Last Updated: Sep 24, 2020 @ 11:08 am.

What's the best high chair? Good news: you don't have to spend hundreds to find a safe high chair for baby. We poured over 20 models to find the ones that were easiest to clean, easiest to use and easiest on the eyes. Here are the high chairs we'd recommend that work well—and don't break the bank.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating gear for families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Budget-Friendly Chair

Not fancy, but gets job done!
Sometimes simple is better: we like this affordable high chair, which features a compact standing fold. Sturdy, safe base. Caveats: pad isn't machine washable, not height adjustable, no seat recline.
$42.08

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Best Budget-Friendly High Chair: Cosco Simple Fold High Chair

Let’s talk about the best high chairs.

When it comes to baby gear, you can say we wrote the book . . . because we did! Our book, Baby Bargains (over 2 million copies in print), has a detailed section on the best high chairs. And we’ve been writing about high chairs since 1994, including hands-on testing and detailed reviews.

So after all that experience, can we talk about what really matters with high chairs? We boil it down to 3 High Chair Truths:

  1. Easy to clean. By definition, high chairs are going to get dirty—but some make it easier to clean than others. Bad ideas: lots of nooks and crannies that are hard to clean. And chair pads that aren’t washable.
  2. Easy to use. A good high chair has a safe, five-point harness and is easy to get baby in and out of. That means a tray that adjusts, a back that reclines and a dishwasher-safe tray insert.
  3. Easy on the eyes. We know—the high chair is part of your kitchen, which means unlike other baby gear you can hide, this one is in full view for everyone to see. A good high chair should blend into the background and not be an eyesore!

 

With all that in mind, let’s go to our pick for the best budget-friendly high chair. For some reason, high chairs can get very pricey . . . some fancy models can run hundreds of dollars. But we have good news: here is a high chair that hits all the right notes, at a price that doesn’t break the bank: the Cosco Simple Fold.

As the name implies, it folds simply for storage—and that is a plus if you have a small kitchen.

Yes, it is a low price, but you still get a seat with wipeable seat pad, 3-position tray adjust, built-in leg rest and slim fold. This chair doesn’t recline, so you can’t use it for kids under six months. Also, the chair doesn’t have wheels but is easy to clean.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Standing, flat fold. This feature is important if you don’t have a lot of room in a kitchen—few high chairs have such a compact fold. And even fewer stand when folded.

• Affordable.

• Easy to assemble.

• Wide base = safe and sturdy. It’s basic high chair physics: in our testing, we know the wide base of chairs like this are safe and sturdy.

• High weight limit: 50 lbs. That’s impressive.

• Lightweight—that makes it easier to move around, even if it doesn’t have wheels.

What Needs Work

• No deep seat recline means this high chair is best for babies who are six months old or older (or can sit up on their own).

• Pad isn’t machine washable. You can only wipe the seat pad; it isn’t removable for washing.

• Smaller babies can slump in the seat. In our testing, we noticed the slight recline of the seat can cause smaller babies to slump over in this chair. Again, it might be best if your baby can sit up unassisted before using this chair (that is usually around six months).

• Not height adjustable. And there is no separate dishwasher-safe insert tray.

• Doesn’t convert to booster seat. If you want a high chair that converts to other uses (booster seat, toddler table and chair), then see our next recommendation.

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Best Convertible High Chair

All the bells & whistles at a good price
Easy to use and clean, this chair morphs into a booster seat and more. We love the dishwasher-safe insert and 5 height adjustments. And yes, it folds for storage. Caveat: the tray is heavy and bulky.
$169.99

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Best Convertible High Chair: Graco Table2Table Premier Fold 7 in 1 Convertible High Chair

There are two schools of thought when it comes to high chairs: one is keep it simple. The second is to go for a convertible high chair that morphs into more uses as your child ages. Of course, that costs more—but for some folks, it is worth it.

If you prefer a convertible high chair, we’d recommend the Graco Table2Table. Yes, this one has SEVEN modes, from simple infants high chair to booster seat to table and chair for toddlers. But wait, there’s more! Here’s our overview:

What We Liked

 Easy to assemble.

• Dishwasher-safe insert.

• Nice design touches—note the tray attaches to the legs when  it is folded for storage.

• Machine washable seat pad.

• Wheels on front = can move it around easily!

• 5 height adjustments.

• Foldable for storage. 

• Seat comes off to become a toddler booster (that attaches to a regular chair).

• 3 recline seat positions.

• Neutral color palette.

• Still affordable. Yes, this high chair costs more than our budget-friendly pick . . . but it is still 30% to 45% less expensive than those designer models.

What Needs Work

• Removing the seat cushion for cleaning could be easier.

• Huge tray is bulky, heavy.

Best Compact Fold High Chair

Ultra slim, standing fold
Affordable and easy to assemble, this chair is super easy to clean—especially when used without the pad. Converts to multiple uses. Caveat: doesn't fold for storage.

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Best Compact Fold High Chair: Graco Slim Snacker High Chair

If space is at a premium in your kitchen, a high chair that has a slim, compact fold is a must. You’d think that would be a standard feature, but surprisingly, no . . . some models don’t fold at all!

It’s the Catch 22 of high chairs. Most full-feature high chairs do NOT fold in a compact manner. And other bare bones high chairs do fold, but don’t have the features most folks like.

For the best compact fold high chair, we’d give the nod to Graco’s Slim Snacker. It checks all the right boxes: full features yet compact fold. And a price that is easy on the wallet.

What We Liked

• One-hand, standing fold. We found this high chair among the easiest to fold in our testing.

• Narrow fold: just 10.4″ wide. Yes, that will fit into a pantry or closet without a problem.

• No assembly required.

• Affordable.

• Three position seat recline plus three/five point harness for safety. That means you can use it for younger babies that can’t sit up unassisted yet.

• Machine washable pad plus mesh storage basket, full size tray with cup holder.

• Lightweight.

What Needs Work

• Removing pad for cleaning could be easier. This flummoxed some parents and we’d agree: it isn’t easy or intuitive. But there are videos that can help.

• No wheels.

• No dishwasher-safe tray insert.

• Tray doesn’t lay flat on counter. That’s because the tray has a bar attached to it (to keep baby from submarining out of the chair). While this is a good safety feature, we’d prefer it attached to the chair, not the tray. That’s because you then can’t lay the tray flat on the counter when a bar is in the way.

• Flap that hides the release handle is a food magnet. That’s no fun to clean.

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Best Easy Clean High Chair

Morphs into table and chair
Affordable and easy to assemble, this chair is super easy to clean—especially when used without the pad. Converts to multiple uses. Caveat: doesn't fold for storage.
$53.49

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Best Easy Clean High Chair: Evenflo 4-in-1 Eat & Grow Convertible High Chair

Cleaning a high chair can be such a pain—especially when high chair makers design all sorts of cracks and crevices into their fancy chairs. These are food magnets.

For a simple chair that is easy to clean, we liked the Evenflo 4-in-1 Eat & Grow. Yes it comes with a pad that you can wipe down. But we think it is even easier to just remove the pad—the smooth plastic sides have nowhere for food to hide. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy assembly.

• Affordable.

• Super easy to clean (especially with the pad removed).

• 4 uses: infant high chair, baby dining chair and tray, toddler stand along chair, big kid table and chair.

• Machine washable seat pad.

What Needs Work

• No fold.

• Two hands needed to release the tray.

• Very wide legs = tripping hazard.

• To remove the tray, you have to tilt it up . . . and this makes food spill.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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