When a child outgrows their high chair but isn’t large enough to sit in a regular chair at the table, a dining booster seat still allows them to join the rest of the family for mealtime. These seats work well for kids who can sit upright on their own and can grow with kids up to age 5.
Most dining booster seats attach to standard dining chairs, so they’re easy to use in most dining rooms and kitchens. In addition to providing a comfortable spot for your child to sit, many can help limit the mess while they’re eating. If you’re looking for a versatile, comfortable booster seat, the Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Booster Seat is the top option.
Standard booster seats typically have a cushioned seat, a safety harness and chair straps. Many standard models also have a backrest, but some feature a backless design. Children are usually more comfortable in a booster seat with a back.
Tray booster seats are similar to standard booster seats, but they have a removable tray that’s easy to clean after meals. If you want to reduce the mess after your baby eats with the family, these booster seats are the best option.
Cushion booster seats are constructed of foam and feature a removable cover that’s easy to clean. These booster seats work best for toddlers and larger kids because many models don’t have a safety harness.
Portable booster seats are lightweight and compact, with many models folding to make it easier to take them on the go. They often look like small camping chairs and can sometimes be used as a standalone chair on the floor. Some portable booster seats are also equipped with a removable tray.
Seat harnesses are made of fabric and attach to the back of a chair to create a secure sling for your little one to sit in. They’re adjustable, so they can fit chairs in different sizes and grow with your child. Seat harnesses fold easily, making them excellent for travel.
Clip-on high chairs attach to the edge of a table with clamps rather than to a dining chair. They usually have a fabric seat and can fold easily when not in use.
Chair boosters are meant for kids who are large enough to sit securely in a chair without a harness but still need some extra height to reach the table. These seats attach to the legs of the chair to create extra height.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has established safety standards for booster dining seats to ensure your child is safe when using one. The seats must be stable and feature a restraint system to secure the child. It’s also essential that a booster seat doesn’t have gaps where part of a child’s body can get trapped. Its edges should be smooth to prevent any cuts, scrapes or bruises. The CPSC calls for a dining boost seat’s components to be free of high levels of potentially harmful chemicals like lead or phthalates.
If your little one has trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes, choosing a comfortable booster seat can help keep them from squirming too much during meals. Look for a model with plenty of padding, a contoured seat and a curved backrest to keep them comfy. An adjustable model is an excellent option because it allows you to customize the seat for your child.
Toddlers and children learning to eat on their own can make pretty big messes during mealtime. Choose a dining booster seat that’s easy to clean after they’re finished eating. Avoid models with small crevices where food can get stuck. Instead, choose a seat with smooth, solid surfaces you can just wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Children can outgrow their booster seats pretty quickly, so it helps to choose an adjustable model. The amount of adjustability varies from seat to seat. For example, some models only let you adjust the harness, while other higher-end booster seats allow you to adjust the height as well to help make your child more comfortable.
Many dining booster seats include a removable tray to help cut down on messes at the table. They work especially well for young kids who tend to be sloppier when eating, although a removable tray makes cleaning up much easier, no matter how old your child is.
You can find dining booster seats in an array of color and style options. You may prefer a simple, clean look or want a cute print or brightly colored design to please your child. In fact, if you’re having trouble getting your child to use a booster seat, opting for a model with a fun pattern or bold colors may help convince them.
Standard dining booster seats and cushion booster seats range from $16 to $25, while portable seats, tray booster seats and higher-end cushioned models go for $25-$30. Clip-on seats, chair boosters and premium models with removable cushions and height adjustability can range from $30 to more than $70.
A. Children can usually transition from a high chair to a dining booster seat when they hit 18-24 months. Depending on the model, your child may be able to use the seat all the way to 5 years of age. Check the product specifications to determine the weight limits to ensure the seat is safe for your child.
A. No. To be sure a dining booster seat will fit your chairs, measure the seats, then compare those dimensions to the measurements for the seat’s base to ensure it will fit.
What you need to know: This easy-to-clean, comfortable booster seat offers plenty of convenient features and is versatile enough to be suitable for use on the floor.
What you’ll love: It has a deep seat with a removable foam pad for maximum comfort. It can fit on most dining chairs and also works as a standalone play seat on the floor. The removable tray is dishwasher-safe and features built-in storage.
What you should consider: The center strap is somewhat short, and some buyers feel the tray could be larger.
What you need to know: For parents who don’t want to waste time cleaning, this safe and sturdy booster seat makes cleanup a breeze with its wipeable surfaces.
What you’ll love: It boasts a three-point harness to keep children secure. Its insert is removable for easy cleaning. Children can climb out of the seat without knocking it off the chair. It’s lightweight and portable.
What you should consider: The seat is easy to clean, but it has a space between the insert and base where food sometimes gets stuck.
What you need to know: This lightweight booster seat doesn’t require any special installation because it sits directly on top of a regular chair, making it easy to set up.
What you’ll love: The seat is made of lightweight foam, so it’s highly portable. It’s available in six colors. It features a textured surface to keep your child from falling off. It provides extra support on the sides and back for security.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have a strap or harness to keep a child in place, so it’s better for older kids.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.