Best Transitional Highchair 2019
Stokke Tripp Trapp review
An almost 50-year-old classic, the robust and intelligently designed Stokke Tripp Trapp continues to perform well for kids of any age.
- Solid wooden chair with plastic baby seat attachments and tray
- Can be used with newborn set from birth, with baby set from six months (sitting unaided), and after three years or 15kg until adulthood and beyond
- Comes in three wood types and 14 colours
- Five-point harness (sold separately)
- Dishwasher-safe tray (sold separately)
- Exceptionally high quality, detail-oriented chair designed for longevity
- With kits, sold separately, it can be used from birth to adulthood
- Seat and footplate can be independently adjusted as your child grows
- A large number of colour options means it'll suit every kitchen design
- Thriving second-hand market means high resale value
- Doesn’t recline (without the newborn bouncer) or fold away.
- Almost every feature except the chair frame itself sold separately, at some cost
- Wood cleans less easily than plastic or metal
What are the specs?
- Dimensions: L 49 x W 46 x H 79 cm
- Weight: 7kg
- Maximum load (as an adult chair): 110kg
- Materials: Beech, oak or ash wood; BPA-free plastics
- RRP: £178 (chair alone); £79 (newborn set); £47 (baby set); £39 (tray); £29 (harness); £39 (baby set cushion insert)
It's totally worth the money. Eight years later and it's still in use and looks good. It was excellent for getting my children used to sitting at the table from six months.
How easy is the Stokke Tripp Trapp to purchase and assemble?
Stokke is one of the few high-end baby equipment companies to sell their products from their own website – so while you can also find the Tripp Trapp at many common retailers, you can customise a chair exactly as you’d like from Stokke themselves.
Be aware as you browse that almost every feature of the chair you might need, except the chair frame itself, is sold separately at an additional cost. That includes things you might expect, like the newborn bouncer, baby set and comfort cushions, but also things you wouldn’t, like the tray and even the harness straps.
Luckily, the Stokke’s thriving second-hand market means you can likely pick accessories up in a bundle if you buy one used. If you want to invest the cash yourself, you’ll be able to sell it on easily when you’re done with it.
The box measures 53cm x 80 cm x 30cm – quite sizeable and heavy, but able to fit in most car boots. You’ll need to assemble the Tripp Trapp completely, although you won’t need any tools of your own as everything is included.
Instructions are illustration-only and include the initial set-up as well as detailed instructions for future adjustment as your child grows. The leaflet also gives details of the seven-year warranty and there’s a different document listing the relevant legal safety directives. They’re available for download on Stokke’s website as well as an assembly video, if you need them.
Spare parts can be ordered directly from stokke.com, and the chair qualifies for an extended seven-year warranty when registered after purchase.
Baby sets, newborn sets and the tray come with their own separate assembly instructions, and these are also available on the website for perusal. Our tester, Katrĩna, spent 30 minutes on the assembly from opening the box to having the chair up and ready in the kitchen.
How does it look?
Originally designed in 1972, the Stokke Tripp Trapp was one of the first highchairs designed to grow with your child and allow them to sit comfortably at the table with the rest of the family. It's become somewhat of a design phenomenon in its own right, gaining in popularity over the last 40 years.
The 14 colour and three material options Stokke offers for the Tripp Trapp mean you’ll be able to find a look that suits you, whatever your preferences. It’s a tasteful, minimalist chair that won’t look out of place if you do end up using it long-term.
We tested the beech wood model in white, which continued to look striking throughout testing.
What’s the Stokke Tripp Trapp like to use?
Day-to-day, the Tripp Trapp is a solid and well-designed piece of equipment that won’t give you a moment’s anxiety about safety or comfort. Tricky as the assembly is, the result is a highchair of reassuring stability, handling wriggly babies and uncooperative toddlers with equal ease.
Despite its heavyweight appearance, it can still be dragged across the floor with one hand while holding a baby with the other and the feet don’t leave marks on the floor as it’s moved.
The adjustability of the seat and footplate mean it will continue to fit your child as they grow, although adjusting both means a 10-minute effort involving the loosening and retightening of screws.
The chair doesn’t recline, but the separate newborn bouncer (which we didn't test) does, and the tray clips on and off fairly easily. Generally, though, it would be far too much effort to dismantle the whole highchair for travel.
With the baby set in place, the smooth, moulded plastic frame keeps the child feeling secure with their legs in place, unable to slip down the seat.
Curiously, the five-point harness is not included with the baby set, but sold separately at £29, which seems to indicate that Stokke expect many parents to go without one. A younger weaning baby should sit safely without any issues, but an older, more adventurous one may need that extra harness restraint.
Without the tray, the Tripp Trapp allows your baby to sit comfortably at the table with the rest of the family, especially with the added cushion insert, which fits well and is padded nicely – although food may occasionally find its way to the floor.
Without the baby set, a toddler can do the same. It’s easy to lift a baby in and out of the seat, and Katrĩna's 33-month-old toddler climbed up independently. Stokke emphasise the developmental advantages of eating together as your child grows and our tester certainly found it a huge plus.
My three-year-old is the fourth child to use his Tripp Trapp and it's still going strong. We got given ours by a friend, but have spent a small fortune buying baby accessories, harnesses and cushions for it.
How safe is it?
Once assembled, the Tripp Trapp appears nigh-on indestructible – one of the reasons it sells so well second-hand. It meets a large number of worldwide safety directives, including the EU directive EN 14988:2017, specifically for highchairs.
The footprint is 48cm x 46cm – smaller than some of its competitors (the Cybex Lemo, for example is 56cm x 56cm), but Katrĩna still noted that the L-shaped legs could be a trip hazard, so it’s worth tucking the chair close to the table when not in use.
There are no sharp corners or edges and, when scrubbed hard with a new scouring sponge, none of the finish came off.
The five-point harness is secured with a central clip, but because it doesn’t come as standard with the Stokke we didn’t test it. In our drop test, the chair emerged completely unscathed and took the repeated weight of an adult both in the seat and the footplate. Even empty, it’s impossible to get the Tripp Trapp to rock, so there’s no danger of a child managing to do so.
Is the Stokke Tripp Trapp easy to clean?
Wood tends to cling onto hardened food more than plastic, so our hardened porridge test took several minutes of scrubbing to completely remove.
Generally, though, the Tripp Trapp has no nooks and crannies for toast crumbs to hide in, and the smooth wood can be wiped down easily. Bolognese sauce also left no stains behind.
The baby seat is made from dishwasher proof plastic – an added bonus when it comes to messy weaning. Should you buy the cushion insert, the material has an easy-wipe coating and is also machine-washable. The removable tray is dishwasher-safe.
That the Tripp Trapp is ubiquitous as it is, despite its hefty price tag, is a testament to its superior design and longevity. With top-quality materials used for the chair and the accessories, so many colours to choose from and a robustness that allows it to survive for years practically unmarked, it’s a valuable addition to your dinnertimes.
If you’ve got the cash to splash for a new one, that’s great – but you’ll find a huge number of models at affordable second-hand prices, making the Tripp Trapp a solid choice for almost everyone.
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All prices correct at time of publication
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