We Asked 9 Stylish Parents: What’s the Best High Chair?
The littlest eaters deserve a chic seat at the table, too.
Published Jan 4, 2022 1:24 AM
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One universal truth of parenthood is that, at some point, every piece of furniture you own will have fruit puree splattered on it. There is, of course, one chair that will bear the brunt of those early eating days: your child’s high chair. But luckily, functionality need not trump form (or, let’s be honest, style). The best high chairs are easy to clean and look right at home next to your dressed-up dining table.
And whether you’re looking for a piece that will practically go from birth to the elementary school years or simply an inexpensive option that still looks sleek, we tapped stylish parents to share their top picks for the best high chairs.
- Best overall: Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair
- Best value: IKEA Antilop High Chair
- Best sustainable choice: Lalo The Chair
- Best customizable: Charlie Crane Tibu High Chair
- Best convertible: Stokke Steps High Chair
- Most comfortable: Little Dove 3-in-1 Convertible Wood High Chair
Best Overall: Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair
It should come as no surprise that this Scandinavian, modern-style high chair garnered top honors. Since it was designed in 1972 by Peter Opsvik, it has been a favorite of stylish parents the world over. Fans love its ability to blend into home decor, thanks to different color options. “The light wood base matches my kitchen floors, which makes it really look like it belongs in the room,” says Erika Bearman, a brand adviser and creative consultant. Linda Bui, vice president of operations at Ami Colé, concurs. “We wanted something that would go well with the rest of our furniture, and this was one of the best-looking and most functional high chairs,” Bui explains “It is also important to me that my daughter is able to sit at the table with us for meals. With this chair, she can be pulled right to our dining table.”
In addition, Bui notes that the chair has far outlasted the baby stage. “I love the longevity and adjustability of the chair; how it grows with her as she transitions from high chair to a regular chair.” For Vy Tran Yang, an editor at Design Milk, this was part of the reason the chair appealed to her, but not the only one. “Most parents buy it because it can grow with their kids, but the biggest reason why I love it so much is that it promotes independence,” she says. “The Tripp Trapp is designed to be solid and sturdy so that a not-so-nimble toddler can climb into it by themselves, giving them a sense of autonomy at an early age. Mealtimes can be a battleground, and this small bit of independence has helped make those more enjoyable for my toddler.”
Best Value: IKEA Antilop High Chair
For photographer and web developer Tiffany Tcheng, IKEA’s low-cost high chair has acted as a blank slate for her creativity. “I originally bought it to keep at my parents’ house because it was cheap and easy to store—the legs detach from the seat,” she says. “It was a simple solution that we could use as needed.” But when Tcheng was pregnant with her youngest daughter, she stumbled upon Yeah Baby Goods, which sells customized cushions, placemats, and footrests for the Antilop chair. “I purchased a cushion cover and matching placemat for the high chair for easy cleaning, and customized the legs using some wood contact paper from Amazon,” she says. “This combo has worked well for our family and fits into our home aesthetic.” And since the base price of the chair is so low, even buying multiple covers still puts it below the cost of many other models.
Best Sustainable Choice: Lalo The Chair
Lalo’s sleek chair is not only ideal for a parent who loves modern design but someone who wants to make an eco-friendly choice: The chair is crafted from nontoxic materials as well as FSC-certified sustainable beechwood. Swathi Narra, an entrepreneur and attorney, also loves it because of all the thoughtful details. “The Lalo high chair was recommended to me by one of my best friends, whom I trust implicitly for her taste in good design and excellent functionality,” she says. “The modern aesthetic combined with the ability to grow with my daughter and the ease of cleanliness makes me a very happy mom and customer.” One thing Narra found particularly brilliant was the company’s timing in terms of shipping. “The chair wasn’t sent to me until a month before I actually needed it, so as not to take up space in my house,” she explains.
Best Customizable: Charlie Crane Tibu High Chair
Author and journalist Laura Lane has Charlie Crane’s adorable chair on her wish list. The chair, inspired by 1950s French Industrial design, comes in five colors; has 10 seating configurations (it can be used from ages 6 months to 8-plus years); and parents can choose from a wide range of colorful fabric seat cushions, both solid and printed. “I love the different cushion options, particularly the Le Petit Lucas du Tertre jaguar, which is another brand I adore,” says Lane. “For my first child we bought a high chair everyone had, and I found it difficult to use and an eyesore in the house. This one I would buy for myself if I could!”
Best Convertible: Stokke Steps High Chair
Another popular option also comes from Stokke. (What can we say? The Scandinavians know their chairs.) Unlike the Tripp Trapp, the Steps resembles more of a traditional high chair, with four legs and a curved seat. But the chair’s biggest draw is how it can adjust over time. It transitions from a plush bouncer to a traditional high chair to a child’s seat. For Jenni Kayne president Julia Hunter, it also ticks the boxes for style, quality, and ease of use. “The materials feel high-quality, and the design and color are simple enough to blend in with the rest of our furniture,” she says. “You can also adjust the footrest and chair to your child’s size and remove all parts for cleaning. Lastly, it really does grow with your baby—we were able to use it until my son was 3, and then my daughter came along, and now she uses it!” And Alex Taylor, cofounder of Perelel Health, also cites another salient reason why this chair is her favorite. “The best part of all is that it doesn’t have a ton of nooks and crannies that can get jammed up with food,” she says. “Cleaning is easy and quick, especially since the tray is removable. Five-star review from this mom of two!”
Best for Comfort: Little Dove 3-in-1 Convertible Wood High Chair
There were months of trial and error before Danielle McKim of Tuft Interiors discovered Little Dove’s chair. “It took me a few tries on finding the right one; our gifted high chair was too heavy, and the one I thought I would like more didn’t make the cut with functionality either,” she says. “But this one is the winner! It is sturdy, lightweight, stylish, and a great price.”
It also offers your little one supreme comfort. There is a footrest to help develop proper posture, a padded five-point harness, a food tray that has three different settings depending on the size of your child, and a squishy leatherette cushion that’s easy to remove for cleaning.
Our Shopping Checklist
Material and Design
The key phrase here is easy to clean. You could be wiping this chair down half a dozen times a day, so you’ll want to look for materials that make that process as quick as possible. Plastic or wood chairs will obviously be easier to sponge clean, but if you want to add cushioning, look for fabrics that are water repellent, stain-resistant, and machine washable. And if you’re buying a chair for only occasional use, models that can collapse or be taken apart quickly for storing are ideal.
Your high chair might take more of a beating than any other item of kid furniture (see: toddler learning to feed herself). And if you have multiple children, chances are you’ll want to reuse it rather than getting a new one. So it’s important to find a chair that will withstand the rigors of wiggly, rowdy kids. If you’re looking for wood models, we recommend beechwood: that variety is both strong and sustainable. For plastic or metal chairs, you’ll want to look for parts that fit snugly together with very minimal-to-no wiggling.
For younger babies, a comprehensive safety harness is an essential element of a high chair. Without it, they’re at risk of falling through the bottom of the chair. And as they get older, it works double duty to keep them from crawling out when it’s time to eat their peas. In addition to the safety straps, you also want to look for chairs that have sturdy bases so they’re not at risk of tipping, even with a bouncing child inside.
The Last Word
If you’re looking for a high chair that is design forward, long-lasting, and easy to clean, Stokke’s Tripp Trapp is the choice of many stylish parents. Plus it can be used for years beyond toddler age.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.