Best Extra Wide Baby Gates

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

34 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
467 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best extra-wide baby gates

Last Updated April 2019

Modern home design often includes wide entrances or transition spaces between rooms. As homes have grown in scale, so too have hallways, staircases, and room thresholds. If your home has entryways that are wider than standard, an extra-wide baby gate may be exactly what you need to keep your little one safe.

An extra-wide baby gate may double as a play yard or barrier, giving you some extra configuration options. These wider gates range from the simple, such as a single mesh panel, to the sophisticated, such as an arched gate with decorative slats.

Whether you need to keep your baby contained inside or out, rest assured there's a gate out there with the width and extension capabilities to keep up with your home's layout.

Baby gates can prevent your baby from falling down a flight of stairs or from entering rooms that may be dangerous for him, such as the bathroom or kitchen. They can also create a "safe" area where your baby can roam free while you get a little work done.

Types of extra-wide baby gates

Pressure-mounted

Pressure-mounted baby gates remain secure by applying pressure to a wall or door frame. The pressure mechanism may be spring-loaded or require manual adjustment with a screw. With an extra-wide baby gate, a pressure-mounted model may have a panel on either side of the gate that swings open. Or, it may have two sliding panels with a pressure release mechanism on one side.

If you’re worried about leaving holes in the wall, you may appreciate the fact that these models leave walls unmarked. However, pressure-mounted gates are easier to knock over than wall-mounted models. Therefore, pressure-mounted baby gates should only be used in areas where there's no danger of falling down stairs.

Wall-mounted

If you're looking for a sturdy, semi-permanent solution to your baby safety and containment issues, a wall-mounted model is probably the best choice for you. These gates are screwed directly into a door frame or wall studs, so there's a much lower risk of them falling over. This is the type of gate you want at the top of the stairs.

On the downside, the mounting hardware will leave holes in your wall after you have taken the gate down. (Of course, holes can be fixed.) Also, a wall-mounted gate is not the right option if you want a gate that can be moved from room to room.

Length and height

Extra-wide baby gates generally start at five feet in length, but there are models that reach as much as 12 feet. If your family is on the tall side — or your goal is to contain animals, too — there are extra-wide and tall models with a maximum height of between 36 and 39 inches.

DID YOU KNOW?

A label from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association indicates that the gate meets required safety regulations. The gate should also have a permanent sticker with manufacturer contact information.

Features

Latch design and lock indicators

There are a variety of latch designs on the market today. Dual-action latches, for example, require you to apply pressure to the latch and push the gate to open it. Others have a compression mechanism, which requires you to squeeze portions of the latch together to release the gate. Pressure-release handles that require you to lift the latch to open the gates are also common. Some models even give you hands-free access with a foot pedal that opens the latch. Look for a latch that will be easy for you and other adults in your household to open.

The security of the latch is imperative to keeping your baby safe and contained. Most latches have some kind of audible or visual safety indicator that lets you know when it's fully locked. Those with an audible indicator give a reassuring click as the latch locks into place. Models with a visual safety indicator typically have a bar that changes from green to red when the gate is open. With a quick glance, you can see whether or not you've completely closed the gate before walking away. However, nothing beats a gentle shake to make sure the gate is secure.

Panel/slat design and spacing

Vertical slats that are less than three inches apart are the most common design, as they prevent climbing and heads from squeezing through the gate. However, there are diamond grids and mesh panels, too. If you’ve got a climber, try to avoid gates with a bottom rail or any kind of handhold, as your little one might knock the gate down in his attempt to reach new heights.

Configuration and installation flexibility

Some gates have more configuration flexibility than others. Designs that can be expanded with extension panels, for example, can often be used to create barriers in an open floor plan. The configuration isn't the only place you might need some flexibility. You may need to mount the gates on a stair baluster or an area where there's no stud in the wall. Some manufacturers offer extra installation kits to handle these unusual installation needs.

Materials

Baby gates can be made of plastic, mesh, metal, wood, or a combination of these materials.

  • Wood models should have a smooth, even finish with rounded edges for safety.

  • Metal gates are typically made of aluminum tubing or enameled-coated steel. These models may be suitable for outdoor use, but only as indicated by the manufacturer.

  • Plastic is almost always combined with another material like wood or metal. It can be sturdy and durable but may break down if exposed to continuous sunlight.

  • Mesh gates are lightweight. There may be several panels with a gate and threshold, or there may be a single, long panel. The single-panel design may retract from one side or release from the pressure-mount mechanism.
EXPERT TIP

Some baby gates have a bar across the bottom of the gate for stability, even in the opening. You may not want this type of gate if you'll often be walking through it with your arms loaded with baby gear or groceries.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Storage is always an issue when it comes to baby gear, and extra-wide gates take up a good amount of space when they are not in use. If you lack storage space, consider a mesh gate, which can be rolled up to consume less space.


Staff  | BestReviews

Extra-wide baby gate prices

Extra-wide baby gates start around $40. At this entry-level price, you're looking at pressure-mounted gates with two sliding panels rather than a threshold. The majority of extra-wide baby gates fall in the $40 to $100 range. These gates may be pressure- or wall-mounted and made of plastic, metal, wood, mesh, or a combination of these materials. Extension panels are usually available for these models, as are latch lock indicators, one-hand opening, and flexible installation and configuration options.

Tips

  • A baby gate extending through your home isn't always the most attractive piece of home décor. However, there are some models designed with aesthetics in mind. The opening panel may have an arch or scrollwork in the slat design. While a gate is still a gate, these models do add a touch of sophistication.

  • To reduce the risk of falling down stairs, configure a wall-mounted baby gate so the gate swings toward the landing rather than the stairs. That way, even if your baby manages to sneak through or open the gate, he won’t immediately fall down the stairs.

  • Do you like the safety of a wall-mounted gate but not the permanence? Some wall-mounted gates are designed to slide out of the wall mounting. After your baby goes to bed or if you're entertaining, you can remove the gate, but the mountings stay in place.

Other products we considered

We searched high and low for the best extra-wide baby gates on the market, and we limited our shortlist to just a handful. However, there were some close contenders that might make a great option for you in your unique circumstances. For example, the North States 3-in-1 Metal Superyard can be used as a playpen, baby gate, or barrier. The freestanding design makes it easy to set up almost anywhere, though it also comes with wall-mounting hardware if you need a more permanent solution.

The Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate provides an excellent barrier option. While it can be opened and closed as a standard pressure-mounted gate, the design works best for blocking off extra exits and entrances to a room. It rolls up for easy storage or transport, which creates a great option for Grandma’s house or when traveling.

Once your child reaches 30 pounds or grows taller than 36 inches, a baby gate isn't a reliable way to protect and contain him. His weight and height make it far too easy for him to knock the gate down.

FAQ

Q. Can a wall-mounted baby gate be used in a home with baseboards?
A.
With some designs, your only option is to cut the baseboard, making a notch where the gate can mount. With others, you may have to mount the gate above the baseboard, which could leave some crawling space for a determined baby or pet. There are a few manufacturers that have addressed this issue by using an adjustable mount on the bottom of the gate so it can be narrower than the top.

Q. Can an extra-wide baby gate be used outdoors?
A.
There are models that can be used indoors or out. Keep in mind that water and sun can break down materials and compromise their strength in designs that aren't meant for use outside. For that reason, we recommend only using gates that have been approved by the manufacturer for both indoor and outdoor use.

Q. Do extra-wide baby gates also have an extra-wide door?
A.
The majority of baby gates have a standard opening of about 22 inches. However, if you want to be able to carry a car seat or groceries through the gate, there are models with extra-wide openings of up to 26 inches wide.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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