Once your little one starts crawling and exploring, it can be a daily struggle to keep up with them and simply turning your back for one second may lead to a potentially disastrous accident. Baby gates are an essential tool for childproofing your home and are one of the simplest ways to attain greater peace of mind and to protect your baby from dangerous areas while also allowing them the freedom to explore and develop in a safe environment.

To help you to choose the best baby gate for your child, we’ve reviewed five of the best models available on the market in this article. We’ve also examined a variety of different styles and included a comprehensive buying guide so you’re sure to find the right match for you and your home.

  • 28.5 – 45” wide
  • Pressure-mounted
  • Extra hardware mounts for stair installation
  • All-metal construction
  • Auto-close
  • Opens in both directions
  • 1-year warranty

  • Extra-wide design
  • Adjustable for openings 29-34” or 35-38.5” wide
  • Pressure mount installation
  • All-steel construction
  • Lever handle
  • Safety lock
  • 90-day warranty

  • Opens up to 192” wide
  • Forms an eight panel play yard
  • Flat folding for compact storage
  • Walk-through door
  • Safety lock
  • 90-day warranty

  • Extends 38-60” wide
  • Retractable
  • Metal and cloth construction
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Easy to install
  • 90-day warranty

  • 28 – 42 inches width
  • Wall mounted
  • Value bundle with all adaptors, connectors and hardware
  • Safety lock gate.
  • All-steel construction
  • Easily removed
  • 90-day warranty


If you are looking for a baby gate that is both robust and attractive, check out the Deco Baby Gate by Summer Infant. This gate has the advantage of being taller than most, standing at 36” tall. Suitable for openings with a width between 28.5 and 45 inches, you can either pressure mount this baby gate or use the included hardware for a fixed mounting. This makes it a good choice for stairways where fixed mounting is recommended. Thanks to its solid, all-metal construction, this model is a great choice for toddlers. Its height and three way security system will ensure that your young children stay safe and securely out of harm’s way.

One of the main advantages of this sturdy baby gate is that it opens in both directions, making it easy to pass through. The auto-close function is also a great feature as it means that you won’t have to worry about remembering to close it after you every time, but the gate can be a little difficult to open without having both hands free. This aspect can make this gate less ideal for busy passageways where you may often be carrying something or have your hands full.

Installation is relatively straightforward, however, certain widths can be a little tricky. If you don’t manage to align it perfectly then you will have difficulty closing the gate, so be sure to double check your measurements before ordering.

Pros

  • Fits openings up to 45 inches wide
  • Choice of pressure mounted or fixed installation
  • Auto-close function for enhanced safety
  • Safety lock
  • Robust, all-metal construction
  • Gate can be opened in both directions

Cons

  • Difficult to open single handedly
  • Installation can be tricky

The popular Regalo Easy Step baby gate comes complete with an extension piece, making it suitable for most wide home passages, corridors, and doorways. Whether you need to block off baby’s access to a room or the stairs, provided the width is between 29-34” or 35-38.5” wide, then this easy-to-fit gate makes an excellent choice.

Thanks to its rapid and easy installation, you can use this baby gate in different areas of your home as your baby grows and your needs change. Simply use the wall suction cups to hold it securely in place and then remove the gate without the need for making any holes in your walls. Made from a durable all-steel construction, you won’t have to worry about your toddler breaking the gate. The lever handle also features a safety lock so older toddlers will remain safe and secure.

While this baby gate is easy to use and makes an excellent value choice for both young children and pets, you should be aware that it only opens in one direction, which can hamper easy access to certain areas of your home. The opening is also fairly narrow, making this model less suitable larger persons or high traffic areas. Also, bear in mind that when used at its longest, this gate is less robust than it is for smaller spaces.

Pros

  • Suitable for openings up to 38.5 inches wide
  • Comes complete with extension kit
  • Built-in gate
  • Pressure-mounted design prevents damage to surfaces
  • Quick and simple to install
  • Steel construction is highly durable
  • Lever handle with safety lock

Cons

  • Gate only opens in one direction
  • Not as robust when used for larger gaps
  • Narrow opening

This baby gate by Regalo is super wide with a maximum length of 192 inches and can also be used to create an eight panel play yard. It is perfect for dividing rooms or for awkward angles as well as providing your baby or toddler with a safe and secure space to play. Fully configurable, simply add or remove panels for the ideal length for your room and fix with the included wall mounting hardware.

This highly durable steel 2-in-1 gate and play yard folds flat for easy, compact storage, making it a great choice for temporarily fencing off part of your room. It is also ideal to protect your child from dangerous areas such as fireplaces and kitchen stoves. Thanks to the built-in door, you can easily pass through the barrier, while the safety lock stops your toddler from doing the same.

Be aware that the gate is a fairly narrow opening at 28 inches, which isn’t ideal for passing through with your hands full. Our main criticism of this highly useful model, though, is the plastic tightening screws that are stiff to turn and round off a little too easily.

Pros

  • Highly customizable to fit any space.
  • Doubles as a playpen
  • 192 inch width is perfect for large rooms
  • Folds flat for easy transportation and storage
  • Built-in door and safety lock

Cons

  • Door is quite narrow
  • Plastic tightening knobs


If you need more of a barrier than an actual gate, then you should consider the Soft and Wide Gate by Evenflo. Made from a metal frame with a washable cloth barrier, your child will be safe and secure without the risk of them trapping their hands between bars or throwing their toys through. With an extendable range of between 38-60 inches, this baby gate is a great choice for the majority of openings around your home.

Delivered fully assembled, installation is extremely quick and easy, simply adjust the bars to your required width. When you’re done, this cloth barrier baby gate can simply be retracted and rolled up for easy storage. This makes it an excellent option for travel or occasional use when grandchildren or other relatives visit.

That said, the lack of a door means it can be a little tricky to step over, so we wouldn’t recommend using this model in high traffic areas on a permanent basis. In addition, when used fully extended, the material has a tendency to pull and stretch which can make the barrier more flexible and less secure when used below its maximum width.

Pros

  • Cloth barrier prevents toys being thrown through
  • Fully washable
  • Quick and simple to set up
  • Easy to store
  • Extends up to 60 inches
  • Great for travel

Cons

  • No door
  • Material stretches when fully extended

The Regalo Stair and Hallway Wall Mounted Baby Gate is a great choice for securing your stairs and keeping your little ones safe. Specially designed to fit 99% of stairways, even ones that are not flush; this value bundle includes all of the connectors, adaptors, and hardware that you will need to secure your stairway and keep baby away from danger.

Thanks to its 30.5 inch height and all steel construction, this durable stairway baby gate is designed to last and provide you with the extra peace of mind that comes with a wall-mounted stairway model. The gate features a safety lock so you can be sure that even older toddlers won’t be able to put themselves at risk on your stairs.

Importantly, this wall-mounted gate features a smooth-glide, removable door that can be easily stored. This makes this baby gate much more practical than fixed gates, allowing you to simply remove it for unimpeded access when your child is elsewhere. This makes it a great option if you are a grandparent and only occasionally look after children.

As with any wall-mounted option, installation can be a little cumbersome, and there are a great many different pieces to deal with. Our main criticism, however, of this model is its awkward latch that makes opening and securing the door behind you unnecessarily complicated.

Pros

  • 30.5 inches tall
  • Fits 99% of stairways
  • Durable construction
  • Safety lock
  • Smooth glide door for effortless opening
  • Door can be easily removed if required

Cons

  • Cumbersome installation
  • Difficult to latch gate

Comparison Chart

Regalo Easy Step Baby GateSummer Infant Deco Baby GateRegalo Super WideEvenflo Soft and Wide GateRegalo Stair and Hallway
Width (in)29-34/ 35-38.528-4819238-6028-42
Height (in)3036282730 ½
Built-in GateX
Pressure MountedXX
Safety LockX
Auto-closeXXXX
Weight (lbs)0.322131.160.32
Warranty90-day1-year90-day90-day90-day

Buyer’s Guide:

Baby Gates

In this section, we take a look at the different types of baby gate, the essential features you will want to keep an eye out for, as well as some of the pros and cons of their use to help you make the right choice.

Anyone who has a baby or who regularly takes care of young children will benefit from using a baby gate. Installing a baby gate provides your child a safe area to play that can be essential to their development and safety. It will also give you valuable opportunities to carry out essential tasks with the added peace of mind that your child is safe and secure. Once babies reach the exploratory age and begin crawling, a baby gate will enable you to restrict your child’s access to various dangerous areas and features in your home. They are also useful to help you control your child’s movements if you are undergoing a renovation with kids around.

There is an ever-increasing variety of baby gates available for your home. Here’s a rundown of the different types available and how to install them safely.

Pressure-mounted Baby Gates

Pressure-mounted gates are generally easy to install and are ideal if you don’t want to drill holes in your walls or have limited success with DIY projects. Most pressure-mounted gates are adjustable in length and feature soft pads to protect your wall finishings. Once you have adjusted a pressure-mounted gate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, always double check that it is a secure fit. It is worth noting that, over time, some pressure-mounted gates may work their way loose. Therefore, this installation method isn’t recommended for stairways and you should regularly check that your baby gate is still holding up securely.

Wall-mounted Baby Gates

Wall-mounted baby gates are fixed directly to your walls for added security and solidity. They are suitable for use anywhere in the home, even in dangerous places like at the top of stairways. Always make sure that you securely screw your wall-mounted baby gate into a wall stud or use anchors to ensure that it is extra secure. Remember, when you remove a wall-mounted gate you’ll have holes to cover and redecorate.

Extra-wide Baby Gates

If you want to block off a section of a room rather than just a doorway, or if your house is open plan, you may need an extra-wide baby gate. Some extra wide gates have the added advantage of doubling up as play yards. These models may be either wall or pressure mounted.

Retractable Baby Gates

Some baby gates don’t feature a door. Instead, they are retractable and you either step over them or retract their bars in order to pass. Retractable models are generally cheaper, but they are also less practical and not recommended for high traffic areas.

If you need help choosing the best baby gate, read through our list of essential features to help you to decide what you need to look out for.

Width

When choosing your baby gate make sure that it is suitable for the dimensions of the area where you will be installing it. Some models are adjustable for a wide range of widths, but others may not be suitable for particular openings due to the dimensions of the extension pieces. Therefore, always double check your measurements before ordering.

Height

Height is an important consideration to take into account, especially if you have older children who may attempt to climb over the gate and might injure themselves or their siblings while attempting to do so.

Safety Lock

Once your toddler reaches a certain stage of development they will test your baby gate safety lock to its maximum. Therefore, it is important to pay extra attention to the type of safety lock on your gate. Ideally, the lock will be sufficiently difficult for small hands to open, while not being overly awkward for you and your family.

Fitting

Pressure mounted or wall fitted, you must make sure that your baby gate has the correct fitting for your needs and its location. Wall-mounted gates should provide you with the necessary hardware; it is always worth checking, though, just what is included in the box. Pressure-mounted models usually include wall cups, while other types will need to be hard-mounted to the wall.

Adjustability

When you are looking for the best baby gate for your home, pay close attention to the degree of adjustability offered by your favorite options. Some may come with extension pieces, panels or be retractable. In any case, make sure that your baby gate will be able to fit in your required location with a certain degree of adjustability. If your choice of model is only just big enough or slightly too large, you may struggle to fit it properly which could later result in an accident.

Ease of Installation

The majority of baby gates are fairly easy to install. If you are not too good with drilling and screws, you may prefer a pressure-mounted option for downstairs areas. Check any available resources such as installation instructions or the owner’s manual if they are available online before you buy to gauge the difficulty level.

Pros

  • Restrict access – A baby gate is essential to restrict your baby’s access to dangerous areas of your home, such as the kitchen or fireplace.
  • Allows you to carry out household tasks – A baby gate enables you to take your eyes off your child to load the washing machine without putting them in danger.
  • Peace of mind – Knowing your baby is protected from danger helps to give you that extra peace of mind.
  • Secure stairs – Installing a baby gate at the top of your stairs can prevent a potentially fatal fall.
  • Provide a safe play area – When you set aside a play area or room for your baby with a baby gate, you are giving your child the chance to explore and to develop while keeping them safe.

Cons

  • Cumbersome – Having to stop to open and close your baby gate can take some getting used to and definitely slows down household circulation.
  • Wall damage – Wall-mounted gates will involve drilling holes in your walls or banisters, while pressure-mounted gates may create dents or stains on your walls over time.
Baby Gates

Pros

  • Easily restrict access to dangerous areas
  • Provide a safe space for baby to play while getting on with household tasks
  • Prevent the risk of falls
  • Simple to install.
  • Effective and easy to use

Cons

  • May slow down movements around the home
  • Some installation methods result in damage to surfaces

To help you to find the answers to your baby gate questions, here’s a list of the most commonly asked queries.

  • Are pressure-mounted baby gates secure?
  • Yes, generally speaking, pressure-mounted baby gates are secure, but they are not recommended for use at the top of stairs in the unlikely event that your child’s weight against them could cause them to slip and result in a fall. You can install pressure-mounted models in all other areas of your home, but all pressure-mounted choices should be thoroughly tested and if necessary adjusted to ensure that they will not move. This is particularly important when your baby becomes older, heavier, and stronger, so be sure to regularly check the stability of your pressure-mounted baby gate on a regular basis.

  • At what age should I install a baby gate?
  • Every child is different, however, it is recommended that you have your baby gates up in place by the age of five or six months. At the very least, it is important to do so before your child starts crawling. Babies often progress very quickly and fitting a gate earlier than needed will provide you with extra peace of mind and give the entire household a chance to adapt to using the gate before it is absolutely vital.

    Depending upon your child and the location of the baby gate, you will probably need it up until around the age of two years old or possibly longer, especially if you have certain hazards such as fireplaces. You may want to use a stairway baby gate for several additional years to help to ensure that your child does not fall down the stairs until you are confident in their ability to do so alone.

  • Are baby gates easy for a beginner to install?
  • There are a great number of different types of baby gate available. With the exception of stairways, if you’re worried you’ll struggle to install your new gate, we would recommend trying out a pressure-mounted model. Much easier to install than a wall mounted option, pressure-mounted gate generally do not require any tools. Simply adjust the poles’ length top and bottom to ensure a secure finish, even if your walls are not perfectly flush.

    That said, if you have your heart set on a particular baby gate and are concerned it will be too complex, ask for help from a friend or enlist a professional handyman. This will give you added peace of mind, which is truly invaluable when it comes down to the safety of your little ones.

  • Are baby gates easy to open with one hand?
  • There are numerous baby gate designs that have been specially created to be opened one-handed. Bear in mind, though, that the easier it is for you to open with one hand, the sooner your child is more likely to catch on to how to open it. Some latches feature additional safety features that need to be activated in order to open them. Some parents manage to open these single handedly, but it can still be a challenge to get through a baby gate when you’re carrying various things. You may actually find that you end up putting down what you have in your arms in order to open the gate anyway.

Final Thoughts

Baby gates are an inexpensive and practical way to protect your child and to give you valuable peace of mind. If you are still struggling to make up your mind on which is the very best baby gate, then we recommend the Deco Baby Gate by Summer Infant. This attractive model is both good looking and durable. It has a door that opens both ways, for ease of access in high traffic areas, as well as a safety lock. The auto-close function means you won’t have to worry if you forget to close the gate behind you or if you have your hands full.

If you are looking for the best budget baby gate, we recommend taking a look at the Evenflo Soft and Wide. This low-cost choice fits a wide range of openings and is made from metal and washable fabric. When it’s not in use, simply roll it up for easy, compact storage. We think this sturdy and retractable gate is an excellent value option and would be a great choice for occasional or regular use in low traffic areas of your home.

No matter which model you choose, we are sure you’ll agree that a baby gate will make a valuable addition to any home which houses young children. By providing you the ability to easily secure dangerous areas, while also allowing your child the freedom to play, baby gates ensure a safe and happy home for the whole family.

Further Reading

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