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If you have a home with stairs or areas where it could be dangerous for a crawling baby or toddler to get into then a baby gate is an essential purchase. Safety gates help parents have the peace of mind that if they were to wander off for just a moment then they won’t be able to get into potentially dangerous situations. The best baby gates tend to be the ones which are easy to install with a locking mechanism which is simple to open with a single hand for parents and impossible to open for little hands.
There are a few different kinds of gates to keep your baby safe which cater to hallways, stairways and larger open-plan doorways. Baby gate manufacturers try to outdo each other with installation methods and how the locking mechanism operates which has caused a saturated market and a bewildering list of products. Here at Best For Parents, we’ve done all the research for you to present a top 10 list of baby gates to save you time and money on your next purchase to provide ultimate safety.
Best Baby Gates Reviews
1. Lindam Sure Shut Pressure Fit Baby Safety Gate
Lindam makes a wide variety of child safety products and their range of best stair gates are top quality. We’ve chosen their ‘Porte’ model because it’s cost-effective and baby products we have personally had use in our own home. The locking mechanism is easy to use one-handed by just grabbing and squeezing and then lifting. A toddler has no way of opening it but an adult will find it easy. Opens both ways so suitable for any location including top of the stairs.
The four wall cups are rudimentary but easy to install and keep the gate gripped in place which won’t be knocked over by rushing children. The frame is what you’d expect – a glossy white finish with thin gaps to allow visibility but no way of squeezing through, however, there is a bottom bar which can be a trip hazard so walk past with safety in mind. It can even be used inside or outside of the home.
The Porte model fits openings between 76cm and 82cm which is standard for 99% of doorways in the UK. Priced around £20-£25 this is an excellent range of safety gates which performs well at a great price with plenty of reviews to back them up.
2. Munchkin Maxi-Secure Pressure Fit Baby Safety Gate
The Munchkin Maxi-Secure wall cups fit safety gate really is among the best all-round packages in the list for a couple of reasons. The first is the design which is a bit more rounded and a little less prison-gate-esque with oval edged corners and on the locking mechanism itself. The locking handle has some colour to let you know at a glance if it’s closed or not alongside the one-handed double lock which is toddler-proof and easy for adults.
Secondly, the Munchkin maxi secure safety stair gates also use a second lock at the bottom which strengthens the closure but also peace of mind in case you have forgotten to lock the top. Most open and close top of the stairs or bottom of the stairs gates have a simple hook at the bottom but with the Munchkin, it is a proper lock.
With several sizes available from 76cm to 117cm, all using the same technology, two-way opening and priced very competitively the Munchkin is definitely one to consider so make sure to check it out. We have had a lot of use from this and loved it and would buy it again.
3. Safety 1st Secure Tech Fit Metal Baby Gate
The Safety 1st secure metal gate is a pressure mounted metal baby gate with some neat quality of life features such as a colour-coded lock mechanism, a tough switch and a sturdy U-bend frame. This model cover openings between 73cm and 80cm which covers most standard doorways and stair entrances. We love this model in particular because of how easy it was to install with the four pressure pads and how secure the lock is – no baby or toddler will ever be able to get passed this. However, it is slightly difficult for adults to do it at times one-handed.
Unlike most stair gates, the lock makes it clear if it has been closed properly by showing red on the lock, otherwise, it’s green so you can walk away knowing it’s secure and protecting your little ones. With the lock secured, the metal frame does not budge or bend so a curious toddler will not be able to get around it.
With a price of under £20 with a fairly advanced lock and a dead easy pressure mounting system, this is definitely up there with the best of them.
4. BabyDan No Trip Beechwood Hardware Fit Safety Baby Gate
BabyDan also offers a baby gate which is made out of wood and a gate without much metal. The wood is a nice beechwood to be precise, which really does offer a much different aesthetic to your usual white metal gate. It is a no trip hazard model on the account that it is drilled into the walls and therefore doesn’t need the support beam a the bottom. They can be detached separately from the wall fixings. The measurement is 72-78.5cm so be sure to measure in advance.
However, the unique selling point really is the beechwood finish which can improve the decor and not just keep it the same or make it worse. The wood is professionally finished and feels warm to the touch. It genuinely looks and works fantastic.
Perhaps the drawback is that the locking mechanism isn’t as technical as the others but it can still be opened easily one-handed. This gate opens both ways for extra convenience. Best positioned with to protect staircases due to the fixings and no trip bar.
An outstanding product which may seem too much to many but perfect for those who have worked hard on their decor.
5. BabyDan Guard Me Auto Fit Retractable Safety Guard
This baby gate offers a very different approach to most others as it completely blocks the exit without bars and opens by retracting rather than opening outwards and inwards. This is a substantial product that offers a better aesthetic around the house with a clever one way system. It installed by drilling into the entryways which does mean some DIY is involved but as a benefit, it is much more secure and strong. Ideal for houses with a rambunctious little one or several!
Opening the gate can seem complicated at first but once you have the knack you realise it’s easy. It’s extremely tamper-proof and because it retracts it can be fit in uneven doorways and even in the middle of the stairs in a home.
We love this baby gate because it looks fantastic and offers one of the most secure exits on the UK market. It does require some DIY so best fit for homeowners as well as people who run bed and breakfasts, holiday home and AirBnbs.
6. Magic Gate for Children
The magic gate is a lightweight transparent barrier to safely separate two rooms without the need for a solid metal or wood gate. This is not a safety gate as it is too flimsy and gentle, instead, it should be fit as more of a deterrent. This should not be used with stairs as it is not a safety gate. A popular use is for the separation of pets in the home.
It’s soft to touch and surprisingly durable, your child won’t simply walk through or tear through it. However, older toddlers would be able to climb over it with enough effort. Not ideal for tall kids as the height isn’t brilliant.
However, with all that said and done, this is a cheap way to fit an invisible fence for your child without the need of pressure rods, instead, it includes clamps which are drilled in and the gate uses adhesive hooks to be set in place.
We want this list to have variety as well as quality so that there’s a good recommendation for everyone’s needs and the magic gate is one of the top-rated hallway/corridor gates for the home.
7. Dreambaby Denver Baby 3 Panel Safety Adapta Gate Black
The Dreambaby “Denver” 3-panel baby gate enables you to safely close off really wide entrances or an enclaved closing around the doorway for extra space and a gentler gate for a baby or toddler. Irregularly sized and shaped doorways is the target market with this. In total, the gate can cover gaps from 85.5cm to a whopping 200cm. If you’ve got a large house then this gate could be the best solution for you.
It is made with powdered metal which is strong and sturdy with hinges which not only bend to the shape of the gap but also provide some suspension for impacts – it is not just one big solid rectangle with bars. The two side panels are mildly decorated to add some aesthetic and avoid that prison-like look. Available in both black and white with all fixings included for a perfect fit every time.
It has more or less the same one-hand squeeze and lift double lock mechanism as our other reviewed brands which is easy for an adult and temper proof for curious toddlers. It does, however, need some DIY as it is hardware mounted. But, this is a positive as it does offer superior strength and stability and a pressure mounting system just wouldn’t work logistically with a gate this wide and angled.
Overall, this safety gate is fantastic for irregular and large openings in the home. It’s a sizable purchase which does reflect in the cost but it is far better than using extensions after extensions when the gap becomes bigger than 140cm, in our opinion.
8. Momcozy Retractable Stair Gate for Baby and Pets
The momcozy retractable stair gate is a gentler approach as it’s made out of softer fabric which offers warmth and more of a rebound than a metal or hard plastic barrier. On top of that, the Momcozy gate is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing products to buy which won’t detract from your decorating.
But, the most important aspect is how well it stops pathways and we’re pleased to say it does that very well. The fabric is very strong and toddlers won’t be able to get past it. The twisting handle is tamper-proof and easy enough to use with a single hand which is perfect. It can be somewhat tricky on particularly long doorways, though, as the mesh gate can fly back quickly once you’ve let it go.
The gate comes with some DIY required to fit as it needs to be mounted to a solid surface and doesn’t have pressure mounts.
It’s one of the most expensive on the market so not ideal for those on a budget than may need to close off several doorways but for those who want form and function then there are few as good as this.
9. Hauck Open N Stop Pressure Fit Safety Gate
The Hauck pressure fit safety gate is a mildly customisable option to keep your little one safe and allows parents to use it in awkwardly wide openings as it comes delivered with a 9cm extension which means it can suit openings with a width between 84cm to 98cm which is one of the widest ones. However, the security extension doesn’t need to be used so it can still be used in regular homes. It is a tall product suitable for toddlers with a bit of height.
Width aside, the Hauck safety gate comes with a great design with a double locking mechanism which a baby or toddler won’t open but easy for parents to get through even with one hand. It isn’t self-closing due to its width.
Our final word for this would be that it’s a fantastic alternative for parents who want an extension at the same time as the purchase and know that it is compatible without issues. Otherwise, it is a rather expensive gate.
10. Callowesse Kemble Narrow Pressure Fit Security Stair Gate
The Callowesse pressure stair gate is our best choice for narrow openings suitable for 65-75cm entries and exits so make sure to measure before you buy. On top of the sleek narrow design is a simple to use locking mechanism which is toddler-proof and easy for adults to open with one hand, this is especially important due to the narrow opening where you’re likely to only have one hand spare. The design of the lock itself we feel is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t look like cheap plastic. The gate can open in either direction.
The bars are pretty standard and at the bottom is a simple clamp but not quite a double lock. For a smallish product, it’s pretty expensive coming in at £30 or so but they don’t sell too much and there are few on the market for these kinds of openings. The reality is there aren’t many narrow openings which can be frustrating for those who want to keep to a budget for their little ones.
Baby Gate Buyer’s Guide
Welcome to the exciting world of baby and toddler safety gates! All joking aside, a baby gate is possibly one of the most important purchase you can make for when your little one starts to become mobile. But, there are a LOT of different brands of baby gates out there with different installations and locking systems that can make finding the right one a headache. Along with our top 10 list of the best ones we’ve also created this buyer’s guide to offer some background around the product to help you find the right one for you.
Why baby gate is best?
We feel that the best baby gate for standard sized openings is the Lindam Sure Shut Pressure Fit Safety Gate, it has an easy to use locking mechanism, a two-way opening, door frame grips installation means no need for any DIY so it’s friendly for rented accommodation and it is tamper-proof gate.
The best stair baby gate can still be the Lindam but we prefer the BabyDan No Trip Beechwood Safety Gate because it doesn’t have a bar at the bottom of the gate which can be a trip hazard for both parents, baby and toddler.
The best retractable gate which opens sideways in our opinion is the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard. This model opens sideways which makes it ideal for bed and breakfasts and busy hallways as it can constantly be open and not get in the way. Retractable gates use a one-way system at all times.
The top-rated baby gate for wide openings is the Dreambaby Denver 3 Panel Safety Adapta-Gate Black as the opening itself is the same length as standard gates but it also has additional sides which can be angled or straight to suit even the most awkward of openings. It’s almost impossible for an large gate to be one way.
How do I choose a baby gate?
Choosing a baby gate is rather simple and can be done by answering three questions:
- What is the width of the entry that the baby gate is needed? Baby barriers come in a wide variety of widths from as small as 60cm to 200cm. Getting the exact measurements is key to choosing the correct gate.
- Is the baby gate going at the top/bottom of stairs or will it be in a doorway? Although the difference is minimal, some houses staircase layout may mean you will need a gate which opens sideways rather than outwards.
- Do you want to DIY install them or leave the walls/sides intact? Some gates are hardware mounted to provide permanent installation and greater strength whereas the most popular use rods to keep the gate in the same place. Pressure mounts are necessary for rented accommodation but homeowners can benefit from being able to hardware mount them.
The stair gate market is fairly saturated with hundreds of cloned products made from China, which is not uncommon in the parent, baby and toddler space. Only a handful of actual different types are out there. At their core, there are pressure mounted and hardware mounted front/back opening and sideways opening and metal and wood stair gates. Because of a saturated market is can be difficult to differentiate between models which makes the process of choosing a baby gate much harder, however, our top 10 list above offers a great gate which answers all 3 questions and does the hard work of choosing for you.
Do you need baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs?
Putting one of these products at the top and bottom stairways is a choice but it must be said that the most important location is at the top. Because it prevents the risk of falling down the stairs which can cause serious injuries especially for a baby. Equally, putting a gate at the bottom prevents them from climbing and therefore risking falling down but that is unlikely if the child is being supervised and access to the stairs is prevented with doors.
As your toddler’s legs get stronger and more mobile the need for a gate in a house with stairs gets more important.
Are pressure baby gates safe?
Yes, absolutely. These gates use soft plastic at four points at the top corners to keep it in place. When set up correctly it takes a tremendous amount of force to make the gate budge – a force that a baby simply doesn’t have. However, we do appreciate that many parents would worry about this because at the end of the day it is a product designed to keep them safe.
If you purchased one and set it up you will see for yourself.
Toddlers are adventurous and curious by nature, once they have full confidence in walking they will want to walk everywhere! They can seem fearless but the reality is that they do not fear what they don’t understand and what they don’t understand yet is that that certain rooms and especially stairs are dangerous. As a parent, you don’t want them to find out the hard way why they can be so dangerous. This is why we feel that child gate safety is a necessary purchase for parents and not a ‘luxury’. Which one you choose is up to you but we hope that our top 10 list contains the perfect one for you. Let us know which gate you buy.