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A toddler booster seat or booster chair is one of those baby gear essentials you may not think you need right away … until all of a sudden, you do. Eventually, your hungry (and let’s be real, sometimes picky) little bugger will be joining you at the dining table. That means they’re graduating from high chairs and will probably start eating off of real plates now (which means they can help with the dishes, so get that toddler step stool ready too!). But until they can reach their plate while sitting in a “grown-up” chair, they’ll need a booster seat to give them — you know — a boost. And we’re not talking about booster car seats, of course (although, these have buckles, too). We’re talking about the kind you keep in the kitchen to put atop your dining room chairs so you can see more than your kid’s eyeballs when they sit down to eat dinner.
And if you didn’t know, booster seats come in handy for multiple reasons. They’re often the next step for kids who are too big for baby bouncers and high chairs but are still too small for a regular chair. Many can be used for younger children, too: Bring a portable booster seat to restaurants or on vacation to keep your wiggly toddler contained at the tabletop (and avoid those icky restaurant high chair germs). Or, use one in lieu of a bulky high chair at home or while visiting Grandma’s house. In fact, you can even find multitasking options that pack up for travel or go from floor seat to booster and back again. Clever!
So to save you time scouring Amazon, Walmart, and the like, we’ve done the research for you. Below, check out the best booster seats to bring to the table, no matter where you are.
Best Sleek-Looking Booster Seats
If filling your dining room with primary colors isn’t your thing, the understated OXO Tot Nest Booster is just the ticket. It consists of a white base and a removable cushion that comes in four sophisticated colors (gray, taupe, pink, and navy) to go with the rest of your decor. The durable exterior allows for effortless clean-up with the swipe of a sponge, and it’s BPA, phthalate, and PVC-free for your peace of mind. It’s also equipped with no-slip feet and interior buckles to ensure that everything — and everyone — stays in place. It’s got a 4.9 out of 5 on Amazon, meaning that parents are obsessed. “Holy cow, this chair is RIDICULOUSLY easy to clean!” one raved.
This isn’t your typical booster seat. If your little one is already well-behaved and has mastered sitting properly in a chair, then this booster “seat” from KABOOST is a great alternative. Instead of having the booster seat sit on top of the chair, this style goes under the legs of the chair. This allows your well-behaved little one to keep their independence and feel like they’re just like everyone else sitting at the table while getting the slight boost they need to reach the table. With over 3,300 reviews on Amazon, it’s clear customers love this new style of booster seat. “It’s not just for babies, I guess!” one customer noted. “My barstools are just too short for my 5′ 3″ self. My shoulders would hunch while typing on my laptop and I’d end up sitting on the couch before the day is over. I tried sitting on chair cushions and pillows and nothing was comfortable for long periods. Off I went to Amazon to find a solution. Kaboost gave me the idea to raise the legs and not the seat. Eureka! It works great!“
Proof that booster seats don’t have to be tacky. Featuring clean lines, three tones of polished wood, and three different cushion patterns worthy of your favorite wallpaper, there’s a MOD booster seat for trendy moms everywhere. But of course, it offers more than just good looks: It’s made with durable materials that can be cleaned with a damp cloth and has side cutouts so it can easily be carried from room to room or your favorite restaurant (it weighs just over 5 pounds). Most importantly, it’s equipped with bottom and side buckles so it stays securely attached to any backed chair, as well as a 3-point lap buckle to keep fidgety kiddos in place. This sleek seat can accommodate children up to 50 pounds so they can sit up high with the rest of the family — and look good while doing it. After all, it’s never too early to start dining in style.
Best Booster Seats on a Budget
This booster seat from Prince Lionheart is top-rated on Amazon for being comfortable, waterproof, and scratch-resistant. Among the 6,000+ Amazon reviews, one happy customer said, “This booster seat quickly and easily secured to my kitchen chair. The blue/green padding for LOs bottom is soft enough to provide comfort yet durable enough to withstand food, drinks, and forks 🙂 Cleans well with a warm cloth. I am able to use with the seat safety straps or without .”
Lugging around a bulky booster seat while traveling can be a big headache. Nuby’s Easy Go booster seat is lightweight and folds into the shape of a briefcase for easy storage. Clean-up is a breeze, thanks to the water-resistant nylon fabric. Many parents state it’s great for travel, with one saying, “I used this for a trip with my 14-month-old and it was perfect. We rented an Air BnB knowing there wouldn’t be a high chair in the unit and this was perfect! You strap it to the chair and strap your baby in and [you’re] good to go!”
This Amazon best-selling product proves that sometimes, the simplest solutions are best. This square grey and white cushioned booster is ideal for bigger kids that just need a little lift. It comes with straps to prevent it from slipping off the chair (just note, there’s no lap belt) and has a PU leather-like cover that can be wiped down in seconds flat. It’s also super lightweight so it can be easily moved from here to there — heck, you can even get one for your home office chair, which some Amazon reviewers can speak to! Shares a customer, “This is exactly what I needed. This is my 3rd child, and he really doesn't like anything that separates him from my older kids- he likes things that make him feel like everyone else- no bars between the legs or trays etc. He started using this at 18 months and it's perfect.”
Best Portable Booster Seats
One of the coolest aspects of this First Years booster is the fact that it inflates by itself. It’s also a safe option, with a safety belt included that has a "T-restraint". Great for kids who are nine months and older, the fact that this option is so lightweight makes it a hit with parents who often have to travel. “We took it with us to a restaurant last night and it fit into the wooden highchair they had which was just a hair too big for him so it worked great,” one grandparent on Amazon said. “Really pleased with this. And with another grandson on his way in the next week, this will come in handy when they come for dinner.”
The Munchkin Travel Booster Seat is another extremely packable option to grab and go. Unlike The First Years version, it’s not inflatable; instead, the base is a sturdy frame that’s hollow so you can stash bottles, snacks, pacifiers … you know the drill. Other travel-friendly features we love include a fold-up design that zips closed and a strap that can be slung over your shoulder for when you don’t have a free hand. Of course, it also offers the safety of chair straps and a lap belt, just like a stationary booster. After purchasing this seat to take on vacation, one buyer says, “I think my favorites things are (1) the hard bottom seat and (2) the storage inside the seat. I didn’t even bring a diaper bag on this trip and I fit my wallet, a change of clothes, 6 diapers, a pack of wipes and 2 snack cracker bags.”
Best Multitasking Booster Seats
This multitasker can grow with your child. Doubling as a floor seat and booster seat, the Ingenuity is suitable for little ones from 6 months to 4 years old. Equipped with a 3-point safety harness, it also comes with a removable tray and backrest so it can be used as a spot for playtime or snacks, or disassembled to become a booster at the dinner table. And when the tray isn’t in use, it slides underneath the seat for clutter-free storage and easy access for when you need it again. How genius is that? One Amazon fan says, “We live in an apartment so our space is limited. This is a space saver as it can be placed on a chair. My daughter is 6 months and when I sit her in this chair, she gets extremely excited. She loves sitting up and when I am in the kitchen I strap the seat to the chair and she is able to be by my side.”
Now here’s some bang for your buck. This Infantino booster seat is THREE baby essentials in one! Pop on the activity tray and your little one will be entertained with interactive lights, sounds, buttons, and more. Then, the activity panels slide aside, uncovering an empty tray for snack time. Or, you can take the tray off altogether and use it as a booster seat at the table (note that it also has belts to secure it to a chair as well as a 3-point harness). While this booster caters to a younger crowd — the weight limit is 33 pounds — the amount of use you’ll get out of it will certainly give you your money’s worth. Parents also say it’s relatively simple to assemble, with one Amazon reviewer saying, “Just unboxed it and it took all of maybe 5 minutes to put together. Both my 4-month-old and 4-year-old seem to LOVE it.”
Baby Einstein is a brand that plenty of parents trust — which is why it’s no wonder that their booster is so popular. With 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this booster prominently features the characters Tinker the Tiger & Zen the Zebra, which will help keep little ones occupied during dinner time. It’s also a safe option, utilizing a 3-point harness. With the ability to support around 50 pounds, this booster can follow them into toddlerhood.
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