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Chairs for Children Who Need Positioning Support

Image of Lime Green Stokke Tripp Trapp ChairIf you read GearAbility regularly, you know that it’s an article of faith around here that adaptive equipment doesn’t always have to be specifically designed for the medical consumer. Today’s case in point is Stokke’s Tripp Trapp chair, a sleek, modern chair designed to fit people from babyhood up through teens. (And beyond, if you’re a small adult.)

The Tripp Trapp it is a beautiful, well-designed piece of furniture with a reputation for durability. Both the footplate and the seat adjust up and down the legs to allow a custom fit for whichever child is using it, making it a good choice for many positioning requirements. It’s meant to fit under regular dining tables and counters as a kid-friendly dining chair in almost any house.

The Tripp Trapp isn’t cheap at about $200 [USD] (plus another $40 [USD] or so for the baby rail, if you need it). On the other hand, if eBay’s any indication, resale value is high; if yours is well-cared-for, you might be able to recoup much of the expense when it’s no longer needed.

Image of a Special Tomato Adaptive ChairAn equivalent adaptive model is made by Special Tomato. The “Height Right” chair isn’t as attractive as the Tripp Trapp, and the framing looks a bit jerry-rigged to me. I think I’d be more likely to trust the time-tested Stokke design. Special Tomato does offer a wooden tray, though, which could be useful for extra support in some circumstances.

The Height Right sells for around $170 [USD], the tray for a whopping $83 [USD]. Stokke doesn’t offer a tray; if that’s what’s needed for optimal support, then the Special Tomato is the way to go.

You’ll be able to buy the Stokke at upscale children’s stores; the Special Tomato will almost certainly require ordering from a supply house like Sammons Preston; shipping fees are likely to increase the cost substantially.