Once your baby is mobile, the game of baby proofing and keeping your child in one area begins. A traditional home has dozens of areas that pose a danger to your precious infant. A newly mobile child, or wild toddler, has no sense of danger and it is our job to ensure we keep them safe. The most important tool a parent needs is a baby gate. Searching for the right baby gate can pose a challenge.
Being a parent is hard! We are responsible for the safety of another human being, one that often seems determined to get into everything that can physically harm them. Our primary job is to keep them safe, especially young babies and toddlers who have no idea about the concept of danger. They don’t know what they are doing.
Most accidents happen at home when parents think their child is the safest. We spend a majority of our time at home so that we may miss some of the obvious dangers. Children are comfortable in their home and more likely to take off on a quick, and dangerous, adventure before parents can stop them.
What kind of dangers? Oh, they can find toxic substances, like cleaners, water, strangulation risk such as blind cords, and the infamous stairs. Babies seem attracted to places they can take a long fall. Babyproofing is essential if you have children, and baby gates are a necessity.
What to Consider Before Purchase
Before you run out and buy any gate you find in the store, there are a few considerations you have to think about first. They aren’t complicated by any means, but you do need a measuring tape.
- Where Are You Using the Gate? You have to think about the kind of activity your gate will experience each day. For example, you might want to consider a swing gate for high traffic areas like a living space. If you are coming and going in that area a lot, a hands-free gate is ideal. Tall gates offer better protection for those tall children or the ones who like to climb.
- The Size of the Space You Need to Fit: You may be one of the lucky folks with standard sized doorways in your house. Where are you going to place this baby gate? The first thing you should do is measure the area you need to section off with the gate. Accuracy is essential, so remember to write the exact measurement down on a piece of paper. There is no shame; mommy brain is an actual problem for many of us! The last thing you want to do is purchase a gate that is too small for your doorway.
- The Height of Your Baby: Measuring your baby is easy (just kidding). Hopefully, you have been to the doctor’s office recently, and they did the work for you. If not, you will need to get the best measurement possible to see the height of your child. Ideally, the gate will be at least three-quarters of their size. Even gymnastic babies shouldn’t be able to scale a gate that sized. However, most baby gates cannot contain a child taller than 36 inches or heavier than 30 pounds.
- What Style is Appealing? If you have a certain look you are trying to achieve for your house, you may want the baby gate to blend in with your décor. Certain styles are more expensive than other ones. However, a baby gate is an investment and will last through multiple children. You will be looking at them for some time, so pick a style you like. Here are some of the style options you can find.
- Contemporary metal gates
- Wooden gates – light and dark finishes
- Plastic gates – an economical choice
- Clear gates
- Retractable mesh gates
- Pets: A lot of families have pets, like dogs and cats. Typically, you don’t need to worry about cats and the gates you purchased. However, you do need to think about dogs, especially larger sized ones. For families with small animals, there are gates with a small opening to allow pets to enter and exit the room. Bigger dogs are a different story. You should purchase an extra tall gate because dogs and cats can jump extra high. Hardware mounted gates are the best option. If your dog jumps over and misses (my dogs do this all the time), they can knock over a pressure mounted gate. Your gate should be sturdy enough for your toddler and dogs.
- What Kind of Baby Gate? You are probably thinking; I just want a baby gate, why are you asking so many questions? At one point, I was in your shoes and had no idea there were different kinds of baby gates. All I knew were the wooden, cheap options I saw in the chain stores around my town.
Now, I know there is quite a variety of gates. To help your decision, the rest of the article focuses on the types of baby gates available and the best of each type. The goal is to help you make your selection. If it has high ratings and offers value to you, you will find it here on the list.
Types of Baby Gates Available on the Market
Here is when it gets fun! You probably had no idea there were so many different kinds of baby gates available, but there are tons. In general, safety gates can be divided into three different broad categories. Each type is based on size or their functionality. We will get into the general categories and then their sub-categories. Before you know it, you will be a baby gate expert.
- Standard Baby Gates: These are the common baby gates you have more than likely noticed at the store or your friend’s house. They will fit a standard doorway that measures between 30 inches to 45 inches wide.
- Extra Wide Baby Gate: Do you have a strangely large door? So do I! They can be complicated and frustrating. You need a larger baby gate. Typically, these are used for barricading your child in a larger space, such as your family room or a home with an open floor plan. These gates usually come with the basic unit of six to eight panels. Parents can purchase additional panels to make it even larger, or they can remove a few.
- Specialty Baby Gates: If you have a particular area you need to gate off, such as a fireplace, you need a gate that fits a specific area. There are quite a few different varieties of these on the market.
Installation Options for Baby Gates
Once you understand the different types of baby gates, you will find two general types of installation options for these safety gates.
Wall Mounted Baby Gates
These are the most secure choice you can make. Often referred to as hardware mounted gates, they permanently screw into the studs of the walls. They are very stable and strong. However, installation is more complicated, and you end up with holes in your wall. Of course, you could patch the holes over with little work later on.
Hardware mounted gates are made with a variety of materials like steel, aluminum tubing or wood. When you install them, you want to ensure they are installed by screwing into the frame of your door or the wall framing – the studs. You never want to install these gates to drywall or plaster alone. They could be ripped out of the wall under too much pressure if improperly installed.
- Some rental properties may not allow these wall mounted baby gates, so be sure to check with your landlord if you rent!
- Wall mounted gates are best for the top of stairs. In fact, it is advised that you purchase them for stairs. A child could throw themselves against a pressure mounted again and topple down the stairs, getting severely injured.
Advantages of a Wall Mounted Gate
- Toddlers and dogs will not be able to push or topple these gates over.
- They are the most secure style of the baby gate on the market.
- It is the only recommended style of baby gate for the top of stairs
- You won’t trip over a piece of metal when walking through the gate.
- Parents can mount between angled walls.
- You can mount them above your baseboards or trim.
- Ideal choice for dangerous areas, such as around fireplaces
Disadvantages of Wall Mounted Gates
- They leave holes in walls and woodwork when removed. You will need to patch them up.
- Not recommended for rental properties
- Installation is more complicated than pressure mounted safety gates
- Parents can’t take them down in a hurry.
Pressured mounted gates are familiar; you probably have noticed a few before. They exert pressure against the walls with tension rods. You can think of them like shower curtain rods. They require no tools or holes in the wall. Pressure gates are more convenient. The trade-off is that these gates aren’t as sturdy and reliable as the wall-mounted variety.
A standard pressure gate can fit doorways between 26 to 38 inches. However, some models can stretch to wider widths, up to 62 inches. You can find pressure gates in many sizes, even narrower models.
- Pressure gates are ideal for when you are trying to prevent a baby from entering or exiting a specified room on the same level.
Advantages of Pressure Mounted Gates
- Easy to set up and take down
- You can easily move them from place to place
- There is no need to screw into your walls, creating unsightly holes
- Pressure gates are, in general, cheaper than other safety gates.
- You will find more styles available than other kinds of gates.
Disadvantages of Pressure Gates
- If installed incorrectly, these gates can slip and fall if child applies too much pressure.
- A dog can easily knock over these types of gates.
- You can’t use them for dividing spaces with different heights, like stairs or different floor levels of the house.
- You can’t use them for angled walls.
- They leave rubber marks on your walls.
Some parents prefer the portable style pressure mounted gates. They are commonly referred to as step over gates because they don’t come with a gate. Some parents like them, some don’t. They can be a tripping hazard and can lead to injuries. I only included one in the list below. Chances are you have noticed a few of these gates before. They have two sliding panels with a locking system. Parents have to be careful not to pinch fingers when using the lock and always to step over carefully.
Freestanding Baby Gates
These require no installation. Instead, they are a freestanding gate, typically in a circle or square that contains your child to that particular area. Freestanding gates are perfect for outside or penning up your adventurous toddler. You can place them in the gated circle and not be worried that they are causing havoc if you run to the bathroom.
Parents don’t need to have a wall or doorway nearby to work a freestanding gate. In our lists below, there is a freestanding gate and some play yards which are similar. Most don’t have doors in the gate allowing parents to walk into the circle. Instead, parents have to step over. You want to make sure it’s height that you can easily climb over.
- Retractable: These style baby gates are becoming more popular. You can set them up when needed and disable them when you have guests over your house. When retracted, they are out of your way. Parents can take them quickly throughout the house. I have them listed under narrow doorways because they are one of the only options for small gates. However, you could use them in wider doors and standard sized doors!
Important Safety Facts to Always Remember
Now that you have an idea of what gates you find appealing for your home, there are some safety points to consider and remember.
- Never have slats more than three inches apart. If the gate you selected has vertical slats, gaps larger than three inches could allow a child’s head to get trapped, leading to strangulation. In fact, if you have a railing leading up your stairs or over a balcony, you should measure the slats to ensure they fit the safety recommendations as well!
- You want safety standard certified gates. Whatever gate you decide to purchase, make sure it has a Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association certification seal. If it doesn’t, don’t waste your money. These safety standards are a voluntary program, but they guarantee the gate is created with durable and reliable materials, a secure latch, the correct size slats or bars and more important safety features. A product without this seal could have some issues.
- Accordion style gates are NOT recommended. You may stumble across a great deal online for an old, used accordion style safety gate. Do not purchase it! These are dangerous for children. There is too much space for a child to get their head trapped, leading to a dangerous scenario. Even the newer models with a horizontal rail or filler bar across the top aren’t recommended.
- Check for recalls. Unfortunately, children products are constantly being recalled. Check to make sure the gate you want hasn’t been recalled lately.
Important Features of the Right Baby Gate for Your House
Once you have an idea of what size and style baby gate you want, you have to look at the characteristics. Ultimately, the features are how you will make your final decision. You will compare the features of your favorite choices and pick the best one for your family. Every family has different needs; there is no right or wrong selection. Let’s take a look at the features you need.
- Height: One of the first things we recommended for you to do was measure your child. You need to know how tall they are to make the right baby gate selection. It should be three-quarters of your child’s height or more, especially if your child loves to climb. All gates have to be 22 inches high. For taller children, you will want to go for a larger option. Some gates go as high as 39 inches; you have to look for extra-tall gates. However, parents with children taller than 36 inches shouldn’t rely totally on a safety gate to contain their child.
- Construction: Because this gate protects your baby, it should be well-constructed. Wooden gates should be smooth, without the risk of a splinter. Rounded edges are always better than squared edges; that goes for anything baby related! Metal gates tend to be more durable than wooden gates. As we mentioned above, always check for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association seal that lets you know the gate meet specific safety standards. It will give you more peace of mind that the product you selected is a good one.
- Slat Spacing: In the safety recommendations, we stated that slats should never be three inches apart or wider due to the risk of a child’s head getting stuck. It is hard to imagine a child putting their head into that small space, but it absolutely can and has happened before. As parents, we have to be vigilant. Ideally, the spacing wouldn’t let your child get a foothold at all because an adventurous child could climb over and get hurt.
- Latch Indicators: For peace of mind, some baby gates come with a latch indicator. Certain brands, like Safety First, have a color indicator that lets you know it is locked. The Safety First Alarm Gate has a sounding alarm if a gate is left open. Adults can deactivate this alarm if desired. It is important not to rely on these features, but they are a significant element, especially if you have older kids who can unlatch the gates but may not shut it all the way.
- Type of Latches: You may not realize there is quite an assortment of latches available on the market. Quite a few gates have a dual action lock, so you have to push down to release it, which typically can be done with one hand. Certain gates have a squeezing mechanism that compresses parts of the gate. These are harder to use; it is best to try them in the store, if possible, before purchasing. A pressure release handle is lifted with one hand. A hands free gate uses a foot pedal to release the latch. Whatever type of lock you select, you want to make sure it isn’t one that your child can open by themselves. One hand opening is the best choice for parents, though.
- Installation: You may not mind spending some time installing hardware mounted gates. However, some gates can be mounted in awkward areas, like angled banisters, that may take some time. You may have to purchase an installation kit for these spaces. Can you remove the gate quickly to move it to a different area? If you are having a party, you may want to remove the gate totally.
The Best Pressure Mounted Baby Gates
North States Supergate Easy Close Metal Gate
Height: 29 inches, Width: 28 to 31.5 inches (38.5 inches with extensions pieces)
The North States Supergate is one of the highest rated pressure mounted baby gates on the market. Parents recommend it highly and leave great reviews. You can purchase the Supergate in either white or bronze to match your space.
There is absolutely no assembly required for this baby gate. Once you have purchased it and received it in the mail, it is ready to go once out of the box. Of course, your child will more than likely use the box to play and destroy. The North States includes two extension pieces so that you can expand the gate up to 38.5 inches. If you don’t need these pieces, store them away. Most companies require you to purchase the extensions separately, so it is great that they are included.
Some pressure mounted gates don’t have a door. The Supergate does, and it is one of the easiest gates to open. All you have to do is lift it up with one hand; it can swing both ways, so just push it as you walk out of the space. Always make sure the gate can swing in either direction!
A unique feature offered by the Supergate is the door can lock open at 90 degrees. This feature may seem strange, but it is great if you are unloading groceries or bringing laundry baskets in from the laundry room. You don’t have to worry about having a free hand to open the gate.
Style-wise, there is nothing fancy or surprising about this gate. However, North States created a durable, well-designed baby gate that is functional. So many parents love it, and chances are you will too.
- Comes in bronze or white
- No assembly required
- Includes two extension pieces
- One hand opening
- Door swings both directions
- Locks open at 90 degrees
Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate
Height: 31 inches, Width: 29 to 39 inches
Regalo creates some of the best baby gates; this isn’t the last time you will see their company in our guide to baby gates. You will be pleased to know it is certified by the American Society of Testing Materials and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
When you correctly install the Easy Step Gate, the two-inch space between the bars is reduced because of the pressure. Regalo included convenient wall cups for additional security, and they help to prevent scuffing and marks on your walls. You don’t have to use any tools to put together the gate or to set it up.
Parents love the convenient walk-through door; it is ideal for doorways and hallways. You open the gate with one hand; there is a lever style handle with a one touch release. There is an excellent safety locking feature as well.
The Regalo Easy Step is taller than some of the other pressure mounted gates on the market, measuring 31 inches tall. They include an extension, giving you six more inches, allowing you to use this gate for a variety of doorways. Pets can’t knock the gate down; it is sturdier than the typical pressure mounted gate.
Priced under $40, the Easy Step is one of the best pressure mounted baby gates on the market.
- ASTM and JPMA Certified
- Wall cups for security
- One hand opening
- Lever style handle
- Safety locking feature
- 6-inch extension included
- Affordable price
Summer Infant Deco Baby Gate
Height: 32 inches, Width: 36 to 60 inches with extension pieces included
Summer Infant is a leading company, specializing in all things baby related. The Deco Baby Gate offers a lot of great features; parents leave a high review for this baby gate. They love it and for so many different reasons. There are plenty of elements to like about the Deco gate.
The Deco comes in a bronze finish and a beige color. If you liked the look of the North States gate, you should also like the Summer Infant. They are very similar in design. There are some differences to note if you are stuck between the two.
The Deco comes with the option to hardware mount it to the frame of your wall. Ideally, you would select a hardware mounted gate if these were your intentions. However, if you aren’t sure what you want to do or aren’t sure where to place the gate yet, a versatile gate may be a great option for you.
A downside to note is the doorway in the baby gate is narrower than other gates. Plus sized parents may not like this option the best because of the narrower gate. However, the excellent features overshadow the one negative. It is one of the only gates with a convenient (and safe) auto-close. Once you walk through the doorway, it will gently close behind you. When you are exiting the door, you only need to use one hand to open the gate. This feature is great if you are carrying objects or a child.
If you decide to hardware mount this gate at the top of stairs, there is a door stopper for security. The stopper prevents the gate from swinging out over the stairs. Instead, you have to pull it back.
Rest assured, the Summer Infant Deco Gate passes the JMPA and ASTM safety standards, ensuring it is an excellent choice for your family. If you want a taller gate and one that has fantastic features, you can’t beat the Deco!
- Available in bronze and beige finish
- Optional hardware to mount the gate
- Convenient auto close feature
- One hand open
- Door stopper for security
- Passes JMPA and ASTM safety standards
Munchkin Easy Close Metal Safety Gate
Height: 29.5 inches, Width: 29.5 to 35 inches
If you want just a simple, pressured mounted baby gate, the Munchkin Easy Close has a sturdy, steel frame for durability with some great features. It isn’t as popular as the choices mentioned above, but it is still a great barrier for children and pets. It comes in a white, clean, stylish look, capable of matching most décor.
The gate will swing open in both directions, with the option for a third lock at the base to control the gate direction. You can stop it from heading in a particular direction. This feature is great and adds another level of protection.
Munchkin’s Easy Close Gate works for doorways between 29.5 inches and 35 inches wide. They also include a two ¾ inch extended, giving you more possibilities. You could extend the Easy Close up to 54 inches with more extensions that you can purchase separately. The walk through the door is 21.5 inches wide, more than other brands offer. It is wide enough for you to fit through holding objects or your child.
While I wouldn’t suggest the use of the Easy Close around stairs, it is an excellent choice for doorways or hallways. Mount wall cups add stability and strength, so your child shouldn’t be able to push it over. It is an excellent baby gate option.
- Steel frame for durability
- Door swings both ways
- Lock at the base to control gate direction
- Extensions available to extend up to 54 inches
- Wide walk through door
- Wall cups for stability
DreamBaby Chelsea Extra Tall and Wide Auto Close Gate
Height: 40.5 inches, Width: 28 to 32 inches
If you want a pressure mounted baby gate that is extra tall, DreamBaby offers one that is 40.5 inches tall! It is the tallest option we have listed, ideal for people with extra tall kids like myself. You will be able to keep your children and animals out of unwanted areas. DreamBaby is perfect for doorways and hallways that measure 28 inches to 32 inches wide, which is pretty standard in size. There are optional extensions that can significantly widen it if desired.
The Dreambaby has a 2-inch threshold you must walk over to enter, something parents have to remember! However, the gate can be opened with one hand, and it swings in both directions. That is ideal for parents. Another great feature is that the gate will close automatically once you have walked through it.
It is competitively priced below $50 and is well-constructed with steel. Installation is easy. Parents love this baby gate. It receives a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, one of the best on the list. Now, there is another gate that is a half an inch taller – the Regalo Extra Tall – but the quality is different. Also, with extensions, the DreamBaby can extend to 111 inches, making it a clear winner if you want a tall and extra wider gate.
Another reason we love the DreamBaby is they include hardware so it can be used as a permanent and stronger solution. It is an option for the top of the stairs if you drill it in tightly. Most pressure mounted baby gates don’t give you the option to convert to a hardware gate, so this is a unique element to find.
- One of the tallest options
- Opens with one hand
- Door swings in both directions
- Auto closing door
- Affordable price
- Extensions available with a maximum width of 111 inches
- Include hardware for mounting
Summer Infant Secure Pressure Mount Deco Gate
Height: 24 inches, Width: 27 to 42 inches wide
None of the other gates listed is a step over gates or a cheapie style gate. I wanted to include at least one gate on the cheaper side that parents can step over. These are not good choices if you have a taller baby or a climber. They are best for when your child is just learning to crawl or as a temporary solution. It is also suitable for low traffic areas.
Some cheapie gates are ugly. The Mount Deco Gate is an attractive wood and plastic blend that looks nice. It will blend in with most decor. It has a walnut finish with a style panel.
The Mount Deco is a pressure mounted gate with 1-inch increments available for a custom fit. Chances are you have seen these in stores or other places. It is only 24 inches tall, an easy height to step over. It fits in spaces that measure 27 inches to 42 inches wide. Summer Infant added rubber bumpers to prevent markings on the walls. Overall, for less than $25, it is safe and easy solution.
- Cheap price tag
- Low traffic areas
- Wood and plastic blend
- 24 inches tall – ideal height for step over gate
- Rubber bumpers to protect wall
Extra Wide Pressure Mounted Baby Gates
If your house is similar to mine, you may have some ridiculously wide doorways that lead to places your baby shouldn’t go. Instead of creating a block with furniture and objects, an extra wide baby gate is the best choice. However, there aren’t too many for parents to pick between on the market. Most parents with large areas to cover opt for hardware mounted gates instead of the pressure ones. Over large spaces, they are sturdier.
For parents who want an extra wide pressure mounted baby gate, here is what you might like!
Summer Infant Deco Wood and Metal 5 Foot Gate
Height: 32 inches, Width – 36 to 60 inches
The first thing you’ll notice about this gate, besides the impressive five-foot width, is the combination of slate and wood. It is a classic, yet modern, combination, perfect for any style of décor you may have in your house.
You are going to pay a bigger price tag to have a gate this broad, but the Summer Infant Deco is solidly made. Some other brands are flimsy and wouldn’t withstand the pressure from active children.
Unlike the above Summer Infant Deco (the standard size gate), the baby gate door is wider, measuring 26 inches. Parents should have no issues walking through it while carrying another kid or objects. You can still open and close the gate with a single hand.
Have you ever tried to install a baby gate only to realize your baseboards are in the way? It is a frustrating realization. Summer Infant fixed this common problem. Each of the four knobs is adjustable, so you get this gate into any area necessary. Installation is super easy. Even at five feet long, it should take less than 10 minutes to install by yourself.
If you don’t mind paying the price and want to avoid drilling holes into your walls, the Summer Infant Deco is ideal for large gaps.
- Lovely combination of wood and slate
- Extends to 60 inches
- Wide gate door – 26 inches
- Four adjustable knobs make for a custom fit to any wall
- Easy installation
Regalo Extra WideSpan Walk Through Safety Gate
Height: 31 inches, Width: 29.5 to 58 inches
Another choice for an extra wide pressure mounted baby gate is created by Regalo. The WideSpan can fit a vast assortment of doorway sizes. It is a sturdy, all metal, walk through gate. You don’t have to purchase any extension kits because it comes with all of them! You get the six, eight and 12 extension kits! The price is under $50, making this an excellent choice for everyone.
Parents love the durable and sturdy steel construction. You can rely on the WideSpan to last for years to come. The gate is PVC free and certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association as well as the ASTM safety standards.
Installation of the WideSpan is easy. Each of the four pressure mounts is adjustable individually, giving a secure fit. Parents also love the convenient, walk-through design. Adults just need one hand, and they can lift the lever style handle. There is a safety lock one-touch release that parents can work but is too hard for little ones. If you have pets, this gate will keep them contained as well.
The WideSpan can stretch 58 inches, which is an impressive size for a baby gate. It is budget friendly, easy to install and uninstall, and it comes with a manufacturer 90-day warranty. There is so much to love about this gate!
- All metal construction
- Comes with three different extension kits
- PVC free
- JPMA and ASTM certified
- Four pressure mounts for custom fit
- One touch release
- Budget friendly
Munchkin Easy-Close Extra Tall and Wide Metal Gate
Height: 36 inches, Width: 26.5 to 51.5 inches
While the Munchkin gate may not be as wide as the first two choices, 51.5 inches is much bigger than a standard doorway. Plus, it is the tallest of the three, measuring an entire 36 inches. There are three different included extensions – 2.75 inches, 5.5 inches, and 11 inches. The Easy Close is created with durable steel with a U-shaped power frame for stability. You can keep your children and pets safe with this great extra wide baby gate.
Munchkin added a double locking handle that is easy for adults but too difficult for children to operate. When you push it closed, the gate will firmly shut. You can close it without hands if you are busy. For extra stability, Munchkin included mounted wall cups.
The baby door gates swings in both directions which are an ideal feature. Parents have the option to use a lock at the base to prevent it from turning a certain way. You may not want it to swing out and hit a wall; Munchkin solved this problem for parents. The walkthrough door is 21.5 inches, which is a great size. You can easily walk through, holding a baby or basket!
For parents that want a taller and wider baby gate, it is hard to beat the Munchkin Easy Close. It is competitively priced and crafted with durability and functionality in mind.
- Includes three different extensions
- Durable steel construction
- Double locking feature
- Mounted wall cups for stability
Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate
Height: 27 inches, Width: 38 to 60 inches
Some parents like the soft, mesh style gates. They are great if you have clumsy children that like to take a nose dive into gates. It also allows parents to visibly see their children if they aren’t in the same room at the time.
Evenflo created a very nice, affordable, soft mesh pressure mounted baby gate. You could use it at the bottom of stairs, doorways and hallways. They included rubber bumpers, so your walls won’t be damaged. You get a secure and customized fit with these bumpers. Setting it up requires absolutely no tools, and it only takes it a few minutes to put together. Parents just twist the rods until they are pressed against the wall.
Another reason that parents like the Soft and Wide is that you can transport it places! It is lightweight, weighing only 6.8 pounds. All you need to do is fold it up and take it wherever you want to go. The fabric is removable for cleaning as well. The price is low, costing less than $30!
- Created with soft mesh
- Affordable price
- Rubber bumpers included to protect walls
- No tools required
- Easy installation
- Can transport easily
- Easy to clean
Best Standard Width Hardware Mounted Baby Gates
Hardware gates are by far the most secure versions you can purchase because they screw into the frame of your walls. Even boisterous and adventurous children can be contained with these gates. They are great for pets as well.
Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock Baby Gate
Height: 29.5 inches, Width: 26.5 to 40.5 inches
Toddlers aren’t known to be gentle, and the Cardinal Gates can withstand their force, even if they run against the gate. It is a favorite among parents with some high ratings. Let’s look at what parents love about this baby gate.
First, installation is easy. Hardware mounted gates aren’t known for being the easiest. They do tend to take longer than pressure gates, but Cardinal Gates designed it only to take a few steps. Most parents can complete the installation in a few minutes.
To open the gate, all parents have to do is pull the ring and twist. It is quite easy but requires more hand-eye coordination than most children need. The gate door can swing in both directions, but there is a lock available to stop it if the parents desire. A lock is great if you place the gate at the top of stairs. Cardinal Gates added a “click” sound that alerts parents that the gate is closed. You don’t have to double check before walking away.
It is constructed of aluminum, so it is lighter than steel and rustproof but still strong enough to withstand a child trying to climb over it. They added a powder coating finish so parents can wipe it off quickly. Peanut butter hands are sure to add stains, so an easy to clean finish is ideal.
The gate adjusts from 26 inches to 40 inches, with a height of 29.5 inches. The bar space is 2.5 inches, which is a bit wider than some parents like. You can also purchase a 10.5 extension, allowing it to reach across 50.5 inches of space. It is on the pricier side, but this is an excellent baby gate choice.
- Easy installation
- Open with one hand
- Sound that alerts parents when gate is closed and locked
- Constructed with aluminum
- Easy to clean
- Extension available for purchase
North States Supergate Easy Swing and Lock
Height: 31 inches, Width: 28 to 48 inches
If the price of the Cardinal Gates was a little too much for you, the North States Supergate is a cheaper, yet practical, choice. It is a highly rated hardware mounted gate designed with versatility in mind. It is created to block doorways, stairways, and other critical areas. The Supergate extends from a standard 28 inches up to an extra-wide 48 inches. Most parents will find this an adequate width for their home.
The Easy Swing and Lock Gate is made of steel, so it is strong. Children and pets will not be able to knock it over. The North States constructed it with a matte, bronze finish, ideal for any home décor. It has a simple look so that it won’t stand out. Some baby products really stand out, in a bad way, but the Supergate isn’t one of those products.
Parents love that it is easy to open with one hand, even if you are carrying something. To open, parents push downwards on the latch button while lifting the latch spindle that is in a cup. This process rotates the gate open. It is quite easy to do one handed. Another nice feature is there is no threshold to step over. Some gates have a bar on the ground, but it is a tripping hazard.
There is only one downside to the North States gate. It isn’t the easiest option to install. They do provide detailed instructions, but it will take you some time to put it together. Luckily, you will figure it out and, once you do, it will be an excellent addition to your babyproofing plan.
- Highly rated hardware mounted gate
- Extra wide at 48 inches
- Made of steel
- Has a beautiful bronze, matte finish
- One hand open
- No threshold to step over
Munchkin Loft Aluminum Infant Safety Gate
Height: 30.5 inches, Width: 26.5 to 40 inches
Some parents have a modern, stylish look to their home, and they want all of their furniture and baby gear to fit this theme. Munchkin thought of these parents and created an aluminum gate, with a shiny silver finish. The bars are thick and symmetrical, giving it a clean, modern look. It looks like it belongs in a house without kids!
The Loft Gate is hardware mounted gate with a door that swings in both directions. I love that there is no metal piece at the bottom; it is a tripping hazard especially in the middle of the night after your child won’t go to bed. Munchkin included a quick release wall mount that lets you take it down without any tools. This feature is ideal for holiday parties or when you have guests visiting.
Installing The Loft is a little more complicated than other gates. Munchkin designed it with their own Integrated Tuning System. It lets parents mount this gate to odd, irregular walls while ensuring it stays level. You may have to watch the instruction videos to figure it out.
Parents can use it anywhere. The gate extends from 26.5 to 40 inches, which should fit anywhere in your home. If you are looking for a stylish gate to match your modern home, look no further than The Loft by Munchkin.
- Stylish, modern look
- Aluminum construction
- Gate door swings open both ways
- No threshold to step over
- Quick release mount for fast removal
- Integrated Tuning System for easy mounting on irregular walls
Regalo Home Accents Extra Tall Walk Through Gate
Height: 38 inches, Width: 29 to 44 inches tall
Regalo makes some of the best baby gates, as you can tell throughout this extensive list of baby gates on the market. The Home Accents has hardwood and steel elements for durability and an elegant look. The combination will blend in with whatever décor you have in your home.
The Home Accents is PVC free and meets all of the standards set by the JPMA and ASTM. Parents can feel confident that the gate is safe for their children. It is 38 inches tall, taller than a lot of the other choices in these lists. It can fit in spaces between 29 ½ inches and 44 inches. There are 4 inches and 6 inches extension kits available as well.
You can open the gate with one hand. There is also a comfortable close handle that lets you just push it close. A safety locking feature makes sure the gate is all the way closed. If you are looking for a stylish finish, the Home Accents is an ideal choice for a baby gate.
- Hardwood and steel
- PVC Free
- JPMA and ASTM safety standards
- 38 inches tall
- Extension kits included
- One hand open
Narrow Baby Gates
Another unique situation is having an oddly narrow doorway. You can try to make up your own solution, but for those of us who aren’t crafty, the only solution is to find a gate that is narrower than average. Luckily, baby gate companies had odd homes in mind and crafted a few smaller baby gates. An average gate starts off around 26 or 28 inches. Finding a gate that fits 20 inches wide isn’t easy! Let’s see what options there are available.
Retract-A-Gate Baby Gate
Height: 34 inches, Width: Up to 52 inches or 72 inches, depending on model
The Retract A Gate is an ingenious baby product. It retracts just like measuring tape, allowing you the opportunity to find the perfect fit for whatever space you need to block. You can mount in super narrow gaps or larger ones, which is a feature you won’t find in fixed baby gates.
The only major downside to the Retract A Gate is the price. It is significantly higher than the other options on the list, more than $120. However, if you really want to block that narrow doorway, parents have to pay the price. It is made in the USA, which is a many feature folks, such as myself, want.
Parents can purchase the gate in three colors – café, black, and white. The mesh is washable, an important feature if you decide to buy the white color. Everyone knows children have the messiest hands, and half the time parents don’t understand why! The mesh is also durable. If you have a cat, you don’t have to worry about it destroying the fabric. Scratch resistant is another excellent quality; the manufacturer thought ahead.
Retract A Gate is certified by the JPMA and can be used at the top of stairs, according to the association. If your stairway is super narrow, this gate is an ideal choice. Something else to consider is it is lightweight, weighing 4 pounds. It would be a great option for going on vacation or heading to grandma’s house since you never know kind of doorways you may encounter.
If you are willing to pay the price, Retract A Gate would be a great choice for anywhere.
- Fits up to either 52 or 72 inches
- Made in the USA
- Three colors available
- Washable and scratch resistant (cat resistant) mesh
- Certified by the JPMA
- Can be used at the top of stairs
Gaterol Active Lite Retractable Safety Gate
Height: 36.6 inches, Width: Up to 55 inches
Here is another retractable style baby gate for your narrow doorway. The Gaterol is taller than the previous choice by 2.5 inches. You can use it to fit openings between 18 inches and 55 inches, which is quite a huge range of space! There is no bar to walk over, so parents don’t have to worry about tripping.
You can feel safe knowing that the Gaterol passed ASTM safety standards. It is ideal for doorways, patios, hallways and more. It comes with two sets of mounting brackets. One of the best features is a warning sound that lets parents know it was opened unintentionally. I wish every gate came with a warning sound.
Cat owners don’t have to worry either. The mesh is scratch resistant. It is safe for children. Gaterol has no metal screen bars for kids to smack their heads on and their little fingers can’t be pinched or hurt. Parents can open it one handed and then close it behind them once into the room. This baby gate is a bit more expensive, but it is just as nice as the Retract A Gate.
- Fits up to 55 inches wide
- Passes ASTM safety standards
- Warning sound to let parents know it has opened
- Scratch resistant mesh
- One hand open
DreamBaby Retractable Gate
Height: 34 inches, Width: up to 55 inches
I had to include one more retractable style baby gate. DreamBaby created a stylish one that parents are loving! It has received the iParenting Media Award two times, proving that parents love it.
Here is why they think it is fantastic. First, parents only need one hand to make it through the gate and operate it. DreamBaby added a press and turn locking system that lets you know when the gate is locked with a visible colored sticker.
One difference between the DreamBaby and the other two options is it is approved for top and bottom stairways, along with hallways and doorways. You can extend it to a wide, 55-inch opening. If you don’t want your family seeing the gate during a party, it fully rolls back up and doesn’t block the doorway.
Some parents bring the DreamBaby gate outside. It is made with a UV-treated, durable mesh so that it won’t fade in the sun. DreamBaby includes two sets of mounting brackets so you can use it in more than one area. All you have to do is unclip it from the one set and take it to the nice set. Overall, it is an excellent choice if you have a small doorway or any circumstances because it is a great baby gate!
- Stylish black
- Received iParenting Media Award
- Press and turn locking system
- Approved for top of stairs
- Rolls back up easily
- Great for outdoors; UV treated mesh
- Two sets of mounting brackets included
The Best Gate for the Top of Stairs
If there is one part of your house that you need a gate, it is at the top of stairs. Never select a pressure mounted gate at the top of your stairs! A hardware mounted baby gate is a must to reduce the risk of serious injuries. If they push over an unsecured gate at the top of the stairs, they will take a significant fall. Make sure that you follow the instructions and screw it in as tightly as possible.
Staircases are hard to babyproof. Some are unusually designed. Sometimes there is no wall, only railing. There could be odd angles, baseboards or other complications. Because of the different variables, there is no one perfect gate that we can recommend for all stairways. Instead, there are a few that parents have rated as the best choices.
There are a few characteristics you want to look for in a gate above the stairs. You don’t want a bar that you can trip over as you walk through it; the reasoning for this is obvious. You don’t want to trip yourself down the stairs. It has to be able to attach to a multitude of options, and it should be a well-reviewed baby gate.
Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate
Height: 31 inches, Width: 27 to 42.5 inches and up to 64 inches with an extension piece
The Stairway Special Gate offers maximum safety at the top of a stairway, but it is perfect for any areas. It is ideal for mounting between two flat surfaces. If your stairs are between two walls, the Stairway Special Gate is an excellent choice. Why is it the perfect choice? It can mount at angles of up to 30 degrees. You have more options about what surfaces to use to install the gate. It could be attached to a wall, a Newel post, and flat spindles. If you have a flat surface, you can attach the Stairway Special Gate.
The latch system is easy for parents to use; all you need is one hand to open it up, but it is too complicated for children to understand. The gate does open in both directions, and it comes with an optional stop bracket that prevents the gate from swinging out over the stairway.
Cardinal Gates constructed the gate with aluminum, which is lighter but as strong as steel. They added a powder coated finish that is easy to clean. You can purchase it in white or black. There is also a wooden gate option that comes in a Colonial Maple finish if you want to match your décor better. Even better, they have a wrought iron version to match a wrought iron stair rail! I love all of the options available for parents.
Parents can trust the Stairway Special Gate. It has the JPMA certification, letting you know it meets the appropriate standards. You can extend it up to 64 inches. It is amazing! You can block off any staircase with the Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate.
Do you have rounded Newel posts or banisters? Don’t fret; the Stairway Special Gate works for these scenarios as well! All you have to do is purchase one kit for each round newel post. The kit lets you mount without having to drill into the banisters. There is no damage done.
- Ideal for mounting on flat surfaces
- One hand open
- Gate opens in both directions with an optional stop bracket
- Constructed of aluminum
- Available in white and black
- JMPA certification
- Kits available for rounded posts and banisters
- Can extend up to 64 inches
Regalo 192 Inch Play Yard
Height: 28 inches, Width: up to 192 inches
Do you have a crazy stairway scenario? Are you struggling to find a baby gate that will work at the top of your stairs, even if it’s a 16-foot wide gap? If so, the Regalo Play Yard is the solution for you. Yes, a play yard! While you can use it for its original intention, Regalo created the gate to be able to mount to walls when fully extended.
If you have a hard situation like these below, the Regalo is a great option.
- Stairs that curve
- Multi-story stairs with landings
- Spiral staircases
- Rail-less stairs
The Regalo Play Yard lets you baby proof all of these scenarios and more. Now, if your gap is smaller than 192 inches, all you have to do is remove a panel. You can even add extra panels to make it wider. Many parents suggest this gate to block off rooms in open floor plan houses.
There is a convenient, walk through door with a safety locking feature. All you have to do is find two walls and mount the gate to the two walls. The panels can bend into different shapes, like an L-shape or a U-shape. Locate the configuration that works for your house and babyproofing is done.
It is a massive gate so that it may take up too much space. However, it is versatile and can be used in a multitude of scenarios, like blocking off the Christmas tree! The price is higher than other gates listed, but it is worth the peace of mind knowing that your crazy stair situation is fixed.
- Can be used as a play yard
- Extends up to a massive 16 feet!
- Removable panels
- Walk through door with safety locking feature
- Panels can bend in other directions
Kidco Safeway Safety Gate for Top of Stairs
Height: 30.5 inches, Width: 24.75 to 43 inches
Kidco Safeway Gate deserves some consideration; it was one of the top rated stairway gates for 2016. However, it serves well as a doorway and hallway entrance as well. Versatility is important for baby products, and the Kidco fits that bill, costing only around $45.
The Safeway meets many of the criteria we listed above. There is no step over bar along the bottom, leading you to trip. You can attach it to railing posts and walls. Parents have left great reviews for the Safeway, stating that they love the one handed operation, particularly in the top of the stairs.
One downside is that it doesn’t swing shut automatically. This feature isn’t a necessity, but it is ideal for the top of the stairs. You want to make sure that gate is always securely shut. It has a one direction swing and hinge, another ideal safety measure for staircases.
Parents can purchase the Kidco Safeway in white and black. Installation is easy, taking only a few moments at a time. However, some parents have noted they have issues with the included screws. Attaching it to a banister instead of the wall takes a bit of extra time as well.
However, the Kidco Safeway is priced competitively and is sturdy. You won’t be able to knock it down. Reading some reviews is helpful as parents give some tips and tricks to make installation even better. Kidco has since included more detailed instructions as well.
- Affordable cost
- No step over bar
- Can attach to railing posts and walls
- One handed operation
- Available in white and black
- Easy installation
Evenflo Easy Walk Thru Top of Stairs Gate
Height: 30 inches, Width: 29 to 42 inches
If you want another excellent option for the top of your stairs, Evenflo makes a very good choice. You will need some tools to install the gate such as an electric drill, a 9/64 inch drill bit, a screwdriver and a pencil. Even though you need tools, the installation is far from difficult.
To open the gate, you only need one hand. I think this feature is a given, but I like to include it because there are some that don’t have this feature. The gate swings in either direction, but it can be changed to just one direction. There is a lever lock mechanism that is child resistant. It requires parents to squeeze the buttons and push down to open the gate. Both motions together are too hard for an average child to complete.
To close the gate, just give it a push. There is a slam latch feature that ensures it is shut all the way. If you are worried, there is a red-green lock indicator to tell parents that it is secure. You could use the Evenflo gate anywhere, but it is safe and designed for the top of stairs. It costs less than $45, making it a budget-friendly choice.
- Budget friendly
- Easy installation
- Lever lock mechanism that is hard for children
- Slam latch feature
- Red-green lock indicator
- Designed for the top of stairs
What to Use at the Bottom of Your Stairs?
Babyproofing the bottom of your stairs is much easier than other scenarios. You don’t have to use hardware mounted gates like you do at the top, even though it is a good idea. Any of the pressure mounted gates listed above could work, if you have two walls directly at the bottom of the stairs.
So, what do you use if you don’t have two walls waiting at the bottom of the stairs? You could use the Regalo 192 inch Play Yard we listed above, but it may take up too much space. However, you can mount the gates to balusters with the addition of one little feature.
DreamBaby Banister Gate Adaptors
If you read the reviews for the pressure mounted baby gates listed above, you will find the DreamBaby gate. If you opt to use this gate at the bottom of your stairs, you can purchase these adaptors that will allow you to mount it right at the end of the steps.
These adaptors resemble Y spindles, and it works good for metal banisters and wooden ones. The adaptors screw directly into the DreamBaby Safety Gate and then will mount to the banisters just like they would a wall. You must tighten the gate, so they press hard against the baluster or banister. You don’t want a baby pushing it over.
DreamBaby sells them in packs of two, but if you don’t have a wall on one side of the stairs, you are going to need two packs of two. Some parents have tried these adaptors with other brands, but I wouldn’t recommend that. Stick with the brand they are intended for so, you don’t risk an accident.
Massive Gates, Play Yards and Free Standing Baby Gates
Sometimes, you are faced with major issues gating off certain areas of your house. If you are struggling to find a solution to your problem, some baby gates can protect nearly any stairway, room or unique feature in your home.
Free standing baby gates can stand on their own, just as their name suggestions. There is no worry that they will scratch your walls, and there is no need to put giant holes in your walls. Parents put the gate into position, and that’s it.
Why would you want a free standing baby gate?
You may want to block a fireplace. During Christmas time, children, especially toddlers, are known to destroy Christmas trees in a few minutes. Open floor plans are common nowadays, and a free standing gate helps when you have no walls to attach a gate. The biggest problem with them is that older, and stronger, kids can move them with little issue.
You wouldn’t want to use one of these gates to block off the stairs, but you can use it them to prevent access to options. Many parents love to put them around entertainment systems or anything that could hurt little ones. Plus, they save you the frustration of having to remove them from objects they shouldn’t touch constantly.
Many parents, including myself, love play yards. They are just like free standing baby gates, but they can be enclosed in a circle. If you need to wash dishes or head to the bathroom, a play yard is a safe space to leave your little one, with a few toys, while you are gone. Some can be stretched out into large gates, like the Regalo 192 inch, and attached to walls. Either way, they are a great product to have in your arsenal of baby products.
North States Superyard 3-in-1 Metal Gate
Height: 30 inches, Width: Up to 12 Feet or longer with extension pieces
The North States creates another fantastic baby gate choice. Their 3-in-1 gate comes with six panels, offering a 144 inch enclosure or measuring 151 inches when extended and mounted with hardware. So, you either have an enclosed play pen or can stretch it on a variety of ways to block off whatever you need.
How can you use the gate?
- L-Shape: ideal for blocking off stairs or fireplaces
- U-Shape: preventing single objects like a fireplace or pocket doors.
- Extended Gate: If you have a super wide doorway or an open floor plan, the extended gate can block these spaces, preventing your child from coming and going. You can add as many extension pieces as you want, meaning it can be as long as your heart desires.
- Play Pen: if you want to contain your child to one area, the play pen is the best choice. It makes a circle that you can make bigger with extensions. I have also found it helpful to place a Christmas tree inside of the play pen. It works perfect for keeping little hands out of the tree!
- 4 Different uses of the gate
- Six panels
- 144 or 155 inches, with extension pieces
- Enclosed play pen
North States Superyard Colorplay 6 Panel Play Yard
Height: 26 inches, Width: 18.5 square feet of play space
Do you want a brightly colored play pen for the children’s play room? The Coloryard, also by the North States, has six panels that enclose an area of 18.5 square feet. Corner to corner, it measures 5 ½ feet, which is a great space for your children. It is 26 inches tall, a height that most parents can step over. However, children cannot climb out and get into mischief. If the length isn’t big enough for you, there are extensions available for purchase.
Setting up the play yard is a breeze. All you have to do is remove the gate from the box, unfold it, and connect all the pieces together to make an enclosed circle. The North States added skid-resistant pads to help keep the play yard in place if it is placed on tile or hardwood. The pads also stop it from scratching the floor.
One of the beautiful reasons to purchase the Colorplay is that you can travel with it. There are convenient carrying handles. Weighing less than 20 pounds, it is lightweight and folds up compactly enough to fit in the trunk of your vehicle. Parents also love the price, costing less than $60. Plus, it is made in the USA!
- 18.5 square feet of play space
- Six panels
- Keeps young kids penned up
- Skid resistant pads
- Convenient carrying handles
- Lightweight weighs only 20 pounds
- Made in the USA
Richell Deluxe Free Standing Pet Gate with Door
Height: 28 inches, Width: 61.8 to 90.2 inches
There aren’t too many fantastic free standing baby gates on that market that I would recommend. Richell Deluxe is the one that has the best ratings by parents who have used it extensively. Unlike other gates, it is made with hardwood that will look great in your house. Style may not matter much to you, but it sure is a benefit when the product looks nice. Hardwood is better than plastic.
There are some great features of the Richell Deluxe baby gate. It locks automatically and can swing open in both directions. A different element is the door’s ability to stay open at 90 degrees. You can leave it open when carrying groceries or for your dog when you leave. Speaking of dogs, they even added a small pet door if you happen to have little dogs or cats.
My biggest concern with free standing gates is tipping over. However, the Richell Deluxe gate is pretty sturdy. It weighs around 25 pounds and children will struggle to push it over. If you try to step over and miss, chances are the gate will stand longer than you.
Another concern is the gate sliding or scratching floors, especially hardwood floors. They added rubber feet to help prevent sliding and scratching. Parents love this baby gate! It expands to different widths, perfect for customizing what you want to block. The only downside to note is the price; it comes close to $200 and is one of the most expensive choices on our list.
- Free standing
- Made of hardwood
- Locks automatically
- Door swings open both ways
- Stays open at 90 degrees
- Cumbersome and hard to tip over
- Rubber feet to prevent sliding
The Best Portable Traveling Baby Gate
Packing light is important for all travelers. A baby gate that doesn’t collapse or fold compactly will never fit into your trunk as you head out on vacation. Baby gates are an essential baby gear product, especially in unknown and exciting new locations when your child is likely to want to venture off and explore where they shouldn’t.
Portable gates are typically made out of fabric or mesh and lack a doorway. You will have to step over the top to get into the play yard or the other room. Doorways would make the fold too large to fit in a trunk. Portable gates aren’t tall either because parents have to step over them. If they made a portable gate 41 inches tall, parents would have to take the entire gate down to reach their child. Parents should never put a movable gate at the top of a staircase!
North States Supergate Portable Traveler Gate
Height: 28 inches, Width: 25.2 to 42.6 inches
The Portable Traveler is a versatile gate that parents can use in doorways and hallways. If you are headed on vacation or to a relative’s house, the Portable Traveler is easy to install and take down. All you need to do is measure the width and adjust the extendable bars, and insert them into the fabric sleeves. The steel bars will lock into place. You can tighten the tension knobs at the end of each bar for the perfect, snug fit.
The tension knobs are a great element. If you visit a home with thick baseboards, the knobs all turn allowing you to adjust the gate to fit correctly. There isn’t a scenario where the Traveler wouldn’t fit. When properly installed, it will sit on the floor, making it hard to purchase over.
Parents can use the Portable Traveler in openings 25.2 to 42.6 inches wide. It is 28 inches high, which is a bit taller than some other portable choices. Most parents can step over this height with ease. Another significant characteristic is the fabric can be easily cleaned once removed!
Traveling with the Portable Traveler couldn’t be easier. It folds down compactly, and fits into its own carrying bag with handles! Finding these features in other baby gates is hard! A carrying bag is perfect for storing in your trunk.
The only negative is it won’t work in large doorways. You will have to purchase a different portable gate if you know the door is super wide. However, the Traveler is a unique and functional barrier for traveling parents.
- Easy to install
- Fabric is removable for cleaning
- Tension knobs for custom fit
- Works on openings from 25.2 to 42.6 inches wide
- Folds compactly
- Carrying bag for transportation
Safety 1st Wide Doorways Fabric Gate
Height: 27 inches, Width: 38 to 60 inches.
If you look at the widths available, it is evident the Safety 1st Gate wasn’t created with standard door frames in mind. It can stretch up to 60 inches, large enough for most doorways in between rooms and hallways. The features of the Safety 1st are similar to the above North States gate, except it is larger. In fact, they are even priced very closely.
What else should you know about this baby gate? The fabric on the gate can be entirely removed and placed in the washing machine for a good cleaning. Safety 1st used stain resistant fabric for maximum durability. Just like the North States Traveler, Safety 1st included a drawstring bag for easy transportation and storing.
One major difference is that installation of the Safety 1st tends to be easier than the North States. You need no hardware or tools to install it completely. If you wanted the North States baby gate, but it didn’t extend large enough, go with the safety 1st. It is very similar; you are sure to love it.
- Stretches up to 60 inches wide
- Fabric is removable for easy cleaning
- Stain resistant
- Included bag for transportation
- No hardware is needed; easy installation
Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play Portable Play Yard
Height: 26 inches, Width: 48 inches
If your family spends a lot of time outside or camping, you need a safe place to put your baby or toddler while outside. If you head to the park or the beach, the Summer Infant Pop ‘N Play can come with you. It is an ultra-lightweight play yard that folds compactly. You can set it up or take it down a few minutes. To set it up, parents just have to take it out of your vehicle, pop it open and secure the floor buckles. It can’t get much easier than that.
Summer Infant added a lot of subtle elements to their Pop ‘N Play. The floor is water resistant, an ideal feature if you are spending time outside. You could even pop it up inside over carpet. Your baby won’t spill their juice on your carpet any longer!
It is travel friendly, weighing only 12 pounds. Another place I have used the Pop ‘N Play is on the soccer field after hours of games. I just fold it up and keep it in the trunk of my vehicle. Summer Infant has an included carrying bag, so it stays clean when in my trunk.
The entire play yard is mesh, so your baby will get plenty of airflow on warm days. You can even purchase a canopy separately so your child would be protected from UVA and UVB rays when outside. I love this idea; young babies have such sensitive skin. It is so important to protect them!
Altogether, your baby has 14 square feet of playing space for under $100. It stands 26 inches high, which is short enough for adults to step over but tall enough that babies won’t climb out.
- Ideal for outdoors and camping
- Ultra lightweight, weighs only 12 pounds
- Easy to set up
- Water resistant floor
- Travel friendly
- The entire play yard is meshed for airflow.
- 14 square feet of play space
- Optional canopy available for sun protection
The Best Baby Gates with Small Pets
If you have pets, you have different qualities you need to find. Hardware mounted gates are the best choice because they are secure. When your dog goes for the leap and misses, the gate will still stand even if your dog isn’t.
Some parents like to keep their animals separate, especially larger dogs. It isn’t that larger dogs are mean, because ours are the gentlest creatures. However, they can easily topple over a toddler when they are excited because the mailman made a surprise (daily) visit.
Certain manufacturers made baby gates with little pet doors included. They are intended for families with smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, and small dogs. Your larger dog will have to watch the baby from the other side of the gate unless you open the door and let them enter. This circumstance is the one time that it is best to avoid wooden gates. Dogs like to chew wooden items; my dog ate my baseboards! Puppies want to eat everything, and you don’t want a gate that looks like a tasty treat to a bored dog.
Carlson 44-Inch Extra Wide Walk Through Gate with Pet Door
Height: 30 inch, Width: 29 to 44 inches
The Carlson gate is loved by parents and pet owners without kids. It is that amazing. One of the best features is chew proof. It is constructed of 100 percent steel for strength and durability. A crazy, toddler tantrum won’t pull it down, and it can withstand a wild, huge dog as well.
Carlson can fit in openings between 29 and 44 inches wide, big enough for standard sized doorways. It is 30 inches tall and has a gate with a one-touch release safety lock. There is a lever style handle, allowing parents to walk through carrying items. There are 4 inches and 6-inch extension kits available; Carlson includes extensions in the box, saving you money. It can fit small and bigger doorways without having to buy extra pieces.
Even though hardware mounted gates are recommended for pets, the Carlson is a pressure mounted gate with an easy setup. Chances are you can put it together with little issues. There are four pressure mounts, each individually adjustable, that give a secure and stable fit no matter where you place the gate.
Something to note is that very small child may be able to fit through the little door on the bottom. It can open and close, so you may want to close it until your child is too big to fit. It is a great feature if you have a smaller dog or cat that needs access to other areas in the house. Carlson is intended as a pet gate, so be careful. The last thing you want is your child to get stuck!
- Chew proof, ideal for animals
- Crafted with 100% steel
- Opens to 44 inches wide
- Lever style handle
- Extension kits available
- Pressure mounted with easy installation
- Four pressure mounts
- Small animal door on the bottom that can be shut for safety
Carson Flexi Gate with Pet Door
Height: 30 inches, Width: 76 inches up to 13 feet with extension pieces
Once again, those of us with wider doorways or open floor plans are stuck with fewer options. Luckily, Carlson remembered our struggles and created the Flexi Gate. Just like the above Carlson, there is an included pet door for smaller animals. It should stay closed until your child is too large to fit through the pet door.
The Flexi Gate can cover a doorway that is 76 inches wide. However, if you have the extension pieces that are sold separately, it widens to an amazing 13 feet wide. This width should be able to span most doorways or open floor plans.
One reason it sells so well is that you don’t have to mount it completely straight. Similar to play yards, each post is individually hinged so that you can bend them in different directions. You may want to make a U-shape or section off two different exits. With multiple extensions, there is no limit to how you can position the Flexi Gate.
The only downside is that, at only 30 inches tall, many larger dogs can leap that high. You may find that it doesn’t totally keep your dogs out of the area you are blocking. If the purpose of your gate is to keep the child penned up, not the dog, it may not be a major problem. There are taller gates to stop your jumper.
- Stretches up to 113 with extension pieces
- Perfect for wide doorways
- Small pet door
- Doesn’t have to be mounted totally straight
- Panels bend in multiple directions for custom fit
Baby Gates for Outdoors
During the summer months, I love to spend time on our porch, watching the birds and older kids playing. The problem is that our little one can easily topple down the stairs that lead to the backyard. The only solution is to find an outdoor baby gate.
Your first thought is to probably bring one of your indoor gates outside to your patio. While this could work for the day, don’t leave it outside. They aren’t intended for outdoor use and will rust rather quickly, rendering them useless. It is a waste of your money! Unfortunately, baby companies haven’t seem to prioritize the creation of outdoor baby gates, so there are only a few good ones to suggest.
Cardinal Gates Outdoor Baby Gate
Height: 29.5 inches, Width: 27 to 42.5 inches
Instead of plastic, the Cardinal Outdoor Gate is crafted of powder-coated aluminum and is rustproof. The color may fade, but it is intended to survive through different weather elements. It is expected to mount into wooden railings, but some parents have found ways to mount it to metal railings with zipping ties. But, it is important to note it is recommended for wood based on the manufacturer.
One of the best features is that you can mount this baby gate at angles up to 30 degrees. Your railings may not line up, and this gate is ideal for those scenarios. Cardinal Gates includes a stop bracket so that the gate won’t swing out over the stairs. Installing the stopper only allows you to pull the gate towards you instead of turning it outwards.
Just like other Cardinal Gates, parents can open and close it with one hand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an automatic close feature. This is the one design flaw; auto close is useful outdoors with porches.
If you have a wide space on your deck, the Cardinal Gates can extend up to a maximum of 64 inches. You would have to purchase the 10 ½ inch extension and the 21 ½ inch extension. Overall, it is a fabulous choice for an outdoor baby gate. It will keep your baby where he should be and keep your dogs on (or off) the deck as well.
- Powder coated aluminum, ideal for outdoors
- Can mount to wooden railings
- Mounts up to 30-degree angle
- Door swings both directions with optional stopper
- Extends up to 64 inches with extensions
Cardinal Gates Lock N Block Gate
Height: 29.5 inches, Width: Standard Sliding doors 1” to 1 ½ inches thick
While this gate isn’t designed for outdoors, it is meant for sliding glass doors, which is outside. Who doesn’t love sliding doors? You can open them up and let the fresh air in throughout the day. That all stops once you have a baby who wants to escape out the open doors. Sliding screen doors are easily pushed through by adventurous toddlers.
Cardinal Gates makes the only choice on the market for sliding glass doors! It is very simple to install, with no tools. All parents have to do is clamp the gate onto the sliding portion of your door. Then, slide it closed. The breeze can come in and out, but the baby is securely stuck on the inside of the house.
To prevent your toddler from sliding the door back to escape, there is a door stop. It requires two twists to place. They have to be removed before the sliding door will move. It is a great idea!
The gate goes in both directions. You can go in and out of the house or let your animals run outside without having to remove the gate from the sliding doors. If you have sliding glass doors, this is the best (and only) choice.
- The only gate designed for sliding glass doors
- Easy to install with no tools required
- Door stop available to prevent it from moving
- Gate swings in both directions
Hands-Free Baby Gate
In some areas, having hands free baby gate would be perfect! For example, if you are blocking the entryway to your garage, a gate with a foot opener is ideal! When you are carrying a child or groceries, you don’t have to try to find a way to get the gate open. There aren’t a lot of these gates available on the market, but they are all pretty amazing!
Summer Infant Step to Open Gate
Height: 32 inches, Width: 30 to 45 inches with extensions available separately
There are no hands-free baby gate as popular as the Summer Infant Step to Open. To open the baby gate, all you need to do is press down on the foot pedal, conveniently located on both sides of the gate. As you press down the pedal, you push the door open. That is all it takes to open the gate.
My biggest concern, with any hands-free baby gate, is that my child would be able to push the pedal down and open the gate. Summer Infant thought of this too. It actually takes quite a bit of force to push down the pedal. Adults will have no issue; we have the strength and weight to push it down. A toddler, on the other hand, won’t be able to open it.
Another nice feature is the auto close. As you walk through the gate, it will automatically shut behind you. In theory, you could open and close the gate without ever have to touch it at all. This gate is perfect for bringing in groceries, which I dread every payday.
Just like all Summer Infant products, the Step to Open is sturdy and well-built. You won’t have any issues installing it, and it will last you through multiple children.
- Easy for parents to open, but designed so children cannot
- Auto close feature
- Extensions available separately
- Sturdy and well-built
- Easy to install
North States Supergate Step-N-Go Gate
Height: 30 inches, Width: 31.25 to 38.25 inches
The North States Step-N-Go isn’t as highly rated as the Summer Infant one, but it still deserves some attention. It comes in an attractive, matte bronze finish with a twisted bar design. Unlike other baby gates, the Step-N-Go has an elegant, classic design that I appreciate. Don’t like the design fool you; it is constructed entirely of steel, so it is solid. It is highly unlikely that your child can break it.
Their hands-free opening system is similar to Summer Infant with one difference. Parents have to slide the foot pedal to the side then push it down. The gate will push open at this point. It is just one little extra step. Something to note is sliding the pedal to the side may be difficult if you prefer to wear flip flops. There is a child proof latch as well, allowing you to open the gate with one hand instead of hands-free. This feature is helpful if you have older and trickier children.
The North States added some other quality features that parents enjoy. It is a pressure mounted gate, so installation takes a few minutes at most. The gate can open hands free and close all the way with one push. There is a double locking system for extra security. The North States added a hold-open feature that keeps the gate open at 90 degrees, allowing multiple people to walk through or during family parties.
The Step-N-Go is a little more expensive than the Summer Infant, but it does have a classy look that many parents desire.
- Matte bronze finish with twisted bar design
- Constructed of steel
- Two step open process
- Childproof latch available for one hand open
- Pressure mounted with easy installation
- Double locking system
- Gate stays open at 90 degrees
If you made it through this far, you probably know more about baby gates than any of your friends. The great thing is that, now, you can make the best-educated decision about which baby gate is perfect for your family. Every family and house are different. If you are lucky, you may have no stairs that your child would encounter on a frequent basis. The ideal home would have no open floor plan and no dangers that your child could face.
The likelihood of having that show is slim. You are sure to have a few places in your home that needs to be blocked. Fireplaces, hallways, bathrooms, and more are places that baby gates are suggested. Our family has a variety of baby gates in our arsenal. We have a play yard that we use to block off the Christmas tree during the holidays and to keep our youngest penned up. When I am cleaning or out of the room, I put the baby in there and don’t have to be concerned.
If there is one place you want to put a baby gate, it should be top of the stairs. Remember, hardware mounted is the best place choice for stairs. Your child won’t be able to push them down and take a nose dive down the stairs. Pressure mounted gates are ideal for hallways and doorways. Make sure always to measure before you purchase! You want to ensure the gate will fit.
I hope that this guide has been useful for you. These are some fantastic choices for gates. They are all good quality and high ratings. They will not be included if parents have voiced their opinions on it. The parents have spoken; these are the best baby gates available.
Do you have a baby gate your family loves? We would love to hear about it in the comments!