The Best Baby Gates

Updated Apr 20, 2020
Written By
Jalesa Campbell | Safety and Security Reporter
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology

A full security system may be the peace of mind you and your loved ones need

5 Best Baby Gates of 2019

Compare Baby Gates

Evenflo Expansion Baby Gate

Check price

North States 3-in-1 Baby Gate

Check price

Dreambaby Auto Close Gate

Check price

Safety 1st Decor Pressure-Mounted Baby Gate

Check price

Summer Deluxe Wooden Baby Gate

Check price

Regalo Adjustable Baby Gate

Check price

North States Easy-Close Baby Gate

Check price

Evenflo Soft and Wide Baby Gate

Check price

Munchkin Auto Close Baby Gate

Check price

Cumbor Auto Close Safety Baby Gate

Check price

Summer Chatham Post Baby Gate

Check price

Munchkin Easy Close Metal Baby Gate

Check price

Regalo Easy Extra Wide Baby Gate

Check price

Safety 1st Metal Baby Gate

Check price

Summer Infant Wood & Metal Baby Gate

Check price
Installation
Hardware mountHardware mountPressure mountPressure mountHardware mountHardware mountPressure mountPressure mountPressure mountPressure or hardware mountHardware mountPressure mountPressure mountPressure mountPressure mount
Gate height
32 in.30 in.29.5 in.36 in.32 in.28 in.29 in.27 in.29.5 in.31 in. 32 in.29.5 in.30 in.28 in.32 in.
Gate width
24 in. -60 in.144 in.28 in. - 32 in.29 in. - 47 in.30 in. - 48 in.192 in.28 in. - 38.5 in.38 in. - 60 in.29.5 in - 40.5 in.29.5 in. - 40.6 in.40 in. - 48 in.29.5 in. - 35 in.29 in. - 34 in. or 35 in. - 38.5 in.29 in. - 38 in.36 in. - 60 in.
Lock type
One-hand latchDouble lockDouble lockOne-hand with safety indicatorOne-hand grip handleOne-touch release leverOne-hand triple lockNo lockDual-locking, optional base lockDouble lock with safety releaseSingle handDual locking handleOne-touch releaseMagnetic latchOne-hand lock
Auto close
NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoNoYesNo
Material
Plastic, woodMetalSteelMetalWoodSteelMetalMetal, clothWood, metalSteelWood, metalMetalSteelMetalWood, metal
Placement
Living rooms, widea reasIn between rooms, wide areasTop of stairs, wide openingsDoorways, hallways, staircasesDoorways, hallways, staircases Doorways, hallways, staircasesIn-between rooms, bottom of stairsWide openingsDoorways, staircasesDoorways, hallways, staircasesDoorways, staircasesIn-between rooms, staircasesDoorways, hallways, staircasesDoorways, hallways, staircasesDoorways

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Baby Gate

  • Height

    By standard, baby gates must be at least 22-inches tall. To reduce the risk of your baby climbing over the gate, you’ll want to buy one at least your child’s height. Once your child is about two years old or three feet tall, you’ll likely no longer need a baby gate. But, in the meantime, you’ll want to make sure the gate isn’t easy for your child to hop over and risk falling.

  • Gate Spacing

    Baby gate slots should be less than three inches apart to avoid your little one’s arms, legs, hands or head getting stuck in between. Be sure to read your manufacturer’s manual and check the slat distance before buying to reduce this risk. You’ll also want to consider a baby gate with a plastic telescopic rail to prevent accidental pinches.

  • Baby Gate Materials

    Most baby gates are made of plastic, wood or metal, but it doesn’t mean that’s all it’s made of –– some plastics include toxins and chemicals that aren’t safe for your little one. As a tip, if you’re looking into a baby gate made of plastic, make sure it’s PVC-free of polyvinyl chloride which can be dangerous for children. Also, beware of how your baby gate is installed. Loose screws or sharp ends can be dangerous.

  • Meets U.S. standards

    For peace of mind, the safest baby gates have a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification. This certification is the stamp of approval that your baby gate meets all of the requirements and testing of the American Society for Testing and Materials. If you’re unsure whether or not your baby gate’s manufacturer is approved, check the ‘Certified Product Directory’ by the baby gate’s manufacturer listing on the JPMA website.

What Are the Different Types of Baby Gates?

There are two types of baby gates that are approved by U.S. standards for safe use. Depending on where you’re deciding to place the baby gate, you’ll want to double-check how it will be mounted.
  • Pressure-mounted

    Pressure-mounted baby gates are easy to install and move without screws and brackets, fitting tightly in between walls and door-frames. Because of the way pressure-mounted baby gates are set up, they’re not recommended at the top of the stairs as they pose a higher risk of your baby falling if they’re moved out of place. Pressure-mounted baby gates can be installed at the bottom of the stairs, or between doorways. Pressure-mounted baby gates are typically used to separate two rooms, such as the family room and kitchen.

  • Hardware-mounted

    Hardware-mounted baby gates require installation and will include a mounting kit. These types of gates are best for permanent use, such as at the top of stairwells. They often need screws, brackets, and other tools to secure the gate to the wall. Parents recommend these as the safest baby gates due to the bolted installation and the fact that hardware-mounted baby gates have more flexible placement throughout the home. Hardware-mounted baby gates require installation, including a mounting kit. They often need screws, brackets, and other tools to secure the gate to the wall.

Top 15 Baby Gates

  • Best Walk Thru Baby Gate

    Evenflo Expansion Baby Gate

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Evenflo baby gate is designed for babies between 6 and 12 months old. It includes a gate door that swings in both directions to easily walk through. The baby gate is made with a latch that opens and secures the gate closed with one hand. It can be extended to a range of widths to fit almost anywhere in your home. This baby gate is not recommended for use at the top of the stairs.

    Stand-out features include

    • 32-inches tall and can be extended between 24 and 60-inches wide
    • Made with strong plastic and wood
    • Includes a plastic telescopic rail to prevent accidental pinches
    • Hardware-mounted baby gate
  • Best Baby Gate for Flexibility

    North States 3-in-1 Baby Gate

    Our rating

    Our take

    The North States 3-in-1 wooden baby gate can be used as a play yard, baby gate or fireplace barrier. It includes a childproof double-locking system to prevent your baby from easily opening. The baby gate is easy to install, even on angled walls. It includes rubber bases on each panel for a sturdy baby gate without slipping or scratching floors.

    Stand-out features include

    • 30-inches tall and can be extended up to 12-feet wide
    • Designed to easily use on carpet, tile, or hardwood flooring
    • Hardware-mounted baby gate
  • Best Baby Gate for Stairways

    Dreambaby Auto Close Gate

    Our rating

    Our Take

    The Dreambaby Chelsea is a safe baby gate for stairs. It includes an EZY Check Indicator that will automatically show a red light if the gate is not properly closed. The baby gate also includes a double locking feature that locks at the top and bottom of the gate to protect your baby. It also includes a Stay-Open feature to keep the gate open for easy pass through when cleaning or using two rooms. It’s easy to open using a one-hand latch button to slide the gate door open.

    Stand-out features include

    • 29-inches tall and can be extended up to 188-inches wide
    • Made with steel
    • Designed to be used at the top of the staircase safely
    • Pressure-mounted baby gate
  • Best Baby Gate for Style

    Safety 1st Decor Pressure-Mounted Baby Gate

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Safety 1st Decor Pressure-Mounted Baby Gate is JPMA certified, making it a trusted product for parents to use. One of the notable features of this baby gate is the modern design and neutral color, making it easier to blend in your home. An extra wide and tall design also allows for this gate to be installed in wider passageways of your home.

    Stand-out features include

    • Certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA)
    • Has a SecureTech pressure indicator for baby’s safety
    • Extra wide and tall design
  • Best Baby Gate with Wooden Design

    Summer Deluxe Wooden Baby Gate

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Summer Deluxe Wooden Baby Gate has a stylish design and oak finish. Made for your doorway, hallway, or stairway, this baby gate has a swing-stop mechanism so that the gate won’t open to swing over if used in your stairwell. The Summer Deluxe Wooden Baby Gate is made to be hard-mounted in your home.

    Stand-out features include

    • Swing-stop mechanism for stairwells
    • Versatile to be used in hallways and doorways
    • Can fit openings between 30 inches and 48 inches wide
  • Showing 5 of 15 items

The Best Baby Gate Features to Look For

  • Indicators

    The safest baby gates have built-in indicators to show you when the gate is not closed properly. Some baby gates sound an alert when the gate isn’t closed securely or shine a small red light on the baby gate door to alert you. You could also consider adding on a door alarm like the Toddlermonitor Door Alarm that can send an alert to your phone when sensing that the gate’s door has been opened.

  • Self-Closing

    Parents often find themselves wondering whether or not they left the baby gate open. Self-closing baby gates reduce this worry. After you walk through the gate door, the gate automatically closes securely behind you.

  • Extensions

    Additional baby gate extensions allow you to extend the width of your baby gate for other spaces in the home. You may look for a baby gate that’s a barrier at the bottom of the stairs, but with extensions, you’ll be able to use the baby gate to keep your child out of the kitchen or larger areas. Most extensions are sold separately.

  • Walk-Throughs

    Some baby gates are designed to simply step over, and though these are often cheaper, they’re also less safe for both you and your baby due to risk of falling as you climb over. Parents should look for a baby gate with a baby gate door to walk through safely. Walk-through doors often include easy, secure locking to avoid your baby pushing or pulling the door open.

  • Dual-Swing

    Parents love baby gates with dual-swinging doors. No matter which way you’re going in your home, the door can swing both ways to easily pass through. These also often include a double-locking feature to look the door securely. You’ll never have to worry about your baby pushing or pulling the door open.

  • Multi-Use

    Some baby gates are designed for multi-use. These are often 3-in-1 baby gates to keep your baby out of harm’s way in multiple ways. Some are fireplace barriers that are placed around the fireplace. They can also be transformed into a super yard for your baby to play in an enclosed space. Some are also stairway barriers. When looking for a multi-use baby gate, double check the places the baby gate can and cannot be installed for your baby’s safety and the best use.

Baby Gate Safety Tips

  • Never climb over the baby gate. Although it may seem easier to climb over the gate, you run the risk of falling or your foot getting stuck in one of the gate’s slats. And remember that your baby watches every move you make. Climbing over the gate may encourage them to try to do the same.
  • Always keep your baby gate closed securely. Your baby gate is designed to keep your little one out of harm’s way. Leaving the gate’s door propped open increases the risk of your baby reaching dangerous items and household items. According to a 2017 CDC report, “unintentional injuries are a leading” cause of death in children ages 1-4. To reduce the risk of leaving the door open, consider a baby gate that closes automatically after each use.
  • Assemble the baby gate correctly. Remember to refer to your manufacturer’s manual to properly install the baby gate. All baby gates are not made the same. If it includes a mount, remember to use the included tools and brackets for a safe set-up. Lastly, always know where you should and should install the baby gate for your baby’s safety.
  • Use two baby gates with stairways. If you have stairs, remember to put a baby gate at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Any baby gate at the top of the stairs should be hardware mounted for secure placement. Pressure mounted baby gates can be installed at the bottom of the staircase.

Installing a baby gate is the first step to baby proofing your home so it’s safe for your little one. Remember to always keep your home’s design in mind before buying a baby gate. You’ll want to install the right one in the right place to keep your baby safe. Start by browsing our top picks, then check out a full list of Amazon’s best selling baby gates to see which ones parents recommend most.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Gates






Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.

Like what you've read?

Share it with your friends