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. 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 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 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.
“I wish we bought this sooner,” one customer says. “I baulked at the price and made the mistake of spending less on a booster seat that I ended up giving away. I love that this seat attaches to any chair and lets your child eat with you at any height table. There is no tray so they can pull up right to the table with you. The clean up is breeze. If it gets realllly dirty you can wash the entire thing the sink. Absolutely love this high chair seat and recommend it to everyone.”
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 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 Walmart budget pick doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but if an easy-clean booster at a low price is what you’re after, it does the job flawlessly. Available in four adorable animal options, this Fisher-Price seat comes with chair straps and a 3-point buckle. And since it’s made of plastic, it might be the easiest booster to clean, ever … you could even take it outside and hose it down if you needed to (and you know you will eventually). It’s also easy to move around, thanks to its lightweight construction and an easy-carry handle.
Customers are pleased with this affordable product, giving it an average of 4.8 stars. “Perfect in every way,” says a Walmart reviewer. “Easy to move to different chairs or put away when not needed. It keeps our grandson seated for meals.”
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 of the chair is a breeze thanks for the water-resistant nylon fabric.
“Great booster with straps for everyday use, not just travel,” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “Although this is marketed as a travel booster seat, we found that it is the perfect solution for everyday use for us. It was easy to strap on to the chair, and adjusting the waist straps was simple but they hold tight. The best part is that it easily slides under the table when attached to the chair, instead of forcing the chair to be sticking out from the table. It also cleans up easily with a damp cloth.“
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, “I have gone through 3 booster seats …. fancy ones … and this … this is the best! It is easy to clean and my toddler loves it. It is safer for her to climb up and down on than the actual booster seats too. I am very happy with this and will get another one when my other baby gets older!”
Best Portable Booster Seats
The First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat is as portable as it gets. This clever seat is self-inflatable (!) thanks to an easy-to-use valve, which also makes the height adjustable up to 4 inches. When it’s time to head out, simply let out the air and fold it up — it becomes its own little carry case complete with a handle and mesh pocket. And despite it’s travel-friendliness, it has all the features you’d want in any other booster seat like easy-clean fabric and a seatbelt for security. Suitable for babies ages 9 months and up, this is an absolute essential if you’re traveling with your little one, even if it’s just to Grandma’s house.
Says a reviewer, “Got this for my 2-year-old son who is between 25-30 lbs for an upcoming trip to Europe where high chairs aren’t always available. I am so pleased I have found this! Lightweight and so much more compact than other (stable) portable booster seats that I have tried.”
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 back rest 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, “I truly love this chair! My baby is now 9 months old, and she’s been using this since she was only 4 months. There’s an insert that you can use while the baby needs an extra boost and when they’re bigger, you can take it out. I have a big baby, 99% height and weight and this seat is going to last her a long time.”
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.
“This item is amazing,” a reviewer raves. “It’s a perfect size for my almost 5-month-old daughter. She is entertained by the lights, music and plastic winding gears. She loves spinning them around while playing music. It’s easy to put together, and it’s compact for easy travel. I highly recommend this item to parents.”