Safe, durable and easy to clean, these highchairs will help ease mealtime stress.
Choosing the right products for your little one can be quite a nerve-racking experience. There are usually safety concerns to assess and trying to work out the differences between similar products can be downright confusing. So, how do you choose a product like a highchair that your baby is going to need for years to come?
To help you make an informed buying decision, we asked a focus group of parents to identify the criteria necessary for choosing a highchair based on their own experience. The list they came up with included safety, ease of cleaning, aesthetic, amount of space it requires and price, which we then used to make our top highchair picks. We also spoke to Kidsafe NSW about what exactly makes a highchair safe and also used this information to help inform our choice of products. You can read more about our methodology here.
Recommended for: 6 months - 3 years
Modern and stylish, Phil & Teds Poppy Highchair has already won several awards for best highchair on the market, and it isn't hard to see why. The chair has the ability to transform from a high chair into a chair suitable for toddlers and preschoolers, ensuring that it will get plenty of use from your little one. With an easy to wipe surface and dishwasher-proof food tray, the chair will also save you a whole heap of time when it comes to cleaning up. Better yet, the back two legs can be removed with the press of a button, helping you to easily store it and save on space.
With a stable footprint and five-point safety harness, the highchair will also prevent more lively kids from standing up or kicking the chair over, which is a big sigh of relief for parents.
Recommended for: 6 months - 5 years
Combining function and form, the Ingenuity SmartClean Trio 3-in-1 High Chair provides great value for money thanks to its versatile nature. Not only can it be adjusted from a full-size high chair to a booster seat or toddler chair but, when used as a booster and toddler chair, it can seat two children at the same time. The Ingenuity SmartClean chair is also a breeze to clean, with a machine-washable seat pad and a removable, dishwasher-safe food tray.
Safety-wise, the high chair also gets a tick of approval from us, with a five-point harness on the high chair and booster seat and a three-point harness on the toddler chair to keep your little one securely in their seat. With a depth of 48.3cm though, the base of the SmartClean Trio is quite wide, so this one may be better suited towards those who have free space to play with.
Recommended for: 6 months - 3 years
While it is at the higher end of the price spectrum, the Babybjorn High Chair is quite a popular option with parents for a reason. Made for children from six months to three years of age, the Babybjorn is both aesthetically inoffensive and incredibly convenient. It's lightweight and can be folded completely flat, so the highchair makes storage simple and gives you the option of taking it with you. It also meets all the necessary safety requirements with a safety harness, childproof lock and curved backrest that will keep your child sitting upright.
In terms of ease of cleaning, the Babybjorn is a winner there too. As well as featuring smooth surfaces with no hard-to-clean places, the high chair also comes with a detachable, dishwasher-safe food tray which fits snugly against your child's tummy to stop food from falling into their lap.
Recommended for: 6 months to 15kg
Coming in at $129, the Mother's Choice 3-in-1 Egg High Chair is a pretty affordable option compared to many others on the market. It's also incredibly versatile as it can function as a high chair, low chair and booster seat to grow with your child and help stretch your money a little further. The lightweight chair is easy to move around and features both built-in storage for the booster straps and a five-point safety harness to keep your little one out of mischief. It also features a removable dishwasher-safe tray and a spongy, removable seat pad to make clean-up as easy as possible.
Our favourite thing about the Mother's Choice Egg though has to be its aesthetic. With a simple monochromatic design, the high chair certainly isn't unpleasant to look at and can be easily slotted in with most kitchen and dining room interiors. The only downside to the chair is that it can't be folded and stored, so you may want to ensure that you've got a designated space in mind before you buy.
Recommended for: 6 months - 3 years
If you're looking for a budget-friendly high chair without all the bells and whistles, you can't go past Target's Snacka model. The simple white design is very similar to the popular IKEA ANTILOP high chair, but comes with added safety in the form of a five-point harness.
The design is super easy to assemble and features adjustable height and a removable tray to make things easier for parents. The plastic nature of the chair also makes it quick and easy to wipe down, making it an all-round convenient (and thrifty) option.
What should you look for in a high chair?
Safety is the most important consideration when choosing a highchair for your little one as you don't want them toppling over or slipping underneath the food tray. According to the ACCC, there are a number of things to look for in a highchair to prevent your baby from being injured. These include the following:
- A five-point harness or any other restraint system that will prevent your child from standing up or slipping out of the chair.
- A wide, stable base and a solid backrest that won't collapse under pressure.
- No sharp edges or movable parts that can trap little fingers.
- If you are looking at foldable options, ensure that the highchair is stable and all the locks work.
Once you have identified some safe highchair options, here are some other factors that you may want to consider before making a purchase:
- Ease of cleaning. Dinner time is a messy affair when it comes to little ones, so be prepared to have food splattered and smeared on every surface of your new purchase. To make life easier for yourself, you may want to look at simple plastic styles that are easy to wipe down, rather than more porous options. Some highchairs can also be disassembled and have dishwasher-friendly parts, making for a quick and easy clean.
- Size. Before you shop, take note of how much room you have in your dining area as some highchairs can take up quite a lot of floor space. If you are short on space, consider looking for a foldable product that you can pack away after use. You could also look for one without a tray table that can simply be pushed up alongside your dining room table.
- Price. Your budget is always an important consideration when making a purchase, but bear in mind that cheaper isn't always better. While it isn't necessary to spend a fortune on a highchair, ensure that your pick meets all the safety requirements above before you buy.
- Aesthetic. Unless you're investing in a foldable option that you're planning to pack away after every meal, your child's highchair will likely sit in view for years. And if you aren't a fan of the colour or style, it may end up grating on your nerves. Try opting for a neutral design that blends in with your other kitchen furniture to avoid it becoming something of an eyesore.
More about our methodology
As "best" is a relative term and is dependent on a number of factors individual to the buyer, we offer our product choices and advice based on a number of reputable sources. For this guide, we created a mini "focus-group" of parents here in the Finder office and asked them to identify the five most important things that they would look for in a highchair based on their own experience. The factors they presented were safety, ease of cleaning, aesthetic, the amount of space it requires and price. We then chose popular highchairs on the market that met all of the first four criteria, with prices varying to suit different budgets.
We also reached out to Kidsafe NSW, which provided us with a number of additional resources regarding highchair safety. We used this information both for the basis of our guide and to help inform our product choices.
We've listed these resources below: