In 2020, we’re all making resolutions to ourselves, and for parents, one of those resolutions is to be more mindful of what our babies are getting into. We try our best to avoid our little ones from getting into trouble, but as your baby grows, it’s a challenge.
With babies learning how to walk, they tend to go into rooms or areas of the homes that aren’t appropriate for them.
Meet the baby gate. It’s a valuable tool in child protection. With a baby gate, you set it up, and it does the rest. Baby gates are designed to withstand a baby’s roughhousing.
Also, many gates are designed for pets, too. In this post, we’ll look at baby gates, types of baby gates, and of course, the best gates to purchase.
Table of Contents
- What a Baby Gate is Good for
- What Types to Look for
- What to Look for in a Gate
- The Best Baby Gates
- Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate (Best Budget)
- Regalo Adjustable Gate (Best Long Gate)
- BabePai Retractable Gate(Best Mesh Gate)
- Cumbor 43.3” Auto Close Safety Baby Gate (Best Auto Close Gate)
- Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate 27″-41.5″ (Best for Stairs)
- Carlson Extra Tall Walk Through (Best for Small Pets)
- Nsdirect 121 Inch Baby Gate (Best for Fireplaces or Christmas Trees)
- In Summary
- How We Made Our Choices
- Other Ways to Childproof Your Home
What a Baby Gate is Good for
Here are some reasons why you would want a baby gate:
- To prevent your child from getting into certain areas of the house that aren’t protected by a door. For example, you may not want your child to get into the kitchen whenever you’re boiling some water.
- Stopping children from climbing up or down the steps. When a child is learning to walk, the stairs attract their curiosity, but may be dangerous.
- They’re great for pets, too. Many parents buy baby gates, and then keep them around for Fido once their baby outgrows them.
What Types to Look for
Surprisingly, there are quite a few types of baby gates to choose from. Here are a few to look out for
These require a little more assembly and involve screwing them into your walls or other barrier. Some parents may not like the idea of putting a hole in the wall, but these are extremely secure. And, if you’re wanting a gate for the top of your stairs, it’s highly recommended.
If you don’t want to put holes in your wall and aren’t trying to protect the top of your stairs, we recommend pressure mounted gates. These do require a little more precise measurements, but you simply put ends against the wall and it stays there. It’s secure enough, easy for you to set up, and easy to take down, too.
These are baby gates that shut automatically whenever you open them. Many gates that close will stay open if you have them open wide enough, but will shut if you’re just opening to go to the other room. These are great for the tired parents who sometimes forget to close the gates.
There Aren’t Any Smart, Electric Gates
One thing that’s surprising, as we did research for this post, is the fact that no one has yet to invent an electric gate. A gate you can open via a remote or your phone is something you may think would exist, especially in the age of luxury smart items, but no one has done so yet. If any gate manufacturers are reading this, why not?
What to Look for in a Gate
Besides knowing the type of gate, here are some features to look out for when you are purchasing a baby gate.
- The baby gate should be almost impossible for kids to open, but easy for parents. Some gates manage to be a little annoying for the parental side of things. The ideal gate is something you can open with one hand. Parents tend to have their hands full, and a gate that makes you put everything down is a hassle and a half.
- Look for a gate that has easy installation. Hardware-mounted gates are going to be a little more complicated, but the best ones will still be easy for anyone to install. Meanwhile, some gates make the process much too complicated for its own good. The gate should also be easy to remove should you need to move it.
- Make sure the gate is study when you set it up. Your toddler can be tougher than you think, and if you have a dog, you have to think about their strength, too. A good gate manages to stay tough no matter what.
- Make sure the gate fits. Gates, especially when they’re pressure-mounted, should be able to fit your area and not be too tight or too loose. See the measurements before you buy, and measure the area beforehand. That way, you have less of a chance of having to return the gate.
- Look for a warranty. Some gates come with a warranty, so in case if something goes wrong, you can repair or return it without having to spend extra money.
- Be mindful of the height. Most baby gates are meant for children under two years old. Over that age, and kids may be able to climb up them, possibly risking injury. If you still don’t want your kid to enter a certain area, look for a taller gate.
The Best Baby Gates
Now, let’s look at some gates.
Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate (Best Budget)
Gates aren’t that expensive, but we know how pricey parenthood is. Sometimes, you may only have less than $15 to spend. Luckily, this gate is great for those who are on a budget. As of this post, it goes for about $12, meaning that almost anyone can afford it.
- It has a beautiful wooden finish to it. For most homes, it will fit right in, not distracting any home décor snobs.
- This is a pressure-mounted gate, meaning that you don’t need any assembly, tools, or making holes in your wall. Just remember that these types of gates are not the best for the top of the stairs.
- This gate includes a locking bar, which has some detailed marks on it. This makes it quite easy for anyone to install.
- Its bumpers come from rubber, meaning that it won’t damage your house as much as an ordinary gate.
- Being a budget gate, it’s not the sturdiest around. For many parents, it will work wonders, but some people have said it’s flimsy, and that pets can knock it down with ease. Your experience may vary. If you’re serious about protecting your child, you may consider this gate as a temporary purchase to hold you off until you can get something more expensive.
Regalo Adjustable Gate (Best Long Gate)
Sometimes, the area you need protecting has a wide entrance. Before you had children, you may have admired its spaciousness, but now, an ordinary gate doesn’t do the trick. Meet the Regalo. This gate can fit most entrances.
- It’s very wide. It goes up to 192 inches, or 16 feet. For most houses, this is long enough.
- It’s also flexible. You can make a circle out of the gate and use it as a play pen for your child.
- It has four wall mounts to make installation much easier.
- Despite its size, it’s quite easy to store. You’ll be surprised with how easy it is to fold this gate flat and then put it away.
- Some reviewers have reported latches that don’t work, and one reviewer’s child got their finger stuck in a small opening. With that said, remember that some reviewers may not have installed the gate properly, or may have received a defective gate.
BabePai Retractable Gate(Best Mesh Gate)
This gate doesn’t use any bars, and instead uses a mesh wall to keep your baby out. If you want a gate that doesn’t look like a traditional one, this gate may be the one you’re looking for. Here are some of its pros and cons.
- Durable mesh wall. For some parents, they may prefer this over the steel bars. With the steel bars, you may have to worry about sharp edges hurting your child, or your child bumping their head on it. Meanwhile, this barrier is a lot softer, but still offers protection from a curious stair climber. The mesh is 52 inches wide and 34 inches tall.
- Installation isn’t difficult. The BabePai comes with everything you need to install it and it’s easy to retract and lock, too.
- Storage is easy. Because it’s mesh, you can roll it up whenever you’re not using it and put it in a closet, if you so wish.
- This is a one-handed operation. It comes with a latch that you can open with one hand, meaning that you don’t need to put your baby or materials down whenever you’re wanting to get past the gate.
- You can find it in black, white, or dark gray, giving some variety. Buy the gate that best matches your house.
- Sometimes, the gate may end up uneven whenever you’re retracting it, and you may need to straighten it up.
- Although the installation hardware it comes with is convenient, some people reported that the hardware wasn’t that great.
Cumbor 43.3” Auto Close Safety Baby Gate (Best Auto Close Gate)
Having a bit of automation in your home is a smart move. While you don’t need a fancy gate that opens up through a remote control, having a gate that can close itself is convenient.
Parents tend to be busy, tired, and in a hurry, and not closing the gate after passing it can be an understandable mistake. However, your baby may be in danger if the gate is left open. The Cumbor can help.
- This gate is quite large and has width to it. It’s 30.5” x 37.8-43.3”, making it good for most stairwells and doors.
- In fact, this gate has a higher recommended age than others. Most gates are only for babies up to two years, but this one is recommended up to 36 months, meaning you get an extra year on top of it. With the twos being so terrible, it’s nice this gate covers another year.
- It’s durable. All baby gates are made with durability in mind, but this one has more going for it, such as being able to withstand roughhousing from giant dogs. You don’t need to worry about your toddler getting past it.
- It’s easy to install as well. Most people cam install in under 10 minutes, as there is no complex assembly required.
- Finally, its auto close feature is what sells many people about this gate, and we have to say that it works well. If you want to keep the gate open, make sure you open it more than 90 degrees. Under 90 degrees and it will auto close.
- Some users have reported that the gate doesn’t install well with certain opening lengths. However, this may vary from person to person.
Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate 27″-41.5″ (Best for Stairs)
We have an entire post dedicated to gates for stairs, but if you’re just looking for one of the most idea, you can’t go wrong with Cardinal Gates Stairway. This gate works well for either the top or the bottom of your stairs, especially the top.
It does cost a bit more, but we think that this price is worthy enough. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Cardinal Gates.
- It has a stop bracket. For kids, this means that the gate is tough to open. Think of it as an emergency brake to give your kids even more resistance when they try to open it up. Kids are crafty, but we think this gate is a little bit craftier.
- Besides the stop bracket, this gate also includes a childproof latch. Most latches are childproof, but this one is locked up like Fort Knox. No child will be able to open up this gate when it’s properly installed.
- Despite it being complicated for babies to open, for parents, it’s a cinch. You can open it up with one hand. Having a gate that’s easy to open means that you can be able to open it with one hand and be a busy parent with the other.
- This gate works well for steps that are angled, and its easy to adjust.
- Installation, for some people, it a bit complicated.
- There are some customers who have claimed the gate was missing some hardware, or was defective. Always make sure you can return or replace before you purchase. The chances of it happening are a bit slim, but they do occur from time to time.
Carlson Extra Tall Walk Through (Best for Small Pets)
What if you want to keep your baby out of a certain room, but your cat or small dog is perfectly allowed to go in? The Carlson Extra Tall is a gate for that situation. At $50, the price isn’t too bad for a gate that has quite a few features going for it.
- It’s tall. It’s over about three feet tall, and it can go between 29-36.5 inches. This is great for big dogs or for taller toddlers who still aren’t permitted into a certain room.
- It looks great. It’s highly finished and fits in most households. Many people don’t care about how the gate looks, but an aesthetically pleasing gate is a nice little bonus.
- It’s a safe gate, with some unique safety locking, non-toxic paint, and even some wall mounts. For both kids and big pets, you have a gate that’s hard to get past.
- Finally, its small door. It’s small enough for a cat or small dog to go through, but it will keep your toddler out. If you don’t want to use the small door, you can lock it as well.
- Some users have reported that the gate is too narrow, despite measuring their home. That’s always a possibility, and something that you should make sure that you have a plan for should the gate not be able to fit.
Nsdirect 121 Inch Baby Gate (Best for Fireplaces or Christmas Trees)
Winter is still raging on, and for some parents, they’ve yet to take down their Christmas tree. Both can be hazardous to pets or babies, and we don’t need to explain why.
They’re beautiful, and for the fireplace’s case, a cheaper way to get heat during the winter, but Junior needs to stay out of it. The Nsdirect can help, and here are some pros and cons of it.
- It’s a five-in-one. Basically, this gate is great for larger openings, for covering fireplaces, Christmas trees, or other objects that may be hazardous for kids or pets, a playpen for your child, a door gate, or used as a long barrier.
- This gate is very easy to assemble. When you’ve set up your tree or turned on your fireplace, the last thing you want to do is to take forever to assemble a gate for it.
- This gate is quite sturdy, too. It uses mounting brackets that connect to any walls and don’t let go. Like most gates, it’s also easy to remove as well.
- Finally, this gate has a good warranty. You can return it for free up to 30 days, and it has a one year warranty in case something goes wrong with it.
- Some users received a gate that was defective or impossible to assemble. Always make sure you are purchasing the gate from reputable sellers before you buy.
Here are the best gates in order.
- Best budget: Evenflo Position and Lock. While not the fanciest gate out there, this gate does manage to work well as an extremely cheap alternative, going for less than $15 in some places.
- Best long gate: Regalo Adjustable. This gate goes up to 16 feet. When you have long openings in your house, you wan this gate. It’s also great for a playpen for your child.
- Best mesh: BapePai Retractable. This gate gives you a mesh barrier that is difficult for your child to get past, all while keeping it soft, too.
- Best auto-close: Cumbor 43.3. This gate is great for forgetful parents, closing whenever possible to protect your room from a curious kid.
- Best for stairs: Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate 27″-41.5″. This gate works great for the top or bottom of the stairs, with a design that is hard for children to open. When you’re looking for the best protection, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- Best for small pets: Carlson Extra Tall Walk Through. This gate includes a small, lockable door at the bottom that any small pet can pass through, but a larger pet or a child cannot.
- Best for Christmas trees or fireplaces: Nsdirect 121 Inch Baby Gate. This gate is easy to assemble and it mounts against the wall quite easily. Great for wintertime, when you don’t want your child or pet touching your tree or fireplace.
Bonus: Rustic Farmhouse Pet/Baby Gate
This gate is not an official product on Amazon, and is a hand crafted product from Etsy. Because of this, we didn’t want to put it on our list, but it’s too cool not to mention. For those who are living on the farm or just like the rustic aesthetic, this gate is perfect.
It is little pricey, going for about $140. The price can depend on what finish or color you give it. With that said, it’s highly rated on Etsy, going at 4.5 out of 5 stars as of this review. If you want to buy something more handcrafted and support a smaller artist, this gate is worth looking at.
How We Made Our Choices
Here’s how we picked these products.
A Variety of Needs
First, we thought about all the needs a parent may have when purchasing a baby gate. There are parents who are low on money and just want something that works. Then, there are parents who want the most secure gate out there. There are parents who have a wide opening they need to protect, but also parents who have a certain object they need blocked, such as a staircase or fireplace.
Aesthetics comes into mind as well. Some parents may want a gate that has a nice, wooden finish. Then, there are parents who may want a gate with a more metal look. There are some looking to protect the top of their stairs or turn the gate into a children’s playpen when they are finished.
The point is that parents may have more than one need when it comes to a baby gate, and we hoped we chose the best in that regard.
Good Customer Reviews
We look for products that have at least a decent reputation on Amazon. With baby gates, there are going to be some unsatisfied parents, from parents who got a defective unit to those who didn’t know how to put it together. Then, there are the budget gates that may have an overall lower score because of their cheap quality. However, we looked through most of the customer reviews to point out the good, and the bad, of the gates we described.
What Other Reviewers Are Saying
Besides customer reviews from parents like you, we took into consideration what other websites are saying, mainly the professional review sites. These websites tended to break down the good and bad of the gates, and may have compiled the gates in a similar list. We made sure to have our own unique list, but also we wanted to see what others were saying.
Other Ways to Childproof Your Home
Before we go, here are a couple other ways you can kid-proof your home:
- Make sure you have any cleaners or dangerous chemicals locked up. Buy a tough lock the place you put those chemicals in. Never assume that the childproof caps will prevent your child from trying what’s inside. Lock it up!
- Put some childproof caps over any unused electrical outlet. Your child could get shocked because of it.
- Look for possible places that could cause drowning. Even tiny pools of water can be a drowning risk for a young child. Keep your kid away from the bathtub until it’s bath time, and drain any buckets or containers when you’re not using them.
- Finally, don’t leave any container with hot liquids unattended. Children may be curious as to what’s in the coffeepot or try to grab a pot of boiling water, and this can cause serious injury.
And with that, these are the best baby gates that money can buy. When you’re looking for gates for your baby, consider purchasing these. They can last a long time, and keep both your babies and your pets out of trouble.
A safe household is a healthy household. Along with setting up some gates, look for other ways you can childproof your home until your baby is old enough to know what’s safe and what’s not.