I remember my first baby gate – it was when my sister and my baby nephew came to visit with me three years ago. I was living in a town house with stairs then.
You guessed it – baby gate is really about caring for the safety of the precious toddler in your house. The toddler can be your child, your nephew or your niece, or your friends’ kids.
How do we choose the best baby gates?
The most important evaluating factor for us is safety, follow by functionality and quality.
We must confess, we are a squad of practical moms with sense of styles. So, every baby gate featured here must also meet our “beautiful and functional” criteria.
We also like options and flexibility. Our favorites are baby gates with multiple configuration options.
Here are our top-rated baby gates:
Best Baby Gate Reviews by product purpose:
1. Munchkin Easy Close XL Metal Baby Gate – TOP PICK
- Measures: 36" tall and 29.5" - 51.6" wide with the included (1) 2.75", (1) 5.5" and...
- Pressure mounted installation; includes hardware option for added safety
- Door locks easily with simple push to close feature
Reasons to buy:
- Strong steel material, quality built and beautiful clean-line design.
- An extra-wide wide 22-inch walkthrough for easy in and out access.
- Extra tall 36-inch door.
- Extra wide range to fit opening 29.5″ to 51.6″
- Multiple use: This gate is well-suited for top of stairs, bottom of stairs, hallways, or doorways installation.
- This metal baby gate is pressure mounted or hardware mounted for added safety.
- Flexibility to set the door to open to right or left.
- Double-locking system. A smart and excellent safety feature – hard for a child to open, easy for an adult to operate.
- Simple operation. Door locks easily with a simple push to close mechanism. Easy and convenience always get our votes.
- Flexibility in installation configuration. Include extensions of one 2.75″, one 5.5″ and one 11″. Tip: If you need just a few inches wider than 51.6”, this gate is designed to fit up to 54″ wide with additional extensions are purchased
2. North States 72″ Wide Deluxe Décor Baby Gate – Runner Up. Best baby gate for angled-walls.
- Please note: this is a hardware mount gate only, which requires the gate be screwed...
- With easy one-hand operation the safety gate opens and closes with ease on both sides...
- Comes with an extra wide gate that includes a stay-open feature for when you want to...
Reasons to buy:
- Heavy metal frame, quality built, beautiful tri-panel design, soft white color.
- An extra-wide wide 25.5-inch walkthrough for easy access.
- 30-inch tall door.
- Hardware mounted to straight or angled wall.
- Large opening: ideal for any large opening in the house, 38.3″ – 72″.
- Applicable for hallway, doorway, top of stairs, bottom of stairs installations.
- One-hand operation. No worries when you have to carry your baby or a basket of laundry in one-hand.
- Convenience. When the gate is not in use, it can easily swing out from both sides.
- Easily removable. It’s stress-free when you need to detach the gate from the hardware – thanks to its clever detach-mechanism.
- Safety. Double-locking system – hard for a child to open, easy for an adult.
3. Summer Infant multi-use deco walk-through baby gate. Best auto-close baby gate.
- Pressure mounted installation for use between rooms with optional hardware mounts...
- 36" tall gate fits openings 28.5"-45" wide. Dual locking, auto-close walk through...
- Removable door stopper for use at top of stairs, prevents gate from opening towards...
Reasons to buy:
- Beautiful. Arching pass-through door and bronze color finished.
- Perfect for doorways. Stands at 36 inches in height and spans a range of 28.5″ to 45″ wide.
- Multiple uses. This Summer Infant is designed for top of stairs, bottom of stairs, hallways, or doorways installation.
- Walkthrough door. The door will close automatically behind you.
- Double locking mechanism for added safety.
- Pressure mounted for easy installation for hallways. Use hardware mounted when it’s installed on top of stairs or at the bottom of stairs.
4. Regalo 192-inch super-wide baby gate and play yard. Best super-wide adjustable baby gate and play yard.
- SUPERWIDE: Fits opens up to 192 inches wide and stands 28 inches tall
- 2-IN-1: Can convert from a super wide gate to an 8-panel play yard. No tools require,...
- CONFIGURABLE: Each panel can be adjusted to fit almost any opening. Great for wide...
Reasons to buy:
- Super-wide and modular design. 16-feet wide with various configuration options using the eight 24-inch panels.
- Multiple installations. A baby gate, a play yard, a super-wide barrier between spaces.
- Strong and durable. All-steel frame construction.
- Smart design. The panels connect to the hinged posts. Imagine the many configuration possibilities.
- Contained area. You can create a 19 sq. feet area using the 8 modular baby gate panels.
- Easy set-up. The modular design allows for quick fold-down, compact storage and easy set-up.
- Flexible and adaptable. You can convert this Regalo baby gate from a fireplace barrier to a play yard easily.
- Walk-through door with double-lock lever handle mechanism.
- Hardware mount. Connect modular panels to hinged posts.
- PVC-free material. Non-toxic powder coating.
- Safety standards. Approved by ASTM.
- Warranty. Limited 90-day warranty by Regalo.
ASTM = American Society for Testing and Materials.
Tips : Take this modular Regalo baby gate on your road trip to visit with friends and family. You can quickly set-up a contained area for your baby. You and your hosts will get peace of minds – having your baby play in a safe play yard.
5. Summer Infant Banister and Stair Gate with Dual Installation Kit. Best baby gate for stairs with Banisters.
- Banister-to-banister installation with no drilling required on square banisters
- Can be setup between rooms and on stairs and includes a dual banister mounting kit
- Fits openings 32" to 48" (81cm to 122cm) wide, stands tall at 33" (83.82cm)
Reasons to buy:
- Best banister-to-banister baby gate, works for either single or dual banisters stairs.
- There is no drilling required for a square banister. It works on round banister – drilling needed.
- Good looking traditional style for wooden banister stairs.
- Reliable banister kit to use for safe and easy mounting at the top or bottom of stairs.
- This wooden baby gate works for range of diameter 2.75” to 5” thick banisters.
- Durable material. Honey oak wood with chocolate accent.
- Good height: 33” tall door.
- Good range of opening for most types of stairs and space. It can accommodate opening 32:”-48”.
- Suitable for doorways installation.
6. Evenflo Soft and Wide baby gate. Best retractable and adjustable baby gate for travel.
- Pressure-mounted with rubber bumpers that won't damage walls, providing a secure,...
- Completely assembled for immediate use. No tools required
- Lightweight and Portable
Reasons to buy:
- Fully assembled. No tools are needed to set it up or take it down.
- Color and design look neutral in most living spaces.
- Lightweight and portable. This Evenflo baby gate has a small footprint.
- The rubber bumpers will not damage walls.
- Tension rod allows custom fit without causing blemish to the walls.
- Best for doorways and doorways with opening 38” to 60”. Custom fit with tension rod.
- Easy step-over. It stands at 27 1/2 inches tall.
- Soft and washable material.
- Ideal to pack for travel. You can set up this soft gate in 5 minutes without damage to any walls.
Buying Guide for baby gates
If possible, plan for baby proofing your home before your baby can crawl. Make use of baby gates as a barriers to unsafe areas.
Think about the hazards in your home. How you would limit access to them. What kind of baby gates do you need? Are they in doorways, stairways? Do you need extra-wide, extra-tall safety gates?
Why do you need a baby gate?
Baby gate is one of the fundamental safety items to child-proof your home. Ask any parents, they will tell you that child safety is always priority one.
There are many safety reasons to limit toddler access to unsafe areas. For example, it is wise to:
- Create a contained space to keep them safe inside a play yard. You can keep an eye on their movements easier in a fenced area.
- Block access to stairs to prevent accidental falls.
- Block access to hazardous objects such as fireplaces, wood stoves, heaters, etc.
When should you install a baby gate?
- You want to install baby gates as soon as your baby becomes mobile.
- Babies start crawling about six-month old. They are naturally curious. Given the chance, they will explore every corner of your home.
- Baby gate is most effective to child-proof your home for toddler between six-months to two-year old.
- Of course, each child’s agility, curiosity and natural inclination to avoid danger varies.
When will baby gate become ineffective?
- It goes without saying that babies will amaze you with their dexterity and intelligence.
- A baby gate will only be effective if the baby can’t open it.
- Generally, a two-year-old will be able to open a baby-gate.
- Of course you can no longer use the gate when your child can climb over.
Where should you install a baby gate?
We all want to baby proof every room, but that may not be possible. It may be wiser just to limit access to certain areas or hazards in your home.
Obvious areas to use baby gates: top of stairs, bottom of stairs, hallways, doorways, fireplace.
- About 50% of homes in the US have stairs. And, stairs are a top source* of home accidents.
- According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, there are 3000 stairs-related injuries per day in the US.
*Source: Reuters report on injuries on stairs in 2017.
How to choose the best baby gate?
Choosing the best baby gate is really about choosing the best safety gate for your specific requirements.
So, let’s first find out what are your needs.
- Where do you want to install your gate? Hallway, doorway, top of stairs, bottom of stairs. You pick the type of baby gate based on your installation location.
- Do you want to just fence off an area to create a contained space?
- Based on how wide is the area, you may need an extra-tall or an extra-wide baby gate.
- How often do you plan to use it throughout the day? Walk-through gate? Easy-to-open gate?
- Do you need a portable gate or a permanent gate? Do you need to take it down at night?
- Do you need a multi-functional gate? Are you thinking about configuring it to a play yard sometimes?
- Can you do a hardware mount onto your wall? Or, a pressure-mount is your preferred choice?
Here is a complete baby-gate checklist to aid you in your evaluation:
- Location. Where will the baby gate be installed? Will it be in a hallway, a doorway, at the top of stairs or bottom of stairs? Fireplace barrier? A contained space?
- Dimension. How wide is the space for the baby gate? Do you need to order extensions for those safety gates? How tall will the baby gate need to be?
- Will it be permanent or temporary in that location? How will the gate be installed? Are you willing and able to permanently mount the gate to the wall or door-frame? Or do you want a pressure fit gate that can easily be moved? Or, do you want a portable retractable gate?
- Door swing. For a baby gate with a door, do you want the door open to the right or left? What is the space available to accommodate the door swing?
- Access. How about your own access through the baby gates? Hopping over is not always most convenient for adults, especially if you are carrying something. Do you need walk-through door?
- One-hand operation. How often do you need to pass through this gate daily? Will you be carrying something? How difficult it is to open the gate?
- Auto-close door. Do you prefer a door to close automatically behind you?
- Ease of installation and removal. How much time and effort do you want to spend on this task?
- Multi-functional. Does your baby gate need to support multiple configurations? Do you want a room barrier to be convertible into a play yard?
- Durability. Steel frame is most durable and strong. If you expect to be using the same gate for multiple children in years to come, metal or wooden frame are good choices.
- If you are looking for a temporary solution to travel with you, a lightweight portable gate is worth considering.
- Style. Do you prefer particular designs or materials? For example, do you want it to match the decor of your home? Or do you want it to be of a particular material such as metal, wood or mesh fabric?
- How many gates do you need? Know the dimension and type you need for each installation. For example, one for hallway, one for top of the stairs, another one for the bottom of stairs. A portable play yard for travel?
- Budget. Let’s face it, budget is always a real consideration. If money is no object, always choose the best gate for your baby and situation. We feature gates from below $50 to about $100. Each price range has its own merits based on your needs.
Recap of the best baby gates for your needs
Munchkin Easy Close XL Wide Bronze Baby Gate MK0009-111 (View on Amazon) is our overall best baby gate for doorways and stairways. It gets our votes for both style and functions.
Designed for: hallways, doorways, bottom of stairs, top of stairs.
The extra-tall of 36″ and the extra wide-range of 29.5″ to 51.6″ are icings on the cake!
North States 72″ Wide Deluxe Décor Baby Gate (View on Amazon) is the best baby gate for angled-wall installation.
The tri-panel design allows for multiple configuration: hallways, doorways, fireplace, and angled walls.
This is a hardware-mount unit on straight or angled walls.
And, it offers one-hand operation!
Best auto-close baby gate:
Summer Infant multi-use deco walk-through baby gate (View on Amazon) is the best automatically closed baby gate.
It is also the winner for best-looking deco-style arch-door.
We also love its multi-location options: hallways, doorways, top of stairs and the bottom of stairs.
Best super-wide adjustable baby gate and play yard:
Regalo 192-inch super wide adjustable baby gate and play yard (View on Amazon) is our top-rated super-wide baby gate and play yard. We love its modular and linear design. The PVS-free and non-toxic powder coating win our vote for being environmentally responsible and safe for all.
We also love its multi-configuration options: a baby gate, a play yard, a super-wide barrier between spaces. This is the most flexible and adaptable baby gate on our list.
Best baby gate for stairs with banisters:
Summer Infant Banister and Stair Gate with Dual Installation Kit (View on Amazon) is our best baby gate for stairs with banisters. It works for single or double banister stairs. It can accommodate 2.75” to 5” thick banister, square or round banisters.
It is made of beautiful and durable honey oak wood. It can accommodate 32”- 48” opening. This wooden baby gate is designed for top of stairs, bottom of stairs and doorways installation.
Best portable and lightweight baby gate:
Evenflo Soft and Wide baby gate (View on Amazon) is our best portable and lightweight-fabric baby gate. We like that it is fully assembled. You don’t need any tools to set it up or take it down.
We all appreciate no damage to walls with this pressure-mount tension-rod mechanism.
It is budget friendly. This is our go-to for travel with our baby to friends’ houses.