Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding (or a mixture of both), reading your little one a story or attempting to rock them back to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, a nursing chair is a great place to do all three in comfort.
While not a necessity when it comes to furnishing a nursery, having a comfortable place to sit every day can make such a difference – especially in those early months when the chance to grab a moment’s respite is in short supply.
When looking for a nursing chair there are plenty of options to consider, including ergonomic and practical styles that have been specifically designed to provide lumbar or arm support.
It’s also worth considering whether you’d prefer a rocking chair, which makes soothing restless newborns a whole lot easier, or if a fixed position armchair that doesn’t sacrifice on style is more beneficial. Then there are those that come with additional footstools, giving weary parents a chance to stretch out their legs, put their feet up and recharge their batteries (even if only for a jiffy).
Whichever style you opt for, nursing chairs typically don’t come cheap, so it’s a good idea to think about the longevity of your choice and the other ways it can be used in the future. Could it double up as a cosy space to read once your baby becomes a toddler? Or perhaps it looks so good it could be placed in any room of the house?
How we tested
To help you find the right chair for you and your newborn, we put a number of different options to the test, taking into consideration price, comfort, style, support and durability. We’ve included a range of chairs, including rocking and static styles, and gave extra points to those with bonus accessories and practical features.
The best nursing chairs for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Mamas and Papas Hilston nursing chair and footstool: £729, Mamasandpapas.com
- Best versatile nursing chair – Tutti Bambini Noah rocking chair and pouffe set: £449, Tuttibambini.com
- Best large nursing chair – Gaia Baby Serena rocking and nursing chair: £449.99, Gaia-baby.com
- Best for back support – Ickle Bubba Eden deluxe nursery chair and stool, pearl grey: £399, Icklebubba.com
- Best static armchair – Dunelm Eddie sandstone Sherpa tub chair: £199, Dunelm.com
- Best for all interior styles – Obaby round back rocking chair: £319.99, Obaby.co.uk
- Best for smaller rooms – Next Alix natural nursing rocking chair: £450, Next.co.uk
- Best for style – Homebase Sophia scallop occasional chair: £120, Homebase.co.uk
- Best budget chair – Ikea Poang: £75, Ikea.com
Mamas and Papas Hilston nursing chair and footstool
Bridging the gap between style and practicality, the Mamas and Papas Hilston nursing chair is by far one of the most aesthetically pleasing we’ve come across, especially if you choose it in the fabric of the moment – off-white boucle. Designed with a modern look, it has an ergonomic shape that left our back feeling well supported, while its cushioned arms are positioned at an optimum height for improved comfort during feeds so you can say goodbye to soreness and cramps.
The thick foam cushions of the chair feel firm yet manage to sculpt to your body so you can feel relaxed without sacrificing your posture and we loved the rocking motion, which feels smooth and gentle thanks to the chair’s sturdy solid oak legs. Available in five fabric and colour choices, which all feel soft and luxurious, we also appreciated that the chair comes with a reversible cushion that can be simply removed for quick and easy cleaning should you have any accidents, which, let’s face it, are inevitable with a newborn.
If you’re looking to put your feet up while feeding or soothing your baby, be sure to snap up the matching footstool, which can be purchased as part of the bundle or an optional extra (£199, Mamasandpapas.com) if you want to add it at a later time. Seriously chic and effective, this chair will serve you well beyond the baby years and looks just as at home in any other room as it will in your nursery. So, while it is certainly an investment, we think it’s one that’s sure to stand the test of time.
Tutti Bambini Noah rocking chair and pouffe set
Best: Versatile nursing chair
Tutti Bambini’s Noah chair is one of the most versatile and practical options on this list. It’s brimming with features that not only mean it will take the strain out of comforting your little one for long periods of time, but will likely become a prime feature of any room in your home once they’re fully grown.
With a minimalistic and elegant design, it looks the part for sure, coming in a choice of two muted colours – stone or pebble. Aside from its good looks, it has been designed primarily with new parents in mind. It boasts an ergonomic shape for full back support, comfortable curved armrests that won’t leave you aching and Scotchguarded fabric that means it’s protected from pretty much any kind of spill and can be spot cleaned where necessary.
Its advantages don’t stop there, though. We loved that the chair also comes with a choice of either rocking bars (which deliver a nice, relaxing motion) or oak legs, so you can convert it into a statement static armchair when you’re ready. You can choose to buy the chair as part of a set with a pouffe included, or pick up the footstool separately (£90, Tuttibambini.com) – either way, we’d highly recommend it so you can make the most out of putting your feet up during bonding time. Made from soft knitted cotton, the pouffe has a real cosy feel to it and the best part is that the cover is removable and can be chucked in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.
Gaia Baby Serena rocking and nursing chair
Best: Large nursing chair
If you’re looking for a cavernous chair that can become part of your family’s life for many years to come, this is the one for you. The large seat base is big enough that you can sit with your legs crossed or have your little one beside you once they’ve grown for cosy bedtime reading sessions. Of course, its bulkiness does mean that it’s best-suited to those with more space, so that’s something to keep in mind.
In terms of design, the chair is classically minimalist with a square shape that lends itself well to comfortable sitting. The armrests are fairly low compared to other styles we tried, which helps keep your shoulders relaxed, and we liked that the chair comes with a removable cushion, which you can use to prop underneath your arms should they start to feel heavy or for additional lumbar support.
The legs have a Scandi-inspired look to them and are made from natural birch wood, which feels high quality and allows you to sit back with a smooth rocking motion that’s ideal for relaxing. We also appreciated that the cushion covers are removable and washable.
There are a number of colourways up for grabs, from neutral tones to ochre and ocean blue. There’s also the option to buy a coordinating ottoman (£129.99, Gaia-baby.com) that not only acts as a handy footstool but also offers storage for things such as books or feeding accessories thanks to its liftable lid.
Ickle Bubba Eden deluxe nursery chair and stool
Best: For back support
This chair is a great supportive option for anyone with back issues as it has a high back and firm seat, as well as an additional cushion for extra lumbar support when needed. Sturdy yet comfortable, it has a sleek design, meaning it will fit in well with most nursery styles or other rooms in the house when the time comes, and a spacious seat that makes even long periods of sitting a breeze.
Available in three colours – pearl grey, charcoal grey and ochre – there’s an option for lovers of both minimalist and maximalist design. And while the woven fabric feels soft against naked skin it’s durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear.
As a rocking chair, it features solid pine legs that not only offer a nice contrast to the main seat but also provide a temperate gliding motion that’s ideal for soothing your little one to sleep and helping you unwind at the same time. The chair also comes with a stool that’s upholstered in matching fabric and we liked that the cushion is detachable, meaning it can be cleaned easily if someone forgets to take their shoes off beforehand.
Dunelm Eddie sandstone Sherpa tub chair
Best: Static armchair
If you love the look of the Mamas and Papas hilston (£729, Mamasandpapas.com) but aren’t wedded to the idea of a rocking chair, this static option from Dunelm is a great alternative and, even better, comes at a fraction of the price.
With a classic tub chair design, it feels nice and roomy to sit in without taking up too much floor space and we love the cream-coloured boucle fabric that feels soft yet hardwearing and promises to give any room in your home a modern and inviting look. The back cushion sits at a nice level, delivering great lumbar support and, despite its downy appearance, we were surprised at just how firm the base cushion feels. While we found this benefitted us when sitting for long periods of time, it’s something to consider if you prefer a softer seat. We also really liked the slender solid wood legs, which are a nice touch, and that the chair can be used anywhere in the home once the little ones are grown up.
Obaby round back rocking chair
Best: For all interior styles
With white rocking legs and soft neutral cushions – pick between creamy oatmeal or soft grey – this nursing chair will look right at home in most interiors. Made with a sturdy solid wood frame, the build quality feels great, while the thick foam seat and curved back cushioning provide all round comfort.
We loved the wide seat on Obaby’s chair, which allows for plenty of space for you to snuggle up with your little one, even as they continue to grow. The rocking bars mean you sit fairly low to the ground and provide a smooth, rocking motion that’s not only great for baby but also for the parent when they’re in need of some “me” time, sitting with a book and a cup of tea. We also like up-to-date design, which features stylish arrow shaping on the back cushion and a soft yet durable weaved upholstery that promises to look fresh for years to come.
Next Alix natural nursing rocking chair
Best: For smaller rooms
Next’s Alix chair is one of the more compact and nifty rocking styles that we’ve come across, making it a great option for those who are a bit short on space. Designed specifically with nurseries in mind, the chair has been built for your comfort with a firm round back cushion that delivers a nice seated position and supportive armrests that sit at just the right height for feeding.
Upholstered in a wool blend fabric that looks luxurious and feels heavy-duty, it comes in a cool grey colour that gives it a classy and elegant appearance and would look great in any baby room. One particular aspect that really stood out for us with this one is the solid oak rocking frame, as it features stoppers that not only ensure just the right level of motion but make transitioning from seated to standing easy. Although it doesn’t come with a footstool included, you can pick up a coordinating one for an extra cost (£150, Next.com).
Homebase Sophia scallop occasional chair
Best: For style
While your nursing chair needs to be practical, you shouldn’t have to compromise on style, which is where this trendy option comes in. One of the best looking chairs in this round-up, it’s probably no surprise that it isn’t sold as a nursing chair per se, but don’t let that put you off – sure, it’s a lovely piece of eye candy but it has the added bonus of being a joy to sit in, too.
Ideal for making a big impact, the chair mixes mid-century styling with understated glamour thanks to its scallop back, tapered brass legs and rich velvet materials, which come in a choice of seven colours, from blush pink and duck egg blue to grey and teal. Style aside, the chair is surprisingly comfortable with a firm seat, supportive winged back and delightfully relaxed arms that we found made it a pleasure to sit in.
Best: Budget chair
By far the cheapest of our selection, Ikea’s Poang chair – which has been sold in stores for more than forty years – might not be a purpose-designed nursing chair, but it’s become a popular choice among many new parents, and for good reason. In true Ikea style, it’s fairly no-frills in terms of looks with a simple oak frame but there is an array of hues and patterns to choose from when it comes to the cushions, which are removable and machine-washable.
Featuring a super high back, the chair gives ample support and, while the cushions aren’t overly padded, they’re soft enough that you’re able to get in a comfortable position when bonding with your little one. The legs are particularly unique on this chair too, as it sits on a frame that can be gently bounced, which is ideal for helping to soothe fussy babies. There’s also a footstool (£45, Ikea.com) available in the Poang range, as well as replacement cushions (£25, Ikea.com) should you experience any stains or spills that the washing machine can’t banish.
The verdict: Nursing chairs
The Mamas and Papas Hilston nursing chair gets our top spot for its incredible comfort, relaxing motion and high-quality build. Plus, it exudes style, which is always a bonus and means that it can be easily integrated into any style of nursery.
We also have to give special mention to Tutti Bambini’s Noah for the fact it comes with interchangeable legs – a smart feature for those looking to futureproof their purchase. If you’re on the hunt for something more affordable though, and having a rocking chair isn’t high on your list of priorities, Dunelm’s Sherpa tub chair is a great alternative that looks the part and won’t break the bank.
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