For families with young children, high chairs are essential. But they can be dangerous; 10,000 children are injured in them each year. Consumer Reports just tested nine high chairs new to the market. All pass voluntary safety standards, and many have features that could make mealtime easier.
In fact, ease of cleaning is so important to parents that Consumer Reports recently added it as part of its high-chair ratings. Testers found some of the high chairs difficult to clean.
The Graco Slim Snacker has lots of fabric flaps where food can collect, and it doesn’t have a tray insert, which is basically a second tray cover that fits on top. It’s nice to have so that you can just take it off to wash at the sink rather than the whole tray.
The Mia Moda Alto has a tray insert but it doesn’t fully cover the main tray, so you’ll need to wash food off the insert and the base tray underneath. A better choice is the Fisher-Price EZ Clean. At $85 it’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy. The tray insert covers the entire tray. Testers also found the straps simple to wipe off, and the seat cover is machine washable.
Another feature that can add value is a high chair that can grow with your child. The Joovy HiLo chair rotates to become a booster chair. And it’s easy to clean because it’s made of molded plastic. But it’s expensive at $400, and testers found the harness difficult to use.
Consumer Reports found one flexible high chair to recommend. It’s the Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 Deluxe. The seat comes off and can be used as a booster seat, and then the base can be used as a toddler chair. The whole thing is easy to clean and at $90, it’s also a Consumer Reports Best Buy.
Consumer Reports stresses that no matter which high chair you buy, your child should be fully buckled into the harness system every single time you use the chair.