Best Baby Gates

Updated

You need one of these safety baby gates if you have a small child, toddler, or even a pet in your home. Safety is a primary concern for every parent but you cannot always be around while your little one is playing or running around the house. The good news is that you can easily track the baby and block access to potentially dangerous areas such as the stairs, entryways, and doorways using a miniature baby gate. These are short gates for the baby that adults can easily walk over. A diverse range of baby gates is available in different styles, sizes, mounting styles, and other useful features to fit every type of home.

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Our Picks

Updated
1
Extra Tall Home Accents Walk-Thru Gate Safety Gate

Extra Tall Home Accents Walk-Thru Gate Safety Gate

At a height of 37”, this black baby gate is stylish, durable, and exceptionally strong. It’s perfect for keeping your little climber away from dangerous areas or for containing a dog that loves to jump on guests. Sturdy steel coupled with cherry wood accents makes it a stylish addition to any minimal contemporary home.

Gate installation is simple, and you can choose between using the included door frame-mounting hardware or the included rubber tension knots to secure your gate to the doorway. Due to its adjustable construction, it can fit in doorways between 30” and 42” across.

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2
Super Yard XT Safety Gate

Super Yard XT Safety Gate

Adaptable and versatile, this gate system can function as a pen for a new pet, a contained indoor or outdoor play area for a toddler or an indoor fence to keep bookshelves or kitchens out of reach. If there are siblings or rambunctious pets in the house, this gate can also provide a safe tummy time area for a new baby.

Six 26” tall, 32” wide plastic panels can enclose an area of up to 18.5 square feet. Skid-resistant pads on the bottom of each panel keep this play yard stable and safe for any floor surface.

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3
Hollingshead Extra Tall Walk-Thru Safety Gate

Hollingshead Extra Tall Walk-Thru Safety Gate

This stately safety gate strikes the ideal balance between traditional style and functional security for your little ones. Perfect for spacious doorways or archways in the home, it can protect areas between 44” and 72” wide and features a swinging, walk-through gate.

Sturdy steel construction is paired with a bronze finish for an extra touch of understated class. At a height of 36”, it’s suitable for containing both energetic pets and curious toddlers.

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4
Easy Step Extra Wide Safety Gate

Easy Step Extra Wide Safety Gate

Childproofing your home was never so easy. Simple to assemble with pressurized rubber mounts, this 30” gate is perfect for that moment your child becomes mobile.

The sturdy steel construction is strong enough to withstand the excitement of a large dog or persistent toddler, and the system features two additional extensions allowing you to customize the gate to any doorway in your home.

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5
9.5 Extension For The Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Gate

9.5 Extension For The Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Gate

Ideal for curious kids, this white swing gate keeps valuable items out of reach and out of sight of your little ones.

The gate accordions outwards to fit doorways between 24.5” and 35” across, while a lockable handle on the top of the gate keeps clever kids safe while allowing adults easy access.

At 29” tall, this low-profile plastic gate can contain small pets and children without interrupting the aesthetic of your home.

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6
Chelsea Safety Gate

Chelsea Safety Gate

This 29.5” tall, black gate swings open in both directions for easy access and closes automatically, making it perfect for busy multitaskers who are trying to manage the chores, the baby, and an excitable pet all at once.

A magnetic gate latch comes equipped with a childhood proof lock, and a double-locking feature at both the latch and base of the gate provides added protection. The gate system is compatible with a variety of optional extensions that allow you to create a barrier up to 198” wide for use as a room divider.

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7
Easy Walk-Thru Safety Gate

Easy Walk-Thru Safety Gate

Inspired by the clean, straight lines of Scandinavian design, this gate combines minimalist style with maximum functionality. This 29” tall swinging gate comes equipped with wall mounts for superior strength and stability and is ready to stand up to your persistent toddler.

Available in natural, white, and espresso finishes, you can effortlessly match this rubberwood gate with your home’s color palette. Whether you use this gate to guard stairs or limit hallway access to the kitchen, the 29”-42.5” width adjustability allows you to place this gate exactly where you need it.

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8
Retractable Safety Gate

Retractable Safety Gate

If you’re searching for a safety gate that is quick to install and easy to use, look no further. This low maintenance mesh safety gate goes up in minutes for a safer home in no time.

The fine mesh panel allows you to see your toddler playing in the other room. The retractable locking design makes for easy accessibility without the risk of jamming little fingers and allows you to hide the gate when guests come over.

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9
Easy Swing & Lock Safety Gate

Easy Swing & Lock Safety Gate

Durable steel construction meets stylish matte-bronze finish for a baby gate that coordinates with your contemporary home décor. With one-handed, auto-locking gate operation, it resists prying little fingers and boisterous pets alike.

Intended for the top of stairs, this gate has no threshold to avoid tripping even if weighed down by heavy laundry baskets or a sleepy toddler. Suitable for both wide and narrow stair entryways, 31” tall gate refuses to compromise on safety, adjustability, or affordability.

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10
Superyard Colorplay Safety Gate

Superyard Colorplay Safety Gate

Colorful and bright, this lightweight, six-panel play yard is fun and inviting and keeps your child safe as they play. With up to 18.5 square feet of internal space, this 27” tall play yard gives your child far more freedom and space than a traditional pack and play.

Use the convenient carry handle to move this play yard inside or out while you tackle your to-do list and let your child develop their motor skills and enjoy their favorite toys in safety.

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Best Baby Gates

Buying Guide

Baby-proofing your home isn't for the faint of heart, but it's definitely a good step to take if you're looking to ensure that your home is as safe as it possibly can be for your beloved child. One easy way to ensure that no harm comes to any infant crawling about your home is to install baby gates - but there are so many to choose from!

What are the important features to consider and questions to ask when looking for a good baby gate? We'll cover that---and more---in this handy guide.

Baby gates can be grouped by the materials out of which they are made:

Wood

Wood is likely the most aesthetically pleasing of the common baby gate materials. Solid wood baby gates are made to blend into your decor without making your space feel overly baby-oriented. Wood baby gates are thus a good choice if you're looking for a subtler, more natural alternative. 

On the other hand, if the gate is not properly finished and regularly inspected, splinters might cause minor injuries. An accordion wooden baby gate can also pinch little fingers between the slats that will stretch across a doorway.

Metal

If you're looking for a long-lasting baby gate with an industrial vibe, metal is you best choice. Just make sure there are no loose elements or sticking out hardware.

Plastic

Plastic baby gates represent a durable yet thrifty choice. Plastic is more forgiving when your little one takes a tumble, but some plastics include chemicals that may be toxic for your child. If you're intending to buy a safety gate made of plastic, look for one that's free of polyvinyl chloride.

Mesh

If you're purchasing a baby gate for portable purposes, you can also find some made of simple netting with wire sides. These are cheaper than their sturdier alternatives, but likely not suited to permanent use.

Baby gates are often categorized by the way they mount to the wall. In other words, how do they stay put once they're in place? There are two types of mounted baby gates---pressure-based and hardware-based.

Pressure mounting

Pressure mounts are incredibly easy to install, as you don't need any extra tools or materials to get started! The baby gate will simply extend to the sides of the hall or door you're gating, and will push up against the walls to stay up. They shouldn't leave any marks on your wall, but the may create a hole in the drill wall when they are too tight.

A major disadvantage of pressure mounted baby gates is that they may bepushed down (in some extreme cases of force), if you have a stronger toddler or large animal in your home. NEVER install pressure mounted bay gates on top of the stairs.

Hardware mounting

Hardware-mounted baby gates have components which are screwed or nailed into the wall. They may therefore take a little longer to set up than alternatives which can simply be extended and propped, but once properly installed they will be impossible for an infant to move. They will leaves holes on your wall once they are removed, but that's not much of a problem these days. 

Which method you choose will depend upon the nature of the walls where you wish to install your baby gate as well as the conditions you suspect your children may put the gate through!

Free standing gates

A free standing baby gate is used precisely as the name suggests. It stands upright on its own, so no drilling and no walls at all are necessary. As such it is very convenient when you just want to set up a visual barrier between your little one and potential danger, but don't expect it to prevent a strong child from knocking it over. If your child is a climber, a free standing gate is perhaps not the best idea.

Baby gates can also be grouped by the types of features they offer you! These features can make them easier to use and more suited to your life. Common features are: 

  • Swinging Door: Perhaps the most popular of all baby gate accessories, a swinging door can ensure that adults can go through the gated areas easily without having to step over the gate each time. 

  • Included Extenders and Installation Kits: While extenders and installation kits are often available as separate purchases, investing in a baby gate which already has them may be an investment in a frustration-free installation and your peace of mind. 

  • Extra Tall: If you're gating off a certain area against pets who can jump higher or young children who have learned to climb, investing in a baby gate which is above the standard height of about 32" may be wise. 

  • Pet doors: If you have a cat or small dog, you might want to look for a gate that enables your pet to get around easily while keeping your little one safe.

Ultimately, if you're looking for ease of use and optimum durability and longevity, opting for a plastic or metal baby gate with a swinging door and included extenders may be a best bet.

As the main point of a baby gate is you being able to get through while your baby cannot, ensuring that you can open the gate for best use is key! 

  • Buttons: A push-to-release button at the top of the gate is difficult to open for small kids, but as they grow older, they may try to manipulate it and open it accidentally. Mind you, some buttons are extremely difficult to open with one hand, so always test several solutions before you purchase anything.

  • Latches: While they can come in a variety of forms, a latch at the top of the gate is a simple lever or lock which can be pulled open by you---but likely not a child. It is considered a safe locking mechanism: it's easy to use, and difficult for a child to manipulate.

  • Foot pedals: These are small plastic or metal pedals at the base of a gate which trigger the gate to open. They are great for when you have younger children, as they allow you to navigate the door hands-free. There is a small chance that older children may be able to figure out how it works, so just keep an eye out for that as your child's motor function grows!

  • Double or triple locking mechanism: Such mechanisms are completely childproof and give you the much needed peace of mind. Also, choose a gate with a self-locking mechanism that closes the door automatically behind you.

There are three widths that are standard in the baby gate industry. To get a sense for which type you'll need, first start by measuring the hall or doorway which you'll want to gate. Once you have that measurement in mind, you can go shopping! 

The most common gate sizes are: 

  • Narrow (Less than 30")
  • Standard (30"-55")
  • Extra-Wide (56" and above)

Note that if the intended place for your baby gate falls very close to one of these measurements, it's better to size down than to size up. It's very easy to purchase an extender as an accessory for a baby gate, but very hard to place a 56" item in a 55" hallway!

For starters, you'll want your baby gate to be tall enough that your baby won't be able to hop or climb over it. It may be convenient for it to be short enough that you can easily step over it so you don't have to open it each time an adult needs to go through the gated area, if you would rather not have a baby gate with a swinging door option. 

To be more precise, a baby gate must be at least 22" tall. A rule of thumb is to buy one at least yourchild's height.

Keep in mind that a standard heigh is approximately 30". If your family is taller or if you'll be using the gate to corral pets as well as infants, you may wish to consider extra-tall heights.

As with many baby-oriented purchases, the first thing you'll need to consider is safety. By looking for just a few simple things, you'll be able to be sure that your baby will be safe in your home! 

  • Check for a a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification or endorsement on the gate you're considering. This way, you'll know the gate has been thoroughly vetted and approved for sale by a Testing and Materials governing entity. 
  • Check that your baby gate hasn't been recalled on sites like Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Once the gate is installed, check it regularly for sharp edges, splinters, loose parts, and peeling paint.
  • If you're planning on putting the gate at the top of the stairs, choose a hardware-mount gate instead of a pressure-mount gate. 
  • According to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), a baby gate shouldn't be less than 22 inches in height
  • Ensure that the gate you choose doesn't leave more than a 2 inch gap over the floor to make sure that no little hands or feet will get stuck in it! 
  • Any bars or slats in the gate should be no more than 2.5 inches apart, so that your child's head won't get stuck in the gate itself!

  • If you're thinking about installing a baby gate in a high-traffic area, consider purchasing one with a swinging door feature so that you don't have to step over it every time. 
  • For optimal safety, check to see whether your product of choice has been endorsed by any baby-first governing entities.