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Overall star rating: 3.5/5
Price: £69 | Buy now from Amazon
Suitable from: Birth to 3 years (0-18kg) | Fabric sling removable and machine washable: Washable by hand in cold water (do not tumble dry) | Additional features: Integrated toy bar | Dimensions: 80 x 43 x 32cm | Weight: 3kg | Batteries required: Yes - 4 x AA batteries
What we like
Lightweight and portable
Compact fold for easy storage when not in use
Secure five-point adjustable harness
Four different recline positions
Integrated toy bar with three hanging toys
Grows with your child by converting to a chair for your toddler
Two modes: fixed or rocking mode
What we don’t like
Non-automatic swing motion is difficult for babies to trigger themselves
No music (although that could be a blessing)
The five-point harness can be a bit fiddly with a wriggly baby
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Our verdict on the Chicco Hoopla baby bouncer
Set up: 4/5
Ease of use: 3.5/5
Ease of cleaning: 3/5
Value for money: 4/5
The Chicco Hoopla Bouncer is a comfortable converting bouncer suitable for babies from birth until 18kg in weight (around three years of age).
It’s a simple, sturdy and well-cushioned bouncer that can be converted to a toddler chair as your baby grows. It has the ability to switch between cradle mode and rocking mode, and its portable and lightweight design means it can easily be moved around the home or taken with you on your travels.
In cradle mode, the Hoopla is suitable for babies from birth to around 9kg or once your child learns to sit up by themselves (approximately five or six months). The toddler chair mode can be used from around 10 to 12 months of age through to 18kg (approximately three years).
We like the integrated toy bar, which allows subtle sensory stimulation for your baby without garish music or sounds. Whilst relatively simple in design, the lie-flat feature will be a big plus point for some, but your baby may struggle to bounce this bouncer themselves.
Read next: The best baby bouncers and rockers
How we tested the Chicco Hoopla
Four months of use
Tested with a newborn
Luci, a mum of two, tested these products out for a period of four months with her newborn baby who was just two weeks old when testing began.
To ensure Luci’s views were consistent with feedback from wider consumers, we also researched tried and tested reviews from Mumsnet parents, as well as feedback on retail sites and impartial testing scores from consumer champion Which? to fully research the performance and key features of this product.
What’s in the box?
1 x Chicco Hoopla Bouncer
1 x toy arch
3 x toys
1 x safety instructions
How easy is the Chicco Hoopla to assemble?
The Chicco Hoopla requires minimal assembly before use. It took our parent tester Luci seven minutes to set up the bouncer without any assistance. All the necessary parts are included in the box, with no additional tools, such as screwdrivers, needed for assembly. Luci found the most challenging and fiddly part to be squeezing the fabric bobbles through the toy bar to attach the toys.
The Chicco Hoopla comes with safety and assembly instructions, with 24 pictures to outline the key steps. Luci felt that some of the steps were over-explained or unclear. She says, “The instructions could do with being simplified to make them clearer. Assembly should have been very simple but the instructions made it look like there was much more to do.”
Read next: The best baby boys from newborn to 12 months
How does the Chicco Hoopla look?
Luci’s first impressions of the Chicco Hoopla bouncer were very positive. She noted that it felt well made, with high quality materials throughout as well as generous padding. The bouncer is very stable and sturdy, with a choice of four recline settings to create a comfortable cradle for your baby.
Luci liked the simple, but attractive, design of the Hoopla bouncer with a cosy cushion insert that offers additional support for smaller babies. She says, “The main fabric is more durable but the soft insert makes it feel more baby-friendly. I would keep it in as long as possible.”
With a seat width of around 45cm, the Hoopla is relatively spacious to accommodate your baby as they grow.
How safe and stable is the Chicco Hoopla?
With a large support leg, our parent tester Luci was impressed with the stability of the Chicco Hoopla, which stayed secure and stable during testing even when knocked several times. Thanks to the non-slip feet, the bouncer does not move around easily when your baby is in the seat, staying secure on all flooring types including tiles and wooden flooring.
The newborn insert provides additional padding around your baby’s head, and with an almost lie flat feature, ensuring your baby’s airways stay clear and they can breathe more easily whilst in the seat.
Unlike some bouncers which have a three-point safety harness, the Chicco Hoopla has a five-point harness with a padded crotch strap. Although this can be somewhat more fiddly to secure, this provides additional peace of mind and ensures comfort and security.
Mumsnet user ohidoliketobe agrees, saying, “I had a Chicco Hoopla for my daughter and am going to buy one for when my third child arrives in 10 weeks. It’s lovely and snug, sturdy and folds down flat.”
What’s the Chicco Hoopla like to use day-to-day?
Parent tester Luci found the Chicco Hoopla easy to use, with a lightweight and portable design that was easy to move around her home as required. Thanks to its compact fold, it’s also a practical option for travelling or taking with you when visiting friends and family.
She says, “The Chicco Hoopla has a compact fold. Second best to the flatter BabyBjörn Bouncer Bliss but far better than all the others I tested. It lies completely flat so it’s easy to pop into the car to take to a friends’ [house].” It also comes with a strap that clips underneath the bouncer for easy carrying.
While the five-point harness can be a little fiddly as it only buckles on one side (meaning you have to slide one of baby’s legs through harness first), the four recline positions on the Hoopla are easy to trigger and click up and down smoothly, even with your baby in the bouncer.
The highest recline position is only for the seated option when your baby can sit up by themselves and support their head unaided. To trigger the recline, you simply press a button on each side simultaneously and drop or raise the back as required.
There are two modes on the Hoopla - fixed and rocking mode - and it’s simple to switch between the two. You simply pop out the support feet to prevent movement when needed.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Chicco Hoopla isn’t particularly easy for a baby to bounce or rock themselves. Luci said her baby could only do this “with a lot of effort as it didn’t rock that easily.” Mumsnet user 8dpwoah agrees, stating “The Chicco Hoopla isn't easy for a baby to self-bounce, however my baby went in it every day while I had my shower more than happily.”
Is the Chicco Hoopla comfortable for babies?
Parent tester Luci found her baby to be content and comfortable in the Chicco Hoopla baby bouncer. She particularly liked the soft and cosy insert and continued to use this as her baby grew, adding extra padding and support to her baby’s head.
With the sides slightly raised, the Hoopla has a cocoon-like feel, with padded edges that help them feel safe and secure.
This was seconded by Mumsnet users too. Pinktruffle found the Chicco Hoopla to be “really cosy - my little one lives it” and cardboard33 says, “My baby would be in it 24/7 if we let him - it's very padded and he feels safe as it hugs his head.”
Does it have any extra features?
The toy bar is a great addition to the Chicco Hoopla baby bouncer, with three sensory toys that your baby can reach out to grab and touch, improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
For younger babies, Luci felt that the positioning of the toy bar was a little high and, as such, quite hard for her baby to reach. She would have liked adjustable angles for the toy bar so that it could be positioned closer. Despite this, the toy bar is flexible yet secure, ensuring complete safety whilst your baby plays.
Unlike other bouncers we tested, such as the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper, the Chicco Hoopla also converts to a toddler chair as your baby grows, which is suitable for use up to 18kg, which is around age three. While we think this is a great addition, our parent tester Luci was unsure how much she would use this option stating, “Converting the Hoopla to a toddler chair was very simple to do, but it does seem small for a toddler.”
Is the Chicco Hoopla easy to clean?
During testing, our parent tester Luci really put the Chicco Hoopla through its paces. She scored the bouncer on how easy it was to clean, testing this with stains such as milk and tomato ketchup.
While she found that the cover was “hard to remove and very tight to get over the frame,” she found it very easy to clean, with an almost waterproof feel that was quick and easy to wipe off without staining.
The padded cushions can be hand washed or washed on a gentle cycle in the washing machine. They also dry relatively quickly. However, the strap is fixed to the chassis which is impractical, as it does have the potential to get dirty, particularly when the bouncer is used with older babies and toddlers.
Read next: The best toys for 9-month-olds
Is the Chicco Hoopla good value for money?
With an RRP of £89 (although it can usually be found online for £69), the Chicco Hoopla is more affordable than many other bouncers on the market, although it’s relatively simple in design. While our parent tester Luci felt it was a little on the expensive side, it offers good value if you’re looking for a simple and portable bouncer that’s easy to move around your home. Mumsnet user Pinktruffle agrees, saying, “I think it's great value for money, really well made and comfortable.”
The converting element of the Chicco Hoopla means it lasts much longer than some of its competitors, with the option to use it as a toddler chair if you wish to do so.
If you’re looking for a bouncer that offers more features, the newer Chicco Swing Relax & Play Bouncer costs just £20 more yet includes motorised movements and music to help soothe and settle your baby.
About the author
Lucy Cotterill is a mum of two and a Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of baby products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help parents make confident purchases that benefit their families.
Lucy has reviewed a wide range of baby bouncers over the years, as has used them with her own children, and as such is well versed to recognise the key features that are beneficial to parents.
Originally from a HR background with a degree in Business Studies, Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, going on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, or compete in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.
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