How to choose the best High Chair

While you can find a wealth of information about most things baby related, one item that quite often gets over looked is your high chair. Surprising given that most stay at home parents spend a lot of their time at home! And as their are a multitude of choices available for prams and car seats, there are also a lot of options for the humble highchair. From the most basic of price, to plastic versus wooden, to multifunction and convertible pieces – and a lot of pros and cons for all of them.

A trip to your local K-Mart, Big W or Target will most likely give you a small range to choose from, but help and information will be scarce. Then there are the baby chain stores like Baby Bunting – they offer a range that is overwhelming and confusing – and the staff can find it hard to reccomend the right chair themselves.
Small bespoke baby stores are hard to find these days as they get taken over by the big stores. These will often have a small range of cheap to ultra high end highchairs. They will also give you some amazing 1-on-1 guidance to help you make the right choice. We love these stores for their range and the help we get.

So what to look for in a highchair…..

Function. Does it do what it’s meant to? As the name suggests it should be a high chair for your baby or toddler. Can it sit at the height of your dinner table so that baby can be included in meal times with the rest of the family?

Style. Does it look good? There are a lot of highchairs that just look plain ugly! And there are many that have been designed to really fit with modern houses and decor. From fancy fabrics to colourful frames, you can design a chair to fit your house.

Comfort. Is it soft and padded or hard? A cheap high chair will usually skimp on the soft padded seats. Wooden chairs will have an option to buy a padded insert – taking more of your money for something that should be included. And some just look after baby’s little bottom!

Safety. Will it fall? NEVER leave your child unattended in a highchair! It doesn’t matter what safety features it has. You are the one responsible for your baby. Trust nothing but yourself.

Features. What else can it do Does the highchair you are looking at have a removable tray? Does it have a built in table to the chair? There are a few highchairs that are convertible and have a table and chair built right in. So who needs a removable tray? Why not sit at the table with them while they eat. We are social beings and none of us like eating alone. What about an integrated rocking chair?

Size. Does it fit your space? Don’t get something that is big and cumbersome. Unless you want to make a feature of your high chair, make sure it is small and compact. Foldable can be good, but sometimes these can end up being a lot larger than ones that arent. Also beware of the moving parts of a folding chair. Little fingers and toes can get caught and very hurt in these.

Cleaning. How easily can you clean it? It shouldn’t take more than a damp cloth to wipe it down. Sometimes you might even want to take it outside and hose it down if you’re trying baby led weaning. But will it rust and corrode? Is everything food safe?

Materials. What is it made from? Wooden or plastic? A plastic chair quite often has metal legs that clip in to it. A wooden chair will just have screws. What about a plastic highchair that is fully moulded and has soft padded seats….

Child in Hokus Pokus highchair at dining table

The best high chair in Australia

The best high chair in Australia has been here for around 40 years but has largely gone unnoticed. It actually comes from Sweden and has been made there since 1967. Originally a wooden highchair it was then made in plastic in the early 70’s – we didn’t see the wooden high chair in Australia……

You can find it in many homes across Northern Europe and the name is widely known. Many families pass it on through the generations because they just last! Find out more here.

This piece is not just a single use item though. It is a convertible piece that changes function extremely easily just by turning it over. Used as a baby chair and table in one turn, and as a rocking chair with steering wheel in another. It’s not just for babies or your toddler. The chair and table can be used until they can no longer fit in! The same with the highchair function – if it fits, it sits!

This is also extremely stylish! We have multiple colours available. The frame is available in 2 colours – Black and Marble White. And then there are a few different coloured seats to match your decor. These can also be changed at a later date with replacement parts available. This makes them one of the most trendy high chairs available in 2019.

Size is a big deciding factor in modern furniture. Whilst this is not a folding chair, it is a small, space saving high chair for babies. See some pictures on our Facebook page.

We use them ourself and believe they really are the best in Australia. You can find them online here. We are based in Melbourne, but can ship to Sydney, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. We also ship overseas.

High Chair - Rocker - Hokus Pokus - 3 in 1

Cost of high chairs….. What is a cheap high chair really worth?

There are plenty of cheap high chairs on the market in Australia. The Ikea high chair is certainly one of the most popular for being cheap and easy to clean. Scandinavian design really is hard to beat…but so is quality. So what is the TRUE cost of a highchair – does it really matter in the long run?

But what is a highchair really worth? Consider how much space they can take up and how often you use it.

If your baby only uses it for meal time then it can be a big eyesore and take up a lot of space in your dining room.  And how long will it last? If you buy one for your first child, will it last for others in the future?  Consider how long your child may use it.  Starting at 6 months and up until 2-3 years old…..do you think a cheap high chair will last this long?

We have slowly been conditioned to buy throw away items as they are cheap and ‘do the job’ for a while. If it doesn’t last very long, “Oh well, it didn’t cost much”. I know I have been bitten by this too many times in the past, but not anymore. Stores like Big-W, K-Mart and Target are easy to blame for this shopping habit, but even they are changing their way of thinking again. It’s not just the bottom line that will determine the cost of a highchair.

If I can buy something that will last for the job I want and more, then I am onto a winner.  I would much rather spend a bit more money on a quality item and know it will last for years to come.

Then throw into the mix a product that will do more than just one job and do them all as good as the main design function. Now you have an item that is even more valuable to you. You don’t need multiple tools to get a job done.

The Hokus Pokus is one example of this type of product. A true 3 in 1. Highchair, rocking chair and low craft table/eating tray. It is not designed to be a cheap high chair – but one that lasts and serves its purpose.

Swedish Rocker Child Cheap Chair

We don’t charge what this product is really worth because we want to make it affordable.  To buy all three items separately you would spend well over $400 for quality pieces of furniture.  Buy just one for $299 and you can have all 3 anyway – and it will last.  The cost of a highchair just became a lot more irrelevant…….We give a 3 year warranty on the Hokus Pokus.  How long do other manufacturers give on their highchair?

Hokus Pokus High Chair - Old Products

How long did your highchair last?

The age old question – do I buy a cheap highchair and hope it lasts or spend the money on quality (but also hope it lasts)?

We have it on good authority that in some cases a Hokus Pokus highchair can last for over 35 years!  Yes, you heard that right.
Hokus Pokus HighChair - Old ProductsAnd this is not just a highchair that has been put in a cupboard and forgotten.

Used almost daily by dozens of children in a family day care environment the two chairs pictured below have certainly been around the block a few times.

I grew up with a 3 in 1 Hokus Pokus and my parents still have it today – they bought it for my older brother.  It has been passed around through friends and family and has now made its way back home for the grandkids.

Hokus Pokus Highchair - Upright old green and brownHokus Pokus Highchair - Table and Chair  This has been re-upholstered once in its life because we couldn’t get new seats at the time.  Everything else on the chair is original.

Now, i don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard of any other high chairs that deliver this sort of performance. And given the price of some chairs and the functionality they don’t provide……… it’s not really value for money.

But the Hokus Pokus Highchair IS!

Since we started selling the Hókus Pókus Stóll (highchair) in Australia we have heard from plenty of people that grew up with these as children and now want them for their kids.  We also know of people that have an old one in storage and want to bring it back to its former glory.

Highchair - rocker, table oldHokus Pokus - blue rocker, table after fixing We had a friend in Melbourne find this gem out for hard rubbish last year and thought we might like to see it.  It sure was a doozy!  BUT, it only needed a few parts and it was back to like NEW again.  Sure the frame had signs of wear and tear on it, but with new seats, handlebar and strap it was good to go.  And we loved it with the new lime seats!  Great for any little Mr or Miss to get plenty of years more use out of.

In-fact our friend that found it has recently had another baby – a boy – to go with their 3 girls.  They were in need of something that fit in with their home and style.
This Hokus Pokus was just what they were looking for.

The Hokus Pokus was originally a wooden high chair but changed to plastic in the ’70s.  It is a great 3 in 1 highchair for your baby, toddler or even 5 year old…..  Strong, lightweight, versatile, high, low, rocker, steering wheel, combination, Swedish.  So many things going for it.

So how long will you get out of that $50 highchair?

Will it last an actual lifetime?  Maybe it’s worthwhile saving up for one that will.

You hear a lot of people say, “They don’t make them like that any more” about so many things – but not this one!  It’s still made in Sweden today.

*DISCLAIMER – we do not suggest that all Hokus Pokus highchairs will last this long.  We offer a 3 year warranty and life expectancy CAN vary with use and environment.

High Chair Rocker Table - Hokus Pokus - 3 in 1 Highchair -

When do I start using a highchair?

We get asked this question a lot….

There is no simple answer to this, other than it all depends on when you and your child are ready. For starters, your little one should be able to sit up by their self. This shows that they are able to control their bodies in a way that will help them to be able to interact with food or items that are placed in front of them.

The next thing you need to ask is, are you ready?
Your little miss or mister is going to become VERY demanding once they start trying out solid foods.  They will want anything you or anyone around them is eating and they can become quite forceful when asking for this.

What to look for in a high chair.

Is it safe?  Your highchair should at least conform to international safety standards.  If there is no mention of safety standards on the highchair your are looking at, then I would seriously question why.

Functionality.  Many highchairs will claim to be many things, but first and foremost, is it a good high chair?  Will it do what it is meant to do better than anything else?  Your highchair should fit up to your normal dining table so your little one can be included in your mealtimes.