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Looking For A Highchair? Here Are Our Favorites

September 12, 2011

Ahh.. the gear when having a baby. Some parents love shopping for it and others can barely stand it. Either way, the selection out there is overwhelming. But, what do you really need? Living in NYC, the footprint might be one of your most important considerations. When I started writing this post, I realized that being NYC dwellers, we had some needs that required a second look at what the best highchairs offered. For instance: will the chair eventually work at the kitchen table? We do cherish our space! Here are some other thoughts on what to look for in a highchair:

  • Is it easy to clean? Are there too many nooks and crannies where food can get stuck?
  • Is the surface easy to wipe down? Does the surface crack over time?
  • Footprint. How big is the highchair?
  • Can you remove the tray?
  • Can the chair work at a regular table?
  • Will it grow with your child?

Okay, so now that you know what to look out for, here are some solid options for you. Most of them I have used or tried out, but for the ones that I haven’t, I have included user reviews.

Ikea Antilop Highchair

First up is the Ikea Antilop Highchair ($19.99). We have had this for 5 years and used with 2 kids and it’s still going strong.  I love this highchair for its small footprint, delicate design and cheap price.
Pros: Easy to wipe and wash. Tray comes off easily and can be washed swiftly. Straps are easy for you and for your growing child. Grows well with your child.
Cons: If you cut on the tray, the cuts become inscribed on the tray and food and dirt get inside the cuts. It can be tipsy if your child rocks or pushes his/her feet on something while in the chair. If you have one of those rambunctious toddlers like I did, make sure you keep the high chair away from any surface that can be used as a send off. It does sit flush with a table because there is a thick ridge in the front. So, your child sits about 4 inches from the table because of the protruding ridge which doesn’t work well if your child is going to eat at the table. We dealt with it for a bit and then moved on to another highchair.

phil & teds Lobster Highchair, Black

We used the Phil & Teds Me Too clip-on highchair for 5 years and loved loved loved it. This summer it was recalled and so the phil&teds Lobster Highchair, Black ($79.99) is their replacement. It’s a little more expensive. Since we haven’t actually used this version, I will include my pros and cons of the Me Too along with those of users.
Pros: It allows your child to sit right at the table from the get-go. I love this aspect of this chair. The harness is easy for you and for your child to put on. Super easy to clean despite it being a fabric chair. I put the whole chair on the top rack of my dishwasher and it cleans it wonderfully. You can’t beat the footprint of this chair- it’s so compact.
Cons: You can’t use this chair with tables that have lips, tablecloths or are glass. People felt that the tray was useless and it didn’t lock into place. A lot of users preferred the Me Too chair over this one. Maybe they will come up with a second Me Too?

Peg-Perego 2011 Tatamia High Chair, Paloma

My parents have a cheaper version of this Peg Perego that we use at their house. My kids think it’s the cushiest thing and love it. It does seem super cozy compared to the hard-edged highchairs we have at home. Peg-Perego 2011 Tatamia High Chair gets high reviews and consistently turns up as “one of the best” on lists, so I thought I would feature it. It has many different seating levels, reclining positions and can even be a swing! I have never seen it or tried it. But, here are what others are saying:
Pros: This has a higher weight limit so grows with your child. It reclines and has 8 different seating levels. It folds up for storage or transporting. No seams for food to get trapped in. The tray height adjusts for table vs. countertop.” “It rolls anywhere I want it to!”
Cons: “I would not recommend using the swing feature to anyone unless your baby is very young and cannot move their arms around. My baby was just beginning to learn how to move his arms to touch things by the time we purchased this chair. He was still well within the recommended weight limit for the swing so we gave it a try. As he was swinging, he tried touching one of the arms that was attached to the seat and got his fingers pinched. The arms that are attached to the chair crosses very closely to the arms that are attached to the base.” “Doesn’t feel sturdy.”

SALE Stokke Tripp Trapp Trend Highchair In Green With Baby Set ($319)

The Stokke Tripp Trapp is a favorite with Brooklyn parents. I used it countless times at friends’ apartments and finally got my own when we had our youngest. I sincerely wish I had bought it with my first.
Pros: Easy to clean. Grows with your child. Your child can climb up and down the chair by herself- which is huge when you have two children or you are cooking. The highchair can be used with a tray or put up flush with the table for family eating. This chair will last many years and be in style for many years. It’s fantastic because a visiting baby, toddler or preschooler can all use it.  It looks like the rest of your furniture and so it looks nice in any room or decor.
Cons: A note: we didn’t put the extended gliders on the bottom of the chair when we put the chair together. (Ahem- dear husband!). The extenders give the chair extra leverage to prevent younger children from tipping back if they push off from a table.  Since we didn’t,  my daughter did push back and her chair tilted over. It was just a few tears but we learned our lesson- follow the directions! The seat is hard and some kids like a cushier seat. The clips can be a little tricky, even for me which means a child can not easily undo them by herself which is a pro and a con.

Boon Flair Pedestal High Chair with Pneumatic Lift, Coconut Seat/Blue Raspberry Pad ($229)

Boon Flair Pedestal High Chair is a very cool 2020 type of high chair. I have seen it used and in demo but never tried it myself so I am going to include others’ reviews here.
Pros: “Then there’s the wheels – the mobility you get with this chair is AWESOME. We move this chair all around the house.” “It is so easy to clean, no cracks or creases to dig food out of. I also love that I can adjust the height and sit my son up to the bar or at the table.” “I chose it in part for its sleek, non-clunky look, and the small footprint, both of which I have appreciated and have received many compliments on.”
Cons: “The tray is small, so does not fit a full size plate, but I never use one with my son anyway. The pros to having a small tray, is that it easily fits in the dishwasher.” “I wish the tray were longer.”

Bright Starts Ingenuity Perfect Place High Chair, Bella Vista ($90)

I saw this Bright Starts high chair at a trade fair and liked the design, colors and the price. I have never tried it, so I am going to quote from others’ reviews:
Pros: “One of my favorite features is the tray – it swings open by pushing one button on the side.” “The seat has an adjustable foot rest and the entire seat and foot rest is topped with a removable, thickly-padded cover made of a rubberized fabric that is easily wiped clean…..But the most unique feature of the seat is that it reclines! There is one simple latch on the back of the seat that lets you select one of three reclining positions.”
Cons: “Sadly, this high chair looks wonderful but is not very sturdy even though it was put together properly.” “MONSTROUS wheel base! The base is just huge, and really gets in the way. An unfortunate Achilles heel in an otherwise great product.”

We hope this helped you to find the right high chair for you!

Disclosure: Just like magazine writers and newscasters, we are given, from time to time, theatre tickets and products to review honestly. We don’t feel pressure to review them favorably and in fact, sometimes we don’t.  This disclosure is here so you know what we were sent to review. We were sent the Stokke Trip Trapp to review.