With seemingly endless options out there, we hope to make your selection easier! Our guide to the Best High Chairs of 2016 breaks down each nominee into these important elements:
- Postural Support/Positioning
The ideal high chair adapts with your growing child and their changing needs. Early on, little ones require stability and external support to maintain upright sitting posture while in high chair. As children grow and develop trunk strength and stability, we want our high chair to continue to promote proper posture and alignment. The ability for the child to maintain hips, knees and ankles at 90 degree angles with the child’s feet weight bearing through a support surface, ensures optimal positioning and enables the child’s trunk and upper body strength to focus on the task at hand while eating!
Regarding safety, according to Consumer Reports, “The most important high chair safety features include a crotch post; a safety-restraint system with a five-point harness; wheels that lock in place (or no wheels); and, when folding, chairs that won’t scissor, shear, or pinch you or your little one’s fingers.”
Other tips for keeping children safe in high chairs, according to the Center for Injury Research & Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital include:
- Use high chairs appropriately during meal time. Teach your child that the high chair is where they sit while eating. Discourage playing, climbing or standing in the chair which can cause it to tip over.
- Be aware of where you put the high chair. If it is too close to the table, a counter or a wall, the child may knock the chair over by kicking their feet into these objects.
- Before selecting the best high chair for your child, test it out and make sure the chair is stable. Chairs with wide bases are often more stable.
- Check for recalls and make sure the chair you select does not have any known injury hazards. Check www.recalls.gov to see if your high chair has been recalled.
- It is important to confirm that all products are JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). This means the high chair has been approved for safety standards.
Now onto our Best High Chair of 2016 Nominees!
1. Peg Perego
Where to buy: Peg Perego Siesta High Chair
Safety: 5-point restraint and passive restraint bar are built into the chair. As an added safety feature, this chair features an auto-lock brake system that is controlled by hand at the top of the chair, rather than down on the wheels. JPMA Certified.
Postural Support/Positioning: Soft luxurious seat material allows child nice amount of cushion while feeling secure in their highchair. For younger babies, legs are often not long enough to reach the footrest on the Siesta. However, using the lever on the sides of the footrest, it can be adjusted so that baby is sitting with their legs straight out instead of dangling. Once child is larger, footrests can be adjusted to allow child to weight bear through both feet to encourage more aligned symmetric posture.
Portability: Although it is on the heavy end (23 lbs), and takes up a slightly larger amount of floor space than other high chairs, it does fold flat. It also has extremely efficient wheels, so you really never have to pick up the actual chair unless moving it up or down stairs.
Adaptability: Adjustable height, footrest, and recline options offer opportunities to adapt the set up as child grows and their needs change. The Peg Perego High Chair works from infancy through the toddler years (weight max = 45 lbs), making it one of the best high chairs of 2016!
Price: $250-$300 for basic chair, additional baby set $60-$70.
Safety: The chair’s 5-point harness attaches to the back to secure little ones, and can be removed for older children. The Tripp Trapp Baby Set is made specifically for the Tripp Trapp Chair. The Baby Set includes a high back, a solid plastic yoke between the legs and across the midline, and extended gliders to provide additional support and stability. JPMA Certified.
Positioning: This chair offers optimal ergonomic positioning options, with the seat and footrest easily adjusted to promote that ideal 90/90/90 of the child’s lower body (see photo above) to encourage trunk stability and strength. No padding is offered on the basic chair, but this leads to more incentive for child to maintain upright seating posture, rather than lounging. The chair is designed to fit right up to your dining table (or can be used free standing with add on tray), bringing your little one into the heart of your family, allowing him or her to learn and develop alongside you.
Portability: The Tripp Trapp has a small footprint at 396 square inches. Gliders on the back legs of the chair provide additional backward stability, something you will appreciate for safety sake. So, although this chair has no wheels, the gliders do help with maneuverability. It is also relatively light, weighing in at 15 pounds. It does not fold flat, however, you can slide it in to store nicely around your dining table, much like a regular chair would.
Adaptability: The Stokke Tripp Trapp is a highly adjustable and ergonomic seat that grows with children from infancy to adulthood with a maximum weight limit of 300 lbs! Once your child is finished using the high chair, it can be converted to a stool or an adult chair. The Stokke Tripp Trapp definitely qualifies as one of the best high chairs of 2016!
*This is the high chair we use with Dinosaur PT baby himself, Abe. We absolutely love it!
Price: $175-$200 for basic high chair, $230-$250 for high chair with infant insert.
Where to buy: Keekaroo Height Right High Chair with Tray or for younger babies Keekaroo Height Right High Chair with Infant Insert and Tray.
Safety: The Height Right Chair includes a 3 point pelvic belt (rather than the previous chairs offering a 5 point harness). The Infant Insert offers a soft cushion to provide a comfortable and safe seating solution during mealtime for your child under 3 years old. A built in pommel and safety belt help to keep your child seated properly. When used with the included tray, the Keekaroo high chair and Infant Insert are JPMA certified to the highest ASTM standards for children up to 3 years old.
Positioning: Similar to the Stokke Tripp Trapp chair, this chair promotes proper posture and offers excellent seating ergonomics.
Portability: The chair has a nice, small footprint, at only 470 square inches. When pushed in, it can fit around the dining room or kitchen table. Although it does not come with wheels it slides nicely over tile floors. If you have hardwood floors you may want to consider some type of protective pads, much like you would put on regular dining chairs. At 21.1 pounds, it came in right in the middle of the pack.
Adaptability: The High Chair is ideal for children aged 6 months on up with a weight limit of 250 pounds. For these reasons and more the Keekaroo is one of the best high chairs of 2016!
Where to buy: Baby Björn High Chair
Safety: The BabyBjörn High Chair design features a 3-point pelvic belt and foldable safety table, which works both as an eating table and as a restraint system. A childproof two-step lock keeps the table securely in place when using the chair. When mealtime is over, lower the safety table to easily lift the child in and out. The chair also features a safety harness that complies with ASTM Standards. These safety features qualify the Baby Bjorn as one of the best high chairs of 2016!
Positioning: While the rounded backrest encourages upright sitting posture, the footrest is not adjustable, which means that smaller children will not be able to reach footplate and larger children may feel crowded by footplate at too high of a height to accommodate their longer legs. Not ideal for proper lower extremity positioning.
Portability: Weighing in at only 11 pounds, the BabyBjörn High Chair is just 10 inches wide when folded, which makes it easy to travel with or store when not in use. When open this chair will only take up about 454 square inches of space. It does not have wheels, so maneuvering around the space can be a bit tricky.
Adaptability: The BabyBjörn High Chair is marketed for children 6 month to 3 years or those under 38″ tall. While not as universal as our other options, it is still a great pick for younger children!
5. OXO Seedling
Where to buy: Oxo Tot Seedling High Chair
Safety: This chair offers adjustable, 5-point safety harness with a stationary restraint providing maximum safety and a perfect fit. Once removed, the tray rests flat on table to prevent bowls and cups from tipping when removing baby from chair. Generous footprint provides balance and stability for reclining high chair. JPMA Certified.
Postural Support/Positioning: Seat has three reclining positions for optimal comfort and five height settings. The adjustable, contoured seat with high back support is perfect for tots from 4 months to 3 years. The tray, which has several depth adjustments, allows enough room for the growing child. Unfortunately this chair does not offer an adjustable footrest, which prevents it from earning extra postural support points.
Portability: Weighing in at 21 pounds with a rather large footprint at 726 square inches. Locking wheels provide flexibility and mobility. While it does not offer a folding option, it can collapse into several pieces if there is a need to store.
Adaptability: The Oxo Tot Seedling High Chair offers five height settings. Tray is light and easy to remove or replace with one hand, and is able to be stored on back of the legs for added convenience. Safe for children up to 45 lbs. The OXO brand surely makes some of the best high chairs of 2016!
Where to buy: OXO Tot Sprout Chair
Safety: Offers a 5-point harness for added stability and security with pommel post and tray. Adjustable seat height with smooth EVA foam cushions for support and comfort. The base and legs are very sturdy. Meets ASTM Standards and is JPMA Certified.
Positioning: This chair offers adjustable seat height and depth as well as adjustable footrest height. While it does not offer recline options, a depth adjustable tray accommodates child’s growth and can be removed so the chair can be pulled up to the table if desired. The seat, back and cushions are contoured for comfort and promote postural control and alignment, making this one of the best high chairs of 2016!
Portability: The footprint is compact and does not take up much room, however it is not foldable. The tray can be removed with one hand. This chair is one of the heavier options weighing approximately 28 lbs.
Adaptability: The OXO Tot Sprout Chair is very adaptable. It converts from a high chair to a youth chair when the seat is adjusted to the lowest setting. A new seat pad, which is included, replaces the infant seat pad, and the tray and straps are removed so your growing child can sit at the table. This chair is suitable for children 6 months to 5 years. The footrest has 4 height settings that adjust independently of seat height. The weight limit for this chair is 60 lbs.
Where to buy: Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System
Safety: Offering a 5-point harness for safety that converts to a 3-point harness, if need be. There is a removable and adjustable footrest for your baby’s comfort, as well as, an included infant head and body support to keep smaller babies in a more comfortable position for feeding. With a three-position, one-handed seat recline that is great for smaller babies and a wide sturdy base that prevents tipping. JPMA certified.
Positioning: With adjustable seat height, footrest height and incline options, this chair offers assistance with postural support for the growing child.
Portability: The t-bar for safety is connected to the tray (as opposed to the Peg Perego Siesta which offers a better design with the restraint attached to the seat itself), making the entire tray awkward to set down on a flat surface if you remove it all in one piece. The chair itself has a large footprint and weighing in at about 29 lbs, it is a heavier option. While it does have wheels that maneuver easily, it does not fold for storage.
Adaptability: The Graco Blossom is a multi-function chair that can accommodate children as they grow and develop. This chair transforms seamlessly from an extremely functional highchair to an infant feeding booster, a toddler booster, and finally a youth chair. These features qualify the Graco Blossom as one of the best high chairs of 2016! This chair can accommodate up to 60 pounds. Below is the recommended use of this chair:
- Stage 1 (Highchair): Up to 3 years old, Max weight 40 lbs
- Stage 2 (Infant Feeding Booster): Up to 3 years old, Max weight 60 lbs
- Stage 3 (Toddler Booster): Use removable seat back insert through 3 years old, Max weight 60 lbs
- Stage 4 (Youth Chair): Use removable seat back insert chair through 3 years old, Max weight 60 lbs
Where to buy: Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat
Safety: 3-point safety harness holds the growing child securely. Front and rear seat straps adjust to fit any chair. This chair also has adjustable shoulder straps.
Positioning: Has a high back support, which helps younger children to maintain upright posture. Removable back and tray with 3 height adjustments allows for a custom fit to any table. While this chair does not offer optimal positioning for lower body, it is a good option for travel and short term use, and worthy of the best high chairs of 2016 nomination!
Portability: This chair weighs approximately 4lbs. Offers fold down seat back with adjustable carry strap for ease of transport and storage.
Adaptability: The Fisher Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat has three height adjustments to adjust for development, different children, or a variety of seat and dining surface heights. This chair can accommodate up to 50 lbs and is recommended for children 12 months old and up. Also includes a feeding tray with a snap on lid.
We hope you enjoyed our post on the Best High Chairs!
For more helpful equipment recommendations visit our Best Car Seat Picks here!
Our Best High Chairs of 2016 was a collaborative effort with Dr. Sneha Gosalia of Big Leaps Pediatric Therapy! She is a wonderful and knowledgable clinician! Check out her website at www.bigleapsct.com!
Learn more about Dinosaur Physical Therapy!