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The 8 Very Best High Chairs

To take you from the baby stage and beyond.

Photo: Hugo Yu
Photo: Hugo Yu

In this article

Starting your baby on solid foods is a milestone that’s both exciting and a little nerve-racking, but getting the right high chair can set you and your child up for success. Registered dietitian and founder of popular feeding resource Kids Eat in Color Jennifer Anderson recommends caregivers start solids when their child is able to sit up on their own or with assistance in a high chair (among other readiness signs like reaching for a food) “because that’s going to help them have proper positioning to help them manage the food and swallow it safely.” So what should parents look for when choosing a high chair? While a lot of it depends on personal preference, Anderson considers one question: “Is the child supported and able to sit up?” As Anderson explains, it requires so much energy for a baby to explore their food and focus on the task of eating that “we want to reduce the load of them having to figure out how to stabilize themselves,” which is why an upright seat and a footrest are key features Anderson looks for in a high chair.

Besides those two elements, everything else depends on what works best for your family in terms of space, budget, maintenance, and aesthetics. To find the best high chairs out there, whether you’re looking for a convertible chair to take your kid past the baby stage, one that folds up for easy storage, or one that’s a cinch to clean, I spoke to experts, a.k.a. parents who’ve had plenty of experience dealing with fussy eaters and food-throwers (including yours truly) about their favorites. And as Anderson notes, “You don’t have to buy something really expensive. You can absolutely make the $30 Ikea chair a supportive and perfectly healthy option for your child.”

What we’re looking for

Upright seat

According to Anderson, it’s surprising to her just how many high chairs on the market have seats that have a reclining or sloping backrest, making the child sitting in it lean back. “Adults don’t usually eat like that, and that’s not how we want our babies to eat either,” she explains. The best way to figure out whether the seat is fully upright is to go to a physical store to look at all the options in person. That being said, if your only option is a chair that has a slight recline, Anderson recommends placing a rolled-up towel or blanket or a cushion behind the baby (and on the sides, if necessary) to give them extra support.


As Anderson mentioned above, a footrest can make a baby feel secure in their high chairs while eating, but not all of them have them. If your preferred high chair doesn’t come with one, Anderson says it’s easy enough to hack one by tying resistance bands around the legs of the chair so your baby has a place to put their feet. “It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can retrofit whatever high chair you have and that support is going to go a long way,” she says, or find some on Etsy, too.


A lot of high chairs are designed to grow with your child, from the infant stage to their toddler years and even beyond. These convertible chairs are adjustable in height, have removable seats that turn into stools or boosters, or can be outfitted with accessories. If this sort of adaptability is important to you, just keep in mind that something that worked for your baby might not be a great fit when they get older even with the conversion.


Most high chairs on the market stand on four legs that are placed fairly far apart to ensure stability, so if you have limited space, you should take a look at the model’s footprint to make sure it fits in your home. (If you’re clumsy like me and are prone to tripping, the wide stance of these types of chairs won’t help.) Or you can look for a high chair that folds up so you can put it away when it’s not in use.

Easy to clean

High chairs can get filthy fast, depending on how good your kid is at putting food in their mouths (when they’re babies, they’re terrible at it) as opposed to everywhere else. You’ll be cleaning it after every meal, which becomes a huge drag, so one that’s easy to wipe down or wash is going to make your life a lot less stressful. Look for a high chair with a removable tray and a hard seat and frame made of wood or plastic, which will be the easiest to clean. Chairs that have padding, cushions, or cloth covers, especially if they don’t come off, will inevitably become stained and gross, no matter how good you are at spot-cleaning.

Best overall high chair

Upright seat: Baby seat insert has slight incline | Footrest: Yes | Convertible: Newborn to adulthood (all accessories sold separately) | Size: Smaller footprint | Easy to clean: Removable tray; optional removable cushions

With the caveat that it’s the most expensive option on this list by far, the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair was the most recommended chair among the experts I spoke to, including several Strategist staffers. (Senior editor Winnie Yang owns two, and senior editor Simone Kitchens and I also have it.) The Tripp Trapp is a versatile, convertible, grow-with-you high chair that works from infancy to adulthood (it has a weight capacity of 242 pounds). Designed in Norway in 1972, it’s also a very well-made, nice-looking piece of furniture that you won’t mind keeping around for years. Babylist senior gear editor Jen LaBracio told me that 20 percent of its surveyed users chose it as their favorite. It’s also the high chair she personally uses, as it checked all the boxes: Not only is it “ergonomic, stylish, durable, safe, and easy to use,” it also has a smaller footprint than most high chairs thanks to its Z-shaped frame, making it relatively compact. Co-founder of beauty brand Eadem, Marie Kouadio Amouzame, whose children are 3 and 5, also swears by the Tripp Trapp: “It’s super modular, comes in cool colors, and the entire family can use it.” Anderson also used Tripp Trapp chairs when her kids were older (without the inserts) and said that sitting in them with the footrests helped improve their ability to sit comfortably at the table.

The Tripp Trapp’s basic model comes with just the chair ($239), but you can add on a baby seat with straps (for 6 months and up) ($95), tray ($69), seat cushions ($65), and a newborn insert for newborns up to 20 pounds that brings them to table level, but isn’t meant for feeding ($149), all sold separately. (The bundle shown above includes the baby set.) While each accessory is pricey, you can choose what you need instead of going for a bundle, though Tripp Trapp sells bundles, too, depending on the stage of your child. When my older son was a baby, we used the chair with the baby seat (which has a slight slope but is still pretty upright), cushions, and tray. Removing those accessories was easy enough when he outgrew them, and now that he’s 4.5 years old, we pull the chair right up to the table. It’s easy to adjust the height of the seat and the footrest, allowing your child to sit comfortably, no matter their size or feeding stage. As LaBracio puts it, “I love how it supports any size baby or child in a safe and correct position for eating.”

Best (less expensive) high chair

Upright seat: Yes | Footrest: Yes | Convertible: High chair to toddler chair | Size: Folds up | Easy to clean: Dishwasher safe upper tray

Anderson reiterates that you can find solid high chairs with good support that aren’t high-end models like the Tripp Trapp, calling out the Primo Cozy Tot Deluxe, which she says “has a pretty good upright back to it and it’s not $300.” It also converts from a standard high chair to a toddler chair, no extra accessories required. It comes with an adjustable tray that has a detachable double tray that you can throw in the dishwasher and is generally easy to wipe down. Plus, the already compact high chair folds up, tray and all, to just ten inches, making it a breeze to stow. For $100, it hits all the marks, making it a great choice for families that are looking for the best support for their babies, the value of a two-in-one option, and the convenience of being able to store it.

Best high chair for small spaces and travel

Upright seat: Yes | Footrest: No | Convertible: No | Size: Attaches to table or counter; compact; good for travel | Easy to clean: Spot clean or remove cover and machine wash

The other high chair that got multiple recommendations from the parents I spoke to is the Inglesina Fast Table, which isn’t a traditional high chair but rather one you attach to a table or a counter. It’s ideal for small spaces, since it doesn’t take up any real estate on the floor, and it brings your baby right up to the table. It doesn’t require a separate tray, though there is the option to get one if you want to spare your dining tabletop of the inevitable mess. (The model listed here includes one.) No fewer than four Strategist staffers — Yang, Kitchens, senior editor Jen Trolio, and I — all used it with our children. It was also the one that Jennifer Saxton, founder of parenting support network Tot Squad, used the most with her kids. She loved being able to attach it to the counter so they could watch her cook and generally be part of the action. Trolio used it exclusively with her older daughter, and Kitchens and I used it when our babies were small before moving on to a full-size high chair. (Kitchens now keeps it in the trunk to pull out at restaurants or on road trips.) It has an upright backrest but no footrest, though you could probably find a way to DIY one, and a padded seat. Because it’s made out of fabric, the seat cover is a little harder to clean, but both Trolio and Yang say it’s easy enough to take off the cover and the padded inserts from the frame, scrub off dried-up food with a stiff brush, then throw it in the washing machine. “You hang it to dry, and it’s amazing how well it cleaned up,” says Trolio, “but a scrub brush was the crucial step to getting dried food out of the textured fabric.” Installing and removing the seat from the table is easy, too, and leaves no marks behind. One note is that it works only with tabletops without an underside lip and are less than 3.5 inches thick.

Easiest-to-clean high chair

Upright: Yes | Footrest: No | Convertible: No | Size: Wide four-legged stance | Easy to clean: Yes

Several experts told me that you simply cannot beat the $30 price tag of Ikea’s Antilop high chair, which, in addition to being a good value, is the easiest to clean. It’s also super lightweight, easy to assemble, stackable, and hackable. Yes, it’s no-frills — it’s not adjustable, doesn’t have a footrest, and it’s really difficult to remove the tray — but if you’re looking for something basic and affordable, this is it. Trolio used it with her second kid and says the biggest pro is that it’s easy to clean. Simply wipe the seat and chair down with a damp cloth, and everything comes off. I used it for a month when visiting my parents in California with our 16-month-old who is an incredibly messy, chaotic eater, and can attest to how quickly it cleans up. While the tray snaps in during assembly, it’s unclear whether it’s meant to be removed after each meal for cleaning, so I just kept it in there and used a cloth to wipe everything down. And while it doesn’t have a footrest, there are plenty of add-ons from Etsy you can buy (or use resistance bands, like Anderson suggested). Trolio says that you can also find other accessories to beef it up, like full-coverage silicone place mats for an even quicker cleanup session and cushion covers (Ikea sells a cushion if you need extra support or padding). LaBracio likes the footrest and cushion covers from Yeah Baby Goods, if you want to shop around.

Most comfortable high chair

Upright seat: Yes, with adjustable recline | Footrest: Yes | Convertible: Infant to youth (accessories included) | Size: Self-standing fold | Easy to clean: Dishwasher-safe tray; machine-washable seat pad

As stylish as the Tripp Trapp is, it’s made out of wood and doesn’t come with in-built with padding or cushioning. “I tried the hip high chairs and found them to be so austere and rigid that I gave them away,” says Audrey Gelman, founder of the Six Bells boutique in Brooklyn. What she ultimately settled on was the Graco DuoDiner, which she calls “comfortable, easy to clean, and durable.” Like the Tripp Trapp, it’s a convertible high chair that grows with your child and accommodates six different stages, from infant to toddler, and even comes apart into a booster chair and separate stool, allowing you to seat two kids at once. It comes with a machine-washable seat pad, has five adjustable height positions, and includes an adjustable footrest. Gelman also especially likes that “it has a big tray unlike the others, which minimizes the amount of food you have to clean off the floor.” And unlike the Tripp Trapp, it folds up for easy storage (and stands on its own, too). “We’ve used it for two kids and I stand by it,” says Gelman.

Best high chair for infants

Upright seat: Yes, with infant insert | Footrest: Yes | Convertible: Highchair to booster to play chair with parts sold separately | Size: Wide four-legged stance | Easy to clean: Dishwasher-safe tray; machine-washable cushion

Three of our experts — Saxton; Gabby Slome, co-founder of Cooper (a new online parenting platform); and Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo — recommend the Lalo high chair, a three-in-one convertible chair suited for babies to age 3. Corsillo was sent a sample to test after the clip-on chair she put on her registry turned out to be too small for her baby, who was born early. “It has an extremely handy infant insert and cushion that help him sit up straight, which means he is less likely to choke and is more confident in his eating,” says Corsillo. While the infant insert ($45) is sold separately, it clips on to the chair to provide added back support, bringing the baby closer to the tray. The chair itself comes with a tray, adjustable footrest, and cushion, making the price tag of $235 a little more reasonable (the Tripp Trapp at $239 only includes the chair). It can also convert into a booster seat ($60) and a lower-to-the-ground play chair ($40) with conversion kits that are sold separately. (If you buy these accessories at the same time as the chair, you get a slight discount.) Infant insert aside, Corsillo, who’s been using it for two months, says her baby loves getting in the chair and “bangs his head around a lot from excitement, but the padded cushion means he never hurts himself.” Plus, it’s a very stylish high chair: “It looks beautiful in my apartment and despite taking up more space, it makes my home look more spacious and more stylish than before.” Slome, who uses it with all three of her kids (ages 6, 3.5, and 1), agrees and loves its “sleek, Scandinavian design” and the fact that it’s “super user-friendly to assemble.”

Best all-in-one convertible high chair

Upright: Slight slope | Footrest: Yes | Convertible: Eight different modes | Size: Wide four-legged stance | Easy to clean: Yes

Saxton also used the Moa and loves it for how versatile it is, saying that it’s “so cool”: “It eventually turns into a kids’ table with a chair, which is how I have it at my house because my kids are bigger.” With eight different modes, it works from age 6 months to 5 years, and starts as a high chair, then turns into a booster seat to a toddler stool, and then comes apart into a desk and seat, like Saxton mentioned, until they outgrow it. The Moa comes with an adjustable footrest, a removable dishwasher-safe tray insert, and a machine-washable and water-repellant removable seat pad, making it exceptionally easy to clean. It also looks a lot more high-end than it is, if you compare it to the Lalo, which has a similar shape.

Best folding high chair

Upright: Slight slope | Footrest: Yes | Convertible: High chair to chair to optional kitchen helper | Size: Folding | Easy to clean: Removable tray and dishwasher-safe tray insert

If you need a convertible high chair that’s stylish and also folds, consider Ergobaby’s Evolve chair, which the brand sent me for testing. When my second baby became too fidgety for the Inglesina, we transferred him to the Evolve high chair, and he’s been comfortably eating in it ever since. It’s a two-in-one model that can go from a standard high chair to a toddler seat and also to a kitchen tower stand with an add-on (sold separately). It’s a pretty hefty chair with a wide footprint, but it also folds up, which makes it super easy to transport from room to room and, of course, to get out of the way, if not to store. It’s also very easy to clean, thanks to the molded seat and removable tray. I can either wipe everything down or wash the tray in the sink. The only thing that I have a gripe about is the tray insert that slots onto the top of the full-size tray. It’s removable and dishwasher-safe, which is supposed to cut down on cleaning the actual tray, but because it doesn’t snap into place, it’s pretty much useless with my 16-month-old, who can easily lift it out and chuck it on the floor. It’s not a deal-breaker, though, since we can just use the regular tray without the insert. We haven’t tried the other settings, but I’m looking forward to not having to buy another chair when the baby gets to his toddler years since this one feels well made and robust. It’s on the higher end of the spectrum at $300, but you don’t need to buy additional accessories (aside from the kitchen tower) to take advantage of its full functionality.

Some more feeding products we’ve written about

Our experts

• Jennifer Anderson, Kids Eat in Color founder
• Liza Corsillo, Strategist senior writer
• Audrey Gelman, the Six Bells owner
• Simone Kitchens, Strategist senior editor
• Marie Kouadio Amouzame, Eadem co-founder
Jen LaBracio, Babylist senior gear editor
• Jen Saxton, Tot Squad founder
Gabby Slome, Cooper co-founder
• Winnie Yang, Strategist senior editor

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The 8 Very Best High Chairs