Meal time. My favorite part of the day with as a mother of a 19 month old. For every 15 minutes of eating, I get 30 minutes of scooping mashed potatoes off the carpet, scraping jelly out of his hair, and wiping spaghetti sauce off of his clothes or body, depending on how much of a fight he puts up when I try to take his shirt off. What I don’t stress about anymore? The booster seat that he eats in.
I have had the same booster high chair seat for both of my children and it stinks. A few months ago, my husband put me on the assignment to find a new one. After researching and going into various stores, I found that there were a lot of great ones with different perks.
I created a list of our top booster seats for eating at the table. They’re all designed to keep your little ones safely where they belong and are simple to use. Our list offers a variety of price, design, and portability.Best for Bigger Kids: Graco Blossom Booster Seat
Best for Babies: Bumbo Multi Seat with Tray
Best for Traveling: Inglesina Fast Table Chair
Best for Everyday Use: Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat
Best for Small Spaces: Fisher-Price Spacesaver High Chair
Best Easy to Clean: OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat with Straps
Best Toddler Booster Seat for Eating
Graco Blossom Booster Seat
The Graco Blossom Booster Seat is designed for a child that can sit up on their own (manufacturer recommends 20 pounds at least), up to 50 pounds. The reason that this chair is best for a toddler is because there is no tray that attaches to it, and it must be used with the kitchen table.
Even if your older baby can reach the table, the odds of them being able to eat without creating a huge mess are slim. Booster seats with removable trays are easier to clean when more food misses the mouth than hits it. This chair is pretty inexpensive. It’s super easy to clean – you can even put the whole seat into the dishwasher! Also, it is compatible with the Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System if you did buy that for your infant (you can also check it out on our best high chairs list).
What is not so great?
One thing to mention about this chair that isn’t favorable is the seat back. Since it can be adjusted to accommodate your growing baby, it does lean forward a bit, which prevents your toddler from being able to sit straight up or lean back. Also, if your child isn’t the right height to eat at the table, it will very difficult to use this booster seat until they grow.
Best Booster Highchair Seat for Babies
Bumbo Multi Seat with Tray
If you don’t already know the brand Bumbo, you should definitely check them out. The booster seat that they make for eating can be used on the floor, as a booster, or as a feeding chair. This Bumbo Multiseat booster seat is great for babies because not only does it provide adequate support if they are not 100% sitting up on their own, but the seat also has a foam pad that can be removed as your baby grows bigger.
There is a knock-off brand of the Bumbo (the Ingenuity 2 in 1 Baby Floor Seat) which is a little bit cheaper, but it is not as soft and it can sometimes tip over because the base is not as wide. The Bumbo comes in a variety of colors, and can adjust to grow with your child until 3 years of age. However, it will be a snug and uncomfortable for most toddlers. The price is okay, a little high in my opinion, but you do have a lot of versatility with this chair.
What is not so great?
Although the Bumbo does have straps to help it attach to a chair, it is a little unnerving for most parents because of the design of the chair in comparison to other square-based booster seats. Also, if your baby has chunky thighs, they may not be able to fit into the Bumbo very easily, and getting out can be a chore!
Best Cheap Booster Seat
Summer Infant Deluxe Comfort Folding Booster Seat
This chair is a bargain. It is a top seller at many retailers and it is made for babies 6 months up to 33 pounds. You will get a lot of use out of this chair as it will likely work even for a three-year-old. There are 2 height adjustments for a growing baby. This chair is great for traveling it is very compact and folds nearly flat. It could even be easily stored in your vehicle for eating at a friend’s house or a restaurant. The seat pad cover is so cute and machine washable and the tray is dishwasher safe (Yay!).
You can choose to use the seat without the tray which makes it a true booster for your toddler. To install the seat, you use the straps to secure it to a kitchen or dining chair. It attaches easily and securely to most dining chairs. Other than that, there really isn’t a whole lot to discuss about the Summer Infant Deluxe Comfort Folding Booster Seat.
What is not so great?
Unfortunately, the low price of this booster seat means that things aren’t high quality. The plastic is a bit flimsy and the fabric on the back of the chair comes off pretty easily. Some parents would prefer the tray to have a bit more space for cups in addition to toddler plates. Overall, while offering desirable features, this portable booster seat is extremely budget-friendly for most families. You’ll save so much money that you’ll be able to afford one of the Best Baby Food Makers from our review article!
Best Booster Seat for Everyday Use
Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat
I love the Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat for many reasons. The seat straps secure easily to most dining and kitchen chairs. It is fairly priced, right in the middle of most of the booster seats. The tray is dishwasher safe, and there are no crevices that can trap food. (Which drives me crazy! I have enough tiny spaces to scrub in my house!)
It is also helpful that you can remove the straps and wash them in the top rack of your dishwasher after they inevitably become sticky and covered with food. The tray is pretty cool. It just snaps on and off the seat, with 3 different settings (nearer or further from baby). It has a cup holder and it also has a snap-on tray that can keep the feeding tray clean. The booster seat comes in many colors and designs which is awesome. The plastic is sturdy, and the chair folds up and has a handle for easy traveling. It can be used for toddlers up to 50 pounds.
What is not so great?
The chair is not ideal for smaller babies because it doesn’t recline or provide much support. The booster may not hold large toddlers either. The size is probably not the greatest for larger toddlers, but using it with a tabletop instead of the tray is a possibility. Lastly, the tray is not the easiest to get on and off, but it is definitely not the hardest one that I have seen. (The one on the chair that I had was HORRIBLE!)
Best Booster Seat to Grow with Baby
Graco Swivi Booster
This Graco Swivi Seat 3-in-1 Booster chair is not like anything I have seen before. It fits tiny babies up to toddlers. It will likely work for your family from those early infant feedings until your baby becomes a toddler in need of a booster seat to eat at the table. This seat is truly a three-in-one option.
You can use it in the infant cradle recline then transition it to an infant booster. Lastly, it will work nicely as a simple booster seat without the tray when your toddler is ready to use the table. The infant position supports children up to forty pounds and the toddler booster works well for children up to fifty pounds. It reclines and has a 5 point as well as a 3 point harness to hold in little ones. There is also a plush head and body support that can be removed when they get older.
It is pretty expensive, but if it is the only chair you have to buy, then it’s really not that bad. The seat pad is machine washable and the tray has a dishwasher safe insert. The tray removes with only 1 hand, which can be a lifesaver if your hands are full or you have a squirmy baby.
What is my favorite part about this chair? It swivels to turn like a bar stool. Your baby can turn from one parent to the other, or to watch someone cooking in the kitchen. You won’t have to move the chair or anything! But if you do, it is relatively portable and moves easily from tabletop to chair.
What is not so great?
Unfortunately, nothing can be perfect. This chair is big. It is definitely not a space saver and it can’t be pushed under the table. It is smaller though than a traditional large highchair that you have to put next to the table. Also, since the chair is able to recline, it does lean forward a little bit when it is in the sitting up position. This isn’t super noticeable, but it is a problem. Plus with all the mechanics, there are a lot of little nooks and crannies, so cleaning is a real chore.
Best Booster Chair for Small Spaces
Fisher-Price Spacesaver High Chair
This booster seat is a little less expensive than the Graco Swivi chair but it does not swivel around. The Fisher Price Spacesaver High Chair does recline into 3 different positions and has 2 height adjustments. This chair has a machine washable pad that is spill and stain resistant. The tray can be removed with just one hand (Another yay!) and the chair can eventually be converted into a booster seat for up to 50 pound toddlers.
What is not so great?
This is not really as much of a space saver as you think. It still takes up a lot of space when it is used for infants, but it is less space than a large chair. The newer versions of this chair are not as high quality as the chairs that were made years ago. The plastic isn’t as sturdy, and the straps don’t seem to tighten up very easily and can get yucky. (But that is a problem with almost all chairs!)
Best Easy-to-Clean Booster
OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat with Straps
The OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat with Straps is a great booster option for a parent who wants a simple design for little ones from around 15 months and up to seventy pounds. It fits nicely on any grown-up chair and allows your child to sit perfectly at table height. To install this booster, you simply attach one set of straps attach around the back of the chair and the other set of straps goes under the bottom of the chair. This seat doesn’t have a tray, but is instead meant to be used with the tabletop. It is white, green, and blue and works for both boys and girls.
Conveniently, the three-point harness and adjustable straps are removable and can be stored under the cushioned seat once your child is old enough and no longer needs to be buckled.
I love that this booster collapses easily which makes it portable, compact, and easy to store. Parents love that the cushion lifts out and can be wiped clean from all the sticky messes that little ones tend to make. This is probably the easiest seat to clean, just like the high chairs on our Best Easy-to-Clean High Chairs list.
What is not so great?
One thing to keep in mind is that the straps do not go over your child’s shoulder. They only connect at the waist of your little one. Despite the lack of shoulder straps, this seat does offer good back support for your toddler. This booster’s dimensions are 12x 13.5 x 5 inches and the non-skid feet will keep it securely in place on many different types of adult dining chairs.
Parents did mention that you will need to use a traditional straight-back chair without much cushion or fabric for the straps to be sufficient.
I really like the sleek, simple, and neutral design that will go with most home designs. I also like the high back on this seat that offers good support for your little one.
Best Hook-on Booster Seat
Inglesina Fast Table Chair
The Inglesina Fast Table Chair gives you options. You can either secure the booster to a dining or kitchen chair or you can safely secure it to a counter or tabletop with a thickness up to 3.5″ (kind of like the high chairs that we reviewed in our Best Hook-On and Clip-On High Chairs article). You can choose to use the booster with or without the dishwasher-safe tray. The seat cushion is also removable and machine washable. You can feel comfortable using this seat for babies as young as six months old and up to thirty-seven pounds.
What’s not so great?
There isn’t a lot to complain about with this booster seat for the table. I think that this booster is also helpful when you are on the go with your little one. You can easily attach it to a table at a restaurant and fold it up for simple portability. I really like the 9 different color options to choose from.
If you need a booster seat that connects to a chair or countertop, this is a great choice for your family.
Best Travel Booster Seat
The First Years On the Go Booster Seat
If your baby is small or if you are a slight germophobe (or both!), you probably don’t want to go near the restaurant high chairs. They can be pretty sketchy to say the least. Bringing your own booster seat makes life a lot easier when eating out! That’s why The First Years On the Go Booster Seat is so amazing.
This booster seat is actually inflatable, so you can keep it in your car or even in your very large diaper bag until you’re ready to use it. When it’s time to use it, you just open the air valve and it will inflate into a full-size booster seat. This seat is up to 4 inches tall when fully inflated. While baby is sitting, they’ll have a three-point safety harness to keep them in place, while there is a bottom strap and back support strap that will secure this booster seat to the chair. Once baby is done eating, you just push down on the seat to deflate it, and then it zips up into a convenient carrying case. The case has a carrying handle and even a mesh pouch where you can keep plastic silverware and a bib for baby.
What’s not so great?
There are a couple of problems here. First, it does take some time to inflate, so you might get stuck with a impatient crying baby. Also cleaning this chair isn’t that great. The fabric stains and grabs onto spilled liquids easily. Plus, it’s kind of a crumb magnet. You’ll have to give it a thorough hand-washing at home periodically. Lastly, it being an inflatable and all, it isn’t the most secure booster chair, and is best suited for occasional use.
Best Compact Booster Seat
Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat
If you’re looking for a booster seat that folds down flat, the Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat is the one for you. With the push of a couple buttons, you can fold this booster seat down and carry it over your shoulder with the included strap. This is super convenient for traveling to restaurants and other people’s houses.
Use the double straps to secure this booster to any chair that’s at least 14″ wide, 14″ deep and 12″ high. When it comes to messes, this chair is super easy to clean. The price is reasonable and quite inexpensive compared to some other booster seats. From 6-36 months, your child can enjoy sitting in their own seat with adjustable tray wherever you go, whether that’s at the dinner table at home or somewhere else.
What’s not so great?
Some find it’s difficult to fold this chair up. Also, the white straps tend to get a little dingy, if that is something that would bother you. Other than that, we don’t see any other issues.
Best Booster Seat with Hidden Tray Storage
Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat
Tired of not having a good place to sit a tray when you’re getting your child in and out of a booster seat? With the Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat, you can slide the tray in the hidden storage compartment that’s on the bottom of the seat. This is a 2-in-1 seat because the inner portion can easily be removed and the chair can convert to a toddler seat for older children.
A 3-point harness keeps your baby safe and secure. Double straps connect the booster seat to a table chair or you may choose to place this seat straight on the ground. Once your child is done eating, simply wipe the tray clean or toss it into the dishwasher. Choose from 7 different booster seat colors. For parents who enjoy the classic Bumbo seats, the Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat is said to be even better than that!
What’s not so great?
There may be an issue with getting crumbs and little bits of food stuck between the crevices of this booster seat. You may not feel like the chair is ever completely clean if this is the case.
Comparing Booster Seats for Eating
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
|Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Seat||$$$$||3.9||10.0|
|Bumbo Multi Seat with Tray||$$$$||9.9||9.4|
|OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat with Straps||$$||9.9||9.4|
|Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat||$$||9.9||9.6|
|The First Years On the Go Booster Seat||$$||9.8||8.8|
|Summer Infant Deluxe Comfort Folding Booster Seat||$$||9.9||8.6|
|Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat||9.9||9.6|
|Graco Blossom Booster Seat||9.1||9.4|
|Inglesina Fast Table Chair||9.9||9.6|
|Fisher-Price Spacesaver High Chair||9.2||9.4|
|Graco Swivi Booster||9.3||9.6|
Why Use a Booster Seat Instead of a High Chair?
Booster seats have some pretty great benefits. Here’s a quick list to help convince you:
- Booster seats are space saving when compared to high chairs
- Booster seats are cheaper than high chairs
- Booster seats give older kids a chance to practice table manners and etiquette
- Booster seats keep babies feeling like part of the family during meal time
- Booster seats are great for travel or restaurant use
- Booster seats are a safe place for babies to eat so they don’t get hurt
- Booster seats keep wiggly toddlers in place so that they can focus on eating
- Booster seats can oftentimes double as an activity seat or chair
What to Look For in a Booster Seat
Shopping for a booster seat is just like shopping for a high chair. Here are the main features that you need to watch out for when making your purchase decision.
Above all, you want your booster seat to be safe. Make sure that it has at least one strap, but preferably two straps, that secure the booster seat to the actual chair. Look for a 3 or 5 point safety harness to keep your little one secured tightly. Also, make sure that the tray can’t be moved by baby because you don’t want them pinching their little curious fingers!
Size and Style
Booster seats come in a lot of different styles and sizes. Here are the three most common options:
- High chair booster seat: attaches to a chair and looks just like a high chair (has tray, chair pad, and all)
- Booster chair: like a smaller high chair, but usually with a shorter back and smaller tray
- Booster seat: just a simple seat with buckle, usually has no tray and a short or nonexistent back
If you have lots of space, you’ll probably like the comfort and larger size of a high chair booster seat. If space is an issue, opt for a booster seat. In general, high chair booster seats work well for younger toddlers, while booster seats are the best for toddlers eating at the table like a big kid.
So your little one is outgrowing the highchair and is now ready to join the rest of the family at the table for a meal. This is a big step in your baby’s little life. It offers the opportunity for your little one to interact more, learn table manners, begin using age-appropriate flatware, and join in on the conversation at the table. A booster seat may also help the parents keep their little one securely seated so everyone gets a chance to eat.
These chairs are good for their various benefits. We included several different options including boosters that collapse to nearly flat for easy transport and others that will transition with your baby as he grows into a toddler.
For my new little one, I am going to use the Graco Swivi. I really wish I had known about it when my son was smaller- it’s my top choice on our Best Booster Seat for Eating at the Table list. Now that he is almost 2, I got him the Graco Blossom because he needs more space to spread out his food than a tray will provide. (Gotta love toddlers!)
I hope that this article helps you find the best chair for your kiddo and you don’t end up with a dud!