Ready to discover the best baby gate?
There are a lot of great reasons to find the best baby gates for stairs. Whether you have pets or young children, the safety that a gate at the top, bottom, or both can provide is a huge advantage.
But is just any baby gate useful for stairs or is it better to find something designed especially for these features?
Read on to discover ten fantastic examples of baby gates to try for yourself.
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
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
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
Great for pets and kids who don’t like latches! Safe for your kiddos and easy on the pocketbook
No major frills, but it works well. North States Supergate Tall Easy Swing and Lock Gate is a solid screw-in gate that does the job when installed properly. You must have a screw-in stud available to install this gate in a doorway correctly. Easy, functional, great-working
This is a pretty gate that looks good, closes on its own, and is tough for toddlers to open but easy for older kids to operate when they need to get into a baby-restricted area
Retractable Baby Gates for Stairs
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
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.
Safe with added features. You’ve got to love it!
Thanks for reading!