If you have babies and toddlers, you know how difficult it is to keep them safe. Thank goodness someone invented the baby gate.
Baby safety gates can keep babies away from the kitchen, stairs, basement, or other dangerous areas. A good baby gate creates a barrier that will stop kids from entering a place they shouldn’t be, with no possible openings they can take advantage of. However, a gate with a good design will make sure that YOU can pass with ease.
Even if your baby outgrows it, the gate for baby can become the gate for your dog or cat. They are quite versatile and can last a long time. You may put it away until you have another kid, or you can pass one down to another friend or family member.
However, you may ask yourself, “Which baby gates are the best, and what else is there to know about them?” There are so many brands out there – Regalo, Summer Infant – the list goes on. In this post, we will look at the best baby gates you can get. We know that as a parent, you want to buy one of the best baby gates around so you won’t have to worry about your baby entering a place they shouldn’t. Let’s dive into the details about baby gates.
Table of Contents
- What Types of Baby Gates Are There?
- What Should I Look for in a Baby Gate?
- Here’s How We Determined the Best Baby Gate
- Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Gate of 2023
- #1: Safety 1st Easy Install Auto-Close Baby Gate with Pressure Mount Fastening (Best Value)
- #2: Munchkin Loft (Best Overall)
- #3: Carlson Pet Products Design Studio Home Decor Walk Through Pet Gate (Best Baby Gate With Pet Door)
- #4: Regalo 2 in 1 (Best Low Cost)
- #5: EasyBaby Products Extra Wide Indoor Outdoor Retractable Baby Gate (Best Mesh Gate)
- How Do You Install a Baby Gate?
- Verdict: Your Best Baby Gate
What Types of Baby Gates Are There?
You’d be surprised with how many gates for baby you can get. Let’s look at some of them.
This gate uses tension-fit to stay put. Because of the pressure that goes outward, you do not need to damage any walls. These gates are less expensive, and they are also easy to install. However, the only downside is that they can be weaker than their hardware mounted counterparts. They still provide great protection for halls and doorways, but if your baby is extra tough or you have a big dog, you may have problems.
Pressure mounted gates should be avoided as barriers for stairs. If your baby pushes them down, they can fall down the stairs.
The hardware mounted baby gate screws into your wall. Because of this, they are much more secure and are great for stairs or for homes with a big dog or a baby who wants to try some brute force.
However, hardware mounted gates tend to cost more, are less easy to install, and can damage walls. You may also need to have a drill or items that may not be included with the baby gate.
Hardware mounted gates tend to market themselves as a 3-in-1. The 3-in-1 refers to doorways, hallways, and gates for stairs.
Some baby gates don’t open. You have to step over them. However, this can be a challenge for some. That’s why there are gates with a door. Just unlock its latch, and it swings open. Some gates will close automatically, and others can stay open, which should also be convenient. The only downside is that some parents may forget to close them. Luckily, auto-close gates do exist.
Gates with Pet Gate Door
Your baby shouldn’t be able to climb the stairs, but your cat can climb up and down them just fine. That’s why many baby gates have a small gate door that a cat or another small pet can go through. This keeps the baby out while allowing the cat to go through the door with ease.
These gates roll up and roll out depending on how you’re using them. They are more portable, and the mesh barrier can also be quite tough. Also, these gates are great for babies who may get their hand stuck between the bars or possibly try to climb it.
Extra Tall or Wide Gates
These two types of gates are designed for those who have doorways in their home that are too wide for your average gate. They are also good if your toddler is taller or if you want top protection if your toddler is a climber. The only downside to gates that are extra tall is that they are difficult to step over, so you may want to buy one that has a gate that’s easy for you to open.
Some are a little difficult to define because they may have aspects of all of the above or be their own thing. Don’t get too bogged down in the details. At the end of the day, the gate needs to have everything you are looking for in it and needs to provide you with a quality product that will prevent your baby from breaking into a forbidden room.
What Should I Look for in a Baby Gate?
When shopping for gates, you’ll see that baby gates come with different features and types. When searching for one, here are some things to consider.
Type of Gate
We already went into detail about the types of gates, so look above. However, we will stress again how important it is to get the right type. The best example is getting hardware gates for the steps, not pressure mounted. Never put a pressure gate on the stairs, especially at the top of the stairs. In addition, you want one that fits your home.
Measure the space where the gate will be and see if the safety gate you’re interested in is wide enough. Usually, a baby gate will have a range of lengths for you to work with. However, some people have narrow corridors or extra wide hallways. In a case like this, you may want to look for an extra wide or extra small baby gate.
We should probably mention that if you are looking for an extra wide gate, some baby gates do include hardware to extend it. You may not need to buy a super wide gate in this case. However, it all depends on which baby gate you purchase.
Also, some gates have extension kits. An extension kit allows you to expand upon the gate should its width not be enough. If you have to move the gate between a place that’s normal in width and a place that has extended width, this can be convenient.
Besides the length, you need to think about the height. The recommendation is that the gate is three inches off the ground, and is 22 inches high total. This is a good size for most toddlers. However, you may want to go taller if you have a tall toddler or if you have a big pet who may try to jump it. There are extra tall gates available in that case.
Most gates, even pressure mounted, will need some installation work. However, some require more assembly than others. Some hardware mounted gates may not even come with all the tools needed to install it. When choosing the best baby gates, look for something that is easy to install.
Installation difficulty is a bit subjective, of course. Some people may have trouble installing a gate that’s usually simple, and vice versa. However, you want to read the reviews. If difficult installation is a common complaint, be prepared.
Some gates come with these, while for others you may have to buy them separately. Rubber bumpers can protect your walls against the gate. The last thing you want in your home is a gate that can scrape the doorways or hallways. The top gates will have protection already, but if you want a little more protection for areas of your home, consider rubber bumpers.
Color and Design
Most tired parents won’t care if the gate has funky colors and obnoxious polka dots. As long as it keeps the little one from entering rooms they aren’t supposed to, parents won’t care. However, there are some parents who would prefer a baby gate that has a nice look to it. For example, you can find baby safety gates that look rustic or have a wooden aesthetic.
Some gates have a wood accent finish, combining wood and steel with a beautiful design. Others will be made from pure aluminum, creating a barrier that is one tough cookie.
Here’s something that’s very important. You want a baby gate that can handle a toddler’s roughhousing. Your little one is curious, and they may try to beat down the gate however they can. A good baby gate can stand up to your child’s attacks. Meanwhile, cheaply made gates may fall down with just a simple push.
You should remember that pressure mounted gates are less durable than their hardware mounted counterparts, but good pressure gates will still be able to take a rattling from your toddler. Always test the gates out before letting your child at them.
Easy Opening for You
A baby gate should be nearly impossible for your toddler to open. However, it should be easy for you to open. A baby gate accomplishes this in several ways. For example, it may have a one-handed opening. Baby gate manufacturers know that as a parent, you have your hands full. That’s why they make it so the gate opens easily for you but is hard for your kid.
Another way gate openings are made easier is when it swings open two ways. This is good for when you are going in multiple directions. (We think that gate openings that swing two ways are heaven-sent.)
Besides openings, closings are also another factor. Your gate should be easy for you to close when you aren’t using it.
When looking for the top baby gate for your home, you may want a baby gate that has been certified. A baby gate that meets all safety standards is important, after all. One of the better ways to find a good baby gate for your home is to look at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for help. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, or JPMA, provides you with safety certified products to keep your baby safe in your home. You can see which baby gate has been proven to be safe.
What about Pets?
Baby gates are meant for your toddler, but if you have a dog or cat, you may want to keep them out of certain rooms as well.
Some baby gates are created with that in mind. If you have a cat or small dog, they may be able to slip under the baby gate. Some baby gates are built specifically with that in mind, and have no barriers. You also need to consider the durability of the baby gate. A tough wood or steel gate can withstand a small dog, but what about a big one? Make sure there are no openings your dog can exploit.
But what if you want a small cat or dog going into your room? Some gates have small openings where a little pet can go through. These openings still keep kids out, but allow pets to traverse through your home without much worry.
There are many reasons why you may want to remove your baby gate temporarily. Maybe you’re having a party and your kid is at their grandparent’s home. No need for a baby gate then. Whatever the reason, a good baby gate can be easily removed when your home isn’t using it, then it’s able to be put back on easily later.
Another thing you should think about is storing the baby gate when you’re not using it. A good baby gate for your home can fold when not in use so it doesn’t take too much space. Whether you need a place to store it or you’re traveling to your new home, most baby gates make this easy. Some fold in two or more ways, making it easy to store.
You want a baby gate manufacturer who will stand by their product. Should the gate be defective or have missing parts, you’ll want a company who will offer a replacement or repair for free. Obviously, Amazon does have a 30-day, money-back guarantee. However, this is not ideal for all situations, especially if the baby gate falls apart after a couple months.
When picking a baby gate, warranty and customer service are two big priorities. Let’s now look at customer service. If you have any questions about your baby gate, be it installation, problems with the baby gate, or any other related questions, having good customer service is important.
You want service where the people will be able to respond to your emails ASAP, or they have a line you can call and get an answer fast. This can vary depending on the baby gate manufacturer. If you are buying from a bigger company, they may have better service. However, some smaller companies can provide great customer service for your baby gate as well.
What’s your budget? The best baby gates aren’t terribly expensive, but they can add up depending on features, length, and design. Some people may want to spend more and get the best baby gates they can afford, while others will want a value gate that gets the job done.
With that, these are the things you need to look out for when purchasing a baby gate. Now, let’s look at the top gates.
Here’s How We Determined the Best Baby Gate
We picked from several of the best baby gates money could buy. We tried to pick from baby gates with different prices and features, from extra wide gates, hardware-mounted gates, and pressure mounted. In addition, we read the reviews. We obviously wouldn’t recommend a baby gate that had overwhelmingly negative reviews.
Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Gate of 2023
#1: Safety 1st Easy Install Auto-Close Baby Gate with Pressure Mount Fastening (Best Value)
When looking for a baby gate, your first stop should be getting one that is mid-ranged in price. Many parents won’t trust a cheaper baby gate, but some parents don’t want to spend too much. This is one of those baby gates that hits the right balance, being not too expensive but not too cheap either.
This baby gate is pressure-mounted, meaning it’s good for hallways and the like, but it’s not ideal for stairs. With that said, a pressure gate is great if you want to set up the baby gate and not worry about it. it should work with any hallway that’s 29-38 inches.
Let’s talk about the gate aspect. The gate is easily openable with just a hand, and it does have a magnetic lock to prevent your little ones from opening it. It uses its own indicator to tell you whether or not your gate is securely locked. No having to guess or investigate yourself. Just let this pressure mounted gate do the “talking”.
Reviews of this pressure mounted baby gate have been positive overall. Most people say that this is one of the easiest baby gates to install, and it keeps itself locked well. It meets all safety standards and all standards parents have.
A few reviewers did have problems with its locking mechanism, but they were in the minority. Most people had no issues with the gate and how it functioned.
Overall, this one is great if you’re looking for the best value. If you need a pressure gate, this should be your first choice. It’s the right height, works well for most walls, and is the top gate for those on a mid-range budget. Whether you want to protect doorways or hallways, this gate works well. However, it may not be the best one for stairs. Later on, we’ll show you several that work well for stairs.
#2: Munchkin Loft (Best Overall)
Baby gates are not known for being terribly expensive. You can find a decent one in the $30-$60 range that should serve the purpose well. However, if you have a higher budget and want to buy a gate that’s a little more expensive, it’s a good way to ensure the most safety for your child. Enter the Munchkin Loft. This aluminum steel gate may be the last one you need.
It is a gate that requires hardware mounting, making it good for all locations of your home. The baby gate installation aspect of it is quite easy, and it even has an integrated tuning system. This means that if the walls aren’t the most level, the gate should still install with ease. It also has a sizing system that allows you to adjust the width without struggling too much.
When you need to remove the gate, it does have a quick release option. No having to struggle to get it out. Despite its ease of release, it’s a durable door, being made from pure aluminum. This is great if you have a toddler who will throw the kitchen sink at the baby gate or a big dog who wants to butt heads with the gate.
Finally, we should mention that this is a gate that swings two ways. This means that traveling between rooms is convenient.
Reviews of this baby gate have been quite positive. People love the aesthetics, the design, and the durability of this baby gate. People love how tough it is, too. The biggest criticisms seem to center around people who had trouble with the baby gate installation side of things. This especially applies for the stairs. However, the top review does give some detailed tips.
Overall, this is great if you need a gate that can protect every area of your place with ease. Whether it’s doorways, hallways, stairs, or other top priority locations, this baby gate keeps up. It’s one of the best in safety, being hardware and not pressure mounted. Whatever items your kid throws against it, the baby gate won’t budge. It’s the best baby gate for your home if you have a flexible budget.
#3: Carlson Pet Products Design Studio Home Decor Walk Through Pet Gate (Best Baby Gate With Pet Door)
If you want to keep your little one or your big dogs out, but a small dog or a cat is okay to enter, this baby gate is for you.
We should begin by mentioning how beautiful this gate is. The baby gate portion has a nice black finish, and it has accents that have an oak finish to it. This doesn’t look like a baby gate, but rather a small gate for a home. It’s a great entrance to your family room or another part of your house.
It is a pressure mounted gate, so it’s not ideal for stairs. However, it’s easy to set up and it even has a handle that’s one-touch. At 30 inches in height and 30.5-33.5 inches in width, it should fit most situations.
One of the features we should mention is its small pet gate door. It’s 10 by 7, which is great if you have a small pet. It’s small enough so that the pet can go inside, but not big enough so that a child can go through it.
This gate is also foldable, making it easy to store it when you’re not using it. Overall, it’s great if you don’t mind Fluffy being in your kitchen but want to keep your child out.
Reviews are positive overall, with people loving its wood design, easy installation, and the ability to keep the child out while letting a small pet in. A few reviews had issues with parts and whatnot, but they were in the minority.
Overall, this baby gate is great if you want your small dog or cat to travel around your place without much struggle. This pressure gate can allow them to go into the kitchen, hallway, and other doorways. For example, maybe you don’t want your toddler barging into your bedroom unannounced, but you don’t mind if your cat curls up next to you. (We’ve all been there.)
Plus, this is a great baby gate if you like aesthetics in addition to safety. It has a beautiful wood finish, making it the top in looks. Who doesn’t love a little wood? Wood is great for rustic households, and wood can work for contemporary as well.
#4: Regalo 2 in 1 (Best Low Cost)
Safety gates don’t have to be expensive. While you don’t want to buy a $10 gate that can fall apart with a single breath, you can find some baby safety gates for a small price that provide protection and meet all the safety standards.
The Regalo is one such example. This is an extra-wide gate, going up to 40.5 inches. It requires hardware mounting, and it markets itself as a gate that is perfect for hallways or stairs. Because of its low cost, you could buy a couple for your stairs or hallway, if you so wish.
It’s a steel gate that has a safety lock and is quite sturdy. It’s definitely the best baby gate for the price, especially if you’re looking for a cheaper gate for the stairs.
What do the reviews say? They are quite positive overall, with many people saying that it’s a sturdy safety gate that is great for the price. One of the biggest gripes when it comes to critical reviews is that the gate is not easy to install. It may take well over an hour. However, your difficulty may vary when it comes to installation, so keep that in mind.
Overall, the Regalo is the top gate if you’re looking for something that’s lower price. Despite it not costing too much, it provides safety for your home, and it manages to hold its own when compared to the top gates. The Regalo is also the top gate if you need multiple gates for your doorways and walls. For example, you can buy two or more gates and not pay too much.
#5: EasyBaby Products Extra Wide Indoor Outdoor Retractable Baby Gate (Best Mesh Gate)
All of the baby gates in this article have been metal, which is great and all, but what if you want a retractable mesh gate? That’s when you get this one.
This gate does require hardware mounting, so it’s not the most portable baby gate, but you can put it anywhere in the house. It’s good for the stairs, hallways, and even the outdoors. What makes this baby gate so appealing is that it’s minimalistic. When you need it opened, it retracts and doesn’t make its presence obvious.
This baby gate also can be opened with just one hand, with its unlocking mechanism being easy for any adult to use. Despite its ease for adults, it will keep kids and pets at bay, with a 33-inch height to keep them out of places they aren’t supposed to be. Not only that, but this baby gate has a width up to 71 inches, making it ideal for many hallways.
Reviews of this baby gate have been quite positive. Most people say the gate door is sturdy and easy to install, and this baby gate can keep your little one out of the room. Critical reviews seem to center around the pet aspect of the baby gate, with some critical reviews showing their dogs crawling under it. Of course, this will depend on the size of your pet.
Overall, this is the top baby gate if you’re looking for one made from mesh. A baby gate made from mesh isn’t the top choice, but maybe it should be. There are no sharp edges to cut your kids or pets, but it manages to provide safety for your home, keeping your kid out of areas of your home they aren’t supposed to be. Its height and width are just as good as the top gates around.
How Do You Install a Baby Gate?
Installing a baby safety gate is not rocket science, but how you do it can depend on what type you buy. The obvious first step is to read the manual, as some steps can vary depending on what baby safety gate you have. However, there are some general steps you should follow.
Your average, pressure mounted gate is usually 26-38 inches in fitting range. Some are extra wide, and others are shorter. Make sure that the baby gate you’re looking for will fit. Use a tape measure and get the right measurement.
If you’re using a pressure mounted gate, some will extend by moving bolts.
Some will use sliding panels to extend the gate. If you have these, you need to pull the panels until they fit the entire space or doorway. There’s a reason why they’re called pressure mounted gates; once you have it in all the way, the pressure should keep the gates from moving.
Some gates will extend differently than what’s listed above. You may need to check and see how the particular gate you purchased operates.
If your gate has a pressure bar, push it down until it’s straight on the ground. It should be away from your child, as you don’t want the kid to use it as a platform to climb up. If there’s no locking mechanism, there may be wall cups or another way to keep it secure. Again, reading the manual is important.
Test Before Use
Finally, if you’re done installing, you’re not really done yet. You need to test it first. Don’t let your little one be the tester. Push and pull on the gate and apply some force. Obviously, kicking the gate with your adult foot with all your might isn’t a good way to test it. Instead, try to put yourself in the mind of a toddler. If it’s still easy for the gate to be knocked over, you may need to lift open the lock or adjust the panels.
Also, perform regular testing to make sure the baby gate remains stable. Every month or so, make sure that the gate is still standing tall. You don’t need to rattle the baby gate around, but make sure it’s providing top protection for the doorways or other areas of your home.
Contact Customer Service
Finally, we should mention that if you have any problems installing the gate, don’t waste time on it. At the end of the day, calling customer service can save you hours on a problem that can be fixed in minutes. The manufacturer should have multiple ways to contact them, including email, phone, chat, text, or other methods. Don’t be afraid to talk to them, even if you think your question is silly.
Verdict: Your Best Baby Gate
There we have it. Five baby gates (and everything you wanted to know about them) have been revealed. In case you were too busy trying to shoo your toddler out of the kitchen because you have no baby gates, here are the top five again.
First, the Safety 1st Baby Gate . This baby gate is the best value, having one of the best locks and installation of any gate. If you’re looking for a baby gate, this may be your first pick.
Second, the Munchkin Loft. This baby gate is for those who have a higher budget. It’s hardware mounted and one of the toughest gates around. If you want a gate that won’t fail, this is the best one to check out.
Third, the amazon_link asins=’B00AX0LG64′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’pppunchingbags-20′ text=’Carlson Pet Gate’]. This is a baby gate that has a little pet door in it. If you want to keep your kid out, but you don’t mind your cat coming in, this baby gate is excellent for that situation.
Fourth, the Regalo 2 in 1 . This baby gate is the best one that’s low-priced. Despite it fitting lower budgets, it’s not a cheap gate by any means. It provides protection and is hardware mounted, making it good for most situations.
Fifth, EasyBaby Mesh Gate. Finally, this one that’s great for the stairs, hallway, or any other area. This retractable gate provides a tough mesh barrier that will keep your kid out.
Finding the best baby gate can depend on your house and where you want to put it. As mentioned, always get hardware mounted gates when putting them near stairs. Also, these gates are meant for babies and toddlers. Older kids will just step over them or knock them down.
We hope that you find the best baby gate for your situation and that it lasts you all throughout the terrible twos. Good luck with your search.