Cabinet locks are one of those items parents both love and hate at the same time.
They prevent little ones from getting into things they shouldn’t, making messes, or finding dangerous substances. But they can be annoying when you constantly have to unlock and lock them — especially when your hands are full. Because, as moms, it seems our hands are always full!
The simpler the lock is to use, the easier it is for your little genius to figure it out. But many of the more complex locks are not just difficult for babies to get into; you may find yourself fighting to open them too.
We understand the struggle. So we made it our goal to find the best cabinet locks to protect your goods and your little ones while still allowing you to access those cupboards when needed.
- Easy to install
- Robust adhesive
- Great at keeping curious children out
- No drilling required
- Doesn’t take long to install
- Tough locks
- Easy to remove when not needed
- Super quick to install
- Adhesive works well
- Affordable choice
- Comes with more than one key
- Easy to install
- Works on both cabinets & drawers
- Includes a butterfly sticker
- Large kit
- Completely invisible outside
- Easy to install
- Can be disengaged when not needed
- Good selection of colors
- One-hand operation
- Don’t require any drilling
- Holds securely
- No drilling required
- Easy to slide on & off
- Comes in 4 colors
- Not a choking hazard
- Video installation direction included
- Won’t damage your cabinets
When Should I Install Cabinet Locks?
Cabinet locks aren’t necessary before your baby is mobile, but once they start crawling, you’ll want locks in place. You probably have all sorts of things in your cabinets drawers that your baby shouldn’t get ahold of, like cleaning products and medicines.
The Sooner The Better
If your child is already crawling and you haven’t installed locks yet, it’s never too late. Every year, more than 130,000 children are treated at the hospital because they’ve accidentally ingested harmful substances (1). Children between the ages of 1 and 2 have the most non-fatal poisonings.
How to Choose Cabinet Locks
When you’re trying to figure out which kind of cabinet locks you want to use, you’ll see a lot of cheap options out there. But cheaper isn’t always better. You need to think about what features you want in your locks, or you might end up replacing them before long.
There are several types of cabinet safety locks. We’ll look at the most common kinds and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
Magnetic locks have some great perks — they’re easy to use, and your baby won’t be able to open them. You’ll easily be able to open them because they come with a key.
But they do have a couple of drawbacks. They sometimes require the installation of hardware on your cabinets. It’s not difficult to do, but if you’re a renter, you might have to check with your landlord first. And you’ll always have to have the key accessible to open them.
Adhesive Mount Locks
If you are looking for a solution that won’t have you violating your rental agreement, you could opt for adhesive mount cabinet locks. They’re simple to install, and you can take them off easily when you no longer need them. They’re inexpensive too, which makes them a great choice for budget-conscious parents. But beware, some brands stick better than others.
Pull Cord Locks
This kind of cabinet lock only works if you have two side-by-side knobs, and round knobs work the best. A cord goes around the two knobs on the outside and uses a button to tighten and release the cords. Anyone can figure out how to use these, but they’ll stump your baby for a while. They might not be a great solution for preschool-aged children, though.
Spring Release Locks
These aren’t ideal because older kids can easily bypass this kind of lock, but they do work well for babies and most toddlers. The locks go inside the cabinet doors. To open them, you’ll have to nudge the door open and slide your fingers in at the top of the door. You’ll press the latch down to release the lock. Keep in mind, if you go with this type, you may need to upgrade to a more challenging lock when your kids are a bit older.
Sliding Cabinet Locks
Sliding cabinet locks usually consist of a simple plastic U-shaped strip with teeth that locks into a sliding piece. To release the lock, you squeeze the sliding piece and slip the strip out. They don’t require any additional hardware or adhesives and can be installed in seconds.
Some sliding locks work well, but you have to ensure you’re buying a quality brand that won’t jam or snap easily. You also have to be certain your cabinet handles work with the style you purchase.
The Best Cabinet Locks of 2022
Here are our favorite cabinet locks on the market.
1. CuteSafety Baby Safety Locks
Best No-Drill Cabinet Locks
Even though it will keep your baby out, you’ll still be able to open your cabinets easily with one hand. And you’ll be able to close them just as quickly.
This lock uses adhesive to stick to your cabinet — there’s no need for drilling or complicated installation.
Just wipe down your cabinet with a damp rag, and dry it thoroughly to make sure nothing is preventing the adhesive from sticking. After your baby is old enough that they aren’t drawn to all the dangers lurking in your cabinets, you can remove the adhesive without ruining your cabinets.
The locks come in multiple colors, so you should find an option that blends well with your decor.
- Easy to install.
- Robust adhesive.
- They’re great at keeping curious children out.
- These aren’t reusable once they’ve been removed.
- Some parents said the plastic on these strips didn’t last as long as they would have liked.
2. Jambini Magnetic Cabinet Locks
Best Magnetic Cabinet Locks
If you love the power of magnetic locks but don’t want the mess or work of drilling for them, here is a magnetic lock that doesn’t require any tools. These locks use 3M adhesive, which is strong enough to withstand the tugs of a curious baby. You’ll open the cabinets by using a key.
The adhesive locks can be installed within minutes, saving you a lot of time and effort.
If you’re worried about how your locks will look, rest assured, you’ll barely be able to see them. These blend in with your decor and will fit any cabinet style you have.
- No drilling required.
- It doesn’t take long to install these.
- These are tough locks.
- They don’t work well on thick cabinets.
- They only come with one key, so you’ll have to keep track of it.
3. The Good Stuff Child Safety Cabinet Latches
Best Cabinet Safety Latches
These latches will work with most cabinets, and the best part is that they’re simple to install. They don’t require any tools, and you can attach them in seconds.
All you have to do is peel off the plastic covering the adhesive strip, stick it on your clean cabinet, and you’re done. To open the cabinet once it’s on, reach your finger inside the top of the cabinet, and press down on the latch to release the lock.
These are ideal for moms who want safety without ruining the appearance of their cabinets. Since these locks go inside the cabinet, they won’t be visible.
- They’re easy to remove when no longer needed.
- Super quick to release.
- The adhesive works well.
- You have to be careful to get the right placement when installing these or they won’t be as secure as you want.
- These are single-use locks, so you’ll need to replace them if you move or install them incorrectly.
4. Hurrise Magnetic Cabinet Lock
Best Adhesive Cabinet Locks
These magnetic cabinet locks use adhesive instead of drilled holes, making them quick and easy to install, and you won’t have to permanently damage your cabinets to use them.
This set comes with 16 locks and three keys, so if you lose one, you won’t go into full panic mode that you’ll never be able to open your cabinets again.
You can place these locks inside the cabinet so no one will be able to tell they’re there.
- Inexpensive locks.
- It’s nice that it comes with more than one key.
- Easy to install.
- The adhesive may not last as long as you require.
- You need to let them set for 24 hours before using them.
5. Eco-Baby Child Safety Magnetic Locks
Best Multi-Purpose Lock Set
You shouldn’t have to buy multiple styles of locks to childproof your home. The locks in this set work on both cabinets and drawers, saving you money and making installation easy.
Each set contains twelve magnetic locks and keys. The locks attach with an extremely strong adhesive tape that can be removed cleanly without damaging the cabinet or drawer. You also get extra adhesive tape strips if you find you need to move a lock to a different location.
Other features include a plastic template to help align and install each lock properly and twelve butterfly stickers. The stickers go outside the drawer or cabinet, so you know exactly where to play your magnetic key. We especially love this feature if you have babysitters or family members in your home who need access to your stuff.
- Work on both cabinets and drawers.
- Includes a butterfly sticker to help match the key to the lock.
- Large kit helps childproof your whole house.
- The adhesive is strong enough to keep babies out but may be pulled off by a strong toddler.
6. Safety 1st Adhesive Magnetic Child Safety Lock System
Best Inconspicuous Locks
Do you want to keep your cabinets looking clean and stylish, even with a baby lock system? This kit from Safety 1st makes each lock completely invisible from the outside. It works by using a combination of magnets and strong adhesive.
Use the yellow plastic template to perfectly align each lock on the inside of the cabinet. Peel off the backing and automatically stick it to the surface without any tools or installation instructions. To operate, simply press the magnetic key to the outside of the door, and pull it open.
We also love that you can disengage the lock when you don’t need it. It’s perfect for when you have guests over or are working consistently in an area without your children. You can turn the lock back on with the simple press of a button.
Each set comes with eight locks and two key fobs.
- Completely invisible from the outside.
- Easy to install and includes a plastic template.
- Can be disengaged when you don’t need them.
- They aren’t very versatile, working only on cabinet doors.
7. Wonder Kid Safety Locks
Best Reusable Latch
While many cabinet lock brands offer two color choices, this type gives you four options, so you’ll have a better chance at finding one that matches your home decor.
You can also get these in packs of two or six.
While these will stump small children, adults can open them with only one hand, which is great for busy moms who frequently have their babies in their arms.
These also don’t require any drills or special tools since they use an adhesive to stick to your cabinets.
- Good selection of colors.
- You only need one hand to open them.
- They don’t require any drilling.
- Some parents said the adhesive isn’t that strong.
- The straps are prone to breaking.
8. Enovoe Magnetic Cabinet Locks
Best Kitchen Cabinet Locks
This set comes with ten locks and two keys, which is nice if you have a lot of cabinets in your kitchen and don’t relish the idea of only having one key.
The locks are only visible on the inside of your cabinet, so there’s nothing on the outside to draw in your curious child. And since your child won’t be able to reach the locks, there’ll be no way for them to open them.
These locks don’t require any drilling. Just use the adhesive strips to get them to stick to the cabinet.
- They fasten securely, without even a crack left open, so there’s no way kids can catch their fingers.
- You can’t even tell there’s a lock installed.
- No drilling required.
- The keys may break if dropped.
- The adhesive is not especially strong.
9. CuteSafety Sliding Cabinet Locks
Best Sliding Locks
If you think sliding locks are the way to go, you might want to check these out. They’re smooth all the way around so your baby won’t cut or scrape their tender skin while exploring the house.
They won’t work for every type of cabinet, though. You’ll only be able to use them on smaller knobs and thinner handles.
You can slide them open just by using one hand, and they’re easy enough that you don’t have to fight with them.
They won’t impact the surface of your cabinets because they simply slide over the handles.
- They’re easy for adults to slide on and off.
- They come in three colors to match most color schemes.
- Sturdy enough to hold up to a toddler’s tugging.
- They’ll attract the attention of your child and can be a bit of an eyesore.
- They don’t work on all handle types.
10. Kiscords Baby Safety Cabinet Locks
Best for Knobs
These are a good choice if you use your cabinets frequently. You won’t have to drill anything or use adhesive you’ll later have to peel off. They won’t ruin your cabinets’ finish, and they come in two different colors to match your cupboards.
Parents can open these locks with one hand, but babies and toddlers won’t figure out the double-lock design. The knots on the cord will prevent your child from removing any of the tiny parts.
The nylon cord doesn’t stretch, which prevents your child from pulling the cord, letting go, and getting whipped in the face.
- The short cord isn’t a choking hazard.
- The installation directions include a YouTube video link.
- They won’t damage your cabinets.
- They’ll only work on cabinets that have knobs that sit close together.
- Although the locks will keep your kids out, the cords will lure your kids in — they’ll want to check them out.
How Many Cabinet Locks Do I Need?
Before you start ordering, walk around every room in your house, and count all the cabinets that will require locks.
Even if you store bowls and plastic dishes in a cabinet, if you don’t lock them, be prepared to have to pick up those items off your floor every day until your baby learns to walk and can reach new targets.
In addition to the mess, your baby won’t understand the art of closing a cabinet door gently. They’ll slam it with glee just to hear the loud noise it makes. When they do that, the noise can drive you crazy, and they risk slamming their fingers in the door, which is even worse than the commotion.
So once you have a tally of all your cabinets, think about any family homes you may frequent or your daycare provider. Ask them what they intend to do about their cabinets, especially the ones that store stuff that could hurt your baby.
If they’re agreeable to the idea, get a few extra locks for them. They’re inexpensive to buy, and they’re worth it, if only for the peace of mind.
The Bottom Line
We think sliding safety locks are the best cabinet locks for babyproofing because you can use them on so many other surfaces besides cabinets.
You’ll be able to babyproof just about anything you can imagine. For busy moms who always seem to have their hands full, it’s nice that these can be opened using only one hand.
While it may seem like babyproofing is something you’ll have plenty of time to do, those first few months pass quickly, so try to tackle this chore as soon as you can!