A high chair is going to be high up your list of baby buys if you’ve got a little one who’s going to start weaning soon.
So much more than just a chair on legs, today’s high chairs can come with a host of additional features to help make those early months feeding your baby that much easier. The trick to knowing which high chair is best for you and your baby is understanding which of those features are essentials and which are nice-to-haves.
We’ve just published new reviews of the most popular baby high chairs for 2017, including the Joie Mimzy LX Highchair (£60) and the Ikea high chair Blames, (£45). Or you can find out which models scored highest in our independent tests and have been named Which? Best Buy high chairs.
But before you make a final decision, make sure you’re in-the-know with our top five high chair buying tips below:
1. Find out if your high chair has a footrest
There’s a reason why your office chair is adjustable – people come in many different sizes and need to be able to adjust a chair’s height for their legs. The same ergonomic rules apply to babies.
A footrest at the correct height will support your baby’s legs so that there isn’t too much pressure on the back of little limbs while they sit in their high chair. The back of baby’s legs aren’t designed to take long periods of pressure, and without a footrest your child is going to start to be uncomfortable in their chair much sooner than they otherwise would.
2. Get the correct tray
Is the high chair tray fixed? Is it detachable? Does it have a tray insert? ‘Why do I need to know this?’ you ask.
There are a number of reasons you might want to avoid a high chair with a fixed tray:
- A fixed tray will be more difficult to clean because it can’t be removed and taken over to the sink for a rinse down. Look for a tray that’s detachable or one that has a tray insert that you can pop out of the tray and rinse separately.
- A fixed tray can’t be adjusted to be moved closer to your baby while they are still young. This could mean that food is spilt down the gap between your baby and the tray. Look for a tray that can be adjusted backwards and forwards, towards and away from your baby.
- A fixed tray might start to be too snug for your child as he or she grows.
3. Watch out for finger traps
The last thing you want when trying to coax some food into your squirmy toddler is for feeding time to get more fraught with an injury – either to yourself or your baby.
Some high chairs we’ve tested have the potential to pinch both baby and grown-up fingers. We carefully inspect the frames, trays and nooks and crannies of high chairs to make sure that we know if there is any potential to trap fingers.
4. Check it’s easy to clean
Weaning gets pretty messy at times, so you want a high chair that’s easy to clean. Many manufacturers may claim that their fabric is easy to wipe free of food, but you also need to think about the stitching on the seat and the fabric of the harness.
Our testing has found that stitching and harnesses can make it harder to clean a high chair and are often more prone to staining than the rest of the seat. We’ve found that food can get stuck into deep stitching or into the harness fabric, and is very difficult to budge. Your high chair is going to be getting full-on use for a few years, so you want to make sure that you’re able to easily keep it clean.
Find out which high chairs were rated best for cleaning in our high chair reviews.
5. Consider crotch support
It’s not the first thing you’d think of when buying a high chair, but additional crotch support can be very useful to help with getting your child in and out at mealtimes. And some chairs don’t have it.
If you have a chair with a detachable tray, a crotch support gives you the additional security to keep your baby in their chair while you fasten them safely into their high chair harness.
Latest high chair reviews
New for 2017 – these are our latest reviews of the most popular highchairs. Follow the links to find out which are worth splashing out on:
East Coast Nursery Combination Highchair, £70
Nuna Zazz, £150
Phil and Teds Poppy, £85
Ickle Bubba Orb+, £120
Bababing Noah, £130
Chicco Polly Progress, £140
OBaby Disney Winnie the Pooh, £50
Mothercare Fairground/Transport, £50
My Child Graze, £40
My Babiie My Babiie Billy Faiers, £70
Kiddicare Combi High Chair Table and Chair, £60
Mothercare ABC, £35
Mothercare Owls, £50
Mamas & Papas Chomp, £49
MaMaKiddies Foldable, £40
My Child Pepper, £45