Best High Chair Mats

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
102 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best high chair mats

Last Updated August 2019

Enter any restaurant, and look for a family sitting at a table with a toddler perched in a high chair. Underneath that high chair will be the remnants of a battle: the battle of getting said toddler to eat. You may discover half-eaten fries, unidentified sauces, crumbs, and perhaps a few Cheerios. Toddlers love to mash food in their sticky hands before sending it halfway across the room or directly onto the floor.

Rather than experience this mess at home, it’s recommended that you use a high chair mat to catch the mess. With a high chair mat safeguarding your flooring from food debris, you won’t have to vacuum after every meal. Instead, you can enjoy mealtime with your little one without having to worry about cleaning up soon after.

The question is, which type of high chair mat is right for you? There are adhesive mats, disposable mats, square mats, and circular mats. There are mats of all colors and shapes. To learn about the prices, features, and design elements that you’d get for your money, read on.

You may want to clean up food messes as soon as possible, but it’s important for a child’s development to explore food. Having food all over themselves allows children to experience, touch, smell, and taste new foods. So use the high chair mat to protect the floor, but let the child explore.

Key considerations

Flooring type

The first factor to consider is the type of flooring you have in your eating area. Many parents end up feeding their children in the kitchen, which usually has either hardwood flooring or tile. If that’s where the high chair will reside, the mat doesn’t need to be rigid or have structure. In fact, it can have the same rigidity as a blanket and still do its job perfectly well.

If you should happen to have a carpeted dining room or choose to feed your child in another carpeted area, consider a more rigid high chair mat to place over the carpet. The high chair itself will sink into the carpet and may become wobbly. With a rigid high chair mat beneath it, the mess will be contained, and the high chair will be more stable.

Dimensions

High chair mats can be square or circular. Square mats are easier to trip over because of the corners and hard edges. However, most high chairs have a square base that easily accommodates a square mat. The square shape is also easier to fold and fit into a tote or diaper bag.

Circular high chair mats generally cover less space than square mats. This shape is recommended for smaller high chairs and homes with less floor space.

Material

For years, high chair mats were made of clear plastic, and the plastic sheet was put underneath the high chair to catch messes. But it seemed redundant: it took the same amount of time and energy to clean the mat as it did to clean the floor.

High chair mat manufacturers caught on to this predicament and began to incorporate other materials into their mats. Today, high chair mats are made with wipe-clean and non-absorbent fabrics and materials such as polyester, laminated cotton, and vinyl. Many manufacturers ensure the materials are free from PVC, BPA, and phthalates, but you should double-check the packaging to be sure.

DID YOU KNOW?

If the mat you purchased is too big for a certain area, simply fold it in half or thirds. The mat’s material lends versatility to the size.

Features

Design and colors

A lot of companies that sell high chair mats offer an astounding selection of colors and designs. You could choose a mat that features your child’s favorite cartoon characters, a pattern that matches the kitchen interior, or a plain color that makes crumbs easy to spot. Decide if you’d like the mat to match the high chair or if you’d rather purchase an interesting pattern to keep your child occupied if he or she ever sits directly on the mat.

Non-slip qualities

Some mats come equipped with anti-slip properties. The mat may be laminated to help keep it in place on the floor, or it may have a non-slip backing applied to it. However, that doesn’t mean the mat will never move when placed beneath the high chair.

You may also want to consider purchasing Velcro or small adhesive patches for the corners of the mat. Whether you plan to put the mat on carpeting, tile, or hardwood, small Velcro pieces in each corner will prevent the corners from flipping up and posing a tripping hazard.

Portability

Many high chair mats come with a small tote bag or cinch bag to carry the folded mat. The bag is usually made from the same material as the high chair mat, so it can be easily cleaned if any food residue happens to transfer. If the mat doesn’t come with its own matching bag, simply fold it and store it in a diaper bag or backpack.

Disposable

There are disposable versions of high chair mats available. They aren’t reusable and are made from a lighter, thinner material. These would come in handy when traveling or going out to eat at a restaurant. Simply ball the mat up when finished and toss into the garbage — it’s quick and easy.

Reversible

Some high chair mats come in reversible patterns. That means each side has a different pattern, and there is no right or wrong side. You can switch between the two patterns as you see fit, and each side is made from the same material.

High chair mat prices

The smallest and most basic of high chair mats cost between $10 and $15. These are highly affordable, and it’s possible to purchase several in case you need them for different areas. Slightly bigger mats with higher-quality materials, like 100 % laminated cotton, will cost between $20 and $30. These will likely be waterproof or laminated and slightly thicker than the cheaper versions. For specific character prints or reversible patterns, you will most likely pay between $40 and $50.

EXPERT TIP

Multiple high chairs in your kitchen? Try ordering a jumbo-size high chair mat to stash beneath both of the chairs. If you can’t find a size big enough, consider purchasing two of the same mats to put next to each other.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If your family is the type to go picnicking, simply bring the high chair mat along for easy cleanup. The child can sit on top of the mat without the high chair, or the mat can be used as a tablecloth.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Keep the high chair in one designated spot. That way, the mat can stay spread out on the floor with the high chair keeping it in place. You don’t have to worry about moving it around.

  • Be aware of the edges of your high chair mat. It’s easy to trip over them when distracted by something else … like a hungry child.

  • Measure the base of your child’s high chair before purchasing a mat. Be sure the mat will be large enough for the high chair.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for a highly affordable way to keep your floor clean, consider the Clear Baby Splat Mat High Chair Floor Mat. The mat is generous in size and made from clear plastic. The clear plastic isn’t aesthetically pleasing, but it can be washed easily with hot, soapy water.

There’s also the affordable Alnoor USA Splat Mat for Under High Chair with a pleasant polka-dot pattern. It’s slightly smaller than the average mat with dimensions of 42 x 42 inches. The design is water-resistant and made of 100% polyester for easy cleanup.

A high chair mat isn’t limited to use as a catch-all for food scraps. It can also be used during craft time. The mat will protect the floors from paint spills, rogue crayons, and markers.

FAQ

Q. Can I wash the high chair mat in the washing machine?

A. It depends on the product. Check the tag on the mat (just like you would an article of clothing) to see if it’s machine washable or not. If it isn’t, a reliable go-to is hot, soapy water. It’s possible to use some type of wet wipe, but that’s not recommended if you let your child eat directly off of the mat.

Q. Is it safe for my child to eat food off of the mat, like a plate?

A. Yes, as long as you clean the mat properly after each use. The mat is likely made from a non-absorbent material, so your child shouldn’t be exposed to any spills that would have soaked into the mat.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Samantha
    Samantha
    Writer

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