Mumsnet Logo
My feed

Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

Best highchairs for babies and toddlers: perfect for weaning and beyond

Highchairs provide a safe space for a baby or toddler when they’re old enough to eat sitting upright, but too young to sit securely on a full-sized chair. After three months of research and testing, here are the eight best highchairs available to buy.

By Rachel Jeffcoat | Last updated Apr 20, 2023

baby in highchair Mumsnet Best

It seems like only yesterday you were shopping around for the best breast pump or baby bottles for feeding your little one, now they're ready to graduate to sitting at the table and eating solid foods. But there's more to weaning than just making sure there's an Ella's pouch in your changing bag at all times, and thankfully Mumsnetters are on hand to help you navigate this messy time. 

While it may just seem like just a place to pop your child while they eat, there's more to what makes the best highchair than just how it looks. Parents want one that is easy to clean after messy mealtimes - because food will get into every little nook and cranny! - as well as straps that are safe and a good size tray. But there are a host of other extra features that you can look out for too. 

Equally useful for six-month-olds trying solid food for the first time and wriggly toddlers needing a place to eat without distractions, highchairs come in a variety of sizes, functionalities and prices. To find out which highchairs are the best, our parent tester put some of the UK's top-rated models their paces. We also consulted the Mumsnet forums for advice on which products they recommend and use with their own children, as well as seeking out expert advice from the NHS on what to look for in a highchair. Keep reading as we take you through the best-performing products, as recommended and tested by parents.

How we chose our recommendations

To help us find the best highchairs, we started by thoroughly researching the products currently on the market. We commissioned Rachel Jeffcoat, a writer and mum of three, to research and review the top highchairs out there. As a parent to an eight-, six- and two-year-old, Rachel has years of experience using a wide variety of baby equipment, from baby toys to stair gates and everything in between. As a writer, she’s written extensively on parenthood, including our last round of double buggy and stair gate reviews.

Rachel spent 16 hours researching the current highchair market. She investigated new innovations and safety directives, gathered impassioned recommendations from the Mumsnet forums, listed Amazon and Mothercare bestsellers, and grilled an expert in the field – Charlotte Stirling-Reed, a qualified child nutrition consultant who represents The Nutrition Society and the Association for Nutrition as a spokesperson. 

Here's our pick of the best highchairs to buy.

Best highchairs - at a glance: 

1. Best overall highchair: Stokke Tripp Trapp

stokke tripp trapp highchair

Price on writing: £219 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Solid wooden chair with plastic baby seat attachments and tray | Materials: Beech, oak or ash wood; BPA-free plastics | Extras: £85 (newborn set); £52 (baby set); £59 (tray); £33 (harness); £42 (highchair cushion) | Suitable from: Birth | Harness: Sold separately | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Comes in three wood types and 14 colourways – means it'll suit every kitchen design
  • Five-point harness
  • Exceptionally high quality, detail-oriented chair designed for longevity

What to know

  • Doesn’t recline (without the newborn bouncer) or fold away
  • Almost every feature except the chair frame itself is sold separately, at some cost
  • Wood cleans less easily than plastic or metal

What Mumsnet users say

"Tripp Trapp with newborn insert. Ticks all the boxes you want and will last long into childhood, so cost across lifetime isn't bad." Tried and tested by Mumsnetter FoxtrotSkarloey.

Our verdict

An almost 50-year-old classic, the robust and intelligently designed Stokke Tripp Trapp continues to perform well for kids of any age. Solidly constructed from high-quality wood and available in a dizzying array of colours, the Tripp Trapp is a firm favourite on our forums – especially second-hand.

It can be used with the newborn set from birth, the baby set from six months (sitting unaided) and after three years or 15kg until adulthood and beyond, so it's great if you need a piece of furniture that will last and can be used by every member of the family. We also like that the tray is dishwasher-safe for particularly messy mealtimes! It's expensive but with a thriving second-hand market you should get a high resale value when you're finished with it.

Read the full Stokke Tripp Trapp review.

2. Best budget highchair: IKEA Antilop

ikea antilop highchair

Price on writing: £19 | Buy now from IKEA

Key specs

Type: Moulded plastic chair with plastic detachable tray and steel click-in legs | Materials: BPA-free plastic and steel | Suitable from: Able to sit unaided - 3 years | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Three-point lap harness
  • Smooth plastic shape is easy to wipe clean and dishwasher-safe
  • Can be disassembled easily for travel or storage

What to know

  • No adjustability in height, tray distance or seat angle
  • Simple no-frills aesthetic (with no other colours available) – might not suit every taste

What Mumsnet users say

"I love the IKEA antilop. Little ones make SO much mess when they eat and I loved how easy it was to clean." Recommended by Mumsnet user swaziscot

Our verdict

As reliable as it is ubiquitous, in our extensive tests the IKEA Antilop excelled, living up to its reputation as the king of all highchairs. While it may not look like anything special, our Mumsnet users rave about this highchair for being budget-friendly, functional and easy to clean up after mealtimes. 

The smooth plastic seat and steel click-in legs are designed for quick assembly – just two minutes! It's lightweight and stable so you can easily take it apart to take away with you, however, at less than the cost of your monthly nappy bill, you can afford to buy one for Grandma too. If you need more than one, they easily stack up so they don't get in the way, and you can also buy the ANTILOP cushion for making it more comfortable for your little one. One of the only downsides is it is not intended to last beyond toddlerhood or 15kg, so it has a limited lifespan.

Read the full IKEA Antilop review.

3. Best highchair for older kids: Cybex Lemo

cybex lemo highchair

Price on writing £369 | Buy now from Boots

Key specs

Type: Aluminium-framed chair with plastic or wooden seating area and footrest | Materials: Aluminium; BPA-free plastic or ash wood | Extras: £199.95 (newborn bouncer); £39.95 (Harness) | Suitable from: Birth | Harness: Sold separately | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Transitional-style chair – can be used from birth with a baby bouncer attachment, from six months with a baby set, and indefinitely as a chair after three years or 15kg
  • Comes in six colours
  • Easy to clean

What to know

  • Bouncer, baby set and tray all need to be purchased separately or as a set
  • Assembly requires screws and an allen key; disassembly isn’t a convenient option.
  • One of the most expensive chairs we tested

Our verdict

Packed with thoughtful design features, the elegant Cybex Lemo makes for a stylish and functional addition to your kitchen space. With its aluminium frame, smooth plastic or wooden seat, and sophisticated colour options, the Lemo is a statement piece in its own right. We think this highchair will be great for parents who want a chair that will complement their kitchen design. 

The chair alone can only be used from the age of three, so you may want to consider getting the 4-in-1 package, which also includes a baby set (an insert and tray) for when your baby can sit up, and a bouncer nest suitable from birth. The seat height, footrest height and seat depth are all fully and independently adjustable and Cybex say the seat can be used up to the age of 99, so it will last through childhood and beyond.

Read our full, in-depth Cybex Lemo review.

4. Best multifunctional highchair: Stokke Steps

Stokke Steps

Price on writing: £219 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Freestanding highchair with newborn and baby attachments | Materials: Beech solid wood and plastics | Extras: £70 (baby set), £59 (tray), baby bouncer (£159), £42 (baby set cushion) | Suitable from: Birth | Harness: Sold separately | Wheels?: No

What we love

  •  A 5-in-1 seating system that can be used from newborn up to around 10
  • Adjustable footrest
  • Gorgeous stylish design

What to know

  •  Very expensive when using as a 5-in-1

What Mumsnet users say

"We have a Stokke steps and LOVE it! It looks stylish, It’s easy to clean and has a foot rest. Highly recommend!” Loved by Mumsnetter AfternoonTea12

Our verdict

Another Stokke chair to feature on our list, the Steps is a stylish highchair that can be used from birth. There's no doubt about it, it's a pricey piece of baby equipment but for the price tag you get a good quality high chair that your child will get plenty of use out of.

The chair is suitable from newborn with a clip on baby bouncer, which allows them to be at the table when you're eating. Then when your child is weaning, you can use it as a high chair with a comfortable baby seat insert and removable tray, before turning into a chair when your toddler is more independent. All the accessories need to be bought separately so the costs do run high, but we love the Scandi design which comes in three neutral colourways for blending nicely into your home. And as it can be used up to the age of ten, it'll be a worthy investment if you can afford the hefty price tag.

Read next: The best baby wipes, as tried and tested by parents

5. Best travel highchair: Chicco Pocket Snack

chicco pocket snack chair

Price on writing: £24.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Plastic booster seat with tray that attaches to adult chair with straps | Materials: BPA-free plastics; canvas straps | Suitable from: 6 months+ | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Adjustable height and tray distance – means the chair continues to fit as your child grows
  • Attaching to a chair rather than a table means more flexibility when travelling away from home
  • Folds down compactly

What to know

  • Bright plastic aesthetic not to everyone’s taste
  • Can’t be used without an adult dining chair to hold it – not convenient for everyone’s dining situation
  • Seat doesn't recline

What Mumsnet users say

"We have the Chicco Pocket Snack. It's cheap, easy to use and to clean." Tried and tested by Mumsnet user R1cciteddy

Our verdict

Family favourites Chicco have come up trumps with this flexible, compact booster seat for travel. Attached to your dining room chair with two robust straps, the Chicco Pocket Snack folds down to handbag size and even has a shoulder strap for easy transportation.

It can be used from six months (sitting unaided) to about three years or 15kg, with a three point harness for making sure your child sits safely. You can choose from four colourways to suit your tastes and we love how functional it is, with a dishwasher-safe tray and easy-to-clean plastic seat so post meal clean-ups are nice and quick. This is a really handy chair if you spend time at other people’s houses with no highchairs or you want a flexible solution that takes up no additional floor space.

Read our in-depth Chicco Pocket Snack review.

6. Best portable high chair: Mountain Buggy Pod

mountain buggy pod

Price on writing: £49 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

 Type: Aluminium high chair which clips onto tables| Materials: Aluminium; rubber; fabric | Suitable from: 6 months+ | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Three-year warranty
  • Folds down small enough to fit in a drawer or pushchair storage basket
  • Tough, washable fabric seat

What to know

  • Doesn’t fit every table
  • Attached to a lightweight table, baby’s movements can make the whole table move
  • Quite pricey for a travel model

What Mumsnet users say

"We have the Mountain Buggy one for use away from home - it’s brilliant. A little big for our 8 month old still but it works fine." Recommended by Mumsnetter BerthaYoung 

Our verdict

Similar to the Chicco Pocket Snack, the Mountain Buggy Pod is a great option for taking out and about with you. It's stylish, hardwearing and exceedingly portable so you never have to worry about where you will feed your baby when you're travelling.

A tough aluminium frame and ergonomically designed fabric seat make the Pod both secure and comfortable for your child. It folds down small enough to store away or throw in the pram storage basket and you don't need a seat to attach it to. The highchair can be used as soon as your child can sit up unaided (usually around six months) to when your child weighs 15kg or around three years old. 

7. Best high chair for versatility: Oribel Cocoon

oribel cocoon highchair

Price on writing: £180 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Plastic freestanding highchair with two size trays for growing child | Materials: Metal; plastic; foam seat insert | Suitable from: Birth | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Can be reclined, used with a small tray for a just-weaned child, a larger tray for a child feeding themselves, or without the tray for a toddler sitting at the table
  • Freestanding when folded and the tray clicks magnetically onto the legs when not in use
  • Six height positions and three seat angles to choose from

What to know

  • Tray sits too far back from the baby, leading to messier mealtimes
  • Quite pricey
  • Can only be used till age three – it’s branded as a transitional chair, but isn’t really

What Mumsnet users say

"We had the Oribel Cocoon. It was brilliant, so sturdy, height adjustable and it will recline if you need to keep your baby out of the way of the dogs while you cook and they nap or something." hubbletelescope

Our verdict

A beautiful, intelligently designed chair with lots of thoughtful details, the Oribel Cocoon missed out on our transitional award as it’s still only suitable up to age three. But it’s a stylish and flexible model, available in four attractive colours, that will complement your kitchen and make mealtimes a breeze.

This Cocoon is very functional with a dishwasher-safe tray and easy-to-clean foam seat. The highchair can be reclined so you can use it as a newborn seat, then when they start to try foods, it can be used with a small tray or a larger tray for a child feeding themselves. Then as they get older you have the option to remove the tray for a toddler sitting at the table. With six height positions and three seat angles to choose from, there's lots of options for seating your child at mealtimes. And it looks nice too! 

8. Best highchair for small spaces: Chicco Polly Magic Relax

chicco polly magic relax highchair

Price on writing: £149 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Freestanding chair which converts from baby seat to a highchair | Materials: Faux-leather; fabric; BPA-free plastic | Suitable from: Birth | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: Yes

What we love

  • Three available modes, with all accessories included in the price: newborn bouncer with toy bar, weaning high chair and toddler seat
  • Luxurious faux-leather seat with cosy, double-sided seat insert
  • Eight height positions, three seat angles and three tray positions to choose from

What to know

  • Large and bulky when assembled – no good in smaller kitchens
  • Cushion can be wiped clean or hand-washed only, with many crevices for food to hide
  • Big gap between tray and the baby, even in its closest setting – a little inconvenient for mealtimes

What Mumsnet users say

"If you are dead keen to have your baby at the table in a high chair, I would look for a secondhand Chicco Polly Magic. I got one on eBay for not much and it was fab. Could recline right back or you can add the toy arch. Was invaluable with a wee one and a toddler for meal times. We passed it onto a friend as the use of it is pretty short lived and then they passed it on also. " Tried and tested by Mumsnet user CoperCabana

Our verdict

The large and luxuriously comfortable Polly Magic Relax begins with a bouncer mode for newborns and then converts to a highchair with a generously-sized tray, which can be completely removed to allow a toddler to sit at the table.

While not the easiest to clean, this hardworking multitasker nevertheless feels more luxurious and performs more useful functions than its middle-of-the-road price would suggest. It has eight height positions and three seat angles allowing the highchair to be used from birth to six months with the bouncer and up to three years with the padded seat. We also like that it's freestanding when folded for easy storage.

9. Best wipe-clean highchair: Mamas & Papas Juice

Mamas & Papas Juice

Price on writing: £99 | Buy now from Mamas & Papas

Key specs

Type: Freestanding highchair which converts into a toddler chair | Materials: Not stated | Suitable from: 6 months+ | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Wipe-clean
  • Lightweight
  • Unscrew the legs to convert into a toddler chair

What to know

  • Takes up a lot of floorspace and doesn't fold

What Mumsnet users say

"I bought the M & P Juice when it was on offer to have at mine and the seat is amazing, really easy to clean but a complete pain in the backside as the legs don't fold." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user galaxygirl45)

Our verdict

Inspired by Scandinavian design, this Juice Highchair from Mamas & Papas comes in pastel green, cream or dark grey. The sturdy seat is wipe clean as well as comfortable, thanks to a cushioned inner. 

The tray is removable, allowing you to pull your baby right up to the tabel if you wish, and when they grow too big for it you can unscrew the legs and turn it into a low toddler chair. The only drawback we could find was that the legs don't fold, so it takes up a large amount of floorspace. The legs can be unscrewed for storage but realistically, we didn't think many parents would be up for that level of faff on a regular basis. However, if you've plenty of space it's a great choice. 

10. Best lightweight highchair: Joie Mimzy Snacker

Joie Mimzy Snacker

Price on writing: £60 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Freestanding, fold-away highchair | Materials: Not stated | Suitable from: 6 months+ | Harness: Yes | Wheels?: No

What we love

  • Easy-folding and stands when folded
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable seat

What to know

  • Fabric needs regular washing (but thankfully, it dries quickly)

What Mumsnet users say

"I had a mimzy highchair and it was fab, but it was recommended to me as little one has hip dysplasia and its really wide. It could be a pain to clean but all the padding comes off and goes in the washing machine which I used to do once a week (normally Sunday after dinner and then it would be dry by Monday dinner time after nursery)." (Recommended by Mumsnetter ItsSnowJokes)

Our verdict

If time and space are of the essence, this clever one-handed folding highchair is a brilliant option. It stands up by itself even when folded, and the tray hooks onto the back for even more compact storing.

Unfolded, the Joie Mimzy Snacker is a comfy, practical highchair suitable from 6 months. The fabric cushioning will need washing a lot, but Mumsnetters say it dries really quickly so it's worth it for the added comfort. 

toddler eating yoghurt in highchair

Why buy a highchair?

Highchairs are a safe and supportive place for your baby to eat before they’re old and tall enough to sit on an adult-sized dining chair. Most come with a plastic tray so your baby can see and reach their food easily – especially useful when first weaning.

As child nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed says, sitting your child at your eye level and at (or close to) the rest of the family at mealtimes aids their development.

“Babies often learn what and how to eat by watching their parents and siblings eat too”, she says. “It’s more likely that they will happily accept foods that they see you gobbling up yourself.”

For older babies and toddlers, a familiar chair often signals ‘mealtimes’ to them, allowing them to eat free from distraction and out of harm’s way.

How long will I need a highchair for?

Although some of the chairs we tested had extra accessories making them suitable for smaller babies, children should only use a highchair to eat once they’re able to sit unaided.

Charlotte Stirling-Reed advises, “Baby needs to be sitting in an upright position and should easily be able to hold their head and neck steady. Always sit with your baby when offering foods, especially finger foods.”

The life-span of your chair will depend on the type of model you choose, as some are intended to be used throughout childhood and beyond (see section below). You’re likely to find a chair with a tray essential from first weaning up to the age of three.

Then, depending on the size and independence of your child, you may want to switch to a booster seat on an adult chair. Many multifunctional and transitional highchairs adjust in height, so you can bring the chair right up to the table.

How much does a highchair cost?

It varies tremendously with brand and functionality. A budget highchair, including this year’s winner, the IKEA Antilop, will set you back somewhere between £10 to £50. A multifunctional option will usually be in the £50 to £150 price range. A transitional one can be anything between £150 to £300+. A travel chair should really stay under £50 if it’s to be cost-effective.

What to look for in a highchair

The relevant safety directive to look out for is EU directive EN 14988:2017, which specifically sets out standards for children’s highchairs.

We asked Charlotte Stirling-Reed what features bewildered first-time parents might watch out for, here are her top tips:

  • The height of the seat back (so it will support your child as they sit)
  • The robustness of the safety harness (is it three-point or five? Does it seem secure when attached?)
  • How solidly the tray is attached to the chair when in place
  • How easy it is to clean
  • Does it have a footrest (to help your child avoid slumping in the chair)
baby in highchair

The different types of highchairs

Highchairs have come a long way in the last couple of decades as companies have begun to apply intelligent design to baby equipment. There are several broad types on the market, so consider which functions are important to you before making your choice.

1. Budget highchairs

At the inexpensive end of the spectrum are the budget chairs. These tend to be standalone highchairs (intended to be used by themselves using a plastic tray, instead of being pulled up to a table), short on adjustability features and elaborate design – favouring instead a functional simplicity that often, incidentally, means they’re much easier to clean.

Indeed, they can still tick all the essential boxes without the added extras and loads of Mumsnet users will tell you that you don't need to spend much on a highchair to make it worth your while. Our Best for award went to the IKEA Antilop, which was also the cheapest on the list.

2. Multifunctional highchairs

A multifunctional highchair is a step-up in functionality and price. It has been designed to include features that make life easier or that adjust the chair to suit your child.

Multifunctional chairs usually include adjustable seat height options, reclining seat backs, trays that can move between several different positions, extra tray inserts to save on washing up or under-seat toy storage baskets. Single-stem highchairs, which stand on one leg instead of four, even rotate 360 degrees as well as adjust in height.

Multifunctional options might also include newborn accessories so you can use the chair before six months, or have a removable tray so the chair converts from a standalone chair to a table-side one. They usually fold away and often stand when folded for easier storage, and come with luxuriously padded cushions, which are comfortable for your baby to sit on but are crumb magnets for any dropped food.

A multifunctional chair might be a good choice if you want to adjust the chair to fit your baby or sit at your table, if you prefer a more comfortable cushion or if you know you’ll want to fold it away when you’re not using it.

3. Transitional highchairs

These are the big guns of the group – the chairs intended to last as standalone models in babyhood and then convert to table-side models that can be used in toddlerhood, childhood and even beyond.

As a result, they are usually crafted from sturdy, high-end materials, are intentionally designed to look elegant and minimalist, and come with a range of design options so you’ll want to stick with it long-term.

They are also, of course, the most expensive – and be aware that, in this group in particular, you’ll need to pay extra for everything except the chair frame itself (including newborn accessories, baby seats, trays and even safety harnesses), so make sure this is included in your budget.

The good news is that, because these chairs last so well, there’s a thriving second-hand market on eBay and Facebook Marketplace, where you can sell yours on or pick up a used model for a fraction of the cost.

4. Travel highchairs

These ensure that your child always has somewhere safe and age-appropriate to eat when they’re not at home – whether that’s at a grandparent’s house, a friend’s, or away on holiday – although many are designed so well that people use them at home too.

Most travel highchairs either attach to an adult dining chair as a chair-mounted booster or clip onto the table edge (sometimes called a hook-on or clip-on highchair) like a vice. In both cases, you need suitable furniture to make it work – though, anecdotally, the chair-attaching kind fit more universally than the table-attaching kind.

It’s a good idea to read up on their specs before choosing one to make sure you’ll be able to use it safely. It’s helpful when travel chairs collapse to a portable size and many come with their own carry cases or shoulder straps to help with this.

They might also be a good choice if your child spends regular time at a relative’s house but the relative doesn’t have space for a full-time chair, if you know they’ll eat better on holiday in a chair made for them, or if your kitchen is small and you want something that won’t take up any extra floor space.

child playing hide and seek in highchair

How real life comparative testing makes Mumsnet Reviews unique

While all product reviews are subjective to some degree, we want our recommendations to come from months of real-life use and like-for-like comparison. For that reason we use a single tester, who judges one product against another in their own kitchen.

For this category, Rachel partnered with Katrĩna, who has a nine-month-old baby and a 33-month-old toddler to juggle at mealtimes, so was able to put all our products through their paces over the course of three months.

Each chair was used for both children (where appropriate), for three meals a day, every day for at least a week. The products were scored on six areas: purchase and assembly, safety and stability, day-to-day usage, cleanliness, aesthetics and value for money.

Five products were then awarded a Mumsnet Best badge – these are the products that we feel offer the best value for most parents. We also gave honourable mentions to three others.

After collating the feedback and scores, the results are ready. Here are the best highchairs suitable for babies and toddlers.

Why you should trust us

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to be featured in our articles or win a Mumsnet Best award.

We spend hours researching, speaking to parents, analysing data and listening to experts before we test out the products on our shortlist.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend. We won't always recommend the cheapest products, or the ones with the most extra features. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the one's we'd recommend to our own friends and family.

There's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or in our testing process. There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents lives' easier.

All prices on this page correct at time of writing