Investing in a durable and comfortable toddler highchair right from the start can save you money in the long run and keep kids comfortable during mealtimes for years to come.
Favorite Baby and Toddler Highchairs
In my book, the best toddler highchairs are the ones that are durable, easy to clean, and comfortable for the kids to sit upright. There are so many out there that fit into that criteria and there’s no one right fit for every family. There’s a range of budget and space considerations, and whether you might need to use the highchair for future babies.
This is my favorite highchair of them all because it lasts for years and years, as one child grows from babyhood well into elementary years—or through multiple kids. We’ve had ours for 8 years and it’s going strong. It transitions from a highchair into a stool (eliminating the need for a booster), is easy to clean, and is incredibly sturdy. You can also use it with a tray or without, pulling it right up to the table.
This chair is an investment. If you do the math on the 5 years (minimum) that you will use it, the price is easier to understand.
Starting at $319 (without the tray; we never used the optional cushion).
TIP: The bottom of the tray is a really dumb design and has a sort of plastic grid that is super hard to get totally clean. We always stopped using the tray after about the first birthday because babies enjoy being up at the table and also because I was sick of trying to clean the tray.
With an adjustable seat and foot rest, this is another great highchair option that can grow with your baby. The cushions make this comfortable, there’s a 3-point strap to keep baby secure, and it’s easy to clean. I love the natural wood set that comes with a removable tray. Starting at $181.
This chair is similar as the two above in that it can transform from a highchair for a 6 month old baby to a dining chair that’s fits a toddler through an early elementary age child (or even older!). It’s a nice price and has fun color options available for the cushion. It also has a nice and slim profile so it won’t take up much room in the dining room.
Starting at $195
This modern highchair has a sleek design and is easy to assemble. You can simply adjust the legs and footrest to fit the child as they grow—as a high chair for children 6 months to 2 years, a booster chair for ages 3 – 4, and a kids chair for children 5+. You can shorten the legs to use it as a playroom or desk chair too!
Starting at $139.99
If you’re prefer to have a more traditional highchair that you only use for the baby years, this is a lovely option. It’s easy to clean and assemble and fits babies aged 6 months to 3 years. It also comes in a few fun colors!
Starting at $169
With a lower price point, and still a lot of options to continue to use the chair as the kids grow, this is a great option. (It may be less sturdy than the wooden options.) You can use it for a baby, then as a toddler chair with a little table. The cushion is also washable and comes in a few fun designs.
Starting at $57.99
I would check to make sure that they have enough space and that their bellies aren’t being squished. Check to make sure that they aren’t sitting back too far that might be making them uncomfortable. See if you can bring them closer to the table to make them feel more involved in the meal (they might feel left out if they are away from the rest of the family).
It could also be time to consider a booster seat, but also remember that the way kids sit at meals is about both comfort and habit, so trouble shoot the set up of the chair before changing to a booster, especially with kids under age 2 or 2.5.
It depends on a lot of factors including the chair style you have, the size of the child, and what the rest of the context is. Kids may outgrow conventional highchairs starting around 18 months depending on their size (and would need to transition to a properly sized booster seat)—though can use an adjustable chair like the Stokke Tripp Trapp with adjustments for years.
Any highchair that doesn’t have a lot of nooks and crannies, cushions, or spots where food can get stuck. (A self-cleaning highchair would be nice!)
I suggest waiting as long as possible since a booster seat is less secure than a highchair and it may lead to a lot of squirminess at the table. But if your child seems like they are too big for their chair or are uncomfortable, it could be a good time. It really depends on the chair you have though, and could be anywhere after 18 months to 2 years depending on the age of the child.
Tips for Extending the Life of a Highchair
- Wash it down after each meal and snack to limit the amount of food build up. (I know, it’s a pain!)
- Store any removable parts in a safe, clean place so they are ready for future kids.
- Launder any removable cushions regularly, treating stains appropriately.
- Adjust the set up of foot rests and straps as needed to allow the chair to grow with the child.