As a speech and feeding expert, I have always weighed in on the best highchairs. I was looking for the highchair that would be the best for helping my clients sit with families at the table, while also maintaining proper 90-90-90 alignment (hips, knees, ankles) for optimal chewing and swallowing. Then, I became a mom…and let’s just say, my priorities for picking the best highchair changed. Over the past month, I have been asked countless times about the highchair I recommend, so I figured it was about time to make a post about it.
In this article, I will review the 3 hottest highchairs on the market in 2023 based on functionality, ease of positioning, cost, and most importantly, ease of cleaning.
The Classic: Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair
The Stokke Tripp Trapp has been a favorite high chair of the early childhood community for quite some time. With it’s sleek design, and adjustable seat and footrest, this is a chair that fits in to your decor AND grows with your child.
Once assembled, this chair will fit into any space, and slides right up to any dining table you have. It does the trick of keeping your child well positioned and in alignment throughout the meal, and even has add-ons for various stages of development, like the infant support for babies who still need some support sitting, and a newborn bassinet, which allows baby to be at the table with you from the very beginning.
Ease of Positioning: 4/5
One of the things that makes this chair so great is the ability to adjust it. Buyer beware that it definitely takes some elbow grease to move the pieces after assembling the chair–though, I guess that’s a good thing, because it means it is so secure. Truth be told, you should only have to adjust the settings every 6 months or so, so this is not such a huge drawback. In between sizes, you can put a rolled up yoga mat under your child’s feet to help them reach the foot plate.
The Stokke Tripp Trapp is one of the most expensive high chairs on the market, and with good reason. It is well-made and is designed to last throughout childhood, with a 300 lb weight limit. (I have even seen 15 year olds using their chair as a desk chair!) If you want a chair that will grow with your child, the cost may be worth it.
Ease of Cleaning: 5/5
This is probably the easiest chair to clean. After each meal, you just use a warm wash cloth and/or these wipes to clean all the surfaces, including the seat, footrest, and tray (if using). You do not have to remove any padding or pieces of the seat to clean it, and you can hand wash the straps, as well.
Total Score: 17/20
The Stokke Tripp Trapp is great at positioning your child ergonomically throughout childhood, but is a bit more expensive than some other high chairs on the market.
The Newcomer: Lalo High Chair
Lalo is a newer brand on the market, focused on making sleek and functional gear for children. Their highchair boasts an array of neutral colors that will match any decor, and an adjustable and easy to remove tray.
Although it looks very pretty, the wide-set base makes it difficult to fit into smaller spaces and/or can cause a hazard for clumsier parents (i.e. me). The magnetic tray should make it easier to remove and place, but I have found this feature to be a bit difficult to use seamlessly, especially while managing a wiggly baby. Something I find very compelling, is the fact that the legs shrink down to make the chair shorter, so that it can eventually be used as an activity chair at a tiny table.
Ease of Positioning: 4/5
This seat comes with a 5 point harness, so you can be sure that your little one is positioned upright in the highchair. Although the footrest is adjustable, it’s a bit small, so there are no guarantees that your little one’s feet will find it to rest upon. It will also make it difficult to add “modifications” to help your child’s feet reach the foot plate. The sloped sides of the seat will be fine once baby is a bit grown, but may be a bit clumsy for a new sitter.
Think of the Lalo as a furniture investment. Lalo is like a designer brand high chair, so you are paying for that sleek, neutral look. You can also pay for add-ons for infant support (see above comment regarding the sloping sides), additional cushions, and a conversion kit for play-legs, or a booster seat, which may be helpful if your family travels a lot.
Ease of Cleaning: 3/5
One of the features of the Lalo is the magnetic tray, which makes it easy to remove for cleaning. If you have ever fed a new eater, though, you know that food distribution is not limited to the tray, but also to the arms, the feet, the sides, and places you didn’t even think food could end up. Fortunately, the cushion is machine washable, but I live in Brooklyn where the laundry room is in the basement, so this is a con for me, because I am not washing that thing every day. If you have the good fortune of having your own washer/dryer, this may work out better for you and keep your chair looking tip-top for a long time.
Total Score: 13/20
The Lalo Highchair is the designer chair that will keep your home looking cute, but may not be the best for clumsy parents, or those who do not have a washer/dryer.
The Budget Friendly Babe: Ikea Antilop
The Ikea Antilop Highchair has a cult following, and for good reason. Just like everything from Ikea, it is a super simple and basic design, but with some clever hacks, you can have it do the job of a much pricier highchair.
Ikea is synonymous with function, and this chair does the trick. It is easy to assemble and light-weight, which makes it great for visiting relatives (hello, extra chair for the grandparents house?) The waist harness will keep your baby secure throughout mealtime, but it may lack some of the comfort that pricer Stokke and Lalo offer.
Ease of Positioning: 3/5
It’s easy to put baby into this chair and remove the tray. You keep hearing me speak about the 90/90/90 angle, and this chair, in it’s original form, lacks a foot-rest. But don’t worry, there’s a hack for that! Simply buy a foot rest from Amazon and you’ll have the same adjustable footrest feature as the Stokke. Add in padding for additional comfort and you’ve got a pimped out chair (though know this is not necessary, and if you’re in Brooklyn, ends up being annoying). The waist harness is simple to operate, though not as secure as the 5 point harness on the Lalo and Stokke.
If you buy the Antilop Highchair directly from Ikea, it is only $22, which is just crazy. Adding on the additional features I suggested, will add another $30-40, which will still bring the chair in under $100. If you are budget conscious, this is a great, every day chair, and if you need a chair for a place you visit often, this is another great option.
Ease of Cleaning: 4/5
All this high functionality also makes the Antilop Highchair very easy to clean. Similar to the Stokke, you just need to use a wet rag to clean the surfaces of the chair. For an additional hack, and a very easy way to clean, think about adding on a tray cover (mostly because it looks cute, but also can be thrown in the dishwasher–which I do have). The Antilop lost a point here because it is made of a lower grade plastic…and I’m from Brooklyn…but it works just fine.
Total Score: 17/20
The Antilop is a budget-friendly option that can be hacked out for your primary highchair, or used as an extra chair at a place you visit frequently.
So, is there a winner in the highchair battle? No. Highchairs are largely dependent on you, your family, how you plan to use the chair, and what your priorities are.
For me, the priorities were high quality materials, ease of cleaning, and of course the perfect ergonomic design for chewing and swallowing, so we wound up with the Stokke Tripp Trapp, and Lucien seems to love it.
Have questions about a different highchair? Happy to weigh in! Just shoot me a line!
**please note the opinions stated here are my own, but I have included affiliate links from which I get a small percentage of the sale.