When it comes to being a parent, the safety of your child is your number one priority. That’s why you need a great baby gate!
Without a quality baby gate, there’s nothing protecting your precious and precocious little one from the stairs, stove, and any number of household hazards. Unfortunately, finding the best baby gates and choosing the right one is easier said than done.
In fact, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than four million young children suffered injuries from baby gates in 2014. The good news is, we’ve done our homework so you don’t have to.
From in-depth research to hands on testing, we’ve put in the hours to develop the most thorough baby gate reviews and guide around. Keep reading to learn all about baby gates and discover some of the best options on the market today!
Our Top Recommended Baby Gates
Baby gates are far from child’s play. Whether you’re shopping for the best safety gate for stairs, an extra long baby gate, or a pet-friendly baby gate with door, you’ll soon discover there are dozens of different varieties with their own pros and cons.
To help you narrow down your list of options, you’ll need to know a little about baby gates and the different types available.
While there are plastic, metal, and wooden baby gates, the gates themselves are classified according to their installation, not their materials. So, with that in mind, here are the three primary types of baby and pet gates being made today:
Hardware-Mounted Baby Gates
If you’re searching for the best baby gates for stairs, you’ll want to go with a hardware-mounted baby gate that securely attaches to the walls for a rock-solid fit. These types of baby gates utilize brackets that allow you to screw and attach them to the framing of walls to keep them securely in place.
Pressure-Mounted Baby Gates
Although a pressure-mounted baby gate or mesh baby gate isn’t the best baby gate for bottom of stairs, or the top for that matter, its versatility and ease of use makes it a popular option for many modern parents. These popular child safety gates use expandable springs to lock in place between two walls or vertical surfaces. Rather than screwing in place, they utilize pressure. This makes them much more portable.
Free-Standing Baby Gates
From tall baby gates to long baby gates, free-standing baby gates provide the best of both worlds and are a great option for large rooms and keeping little ones in small, defined spaces. Also called a circle baby gate, this type of baby gate can expand up to 150 inches or more for maximum versatility indoors and out.
Best Baby Gates Reviews
There are several terrific baby gates worth a second look, but this Regalo baby gate has thousands of rave reviews and is dollar for dollar one of the best options around.
The affordable pressure-mounted gate is fully adjustable and expands from 29-39 inches to suit a variety of doorways, hallways, and stairways. It also features a durable steel design, wall mounts for extra security, walk-through door, safety lock feature, and a lever-style handle with a one-touch release function not found on baby gates costing two or three times as much.
It’s also easy to setup. There are no tools required for assembly, and once it’s setup, you can just use the toddler-proof handle to open it up and walk right through!
When you add it all up, the Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate is at the top of the class. If you’re searching for an affordable and convenient baby gate with a rock-solid reputation and a ton of positive baby gate reviews, look no further.
•Height – 30 inches
•Width – 38.5 inches
•Weight – 18.6 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•One-hand safety lock
•Pressure Mounting spindle rods
•Six-inch extension kit
The Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate is arguably the best child safety gate your hard-earned money can buy. While its pressure-mounted design makes it a little less sturdy than hardware-mounted models, it comes with additional wall mounts and offers portability and convenience that’s second to none.
The Munchkin Easy Close Metal Baby Gate is another great safety gate designed to make life easier. As one of today’s best child gates, it has a simple and straightforward locking mechanism with zero fiddling required. Simply release the handle with a nice little push and the gate locks shut. This Munchkin gate also has not one but two bottom locks for greater security and control.
Ideal for halls, doorways, and stairways, it stands 29.5 inches tall and features an adjustable width of up to 35 inches. It also comes with a 2.75-inch extension for wider spaces, and additional extensions are available as well.
Like the Regalo, this Munchkin is also pressure-fit for ease of installation and use. However, wall cup mounts are included, allowing you to secure it to walls for added security. It’s also ASTM and JPMA certified and comes with a one-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.
•Height – 32 inches
•Width – 30 inches
•Weight – 13.7 pounds
•Warranty – One year limited
•Self-closing gravity-fed hinge ramp
•Wall cups and optional hardware included
•One-year limited warranty
The Munchkin Easy Close Metal Baby Gate is uber convenient and cute as can be. Designed for hallways, doorways, stairways, and more, it makes a perfect addition to any home with little ones running or crawling about.
If you’ve been searching through baby gate reviews for an extra-long gate for large openings, the North States Supergate may be for you.
Featuring a durable and good looking powder coated metal construction, this wall-mounted North States gate easily adjusts to securely fit doorways up to 72 inches in width, making it one of the widest baby gates on the market today. Meanwhile, its 30-inch height is perfect for most children four and under.
For added security and convenience, it also comes equipped with a dual-locking system and a swinging walk-through panel with a proprietary stay-open function. Plus, it looks great! With a stylish matte bronze finish, it’s designed to complement any décor.
Still not convinced? Don’t worry, we saved the best feature for last. Unlike many other baby gates, it swings open from both ends, allowing you to remove it from the hardware brackets and swing it open when not in use.
With so much to offer and a mountain of great baby gate reviews as well, the North States Supergate is without a doubt one of the top baby gates for large openings being made today.
•Height – 32.5 inches
•Width – 38.3-72 inches
•Weight – 10.59 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•Heavy-duty metal construction w/matte bronze finish
•Hardware mounting system
•Extra-wide swinging walk-through door
•Upper and lower wall mounts
•Optional 15-inch extension
Unlike most baby gates, which only extend up to 40 inches or so, the North States Supergate Deluxe Décor Gate easily extends up to 72 inches. With a durable metal construction and matte bronze finish, it’s durable and looks great as well. When you factor in all of the gate’s other great design details, it’s the perfect baby gate for anyone looking to cordon off a large opening or space.
The Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate is a wonderfully versatile baby gate for use in kitchens, bedrooms, playrooms, hallways, doorways, bottom of the stairs, and more. In addition to expanding up to an impressive 60 inches, it features a convenient pressure-mounted design for easy, tool-free installation and maximum portability.
It’s pressure-mounted design also means there’s no need to drill holes into walls and damage your home. With non-marring rubber bumpers as well, you can put it up and take it down anywhere without worrying about scuffing your walls or floors.
Unlike many other baby gates, this Evenflo looks just as great as it works. Plus, it’s neutral fabric material is machine washable as well.
While it’s not made for use at the top of stairs, it checks nearly every other box and is a great option parents can’t stop raving about.
•Height – 27 inches
•Width – 38-60 inches
•Weight – 7.3 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•Non-marring rubber bumpers
•Tool-free pressure-mounted installation
If you’re searching for a portable, lightweight baby gate that expands wider than most and looks great too, the Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate is a great option. It comes fully assembled and can be installed in seconds, making it one of the most portable and versatile baby gates around.
It isn’t the best baby gate for banisters, but the North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate makes a great play area for little ones or small pets both indoors and out. The heavy-duty metal gate unit features six adjustable and removable panels that extend up to a whopping 144 inches when needed.
If that weren’t enough, a two-panel extension kit is also available that provides nine extra square feet of security. Plus, you can keep adding two-panel extensions to create as large of a secure play area as needed.
While many parents report using this North States baby gate as a self-contained play area enclosure by setting it up as a freestanding hexagon, it also comes with mounting hardware, making it an excellent option for anyone in need of an extra-wide safety barrier as well. It even makes a great fireplace screen!
Like many other top-quality baby gates, it also features a childproof dual-locking system and a swinging walk-through door panel, which only adds to its convenience, safety, and value.
•Height – 30 inches
•Width – up to 144 inches
•Weight – 36.6 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•Six-panel 3-in-1 configurable design
•Swinging door panel
•Dual childproof locks
•Optional mounting hardware included
•Two-panel extension available for an extra 48 inches of space
The North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate is quite possibly one of the best deals around. Unlike most gates, it’s extremely flexible and designed to serve several uses, making it a fantastic option for any parent or dog owner to consider.
If you’re impressed with the Superyard, you’re going to love the Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable 4-in-1 gate and Play Yard. Yes, you read that right. It extends up to 192 inches, making it the widest retail steel gate and play yard being sold today.
With no tools required, it can easily convert from an eight-panel play yard to an extra-wide gate and vice versa for ultimate flexibility. While it only stands 28 inches tall, which is a little shorter than other baby gates, it features a walk-through door for added convenience.
Of course, like any quality baby gate, it has a safety locking feature as well. It also comes with mounting hardware for extra security and protection.
With a reasonable price tag to boot, it’s easy to see why it’s mentioned in so many baby gate reviews and considered by so many as one of the best baby gate options in terms of value out there today.
•Height – 28.5 inches
•Width – Up to 192 inches
•Weight – 25 pounds
•Warranty – 90-day limited
•Heavy-duty steel construction
•Two-in-one expandable design
•Eight removable and adjustable panels
•Safety locking mechanism w/one-touch release
If you value a dollar and like getting the most bang for your buck, this super-wide expandable Regalo baby gate and play yard may be for you. It extends far beyond what its price tag suggests, allowing you to create the perfect play space or provide protection for your little one in any area of your home.
If convenience and ease of use is a top priority, say hello to the Retract-A-Gate. The mesh retractable gate is lightweight and scratch-resistant yet JPMA certified for use at both the bottom and top of stairs.
While other baby gates require you to fiddle with a latch to open, the Retract-A-Gate automatically opens with a single hand. It’s also quiet, features a childproof lock, and quick and easy to install. You can even get an additional wall bracket kit to move it to any other spot up to 52 inches in width.
Speaking of inches, this Retract-A-Gate stands heads and shoulders above some baby gates. In fact, it stands 34 inches tall, giving you a little more security and peace of mind.
Still not impressed? The mesh screen material is washable as well. Sure, it’s not as durable as steel. However, it’s more durable than it looks, and it can be washed in an instant to keep looking like new.
•Height – 34 inches
•Width – 52 inches
•Weight – N/A
•Warranty – N/A
•One-touch auto open/close
•See-through mesh material
•Childproof top lock
The Retract-A-Gate 52-Inch Safety Gate is a user-friendly baby gate designed to secure your little one and add convenience to your daily life. While it’s not as durable as steel baby gates, it’s lightweight, super convenient, and JPMA certified for safety and quality assurance.
The Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate may not be a baby gate per se, but it’s arguably one of the best gates for the dollar you’re going to find anywhere. However, you don’t have to take our word for it. With thousands of great reviews, it’s clear others feel the same.
This Carlson “pet” gate expands from 29-37 inches and comes with a six-inch extension kit, allowing it to fit most doorways, hallways, stairways, and a variety of other spaces. Like many baby gates, it also stands 30 inches tall.
Unlike other baby gates, however, it features a patented small pet door. This allows small pets to pass through while ensuring your kiddo stays out. To top it all off, it’s also equipped with an easy-to-use one-touch quick-release handle.
Made of durable, high-quality steel as well, there’s a lot to love and little to dislike about this Carlson.
•Height – 30 inches
•Width – 29-44 inches
•Weight – 11 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•Non-toxic, chew proof steel construction
•10 x 7-inch pet door
•One-touch quick-release handle
If you’re a proud parent and a loving pet owner, the Carlson Extra Wide Walk Through Pet Gate with Small Pet Door was made with you in mind. It keeps toddlers and big dogs out of areas they shouldn’t be and lets cats and small dogs pass right through for ultimate versatility in concept and design.
The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate is designed for parents seeking the perfect combination of protection and style. The attractive metal gate features an attractive bronze finish for timeless good looks and is fully adjustable from 28.5-45 inches.
Aside from its looks, another great feature of this Summer infant retractable gate is its height. While most baby gates stand 30 inches tall, it measures 36 inches and provides an additional six inches of protection.
The pressure-mounted gate is also a breeze to install and doesn’t require drilling holes in your walls. However, optional hardware mounts are included in case you want added security or to place it at the top of the stairs.
In addition to its height, durability, and style, this impressive baby gate from Summer also features a walk-through door with dual-locks and an auto-close function for superior ease of use.
•Height – 36 inches
•Width – 28-48 inches
•Weight – 21 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•Heavy-duty metal construction
•Extra-tall 36-inch height
•Dual lock system
•Removable door stopper
If you’re worried about your little one climbing over and scoffing at your little 30-inch gate, the Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate won’t disappoint. It’s six inches taller than most baby gates, looks great, and has all of the features you could ask for.
If you’re one of the millions living in a two-story home, chances are your idea of a dreambaby gate is one that’s specifically designed for the top of the stairs. Meet the Evenflo Easy Walk Thru Top of Stairs Gate.
Created to help parents keep their kiddos safe from any number of household dangers, especially the stairs, it utilizes specialized four-point hardware mounts for extra security where your little one needs it most.
This Evenflo gate isn’t the quickest to install, but the process is pretty straightforward and only takes about 15 minutes. It’s also expandable up to 42 inches, making it perfect for nearly all stairways and doorways.
As far as features go, the Evenflo Easy Walk Thru Top of Stair Gate has a convenient walk-through door and a child-resistant Lever Loc locking mechanism as well, which is designed to easily use one handed. When you pass through, just give it a gentle push and the gate automatically closes too. Pretty neat indeed.
•Height – 30 inches
•Width – 29-42 inches
•Weight – 16 pounds
•Warranty – N/A
•Specialized top of stairs design
•Removable swing stop
•Childproof lock with red/green lock indicator
•Four-point hardware mounts
Like its name suggests, the Evenflo Easy Walk Thru Top of Stairs Gate is specially designed to provide ultimate protection at……you got it, the top of the stairs. With a sturdy mounting system, convenient swinging door, great childproof latch, and one-handed operation, it’s right up there with some of the best baby barriers in the business.
Things You Should Do Before Buying Baby Gates
After deciding on the right type of kids gate for your child and needs, you’ll find there are still endless options out there to choose from. However, you can pinpoint the absolute best baby safety gates for your home simply by performing a few basic tasks, such as:
Decide on Its Location and Use
Before you even begin shopping for a baby gate, you need to decide on its location and purpose. If convenience is a top priority or it’s being placed in a high-traffic area, then you may want to the best retractable baby gate for ease of use. If you have a wide area you want to section off and secure, then an extra wide baby gate pressure mounted may be best. You get the gist.
Measure to Determine Width and Spacing
If you’re shopping for a fireplace baby gate or extendable baby gate, you can rest assured because today’s baby gates are designed to be installed in a wide-variety of spaces. That being said, while you’ll find a few freestanding baby gate and extra wide retractable baby gate options, most baby gates are designed to fit doorways 28-45 inches wide. Since different gates have different lengths, you need to measure your space to determine the right sized baby gate for your needs.
Choose Sturdy Materials and Construction
Baby gates are made using a wide-range of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and mesh. Baby gates constructed of aluminum tubing or enamel-coated steel are particularly popular. While wood is also popular, namely for its appearance, a metal baby gate is more than likely your best bet. Metal gates are much sturdier and built to last, making them an ideal option for anyone looking for the best top of stairs baby gate, outdoor baby gate, and so on. .
Check for Certifications
Regardless of which type of gate you choose or its material, it should meet ASTM and/or JPMA safety requirements and be certified from at least one of these quality assurance agencies. After all, with the safety of your baby on the line, you can never be safe enough. Like you, we take safety seriously. That’s why each baby gate we recommend has at least one of these certifications.
Look for the Right Latch
Different baby gates have different latches, and some are more secure or easier to use than others. The best baby gate for stairs often feature dual-action latches, which require users to press down with one hand to open. If you’re shopping for an extra tall baby gate or a swinging baby gate, on the other hand, you may want one with a pressure-release handle for convenient one-hand operation.
Pick a Suitable Color and Design
An ugly plastic or metal gate can ruin your home décor and definitely be an eyesore. Therefore, it’s important to choose a gate that’s both safe and good looking. While wood gates often look best, many metal gates also look quite nice and are available in a range of colors to complement any design scheme.
Factors to Consider When Buying Baby Gates
With your baby’s safety on the line, you can’t just hop in your car or online and pick out the very first baby gate you see. Here are some important factors to consider in order to choose the very best baby gate for you, your baby, and your home:
Where You Want to Install the Gate
There’s nothing worse than paying for a pair of shoes or jeans and waiting for them to arrive only to find out they don’t fit when they do. The same can be said of baby gates.
Most baby gates are designed to extend up to 40 inches or more and fit most doorways, hallways, and stairways. However, it’s a good idea to measure the width of the opening to ensure the gate you select is right for your space.
Thinking about where you want to install the gate is also important in choosing the right type of gate. If you’re shopping for the best gate for top of stairs, you’ll want a model with hardware mounts and a swinging door. If you want to barricade a large archway or create a safe play area for the backyard or living room, you’ll want a baby gate with multiple panels to extend up to 70, 100, 140 inches or more.
Ease of Installation
Whether you’re reading through baby gate reviews in search of the best baby gate for stairs with banisters or the right baby gate to keep your little one out of the kitchen and away from the stove, nearly all gates come in pieces and must be assembled and installed. Since these gates are critical for safety and often installed in tricky areas, considering the ease of installation would be a wise idea.
When it comes to the safety of your baby or toddler, there’s no room for mistakes. The easier a baby gate is to assemble and install, the better off you’ll be. While the best pressure mounted baby gate would be the easiest to install, many mounted models come with instructions and all of the hardware needed to complete the install in 30 minutes or less.
Most children are little adventurers and will almost certainly try to climb over any safety gate you get. However, the taller the gate, the better. The best baby safety gates are at least 30 inches tall as this is pretty much industry standard, but some baby gates are even taller for added protection.
Ideally, the gate you choose should at least come up to your baby’s chest or shoulders when standing upright, especially if you’re using it as the stair barrier.
A quality baby gate should be well-crafted and sturdily constructed to withstand constant use and abuse. While a mesh or fabric baby gate may be lightweight and easy to move, most top-notch baby gates are made of metal for superior strength and sturdiness.
Babies are smarter than most people think. While most parents think they have a baby gate with the perfect childproof lock, many end up surprised to discover their toddler’s ability to open it right up.
I think you’ll agree a gate your baby can open is pretty much useless. Therefore, you should always choose a baby gate with a complex locking mechanism. This is especially important if you plan on placing it at the top or bottom of stairs.
When it comes to baby gates, a latch indicator is an excellent security feature. It will show you when the gate is locked and unlocked, giving you a little more convenience and peace of mind. You can also install a safety alarm to alert you whenever you accidentally leave the gate open.
The spacing between the slats of a baby gate is another factor worth considering. Whether you opt for a wooden, steel, or plastic baby gate, there should be no area with gaps larger than 2-3 inches. If so, your baby may try to stick his or her head through and risk getting stuck.
Fortunately, most quality baby gate manufacturers take this into consideration and ensure each gate they make is baby-proofed to the max.
Before you buy a baby gate, it’s a good idea to check to make sure it’s certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association, or JPMA. Not only does this assure you of the gate’s quality, but it’s a seal of approval verifying it’s been made to the highest safety standards.
Tip #1 – Determine the Area You Need to Block
If you’re shopping for the best stair gate for top of stairs, you’ll want to go with a hardware-mounted gate for optimum safety. If you’re looking for the best baby gates for wide opening, a large expandable baby gate is a must. If you’re blocking off a high-traffic area, look for a baby gate that opens easily and closes automatically for added convenience. You get the idea.
Tip #2 – Measure the Opening
Before you begin shopping for a baby gate, carefully measure the opening(s) at the top and the bottom. Since older homes in or around earthquake-prone areas may have foundation issues, it’s important to measure at both points.
Write the measurements down and have them with you when you go shopping in-store or online. Some baby or child stair gates may not fit as is, but extensions are often available to provide you with the perfect fit.
If you have older children, a baby gate can be a constant source of frustration. Not only will there be times when he or she will forget to close the gate after walking through, but younger children who don’t necessarily need to be gated may also have difficulty with the lock at times and risk their safety by attempting to climb over.
To avoid these potential issues, avoid a cheap plastic baby gate and opt for a sturdy metal baby gate with an auto close function that automatically swings it shut. Also choose a gate with an intuitive, easy-to-use locking system. As you can see from the baby gates reviews above, there are several child proof gates with excellent locks designed with both safety and convenient in mind.
Tip #4 – Style and Design Matters
Most people shop for baby gates with safety and function in mind, but many baby gate manufacturers are now providing buyers with plenty of good looking options as well. If you’re buying a gate for a high-visibility, high-traffic area, you may want a gate that blends with your home finishes and décor.
There are several attractive gate options made of premium finished metal, wood, or both for a stylish, timeless look. Some even incorporate arches and other design details or have a sleek, modern look. With so many good-looking options available these days, there’s no need to settle for an eyesore.
Tip #5 – Don’t Forget About Durability
A baby gate should be able to withstand all kinds of toddler abuse and wear and tear without breaking or collapsing. From shaking and climbing to pulling and banging, a quality baby gate should be able to withstand repeated instanced of all of this and more!
Tip #6 – Make Sure the Door Opens in the Right Direction
If your baby gate is going to be used in busy areas like hallways, look for a gate with a swinging door that opens in both directions. If you’re shopping for a baby gate for the top of the stairs, however, it should have a door that opens in a single direction away from the stairs.
Baby Gates FAQ
As you can imagine, we receive a ton of questions from concerned parents in search of the best baby gate options for their homes and little ones. Here are a few of the most common questions we receive and our answers to each:
Q: Which is better: a pressure-mounted baby gate or a hardware-mounted baby gate?
A: If you’ve read the rest of this guide and our comprehensive reviews, you’ve probably noticed we’ve recommended both of these types of baby gates for very different reasons. While pressure-mounted baby gates are much more portable and easy to install, hardware-mounted baby gates are more stable and secure.
Needless to say, the answer to this question is dependent on locations and needs. If you’re placing the gate at the top or bottom of the stairs, a hardware-mounted gate is the way to go. Conversely, if you plan on putting it in several places around your home as needed, you’ll appreciate the portability and convenience of a pressure-mounted gate.
Q: What material should I choose?
A: Baby gates are made of metal, wood, mesh, and plastic, each of which has their own pros and cons.
Wood baby gates look great, but some have sharp edges and they can be prone to chipping and splintering.
Plastic and mesh baby gates are lightweight, but they leave a lot to be desired in the looks and sturdiness departments.
Metal baby gates, on the other hand, are arguably the best baby gates around. They look great and are very tough and sturdy, making them a popular option for many parents.
Q: Are tools needed for assembly and installation?
A: Yes and no. It all depends on which baby gate you choose. Pressure-mounted baby gates are a breeze to install and require nothing at all, while hardware-mounted gates take a little more time and require the use of a few tools like a screw driver or power drill.
Like everything else, baby gates can be purchased at a number of places both on and offline. If you prefer dealing with traffic, weaving a shopping cart down aisle after aisle, and waiting in line to check out, you can find baby gates for sale at Wal-Mart, Target, and several other brick and mortar stores.
However, if you like convenience and value a good deal, shopping for an Amazon baby gate is definitely the way to go. There are hundreds of baby gates Amazon to choose from, but thanks to sites like ours, comparison shopping takes seconds not hours. Whether you’re shopping for a metal Amazon baby gate stairs or a mesh gate with a dual-swinging door, you’ll find it on Amazon a the best possible price.
That being said, manufacturer websites can be great as well. In addition to offering lower direct pricing, they often offer special discounts to compete with baby fence Amazon pricing. Either way, if you’re shopping for cheap baby gates or want the best selection possible, you can’t go wrong with shopping online.
Making the Decision
If you’re on a mission to find the very best baby gate and have read this in-depth guide and our comprehensive baby gate reviews, you can now consider yourself an expert on the topic and feel confident in your ability to select the best of the best.
With thousands of preventable household injuries taking place each year, there’s no reason to take chances and have your baby’s name added to the list.
As a loving parent, safety is your number one priority. Ensure your sanity and the safety of your baby by picking out a great baby gate today!