colour options

Buy now from Stokke


2. Ikea Antilop: The best high chair on a budget

Price: £29 | Buy now from Amazon

A design classic in white moulded plastic, Ikea’s Antilop is probably the most-seen high chair in dining rooms and restaurants Europe-wide. Why? It's cheap, functional, comfortable and easy to clean. It's also easy to assemble: the chair comes in one piece and the legs pop into the bottom, you then clip on the tray if required.

It's large enough to be comfortable for your child while also being secure, and you can easily get your child in and out without too much hassle. It's simple to use and simple to clean. One of the drawbacks is that this the Antilop has a slightly narrower tray than some models in our best highchair list, which means it will catch a little less dropped food.

Overall, this is a great-value high chair, super for families on a budget (or to keep at granny’s house).

Key specs – Height: 90cm (seat height 73cm); Weight: 2.8kg; Other: 3-point safety strap, detachable tray, optional cushion

3. Joie Multiply 6-in-1: The best high chair for all ages

Price: £150 | Buy now from Argos

This highchair has a recline option (with cushioned newborn insert) that lets you keep your baby near you while in the kitchen, without the need to put a bouncer on the side or similar. As they get older and you start weaning, the seat can be placed more upright with a tray table attached.

The seat then detaches and acts as a booster seat, either with or without the tray table, or the seat can be removed completely, giving your child a place to sit and play or sit up at the table. Our toddler loves the independence of sitting on a regular dining room chair on this booster seat with his brother, while we like the fact this seat makes him a little more secure.

What’s more, as your child gets older, the tray table can be attached to the legs of the highchair and the seat lowered to provide a play table.

If we’re nitpicking, it’s not the most stylish of high chairs, and all its extra bells and whistles make it a pretty chunky, heavy chair. It's also not cheap. But these are minor faults with an all-round fantastic high chair and you really will get your money's worth for years to come.

Key specs – Height: 107.3cm; Weight: 12.2kg; Other: 3-point safety strap, detachable tray, optional insert

Buy now from Argos


4. Chicco Pocket Snack: The best high chair for travel

Price: £20 | Buy now from John Lewis

There are several travel high chairs on the market, with not much to choose between them in terms of functionality and quality.

We're particularly keen on the Pocket Snack high chair from Chicco because it's height-adjustable – in fact, it has three height positions – and its tray can be placed in three positions or it can be removed completely.

It comes with a wipe-clean tray and a three-point-harness for extra security.

When you're not using this travel high chair, it's easy to fold away and it's light enough to carry as a booster seat when needed.

Key specs – Dimensions: 14 x 17 x 11 cm; Weight: 2.8kg; Other: 3-point harness, comes with carry bag, 4 colour options.

Buy now from John Lewis


5. Stokke Tripp Trapp: A Scandinavian classic

Price: £189 | Buy now from John Lewis

Designed in 1972 by Norwegian Peter Opsvik, this beautiful, ergonomically designed and super-functional piece of furniture takes your child from baby to infant and beyond.

Similar to the Stokke Steps chair, the Tripp Trapp is built to work with a range of attachments. While the base cost of the chair is the same, these attachments are not as expensive as those on the Steps chair. Add a baby seat, harness or cushion for extra comfort and security for younger babies; when your child no longer needs these, they’ll enjoy climbing into and out of the height-adjustable chair by themselves.

Made of attractive natural beech, the Tripp Trapp is strong and exceptionally long-lasting and comes in a range of colours to suit any dining room. Built (and priced) to last, this is an investment piece of a high chair.

Key specs – Height: 79cm; Weight: 6kg; Other: 3 different seat fittings, fully adjustable from baby to adult seat, 12 colour options

Buy now from John Lewis


6. Safety 1st Timba: The best cheap Stokke alternative

Price: £69 | Buy now from Amazon

If the Stokke Tripp Trapp is too expensive, but you're a fan of its design, this Safety First highchair is a fantastic alternative.

Like the Tripp Trapp, the Safety First Timba takes your little one from a high chair to a kids' chair in style, offering four different heights. It has a footrest that adapts to eight different positions and this makes it as comfortable as possible for your child as they grow and become more confident.

In fact, this child could theoretically last until your little one is as young as six months to as old as ten years.

The tray height has been designed to fit most tables to make it easy for you to feed your child, but also make them feel like they're part of family mealtimes. As they get older, this will improve their table manners and encourage them to eat more (if they're anything like our toddler.)

In terms of safety features, this high chair has a removable bumper bar and a three-point safety harness when they're younger, to keep them safe and secure. As they get older, though – around the age of three – these can be removed.

Key specs – Height: 87cm; Weight: 7.5kg; Other: 4 heights, fully adjustable from baby to child seat from 6 months to 10 years

7. Bloom Fresco Contemporary Baby Chair: The best high chair luxury system

Price: £499 | Buy now from Bloom

It’s not cheap, and once you add a few of the stylish mix-and-match accessories to the frame it becomes even less so, but the Fresco has features other high chairs can only dream of. Three reclining positions, from fully reclined to fully upright, accommodate babies from birth and the 360-degree swivel and pneumatic height adjuster makes light work of taking baby in and out of the seat. As well as being an exceptionally beautiful high chair to feed your toddler in, the Fresco provides a safe and comfortable space for your newborn as you chop and boil in the kitchen. A truly high-class high chair.

Key specs – Height: 115cm; Weight: 15kg; Other: 3 recline settings from fully flat to upright, pneumatic height adjuster, 360-degree swivel, 5-point safety harness, optional newborn snug, six frame and 16 seat pad colour options

Buy now from Bloom


8. Silver Cross Buffet High Chair: Best for comfort and security

Price: £149 | Buy now from Silver Cross

Silver Cross’s newly released Buffet high chair might be a touch on the pricey side, but as it’ll see your little one through from a newborn to a toddler, it’s actually rather good value.

The design is wonderfully practical: it has a three-position reclinable seat, seven different adjustable height options and a detachable tray with a dishwasher-safe divider. The removable seat cover can be removed and thrown in the washing machine after particularly messy mealtimes, too.

The newborn cradle mode eases back into a lie-flat recline position for when baby is sleeping at mealtimes and can be placed upright with the tray from six months.

We tried out the cool grey high chair (it also comes in candy pink) which looks super smart and doesn’t show up marks, plus it actually made a nice addition to our kitchen. While it is slightly on the larger side compared to some high chairs, it does fold away neatly for easy storage.

Key specs – Height: 85-106cm; Weight: 7.9kg; Other: Suitable from birth to 15kg (approx 3 years), newborn cradle mode, 3-position reclinable seat, 7-adjustable height positions, two colour options

Buy now from Silver Cross


9. Vital Baby Nourish Scoop High Chair: Best option for small spaces

Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

Lightweight and compact, Vital Baby’s Nourish Scoop high chair is one of our favourite options for smaller spaces.

The soft scooped insert inside the seat provides support for baby’s back and helps them to maintain a good posture, and the adjustable tray can be taken off with one hand. The footrest is also adjustable and can be shortened as your child grows.

We really liked how easy it was to store away and fold down: it folds down so small that you could even take it with you on weekends away. As it is on the smaller side, however, you might find it too dinky for larger babies and toddlers.

Key specs – Height: 85cm; Weight: 4.5kg; Other: Adjustable tray, single button release, compactly folds down for travel, dishwasher safe BPA-free tray

10. Mamas & Papas Juice High Chair: Most stylish design

Price: £119 | Buy now from Mamas and Papas

If you’re a big fan of Scandi design, you’ll love Mamas & Papas’s new Juice high chair. The Scandi-grey seat pad is suitable from six months and can be converted into a chair for older toddlers.

While the design is slick and minimalist it’s not without plenty of great little details such as a removable dishwasher-safe tray, five-point harness, plastic foot caps to protect wooden floors and built-in carry handles. It’s also a fairly compact option so is ideal for smaller kitchens and spaces.

Key specs – Height: 89cm; Weight: 7.23 kg; Other: Adjustable leg rest, five-point harness, removable dishwasher-safe tray, built-in carry handles

Buy now from Mamas and Papas


11. Chicco Polly Magic Relax: Best option for newborns and smaller babies

Price: £144 | Buy now from John Lewis

Most high chairs aren’t usually suitable for babies until they’re around six months old and ready to start weaning, but it’s very useful to have something to pop smaller babies in at mealtimes. We tested Chicco’s Polly Magic Relax when our baby was just nine weeks’ old and it was a huge help when cooking and eating as a family.

Part high chair, part play seat, it has a fully supportive chair (thanks to the super-soft reducer cushion) that keeps babies safe and comfy from birth, and the colourful soft toy bar does its bit to entertain and soothe little ones, too.

When your child gets bigger and is ready for weaning, it has eight different height levels and three reclining positions, and larger toddlers can use it without the tray so that it can be pulled up to the table. We really loved this seat – it offers something a little different to the rest of the products in this line up.

Key specs – Height: 106cm; Weight: 12.75kg; Other: Five-point safety harness, toy bar with fabric pendants, soft reducer cushion, foldable design, four swivel wheels, removable tray

Buy now from John Lewis

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