May 01, 2023
10 best high chairs of 2023, with tips from a baby safety expert
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Of course, safety is the forefront of any purchasing decision when it comes to your baby. Whether you’re shopping for the perfect cribs or the most comfortable car seats, you want to make sure you vet the product with a 360-degree lens.
So is the case with high chairs. There are so many on the market to choose from, including portable options and fully wooden models. For some, foldable high chairs may be sought-out in an effort to save space in your home.
"Generally speaking, a high chair is considered appropriate for children who are sitting upright unassisted, with head, neck and trunk (torso) control," Holly Choi, baby and toddler safety expert, certified Red Cross first aid instructor, child-passenger safety technician instructor (CPST-I) and co-owner of Safe Beginnings First Aid, told the New York Post. "Many high chairs will convert to a toddler chair; parents should follow guidance in the user manual for when that will be appropriate for their child. This could be based on a height, weight or developmental requirement."
Ahead, find an all-in-one high chair buying guide in our in-depth FAQ section, along with the 10 best high chairs of 2023 to shop from below — hand-picked from Choi and the New York Post Shopping team.
According to Choi, the Stokke Nomi High Chair is one of the best high chairs on the market, thanks to its adjustable footrest and high weight limit. Not only is it widely accessible on the market but it boasts a rounded, organic contour that helps create a comfortable feel and modern look.
It's unique design also helps your baby or toddler focus on activities at the table thanks to its curved body and ergonomic play seat. Even better, it's convertible to the Nomi Chair by removing its included Baby Set.
The Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair is another Choi recommends, also thanks to its adjustable footrest and relatively high weight capacity. Its slanted look is also secure and comfortable for your baby, making it a two-in-one high chair: well-made and aesthetically pleasing.
Plus, this model is suitable from 6 months to 3 years as it includes every counterpart you’ll need (and later, can be removed): the baby set with harness, cushion and Stokke tray.
If you’re seeking a wooden, sturdy high chair that comes with an included insert (yay for another convertible high chair!), the Keekaroo Height Right High Chair is your best bet. Namely, it's made from ultra-soft-to-the-touch material, is recommended by Choi for its lovely adjustable footrest and comes with a dishwasher-safe eating tray that's easy to clean.
Shop the No.1. Amazon best-selling high chair (that's clad with a whopping 26,000 rave reviews — and counting). New York Post Shopping recommends the Graco Slim Snacker High Chair as it's the one we personally use with our nieces. From personal use, it's simple to clean, lightweight if you’d like to move and station it elsewhere at home and is folding — aka, unbeatable for travel.
We’re still mesmerized by the Stokke Steps High Chair. Though a surefire splurge, it lasts from 6 months to 3 years, coming with a comfortable cushion and easy-clean tray for the most seamless feeding time.
Not to mention, we recommend it for its sturdy design, adjustable back- and footrest for optimal ergonomics and five-point machine-washable safety harness.
If you’re looking for a top-rated high chair that's less than $100, the Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 High Chair. With more than 8,000 positive reviews on Amazon for its three-way design — traditional high chair, chair top booster and toddler seat — it also features a five-point harness and seat pad to help keep your little ones comfortable.
Plus, its oversize tray and easy-clean tray is heaven-sent for parents and caregivers alike, offering one less step to worry about.
First things first: let's talk about the pleasing look the Peg Perego Siesta High Chair. This Italian-made baby seater fully reclines (with five reclining positions!) Aside from that, you’ll appreciate its nine different height positions and three-position adjustable footrest.
That said, it's truly a one-of-a-kind option that ensures your baby is safe and comfortable to the max. Its mar-resistant castor wheels automatically lock for safety, yet make it easy to maneuver to and fro.
Shop the Chicco Polly Progress 5-in-1 High Chair, a model New York Post Shopping recommends. It's fairly priced, sworn-in by those who love convenience. Not only is this a traditional high chair but it's also fully functioning as a toddler booster, big kid booster and youth stool.
Not to mention, it's one of the best foldable high chair options you can grab — ideal for those with smaller, apartment-style spaces or traveling to grandma's house.
Grab the Baby Jogger City Bistro High Chair, a well-made option that's also apt for smaller spaces. Notably, its two-fold design makes it a breeze to assemble and fold up when feeding has finished.
Its four different height positions ensure that your baby will be comfortable, while its five-point harness is a checkmark in the safety department. Simply put, it's great if you want a middle-of-the-road high chair with a slew of features.
The Abiie Beyond Junior Wooden High Chair is one that impressed us, much ado to its smooth-the-touch brushed wooden design and impressive height adjustability. Uniquely, this model underwent state-of-the-art pressure-assisted high-temperature sterilization at 248 degrees Fahrenheit, helping to ensure a hygienic environment for your baby or toddler.
It's dual restraint system comes with both a five-point and three-point harness, allowing a customizable high chair-seating experience. For the cherry on top, it comes with an included stain-resistant cushion for easy cleanup.
Ahead, Choi closely details safety notes and what to know before purchasing a brand-new high chair for your baby.
It'srecommended to select a high chair with an adjustable footrest, when possible. This is related to something called the "90-90-90" goal, per Choi.
"The 90-90-90 goal is a position where the child is seated comfortable, with, as close to, a 90-degree bend at their hips, knees and ankles," Choi tells The Post. "This ensures the child is supported properly by the high chair, with a safe upright and open airway. When the 90-90-90 goal is observed, children tend to be more comfortable, and therefore more likely to be happy sitting at the table (less squirmy!)"
More, parents should select a high chair that meets current safety standards (ASTM F404-20). If a high chair is purchased second hand, or "pulled out of the attic" it may not meet current safety standards.
"Current safety standards require a restraint system, including something called a ‘passive crotch restraint,’ which is typically a bar that sits between the child's legs to prevent them from slipping out of the high chair through a leg opening," Choi explains. "Additionally, leg openings have requirements for how large they can be, to further reduce this risk."
It's important to note that antique and vintage high chairs will not have harnesses, and may not have a passive crotch restraint, and therefore are not considered safe to use under today's standards.
To reduce potential for injury, parents should:
As a best practice, parents and caregivers should always read the safety manual of the high chair model they’re purchasing to scope out the weight and height requirements.
"If parents are purchasing a stand-alone booster seat, I recommend finding one that attaches to a regular chair, and has a three-point harness, with straps at the hip and a crotch buckle, to reduce the risk of falls," Choi notes. This will come in handy around the toddler stage — two to three years of age — where a booster seat may be used.
High chairs will have different weight limits from chair to chair. "There are some high chairs that will support as much as 300 lbs, and can be used into adulthood by converting the chair from a highchair mode to a ‘regular’ chair," Choi says.
However, this is definitely not true of all high chairs, but is becoming more of a trend in the industry. "There is a push to have baby products with utility beyond solely the baby years," she adds.
First and foremost, it's imperative that parents use the straps on their high chair.
"A common concern I hear from parents is, ‘If I strap them in, what if I am not able to get them out of the highchair in the event of a choking incident?’ Speaking from my experience as a first aid instructor, choking maneuvers are very effective and quick when done with proper force and technique."
However, under age 1, children carry approximately 30% of their body weight in their head. At 1 year old, it's closer to 25%, and about 18% by age 3. "This means that young children are significantly top-heavy, and if the child's food is prepared appropriately for their age, an unstrapped child is much more likely to suffer a head injury from a fall than they are to encounter a true choking incident," Choi stresses.
Straps should be tight to the hip crease to prevent a child from squeeze their knee through the strap and becoming free to stand in their chair. "If shoulder straps are present for the high chair, follow the high chair's instruction manual for guidance about if they are required or optional," Choi says. "Shoulder straps, when present, can help keep a child in an upright seated position (rather than leaning off the side), which can in turn reduce choking risk by remaining seated upright."
"Clip-on high chairs are a popular travel-friendly high chair," Choi explains. "They are great for travel or bringing to a restaurant, however, they are not a recommended option for everyday use because of a lack of foot rest (see the 90-90-90 goal above)."
For families that do use one as their everyday high chair (sometimes it's necessary to save space), Choi recommends finding a lightweight, cardboard box that can be used as a foot rest for baby, something that will be tall enough to help them achieve the 90-90-90 goal. Think: an empty diaper box.
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