Types of High Chairs, a Helpful, Illustrated Overview.
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
As we were sitting at the dinner table and talking about how nice it would be to have family meals with our children (who weren’t born yet at the time), we both imagined what that would look like.
More specifically, what type of seating we needed to buy for our future family members, because honestly, we didn’t have a clue what to look for or what classifies as a High Chair in the first place.
So, in order to take out all the confusion regarding this topic, we’ve put together our own definition of what we think classifies as a High Chair:
A piece of furniture that is typically used to feed or wean your child. It elevates your child to match your height when you are sitting, which allows for an easy interaction between you and your sweetheart during play- and meal-times.
This personal definition really helped to pave the way to continue our search for a decent High Chair. However, after scanning the web for just a few minutes, we immediately felt overwhelmed by the abundance of choices.
We didn’t know what types of High Chairs can be found on the market, nor what their benefits and drawbacks are.
To make our search for the perfect High Chairs a bit more digestible, we’ve put together a comprehensive table with every type of High Chair and listed all the useful attributes that go along with them, creating a nice, understandable overview to continue our search.
Now that we had a clear overview of the different type of High Chairs, we dived a little bit deeper into positives and negatives each category and their attributes have to offer.
In order to create some structure in this sea of products, we selected top-rated High Chairs that are designed for different use cases and listed them up to narrow down our options a bit further.
We’ve shared this list below and hope it helps you in the decision-making process as much as it helped us, because if you are new to this, it is a daunting task to figure everything out!
A detailed description of each type of High Chair with its sub-categories.
1. Standard High Chairs
1.1 What is a standard High Chair?
A standard High Chair is best described as the absolute archetype of High Chairs. A simple seating with back and side support that stands tall on long, non-adjustable legs.
Chairs in this category are usually the most affordable as they have the least amount of options and perks.
1.2 Who is it for?
They are ideal for those of you with enough storage room or spacious house and who are looking for a budget friendly, straightforward and easy to use model.
Their affordability also makes them very suitable for occasional use, like in restaurants (owned by the restaurant) or as an extra High Chair that you can leave at your grandparents.
1.3 Are standard High Chairs safe?
Yes, they are perfectly safe for your child to use. Having very few options and perks does not mean that they score bad with regards to safety.
Even more so, in our experience: little to no options means less chances for mistakes that happen during the adjustments or installation.
That said: as for all type of High Chairs available on the market, you should always read the manufacturers safety guidelines and never leave your child unattended in a High Chair.
1.4 What sub categories are there?
Standard High Chairs are available in both wood and plastic. Even though they are intended for the same use case, the look and feel for both variants is what puts them in a separate category.
Whether you should pick a wooden or a plastic standard High Chair depends primarily on your preferences with regards to portability and aesthetics.
In all other respects they have a rather similar scorecard. If you would like to learn more about the difference between a plastic and a wooden High Chair and how to make the best decision, then please read our helpful, in depth guide that we created in this other post.
1.5 Our selection of high-rated standard High Chairs:
Ikea Antilop High Chair with Tray, a decent entry-level model.
We all know Ikea for its affordable yet decent products, so it comes as no surprise that the low-tier range starts with this mildly priced $20 to $25 (depending where you get it) Antilop High Chair from Ikea.
With a one-piece seat and back support and four detachable legs, this High Chair is as standard as it gets. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an under-performer by any means.
Your child is secured through the back and side support and an adjustable 3-point harness. The long legs are positioned at an angle to create a wide and sturdy footprint, ensuring your child won’t be able to tip over.
Its simplicity has a big advantage and that is the ease of cleaning. There are little to no moving parts or crevices where food can collect, so a quick wipe with a damp cloth and your good to go for the next round of culinary creativity!
The Antilop is extremely light on its feet with only 8 lbs of total product weight. This in combination with a nice stacking feature and the affordable price makes it a very viable pick for parents with twins!
Excellante' Wooden High Chair, Mahogany. A durable alternative to plastic High Chairs.
Parents who love the look and feel of a decent wooden product can always opt for the Excellante Mahogany High Chair. With a price tag of around $50, this durable rubber wood High Chair really is a steal of a deal.
Its simple, straightforward design blends in with pretty much all interiors and the lack of nooks and crannies allow for swift and easy cleaning with a damp cloth and some mild detergent.
The tapered shape provides a firm and stable structure that prevents even the most energetic children from tipping over. A 3-point harness will keep your little sprout nicely seated during meal-times.
Even though the manufacturer recommends this share for commercial use only, there are many parents who have this High Chair at home and they absolutely love it!
The affordable price and the relatively low weight of only 13 lbs together with the ability to stack it, makes the Excellante wooden High Chair an ideal candidate for parents with twins!
Koala Kare KB833-02 Eco Plastic, a great High Chair for the terrace.
At a price point of about $150, this Koala care is the bigger investment for “just” a standard High Chair. It’s made of a solid 100% post-consumer HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) plastic and therefore a good choice for environmentally conscious parents.
The design is super simple and has nothing but smooth surfaces, making it a walk in the park when it comes to cleaning.
It has a 3-point safety harness and a sturdy, wide footprint for extra stability.
The Koala Kare has handles on the arm rests and one on the back support, so you can easily transport it from the dining area to a storage room. Just like the Antilop, this Koala Kare can be stacked nicely together.
The full plastic body makes this High Chair 100% waterproof. Ideal for rinsing it down with a garden hose or to have this as a permanent High Chair for on the terrace.
We have to say though, that considering the price and the weight of 14 lbs, this High Chair seems to be more suitable for restaurant owners and parents who are looking for a High Chair to leave outside with the rest of the garden furniture.
2. Foldable High Chairs
2.1 What is a foldable High Chair?
This is a High Chair that you can collapse or fold together to reduce the amount of space required for storage in between meals or during travel with a vehicle.
2.2 Who is it for?
Foldable high chairs are really suited for parents who are mindful about the available space at home or who like to travel with their children.
Just like the standard high Chair, they are quite low cost, making them a good choice for parents who don’t want to break the bank.
2.3 Are foldable High Chairs Safe?
Yes, foldable High Chairs are safe if you use them as they are intended to be used.
The level of fool-proofing depends on the specific brand and model. That’s why you should always read the manufacturers safety guidelines and get familiar with the ways to use the High Chair.
Quick tip: Many of the foldable High Chairs we’ve tested seem to lose a lot of their stability when folded and positioned upright. So, always place them somewhere in the house where your children cannot reach or climb the folded High Chair.
2.4 What sub-categories are there?
Based on the specific use case, we’ve divided the foldable High Chair category into 3 sub-categories:
a) At Home
For this we implemented the following logic: The more portability comes to play, the lighter and more compact the High Chair needs to be.
Let’s have a look at the different sub-categories:
a) At home
Foldable High Chairs for at home are designed to use more often and for longer periods of time than the travel or outdoor High Chairs.
That’s why overall, they have better ergonomics, a bigger tray and a larger cushioned seat.
For this sub-category, your baby’s comfort comes in first place, whereas space and weight optimization, is a bit less important. Storage usually happens in a room nearby the dining room, making the transportation distance rather small.
a.1) A High rated example of a foldable High Chair for at home:
The HEAO Foldable High Chair.
Topping off at around $200, this foldable High Chair might not the cheapest you can find on the market but with the HEAO you will get what you pay for.
The HEAO is a well-built High Chair with an optimal back, side and foot support and a spacious tray with a dishwasher safe BPA free liner. Together with the soft TPU cushion, your child has all the ingredients for a comfortable meal time.
It has a 7-setting height adjustment and a 5-setting reclining function to provide the perfect height and angle for any given situation.
A set of integrated handles and auto-locking wheels allow you to move the HEAO and your baby around the house with ease.
When it’s in use, the legs form a wide footprint for optimal stability, when folded together it’s compact and easy to store aside.
But with about 20lbs you can see why the HEAO High Chair is better suited for at home than for on the go.
High Chairs in the travel category are designed with a strong focus on weight and size reduction. Making them ideal for parents who like to visit friends or family every now and then, without the need to buy an additional High Chair.
When folded together they become very compact and easy to store in a vehicle. The lower weight allows you to carry them single handedly from the car to the house.
The downside is that there is a bit less support and cushioning for your baby, which still is perfectly fine for short meals at the grandparents or with friends.
b.1) A High rated example of a foldable High Chair for travel:
Graco Slim Snacker High Chair.
With a price point of about $60 and a mere 14 lbs in weight, this Graco Slim Snacker really is an ideal option for parents who love to be on the move.
It is optimized for ultra slim folding, allowing you to easily place the chair in a vehicle for short trips to family and friends or for holidays abroad.
Even though it’s really compacted when folded, it has all the features a High Chair should have: A 3-position recline for napping, a large storage basket for essential baby gear like bibs, a 3-or 5-point harness and a large feeding tray with a cup holder.
High Chairs for the outdoor are for parents that just need to be in nature, regardless the fact that you have a new family member.
These chairs are designed for utmost compacting and weight reduction. Parents who go out camping a lot know that these features are paramount, especially when you have an extra little human to carry around.
We would dare to say that ergonomics is by far not as good as with an indoor High Chair, but that doesn’t mean that your child cannot be comfortable in an outdoor High Chair for a quick meal or some short play time.
c.1) A High rated example of a foldable High Chair for outdoor:
Ciao Baby Portable High Chair.
For parents longing to be by the river bank or into the woods, the Ciao Baby foldable High Chair is an essential tool for successful camping with the kids.
You can fold it together to fit in a shoulder strapped bag and with a weight of only 7 lbs it’s perfect for that trip from the car to the camping spot.
The durable Nylon material and the strong metal framework ensure a long product lifespan. The clear vinyl tray cover allows for easy cleaning.
With its 5-point harness it meets the ASTM and CPSIA guidelines, so safety won’t be an issue!
You can buy it for about $50, which is close to nothing considering the benefits it has to offer during an outdoor adventure with your little ones.
3. Convertible High Chairs
3.1 What is a convertible High Chair?
A convertible High Chair has the look and feel of an average High Chair. However, they can be transformed to address different situations. For example, until your baby reaches toddlerhood it can be used as a regular High Chair for feeding and weaning.
Once your child has outgrown the High Chair, it can be converted into a Booster Seat that you can mount on a kitchen or dining chair. Some models have the option to be converted into a toddler chair and -table or even a youth chair.
3.2 Who is it for?
Convertible High Chairs are for parents who don’t like the hassle of
researching, comparing and purchasing a seat/chair for their child, every couple of years.
Some models are also a great choice for moms and dads who have 2 children. Instead of buying two separate products, one convertible High Chair will do the trick for both children.
They are generally a bit more expensive, but in the long run they are worth the extra investment as your child or children can use it from about 6 months up to 10 years old.
3.3 Are convertible High Chairs Safe?
Yes, convertible High Chairs are perfectly safe. However, a word of caution is in place here. Since they are convertible, there are many different settings and use cases. This means that the chances of error also go up, so always make sure that you understand how to install and use the product!!!
3.4 What sub categories are there?
Convertible High Chairs come in a range of X-in-one types, which basically expresses the amount of different options you have within a single High Chair.
3 – in – 1 High Chairs
8 – in – 1 High Chairs
We’ve found convertible High Chairs from 3 – in – 1, all the way up to 8 – in – 1. So again, lots and lots of options! However, with a background in Industrial Design, we know that this becomes a bit of a sales pitch and the more variables and options you get, the less of them you will be using.
So, for clarifying the concept we will only look at one top rated convertible High Chair.
3.5 A top-rated example of a convertible High Chair.
Graco Blossom 6-in-1 convertible High Chair.
Yes, it really can be converted into 6 separate entities! The Graco Blossom serves as an infant High Chair with recline; A traditional baby High Chair; a baby boost; a toddler booster; a youth chair or as seating for two kids at once.
For each product stage it has the required attributes like a tray, a safety harness and casters, making sure you don’t have to worry about buying additional accessories down the road.
With a price tag of about $180 it seems like a pricey product. However, if you consider the fact that your child can use this High Chair up to the age of 10 years, it will cost you a mere $18 per year. This sounds like a good investment to us!
4. Grow along High Chairs
4.1 What is a grow along High Chair?
This is a High Chair that can literally grow old with your child, all the way from the beginning when they can sit independently up to fully matured adults. All of this can be obtained by using the same framework of the chair.
4.2 Who is it for?
Grow along High Chairs are for you moms and dads who are conscious about the environment and love utterly long-lasting products as this type of High Chairs can literally last a lifetime.
They are also a great choice for you parents who are looking for a contemporary type of High Chair that blends in with the rest of the furniture. The, often, wooden material and non-decorative style results in a timeless product that can survive many trends.
4.3 Is a grow along High Chair Safe?
Yes, in fact we found grow along High Chairs to be the most stable of all the different categories. Their stiff wooden frame and wide stance provided us with an immediate sense of security. But as with all High Chairs, reading and understanding the user manual is paramount!
4.4 What sub categories are there?
Grow along High Chairs are available in both wood and metal+plastic. Since both variants are designed in a timeless manner, without decorative elements we made no sub-categories for the grown along High Chairs.
4.5 A top-rated example of a Grow along High Chair
Abiie Beyond Wooden High Chair with tray.
This is our personal favorite of all High Chairs that are on the market right now. For only around $180 you can have a chair that will grow along with your child from birth until far into adulthood.
It has no gimmicks or useless perks, it’s just a very decent piece of furniture that does the job in all its simplicity.
The wood radiates a sense of warmth and the timeless design blends in perfectly with the rest of the furniture, making it ideal for parents who don’t want to go through the hassle of storing it all the time.
Perhaps the best part is that you don’t have to look for another chair again for a very long time!
5. Space Saver High Chairs
5.1 What is a space saver High Chair?
Essentially, this is a High Chair without the long legs (hence the space saving). You need to mount this on an existing dining or kitchen chair in order to achieve the same height benefits as a normal High Chair.
They are not to be mistaken by a booster seat, as they lift your child up quite a bit higher than a booster seat.
5.2 Who is it for?
For you parents who are looking for all the benefits of a decent, sturdy High Chair, but don’t want to remove one of the dining chairs because you lack the space, the space saver High Chair is a worthy alternative.
It’s also very useful to take along to family, friends or even restaurants as it fits on most normal chairs.
5.3 Is a space saver High Chair safe?
Yes, this type of High Chairs is perfectly safe. Keep in mind though that the installation needs to be done properly and that the chair you are mounting the space saver High Chair on is suitable for this kind of setup. You can find this information in the manufacturer installation guide.
5.4 What sub-categories are there?
After thorough research on the web we found that the space saver High Chair category is more of a separate thing invented by Fisher Price. So, there are no sub-categories for the space saver High Chair.
5.5 A top-rated example of a Space Saver High Chair.
Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair
At a $50 price point you are getting in the proximity of other High Chairs on the market. However, Fisher Price is a renowned brand that delivers high quality products
The Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair is no exception to this rule. You get all the advantages of a real High Chair without losing the space.
It serves as an infant High Chair and a toddler Booster in one. An adjustable height and 3 reclining positions ensure that you will have the perfect setup for your child, at any given stage.
If you have limited space at home and a decent chair to mount this Space Saver on, then this might be the ideal High Chair for you.
6. Hook-on High Chairs
6.1 What is a Hook-on High Chair?
This is a bit of a misfit when it comes to High Chairs. The Hook-on High Chair has no legs, only a seat that you can mount on the edge of the table. So, from a technical point of view it is more of a seat then a chair but from a use case point of view it works as a High Chair since it really lifts your child up to your level when seated.
6.2 Who is it for?
The Hook-on High Chair is for you if you love to have a compact product to seat your child and if you love to have your child always with you at the kitchen or dining table.
For parents who are fond of traveling this Hook-on High Chair is a valid alternative for the foldable High Chair.
6.3 Is a Hook-on High Chair safe?
Our first glance at this High Chair category made us very suspicious about the overall safety of it. But after looking into this a bit better we concluded that this indeed is a safe product.
However, it really does require you to be 100% sure about what you are doing. Wrong or poor installation is very dangerous and can lead to serious injury as your child will fall on his or her back and head.
That said, always read the user manual and always double check before you place your child in this type of High Chair.
6.4 What sub-categories are there?
Even though there are some Hook-on High Chairs with extra perks, like a rotational seat or a Booster Seat function, we don’t find any of the extra’s to be differentiating enough that we can add some sub-categories here.
All in all, a Hook-on High Chair is just a small transportable High Chair that you have to Hook-on a suitable table, nothing more and nothing less.
6.5 A top-rated example of a Hook-on High Chair.
Inglesia, the ultimate Hook-on High Chair.
Priced at about $80 this isn’t particularly cheap, but if you look at the benefits this type of High Chair has, the price becomes more acceptable.
This Hook-on High Chair is very useful for parents who love a lightweight and tiny product with the benefits of a full-sized High Chair.
Ok, you can’t adjust the height of this High Chair, the table height is what you get, but your pumpkin can always sit right there with you directly at the table as part of the family.
It has a fold flat closing system and an integrated bag for easy transportation and with a mere 5 lbs weight it makes this type of High Chair a top choice for parents who travel often.
This was our take on structuring the world of High Chair types. We hope it clarified all the questions that came to mind and provided you with a clear overview that you can use in your search to find the most suitable type of High Chair for you and your child.
If you find the above information useful and know somebody that has the same questions, then please share this article and spread the knowledge! Thanks a lot!