We commissioned Rachel Jeffcoat, a mum of three, to research and review the best highchairs.
As a parent to an eight-, six- and two-year-old, she's had years of experience using a wide variety of baby products. As a writer, she's written extensively on parenthood, including articles on double buggies and stairgates for Mumsnet.
How did we choose the best highchairs and who tested them?
After 16 hours spent researching the current highchair market, gathering recommendations from the Mumsnet forums and grilling an expert in the field (Charlotte Stirling-Reed, a qualified child nutrition consultant and spokesperson for The Nutrition Society and the Association for Nutrition), she partnered with parent tester, Katrĩna, to put 13 of the top candidates to the test.
Katrĩna has a nine-month-old baby and a 33-month-old toddler to juggle at mealtimes, so each product was used with both children where possible for three meals a day, every day for at least a week.
During testing, the products were scored on the following criteria: purchase and assembly, safety and stability, day-to-day usage, cleanliness, aesthetics and value for money.
Which highchairs did we test?
- IKEA Antilop – Best Highchair 2019 winner
- Cybex Lemo – Best Highchair for Style 2019 winner
- Stokke Tripp Trapp – Best Transitional Highchair 2019 winner
- Red Kite Feed Me Deli – Best Multifunctional Highchair 2019 winner
- Chicco Pocket Snack – Best Travel Highchair 2019 winner
- Mountain Buggy Pod
- Oribel Cocoon
- Chicco Polly Magic Relax
- Mothercare Highchair
- Bebe Style Classic 2-in-1
- BabyBjörn Highchair
- MyChild Graze 3-in-1
What did we do to test the highchairs?
We eliminated as many variables as we could during the testing process, so we’re confident that our like-for-like comparisons are honest and valid. Katrĩna put the highchairs through their paces in everyday situations, and also conducted specifically designed tests to measure robustness and safety.
1. Purchase and assembly
Katrĩna investigated the number of retailers selling the chair, as well as the brand’s own website: did you need to purchase any extras? Was that made clear? Were there any instructional videos, and were the assembly instructions available for download in case the paper version was lost?
Then she measured and weighed the box the chair came in to assess how easy it would be to receive as a delivery or fit into a car boot. She timed herself assembling the chair from opening the box to getting it ready for use and assessed how easy it was to put together.
2. Safety and stability
We checked whether the chair had passed any legal safety directives and whether the manufacturer had listed this somewhere.
Katrĩna assessed the chair materials for any shoddy finishings or sharp edges, measured the height of the tray from the floor for potential toddler head injuries, and considered how safe any reclining or locking mechanisms felt when in place.
She looked at the security of the harness, the supportiveness of the chair back, and the fit of the tray to the highchair.
Then she conducted resilience tests:
- The drop test – pushing the chair over 10 times each from the front, back and side, to see if anything had been damaged at the end
- The footrest test – applying a child-sized weight to the footrest repeatedly to see if it bent or buckled
- The rocking test – putting an appropriate weight in the seat and seeing if the highchair could tip or rock easily
- The tray test – dropping the tray repeatedly on a hard surface to check for scratches and cracks
3. Day-to-day usage
Katrĩna used the highchair for both her weaned baby and her toddler, every mealtime for at least a week.
She measured the exact footprint of the chair on the floor, both when folded and unfolded. She considered how easy it was to unfold the chair or change the seat height or angle, whether the chair could be moved across the room with one hand, and whether the tray was easy to use or came with any extra inserts.
She also looked at whether the seat felt comfortable, how easy it was to post a child’s legs through the holes (especially with shoes on) and whether the harness could be clicked in with one hand or two.
Apart from the usual day-to-day cleaning, our mum looked specifically at whether there were nooks and crannies for food to hide in and whether any part of the chair was dishwasher-safe or machine-washable, including the cushion and the harness.
Then she conducted specific tests – allowing porridge to harden on various components before scrubbing it off, dropping Bolognese on the highchair to see if a stain was left behind, and sprinkling toast crumbs to see how many could be retrieved afterwards.
Katrĩna assessed the design of the chair, whether it was stylish, functional, unobtrusive, or bright and cheerful. She also investigated whether it came in any other colour or design options.
6. Value for money
The million dollar question (excuse the pun). After hours of continuous use, we looked at how much the chair was, including the cost of the accessories, and asked Katrĩna whether she felt the chair represented good value for money for a wide consumer base with a variety of income levels.
Crucially, we also asked her if she would happily buy another if her testing model broke. The answers were often illuminating!
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been making parents’ lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed countless products. We’ve watched trends come and go and safety features become more and more slick. Our testing is best in class – we rigorously test each product with real children in real-life situations as well as standardised lab-style testing and we're confident that our testing leaves no stone unturned. This means that parents don’t need to compare reviews or hunt around for other opinions. They know Mumsnet has it covered.
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust – brands can’t pay to win a Mumsnet Best award.
The aim of Mumsnet Reviews is to produce the best product reviews on the market for parent and baby products. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.
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