Protecting small children from potential dangers inside and outside the home is one of the most important efforts of any parent or caregiver. Baby gates are a common household staple to help block off stairways, doorways and hallways so that inquisitive little hands and feet can’t roam too far and access places they shouldn’t.
There are many styles of baby gates, but retractable baby gates are a versatile and affordable option. Retractable baby gates have a mesh gate that can expand to different lengths and then retract back into a holding barrel much like a window blind. For a quick and flexible option of retractable baby gate, the top recommendation is the Yoofor Retractable Baby Gate.
The recommended standard is that any gate should be at least three quarters of your child’s height. If your child is 20 inches tall, the minimum safety gate height should be 15 inches. Overall, once your child is around 2 years old, which on average is 36 inches tall and 30 pounds, you should consider using other means.
Baby gates need to be strategically placed. Gates that are placed in front of stairways need to be especially sturdy to ensure that a child does not fall down the staircase. Retractable baby gates use mesh netting which works well for blocking entrance to level places like doorways and hallways, but you may want to consider other styles of baby gates with stairways.
One advantage of retractable baby gates versus steel and pressure-mounted gates is that they can fit tight spaces. The mesh cover also can be shaped to fit unusual angles. In addition to location, the overall space dynamics matters too.
Each gate has different dimensions in terms of its maximum length and height. A standard doorway is 24 to 36 inches, so most gates span beyond this range up to 45 inches. Retractable baby gates are typically 45 to 55 inches wide, although some can stretch over 70 inches.
Some retractable baby gates can be detached from the permanent holding structure and reattached to another one. Many retractable baby gates come with more than one set of permanent hardware, so if you plan on moving the gate around the house, be sure that your product has these available.
Look for retractable baby gates that meet or exceed industry standards for quality and protection. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets standards for metals and materials used in different industries, including consumer products. The European Norm (EN) technical standards are maintained for products manufactured in Europe.
Retractable baby gates cost between $40-$70 depending on the overall width and the quality of materials. Standard widths of 45 to 55 inches run $40-$55 with longer gates up to 71 inches costing between $55-$70.
A. The most widely noted drawback to retractable baby gates is that they aren’t as sturdy as pressure-mounted or hardware-mounted units that can hold up to greater pressure and weight. This is especially important near stairways or with older children whose size and weight may be more than the mesh can withstand.
A. Many pet owners use retractable baby gates to keep their pets from entering places they shouldn’t. Keep in mind that most retractable baby gates are intended for smaller pets, usually 10 to 40 pounds. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific parameters about small animal protection.
What you need to know: This double-locking gate fully retracts to save space and can be used in tight spaces for both kids and pets.
What you’ll love: Expandable up to 55 inches, this 33-inch-tall mesh gate is easily adjustable to tight angles. The aluminum alloy roll mandrel retracts smoothly and fully. The gate is transportable and comes with two sets of attachments.
What you should consider: There were some concerns that the gate does not work well for older children.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This retractable mesh gate fits easily in stairways, doorways and hallways both inside and outside.
What you’ll love: An easy one-handed push-and-turn mechanism locks and unlocks the gate. The gate measures 33 inches tall and expands up to 55 inches wide but must be fully retracted when not in use. It comes with all the required hardware.
What you should consider: Some concerns reported that the mesh can rip when children start walking and apply top-down pressure.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This versatile baby gate provides an extra wide option for large openings up to 71 inches wide.
What you’ll love: The extra-wide extension is ideal for outdoors and large indoor spaces. A one-handed turning mechanism locks and unlocks the gate. Exceeds ASTM standards and comes with a one-year limited warranty from the manufacturer.
What you should consider: The bottom of the gate has some give and can create gaps for small children or dogs to wiggle underneath it.
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.