Taking you from newborn to three years, happy mealtimes are assured thanks to its stain-resistant, well-cushioned covers, removable tray and multiple seating positions. This Best Buy is safe and solid, but it also folds down and stores easily when dinner is done. We were impressed with the newborn recline options and tray storage on the legs too.
This high chair is a baby recliner, high chair and table chair in one. It comes with a toy bar when in recliner mode to keep your 0-6 month-old baby entertained before adding a tray for when you're ready for weaning. With castor wheels on the frame and a range of adjustable heights and seating options, find out if this high chair ticks all the right boxes for parents.
This high chair is suitable for use for babies aged six months to three years, but also has an insert for a more snug seat or smaller babies. With a removable tray and footrest that can be folded away, find out if this high chair is compact and easy to store, as well as comfortable for your little one.
This high chair can function as a reclining newborn cradle or an upright seat for eating. This means it’s suitable from birth until your child is 15kg, or around three years. Read our full review of this high chair to find out if the pop-off plastic trays, wipe-clean padding and claimed compact fold are popular with our panel of parent testers.
This colourful high chair has a range of useful features, such as a footrest, adjustable height and a storage basket. Each high chair we test is checked for its durability, stability and how safe it is. Log in to see what our tests revealed for this high chair.
Portable high chairs – eg Baby Polar Gear On The Go
Travel or portable high chairs are a great choice for holidays or day trips out with your baby, especially if you're off to a restaurant and can't be sure there are high chairs available, or if you're likely to be visiting child-free relatives or friends.
There are various types available, including chair harnesses and booster seats, such as the Baby Polar Gear On The Go booster seat (pictured below). Chair harnesses are made of fabric and attach to a dining chair using the straps supplied. Booster seats are fold-up, box-shaped seats which, as the name suggests, are box-shaped and fold out to create a little booster seat that straps to a chair. Some even come with trays.
Pros of portable high chairs:
Lightweight and easy to fold
Easily transportable, some pack up small enough to put in a changing bag
Some – though not all – can be used instead of a standard high chair at home
Cons of portable high chairs:
They don't come with any fancy features, such as trays and cup holders
Some babies may not like using the fabric harness seats
It goes without saying that you should secure your baby in the high chair at all times and never leave him or her unattended. Most high chairs will come with a five-point harness, but some have a three-point harness (so it fits round the waist and between the crotch, but has no shoulder straps).
Most will also come with a solid crotch bar (also known as a pommel) to help stop your baby slipping forward out of the chair. This is especially useful if you want a removable tray, so you can move the high chair close to the dining table.
A decent five-point harness, properly adjusted and fitted, will prevent a wriggling baby trying to stand up or climb out.
As a general rule, our tests prove the bigger the tray, the better. Some trays come with places to hold a sippy cup, while others come with removable tray inserts – making cleaning up much easier as you just remove the top layer to wipe it down. Watch out for places where, say, peas could hide or Bolognese can be squished into, all of which can make cleaning a real pain.
A tray that's adjustable and detachable is a useful feature to look out for, as it will allow your baby plenty of extra space in the high chair as he or she grows.
A removable tray can also be handy because without the tray in place you can easily put your child in the chair, and you can also push the high chair up to the dining room table so your little one can join you at dinner rather than being further away.
Most high chairs come with a lot of padding. This makes the high chair more comfy for your baby – but makes more work for you when it comes to cleaning. Save yourself as much scrubbing time as possible by opting for a high chair with as few seams, creases and crevices in the upholstery as possible.
Watch out for textured fabrics or those that say hand-wash only. Our advice is to choose a model that's wipe-clean, or comes with machine-washable covers.
A high chair that's easy to adjust makes mealtimes a lot simpler. We test and rate each high chair for how easy it is to use on a day-to-day basis, but we still recommend getting hands-on with a high chair in a shop to see how it feels before you buy, as you'll be using it a lot.
Have a go at adjusting the tray, undoing the buckle on the harness and folding up the seat. You're likely to repeat these actions more than once a day – with a wriggly child in the seat – so it's essential to pick one you find easy to use and that won't become annoying.
Not all high chairs fold up for easier storage, so if you're lacking in space at home to keep one out all the time, it's worth choosing a high chair that folds down easily and with minimal effort. Some can also stand independently when folded (rather than having to be propped against a wall).
With some high chairs, you have to remove the tray before you fold it, which can become annoying if you're going to have to do this several times a day, although some have handy spots on the frame where you can store the tray when it's not in use.
Let's face it, weaning is a messy business, regardless of whether you opt for baby-led weaning or go for purées. Some high chairs have multiple nooks and crannies where your little one is just waiting to squish Bolognese into or where you'll find raisins weeks later.
In our tests, all the high chairs have Bolognese and banana smeared onto them and granulated sugar spread around the seat – so we get a good idea where dirt and food debris will end up.
You don't need to spend hundreds to get a decent high chair, which may be a relief to hear – especially if you've already spent the majority of your baby budget on a pushchair, car seat and baby monitor.
The amount you spend will be largely dictated by the type you want. Lightweight, foldable models are cheapest, while the wooden convertible models cost more but are made to grow with your child. Our cheapest Best Buy is around £70.
Are cheap high chairs any good?
A cheap high chair (less than £40) can be perfectly adequate for many parents, so long as they’re not looking for snazzy features or stylish designs or large amounts of adjustment options.
However, you’ll still get the basic folding design, chair padding, tray (which can be extra on some pricier models), and a footrest. They’re usually made of plastic with an aluminium frame, so are lightweight and fold, which can be a real bonus.
Can I buy a second-hand high chair?
It's very easy to buy or sell a high chair from second-hand sites such as eBay, Gumtree or Facebook marketplace. You may find that typically more expensive brands of high chair such as Stokke or iCandy have a good selection of second-hand high chairs for a reasonable price.
If you buy a high chair second-hand, make sure you get plenty of photos of it before you hand over any money (or even check it over in person) to make sure it's in a good condition. You want to check for the following:
Make sure it has a working harness that's not frayed - ideally one that is a five-point harness with over-the-shoulder straps.
Check there's a crotch post that's fixed to the chair (either to the seat, bumper bar or the removable tray). This was made a requirement when the British standard was updated in 2017, so older second-hand high chairs may not have this feature.
Look over the seat pads or cushion (if it comes with the model as standard). Stains or fading patterns are fine, but look out for holes where a nimble-fingered baby might pull out foam as it can be a choking hazard.
Ensure the folding mechanism is smooth and locks into place securely.
Check the frame to see if there are any missing screws or bolts.
Look out for any cracks or sharp edges, especially on the tray if it's removable.
High chairs safety: what do I need to know?
High chairs have to pass numerous British Standards before they can be sold on the UK market. Which? is the only review website that also carries out a range of these tests to check whether the high chair you're going to buy lives up to the manufacturer's claims.
We test how stable the high chairs are, to make sure wriggly babies won't topple the high chair over. We whack each chair with an impact hammer to see if it falls over or breaks, and we throw the trays onto the floor, from one metre up, on every side, to see if any bits break off. We also check for any sharp edges or poor-quality finishes.
Stokke Tripp Trapp safety
We've seen lots of reviews and comments from parents who think the popular Stokke Tripp Trapp is unsafe because, under certain circumstances, it's possible for a child to tip the chair over backwards. Reports suggest that some children are able to push against the edge of a table and force the chair to tip over.
We have tested this model and it passed all our safety tests. It is possible to push over most high chairs, and manufacturers do say that children should not be left in a high chair unattended as it is unsafe. However, we know this is not always practical when you've got young children and you're trying to prepare dinner and get things done.
If you're worried about your child pushing the Stokke Tripp Trapp or any other high chair over, we suggest you place the chair with its back to a wall, which will stop it falling over completely.
Can I put a newborn in a high chair?
No, not usually. When your baby can sit up unaided and has control of his or her head and neck, you can start using a high chair – this is generally around six or seven months, coinciding with weaning. However, some multifunction high chairs include a newborn attachment, which means your baby can be next to you at the table, at the same height as the rest of the family, even if he or she can't yet sit up unaided.
What to do with your old high chair
When your child no longer needs a high chair (and the age will vary depending on the style of high chair you buy), then you may want to get rid of it. You can either sell it via an online marketplace, give it to a charity shop, friend or family member, or dispose of it.
If you decide to throw it away, it's likely you'll need to take it to your local council tip, as most local authorities won't collect something as large as a high chair in kerbside rubbish pick-ups.
It's worth seeing if parts of the high chair can be separated out and put into recycling, but this will depend on the type of plastic it's made of and how easy it is to separate.