Best Baby Gates
When your baby is starting to get on the move, you will almost certainly start to realise that your home is full of hazards you had not previously forseen! I certainly remember ‘babyproofing’ our home; cupboard locks, corner bumpers, fireguard, securing furniture to walls, and of course safety gates for the stairs. Little ones find their way into everything and I was taking no chances.
What is a baby gate?
A baby gate, or stair gate, is a gate, usually constructed of metal, wood, or plastic/mesh which can be installed at a stairway to prevent baby from going up or downstairs. They can also be used in doorways (we have one on the nursery door for example), preventing the child from entering or leaving the room. Good if say you want to leave the kitchen door open while you prepare food, but keep baby out for his own safety.
How to choose a baby gate.
Our choice of baby gates was limited by the width of the stairs – we needed something narrow and with that, we had fewer choices than the ‘standard width’ gates I found in places like the supermarket. I had to buy online, so getting measurements correct the first time will save a lot of unnecessary hassle of having to return the wrong fitting gate.
I wanted a gate for the top and bottom of the stairs, nursery for when toddler was no longer in a cot at night, and also one to extend across an gap in our then kitchen so they couldnt access cupboards or oven. Four gates is no small financial investment, so with that in mind I’ve tried to ensure my top 7 gates suit a vareity of budgets.
Factors to consider when choosing a baby gate:
- Safety Standard compliance – as this is a crucial safety product, you’d expect it to meet all safety standards. Have a look at this guidance from SafeKids. Look for gates manufactured to the standard BS EN1930, as these would be considered safe. However even this article, and a much more recent report I personally recall in the news, shows that even compliant products have failed safety tests done by other bodies.
- Width range/height – some gates are extendable over a range of widths, some have separate extenders that can be bought separately. Many are ‘standard fit’, measure up carefully. For taller kids or if you have pets too, a taller gate may be preferable.
- Trip bar – many gates have a bar at the bottom to step over. This isn’t recommended at the top of the stairs for example, so you may need different types of gates for different locations.
- Ease of opening – for safety standard compliance, gates need to open with either ‘some force’, two consecutive actions, or two simultaneous actions of different types. However the gate opens, make sure you can do it with one hand!
- Ease of installation – gates may be installed usually either by pressure fit or screw fit.
- Value for money – as with many products, baby gates have a range of styles and a range of prices for all budgets. You can get a contemporary looking gate to suit a modern home but you may pay more.
Here are my top 7 picks for baby gates in 2020:
1. Best value all round baby gate
Lindam Sure Shut Axis Pressure Fit Safety Gate 76 – 82 cm B001KC05PM
Lindam is a well known baby safety brand. They produce a range of safety gates to meet all needs. This sure shut pressure fit gate is a good all rounder, with pressure fit indicators for extra resssurance when fitting. An extra locking mechanism at the bottom of the gate means it can either be one way or two way opening. One way is recommended at the bottom of stairs while two way can be used in doorways. This is a standard width gate but Lindam also sell extenders for wider doorways. As this is a pressure fit gate with a bar at the bottom, it wouldn’t be recommended at the top of stairs; instead Lindam recommend a screw fit gate with no bar. Good all round value for money baby gate.
- Squeeze and lift handle for easy one handed adult opening
- Four point pressure fit – U shaped power frame provides solid pressure fitting; pressure indicator assures baby gate is installed correctly
- Also features second lock at the base of the gate
- Adjusts to fit openings from 76 cm to 82 cm, can be extended up to 117 cm with separately available extensions (Lindam Universal extension range, accommodate all Lindam Sure Shut Safety Gates)
- Assembled and ready to install – 5 minute installation – all tools provided; strong steel construction, with extra wide walk through
2. Best baby gate for narrow spaces
Bettacare Extra Narrow Stair Gate (61cm – 66.5cm) B000KGCKPC
This is a self closing extra narrow gate which will open in both directions. It also has extensions (available separately) if required. A pressure fit gate, it does have a bottom bar so again isn’t suitable for top of stairs installation. It is supplied with self-adhesive and screw in wall cups for both installation options.
Not as cheap as the standard width gates but a good gate for the money.
- Auto close mechanism shuts and locks the gate automatically. Height is 76 cm
- Designed for Extra Narrow Doors & Stairs 61cm – 66.5cm ,Extra narrow width with a wide walk through area of 44 cm, Width Between Bars: 6 cm
- Gate can be extended using optional Bettacare extensions, stair spindle kit also available
- Double locking childproof handle, tamper proof pressure screws that don’t work loose over time
- Patented anti pinch system prevents finger and skin pinches; Depth of gate frame: 2 cm
3. Best wooden baby gate
Safety 1st Easy Close Safety Gate Made from Wood / Pressure Fit / Natural
If you want the aesthetic of a wooden gate, this one from Safety 1st is a nice looking stable gate made from gum tree wood. Easy to install with a 4-point clamping function, with a ‘keep open feature’. A standard width but with extensions available separately to suit a range of openings, again being pressure fit with a bottom bar it wouldn’t be recommended for top of stairs.
Price wise, you’ll pay a bit more for wood, I really like the natural and chunky look of this particular wooden gate and for £49 think it is reasonably priced for the product.
- Stable door safety gate made of gum tree wood
- Easy to install due to 4-point clamping function
- Adjustable from 73 to 80.5 cm
- With “keep-open” feature
- 8 cm extensions sold separately
- Note: The gap between the frame and the handle is part of the design, it will close when the gate is correctly fitted in your doorframe
4. Best retractable baby gate
Callowesse© Air Retractable Stair Gate with Spacers 30-130cm – Grey. B07STX1HF7
If you want a gate that hides away when not in use, a retractable gate is a good option. We had one to cross a gap between our kitchen/dining area and it was the only type of gate we could install across the gap due to the width and being unable to safety install a standard typeof baby gate.
This gate is compliant with the BS 1930:2011 standards, is extandable to 130cm but the manufacturer advises 110cm if used with children. It is also quite a tall gate at 88cm making it good for children and pets. The gate is easy to operate with one hand, a push and twist unlock mechanism, pull and hook onto the fixings, then push and twist again to lock into place.
What’s handy about this gate is that the manufacturer provided two sets of fittings so you can either move the gate around the house or perhaps install fixings at another home and take the gate with you between places. They also provide skirting spacers which help build up the wall area if you are attaching the gate to a wall with a skirting board. Suitable for a range of openings, this is a versatile, practical and good looking grey mesh gate which is easy to use.
Slightly pricier over £50, but more than a standard baby gate product.
- ONE HANDED OPENING – This gate can conveniently be operated with 1 hand, freeing up one hand to carry your child or other everyday objects. Please follow the safety locking unlocking features.
- QUIET RETRACT – Unlike other gates on the market, Callowesse Air Retractable is quiet when retracting back to its base. Meaning no more late-night disturbances.
- FITS WIDE OPENINGS – Air Retractable Gate adjusts to Narrow or Wide openings 30-130cm. Tested to 110cm for Baby Safety Gate application.
- SUPER EASY INSTALLATION – Everything you need for installation is included in the box e.g. Spacers, Template, Fixings, Screws – ready to fit against walls or skirting boards
- TWO SETS OF FITTINGS INCLUDED – Within this pack you receive two sets of fittings, allowing you to place your gate in different places around your house. Simply clip on/off the gate from the fittings to relocate
5. Best tall baby gate
Dreambaby Auto-Close Chelsea Xtra-Tall Safety Gate (Fits 71cm-80cm) Black
This Drea,baby gate is 1 metre tall so is great for children and larger dogs, should you have both! It has an auti-close feature and double locking system, and comes in black and white colours. It does have additional extensions available separetly for openings over 80cm. One handed opening. It has an ‘EZY-check’ indicator which helps you visually check the gate is secured for extra reassurance, and also safely installed.
This is a pressure fit gate, though the manufacturer advises that if using at the top of stairs then the mounting cups must be screwed in. (Mostly it isn’t advised to use gates with a bottom bar at the top of the stairs, but if you do, ensure it is safely fitted using the screws).
- VERSATILE AND DEPENDABLE- Our Dreambaby Chelsea gate is loaded with features to not only help make your life easier but safer too. Versatile indeed, it can accommodate openings of 71 to 80 cm wide and is 100 cm tall. Using optional extensions sold separately, the gate can be extended up to 480 cm
- ONE HANDED OPERATION – The One-Handed operation is fantastic for times when you’re holding your child and the double locking feature ensures extra security to help keep your child safer.
- EZY-CHECK INDICATOR AND AUTO-CLOSE- For added security, the EZY-Check indicator will help you identify your gate is securely locked with just a quick glance. **Tip: It also helps indicate your gate is properly installed. It has the convenience of Auto-Close, which ensures constant and reliable safety of a gate that closes automatically from any distance, every time.
- EASY INSTALLATION – Dreambaby Chelsea gates are pressure-mounted, which means fuss free installation with no screws or drilling required – great for any home and perfect for temporary or rental properties (included hardware mounts required for stairway use)
6. Best wide room-divider baby gate
Dreambaby Newport 3 Panel Adapta-Gate (Fits 85.5- 200cm), Black B075KLZVXC
If you need a gate for a particularly wide space, such as dividing rooms in open plan living spaces, or you have an irregular gap to bridge, it’s likely you’ll need a gate like this. It has three panels which can be arranged and installed however you require it. The gate has an easy one handed operation, and has a stay-open feature if you need it. Otherwise, it is auto-closing for reliable safety.
The EZY-check indicator shows the gate has been safely installed and also properly closed.
Designed to be installed by screw fit, hardware is included. It can fit openings as wide as 2m and is really versatile.
Not only is this a highly recommended, versatile practical gate, at only around £45, for what you get it’s a bargain too!
- GATE SPECIFICATIONS – Hinged panels can accommodate openings of 85.5 – 200 cm across. Gate measures 74 cm high. Lower brackets are able to be adjusted to accommodate skirting boards.
- ADAPTABLE AND DEPENDABLE – Our Newport Adapta-Gate is the epitome of safety and convenience. Loaded with intuitive safety features, it adapts to angled, wide, and/or irregular openings and landings to provide you with a customized safety gate for almost any situation.
- QUICK AND EASY OPERATION – Hardware mounted for stability, this tri-paneled baby gate is easy to arrange and install based upon your needs and preferences. It’s also easy to use with simple, reliable, one-handed operation.
- EZY-CHECK AND OPENING OPTIONS – The Dreambaby Newport Adapta-Gate swings open in both directions for ease of use. However, it can be adjusted to open in only one direction, which is especially important when positioned at the top of stairs. This gate also comes with an EZY-Check indicator that shows you that it’s properly and securely closed. The EZY-Check indicator also helps show you that the gate has been installed properly.
- GREAT FOR PETS- Made of strong, high-quality materials it’s perfect for even the most eager pets!
7. Best wall fix baby gate
BabyDan No Trip Wooden Safety Gate (Beech) B007XTDHW4
As I have stated a few times above, safety wise it isn’t recommended to place a stair gate with a bottom threshold at the top of stairs due to the trip hazard. Generally it is also recommended to install screw-fit baby gates at the top of stairs, for added safety. So if you need a gate for the top of the stairs, then one like this Baby Dan no trip gate should be suitable. A standard width type, it has no trip bar and stop pins for mounting at the top of stairs. It can open either way, is double locking and able to be opened with one hand.
What I also like are the quick release fittings for removing the gate from the fixings easily when you do not require the gate. It does look sleeker and less bulky than some of the pressure fit gates which have the bottom threshold and the wall fittings are not unsightly. Available in both white, and for a little more money this wooden option in beechwood at only £29 it is highly competitive in price with other market leaders.
- Fits openings measurements 72 – 78,5 cm wide (28.4″ – 30.9″) from 73 cm in height
- Features wide walk-through section and a no-trip bar
- Quick-release fittings for removal when not required
- Includes stop pins for mounting at the top of stairs
- Two-way one-handed opening and double locking
There we have it – my top 7 picks in baby safety gates. I’ve tried to include options which cover all scenarios, though do your research, get accurate measurements, and check the gate you want conforms to safety standards.
If you think I’ve missed anything – let me know! I welcome feedback and suggestions.