How We Tested High Chairs

By:
Jessica Stevenson & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Monday
October 2, 2017

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The snack tray on the Siesta offers plenty of space and room for a cup.  The lip around the edge of the tray helps prevent small spills from making it onto the floor.
The snack tray on the Siesta offers plenty of space and room for a cup. The lip around the edge of the tray helps prevent small spills from making it onto the floor.

Ease Of Use


Your high chair needs to be easy to use, and even better, somewhat intuitive because as busy parents, sometimes we have no choice but to figure it out as we go. We poked, prodded, pulled, and pushed on these chairs until we figured out which buttons did what, and which levers turned what. Okay, okay, of course we read the manuals, too. If fact, if a chair had a user-friendly manual, it earned extra points. We liked the chairs that we could figure out quickly, and then still remember how to use them the next day. Over several months, our baby tester was plopped in and out of nine different chairs so many times, she eventually stopped asking questions (just kidding- she can't talk yet, so she just went with the flow). We buckled her and unbuckled her, adjusted straps, adjusted heights, adjusted tray depths, and then, we ate!

Ease Of Cleaning


The insert of the Boon was a rubbery piece that was easy to wipe clean  but still got food stuck below it after every meal.
The insert of the Boon was a rubbery piece that was easy to wipe clean, but still got food stuck below it after every meal.
Ease of cleaning was probably the easiest metric to test for, because even if our baby tester didn't eat anything, she still made a mess. It's quite the talent she has, really. So truly we didn't need to do anything special to get these chairs extra messy, because after one or two meals, there were crumbs and smears everywhere. And I mean everywhere. We cleaned buckles, harnesses, seats, cushions, trays, snack trays, legs, bases, and faces. We removed seat cushions and washed them by hand and in the washing machine. All par for the course, but it gave us a pretty clear picture of what's easy to clean, and what's not.

Quality


The quality of a chair was something we not only looked for, but looked at. We wanted to know if the chair was made of good, sturdy material and what type of finishes it used. Did it look well built or just thrown together in a factory? Conveniently, our baby tester was also great at checking the stability of the chair, being a squirmy toddler and all. She shook, wiggled, and wobbled in all the chairs she sat in, so it quickly became evident which buckling systems stayed in place and adjusted to keep her secure. We also looked at the seat depth of each high chair, making sure baby was comfortable enough to eat without straining to reach her food.

Ease of Set Up


For this metric, we did just exactly what might think: take the high chair out of the box and, well, set it up! We timed just how long each chair took to put together, issues we had and if the instruction manuals were helpful or not. We also noted if there was a need for any tools.

Footprint and Portability


The small wheels would often not cooperate when rolling across tile.
The small wheels would often not cooperate when rolling across tile.
Last, but not least, we checked out how much space these high chairs take up on your kitchen floor, and how easy they are to move around. Some had wheels and some did not and since we knew we would be moving the high chairs around every day, at least to clean up crumby messes, we wanted to know if that would be an easy task or not. We tested on tile, hardwood, and even some rug floors. We also folded the chairs up, if they offered that feature.

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