Heavy-duty steel construction resists pushing, shoving, and leaning. Extendable size. Multidirectional door can be set to swing inward, outward, or both. Optional pressure or hardware mounting. Double locking mechanism is easy enough for adults to open, but effectively deters even the most experienced escape artists.
Installation instructions are difficult to follow. Extenders can compromise stability.
Steel frame is surprisingly sturdy, considering the price. Installation takes mere minutes; all necessary components included. Safety lock has an indicator that lets users know it's closed securely. Expandable fit; comes with extenders. Quick and easy to remove. Adheres to JMPA and ASTM standards. Attractive price point.
Latch can be difficult to open with one hand. Narrow walkway.
Strong steel frame. Optional pressure or hardware mounting. Expandable width; comes with extenders. Opens both ways, but can be adjusted to open inwards for added safety at the top of a staircase. Self closing. Extra tall. Wide walkway offers easy access. Stunning design doesn’t detract from home decor.
Installation can be frustrating and time consuming. Secure pressure mounting seems to compromise upper latch alignment.
Black steel frame, complemented with cherry wood, is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. Adjustable to fit a variety of staircase widths. Comes with tools for both pressure and hardware installation. Extra height with a child-safe lock to prevent unauthorized excursions.
Walk through opening is somewhat narrow. Securely shutting the gate can be noisy.
Robust steel frame with a secure lock doesn't budge under pressure. Entire gate swings open, creating a wide walkway. No bottom bar to trip over. Self locking for added confidence. One handed opening mechanism is ideal for caregivers who already have their hands full. Easy on the eyes, with clean lines and a bronze finish.
Some parts are made of plastic and aren't as sturdy as the rest.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
A parent's most important job is to keep their children safe. As soon as your baby starts crawling, it's time to begin worrying about the stairs in your home. You can't have your eyes locked on your little one 24 hours a day, and they move so fast that an accident could happen even under your watchful eye. Baby gates for stairs can help avoid this.
If you’re in the market for a baby gate for your stairs, you’ll need to figure out which product is best. There's plenty to consider, including whether you want a classic swing gate or a retractable gate, what mounting type you'd prefer, and the width of gate you require. Then you have other possible features to consider, such as two-way opening, one-handed safety catches, and automatic closing.
We organized the information you need so you can easily pick the right stair baby gate for you.
Baby gates are either wall-mounted or pressure-mounted. Wall-mounted options need to be screwed into the wall using a drill and the supplied hardware. Once properly mounted, it would take an awful lot to wrench a wall-mounted gate from the wall. There's no need for a bottom bar, so you could use a wall-mounted gate at the top or bottom of your stairs.
Pressure-mounted baby gates fit into your space without the need for hardware. They're ideal for use in rental properties where the landlord might not take too kindly to you drilling holes in the walls. The problem is that, to create the pressure needed to keep the gate in place, these gates need a bar at the bottom that runs all the way between the two points of attachment. The bar is a potential trip hazard, and we strongly recommend against using a pressure-fit baby gate at the top of the stairs, where you or your little one could fall all the way down. The bottom bar isn't such an issue at the bottom of the stairs, as you only risk falling down a single step.
The standard swing baby gate swings open and shut, much like a garden gate. A retractable baby gate can be pulled across the opening when needed and retracted when not in use. The majority of these use a piece of fabric that pulls out from a roll, much like a roller blind. However, there are also concertina wire options available.
It's vital that you choose a baby gate of the correct width to fit the gap between your walls — or the wall and bannister — at the top and/or bottom of your stairs. While the majority of baby gates fit standard staircase widths, it's a good idea to check the dimensions of your stairway before you buy.
Many baby gates are made from powder-coated metal, which is lightweight and easy to keep clean. You can also find wooden baby gates, which may look more at home in a house with traditional decor and plenty of wooden furniture. Retractable baby gates are generally made from durable fabric, such as nylon.
Baby gates are available in a range of colors, and it probably won’t be difficult to find one that blends in with your décor. You can also find some models with a more interesting aesthetic than your average baby stair gate, such as art deco-inspired options.
A stair gate needs a safety catch difficult enough to open that your little one won't be able to figure it out — but not so hard to open that adults will struggle.
The automatic close function is where the baby gate swings and locks itself shut with no effort from you. This is highly useful on stairs where you might already have your hands full.
It's safer if a baby gate opens away from the stairs rather than onto the stairs. Two-way opening is usually seen as an attractive baby gate feature. However, if you're using it on the stairs (particularly at the top of the stairs, but also at the bottom), you should be able to adjust it to swing just one way.
How much should you expect to spend on a baby gate for stairs? This varies depending on a product’s features and overall quality.
Basic pressure-fit baby gates can cost $50 or less. These products aren't of the greatest quality and definitely aren't suited for use at the top of the stairs.
Mid-range baby gates cost from $50 to $100. This price bracket includes higher-quality pressure-fit gates and average wall-mounted options.
High-end stair gates cost between $100 and $200. Baby gates in this price range generally have an attractive design or some kind of unique selling point.
Q. Do I really need a baby gate for my stairs?
A. The is a judgement call that all parents must make. Some parents like the peace of mind that comes with having their stairs completely cordoned off, but there are potential dangers with baby stair gates. For instance, if your toddler scales a baby gate at the top of the stairs going down, they’re more likely to become injured than if there were no gate at all. The alternative is to use doors or baby gates in doorways to restrict your child's movements when you're not there — and to teach your child how to safely ascend and descend the stairs from an early age.
Q. How will my pet get through our new stair gates?
A. You want to keep your child safe without restricting the movement of your pets, which can be a tricky balance. You can buy baby gates for stairs with pet doors in them, but these generally only work for smaller pets, as a pet door big enough to let a large dog through would also be big enough for a baby or toddler to wriggle through. Retractable baby stair gates are a decent choice for households with large pets, as they're easy to leave open when you're not home.
Q. My child and I are visiting a relative, and I’m worried about their lack of baby gates. What should I do?
A. Consider buying a travel baby gate, which is lightweight and extremely quick and easy to pressure mount. This type of gate does have pressure bars, however, so it’s best for use at the bottom of the stairs. To restrict your child's access to the top of the stairs, it's better to use a travel baby gate in the doorway of the bedroom and avoid allowing them to roam free upstairs.