Best Baby Gates: Pampers Parents Help You Pick!
When baby proofing your home, think about where you’ll need to place a baby safety gate. There are many models to choose from, so read on to find out what types of baby gates are out there, and what to consider when buying one. To help, we asked Pampers Parents to vote on the top baby gates and share some useful tips. Here, we reveal the best-rated baby gates based on more than 5000 votes.
Why Do You Need a Baby Safety Gate?
Baby safety gates help cordon off sections of your home so your baby stays out of harm’s way. For example, you might place one at the doorway of the kitchen, laundry room, and garage, or in front of the stairs.
You can also use a baby gate to close off a room in your home while still being able to have the door open.
Depending on the design of your home, you may need more than one gate. For example, if you have stairs, you may need a baby gate at the top and bottom, and you may want one that barricades the kitchen and the hallway. As one Pampers Parent told us: “One is never enough!!”
Many parents recommend installing the baby gate before your baby starts to crawl. Given that babies develop quickly, it might be worth setting up the gate even earlier, such as when your baby starts to sit or roll over on her own.
What Type of Baby Safety Gates Are There?
There are many baby gates on the market, each meeting various requirements, which means you’ll be able to find one that’s right for your needs. For example, you might want an extra-wide, pressure-mounted baby gate with a cat door. Or you might prefer a hardware-mounted baby gate for the top of the stairs that doesn’t have a step-over bar. Here are some of the most common types of baby safety gates:
Hardware-mounted baby gates. These include wall-mounted and doorway-mounted baby gates. They’re ideal for the top or bottom of the stairs as they screw into the wall and tend to be more secure than pressure-mounted baby gates. These gates will often leave a mark on the wall, and may require a little extra work to install.
Pressure-mounted baby gates. These gates tension-fit between two walls with outward pressure keeping them in place. These can be the best option for doorways when you don’t want marks on the wall. Pressure-mounted baby gates can be less secure, so avoid them for stairs.
Baby gates for stairs. The best baby gate for the top of stairs are often those that are specifically designed for stairs (no surprise here!). These models typically do not have a step-over rail, which can be a tripping hazard, and they are designed with banisters in mind. These designs often come with a door stopper so the door doesn’t swing out over the stairs, and they are hardware mounted for maximum safety.
Baby gates with a door. This type of baby safety gate is common, and can be convenient because you don’t need to step over the gate — you simply open the latch and walk through. Many designs come with a door that swings both ways. Some designs come with a feature that can keep the door open, which can be helpful when you need to walk in and out many times.
Step-over gates. These are good when your baby is quite small and can’t climb over a gate yet. These hands-free gates don’t require locking, but you may find it annoying to have to step over the gate as you go in and out.
Freestanding baby gates. These are handy if you want to move the gate around, and can be quite sturdy on their own. However, this type of gate won't work for stairs or once your baby is strong enough and clever enough to move it out of the way.
Retractable baby gates. Roll-out mesh baby safety gates can be a good option.
Extra-wide baby gates. If you have an extra-wide doorway or hallway, extra-wide baby gates are made for you! Some standard designs also come with add-ons that you can buy to provide that extra width, too.
Tall safety gates. It could be a good idea to go for one with extra height for the top of the stairs, or when your baby is getting big enough to climb over the shorter ones.
Baby gates with a cat door. If you have pets, you may want to buy a baby safety gate that has a cat door so your fur baby can get around while your little one is kept safe.
What to Consider When Buying a Baby Safety Gate
When deciding which baby gate is best for your home, ask yourself these questions:
Is the baby gate safe? All items that you use when baby proofing your home need to be safe, so check that your baby gate meets safety standards and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Once your baby safety gate is installed, check it regularly for loose parts, sharp edges, and peeling paint.
Where will you use the baby gate? Whether the baby gate will be set up in a standard doorway, at the top of stairs, or in an extra-wide space, the location will help determine the type you need.
What locking mechanism is right for you and your baby? Buttons or lift-open locks might be OK for a younger baby, but those little fingers (and brains) become skilled at opening locks sooner than you might think, and you'll need to upgrade to a baby safety gate with a child-proof lock.
Is your toddler able to climb over? There are extra-tall baby gates to help prevent this.
What width is best for you? Measure the space so that your baby safety gate will fit snugly. If you’d like to block off an extra-large space, go for an extra-wide baby gate.
What design and material are right for you? There are metal, wooden, mesh, and plastic baby gates to choose from. Pick a material that’s easy to clean and a style that suits your décor.
Do you have a young child or elderly person living with you? A baby gate with a step-over rail can be a trip hazard, especially at the top of the stairs. Also, some locking mechanisms might be hard for your bigger children and the elderly to open.
Do you have a pet? Some baby gates are designed with a cat door.
Do you want the gate permanently closed? Though most baby gates have either a door or retractable mesh you can walk through, some are designed to permanently divide an area until the gate is removed entirely.
“I wish I would’ve paid more attention to where I was putting it by measuring and checking out how it had to be installed to the wall and then chosen the best gate for the spot.”
Favorite Baby Gate Brands
We asked parents to share their favorite brands for baby safety gates. Here are the top three, according to Pampers Parents’ votes:
Why pick an Evenflo baby gate?
Evenflo offers a variety of baby gear and baby safety products, and the company has several baby gates to choose from, including walk-through room dividers and expandable baby gates. Choose from a range of pressure-mounted and hardware-mounted baby gates based on what’s right for your home. Evenflo’s baby gates come in materials like wood, metal, and see-through mesh.
Price*: Evenflo’s baby gates start from around $14.99 on Amazon.com.
Pampers Parents Tip: Your child is surprisingly crafty, so getting a gate that’s truly baby-proof is important.
Why pick a Munchkin baby gate?
Purchasing a Munchkin baby gate is another good choice to help ensure your little one’s adventures around the home are safe, and it's easy to find a gate that suits your style and budget. Munchkin baby gates come in white-, brown-, black-, and bronze-colored metal. Most Munchkin baby gates are modern- and sleek-looking so you can find one that’s right for your décor.
Price*: Munchkin’s baby gates start from around $44.22 on Amazon.com.
Pampers Parents Tip: Safety, reliability, and quality are crucial for your peace of mind when it comes to baby gates.
Why pick a Summer Infant baby gate?
Summer Infant has a big selection of baby gates, including a mesh extra-wide baby gate that can be opened with one hand, an extra-tall baby gate, a six-foot-wide extra-tall baby gate, and a retractable baby gate. Summer Infant’s baby gates come in colors like silver, bronze, white, and dark gray. Need a baby gate for the top of stairs and you only have one wall? Summer Infant also sells a banister-to-banister mounting kit so you can securely attach its baby gates to a banister.
Price*: Summer Infant’s baby gates start from around $38.95 on Amazon.com.
Pampers Parents Tip: The latch should be easy for you to open but hard for your baby to figure out.
Top 3: Best Baby Gates for Doors
Pampers Parents voted, and the results are in! Here are the best baby gates for doors:
Why pick this one? Baby proof your home in style! This bronze-colored pressure-mounted baby gate comes with hardware mounts, too, so you can decide how to install it. It can fit door openings up to 45 inches wide. This Summer Infant baby gate has an auto-close feature that gently locks after you’ve walked through. The lock can be opened by you with one hand. This baby gate has a step-over rail at the bottom, so be careful if you have another child or elderly person living with you, as this could become a trip hazard.
Highlights: When used between rooms, the door swings in both directions, but if you place this baby gate at the top of stairs (using the hardware mounts for safety), there’s a door stopper that prevents the door from swinging open toward the staircase.
|Summer Infant Multi-Use Decorative Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate|
|Width||28.5 to 45 inches|
|Color options||Beige, bronze|
Price*: about $59.99 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: It’s convenient to pick a gate that’s easy to open with one hand so you can hold your baby or groceries with the other and still get around with ease.
Why pick this one? The benefit of this baby gate is that it locks easily with just one push. It has a triple-locking system and swings both ways. Its heavy-duty construction is built to last and its simple design will look great in your home. Tension nobs secure the baby gate in place, so it’s ideal for doorways and between rooms. The gate comes with two extensions, should you need it to fit a wider space. Additional extensions are sold separately. This gate has a step-over rail at the bottom, which can be a trip hazard.
Highlights: This North States baby gate has a hold-open function for when you’d like to keep the baby safety gate open for several walk-throughs.
|North States 38.5" Wide Easy-Close Baby Gate|
|Width||28 to 38.5 inches|
|Color options||Bronze, white|
Price*: about $48.39 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: Only you as the parent know your child(ren) and home, so only you will know what will best fit your needs.
Why pick this one? This Munchkin baby gate has a simple, sleek, and secure design, and as the name suggests, it’s easy to close. It has a dual-locking mechanism, and the door swings in both directions for easy access no matter which way you’re going. This is a pressure-mounted baby gate that comes with hardware, too, for added security. The step-over rail at the bottom of the gate can be a trip hazard, particularly if you have an older child or an elderly person living with you.
Highlights: Comes with a 2.75-inch extension so this baby gate can cover a space as wide as 35 inches. If you need it to go even wider, you can buy an extension here.
|Munchkin Easy Close Gate|
|Width||29.5 to 35 inches|
Price*: about $44.22 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: You’ll be using your baby gate frequently, so choose one you’ll be happy opening and closing several times a day.
Top 3: Best Baby Gates for Stairs
It’s worth being extra cautious with the baby gate you choose for the top and bottom of the stairs. Here, Pampers Parents reveal their choices for the best baby gates for stairs.
Why pick this one? This baby gate is specially designed for the top of stairs. It’s a walk-through baby gate for stairs with a stopper to prevent the door from swinging out over the staircase. It doesn’t have a step-over rail, so it doesn’t pose a trip hazard. You’ll be able to open the lock with one hand, if needed. If you need a baby gate for stairs where there is only one wall, you can buy a square gate clamp or a round gate clamp to fasten the baby gate to the banister on the other side. The gate has a long-lasting, easy-to-clean powder-coated finish. If you have an especially wide space, this gate won’t be wide enough as it comes, but you can buy extensions separately to make it work.
Highlights: The gate is designed to fit on angles of up to 30 degrees, so if there’s an angle between the two points you’d like to mount a baby gate to, the Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Baby Gate could be a good option.
|Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Baby Gate|
|Width||27 to 42.5 inches|
|Color options||White, black|
Price*: about $80.29 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: Step-over baby gates and baby gates with a step-over rail can be a trip hazard.
Why pick this one? This baby gate is ideal for the top of stairs, but can also be used in hallways and doorways. It has a comfort grip for an easy one-handed open. Although this is a walk-through baby gate for stairs, the pack also includes an optional stopper to prevent the door from swinging out over the stairs. If you have banisters, you can buy these super handy Summer Infant universal banister mounting kits to avoid having to drill and damage the wood.
Highlights: For a classic, natural look select this baby gate with its antique oak finish.
|Summer Infant Deluxe Stairway Simple to Secure Wood Gate|
|Width||30 to 48 inches|
Price*: about $38.95 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: If you have stairs, consider buying two gates: one for the top, one for the bottom.
Why pick this one? This Regalo baby gate is a smart choice for the top of stairs. It’s easy to remove and store for future use, too. When buying this gate, you’ll also get mounted level poles (to make sure the gate is level if your wall or banister isn’t), 16 banister corner protectors, 4 square banister adapters, 6 plastic wall spacers, 1 round banister adapter, and wall-mounting hardware. Although it’s a little odd that only 1 round banister adapter is included, this could still be the best option if you need a baby gate for stairs with banisters or if you need a baby gate for the top of the stairs where there’s only one wall. Given all of the extras provided, you probably won’t need to drill or mark your banisters, which is a definite bonus. The Regalo baby gate is both easy to install and remove when it’s time to pack it away.
Highlights: This Regalo baby gate uses slide technology, allowing it to easily expand up to 43 inches wide.
|Regalo 2-In-1 Stairway and Hallway Baby Gate|
|Width||29 to 43 inches|
Price*: about $50.99 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: You might be worried about the wall-mounted baby gates leaving a mark on your wall, but Pampers Parents wrote that some pressure-mounted baby gates can also leave marks, so it’s worth going for the hardware-mounted ones for the extra safety they provide.
Why pick this one? Have an extra-wide doorway? This is the extra-wide baby gate for you! Keep in mind that this baby gate is more like a divider rather than a gate; it has no locking mechanism and it cannot be walked through. Because you have to remove the entire gate to get through, this might not be what you’re looking for if you’re wanting to walk in and out of the space frequently. The mesh fabric is semi-transparent and can be washed. This baby gate is pressure mounted and is easy to install, and the rubber bumpers won’t leave marks. If you have uneven door openings or baseboards, this might be the best baby gate for you, as the width of the gate can be adjusted both at the top and bottom.
Highlights: This baby gate can be easily removed and transported, whether you want to move it to another spot in your home or take it with you when you travel or visit loved ones.
|Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate|
|Width||38 to 60 inches|
Price*: about $27.15 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: It’s important to pick a baby gate that’s tall enough to prevent your baby from climbing over it, and wide enough for the space. Make sure you’ve measured the space accurately.
Why pick this one? This Summer Infant retractable baby gate can fit openings of up to 50 inches wide. It is hardware mounted and works for stairs, doorways, and hallways. You might prefer the look of this retractable baby gate compared to the gates with bars. And, unlike some mesh gates, which have to be kept permanently in place, it’s possible to open and close this one. The locking mechanism is easy for you to open and close with one hand — simply push down to lock and pull up to unlock. The mesh fabric can be wiped clean, but unfortunately you can’t remove the mesh and put it through the wash if it gets very dirty.
Highlights: If you have a baseboard, there’s no need to buy an extra baseboard installation kit with this retractable baby gate because it’s already included in the pack.
|Summer Infant Retractable Gate|
|Material||Mesh fabric, metal, plastic|
|Color options||Black mesh with pattern|
Price*: about $68.45 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: Picking a sturdy baby gate that won’t tip over is important, especially as your little one grows and becomes stronger.
Why pick this one? This baby gate could be best for you if you’re looking for a walk-through baby gate with a door that is also extra tall. It offers a secure one-handed double-locking system (with locks at the top and bottom of the gate). The door opens in both directions and auto locks. The EZY Check indicator shows red when the door isn’t closed properly, giving you extra peace of mind. This gate also has a stay-open feature for when you want the door to remain open for a period of time — for example, if you’re walking in and out. This pressure-mounted baby gate is suitable for doorways and other entryways, but if you’d like to use it for stairs the hardware mounting cups can be screwed in place. Used this way, it’s can serve as a walk-through baby gate for stairs as well. One thing to consider with this gate is that it’s designed with a step-over rail at the bottom, and this can be tripped over.
Highlights: Got a super extra-wide space you need a baby gate for? This gate can be extended to up to 198.5 inches if you purchase matching extensions.
|Dreambaby Chelsea Gate|
|Width||38 to 42.5 inches|
|Color options||White, black|
Price*: about $49.98 on Amazon.com
Pampers Parents Tip: Some gates are easier to install and remove than others, but 28 percent of Pampers Parents said their baby gate was very easy to install and 42 percent said installation was what they expected it would be. If you have a baby gate installation still ahead of you, don’t panic — the process might be easier than you think!
The best baby gate for you depends on many things, and it’s a personal choice. Just make sure the baby gate you buy is safe and will fit well, and then choose your favorite design from the many options available.
*Prices are correct at the time of writing.
How We Got These Results
We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.
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