The 10 Best Baby Gates For Stairs In 2020
Baby gates are an essential part of child safety in your home, but their usefulness doesn’t end there. Many people also use baby gates to contain and protect pets, keep children away from unwanted areas when traveling or visiting family, or simply make child care easier by keeping your little ones in a specific area.
However, an unsafe baby gate is more hazardous for a child than no gate at all, and over half of baby gate injuries are actually sustained by parents as they attempt to step over the gate. To get the benefits of a baby gate, it is essential to select the right gate and install and use it correctly. I’ve put together a guide to the best baby gates for stairs, and on how to use them to best protect your child.
- 1 Table: Best Baby Gates For Stairs in 2020
- 2 When Do You Need a Baby Gate?
- 3 Different Types Of Baby Gates
- 4 Where to Install a Baby Gate
- 5 What to Look For In Baby Gate
- 6 Before You Buy a Baby Gate
- 7 Best Baby Gate For Top Of Stairs With Flat Surfaces
- 8 Best Baby Gate For Top Of Stairs With Banisters
- 9 Best Baby Gate For Top Of Stairs With No Attachment Points
- 10 Best Baby Gate For Bottom Of Stairs With Flat Surfaces
- 11 Best Baby Gates For Bottom Of Stairs With Banisters
- 12 Best Baby Gate For Bottom of Stairs With No Attachment Points
- 13 Best Baby Gate For Wide Opening
- 14 Best Tall Baby Gate
- 15 Best Retractable Baby Gate
- 16 Best Cheap Baby Gate For Stairs
- 17 Conclusion And Final Words
Let’s first have a look at a comparison table, and then talk about each baby gate in more details:
Table: Best Baby Gates For Stairs in 2020
Note: If you use a small screen you may have to scroll right to see all the columns.
|Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate||Top Of Stairs||Flat||Hardware|
|Kidco Safeway Gate||Top Of Stairs||Banister||Hardware|
|Dreambaby Newport Adapta||Top Of Stairs||Irregular||Hardware|
|"Toddleroo by North States||Bottom Of Stairs||Flat||Pressure|
|Dreambaby Chelsea Auto Close Security Gate||Bottom Of Stairs||Banister||Pressure|
|Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate||Bottom Of Stairs||Irregular||HW/Freestanding|
|Regalo 56-Inch Extra WideSpan Baby Gate||Wide Doors||Flat||Pressure/HW|
|Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall||Tall Doors||Flat||Pressure/HW|
|Summer Infant Retractable Gate||Retractable||Flat||Hardware|
|Safety 1st Metal Baby Gate||Bottom Of Stairs||Flat||Pressure|
When Do You Need a Baby Gate?
General guidelines are that you should use a baby gate if your home has a staircase or other potential hazards, from the time your child is 6-8 months old, until they are about 2 years old. If you are using a baby gate to prevent pets from interacting unsupervised with your children, then you will need to install baby gates much earlier.
However, every home and every child is different. It’s important to observe your little one closely to make sure that your home is safe for them every step of the way. Most babies begin to roll over and start to attempt crawling at about the ages of 4-6 months, but some babies do so earlier or later, and some skip crawling altogether and go right to walking. When your baby starts to crawl or walk independently, it’s time to install baby gates.
If your toddler shows signs of being able to push down, open, or crawl over the gate, it is time to remove it. While baby gates are usually recommended up to about 2 years of age, some children are larger or stronger and will reach this milestone earlier. If they are still quite young, replace it with a more substantial gate.
At around 2 years old, teach them how to carefully and safely use the stairs (or interact with pets, or navigate other areas of the home), and supervise them closely as they practice their independence.
Different Types Of Baby Gates
There are two different types of baby gates:
Hardware Mounted: Hardware mounted gates are bolted into place in the walls of your home. Wall mounted gates are the most robust type, and are essential anywhere that there is a risk of falling, such as at the top of stairs.
Pressure Mounted baby gates use pressure and tension to stay in place braced against opposing walls. These aren’t sturdy enough to prevent falling hazards, but can be used to discourage unwanted exploring. Pressure-mounted gates also have a threshold along the bottom to hold the gate in place, and this can sometimes be a tripping hazard, so pressure mounted gates should not be used at the top of stairs.
Even if you hesitate to drill into your walls, or have awkward banisters or wall placement that makes it difficult to use a standard baby gate, there are gates and installation options that will meet your needs.
Where to Install a Baby Gate
Of course, baby gates can also be installed in any hallway or doorway to contain and protect a child, but it’s particularly important to protect children from the following hazards:
Stairs: Stairs are a major source of falling injuries for children, as they explore their surroundings. It’s essential to put a baby gate at the top of the stairs, to prevent falling. It is also a good idea to put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, particularly if your child regularly has access to the area, to prevent them from climbing up and falling down.
Kitchens And bathrooms: Kitchens and bathrooms tend to have several child hazards, including hot stoves and ovens, sharp implements, cleaning supplies, and water. In addition to using baby-safe door and cupboard closures, a baby gate can keep a child out of those rooms altogether when unsupervised.
What to Look For In Baby Gate
Aside from the type of baby gate you need, and where you will place it in your home, there are several other features to look for:
- Vertical Slats: Horizontal slats invite climbing, and should be avoided. Look for vertical slats, with slats spaced no further than 3 inches apart. Wide slats pose the risk of a child getting their head stuck in the gate.
- Fine Mesh: Some fence-style baby gates for stairs have mesh large enough to invite a child or pet to attempt to climb the gate. If you are looking at a mesh-style gate, make sure the mesh is small enough to discourage climbing.
- Sturdy Construction: The gate and installation should be sturdy enough that it can’t easily be broken, splintered, or pushed over. If a baby gate for stairs is made of wood, the wood should be smooth, with rounded edges and no splinters.
- Latch Operation: As with all “baby-proofing,” latches are tricky. It should be simple and easy for you to use, ideally with one hand, if you are carrying a baby with the other arm. However, a child should not be able to open it, so beware of foot pedals or push latches that are too easy to use.
- Permanent Label: As with other child safety equipment, there are periodic recalls, and it’s better not to buy a used baby gate. Your baby gate should have a permanent label with the name of the manufacturer in case you need to contact them.
- JPMA Certification: The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association certifies products that are voluntarily manufactured to their safety standards and meet certain criteria. JPMA standards go beyond government minimum standards, and you shouldn’t buy a baby gate that isn’t JPMA certified.
Before You Buy a Baby Gate
Before you buy your baby gate, measure your door or hallway for width. If using a pressure-mounted baby gate, the maximum width of the gate needs to exceed the width of the opening to create pressure – it can’t be exactly the maximum width. Remember that, if you have baseboards, your opening may be narrower at the bottom than in the middle, so you may have two width measurements. Your baby gate for stairs should be a minimum of 22 inches tall, but if you are using it for pets, it may need to be taller.
If you are mounting a top of stairs baby gate, it will need to be hardware mounted baby gates. Before you shop for a baby gate, determine how you can mount it with the most stability and strength, because you may need to buy an additional attachment kit, based on the architecture of your house. Locate a stud in the wall to determine where you will mount the gate. If you don’t have a wall, because your staircase only has a railing, or if your studs are located at an angle, look for a baby gate that has those hardware mounting options.
Here are the best baby gates for stairs available, depending on your attachment needs.
Best Baby Gate For Top Of Stairs With Flat Surfaces
Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate
If the top of your staircase is at an angle, or if your wall studs are awkwardly placed, it can be a challenge to correctly install a baby gate. The Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate will mount at angles up to 30 degrees, giving you more options for securely mounting a baby gate for stairs at an angle.
The Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate is a hardware-mounted top of stairs baby gate but has versatile installation options that make it easy to install anywhere. The latch system is easy for an adult to open with one hand, but can’t be opened by toddlers.
It can be mounted at angles of up to 30 degrees and still latch correctly, making it a good choice for angled stairways or inconvenient wall stud placement. And it is made of powder-coated aluminum, making it strong, lightweight, and rustproof. It is available in white, black, or brown, and is easy to clean.
The Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate is JMPA certified, and is 29.5 inches tall. The width is adjustable from 27 to 42.5 inches. It comes with all the hardware necessary for installation, and an optional one-way stop bracket, preventing the gate from swinging. There is are available optional extensions, for additional purchase, that would allow the gate to fit widths from 42.5 to up to 64 inches.
- Available in black or white
- Can be mounted at angles up to 30 degrees
- JMPA certified
- Sturdy and lightweight
- Easy to clean
- Opens both directions, unless you use the one-way stop bracket
- Comes with all necessary mounting hardware
- Extensions available for wider openings
- One-handed latch
- Indoor use only
Best Baby Gate For Top Of Stairs With Banisters
Kidco Safeway Gate + KidCo Stairway Installation Kit
At the top of the stairs, you need all the safety and stability of a hardware-mounted baby gate, but sometimes you don’t have a wall to attach a gate to. The KidCo Safeway Gate with the Stairway Installation Kit allows you to securely mount a baby gate to a banister, without damaging the banister.
The KidCo Safeway Gate is a top of stairs baby gate, with easy one-handed latch operation for adults, and a rugged heavy-duty steel construction. The directional stop only allows the gate to open one way, so it doesn’t swing open over a stairway.
The hinge side hardware can even be mounted on an angled surface, for versatility in installation. And it has a quick-release hardware mechanism that allows you to easily remove the gate when it isn’t needed, which is helpful during times of heavy foot traffic on the stairs, moving furniture, or accommodating guests. The gate is available in black or white, CPSIA certified, and is 30.5 inches high, and 24.75 up to 43.5 inches wide.
The KidCo Stairway Gate Installation Kit allows you to mound the KidCo Safeway Gate onto a stair banister. This is ideal when you don’t have a wall available, and also provides secure mounting without damaging the banister, even when the spindles are round or oddly-sized. If you have a banister on both sides of your stairs, you will need two kits.
It is made of plastic and wood, and will fit posts from 2 ½ to 3 5/8 inches wide. While they claim that “no drilling is required,” to clarify, you will have to drill into the included wood post, but you won’t drill into your banister. The kit comes with all the mounting hardware and an insert for round spindles.
- The Safeway Gate is made of heavy-duty steel for strength and durability
- The Safeway Gate quick-removal feature is helpful for times when you need to make heavy use of a stairway without managing the gate every time
- The Stairway Gate installation kit allows you to mount a hardware-mounted or pressure mounted baby gate for stairs securely against a stairway without damaging the banister
- The Stairway Gate installation kit only requires basic tools and simple assembly
- While the gate itself is made of steel, latching and mounting mechanisms are made of plastic and are less durable
- The Safeway Gate latch one-way mechanism is only a small piece of plastic, and not very secure or durable. Over time, the gate alignment can change slightly and make it possible for the gate to swing open over the stairs.
- The Stairway Gate installation kit only comes with one insert for rounded spindles. If your spindles are round on the top and bottom, you may need to buy two kits just for the insert.
- The Stairway Gate installation kit only comes with white plastic and unpainted wood. Offering colors to match the gate would make a more attractive installation.
- The Stairway Gate installation kit has a slender piece of wood and short screws. This avoids damaging the banister, but the gate is made of steel and weighs 8 pounds, and there is potential for a child or pet to stand/lean/hang on the gate. It would be nice if the materials were more substantial.
Best Baby Gate For Top Of Stairs With No Attachment Points
Dreambaby Newport Adapta Baby Gate
If your home has a staircase without an attachment point, perhaps because of a stairway landing or turn, the best option is to choose a hardware-mounted baby gate that doesn’t just fence off the stairs, but fences off the entire area. The Dreambaby Newport Adapta Baby Gate is angled away from the top of the stairs, creating a secure and comfortable landing at the top of the stairs, and can be installed in a variety of unusual situations.
The Dreambaby Newport Adapta Baby Gate comes with not just the gate, but with side panels that can be angled for unusual staircase openings, and extended to mount on walls near the staircase, if you can’t hardware mount a baby gate to the staircase itself. It’s a great option for hard-to-fit staircases, and creating a landing area at the top of the stairs can help prevent accidental falls, as the gate doesn’t swing out directly over the stairs.
The Dreambaby Newport Adapta Baby Gate comes in black, white, brown, or mesh panels. It is 29 inches tall and fits openings from 33.5 inches to 79 inches wide. The door automatically closes, or can be set to hold open the door, and set to open in only one direction. It also has a fantastic EZY check indicator, that lets you know if the gate is correctly installed, and tells you at a glance whether the gate is securely locked.
- This safety gate for top of stairs is designed to install securely in hard-to-fit areas like stairs.
- EZY check indicator lets you know the gate is installed correctly.
- EZY check indicator lets you know the gate is locked.
- Opens in both directions, or can be set to open in only one direction.
- Can be set to automatically close, or to stay open when needed.
- The extension panels to make the gate wider aren’t actually that wide.
Best Baby Gate For Bottom Of Stairs With Flat Surfaces
Toddleroo by North States
This pressure-mounted gate isn’t suitable for use at the top of the stairs, but is a great option in a baby gate almost anywhere else. It has flexible installation options, won’t harm paint or baseboards, and is incredibly convenient as well as being safe.
The “Easy-Close Gate” by North States has a lot of great features for adults, as well as safety features for babies. It pressure mounts nearly anywhere, coming with optional extensions and telescoping pins to fit a wide variety of doorways. It latches securely with a simple push, but can also be even more securely latched with a dual-locking feature.
The gate swings open both ways and latch automatically behind you, or it can stay open during high-traffic moments. During even higher traffic moments, the gate can easily be removed, making the full width of your doorway available, which is convenient when moving furniture or replacing appliances.
The North States Easy comes in white or bronze, and is made of heavy-duty steel. It is 29 inches high and fits openings from 28 to 38.5 inches wide. It comes with all necessary hardware for installation, and two cups that provide optional extra stability in the gate.
- Gate opens in either direction.
- Gate closes automatically, or can stay open when needed.
- Dual locking feature provides extra childproofing when needed.
- Installs without damaging walls or surfaces.
- Comes with two extensions to fit wider openings, as well as all necessary installation hardware.
- JPMA certified.
- The locking feature is not perfect. You have to apply a bit of pressure to lock it in place.
Best Baby Gates For Bottom Of Stairs With Banisters
Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close Security Gate + Dreambaby Banister Gate Adaptors
The Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close Security Gate with Dreambaby Banister Gate Adaptors is a great solution for the bottom of a staircase with no wall for a secure attachment. It’s a pressure-mounted baby gate and a secure banister attachment system with a lot of great features for parents.
The Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close Security Gate is an attractive gate that is easy to install and won’t damage walls or finishes. It opens and closes with one hand, swings both ways, and automatically closes behind you. It also has a Smart Stay Open feature that allows it to stay open when needed. The EZY-check indicator shows you when the gate isn’t securely latched, so you have extra security. It comes in black or white, is 29.5 inches tall, and fits openings from 28 inches to 39 inches wide.
While the Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close Security Gate comes with an optional hardware mounting system, the Dreambaby Banister Gate Adaptors pressure mounts to banisters and stairways, providing secure stability for the gate, without damaging your banisters. The flexible design fits round and square banister spindles, and is rubber lined metal that won’t damage surfaces. They require no tools, and can also be used on angled corners.
- The Dreambaby Chelsea metal gate has an attractive design.
- Smart Stay Open feature keeps the gate open when needed.
- Auto-close feature closes the gate automatically behind you.
- Latch can be opened with one hand.
- EZY indicator gives a visual indicator when the gate isn’t closed correctly.
- This baby gates for stairs is JMPA certified.
- Comes with two extensions and hardware installation kit.
- The Dreambaby Banister Gate Adaptors securely attach the gate to banisters.
- Rubber padding prevents the banister adapters from harming the finish, while preventing movement or slipping.
- Banister adapters can also be used on awkward corners.
- The auto-close feature may sometimes fail to work, so you have to manually close the gate.
Best Baby Gate For Bottom of Stairs With No Attachment Points
Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate
The Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate goes beyond a baby gate, and becomes more like a baby wall. It’s a great option for large areas, or areas without a natural attachment point, because you can circumscribe entire areas with this gate.
The Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate is large enough to enclose an entire area, making it a great choice for staircases, fireplaces, or even simply to create a small play yard for a toddler. It encloses a massive 19 square feet of space.
And it can be mounted with the included hardware, or can attach to itself to be free-standing. It is made of steel, is 28 inches tall, and the accordion design can be folded up into a compact size when not in use. No tools are required to reconfigure the enclosure.
- Can also be used outdoors.
- Folds up for storage or travel.
- Wide number of possible configurations.
- Can be further expanded with panels available for additional purchase.
- JPMA certified.
- The gate has a bit too much flexibility and could get bent if you’re not careful.
Best Baby Gate For Wide Opening
Regalo 56-Inch Extra Wide Gate
If you need to secure a wider area than a traditional door frame, it can be a challenge to get a baby gate and feel secure with all the extensions. The Regalo 56-Inch Extra Wide Gate is a pressure-mounted gate with room to grow.
The Regalo 58-Inch Extra Wide Baby Gate fits openings from 29 to a massive 56 inches wide. The gate is 30 inches tall, and installs quickly and easily, with no tools, and without damaging walls or surfaces. It can also be quickly removed for full and free access, making it a great choice for temporary installations. The latch is easy to use and secure. It also comes with everything needed to install a hardware mount of this gate, instead of a pressure mount.
- Fits very wide openings with included extensions.
- Can be installed pressure mounted or hardware mounted
- This baby gates for stairs is JPMA certified
- Has a big bottom threshold that may pose a tripping hazard
Best Tall Baby Gate
Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Gate
A big advantage of a tall baby gates for stairs is an adult can easily latch and open it without bending over as much as a lower gate requires. The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Gate looks more like a garden gate than a baby gate, and yet has all the safety features you need.
The good-looking Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Gate comes in beige or bronze, and stands 36 inches tall, making it a great choice for taller children or even large pets. It can be pressure mounted or hardware mounted with the included optional mounts. It fits openings from 28.5 to 45 inches wide, for a good choice of installation options. The hardware mounted gate has a dual-lock function, as well as an auto-close feature so it closes automatically behind you. It opens both ways, unless you use the optional door stopper to limit it to one-way operation.
- The extra tall walk thru gate has an award-winning design
- Can be installed with hardware or with pressure, depending on your needs
- Automatically closes behind you
- Double locking system
- This baby gates for stairs is JPMA certified
- Has a large bottom threshold that may be a tripping hazard
Best Retractable Baby Gate
Summer Infant Retractable Gate
A retractable baby gates for stairs is a great option for balancing child safety with livability. It gives you the flexibility of using a baby gate as needed and on-demand, but not have it obstruct your life when it’s not necessary.
The Summer Infant Retractable Gate is hardware mounted for extra stability, with a secure and innovative lock gate mechanism. The durable mesh fabric has a decorative pattern and is see-through, so you always know what’s on the other side. The gate is 30 inches tall and fits openings up to 50 inches wide without an extension kit or additional installation challenges. It also comes with a baseboard kit, so you can accommodate baseboards with no additional purchase.
- Sturdy, attractive, and lightweight
- Allows for flexibility of not having a gate in the way when it’s not needed
- Secure locking system
- Can be installed over baseboards with no additional purchase
- No bottom threshold to trip over
- Finally, this baby gates for stairs is JPMA certified
- Can be difficult to operate the latch with one hand, particularly if you are carrying anything with the other
- Doesn’t always retract all the way nicely, leaving a couple inches of fabric sagging
Best Cheap Baby Gate For Stairs
Safety 1st Metal Baby Gate
With the Safety 1st Metal Baby Gate, you never have to feel as though you are compromising on safety for the sake of your budget.
The Safety 1st Metal Baby Gate is a pressure-mounted gate that has an onboard indicator when the pressure is too low, so you always know that it’s safe and secure. It is easy to install and requires no tools. And it has a one-handed operation that is easy for adults, swings in both directions, and opens a full 180 degrees. It is 28 inches high, and can fit openings from 29 to 38 inches wide.
- Pressure mount is fast and easy, without damaging surfaces or finishes.
- SecureTech indicator lets you know that the gate is secure and doesn’t need further tightening.
- Very attractive price and one of the cheapest juvenile products on the market as of today.
- Finally, this baby gates for stairs is JPMA certified.
- The top lock doesn’t slide out with ease and needs a bit of force to open and close.
Conclusion And Final Words
And that’s a wrap!
As you can see there are many great baby gates for stairs options. And I hope my baby gate review will be helpful when you’re making your choice.
If you have further questions about choosing the best baby gates, or just want to share some tips and tricks, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail using the contact form.
PS, please look around our site for other useful articles for example my baby monitor review.