A complete guide of the best baby & toddler highchairs

My Dad bought our highchair as a gift. It was the biggest, comfiest, fanciest creation in the shop, we thought he was bonkers for spending so much! 

We were SO wrong, it is a fantastic piece of kit and has worn beautifully through both our children from tiny baby stage to now (my 14-year-old can still fit in the toddler chair!) The most similar one on the market now is the Chicco Polly highchair. 

You can srawl through a hundred highchair reviews but in the end, the best baby highchair is the one that suits your family and your home. That’s why we’ve compiled you a complete guide on what’s important in a highchairs and what are according to us the best highchairs you can purchase in the UK.

High chair features to look out for.

Design

It’s basic but a great highchair will be one that you enjoy looking at, even when it is covered in mashed carrot! 

There are a huge amount of shapes, styles and pattern to choose from. A baby boy highchair might be a brightly coloured Winnie The Pooh highchair design. Disney fans who have a daughter would love a bright red Minnie Mouse highchair. 

The Bloom Fresco highchair is simply stunning. This egg-shaped highchair is straight out of a 1960’s Sci-Fi movie and achingly cool and retro. The bloom highchair range is also one of the few that offers a black highchair, perfect for blending into a sleek, minimalist kitchen. 

A wooden baby highchair in natural shades or a white highchair are classic style choices that would fit in with the décor of most homes. 

Buying a padded highchair seat and matching highchair floor mat is a great idea to brighten up a neutral background colour and turn a Hauck beta wooden highchair into bright and happy elephant highchair design. 

So, the Bloom Fresco is space age, BabyDan produce timeless wooden designs and the budget end of the market, Joie and Argos, offer Disney, animals and rainbow colours. What else could there be? Retro/Scandi!

The Oxo highchair range is gorgeous. The Oxo Tot Sprout highchair is available in warm taupe, creams and browns with wooden legs and a simple shape. A plain highchair splash mat or tablecloth underneath will complete the look. 

Material

The material that your new highchair is made from is a key choice. Comfort, ease of cleaning and removability and the opportunity to buy a highchair replacement cover are all factors to consider. 

A plastic highchair will be easy to clean but won’t be very comfortable for your baby to sit in. 

A padded seat such as the one on the Joie owl highchair will be much softer but has creases and crevices for bits of food to go icky in if you don’t clean it properly. 

Most modern highchair cushions will have an antibacterial treatment on them which helps but the Ingenuity highchair with SmartClean is a fabulous option if you’re a bit of a clean freak but want your baby to have a soft seat. 

The Ingenuity has a smart foam pad which is comfy, wipes clean instantly and is even dishwasher safe. The 3-in-1 style of this chair also means that it can turn easily into a booster highchair seat. 

Removable covers and straps will make your life a lot easier and the highchair much more hygienic. The Phil and Teds highchair is another design to investigate if cleanliness is your priority. 

Size

A compact highchair is usually also a foldable highchair. These are both super useful features if you have limited space in your home or the highchair needs to be put away between each use.

A space saver highchair is also a good idea for keeping at grandparents’ homes. They will be much more eager to babysit once they have all the kit ready and waiting to be used. 

Our childminder had a Fisher-Price foldaway highchair that had been in use for over 15 years. It was immaculate with no rips or damage and is probably still being used. 

The Fisher-Price space saver highchair is a great example of how the brand is still determined to come up with practical solutions for parents. This chair is padded, supportive and has a removable tray. The genius is in its lack of legs and the space that saves. It simply sits strapped securely to a spare dining room chair.  

Quality

Your budget is an important consideration and the prices of a baby high chair can range from the Aldi Mamia highchair at £19.99 to a mid-range Fisher-Price highchair at £80.00 and on to the Peg Perego highchair at £278. 

I was a parent on a strict budget and understand that expensive purchases must be justified. However, when it comes to the nursery kit that needs to do a great job, day-in, day-out and last through more than one child, I believe it’s worth investing in quality and buying the best highchair you can afford. 

Adaptability 

Adaptability is a fantastic feature in a high chair. Useful things to look out for are:

  • A 360-degree highchair that turns to face in any direction you need it to. 
  • A removable tray so that your little one can sit right up to the table with the rest of the family. 
  • A 4-in-1 highchair will last forever. A design that transforms from a reclining baby seat to a booster highchair seat for a toddler will give you great value for money. The Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair which has an accessory which will cradle a new baby and will eventually become a chair they can sit on as an adult.
  • An adjustable height highchair will sit at any height of table and can also be used low down as a toddler play chair, with or without the tray. 

Portability

A portable highchair that can be easily moved from room to room is usually lightweight and easy to fold and store. 

Folding highchairs like the ‘Snacker’ from the Joie highchair range are worth a look if you need a robust, comfy seat that can be stashed in the car and driven to Grandma’s. 

A small highchair such as the Red Kite highchair from their Feed Me range is one of the thinnest and lightest you can buy. It can easily be stored inside a tall cupboard or behind a door. 

For the ultimate in portability buy a highchair that attaches to a table. The Chicco travel highchair is awesome! I’d have used it all the time when my children were little as it would have eased the stress of wondering if there were going to be any highchairs in the pub, café or restaurant and whether if there were if they would be too grim to use. Ugh!

Highchair Safety

  • If you suspect your highchair may have been damaged or broken stop using it. 
  • Keep everyone’s fingers (and toes! It hurts, believe me!) away from the folding hinges and mechanisms on a height adjustable highchair and fastening buckles.
  • If you’re using a travel highchair or a clip-on table highchair then check the weight limits and read the instructions carefully.
  • Ensure highchair straps are securely attached and always fasten them when your child is in the chair. 
  • Older babies will start to try and climb out of their chair and may fall. Never leave them unattended.
  • The Keter Smart Seat Highchair has three stages so it can be turned into a low highchair or toddler seat. If you choose a height adjustable model like the Keter highchair pay attention to the guidance on weight limits for each stage.

Our pick of the Top 5 High chairs 

Stokke highchair 

BabyDan makes a similar design to the Tripp Trapp and is worth a look if you love this style of highchair. 

Chicco Polly Progress highchair 

The Graco Contempo is a similar design to this. It’s a comfortable, height adjustable Graco highchair which we also recommend. 

Cosatto 3sixti highchair

BabyBjorn highchair

Mima Moon highchair

If you like the design of the Mima Moon highchair you’ll love the Bloom Fresco highchair. Similar egg design chair, a bit pricier but it offers many more colour options.

Honorable mention: Vélu Highchair

Useful and fun accessories 

Here’s a shopping list of the accessories: 

Highchair toys. ELC still sell the red and blue spinning toy my kids played within their highchair. It was meant to stick on with a suction cup, but it never quite worked, they still loved it. For older babies or toddlers, a 3- or 4-in-1 highchair tray is the BEST place to play with Play-Doh, glitter and paint ESPECIALLY when there is a huge waterproof mat underneath to protect the carpet. 

A highchair cover. If you’re planning to leave your highchair out on display, a cover is a great idea to protect it from dust, unwelcome pests such as flies and wasps and your pets. 

A highchair mat. Protect your floor from the mess of a weaning baby who thinks it is hilarious to through mashed banana on the floor. (Be warned, that stuff stains!) 

A highchair insert. These are perfect for adding colour and comfort to a wooden highchair. 

A high chair cushion. Turn plain plastic into a Hello Kitty highchair (or whichever other pattern you fancy!) and add extra cushioning and height to the seat unit. 

Plastic plates and bowls. Oxo Tot does a great range of plates and bowls cleverly designed to stick to the surface of a highchair tray. Your little cherub will still throw food but at least it won’t be an entire plateful! 

Final advice: weaning your baby

Your first thoughts of which highchair to buy will start when weaning starts being mentioned. Introducing your baby to the joys of delicious food is exciting and health visitors recommend you begin at around six months. 

Follow this link to a comprehensive guide to when, how and with what foods to wean your baby: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/solid-foods-weaning/

In the early stages of weaning, when it’s really fun and messy, you will appreciate the convenience of having an easy to clean highchair and a large waterproof mat for under it. 

Try not to worry about the process. If broccoli gets violently rejected that’s ok, it doesn’t mean you have a fussy eater, just move calmly onto the next titbit. Remember that at six months, babies are still getting their essential nourishment from milk so baby won’t go hungry. 

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