BabyDan’s Guard Me Retractable Gate is a great accordion-style option that will contract into a space-saving, wall-hugging item and then expand to become a functional, solid gate. It can be mounted inside or outside of a door frame, and at the top or the bottom of a flight of stairs
Supergate Easy Close Gate is a great choice if you want to move a baby gate from room to room or have a gate that you can take down and bring to grandmother’s house. It’s strong, easy to clean, and will last a long time for a large number of purposes
Beautiful! One of the prettiest gates on the market. This is pretty, functional and versatile. It is a great high-end choice, but it can be a bit pricey for some of those on a budget. Want the best of the best and the chance to pay for it? Look no further
There’s a reason that this first baby gate design was such a hit. This is a great, simple, classic baby gate. If you want something for a wide walkway or stairwell that moves almost completely out of the way, you won’t find anything better
Easy Close XL Metal Safety Gate is designed for extra-large doorways. Instead of acting as a large swinging unit, it creates a gateway in a large door frame. The doorway swings both ways to make it easy both coming and going. This makes it easier to push the gate forward while carrying babies or other cargo
There are a lot of advantages to retractable gates. If you have partial custody of a child, a babysitting job in your home, or grandchildren who visit on a regular basis, this is a great way to have an effective door when you need it and an open passageway when you don’t.
Made in Denmark for the narrow passageways associated with older architecture, this is a wonderful choice for doors made in times before building codes existed. A smart and unique choice for homeowners who appreciate both.
This Danish design is especially nice if you live in a small home or an older home with narrow doorways and not a lot of room for a swinging gate. It is also very nice if you are a grandparent or other person who has children part-time and don’t want the constant obstruction of gates when they are not needed.
Danish safety standards top US requirements for things like green manufacture, so you can be certain that it is as safe as possible for your little one. European style and safety, available in the U.S.
Green-certified plastic free of PVC and made to Danish environmental standards
Easy to install in any doorway or stairwell
Can be retracted to stay out of the way when not needed
Especially good for narrow passageways
Chic, European design
Solid gate means no kids trying to squeeze through bars
Comes with extender for wider doorways
Some found that they had difficulty with the instructions
Easily adjusts to fit openings 30″ high and 29.5 inches – 38.75 inches width with one extension (included)
Heavy-duty aluminum with white, wipe-down paint job
Swings both directions for easy maneuverability
Recommended for bottom of stairs only
Pressure-mount attachment system
The box comes with: One pre-assembled gate panel, two extensions, a hardware packet consisting of four bolts with tension knobs, four extension pins, four mounting cups, four screws, four double-coated tape pads, one wrench, and an instruction manual.
What’s strong, beautiful, and slides to adjust? This baby.
The Supergate Easy Close Gate is a great choice in that it can slide to a number of different widths to accommodate different areas. This gate can be used on a stairwell to start when a baby is crawling and then moved to accommodate a wider doorway later all without the need to buy another gate.
A great choice for moms and dads who like multipurpose items. Clean, white, and strong metal make it an even more attractive choice.
Two-way swinging for easy maneuverability
Pressure mounting gate leaves no screw holes when you're done
Easily adjustable for a number of room widths or uneven walls
Easy install- done in seconds.
Can be moved from room to room without major installment needs
Beautiful, functional, and adjustable. Extra tall with an arched architectural feature in the gate. A gorgeous choice for the aesthete.
The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate is a great choice if you need an adjustable pressure-mount gate that has the optional hardware for the top of stairs. It swings both ways when needed, but has a one-way insert to avoid this at the top of the stairs as well.
A number of different sizes of extension are there to make sure it fits most any door frame, and the pressure mounts compensate for uneven walls.
Good for top of stairs or rooms
Beautiful arched iron design
Comes with everything needed for install
Choose between hardware and pressure only, one-way or two-way swing
If you like Ikea chic, this is a great compliment to the style!
Munchkin Loft Aluminum Infant Safety Gate looks great. Very sturdy. More so than the gates that don’t mount to the wall. Easy to open for an adult. Swings inward and outward. You can also adjust the width of the gate by 2-inch increments.
Munchkin Loft Aluminum Infant Safety Gate is designed for those who want a slim profile and a truly clean, modern stainless look. It is strong and well-liked, as are all Munchkin products, and the screw-in design ensures that anyone who properly installs it into a wooden stud can be sure that the gate will stay secure.
A great match to modern decor
Extra-wide walkthrough gate
Chic, silver color
One-handed double latch for safety and ease of use
Slim profile of strong aluminum
Comes with two half-inch spacers
The piece requires permanent screws into walls, which means screw holes remain when the gate is removed
The classic, original baby gate still fits the needs of many families.
The GMI Keepsafe Expansion Gate is one of the first designs to ever hit the baby gate market. The crisscrossed lattice shape and expandable wood design have long been used to provide a simple yet effective way to keep your little ones safe where they belong. This is not the best choice for an active climber who studies latch mechanisms.
However, if you have pets or kids who are not lockpicking masterminds, it is a great choice and a fun nod to the retro designs of your own childhoods or babysitting days.
Know what? Classics are classic for a reason, and this is no exception. Simple, effective, well-loved.
No risk of trapped heads, fingers, or other parts
Wooden design is free of plastics and eco-safe
Mounting design is safe for the top of the stairs
Hinged to swing a full 180 degrees
Center foot may rub carpet down in some cases
Foot design requires you to put holes in the floor
Flexible design means cats and small dogs may squeeze under it
Easy Close XL Metal Safety Gate is a favorite choice for the top of stairs because of the fact that it offers a smaller opening in a wide doorway and it swings both directions. Three locks keep it from fooling all but the most clever children, yet it can still be operated with just one hand.
Simple, beautiful, great for large spaces. Clever and functional.
Durable, easy-to-clean metal
Tricky double latch with a third available to keep little engineers from escaping
Great for wide areas
Smaller inset gate means no wide gate banging all of your furniture
Three expansion pieces means full adjustment to fit your unique stair or door frame widths
Extra tall to keep your little ones extra safe
Pressure-mounting system can be difficult to secure in areas that are 40 inches or more in width
If you are looking for a gate for the bottom of the stairs, this should win, hands-down. If you are looking for a gate for the rest, the strength of materials, clever design, and strength of install should make sure that Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate is in your top list of considerations. An excellent choice all around.
A smart and fantastic gate on all counts.
Both indoor and outdoor versions available
All aluminum for safety and strength
Can be angled for bottom stairs and still open freely
Can keep from opening over stairs if you choose
Tricky yet easy one-handed latch system
Some kids have found that the hex bolts securing the latch can be unscrewed by hand. (This is only the most crafty escape artists, but it should be mentioned.)
This stunning silver piece looks at baby gates as a fashion statement instead of an unintrusive furnishing. Thick, rectangular tubing makes a statement that is at home in any modern decor scheme. The silver coating gives a modern look that fits well with anyone who uses stainless steel for their furnishings.
Its clean, angular design is strong and the adjustable sliding system allows it to fit in doorways or stairwells between 26.5 and 40 inches. It is easy to install and comes with an integral tuning system (ITS) to make sure the gate has a vertical hang, even when the walls do not. Everything you love about clean, modern design in a quality baby gate!
Munchkin Easy-Close Metal Safety Gate is a great choice for those who are looking for a gate that fits their budget and is strong. The white, easy-clean surface is wipe-down friendly, which is a huge relief to anyone with sticky-fingered toddlers.
White, easily-cleaned surface
Strong steel U-frame supports light aluminum gate
Pressure-mounting system designed to reduce the need for screw holes in walls
Single-latch system can be figured out by some clever kids (but great for pets)
An all-around solid gate that is mechanically installed.
The North States Supergate Tall Easy Swing and Lock Gate is a tall, mounted baby gate that is a great choice for parents who want a safe environment and want to discourage gate climbing. The threshold-free system eliminates the tripping hazard that thresholds present.
Simple, screw-in design is low profile and designed to stay out of your way when you need and swing automatically back into place if you desire.
Threshold-free design reduces tripping hazards
Safety latch is tricky for toddlers yet can be operated with one hand
Door swings completely out of the way and automatically relatches behind you to keep it working well with full hands
Screws telescope to adjust for uneven surfaces
Rails are aligned close together to avoid getting a child's head stuck.
Latch is plastic so it may not last as long as a metal latch
Screws will back out of drywall if they are not applied correctly and securely to studs
The elegant styling and strength of a wrought-iron gate with the functionality of a baby gate. A truly excellent combination!
Dreambaby Auto Close Gate with Stay Open Feature is a smart yet beautiful way to keep your children safe. It offers an auto-close feature and a double locking system to keep busy hands from figuring out how to open it. This gate is an attractive pressure mounted gate that is easy to install.
The Smart Stay-Open feature is perfect for when you are carrying babies, laundry, groceries or other things through the barrier. Suitable for stairs and doorways, it will fit openings of 28”-32”. When you use the included (2 x 3.5”) extensions it can be increased to fit up to 39”. The gate is 29.5″ tall.
Additional extensions are sold separately to accommodate doorways up to 111.” This Dreambaby pressure-mounted gate is easy to install. In most cases, you don’t need to screw holes into woodwork or walls. At the top of the stairs, however, mounting cups and screws are needed to ensure security.
It’s well-reviewed by anyone who uses it and installs it correctly, and over 95% of those who have reviewed Dreambaby Auto Close Gate are highly satisfied with the product.
Certified safe for the top of the stairs when used with the hardware mounting kit
Your choice of bronze/black or white to match home decor and aesthetics
Sturdy, all-metal body
Easy, one-handed latch can be used while carrying children or groceries
Stay-open setting allows for multiple trips while carrying a load
Automatically swings closed behind you
Pressure-mounted design means gate threshold
Retractable Baby Gates for Stairs
Retractable gates are a great option, especially if you want to have a gate in place when you need it but an open stairwell when you don’t.
If you are co-parenting with an ex, a babysitter out of your home, a pet owner who limits access when you’re at work, or a grandparent who has the kids two days per week, retractable gates are a great way to get the protection you need while reclaiming your stairs the rest of the time.
They stretch across the doorway and attach when needed. When not needed, they hang close to one side of the door frame, out of the way.
Retractable gates can be made of wood, plastic, metal, or even fabric. They can have an expanding lattice design, a roll-out projector screen design, or a folding accordion version. They are also one of the best choices if you have an extra-wide stairwell as many of them can expand to fit 9 or 10-foot expanses.
These sound like great choices!
Baby Gates for Stairs Without Drilling
There are two kinds of attachments: Hardware and pressure-mount.
Baby gates that don’t require drilling typically tend to be pressure-mount gates. Because these gates require a lot of pressure to keep in place, they are difficult to remove and replace unless you buy a model that has a swinging gate over a threshold.
Great to know!
Baby Gates for Stairs with Railings
Baby gates and railings can be tricky, but there are a few different ways to accommodate both.
Choose a baby gate that is lower than the railing.
Choose a baby gate that has cutouts that fit the railing hole. Some expansion kits will be a different height than the rest of the gate or will offer pressure-mount pins that provide the width needed to avoid the railing.
Shorten the railing so that it begins after the gate.
Adjust the railing height to accommodate the baby gate.
With a little trial and error (and an understanding of what you are and are not willing to do, you can find a way to share space between the railing and the baby gate.
Baby Gates For The Bottom Of Your Stairs
Baby gates can be used at both the top and the bottom of your stairs. At the top, they can prevent a baby from falling down. At the bottom, they can prevent access to the stairs at all. This is great if you have pets that are only allowed downstairs but not upstairs in your home. These gates can only swing one way, as they cannot go over the stairs.
They are a good choice for pressure-mounted gates with thresholds, as the thresholds are less likely to become tripping hazards. One thing to watch for with baby gates at the bottom is handrails, as they can be an obstacle.
Hardware Mounted Baby Gates
Hardware is used to screw a baby gate securely into the wall. This must be done into a solid wood surface like a stud, and not into an open drywall or plaster portion of the wall in order to be secure and not wiggle out as children or pets push against the gate.
In many cases, a drill is needed to pre-make the holes for the hardware. In other cases, a self-driving screw and a power screwdriver may be sufficient. The advantage of using hardware is that it is one of the safest and secure ways to attach a baby gate to an area.
It also leaves screw holes when you are done using the gate, so it can take some clean-up to erase the evidence that it was there. It’s the safest choice, but it does require sacrificing a pristine wall to get there.
Extra Wide Pressure Mounted Baby Gates
The wider openings will typically require one of two kinds of gates: a pressure-mounted gate that is mostly solid with a smaller hinged entrance or a retractable gate that is designed to expand to a wide area.
Pressure-mounted baby gates are a good choice if you need a high gate for a wide area. If you have pets who try and push under the gate, it is again a good choice.
If you want a gate that stays in place all the time, pressure-mounted gates are the best way to achieve this. Some of these pressure mounted gates are also reinforced with a hardware mount, especially if you are using them at the top of the stairs. They are also designed to swing both directions.
A smart design for a good purpose!
Gates for Pets
Are pet and baby gates different?
Traditionally, baby gates and pet gates are the same. However, there are a few specific things about each that you need to consider. When looking at gates for pets, here are a few things to know:
Gates that don’t have complicated locks are still great for pets, as they don’t have the thumbs to open them.
Retractable gates can gap at the bottom and are more likely for pets to squeeze beneath.
Wooden gates can be chewed by dogs. This can damage the gate and cause splinters in their throats. Metal and plastic gates can have paint that chips off. Though it is typically safe to swallow due to safety requirements. Powder-coated metal and solid plastic are least likely to have things that pets can ingest.
Good things to know to keep your fluffy babies safe!
When Should I Buy a Baby Gate?
When your child begins to crawl, you will need a gate. Once they begin to toddle, you will really need a gate. The best time to buy a gate is when your baby begins to become mobile. As they get older and you become more comfortable letting them go out on their own, the more you will need a gate.
This can protect the top of stairs when they are toddling to your bed in the dark. It can keep them (and their toys) in a designated toy room. It can put rooms with dangerous or delicate items off-limits.
Consider where you need gates as you begin to recreate your home for your child. This is the point to choose gates and assign where they go. Consider these measures before you need them and you’ll be sure to be safe when you do.
Measuring the Opening
Here is a list of things that you need to do to correctly measure an opening:
Measure the top and bottom, outside and inside of the walls: Walls are rarely truly straight. Be sure you know that the width at the top and bottom of the gate is the same. You can choose a gate for the narrower width and shim the top if needed.
Find the studs: If you are adding hardware, be absolutely certain you know where the studs are. Most baby gate problems happen because people screw the gate into plaster or drywall, which is not secure enough for something like this.
Mark the height and intrusion length of banisters and handrails and consider your gate dimensions based on this: You need to keep all stair fixtures in mind and measure around them when you install.
Measure twice to be sure, and you’ll save yourself a world of headaches!
How to Install
The big thing to remember with these gates is to read the instructions thoroughly and ahead of time. One read-through before you start can help you to keep from stopping ten times to grab something at the store and will typically make it go faster.
Be sure that all of the hardware you need is included or that you have it ready before you begin. Every install is different based on the gate, the level of pre-assembly, and the style (pressure-mount, hardware-mount, and retractable).
Preparation can make all the difference!
The Winner of the Best Baby Gates for Stairs Is…
For innovation, ease of use, green certification, and smart design, the BabyDan Guard Me Retractable Gate wins best of the show. It offers no place for little heads or limbs to get stuck, a green plastic design, and the slimmest retractable profile of the bunch. It still doesn’t work for extra-large archways, but it offers the best barrier to keep baby from falling down the stairs, and even from throwing toys and other tripping hazards down the stairwell when thwarted.