Last Updated On December 26th, 2021
Tens of thousands of under five-year-olds end up in A&E after a fall on the stairs each year. Installing the best baby stair gate is an easy and effective way to section your living environment and keep your baby or toddler out of danger.
Busy parents will know it’s impossible to keep an eye on their child every second of the day. Baby gates help to bring some peace of mind by controlling where in the home your child can access. Aside from blocking off the stairs, the best stair gate can also be used to restrict your child from the perils of the kitchen or keep them safe from any household pets.
Here’s our guide to finding the best baby gate for your little one, as well as our top-rated reviews to keep your child safe at home.
Best Stair Gate Reviews – Top 10 Picks
Considered by many as one of the best stair gates for the top of the stairs, the sturdy and secure BabyDan MultiDan safety gate makes an excellent choice for any home. With no trip bar, this highly extendable model can be used just about anywhere in your home.
Easy to put together and adjust, this top-rated baby gate can be used on openings from 62.5-106.8cm, giving you much more location flexibility than your standard models. What’s more, it is also easily removable when not required, so for example, if your little one is away for the day, you can simply lift off the gate and enjoy easy access while the coast is clear.
Suitable for use at the top of your stairs, there is no trip bar and this removable stair gate comes complete with all fittings, including optional stop pins for one-way opening. Opening and closing is much easier than many other versions and can be done relatively simply with just one hand, making this baby gate incredibly easy to use.
Installation could be easier if the instructions were improved and you may also find that the included screws are a little on the short side. While it is not a big issue, just be aware that this baby gate does not auto-lock, so you will need to fasten it shut behind you, although this is often something that becomes second nature once you have done it a few times.
A highly innovative model, the BabyDan Guard Me from Denmark is the best baby gate for modern homes. It automatically folds away to become virtually invisible when not in use with its unobtrusive and exceptionally practical design.
This child and baby gate is a solid PVC-free plastic barrier that automatically folds back when you open it – ideal for when you are carrying your baby or struggling to get through with your hands full. As it is wall-mounted, there is no bottom trip bar to worry about and when it’s not in use, you won’t even notice it’s there.
This baby gate comes pre-assembled and is fairly simple to install. Suitable for inside or outside doorways, as well as for use at the top and bottom of stairs, thanks to its exceptional design, you can even install this baby gate on a diagonal or in tight spaces where conventional gates just won’t fit. Three extension pieces are included making it suitable for spaces from 55cm up to 98cm, although you can also purchase an additional 24cm extension kit for use throughout the house.
On the downside, if you are using it where there are skirting boards, you’ll need to either cut out a section of your skirting, raise the gate or add a piece of wood higher up. The picture instructions could be clearer and it’s a little fiddly to close but no more difficult than most standard models.
Looking for a great value baby gate that is also easy to use, with a no-drill installation? You’ll struggle to find a better model than the Lindam Sure Shut Porte Gate.
Made with strong steel construction, this baby gate features a four-point pressure fit with an extra wide walk-through that fits openings from 76-82cm wide no matter where in your house you want to install it. Thanks to its U-shaped frame, you get a sturdy fitting without any drilling required. For peace of mind and extra security, Lindam’s pressure indicator provides visual proof that your baby gate is correctly installed.
Delivered fully assembled, complete with all necessary tools, its drill-free installation takes just minutes to have this baby gate up and running. Use the optional bottom base lock to set it to a one-way opening for use at the bottom of your stairs, or disable it for a two-way opening in doorways or at the top of the stairs. This baby gate is easy to operate thanks to its push close mechanism, while the squeeze and lift handle is impossible for young children and little ones to open.
Like a lot of baby gates, this one is also fairly tricky to open one-handed. Also, the instructions could be clearer and you may want to replace the included sticky pads with rubber ones before fitting, as they are very difficult to remove from your walls when dismantling your baby gate.
Looking for the best pressure fit baby gate? Be sure to take a closer look at our top pick by Safety First, the Secure Tech Simply Close Baby Gate. Easy to install, sturdy, and very safe, it’s a great safety gate to consider.
Suitable for openings between 73-80cm wide, extension pieces are also available additionally. Thanks to its U-shaped frame with four pressure points, this gate fits very safely and securely. The SecureTech indicator in the handle gives you visual confirmation that your gate is securely fixed for peace of mind.
Unlike many other pressure fit baby gates that use spanners, this one features hand wheels, so you can easily adjust your gate to fit your space. Thanks to its double locking mechanism you can rest assured that your little one won’t be able to open this sturdy baby gate, while the adjustable opening allows you to use it in a door frame or corridor, or at the bottom of your stairs.
While this gate works well in most door frames, bear in mind that it’s a lot narrower than those extra wide stair gates that you see and you will need an extender to fit a standard staircase. Although installation is very easy, the picture instructions can be confusing and the locking and release mechanism in the handle is very stiff to operate.
Available in a stylish slate grey shade, this baby gate by Bettacare is a popular choice for modern homes. It is also taller than most standard models, ideal if you have aspiring young climbers or want to keep older unruly toddlers out of certain places.
This pressure fit safety gate stands just over one metre tall and is suitable for openings from 75cm to 83cm. For wider spaces, there are various additional extension pieces available sold separately. You can adjust the opening direction of this gate quickly and easily via the widget on the base bar.
Complete with a double locking mechanism, this safety gate is nonetheless fairly easy to open single handedly, ideal if you have your hands full or when carrying your sleeping child up to bed. Thanks to its handwheels, adjusting the pressure for a secure fit is fast and simple. If you are looking for a tall and modern looking baby gate for your home, this model is well worth considering.
Unfortunately, installation is not the easiest as far as pressure mounted gates go. Also, the plastic catch and fittings could be more durable and the locking mechanism is not so difficult that an older toddler would be unable to work it out with a little practice.
The Munchkin Maxi Secure Safety Gate is one of the easiest models around to install, taking just minutes with no drilling required.
This removable safety gate has a sturdy steel construction that forms a U-shaped frame with a wide fit stair gate opening. Thanks to this shape, you get four fixed pressure points that securely fix your baby gate to your wall or door frame with no holes required. For peace of mind, the pressure indicator automatically shows should your gate need adjusting, so you won’t have to worry about whether you’ve got it correctly installed or not.
Complete with everything you need for a rapid and successful installation, this safety gate fits openings sized 76-82cm, with additional extension pieces for spaces up to 117cm sold separately. With the bottom base lock, you can adjust your gate to open just one-way for use at the foot of your stairs, or two-way for use in a doorway, corridor or even at the top of the stairs.
While children and babies will definitely struggle to open this safety gate, unfortunately, so do most adults as the opening mechanism requires quite a strong grip. Also, bear in mind that this safety gate does not always auto-lock when closed and the instructions are not the best, although installation itself couldn’t be simpler.
Whether you have narrow or wide openings, the BabyDan MultiDan Extending Wooden Safety Gate is a great all-in-one option, eliminating the need to purchase extenders.
With its warm beech finish, this wooden gate is not only very good looking, it is also one of the best baby gates for stairs. There is no trip bar and, when used with the included stop pins, you can use it at the top or bottom of your staircase. Extendable from 60.5-102cm, you can also use this gate in doorways or corridors in its two-way opening mode for added versatility.
It opens extra wide, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas. Also, when your baby is not at home, you can simply remove the gate from its fittings without any tools for hassle-free access. Opening and closing are very easy thanks to this model’s one-handed opening system that actually works with just one hand, unlike many others. All fittings are included, complete with a helpful paper template to make sure you get your gate hung correctly.
While installation is not over-complex, unfortunately, the picture instructions can be fairly confusing and you may be put off by the rather unsightly plastic wall mounts. Also, bear in mind that this gate does not auto-lock on closing, so you will have to do this manually each time you use it.
The Liberty Safety Gate by Dreambaby has a surprising amount of useful features. Available in black or white, this metal baby gate is a good choice for narrower openings, or you can also purchase additional extensions to close off gaps of up to an impressive 2.79 metres!
This safety gate features a double locking mechanism for extra security. Slide the button to disengage the first lock situated at the top of the gate, then lift up to disengage the lower lock. Easy enough for adults to open single-handedly, it’s an extra layer of security that will keep your children safe and secure.
Thanks to its auto-close function, the gate will automatically close and lock behind you, ideal when you have your hands full, which is quite often as a parent. For when your baby is safely tucked up, take advantage of the stay-open feature by swinging the gate wide open into the stay-open position for unrestricted access.
Installation is easy, thanks to this baby gate’s pressure fitting system, so you won’t need to drill any holes. This also makes it a good choice for temporary use, or for use in rental accommodation.
On the downside, this baby gate is not very sturdy, so it may be less suitable for older, more active toddlers. Also, the included fixing cups are fairly shallow and the adjustment wheels can be difficult to turn by hand to get a secure fit without hurting yourself.
If you are looking for a soft mesh baby gate, then be sure to take a closer look at this highly popular retractable model by Dreambaby. Unobtrusive when not in use, it provides a safe and secure barrier when open. It is also suitable for use at the top or bottom of your stairs, as well as in any doorways and openings, or pretty much anywhere in your house that you may need.
Extending from just several centimetres wide up to 140cm, this retractable baby gate is an extremely practical choice that is suitable for any home, no matter where you choose to place it. Two sets of attachment fixtures are included with your purchase, allowing you to relocate your baby gate to another area of your home as needed. For example, you could use it at the top of your stairs at night, then move it to the bottom during the day.
This retractable baby gate has no base bar or trip hazard. Once retracted, it takes up very little space and allows free movement. Opening and closing are fairly easy, with a double locking system that small children will be unable to use. Thanks to its UV treatment, this baby gate is also suitable for outdoor use to keep your baby safe no matter the occasion.
Although this baby gate can, in theory, be operated with one hand, it is pretty difficult to do so and it is also a fairly noisy process. However, the main drawback to this popular model is its overly complex installation instructions which make the task appear much more daunting than it actually is.
Considered as one of the best baby gate options around, the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe is available in a range of widths; this gate is both easy to install and adjust.
This baby gate features a four-point pressure fit system which is designed around a U-shaped frame to allow easy access. Made from durable strong steel with an extra-wide walkthrough, it can be placed either at the bottom of your stairs or in a doorway to block certain rooms. Use the optional second lock on the base to fit it to open one-way, or remove it for a two-way opening, depending on your gate location.
Installation is simple and the gate is delivered ready to install, with all tools included. Thanks to the included extension piece, you’ll be able to fit this gate in a greater number of locations, while the pressure indicator lets you know your gate is securely in place. This gate locks firmly closed at the top with a squeeze and lift handle.
If you are worried about fitting your baby gate, then the Lindam Easy Fit Plus is a good model to go for as it gives you peace of mind with its solid construction, pressure indicator, and bottom lock.
Unfortunately, this baby gate makes a loud noise when it closes shut and it’s not the easiest to open with one hand. Also, the plastic handle could be more durable.
How to Choose the Best Safety Gates
Here’s our guide to the essential features you’ll need to consider when choosing the best stair gate for you.
Types of Stair/Baby Gate
Read through the different types of stair gate and discover which design is best for your needs.
Pressure Fit Stair Gates
A pressure fit safety gate utilises a U-shaped frame with four pressure points to keep your baby gate securely in place. They are available in a wide range of sizes, with some featuring various add-on extension pieces for larger-than-average doorways and openings.
As they do not require any drilling, they are a preferable choice if you do not have much DIY experience, or don’t want to have the hassle of filling in holes when the time comes to take down your stair gate. They are also recommended for rental properties where making holes in the walls can be a breach of contract.
Although pressure fit baby gates are considered relatively easy to install, the base bar can present a trip risk, making them best for use at the bottom of the stairs, as they can be dangerous at the top of your stairs and you may even find yourself tripping over them when placed in doorways, too.
Screw Fit Stair Gates
As their name suggests, screw fit gates require you to drill holes into your walls or door frame to fix your baby gate.
As there is no base bar at the bottom, these baby gates don’t have any trip hazards and their fitting is generally considered as being sturdier than pressure fitted versions. Both of which make this type the best stair gate for top of stairs, as well as throughout your home.
On the other hand, as they do require holes, so you may have to redecorate or patch up this area when you dismantle your baby gate.
As they necessitate some drilling, you may also need to purchase specific fittings that are compatible with your walls if you are not fixing them directly into a wooden doorframe.
Mesh Roller Gates
A little like a horizontal roller window blind, these baby gates are quickly gaining in popularity. When not in use they are unobtrusive and allow free circulation. When in use, you have a soft yet strong mesh barrier that your baby will not injure themselves on by walking or bumping into it.
Mesh barriers can lack structure and they can also prevent your child from being able to clearly see you depending on how transparent they are. They will require fixing to your walls or doorframe, which can be a slightly trickier process requiring a template.
Travel Stair Gates
The best travel stair gate will be a lightweight, easy-to-transport model. However, this type of stair gate is impractical for everyday use.
Easy to put up and take down, every time you release the pressure on your travel stair gate to open it, you’ll have to reaffix it and put it back up again. For occasional use at a family member’s home, a pressure-mounted gate is definitely a preferable design to a travel version, being so much easier to use. Although some people may opt for one of these options if using it as a dog gate when needing to temporarily separate your pet from different areas of your home.
Always make sure that you accurately measure where your baby gate is going to go. If you are near the limits of an extendable model, you may wish to add on an extension piece. Doing so when you place your order can make it a lot easier than trying to find extras after receiving your stair gate.
A secure double-locking mechanism is a must, especially if you have several children. While your little one is unlikely to be able to open your baby gate for the foreseeable future, helpful older siblings who might not be old enough to understand the dangers most probably will – so it’s important to have a secure lock.
When you’ve got young children the simplest tasks can become nightmares. So, it makes sense to choose a design that’s easy to fit. If you’re good at DIY or can enrol a family member to help, then great. If not, don’t push your competencies and end up getting frustrated. Often the easiest solution is the best. Once installed, you’ll also want something that is easy to use and maintain, too.
What Safety Gate Is the Best for the Top of Stairs?
It is important to fit a safety gate that will open away from your stairs, towards yourself, so you will need a safety gate that you can adjust to open one-way only. There should also be no base bar, as this could be a trip hazard.
This generally means purchasing a screw-fix gate which is also considered as providing a sturdier, more solid fitting baby gate than a pressure-mounted version.
Where Should You Put Stair Gates?
If you are wondering where to put stair gates, take a few moments to stop and consider all of the rooms in your house and what dangers they represent for your baby or toddler.
Obviously, you may want to place a stair gate at the top of the stairs and the bottom of the stairs, depending on your child’s access. However, you may also wish to place safety gates in a specific doorway to restrict access to a certain room, which could even render placing gates on the staircase itself unnecessary.
Alongside using gates at the top and bottom of stairs, lots of parents also use safety gates to confine their children to a certain room that is considered safe, just as they also use them to fence off unsafe areas, such as the kitchen. It really all comes down to how child-friendly your house is, your child’s age and your home layout. One thing is certain, safety gates are essential for babies and toddlers under 24 months – as recommended by the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents.
We also believe a bit of experience can help too. So while you will definitely need to protect your baby or toddler from the stairs and straying into harm’s way, you may over time find that the best place for your safety gates is not necessarily where you first fitted them.
Finally, we are done with our stair gate reviews. If you are looking for the best baby gate that is easy to install and available in a wide range of widths, then you can’t go wrong with the BabyDan MultiDan Extending Metal Safety.
Thanks to its highly extendable design, you can install this gate anywhere in your house and it’s one of the easiest to get set up, too. Made from durable powder-coated steel with a two-way opening, this baby gate also benefits from having stop pins included if you wish to keep a one-way opening. Plus, it is also easily removable when not required.
All in all, marketed as the best stair gate on the market, if you are looking for a new baby gate, make sure that you take a closer look at this model.