Best Baby Fences of 2020

Updated
Keep that curious, exploring baby safe with a baby fence. 

As soon as their child becomes mobile, most parents will need a baby fence to ensure their child remains safe.

Baby fences not only keep children away from obvious danger areas like the stairs or the fireplace, but they also offer protection from potential dangers such as older siblings running around, or parents carrying heavy or hot items.

To help you with the what, why, when, and how of baby fences, we put together this guide on how to choose the most appropriate one in any situation. We’ve also added our picks for the top ten best baby fences.

Our Top Picks

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What Is a Baby Fence?

A baby fence is a protective barrier that works one of two ways:

  1. Some baby fences are designed to be used as an enclosure that will keep a baby or younger child in a specific area.
  2. Other baby fences are designed to create a barrier between one area of a home and another. Baby gates also fall into this category.

Baby fences come in a wide variety of styles, designs, and materials. Not all baby fences are suitable for all situations.

Do You Really Need a Baby Fence?

Whether you need a baby fence depends on your home, the age of your child, and the safety issues that may arise if your child is able to access a dangerous item or situation.

Baby Fence Pros

A baby fence can:

  • Keep your child safe from potentially dangerous situations.
  • Provide freedom to other children, who can play without worrying about hurting the baby.
  • Allow parents to leave their baby alone, briefly, in a safe place, while they visit the washroom, make a phone call, and cook.
  • Maintain interaction between child and parent in situations where the child could be in danger. Using a baby gate across the kitchen doorway allows a parent to cook while their child sits safely playing on the other side.

Baby Fence Cons

While baby fences are an important safety item, there are negatives to using one.

  • Parents can assume their child is safe and leave them unattended for too long.
  • Once a child is older, they may try to climb over a baby fence or gate and hurt themselves.
  • Adults or older children can fall when trying to climb over a baby safety fence or gate.
  • Homemade baby fences can cause accidents or even death.

How to Choose the Best Baby Fences

There are a number of elements you need to consider when deciding which baby fence to choose.

Material

Most baby fences are made from wood, plastic, or metal.

Wooden baby fences are sturdy, and because they are made for children, you shouldn’t get splinters from the wood. They can become grubby or discolored when subjected to a child’s dirty hands.

Plastic baby fences are lightweight and easy to clean and transport, but they may not stand up to a heavier child climbing, sitting, or leaning against them.

Metal baby fences combine the easy clean benefits of plastic and the sturdiness of wood. But if you have a baby who likes to chew on things, metal can be hard on their teeth.

Height

The height of your baby fence will depend on the developmental stage of your child.

Most will be at least 22 inches tall. You should buy a gate that is at least three-fourths of your child’s height and make sure you leave on some extra inches for their growth (1).

Space Between Slats

If the fence has slats, they must be no more than 2 and 3/8 inches (or 6 cm) apart to prevent your child from getting their head through the gap.

Ease of Assembly

Go for a baby fence that is easy to assemble and install, but not so easy your child will be able to take it apart themselves.

Location

Spring-mounted baby gates are easy to install and can be used in doorways, but for a gate at the top of the stairs, always use one with a frame that is mounted to the wall or doorframe.

Versatility

Consider whether you will want to move the baby fence to different locations. If you spend time with your child in a home other than your own, a lightweight, mobile baby fence is more convenient.

Sturdiness

While some children will play happily within their baby fence, others will spend their time trying to escape. So, ensure the baby fence you choose is strong enough to stand up to your child for at least a year.


The Best Baby Fences of 2020

Taking all of these elements into consideration, here are the best baby fences for a variety of situations.

1. Toddler Easy Swing Portico Arch Baby Gate

Best Baby Fence for Doorways

Toddleroo by North States 38.25” wide Portico Arch Baby Gate: Decorative heavy...
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This pressure-mounted baby gate is suitable for doorways and walkways from 28.25 to 38.25 inches wide. The pressure-mount fixing style means you do not require tools to install the gate, or have to drill holes into your doorways.

It also means that the gate can easily be moved from location to location if need be, making it an excellent option if you are on a budget and cannot afford multiple gates for every doorway that needs one.

PROS:
  • Gate opening swings both ways.
  • One-handed operation makes it easy to use when you are carrying your child.
  • A hold-open feature allows you to leave the gate open when your child is not around.
CONS:
  • The gate section, the piece that swings open, is only 18 inches wide so you may have to pass through sideways.

Additional Specs

Height28.5 inches
Width28.25 to 38.25 inches, but an additional extension panel is available to expand the gate to 71.25 inches
MaterialMetal
Age RangeUntil your child can climb the gate, or 2 years, whichever comes first.

2. Evenflo Extra Tall Top-of-The-Stair Gate

Best Baby Gate for Top of Stairs

Walk-Thru Top Of Stairs Baby Gate, Farmhouse Collection
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Made specifically for the top of the stairs, this Evenflo gate is both stylish and functional. It has an adjustable width of 30 to 48 inches, so it is suitable for homes with wider stairways.

There are four fixing points, with hardware supplied, and the gate can be mounted with a minimal number of tools. The mounts for the fixing points are designed so that you can lift the gate up, out of the mounts, if you need to temporarily remove it.

PROS:
  • The no-bottom bar design means there isn’t a potential trip hazard at the top of the stairs.
  • An optional stop feature is included, which will prevent the gate from opening forward over the stairs.
  • The two-step one-handed opening latch makes it difficult for your child to open.
CONS:
  • It can be difficult for younger kids or relatives with limited hand strength to open.

Additional Specs

Height32 inches
Width30 to 48 inches
MaterialWood
Age RangeUntil your child can climb the gate or 2 years, whichever comes first

3. North States Ultimate Superyard

Best Outdoor Baby Fence

Toddleroo by North States Superyard Ultimate 6 Panel Play Yard: Safe play area...
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This is a free-standing baby fence that connects up to create a sturdy play yard for your child.

This fence can be used both indoor and outdoor and provides 18.5 square feet of play space. If you want to increase the play space, you can purchase baby fence expansion panels which slot easily into the main structure. This then provides up to 34.5 square feet of space.

There is an optional playmat which can be purchased separately.

PROS:
  • The fence includes a gate panel which makes it easy to pass through.
  • Folds simply and has a carry handle which makes it ideal for transport.
  • No skid feet make it difficult for your child to move the baby fence across the floor.
CONS:
  • Cannot be used as an affixed baby fence.

Additional Specs

Height26 inches
Width60 inches
MaterialPlastic
Age RangeUp to 18 months

4. Regalo Double Door Gate and Play Yard

Best Baby Fence for Playtime

Regalo 192-Inch Double Door Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard,...
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This baby fence can be used across openings or can be assembled to form an enclosed play yard. This assembly does not require any tools or expertise. It is easy to unhook the fence from the wall mountings and then connect the ends of the fence together to form a safe, secure 19-square-feet play space for your child.

Unlike some other baby fences, the metal bars do not have a plastic coating. This gives an extra level of reassurance that if your child’s a chewer, your little one will not be eating tiny pieces of plastic.

PROS:
  • The double-wide gate makes it easy for parents to pass through.
  • No tools are required to convert the fence from a barrier to an enclosure.
  • A secure wall mount point ensures the fence does not move when attached to the wall.
CONS:
  • Because of the wall fixings, you can only mount an even number of panels which may not be convenient for everyone.

Additional Specs

Height28 inches
Width52.5 inches to 192 inches
MaterialMetal
Age RangeUp to 2 years.

5. Evenflo Versatile Play Space

Best Indoor Baby Fence

Evenflo Versatile Play Space, Indoor & Outdoor Play Space, Easy & Quick...
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The Evenflo baby fence is lightweight, foldable, and easy to move, which makes it ideal for visits to friends and relatives. It gives 18.5 square feet of playing space.

One of my favorite things about this baby fence is that it has specially designed, reversible feet. This means that when you use the play yard indoors, you can have regular, flat feet. However, when you use the play yard outdoors, on a soft surface such as grass, you can reverse the feet and they become short, blunt stakes.

As a result, the play yard will not move about on the grass, and your child is not in danger of falling because the play yard moved.

PROS:
  • No tools are required for assembly.
  • Available in gray, cream, or rainbow primary colors.
  • It has legs that allow you to fix the baby fence in place on a soft surface such as grass.
CONS:
  • It does not affix to the floor, so it can be moved by larger children.

Additional Specs

Height26 inches
Width60 inches
MaterialPlastic
Age Range6 to 24 months

6. Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock Gate

Best Baby Fence for Bottom of Stairs

Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate 27'-41.5', White
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This gate is an excellent choice for not only the bottom of the stairs, but also for doorways and walkways.

The unique feature of this baby fence is that it is specially designed to work in an opening where the two fixing points are not directly opposite to each other. That means you are able to use this gate in a staggered opening, something I have not seen with other baby safety equipment.

This gate is available in two colors, black and white, which gives you a choice about which color will blend in better with your decor.

PROS:
  • The gate can be mounted at an angle of up to 30 degrees for use in an uneven space.
  • Extensions are available for wider openings.
  • The latch is said to be especially difficult for toddlers to figure out.
CONS:
  • The tricky latching system can be an issue for some adults, especially those with less hand strength or dexterity.

Additional Specs

Height29.5 inches
Width27 to 42.5 inches, but an additional extension panel is available to expand the gate to 64 inches
MaterialMetal
Age RangeUntil your child can climb the gate or 2 years, whichever comes first

7. Toddleroo 3-in-1 Arched Décor Metal Superyard

Best Baby Fence for Fireplace

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This three-in-one baby fence from Toddleroo can be used as a safety gate, a safety barrier, and as an enclosed play area.

The stand-out feature is that it can be configured in an arched formation. This gives you the option to mount the fence in a doorway while also allowing your child a certain amount of play space within the room you are fencing off.

The Toddleroo 3-in-1 arched design also allows you to use it around dangers such as fireplaces.

PROS:
  • Mounting points are high enough to accommodate higher baseboards.
  • It can be widened as much as you need with the addition of multiple extension panels.
  • It’s well-built and sturdy.
CONS:
  • Some owners have experienced scratching on their floors.

Additional Specs

Height30 inches
WidthUp to 151 inches long, and unlimited extension panels of 48 inches can be added
MaterialMetal
Age RangeUntil your child can climb the gate or 2 years, whichever comes first

8. Roving Cove Deck Guard

Best Baby Fence for Banister

Roving Cove Deck Guard 10', Outdoor Balcony and Stairway Banister Safety Net,...
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This is a safety net baby fence that can be affixed to the rails at the top of the stairs, around decks, and other areas your child could reach through.

It helps you minimize the risk of your child trying to wedge themselves through a gap in the rails and becoming stuck. And it also prevents them from throwing or dropping objects through the rails. This is especially useful if you have downstairs neighbors who will not appreciate your child dropping items through the railings and down into their space.

PROS:
  • It’s especially useful in older homes which may have wider than usual slats.
  • Unobtrusive and see-through so it does not change the look of a room or outdoor space.
  • Affixed with cable ties and adhesive cable tie mounts so there is no need to drill holes in your wood.
CONS:
  • As this is only a roll of net, you cannot use it as a baby gate or across walkways.

Additional Specs

Height36 inches
WidthUp to 120 inches
MaterialHeavy grade fabric mesh.
Age RangeYou can leave this in place indefinitely as it is not strong enough for a child to climb

9. North States Superyard

Best Budget-Friendly Baby Fence

Toddleroo by North States Superyard Indoor-Outdoor Play Yard: Safe Play Area...
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The North States superyard is a budget-friendly option for keeping your child safe in the home.

It comes in a variety of color combinations and gives 18.5 square feet of playing space. One option has six panels, each of which is a different bright color, while the other four options are single muted colors that range from pale sand to a darker brown. If coordination and home design are important to you, there is something for every decorating style.

PROS:
  • An affordable option for parents on a tight budget.
  • It can also be used as a barrier with the purchase of a wall mounting kit.
  • So easy to set up or take down.
CONS:
  • Some reviewers have complained this baby fence is a little wobbly, so it’s not best suited to little ones who may pull themselves up on it.

Additional Specs

Height26 inches
WidthUp to 192 inches
MaterialPlastic
Age RangeUp to 18 months

10. WaterWarden 4 foot Pool Fence

Best Baby Fence for Pools

WaterWarden WWF200 4’ x 12, Black – Removeable Outdoor Child Safety...
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The WaterWarden pool fence is designed to keep your child from accessing a pool, or any other area of the garden you feel needs fencing off.

The fence comes with everything you need for installation, including a drilling template, clear instructions, and all of the hardware. It also has insert caps, so if you remove the fence you have the correct hardware to cover the holes in which the fence poles sit.

PROS:
  • The panels are each 12 feet long and can be easily fixed together to form a fence as long as you need.
  • Flexible enough to be used on curved areas.
  • Can be installed quickly and removed temporarily if needed.
CONS:
  • Only suitable for areas where it can be mounted to a hard surface.

Additional Specs

Height48 inches or 60 inches
Maximum widthOne pack will provide 144 inches of fence, and unlimited additional panels of 12 inches can be added
MaterialMesh screens mounted between metal poles
Age RangeCan be left in place indefinitely

Baby Fence Comparison Chart

ProductBestHeightWidthMaterialAge Range
Toddler Easy Swing PorticoDoorways28.5″28.25 to 38.25″, plus extensionMetal2 years or when baby can climb
Evenflo Top-of-The-Stair GateTop of Stairs32″30 to 48″Wood2 years or when baby can climb
North States Ultimate SuperyardOutdoor Fence26″60″PlasticUp to 18 months
Regalo Double Door Gate & Play YardPlaytime28″52.5″ to 192″MetalUp to 2 years.
Evenflo Versatile Play SpaceIndoor Fence26″60″Plastic6 to 24 months
Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock GateBottom of Stairs29.5″27 to 42.5″, plus extensionMetal2 years or when baby can climb
Toddleroo Arched Décor SuperyardFireplace30″151″ long, plus extensionMetal2 years or when baby can climb
Roving Cove Deck GuardBanister36″Up to 120″Fabric mesh2 years or when baby can climb
North States SuperyardBudget-Friendly26″Up to 192″PlasticUp to 18 months
WaterWarden Pool FencePools48″ or 60″144″, plus extensionMesh screenCan be left in place indefinitely
Jump to the Full Baby Fence Reviews

FAQs

We thought it would be useful to answer some of your most frequently asked questions about baby fences.

Where Do You Put Baby Gates?

When you put up a baby gate, it must always be placed between two solid items. This could be between the upright sections of a doorframe or at the top of the stairs, between the wall and the newel post.

The important point is that the two sides of the gate are affixed to two solid spots, and not on something that could move.

What Age Do You Stop Using Baby Fences?

Children develop at different rates, so the best indicator that you should stop using a baby fence is when your child tries to climb over it.

Even if your child has not tried to climb, you should stop using a baby fence when they are 2 years old.

Do You Need a Baby Gate at the Bottom of the Stairs?

It is safest to place a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, as long as you have two immovable anchor points to which you can affix it.

If you do not have a suitable anchor point, you should use a baby fence to keep your child within a certain area of your home, away from the stairs.

What About DIY Baby Fences?

There are many articles online about how to make your own baby gate out of mesh, fabric, wood, and PVC. Being a parent is expensive, so I understand why people want to find cheaper alternatives.

While this may be appealing, especially if you have an irregular stair opening, there is a reason why you can only purchase baby fences and gates that have been independently assessed and passed stringent safety standards.

Homemade gates and fences may pose safety risks to your child by lacking features such as two-step opening (2). From openings between slats that are too wide to materials that could injure your child, there are many potential failures for a homemade baby fence.

Are Fabric Baby Gates Safe?

Professionally manufactured and certified fabric, retractable style baby gates are safe. Homemade ones are likely not or won’t give you the same peace of mind — they haven’t passed the same rigorous standards testing as the professionally made ones have.


Safety First

Baby fences can be used to create a barrier or a play area for your child to explore in safety. To find the best baby fences for your needs, consider where you want to use it, the age of your child, and whether you need the flexibility of a baby fence you can move or reconfigure.

Whichever baby fence you choose, be sure to mount it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and use it as directed. You don’t want your safety equipment to become a danger.

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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.
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