The Best High Chair

Graco DuoDiner LX Highchair

Our Top Pick for 2016: Graco DuoDiner LX Highchair
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $98.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

It’s an exciting time when your baby reaches the age at which he can start eating solid food. Before he’s ready for that step, however, you’ll want to start looking for the right high chair, one that is safe and sturdy and fits into your budget. With so many high chairs on the market, it may seem as though making the best decision might be nearly impossible. Reviews will help you determine which high chair will work best for you and your child. Once you’ve narrowed the list of features you prefer, it will be much easier to choose the high chair that works best for both of you. The list below will help you decide which high chair should work best for your child and your family.

Table of contents

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5 Point Safety Harness
3 In 1 High Chair
Grows With Your Baby
Seat Pad Is Wipeable And Machine Washable
6-position Height Adjustment
3 Reclining Positions
Dishwasher Safe Tray And Tray Insert
One-hand Adjustable Reclining Seat
One Hand Removable Tray
Removable Tray Has 4 Locking Positions
Infant Head And Body Support
Machine-washable Seat Pad
Built-in Cup Holders
Polyester, Plastic, Metal
Built-in Leg Storage

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Graco DuoDiner LX Highchair

Graco DuoDiner LX Highchair Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $98.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe Graco DuoDiner is 49.5 inches long, 29.25 inches wide and 24.25 inches high. It weighs 25 pounds. It costs $149.99 MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). It’s constructed of high-quality molded plastic and metal and has a polypropylene tray. The chair is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers’ Association (JPMA) and is also “certified frustration free” by Amazon.com reviewers.

Graco advertises this high chair as one that will grow with your child. There are several reasons it gets its top rating. It’s a 3-in-1 high chair that easily converts from a chair that will comfortably and safely hold your infant as he’s learning to eat solid foods to a chair that can become a booster seat when your child has reached the right age. In between, the Graco DuoDiner is a fully functioning chair made for the toddler stage when your child is learning to feed himself.

The Graco DuoDiner comes unassembled, although customers report that they were able to put it together easily. The high chair is very easy to use. It can be used with a baby as young as just a few months old who is still taking a bottle. As your child grows, the chair grows with him as he’s introduced to new foods and learns to feed himself. Finally, as your child reaches the age at which he no longer needs a high chair, the DuoDiner becomes a booster seat. As your child grows, the high chair can hold your child who weighs up to 37 pounds, while the booster seat is rated for a child weighing up to 60 pounds.

The high chair offers several safety features, including a harness that includes shoulder straps for younger children as well as a lap belt. The harness is easily convertible from a five-point to a three-point harness. Younger infants get special care in the form of head and body support that can be removed later as the child outgrows the need for it.

The Graco DuoDiner offers ease of use, which is one of the primary reasons this high chair is the Gold Pick Winner. When the high chair is used with a young infant, the three-position reclining seat allows you or another adult to choose the position that works best for baby. He can take a bottle while in the DuoDiner as mom or dad prepares dinner nearby.

As your child grows, the DuoDiner high chair grows with him. The chair features five adjustable positions that place it at the best height for any dining situation. The crotch bar offers another safety feature that prevents your baby or toddler from sliding out of the chair through the gap between the tray and the seat. The DuoDiner also features an adjustable foot and leg rest made to keep a child comfortable as he grows.

Once your child has graduated from a high chair to eating at the table with the family, the DuoDiner works well as a portable booster seat. The booster seat offers your child a familiar place to eat whether he’s at home, visiting the grandparents or at a restaurant. Until he reaches a weight of 60 pounds, he can use the booster seat whenever it’s needed.

The Graco DuoDiner features a seat pad that is easy to clean. It can be wiped down with soap and water, or if necessary, thrown into the washing machine. The tray itself is dishwasher safe, as is the chair pull-out tray insert that is an extra component of the high chair. One of the special features of the chair is the one-handed tray removal. Reviewers say it’s easy to remove the tray while holding a baby. The high chair has two front wheels that are easy to move on carpet or wood, although some users say the wheels can tend to slide on wood floors. The wheels do not lock.

When the high chair isn’t needed, it can be folded for easy storage, something many other high chairs don’t offer. The high chair comes in colors that work well in most home decors, including a “Metropolis” chair featuring darker and lighter grays and a “Tangerine” high chair that is gray with bright orange accents.

Customers who have reviewed the Graco DuoDiner High Chair praise its sturdiness, ease of cleaning and adjustable components that work well for any baby, whether he’s a smaller infant, an older toddler or even a preschool-aged child.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 Deluxe High Chair

Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 Deluxe High Chair

View it on Amazon for $89.97*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 Deluxe High Chair is a full-size high chair that becomes a toddler chair and later a booster seat. One of this high chair’s most appreciated features is that it can be used to seat two children at the same time, since it can be used simultaneously as both a high chair and a booster seat. It sells for $100 MSRP. Although it is not certified by the JPMA, the Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 Deluxe High Chair is certified as “frustration free” by Amazon users.

The Ingenuity Trio Deluxe High Chair is 18.5 inches long, 15.5 inches wide and 23.75 inches high. It weighs 23 pounds. The high chair can hold a child up to 50 pounds and is recommended for children beginning at six months old. The chair features the ability to recline for younger infants so that they can more easily take bottles or be fed by mom or dad.

This is a high chair that works well for both at-home and restaurant dining, as the booster seat is easy to transport. The chair features a safety harness with both 5-point shoulder straps and a 3-pont lap belt. The high chair offers both a tray and a tray insert with four locking positions that allow your child to sit comfortably in the chair. Both the tray and the insert are dishwasher safe and can be easily removed with just one hand by using a built-in front button. The seat pad is either hand washable or machine washable, as is the removable bolster insert designed to be used with younger babies. The chair’s shoulder straps can be removed to be washed, but the lap straps are not removable.

The Ingenuity Trio Deluxe Chair has four wheels that move forwards or backwards well but don’t pivot or turn well, according to reviewers. The chair’s back wheels lock automatically when they aren’t in use. The wheels are sturdy and stable on both carpet and wood floors. Reviewers report the wheels don’t leave any marks on wood floors.

Although the Ingenuity Trio high chair doesn’t fold like some other high chairs, it can be disassembled quickly and easily when it needs to be stored. A simple click of a button helps remove the legs on the high chair to turn it into a booster seat or prepare it for storage. Pins that hold the legs onto the chair can be easily removed. However, some reviewers do find it a problem that the chair doesn’t fold for storage.

The Ingenuity Trio high chair has a few other problems in addition to its inability to fold. The width of the chair’s legs are cited by some as a problem, while others cite a lack of a JPMA certification as a concern. However, the Ingenuity Trio is “certified frustration free” by Amazon users. The high chair is available in a number of different colors and patterns. Most Amazon reviewers cite the Ingenuity Trio Deluxe as an excellent choice for families looking for a high chair that converts into a booster seat when their toddler is ready.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Graco SimpleSwitch Highchair and Booster

Graco SimpleSwitch Highchair and Booster

View it on Amazon for $67.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe Graco SimpleSwitch Highchair and Booster is a two-in-one chair that easily converts from a full high chair for a baby or toddler to a booster seat for an older child. This chair retails for $80 MSRP. It is 23 inches from front to back, 28.5 inches wide and 43 inches tall. Made of high-grade metal and plastic, the chair weighs 17 pounds. The high chair itself can hold a child up to 37 pounds, while the booster seat is rated for a child of up to 60 pounds. The chair’s tray and footrest, as well as the chair itself, are not adjustable.

Parents concerned about the source of the materials used in baby products can rest assured. The Graco SimpleSwitch is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), and the high chair tray is certified to be BPA-free, as are all Graco products.

The high chair features a reclining seat for younger infants who are at least six months old who might want to take a bottle while in the chair. Three different positions allow parents to set the seat at the position most comfortable for their child. The harness can be used as either a 5-point or 3-point belt and is easily convertible. The chair’s seat material can be cleaned by hand or in a washing machine.

As with several of the top-rated high chairs, the SimpleSwitch Highchair tray can be easily removed with one hand. It has several adjustable positions that make it convenient to use no matter how old the child is. The chair’s crotch guard is attached to the tray rather than to the chair itself, so the tray doesn’t sit flat on a counter when it’s removed for cleaning. Some users find this to be a problem, but many have found that the safety bar underneath the tray can be removed so that the tray will lie flat on a surface.

The Graco SimpleSwitch does not fold up, but the legs can be removed and stored inside the high chair for travel or when the chair is being stored or used as a booster seat. Although the Graco SimpleSwitch doesn’t have wheels, a plastic handle located at the back of the chair makes it easy to move the chair from room to room, even with a child in it. The height of the chair seat itself, at 25.5 inches, makes it easy for a child to eat at a counter or table without needing to use so the tray for his food.

The high chair converts easily to a booster seat when a child has grown enough to need one. The booster seat fits well at almost any table, according to reviewers. When they aren’t in use, the booster straps can be hidden away in a special storage compartment in the seat.

Reviewers say it’s easy to assemble the Graco SimpleSwitch Highchair. This sturdy yet inexpensive chair that converts to a booster seat is a good bargain for families looking to buy a less expensive high chair. The chair is guaranteed to grow with your child as he moves from his earliest days of eating solid foods to dining with the family at the dinner table.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Evenflo Convertible High Chair

Evenflo Convertible High Chair

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickFor families on a budget, the Evenflo Convertible High Chair may be the best choice of a high chair that is designed to transition from a baby to a toddler or even an older child. This three-in-one high chair sells for $43 MSRP. The chair weighs 12 pounds and is about 40 inches tall when fully assembled. It covers a floor area of about 30 square inches.

The Evenflo Convertible High Chair, designed for both feeding and play time, offers three stages. The traditional high chair is designed for a child from six months old to up to 40 pounds. The My Time Chair works well for older infants from about eight months old to those who weigh up 50 pounds. The My Time Chair, which is about ten inches high, sits directly on the floor but can be used with the high chair tray. For older children, the Right Size Table and Chair uses a table attached to the underside of the high chair to create a seat and table for a toddler or older child to eat or play close to his parents.

The high chair’s tray is lightweight and easily removed with one hand. Reviewers say that it is a bit smaller than other high chair trays but works well for most babies and toddlers. It can be cleaned by hand, but is not dishwasher safe. The chair’s center leg/crotch post is attached to the tray. The plastic back and seat cushion is one piece that can be removed for hand cleaning or can be placed in the washing machine. Lap straps attached directly to the chair keep even energetic babies and toddlers safe and secure in the seat.

Although the high chair doesn’t fold up, it can be disassembled quickly and easily for storage or when it’s time to convert to a booster seat. By pressing a button on the high chair, the legs can be easily removed. The chair doesn’t have wheels but can be moved easily from room to room when necessary. The metal legs are sturdy.

People who have reviewed the Evenflo Convertible High Chair say that it is stable and the lap belt holds an energetic baby or toddler who might escape from a less secure high chair. The tray underneath the chair that converts to a table also is convenient for catching spills and drips when baby is sitting in the high chair.

Some of the Evenflo Convertible High Chair models were recalled in 2012 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) because the high chair tray unexpectedly detached, causing babies who weren’t strapped into the chair to fall. Evenflo has since repaired that problem. Families on a budget who need to find a sturdy yet inexpensive convertible high chair will appreciate the Evenflo Convertible High Chair.


Pre-purchase considerations

Before you buy a high chair for your infant or toddler, there are several factors you should consider. Some parents think only about the price of the high chair, the way it fits into their home décor or how easy it is to clean. These are important things to take into account, but there are some factors that are even more essential.

Choose a chair that will grow with your child

A high chair that your child grows out of long before he’s ready to eat at the table with you isn’t a good bargain, no matter how inexpensive it might be. High chairs that include features that allow your younger infant to eat comfortably before he’s ready for a traditional chair are a better investment, even when the cost is higher. High chairs that become booster seats for older toddlers who can eat at the table with the family help you save money over the long run on this important piece of baby furniture. It also reduces the stress you’ll feel if you find yourself having to buy a new high chair for each stage of your toddler’s development.

Safety

The high chair you choose for your child needs to be as safe for him as his crib or car seat is. The safest high chairs carry certification stickers from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. The stickers attest to the fact that the manufacturer of the chair has voluntarily met the standards set by the JPMA. These standards include the presence of a passive crotch restraint and at least a three-point harness. Safety considerations also include trays that are sturdy and break-resistant, locking devices that prevent the chair from folding while the child is in it, and no exposed wires or springs that would hurt a child’s fingers, arms or legs.

Features

The traditional basic high chair allows you to feed your child once he’s able to sit up easily. Many high chairs today offer extra features that permit you to use the chair with an infant who isn’t yet sitting up straight regularly or comfortably, but who can take a bottle or even some cereal while reclining. Certain chairs offer the option of adjusting their height so that meal time or snack time will be easy and comfortable, whether it occurs in the dining room, beside a living room table or at the grandparents’ house. Some high chairs fold easily so that they can be stored out of the way in a closet or alcove. Some chairs have wheels on two or all four legs so that you can easily roll them from one place to another. No matter what feature you want in a high chair, it’s likely you’ll be able to find it in the dozens of chair on the market today.

Price range

New high chairs start at under $50, while the most expensive chairs may easily surpass $500. In most cases you’ll be able to find a high chair that meets your budget while providing the features you prefer. More expensive high chairs often offer modern designs while traditional chairs usually have the more traditional high chair look. You can find a high chair that works well with your home décor while giving you most, if not all, of the features you want. It’s a good idea to make a list of all the features you’d like to include in your child’s high chair before you begin the shopping process.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Your child will spend a lot of time in his high chair as he gets older. Choosing the right high chair is important because of the big role it plays in your child’s life. When meal time and play time are enjoyable thanks to a comfortable and safe high chair, your child will begin to associate those times with the feelings of happiness he experiences as he spends time with you and the rest of the family. A high chair that lets him sit comfortably, move without pinching or scratching himself on exposed plastic or metal, and play to his heart’s content with toys or his food is one that will meet all your family’s needs for safety as well as practicality. The Gold, Silver and Bronze Picks listed above as well as the Budget Pick are four of the best high chairs available on the market today.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. High Chair Safety Tips, HealthyChildren.org, November 21 2015
  2. High Chair Buying Guide, ConsumerReports.org, July 2015

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