Baby gates come in every size, shape, and material, but not all gates fit every potential baby escape route.
If your home is like mine, it includes openings of all sizes and spaces like fireplaces, decks, and stairways that you’ll need to secure to protect your little one. You need the most suitable baby gates to fit each danger zone.
We’ve spent hours reviewing gates of all types to bring you this comprehensive list of all the best baby gates for every situation. This should help to narrow down your search.
All you need to do is read our recommendations and choose the product that best fits each space you need to babyproof, so you can keep your little one safe and contained.
- Super-wide and adjustable
- Can be extended
- Doubles as a freestanding playpen
- Meets APSM & JPMA safety standards
- Easy to move & reconfigure
- Automatic locking feature
- Fits doorway and hallway openings
- Prevents gate from tipping over
- Preset index positions
- Integrated tuning to adjust fit vertically
- Sleek and stylish
- Clear, strong, commercial-grade plexiglass
- Minimal damage to walls
- Available for use with banisters
- Four-point hardware fitting
- Blends in with home decor
- Easy glide handle
- Easy installation
- One-handed opening
- Sturdy gate
- Easily adjusted pressure fittings
- Sleek design
- Secure locking system
- Easy one-hand adult operation
- Designed for staircase summits
- Automatic open and close feature
- Double locking system
- A breeze to install
Types of Baby Gates
The average house will have several areas that require baby gates to protect your little one. These prevent access to stairways, rooms, fireplaces, etc. As each space will have a different size and shape, you may need to look for more than one style of baby gate to fit.
These are some of the most common types of baby gates.
These are generally the sturdiest baby gates. You can screw them into walls, door frames, or railings to hold them securely in place. They work great for blocking off the top of the stairs.
However, hardware-mounted gates may be more challenging to fit, requiring careful, precise measurement. They don’t usually have a base bar, so there’s less chance of tripping or stubbing your toes. I’ve done this on other baby gates and don’t recommend the experience — especially when the gate prevents access to a stairway.
When fitting a gate at the top of the stairs, remember to ensure it opens toward the landing and not the stairs.
- Sturdy, robust option.
- Reduced trip hazard.
- Once removed, you’ll need to repair the holes left in the wood frame.
- Not portable.
As the name suggests, a pressure-mounted gate uses tension on each end to keep it firmly in place. These come in many different materials and widths, often with extension kits for wider spaces.
While being an easier option to fit and move around the home, or even for traveling, it does have a base bar, which poses a trip hazard.
If you want to avoid falling accidents, pressure-mounted gates are better suited to areas like the bottom of the stairs or on level surfaces, away from any steps.
Although you don’t need to drill holes to fit this type of gate, the pressure points could still leave marks where they make contact.
- Quick and easy to install.
- Won’t leave holes behind when removed.
- The base bar could cause tripping accidents.
- Not as sturdy for the top of a staircase.
- Tension has to be accurate so they can’t be pushed over.
These don’t require any fitting and can be moved around with ease. They’re great for wider openings or weird-shaped areas.
Rubber feet and wider side panels hold them in place. They aren’t as sturdy as hardware-mounted or pressure-fitted gates. However, they are heavy enough that the average toddler won’t be able to move them.
- Easy to move to spaces where they’re needed.
- Suitable for unconventional spaces, like kitchen islands or wide doorways.
- Less sturdy than fixed options.
- Can be cumbersome and difficult to store when not in use.
These gates work on a similar principle as a roller blind. You fit them to one side of a wall or doorway, then extend and attach them to hooks on the other side. This might be something to consider if you don’t want a permanent fixture or have unusual angles to cover.
- Unobtrusive when not in use.
- Suitable for wide spaces and odd angles.
- Generally made from fabric, so they’re not as strong as other options.
How to Choose the Best Baby Gate
Choosing the best gate for your baby is not as simple as picking one that’s pleasing to the eye. Although aesthetics might be involved, there are some other things you should think about first.
These are the criteria we use when evaluating baby gates.
Where Will You Use it?
Preventing your precious little one from tumbling down the stairs requires a sturdy gate that won’t budge. A hardware-mounted gate, or one designed for the top of stairs, is your best option. You don’t want this to fall down on the job.
Are you just trying to keep your baby away from one area of the home, such as out of the kitchen or away from the bottom of the stairs? A pressure-mounted gate works great in these situations.
You can use a freestanding or expandable gate for setting up a barrier in an instant when you need it. Some can even be configured as playpens to create a safe baby playroom outdoors or in a large family room.
Measure Your Gap
Gates come in many widths, ranging from narrow to extra-wide. Some areas might require you to add extension panels. Carefully measure the gap where you intend to place your gate. There’s nothing more frustrating than a perfect gate that doesn’t quite fit.
Got a small, narrow opening or awkward angle? A retractable gate might be your best option.
Baby and Pet Barriers
If you’re like me and have fur babies and a toddler who hasn’t yet got the hang of “handle with care,” you might have to think about how to keep little hands away from little paws.
If your pet can’t jump over the gate or squeeze through the bars, then a gate with a pet door could work for you. Just make sure it’s small enough to contain a budding contortionist so they can’t follow the family pet through. Little ones love sharing the biscuits you put down for your furry family.
How Tall is Your Child?
Most safety gates are about 30 inches tall, which should be enough to stop most kiddies up to 2 years old from climbing over. However, not all little ones grow at the same rate, and if your toddler has had a growth spurt and is above average height, you can still find taller gates.
If you happen to be tall parents, these gates might help you too, as you won’t have to bend as much to open them.
Moving Your Gate Around
While the home has many potential hazards, it’s overkill to put a gate at every doorway. A gate with flexible installation allows you to move it around to put it where you need it at any time.
Pressure-mounted or travel gates aren’t permanently fixed, so you can easily move them from one room to another.
Some gates come with additional mounts allowing you to unclip them from one location and place them in a different fixing point.
This is one of the most important features we evaluated when looking for the best baby gates. Safety standards specify the gate’s primary qualities, such as its height, durability, and reliability of locks.
The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) ensures that set standards are adhered to.
If you choose a JPMA-approved gate, you can expect your gate to include these safety features (1):
- Smaller gaps that cannot trap little fingers.
- Locking mechanisms will be effective.
- The height will be acceptable.
- The distance between the floor and the gate’s base will measure less than three inches — preventing your baby from playing limbo and getting stuck under it.
Products manufactured outside the U.S. may be certified by other bodies, like the CE markings in Europe. These certifications indicate that essential safety standards have been met.
Can You Open and Close the Gate Easily?
While putting a barrier up to contain your child is a good idea, you don’t want to be penned in as well.
We always look at consumer reviews to determine how easy a gate is to operate — for you and your baby — as this can be difficult to determine before installing. Some kiddies don’t take long to learn how to escape, and the last thing you need is a baby on the loose in the danger zone.
Some gates have a one-handed system which should be easy for you to manage but not for your two-year-old. Others take on a hands-free approach by using a foot pedal to unlock them.
Some gates swing open while others slide. There are even gates with a stay-open feature for when you need it.
We also consider how securely they shut. Some gates have indicators to let you know they’re properly locked, while others have an auto-close function. Some need to be manually locked once you have passed through.
Will the Gate Match Your Decor?
We know safety comes first, but baby gates aren’t always the most attractive addition to home decor. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from, so you can channel your inner interior designer.
They can be made of wood, metal, fabric, or plexiglass and come in a host of colors and finishes.
The Best Baby Gate Reviews of 2022
Here are our favorite baby gates to suit every situation.
1. North States 3-in-1 Metal Superyard
Best 3-in-1 Baby Gate
We love how versatile this gate is. You can remove or add panels to fit any space. Each panel measures 25.5 inches wide and 30 inches high, and this set includes six of them, covering a total of 12 feet.
Need more width? You can purchase extra panels and easily add them to extend this gate even further. It’s made from heavy-duty metal, and you can secure each end with hardware mounted to a wall, keeping it steady.
The base has rubber pads that should protect your floors.
A walk-through swinging door panel has a kiddie-safe double locking system. We love that we can place the door wherever we want it within the gate.
This is an excellent option for irregularly shaped rooms or around a fireplace. It’s also great for when you don’t want to move everything out of your baby’s reach.
- Super wide and adjustable.
- Sections off large spaces.
- It can be extended if you live in a home with big rooms.
- Doubles as a freestanding playpen.
- You might need additional hardware to change the panel configuration.
- Due to the length, a strong toddler might be able to move individual panels.
2. Regalo Super-Wide Adjustable Baby Gate
Best Baby Gate for Wide Spaces
If your home doesn’t conform to the norm, this super-wide gate could be a good choice for you. It’s also handy if you want to close off a particular area. You can use it to keep your toddler away from the fireplace or out of the kitchen, or configure it as a 19-square-foot playpen.
Comprising eight 24-inch by 28-inch panels, the gate can be arranged to fit widths up to 16 feet. You can also remove panels to change the length or shape if you want, and you can lock each panel in place.
The walk-through opening has a safety lock that grown-ups can easily open with a single touch. This should keep it fuss-free for you and keep your baby where you want them.
Wall mounts secure the gate in place when in use, but you can easily remove it whenever you need to. Considering the size, it folds away neatly, making storage less of a hassle.
- Meets APSM and JPMA safety standards.
- Easy to move and reconfigure.
- Portable for travel use as a playpen.
- Vertical bars, with 2.25-inch spacing.
- Made from steel for strength and durability.
- The opening panel might be too narrow for some people.
- Removing panels has to be done in twos.
3. Richell Freestanding Pet Gate with Door
Best Freestanding Baby Gate
Even though this happens to be a pet gate, it’s still a freestanding option perfect for corralling your kids.
We really didn’t want to install a baby gate in our home, so we bought this instead. It stops our mischievous little human from escaping from the family room and getting into the kitchen. And when our toddler isn’t using it, it also keeps our puppies out of the way.
It can fit doorways or other openings that measure 61.8 inches to 90.2 inches wide and stands 36.2 inches high. There’s a panel at either end to prevent tipping, and rubber feet stop it from damaging or sliding on floors.
The lockable walk-through gate opens in either direction. And as long as you don’t open it beyond 90 degrees, it will self-close.
- Hardwood surround could match home decor.
- Can be moved and placed anywhere in the home with ease.
- Automatic locking after gate panel closes.
- It’s bulky to store when not in use.
4. Munchkin Loft Aluminum Baby Gate
Best Looking Baby Gate
When Munchkin designed this baby gate, they thought outside the box. It’s made from aluminum, and the brushed silver finish has a clean look.
Standing 30.5 inches high, it will fit stairways, doorways, or hallways measuring between 26.5 inches and 40 inches wide.
We particularly like how, even though the gate is hardware mounted, it has a quick-release feature. If you love to host dinner parties, the quick release allows you to remove the gate and place it out of the way for the evening.
The double-locking door swings either way and opens with an integrated handle.
Another favorite feature is that this door opens its full width rather than just a section. This makes it much easier to walk through, even when carrying bulky items like a vacuum. Finally, there’s no base bar, so there’s zero chance of tripping — unless it’s over your own feet.
- Preset index positions to adjust the width.
- Integrated tuning to adjust the fit vertically on uneven walls.
- Sleek and stylish.
- Needs two to three feet of clearance for installation above the side rails.
- We found it more challenging to install than many other options.
5. QDOS Crystal Baby Safety Gate
Best Clear Baby Gate
This innovative gate consists of a piece of clear, strong, commercial-grade plexiglass with slate-colored sides. If you’re looking for both safety and style, this modern and contemporary gate is an attractive option that fits the bill.
You can mount and use it anywhere in the home where you need a gate measuring between 29.2 inches and 39 inches. The gate is 30 inches tall, and you can choose from hardware or pressure-mounted options.
If you have a wider space, you can add extensions to the pressure-mounted version, making it 48 inches wide. This version also has a glow strip, so you can see the base bar at night.
Both options have a magnetic lock with an at-a-glance green indicator to show when the gate is shut.
- Minimal damage to walls with only four screws for mounting.
- Kit available for use with banisters.
- Hardware option can be mounted at an angle.
- Little ones may not realize it’s there, so you may require a decal on the plexiglass to prevent accidents.
- It could harbor grubby finger marks or puppy nose marks and may need regular cleaning.
6. Evenflo Easy Walk-Thru Gate
Best Baby Gate for the Top of the Stairs
The top of the stairs is one place where you need a sturdy hardware-fitted gate. This gate is excellent for most standard stairways. It measures 30 inches tall and is expandable to cover widths between 29 inches and 42 inches.
While you can raise it off the floor a further three inches, this might leave a gap, leading to your tiny tot launching small toys down the stairs. However, at least the vertical bars should prevent your little climber from using it as a ladder.
You can open the easy-glide handle with one hand, and it has a red/green indicator lock, so you can know at a glance if it’s secured. You can set the walk-through gate to open in either direction.
We love that you can also use this gate in other places; it will fit doorways, hallways, kitchens, or playrooms.
- Four-point hardware fitting.
- Neutral gray or beige color to blend in with home decor.
- No base bar to create a trip hazard.
- Doesn’t auto-lock when closing.
7. North States Easy-Close Gate
Best Baby Gate for the Bottom of the Stairs
This gate is constructed from bronze painted steel and pressure mounts at the base of your stairs or in doorways. Measuring 29 inches high and expanding from 28 inches to 38.5 inches wide, it should fit the bottom of most stairs.
What I particularly like about this gate is the hold-open feature. I inevitably travel up and down the stairs several times a night while caring for my little one. With this gate, I only have to open and close one gate, not two.
The triple-locking safety system ensures it stays closed when you want it to. It closes with a gentle push and auto-locks, making it a very easy gate for adults to use.
It also opens in either direction. Two different extension panels are also included upon purchase.
- Easy installation.
- One-handed opening.
- Sturdy, durable gate.
- The opening mechanism can take a bit of getting used to.
- The metal bar at the bottom could be a trip hazard.
8. Munchkin Easy-Close Pressure-Mount Baby Gate
Best Pressure-Mounted Baby Gate
At 29.5 inches tall and 29.5 inches to 35 inches wide, this gate will fit most doors or stairs. If not, you can purchase additional extension pieces to extend it to 54 inches wide.
The 2.75-inch opening between the vertical bars ensures your little one can’t get stuck.
The steel gate is strong and durable and can withstand the bashing most toddlers will throw at it.
The gate has a dual-locking handle you have to pull and then lift to open.
The walk-through gate is nice and wide and can be set to open in either direction.
- Easy-to-adjust pressure fittings.
- Hardware included for fixing if you prefer that option.
- Secure locking system.
- It does not have an auto-close mechanism, rather an easy close.
Best Hardware-Mounted Baby Gate
While this gate is designed for staircase summits, you can also use it elsewhere in the home. It’s suitable for any opening with a width range of 24.75 inches to 42.5 inches.
Usually, your hands are full when you open a baby gate, whether it’s carrying your little one, the laundry, or something else. Being an octopus would be great, but failing that, this gate has an easy one-handed operation to open and close.
The hardware has a quick-release feature to take it on and off.
Another highlight is that you can mount the hinge side at an angle. This is perfect if your walls are uneven.
- Made from steel for durability.
- Easy-to-follow written instructions for fitting.
- The quick-release removal feature doesn’t compromise the gate’s performance.
- It has a pin to stop the gate from opening over stairs.
- Anchors aren’t included for fitting to the drywall.
10. Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close Security Gate
Best Baby Gate for Stairs with Banisters
One thing we really like about these gates is the range of size options. There are sets available in several widths that run up to 53 inches, making this a great purchase if you have a wide, non-standard doorway to cover.
If you decide you want to use it somewhere else, you can buy extensions to take it up to a massive 188 inches wide.
The pressure mounting is quick and easy to install on banisters, with no need for screws that damage the wood.
With the single-handed open and auto-close features, it’s a breeze to move through the gate with a baby in your arms. It also double locks, preventing budding Einsteins from figuring out how to open it.
- Stay-open feature for when you don’t want the gate closed.
- Color options of white or black.
- The choice to fit most banister widths.
- It might take more than one person to fit it properly in a wider area.
11. Retract-a-Gate Safety Gate
Best Narrow/Retractable Baby Gate
This is another versatile gate — and not just for narrow spaces. It’s available in two widths, 52 inches and 72 inches, and it’s 34 inches high. You can purchase additional mounting brackets to allow you to move the gate to other rooms when needed.
It’s made from a see-through, washable mesh fabric. This might leave you wondering whether it’s strong enough to withstand the barrage of abuse from a toddler. But I’ve seen my friend’s twins lean their full weight on it while watching her in the kitchen, and it holds up just fine.
It comes with a childproof lock that operates in an open or closed position. You can use one hand to release the gate, which automatically rolls up.
If you own a motorhome or boat, this gate is ideal for preventing your toddler from getting into places they shouldn’t. It will also work on deck stairs or across a porch.
- Made in the USA.
- Can be used with banisters via an adapter kit.
- Quick and easy to install.
- Available in three versatile colors: black, beige, and white.
- Two-step closure, so you need to remember to lock it.
- You may need to purchase additional hardware depending on where you’re installing it.
12. Regalo Extra-Tall Walk-Thru Gate
Best Extra-Tall Baby Gate
This gate from Regalo is an ample 41 inches high, making it very difficult for little climbers to escape.
It can fit openings between 29 inches and 38.5 inches and comes with fittings so you can pressure-mount or hardware-mount it. The standard set also includes a 4-inch extension kit for wider spaces.
One of the features that made this stand out when we were looking for the best baby gates was that we could easily open the one-touch release lever without bending.
However, the gate opening is only 16 inches wide, which is a little frustrating. We have to turn sideways to fit through, especially when carrying a load, but this did not make it a deal-breaker in our books.
- Wall protectors are included for pressure mounting.
- Easy to install.
- It is made from steel, making it strong and long-lasting.
- The narrow opening means you’ll have to lift items over the top, which can be challenging.
- It only opens in one direction.
13. Summer Infant Deluxe Stairway Wood Gate
Best Wooden Baby Gate
This gate from Summer Infant has a mid-color antique oak finish, so it should blend well with different wood tones.
It’s hardware mounted, giving it the strength you need when your toddler decides to take out their tantrum on it.
At 32 inches tall, it will fit any opening from 30 inches to 48 inches. The vertical wooden slats are 2.75 inches apart, making it difficult for a little one to drop things through it. It also has a comfort-grip handle that releases the gate with the use of only one hand.
It also comes with a handy template to enable accurate and easy fitting without having to measure.
- Walk-through gate opens completely.
- No base bar, eliminating a trip hazard.
- You can lock it so it only opens in one direction.
- Installation instructions can be hard to follow.
14. North States Easy Swing & Lock Gate
Best Budget Baby Gate
We didn’t expect to find a secure hardware-mounted baby gate at a price like this. However, we were so impressed with this North States gate. It has many features you’d associate with a high-end, pricey model.
It is adjustable to fit openings of 28.68 inches to 48.75 inches and stands 31 inches tall. It comes in an attractive bronze-colored finish, which should blend well with most decors.
The gate swing opens fully, so you don’t need to worry that the load you’re carrying won’t fit when you’re walking through. It also swings closed and self-locks.
- No bar at the bottom to trip over.
- One-handed operation to open.
- It is made from durable steel.
- Installation might be a little tricky.
- You will need anchors to attach it to drywall.
15. Cardinal Gates Outdoor Child Safety Gate
Best Baby Gate for Outdoors
This hardware-mounted gate was designed for outdoor use. We like that it deters rust, making it a long-term outdoor solution. It’s made from solid aluminum with stainless steel hardware. A brown powder-coated finish reinforces the rust-free materials.
My deck was a difficult place to find a suitable gate for. Whenever I wanted to go outside to hang laundry or just sit and have some coffee, I either needed eyes in the back of my head or someone else around to watch the little one. This gate was a great solution.
At 29.5 inches tall and stretching from 27 inches to 42.5 inches, it fits most deck openings. You can also purchase additional extensions of 10.5 inches or 21.75 inches, which can take it to a maximum of 64.25 inches. It can even be mounted at angles of up to 30 degrees.
The one-handed, latch-operated opening system also stops little foragers from being able to open it.
- Optional one-way opening.
- Easy to install.
- The latch can be difficult to open.
- It can be hot to the touch on a sunny day.
16. Carlson Extra Wide Pet Gate
Best Baby Gate with Pet Door
This gate is 30 inches tall and can expand to cover widths from 29 inches to 37 inches. It also includes a 6-inch extension kit and is suitable for hallways, doors or the bottom of the stairs.
The pressure mounting is very easy to fit and requires no tools. This is also gentle on your walls and door frames, with no drilling or screwing required. The gate also comes with wall mounts if you want some extra security.
Your smaller pets should be able to pass through this gate when it’s closed. There is a 10-inch by 7-inch door, which can open in either direction. However, make sure your little one can’t get through it — a smaller crawling contortionist might be able to fit.
- Steel construction for durability.
- Locking feature on gate opening.
- Pet door can be opened or locked.
- Larger animals might not fit through the pet door.
- Smaller toddlers might be able to fit through the pet door.
17. North States Portable Traveler Gate
Best Portable Baby Gate
This gate is certainly portable as it weighs just 4 pounds and comes with a drawstring travel bag. It will even fit into a suitcase, making it easy to take on a flight.
It’s capable of securing a little one behind openings from 25.2 inches to 42.6 inches wide. This should cover your needs for most doorways, hallways, or other spaces.
It fits via pressure mounting and generally leaves no marks, but if this is a concern, you can buy protectors. Installation is painless, and once it’s in place, there are release mechanisms at the top and bottom to remove and replace it.
Full specifications, instruction manuals, and extra parts are available on the manufacturer’s website.
- It comes with tension knobs for a secure fit.
- Durable neutral-colored fabric.
- Fabric can bunch up if not fully extended.