If you are in a rush and quickly need to know what is the best baby safety gate for stairs and doorways, we can recommend the Regalo Easy Step Extra Wide Baby Gate.
Our children are the single most precious gifts we will ever have in life, so we do anything to protect them from harm. Right? As accidents are waiting for a place to happen, you will want to make sure to baby proof your house as meticulously as possible. And you will want to start doing so preferably before they start crawling.
Investing in a safety gate for stairs and doorways is one of the best things you can do to protect your little one once they start moving.
Here is our top pick list for the best safety gate this year:
Benefits of Safety Gate for Stairs and Doorways
Children are adventurous and curious by nature. They are keen to learn and explore everything as fast as possible. If we aren’t careful as parents, this explorative nature may come at a cost, as your child is still unaware of any possible hazards.
Stairs Are Obvious
Barriers like baby gates are a great way of keeping your child away from possible dangers, like stairways or other objects that could potentially harm them. You may want to consider not only getting a gate for the top of your stairway, but also one to prevent them from climbing up.
In certain situations, you may want to make sure your child can’t move away from a location you have immediate supervision over.
Fool-Proof Thinking to the Next Level
Then think of the kitchen and its hazards alone. Not only do we cook and use fire, it’s also often the place we store harmful chemicals like cleaning solutions. You’ll want to make sure your child doesn’t have access by using a baby gate as a barrier.
What About Furry Family?
You may have a pet that is still getting used to having young children around and a child will most often just like to go and touch it. Depending on the nature of your pet, you might need to make sure your baby can’t reach your pet, unless under direct supervision. This way, you can ensure both your child and your pet have the proper attention and attitude when dealing with each other.
Think Outside the Box
Balconies are also a place you will want to secure from being accessible to your child, as well as garages where tools and other harmful items are often stored. Do you have a pool? Again, a baby safety gate will give you the safest option as a barrier.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Safety Gate for Stairs and Doorways
As the goal is to protect your child, safety and sturdiness will be one of the main concerns when choosing a baby gate. At least make sure to look out for the following features:
Design of the Safety Gate: Bars
One of the first things you will want to determine is if the design itself will prevent your child from ‘breaking free’. The best baby safety gate should have vertical bars, as horizontal bars would only provide your kid with the steps needed to climb over.
The space between the bars should not exceed 3 inches, which is the same maximum distance recommended for cribs. This way, no heads can get stuck or hurt between the bars.
Ease of Opening and Closing
The ideal safety gate should be impossible for children to open. The mechanism used must be complicated enough for a child not to figure out, yet easy enough for you to open and close. One system that makes it impossible to forget to lock the gate after closing it is an automatic lock mechanism.
To open the gate, the best safety gate for stairs and doorways features a system using latches, resembling a button that needs to be pushed down.
Having an extremely complicated lock, however, will not be convenient for everyday use. You may try to step over it at some stage to avoid the hassle. This way the tool meant to prevent injury to your child may become the cause of yours.
In addition to this, you need to consider the amount of space available to fully open the gate, as well as any possible obstructions preventing it from closing and automatically locking again.
Sturdiness is a key feature when it comes to safety. Not only will you want to make sure it’s strong enough, don’t forget to check for the finishing.
Metals have longer durability than wood when it comes to irregular pressure. If you prefer wood over metal, make sure it is smooth, free of splinters, and has rounded edges. Consider pets when selecting the material, as wood can be easily damaged by dogs. There are also material options out there which are softer for clumsy toddlers.
It’s obvious that the best safety gate for stairs should be high enough to prevent your little one from climbing over. In general, a safety gate should be at least three-quarters of your child’s height. On average, choose a gate with a minimum height of 22 inches—higher options are available for taller kids or for extra safety.
The location at which you will use your safety gate is an important thing to consider. Most systems are screwed into the wall (hardware mount) and open like a regular door.
Another option is a pressure mount installation, which uses pressure between two opposing walls to hold the gate in place.
For more information about how to install a safety gate for stairs and doorways, here we found a video to teach you how:
Precautions and Safety Tips When Using the Safety Gate for Stairs
Here are some general guidelines to follow when using a safety gate for stairs and doorways:
- Safety gates for stairs and doorways are only safe until about 24 months of age. As soon as your child starts to understand the concept of climbing or figures out how to open it, it’s no longer safe.
- Children learn by imitation and learn super quick. Prevent your child from understanding the mechanism as well as possible. Try blocking their view, even if only with a part of your hand.
- A safety gate can in no way guarantee that your child won’t be able to harm themselves. Do not assume the gate can substitute adequate adult supervision. It merely provides extra security, but never leave your child unattended. Use a baby monitor when you need to go to another room without direct supervision.
- Follow the installation steps closely to ensure proper and safe installation.
- Do not use pressure-mounted gates on the top of stairways. Enough pressure may cause them to open. The possibility of your child tripping and falling against it should not be overlooked. Use hardware-mounted gates instead.
- Always make sure the gate is locked behind you.
- Inform guests about the correct way to use your safety gates.
- Consider your own safety. A large number of accidents related to baby gates involve adults trying to bypass the opening mechanism by stepping over the gate. Also a threshold bar on the bottom can cause people to trip.
Best Safety Gate for Stairs and Doorways Reviews
1. Regalo Easy Step Extra Wide Baby Gate – Best Overall Baby Safety Gate
This safety gate is suitable for openings between 29–34 and 35–38.5 inches, as it comes with an extension kit for extra-wide openings. It is 30 inches high, which is more than enough for babies and toddlers. A slight inconvenience may be that the gate doesn’t fit openings between 34–35 inches, as another extension is then needed.
It features a pressure mount design, which is easy to set up and seems to withhold larger amounts of pressure, for instance, from dogs resting or jumping against it.
Though it keeps children and dogs from passing, it may cause injury to the adults using it, due to the threshold bar at the bottom.
There is no spring to make the gate swing back and lock in place automatically. This can be useful when choosing to leave it open, for example, when having to pass it several times. However, it may cause you to forget to close and lock it in place when needed.
- Easy to open for parents, not easy for kids.
- Resists fair amounts of pressure.
- Expandable width.
- Easy to install.
- No spring or self-lock system.
- Threshold bar.
2. North States 47.85″ Tall Easy Swing and Lock Baby Gate – Best Safety Gate for Stairs
This gate is a hardware mount, which means it needs to be screwed into place. This makes it ideal to use on stairways. It has a convenient swing door that swings back into place and self-locks; however, with gentler swings, it doesn’t always lock itself back.
Opening it is easy and possible using one hand only, due to the one-hand operation latch, but that comes with a side note. The latch system seems to only work well when perfectly aligned.
It features an extra piece for the latch hardware for the door to be able to swing only one way, which can be a nice feature for stairs specifically. Only perfect alignment when installing gives it the easy swing it promises.
The gate fits openings between 28.68 and 47.85 inches and stands 36 inches tall. I’m happy this gate doesn’t have the threshold bar on the bottom, allowing for safe passing.
- Swing and self-lock.
- One-hand operation.
- Option of swinging both ways or one way only.
- No threshold bar.
- Extra tall.
- Complicated installation.
- Needs perfect alignment.
3. North States 47.85″ Easy Swing & Lock Baby Gate, 31″ Tall – Most Durable Baby Safety Gate
This safety gate fits openings from 28.68 up to 47.85 inches and is 31 inches high. Like its taller brother above, it’s a hardware mount, but it takes some serious concentration and patience to mount it perfectly, even when using the template provided.
Once properly in place, it looks and feels really solid and can withstand quite some force from pulling children or enthusiastic dogs. The latch seems to be of high-quality plastic and is easy to open using just one hand. It has a stopper on the bottom that needs to be pushed simultaneously, but that can actually fail to stop the latch from opening.
It swings back in place and usually locks, though after gentle swings it may need an extra push. The door can swing both ways, but it’s possible to make it swing one-way only.
Luckily, it doesn’t have an inconvenient threshold bar.
- Switch between two-way or one-way swing.
- Easy to open for adults.
- No threshold bar.
- Good for wide areas.
- Swing and lock function.
- Complex installation.
- Lock not always reliable.
4. Cumbor 37.8.” Auto Close Safety Baby Gate – Best Baby Safety Gate for Pets
Measuring 29.5 to 37.8 inches and 30.5 inches high, this gate fits most doorways. It features a large thru gate measuring 23.6 inches, allowing for easy passing.
It has an auto-close system that you can choose to leave open. Either open the door less than 90 degrees to make it lock and more than 90 degrees to leave it open. It features a double-lock system that is easy to open using only one hand, but difficult enough for kids to figure out.
It’s a pressure mount system, but it seems very sturdy between wider openings. It doesn’t budge with heavy pulling or large dogs jumping. It comes with a silicone protection pad to prevent damage to walls.
The gate has a cat door that can be locked or left open, depending on your needs. You can even choose the cat door to swing both ways or one way only. Make sure smaller children don’t fit through as well, though.
- Easy installation.
- Auto-close system.
- Option to leave open or closed by opening technique.
- Cat door that can also swing one or two ways.
- Pressure mount.
- Smaller children may fit through cat door.
5. Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate – Best Fabric Baby Safety Gate
This safety gate looks completely different from the average gates, as it is made of fabric and mesh on a metal frame. It is expandable from 38–60 inches and features rubber bumpers to prevent damage to walls where it secures into place. Expanding is simply done by twisting the rod to the desired width.
It lacks legs on the sides of the metal frame, which makes all the pressure to be divided solely between the top and bottom bars. As it doesn’t feature vertical bars other than the sides, children may easily be tempted to climb on the bottom bar, which will increase the pressure.
Though the rubber is intended to keep it in place, it does make twisting far enough to get it tight harder for weaker hands and may leave marks on the wall. It’s best to install this safety gate in low traffic areas, as it needs to be moved or stepped over to get past.
Enthusiastic or agitated dogs may be able to damage the fabric and mesh rather easily, so this model may best be suitable for families without pets. It’s good for clumsy toddlers who bang their heads a lot, as it’s softer than metal options.
- Looks less like a gate.
- Easy to install.
- Less durable.
- Gate needs to be removed completely when opening.
6. Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate – Best Looking Baby Safety Gate
The Summer Infant Multi-Use fits a wide range of openings, measuring 28.5 to 48 inches and standing 36 inches tall. It has a door stopper to use at the top of the stairway, to ensure the door doesn’t open towards the stairs.
The safety gate is a pressure mount, but solid and sturdy. It looks more like a gate you would find in a garden than your average baby gate. It is made of durable steel.
The gate features three different mechanisms combined when it comes to locking. First, you slide the latch, then pull up the entire door for step two. The third part is a spring that makes sure the door closes again behind you.
It does so with a force that makes it slam shut behind you, so it’s unlikely it will not close. When opened completely, it can stay open if desired.
The installation needs to be precise, and taking the time for a test fit is recommended to ensure solid, sturdy, and safe installation. Using the extensions reduces the overall sturdiness somewhat.
- Sturdy material.
- Two-step lock mechanism.
- Swings back and auto-locks.
- Stylish design.
- Loud slam when closing.
- Complex installation.
7. Regalo 56-Inch Extra WideSpan Walk Through Baby Gate – Best Baby Safety Gate for Wide Spaces
This gate expands to fit openings between 29–56 inches using a 4, 8 or 12-inch extension kit. It makes the Regalo Extra Widespan suitable for hallways, doorways, and at the bottom of the stairs. It is 30 inches high.
The installation needs some precision, making adjusting with baseboards a bit complicated at times. In general, it can be said that the wider the opening, the less sturdy the feel of the gate is. A big plus is that you can choose for it to be a hardware mount or pressure mount; it has both options.
It’s easy to open with just one hand, though your guests may need an explanation. It has two options of opening and closing, one being just a one-step lift, the other to lock and lever. It also requires you to check for the click of the lock yourself, as it does not always automatically lock.
The door is relatively narrow at 16 inches and only swings in one direction. It also features the less convenient threshold bar.
- Hardware and pressure mount compatible.
- One-hand opening.
- Two options to open and close.
- Relatively narrow 16-inch door.
- Threshold bar.
8. North States 72″ Wide Deluxe Décor Baby Gate – Most Versatile Baby Safety Gate
This North States model can be used in extremely wide openings and is expandable by up to 159 inches (when purchasing extra panels). This model allows for mounting between walls at an angle, using pivot points. It is a hardware mount suitable for hallways, doorways, and large open kitchens.
The gate looks nice and sturdy, and I like the option of leaving the door open or for it to self-close. The installation process takes some time, and baseboards can prove to be tricky, though, with some perseverance, it becomes the solid base you need. You can even remove the whole gate by disconnecting it from the wall mounts.
The button to open is nice and solid, though the process itself is quite easy. It depends on your child how quickly they are able to figure it out. With a slight nudge, the door will close and lock on itself.
The design asks for a threshold bar for the whole gate to be connected. Though it rests immediately on the floor, tripping over is still an option.
- XXL wide.
- Wide door.
- Self-close and auto-lock.
- Hardware mount at angles using pivot points.
- Removable and replaceable.
- Quite easy lock mechanism.
- Threshold bar.
9. Evenflo Easy Walk-Thru Gate – Best Standard Baby Safety Gate
This design is aimed specifically for the top of stairs, but can also fit the bottom or doorways. It features a combination of pressure mount and hardware mount, the latter which ensures a solid and safe installation. It has a standard width of 29 to 39 inches and is 32 inches high.
The door can open very wide for easy passing and you can slam or kick it shut behind you, locking it safely. Being specifically meant to go at the top of the stairs, it fortunately lacks the threshold bar on the bottom, which allows for extra safety. The door is also set to open towards you when facing the stairs.
The lock really takes only one hand to open. It also has a built-in lock indicator in green and red, allowing you to see if the door is open or securely locked. This is a good feature if there’s not a lot of force behind closing the door, which may make it fail to lock.
- Hardware mount and pressure mount compatible.
- No threshold bar.
- Built-in safety lock indicator.
- No spring to close behind you, closing needs your own force.
In my opinion, the Regalo Easy Step Extra Wide Baby Gate
is the best safety gate for stairs and doorways. It resists a huge amount of pressure, has a lock that’s easy to open for parents, but not for children, and we like the feature of the possibility of it being left open with high traffic. The basic necessities are all met at this door.
Based on your personal needs and the space you intend to use it in, you may need different features. You pick what suits your needs!