Buying guide to highchairs

Are you on the lookout for a highchair? It’s often difficult to know where to start! Our buying guide will help you find a highchair to suit your baby or toddler. From the different types of highchairs available to all those important things you'll need to consider when you're out shopping.
Are you on the lookout for a highchair? It’s often difficult to know where to start!

Our buying guide will help you find a highchair to suit your baby or toddler.

From the different types of highchairs available to all those important things you'll need to consider when you're out shopping.

Buying guide to highchairs for babies & toddlers


Types of highchairs available

Highchairs come in a wide range of styles, materials, and optional features, but here are a few things to think about before you make your purchase.

1. Standard highchair

An everyday highchair with a tray table that can be used as soon as your baby can sit up (around six months), or even sooner if the model reclines.

2. European-style highchair

A usually tray-less highchair that you can pull right up to the table so your baby can eat with the rest of the family.

It generally accommodates kids through their toddler years and sometimes well beyond, depending on the weight limit, as they usually feature adjustable seat and footrest positions.

3. Portable or hook-on highchair

Great for travel or even for families with limited space, this kind of compact seat clips onto your table or dining chair.

Just make sure you adhere to the weight limits and ensure your table is sturdy enough to support the weight of the chair.

Be careful if the hook-on arms are made of metal as they might damage or scratch a softer wood table.

4. Booster seat

Good for toddlers who have grown out of a highchair (somewhere between 18 to 24 months) but still need help reaching the table or the additional security of a seat belt or harness.

5. Chair harness 

A fabric seat cover that attaches to the back of a chair and has safety straps to keep your child in place.

It’s not as secure as a booster seat but can be very convenient when travelling with a toddler.

Things to consider when buying highchairs


1. The basics

  •  Style: Are you looking for a highchair that will fit with the style of décor in your home or just for practical reasons?
  • Price: Highchairs can range from $20 to $400+ depending on what the highchair is made of and how many features it has.

2. Practicality
  • Size: How much space do you have? How much room would your highchair take up? Can it be folded away when not in use?  
  • Cleaning: Highchairs get messy, especially when your baby starts feeding themselves. Consider how easy the highchair is to wipe clean, including all the little grooves and crevices that will trap food, and whether any seat cushions can be sponged off or require machine washing.

3. Safety

  • Stability: Generally speaking, the wider the base of the highchair, the greater its stability.
  • Safety belt: Many chairs come with a three-point harness, but a five-point harness is even safer.
  • Safety certification: Make sure the highchair complies with all the latest and highest safety standards.

4. Functionality

  • Adjustability: The ability to adjust a highchair as well as the positioning of its harness and footrest can help to extend its usefulness by months or even years.
  • Consider the size of your baby, how long you’d like to use the highchair, as well as where you’ll be feeding your baby (at the dining table, at a kitchen counter, etc.).
  • Collapsibility: Do you have space to leave the highchair out all the time, or do you need one that can be folded up and tucked away between meals?
  • Recline: A reclining highchair can be used in the early years, even if it’s just to feed your baby a bottle at the table while everyone else is eating. It’s also ideal for babies who’ve started solids but might not be able to sit up during an entire meal.
  • Manoeuvrability: Can you mange the highchair with just one hand? It’s impressive how much parents can and need to do with just one hand! Accessing highchairs is no exception, so be sure to check out if you can release or lock the tray and harness single-handedly.

5. Hardware

  • Trays: Would you prefer a dishwasher-safe tray, or are you happy to clean it by hand? Some trays also come with a removable feeding tray that can be used in lieu of plates which are sometimes subject to being thrown around the room by toddlers!
  • Wheels: Will you need to wheel the highchair around? If so, be sure that the wheels can be locked in place to make the highchair more stable.
  • Portability: Does your family travel a lot? Do you need a portable highchair, something that will collapse easily when you’re out and about?
  • Extra bells and whistles: Some highchairs can be changed into swings, bouncy seats or even rocking chairs. Would this save you money in the end, allowing you to avoid an additional purchase, or are these really just ‘nice to haves’?

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