Which one should you choose - highchair or booster?

For weaning and first feeding it’s recommended that you put your baby in a highchair wherever possible, as she will be able to sit fully supported and securely strapped in.


Once your baby is older, is able to sit up unsupported and is able to eat independently, then a booster seat or travel highchair allows her to join in family meals at the table. Booster seats are also perfect for holidays and out and about eating.

4 reasons why a highchair is better

  1. You can use a highchair earlier than a booster
  2. A highchair is sturdier and more robust for feeding everyday
  3. They can be more padded and comfy for a baby
  4. A highchair will often come with a 5-point harness, making it the safest choice

4 reasons why a booster seat is better

  1. Booster seats are portable and many can fit in holiday luggage or a buggy basket
  2. They’re easy and slim to store if space is tight
  3. Boosters are often cheaper than high chairs
  4. They’re great as a second seat for feeding at grandparents’ or a friend’s house

Why our mums choose high chairs or boosters

"My ds went from a highchair to a booster at 18 months, partly I have to admit because of the space the highchair was taking up! We just have a simple one, but he's always been fine in it – he’s still strapped in, so no getting down and running around." says Sunflower81.

"I'd think about how easy it is to clean more than anything," advises Hayls-49296. "Because I hate the one I've got so much, my mum bought me the rainforest booster seat from Fisher-Price. It had no padding what so ever and dd loves it.

"When you think you'll be cleaning it 3 or more times a day (plus all the other things you have to do in the day) you need something that works for you!!!"

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Blondefriend agrees: "It really depends on how you will use the chair. If you want to put LO in it whilst you do other things or might even want them to sleep in it than a recline feature is essential. Unfortunately Abby hates being in the chair for any length of time as she is always on the go.

"As for height adjustable that is also an individual thing. We often push Abby up to the table to eat with us and remove the tray. Plus she feeds herself rather than being spoon fed. Therefore the height adjustable part is essential for us so that she can reach her food whether it's on the table or on the tray.

"We have a small house and often take Abby out to restaurants or relatives to eat and therefore we went for a booster seat rather than a highchair. At £15 it was a much cheaper alternative."

EnglebertW_nckface treated the highchair-buying business as an investment, sharing:

"When my LO needed a highchair when we bought two Stokke Tripp Trapps. They are in a totally different league.

"You can adjust every bit of them so your lo is sitting properly, not slumped or uncomfortable, and they will adjust to fit all the way up to adulthood.

"That was part of the reason we bought 2, we intend to use them as spare adult chairs when the lo's are grown up. T

"They are well made, sturdy and really easy to adjust, the only thing we've found to fault them at all is that they are a bit pricey."

"We have a highchair for home and a booster seat when we go to someone’s house. To be honest the booster is awful - Chloe is just not comfy in it. She’s 13 months and big for her age. She's not squished or anything but just really uncomfy. I always have problems getting her to eat when in it. We've given up with it and would rather take the high chair with us!" shares laranchloe.

And Loopyloo80UK adds: "We use a booster seat now, because the highchair was taking up so much space and I kept tripping over it! Annoyingly it doesn't tuck under the table very well so most of the time we use the tray. We’ve also got one that is material and folds into a bag to take out with us but it's not great as lo can move from side to side too much. It would only be really good if it was fitted on a seat with arm rests."

How much can you expect to pay for a highchair or booster seat?

High end

up to £25

Booster seat
up to £15
up to £30
up to £80

6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a highchair or booster

  1. Do you need it to fold flat for storage or carrying around? - Choose a booster or travel high chair or a fold-flat highchair
  2. Do you want the chair and tray height to be adjustable? - A highchair will be best
  3. Is it easy to keep clean? - Either will work, but look for one that doesn't have lots of nooks and crannies
  4. Is the tray removable? - You'll find both highchairs and boosters with removable trays
  5. Does it have a full five-point harness? - Essential on both types to make sure your baby or toddler is safe
  6. Do you want your child to sit directly at the table? - Choose a highchair that doesn't have a tray or a booster seat that fits safely on to your kitchen chair.

What is a high chair?

Once weaning is started your baby will need a safe and secure seat to sit in so that you can feed them, or they can feed themselves.

A highchair positions your baby at a height that makes it easier for you to feed them. It may come with a tray, which is useful, or without so you can use it directly at the table.

A highchair can also be a safe place for your baby or toddler to play while you’re busy in the kitchen.

What is a booster seat?

A booster seat or travel high chair is a smaller, lighter version of a highchair, which can be used to secure your baby or toddler at the correct height for eating at a table.

Most versions secure to the seat of a chair using one or two straps. Some come with their own removable tray, and most have backs for support. They are great for toddlers, and useful for travel.

Is my baby ready for a highchair?

  • Yes - if your baby is 6 months old, can sit up confidently without support and hold his head up independently
  • Maybe - if your baby is 4-6 months, can sit up with some support and has good head control
  • No - if your baby is unable to sit up, even with support, and has poor head and neck control.

Is my baby ready for a booster seat?

  • Yes - if your baby is at least 9 months and sitting up unsupported and confidently and is eating independently
  • Maybe - if your baby is 6-9 months,can sit unsupported, but a highchair is better for frequent feeding
  • No - if your baby is unable to sit up, even with support, and has poor head and neck control.

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