The last thing you need is a large, bulky high chair taking up tons of space. Thankfully, many folding high chairs are just sturdy, feature-packed and stylish as the traditional models which can be easily hidden out of the way when not in use.
When it comes to choosing a folding high chair, you’ll want to look at all the various features and limitations before making a purchase. Some, such as the Graco EveryStep 7 in 1 High Chair, offer several configurations, allowing them to be used through the toddler years and beyond.
Folding high chairs are more convenient than traditional ones because they can easily be stored when not in use without taking up a lot of space. If you are looking for something with the most versatility to grow with your child though, you may want to consider a convertible folding high chair. Depending on the model, these can be used in up to seven different configurations, including a booster seat, a toddler chair and even a step stool.
Every folding high chair has a maximum allowable safe weight. For most, this is between 40-60 pounds. Those that are convertible often have different weight capacities in different configurations. For example, it may only support 40 pounds in high chair mode but can support 60 pounds in booster mode.
Most people buy folding high chairs for their convenience. They want the ability to hide them out of the way when not in use. That means you’ll likely be picking it up and moving it regularly. Because of this, the weight of the chair should be a consideration. Some models may weigh as little as 10 pounds, but others can weigh 40 pounds or more, making them difficult for some people to pick up. There are also portable folding high chairs designed for taking on the go. Some of these weigh as little as 2 pounds, but they generally have a streamlined design with few features, so they won’t be as suitable as an everyday high chair at home.
The majority of folding high chairs have some type of harness to keep your baby safely in place. The most common one is a 3-point harness, but some models feature a 5-point harness for even more security. At the very least, folding high chairs will have a crotch post or strap to prevent babies from sliding out.
You want your baby to be comfortable when sitting in their high chair. To this end, it is best to look for a model that has some padding. If you opt for one that doesn’t have any padding, you may want to consider buying some separately and putting it on the chair.
If purchasing a high chair with a seat cover, it should be aesthetically pleasing, durable and easy to care for. Look for a model with a cover that is removable and machine washable. It should also be stain resistant and easy to wipe clean between washings.
Most folding high chairs have a food tray for your baby. Depending on the model, it may be permanently attached or removable. There are also models that have an attached tray but a detachable insert. The tray should be sturdy, adjustable so you can position it closer or further for your baby and, if detachable, dishwasher friendly.
As with the tray, the high chair itself should have some level of adjustability. This includes both the overall height of the chair and the recline. Some models have up to seven levels of height adjustment and recline, while others may not have any.
As with most baby products, folding high chairs can be quite expensive. They tend to cost at least $75 on the low end and upwards of $250 or more on the high end.
A. Most experts recommend waiting until a child is at least 6 months old before putting them into a high chair. That said, every baby develops at a different pace. Wait until your baby can sit upright on their own before placing them in a high chair, even if that isn’t until 7 or 8 months old.
A. As of July 3, 2010, all high chairs sold in the United States must meet the standards set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. There is also voluntary testing where manufacturers can get their high chairs approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. A JPMA seal shows that the high chair in question is considered one of the safest models.
Graco EveryStep 7 in 1 High Chair
What you need to know: This super-versatile high chair can grow with your child all the way through the toddler years and beyond thanks to its seven configurations, the final of which is a step stool for children up to 7 years of age.
What you’ll love: It can be used as a booster seat and stool simultaneously for two children of different ages, and it is easy to fold up in seconds when not needed.
What you should consider: The tray can sometimes be tricky to detach and click back into place
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Ingenuity SmartServe 4-in-1 High Chair
What you need to know: Though reasonably priced, this high chair still offers four configurations for versatile use.
What you’ll love: It features a 5-point harness system so even squirmy babies can’t get out of it. Plus, it’s tray has been smartly designed with a small pull-out drawer for storing utensils.
What you should consider: It has two wheels that, while convenient for moving it, don’t lock into place.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Buy Buy Baby.
Baby Jogger City Bistro High Chair
What you need to know: One of the most compact models when folded up yet extremely sturdy when in use, this high chair is one of the best options for those with very limited storage space.
What you’ll love: Its fabric is machine washable and stain-resistant, which should help keep it looking nice. Also, the thick padding will ensure your baby is comfortable at all times.
What you should consider: It only has a single configuration.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond.
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.