October 11, 2004

Totally Decent IKEA High Chairs

ikea_highchair.jpgFor someone who doesn't live within the gravitational pull of an IKEA, visiting the store can be an epiphany. Sometimes, it can even break through your own IKEA fatigue and cause you to take a fresh look at the stuff you've blocked out of your mind. This happened when my mother came to town, and I had to return some unnecessary metal bracket we didn't use for a spice rack.

There are two totally pared down, goodlooking highchairs, each of which costs less than the cushion set of a Stokke Kinderzeat. (Which we just got. And love, don't get me wrong, but I'm just saying...) Now Grandma has one, and Grammy has the other.

First is the Antilop, which is available online with white legs (for $12.99!), but looks better with the instore-only silver legs (only two bucks more, $14.99). This is also the high chair in the IKEA cafe. The other is the Gulliver ($39.99, in stores), made of beech and beech ply. Both chairs can take trays, but I think they work just as well when they're pulled up to the table. And when the kid outgrows them, you can put the chairs on the curb, where a weird, trenchcoated Swede will mock them

Related: Where all the vintage Kinderzeats at? [dt]
Vintage (seriously) IKEA High Chair [dt]
The Spike Jonze ad that almost makes Ikea cool [Slate]


My wife and I bought a similar $20 IKEA high chair with a matching $10(+ or -) seat cushion as part of a number of purchases to offset the Bugaboo purchase (oh how we justify that stroller).

We were later given a large, $80 do-everything-you-could-want Fisher Price highchair as a gift from my wife's office. We tested both on our son at around 5 months and he was more comfortable in the cheap simple IKEA model and very unhappy (pissed and screaming) in the cushy Fisher Price.

My guess is it had someting to do with the infant car seat-like trappings of the Fisher Price versus the more open upright IKEA model. He's a little over 8 months now and is officially settled into the cheapo IKEA model. I tried the Fisher Price out one more time 2 weekends ago and got similiar results from the last time he sat in it. That said, it will be a steal at our garage sale.

One other benefit to the IKEA one: if you ever take your child with you on an IKEA outing and choose to eat at their cafeteria, the high chairs available for you to use are the cheap ones they sell. My kid doesn't have to adjust to something new. Plus, the small footprint is ideal for our cramped space.

Sad news, folks, the Ikea Antilop high chair has been discontinued, according to the Ikea person who replied to my online order of 2 of them.
PS- their online shopping experience really is like going back in time to 1996. See epinions.com for more data.

My home in Savannah is about 600 miles from the nearest Ikea. On a business trip to Minneapolis, I scored 2 Antilops with silver legs and trays (so evidently they are not totally out of stock, if they have been discontinued) at the local Ikea, which is conveniently located near the airport and the giant shopping vortex which is the Mall of America. A quick trip to the UPS store to ship home (no way am I going to try to get that stuff on the plane as checked luggage, Ashcroft would have me indicted for smuggling SAM launchers, or something), and I am $100 lighter (2 chairs+trays = $40 + $60 packing and shipping (the legs make them oversize)).
But they go great with our modern dining room furniture and they have an added bonus: they are totally smooth, white plastic. This makes cleaning up really easy. I can't imagine having one of those giant, plushy, plaid, Fisher-Price Barcalounger-style chairs, how would you clean out all the spinach goo and cheerios? Car seats are bad enough!

My husband and I are heading to Ikea tomorrow. I checked their website and it looks like its available here in DC. We were checking out the highchairs at buybuybaby today, and I don't understand why 80% of the chushy ones had ruffles. What is up with ruffles on plastic upholstery? Thanks for the tip. K

I've seen these chairs at the Ikea in Belgium. Finally, a reason to visit Belgium.

I've seen these chairs at the Ikea in Belgium. Finally, a reason to visit Belgium.

You said the gullivar takes a tray? We just bought this highchair and it is too tall to fit under our table. Does the antilop tray fit on the gullivar? tia

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