The 7 Best Baby Gates of 2021

Keep your kids safe at home

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Our Top Picks

Best Top of Stairs Gate: Cardinal Gates Stairway Baby Gate at Amazon

"It mounts at angles up to 30 degrees, which allows for the location of a stud when mounting on drywall."

Best Pressure-Mounted Gate: Regalo Easy Step Gate at Amazon

"Pressure-mounted gates are not recommended for the stairs but this would work great in between rooms to keep baby in or out."

Best Retractable: Regalo Super Wide Adjustable Gate at Amazon

"It can be configured to either extend straight as a gate or circular as a play yard."

Best Decorative Gate: Summer Infant Deco Walk-Thru Gate at Amazon

"The gate uses a dual locking, auto-close walk-through door, making it easy to close behind you."

Best Budget: Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate at Amazon

"While you wouldn’t use it for the top of the stairs, it’s a nice quick fix...something that’s easy to put up and take down."

Best Wide: Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate at Amazon

"It folds up compactly, making it a smart option for travel or something to leave at the grandparent's house."

Best Playard: North States Superyard Playard at Amazon

"While this isn't a permanent solution to corralling your kids, it gets the job done in a pinch."

Baby gates are essential when it comes to keeping your child safe. Whether you need to block stairs or a room, they ensure your little one will not be able to go into an unsafe area. In addition to safety, they can also double as gates for pets.

No matter how you decide to use a baby gate, finding the right one doesn't have to be hard. There are several products on the market that are sure to fit your needs.

Here's a list of the best baby gates to help get you started.

Best Top of Stairs Gate: Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate

cardinal-baby-gate
Courtesy of Amazon
Pros
  • Mounting options

  • Very sturdy

  • One-hand latch system

Cons
  • May require professional for installation

The top of your stairs is an area where you’ll need maximum protection. The baby gate that goes here needs to be sturdy enough that an exuberant push won’t cause it to fall, which could, in turn, send your kid tumbling down the stairs.

The Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate is specially designed for the top of the stairway, as it mounts at angles up to 30 degrees, which allows for the location of a stud when mounting on drywall. The aluminum construction is lightweight and easy to clean, and the one-hand latch system is difficult for kids to use, but makes for easy adult operation. The optional stop bracket with this system prevents opening over a stairway for even greater safety.

For staircases that are larger than average, you can buy attachments that will make up the distance. Reviewers said this got the job done of keeping their kids away from the stairs without any escapes. A few comments on having a hard time installing were noted, so if you aren't into DIY you might want to hire a professional.

Dimensions: 27 x 2 x 29.5 inches | Material Type: Aluminum | Product Weight: 3 pounds | Use: Stairways

Best Pressure-Mounted Gate: Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate

Pros
  • Tool-free installation

  • Wide expansion option

Cons
  • Not recommended for the stairs

Pressure-mounted gates are wonderful because they don't require tools or holes in the wall. The Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru gate sits up in minutes so you can keep your baby contained in an instant.

Users love the extra-wide expansion option (it expands to stairways and openings between 29 and 39 inches wide and stands 30 inches tall), and its ease of setup. With an included 6-inch wide extension kit, this gate can be used in doorways, hallways, or at the bottom of the stairs, and it’s easy to move around. The extra safety lock feature is nice for added security, as well.

Pressure-mounted gates are not recommended for the stairs but this would work great in between rooms to keep baby in or out.

Dimensions: 38.5 x 2 x 30 inches | Material Type: Metal | Product Weight: .352 ounces | Use: Multipurpose

Best Retractable: Regalo Super Wide Adjustable Gate and Play Yard

Pros
  • Superwide build

  • Different configuration options

Cons
  • Not safe to use as freestanding gate

There are certain scenarios where a regular-sized—or even extra wide—baby safety gate option just won’t do, for example, if you have an open floor plan or want to contain your baby outside. If you’re looking for a baby gate that can cover an expansive area, you’re probably looking for something like the Regalo 193-inch super wide adjustable gate and play yard.

The superwide build fits openings of up to 192 inches wide, and it can be configured to either extend straight as a gate or circular as a play yard. The gate is wall mounted and folds flat for easy storage. There is even an additional hardware mount available for added safety. In total, there are eight 24-inch panels that can be pieced together to create the barrier you need for your space.

Dimensions: 192.13 x 0.39 x 27.95 inches | Material Type: Steel | Product Weight: 30.8 pounds | Use: Multipurpose

Best Decorative Gate: Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate

Pros
  • Stylish option

  • Opening automatically swings shut

Cons
  • More expensive option

The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate may be pretty to look at, but it’s not without its safety merits, as well. This gate uses a pressure-mounted system, so it’s best for blocking off rooms, but there are optional hardware mounts available for purchase that could make it useful at the top of the stairs, as well. The gate uses a dual locking, auto-close walk-through door, making it easy to close behind you.

If bronze doesn't fit into your decor scheme this also comes in an off-white color option. Reviewers say it is sturdy and easy to install. Basically, this gate is everything you'd want in something that will protect your child.

Dimensions: 48 x 0.5 x 36 inches | Material Type: Metal | Product Weight: 21 pounds | Use: Stairways and doorways

Best Budget: Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate

Evenflo Pressure Mount Gate

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Easy to take down

  • Rubber bumpers to protect walls

  • No tools required

  • Not suitable for stairs

Just because this product has a stellar price point doesn’t mean it isn’t high on safety standards. The Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate ​are as simple as baby gates come, and while you wouldn’t use it for the top of the stairs, it’s a nice quick fix in a pinch when you need something that’s easy to put up and takedown.

The non-marring rubber bumpers prevent damage to your house when mounted, and the locking bar is notched for easy installation and requires no tools to put up.

Dimensions: 2.5 x 25.5 x 23.5 inches | Material Type: Wood | Product Weight: 3 pounds | Use: Multipurpose

Best Wide: Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate

Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Travel-friendly

  • Pressure mounting

Cons
  • Mesh can easily rip or become damaged

If you have large doorways you'll need a baby gate that can extend further than the average. This model goes up to 60 inches in width so it can fit large open spaces. What's neat about this is that it folds up compactly, making it a smart option for travel or something to leave at the grandparent's house that won't take up much real estate when not in use.

Since this is a pressure-mounted gate it is not suited for the tops of stairs but can be used in many other places in the home. It's machine washable which is a major bonus. Reviewers comment that set-up is a breeze, it isn't an eyesore, and it keeps their kids (or pets) contained.

Dimensions: 60 x 2 x 27 inches | Material Type: Metal and cloth | Product Weight: 6 pounds | Use: Multipurpose

Best Playard: North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard

Pros
  • Durable material

  • Won't damage wood floors

Cons
  • Not ideal for walking toddlers who can "break out"

A playard is a very useful gate to have for your baby. While it won't keep them off of the stairs, it can be used in your living room so your baby can hang out safely while you tend to some chores or in the backyard as a safe haven. It has a soft coating on the bottom so it won't scratch hardwood floors and is also made of a durable material that can withstand the elements outside.

Reviewers commented that this provided a safe space for their baby but few noted it might not be that sturdy and their children eventually learned how to break out. So while this isn't a permanent solution to corralling your kids, it gets the job done in a pinch.

Dimensions: 262.5 x 2 x 26 inches | Material Type: Plastic | Product Weight: 25.6 pounds | Use: Freestanding

Final Verdict

For parents and caregivers looking for a safe, top-of-the-stairs baby gate, the Cardinal Gates Stairway Baby Gate (view on Amazon) is a great option thanks to its durability and ability to withstand active babies and toddlers.

But if you are looking for a gate that can double as a play yard, try out the North States Superyard Playard (view on Amazon). Aside from its bright and fun colors, your little one can safely play with plenty of space to explore.

What to Look for When Buying a Baby Gate

Size

When it comes to buying a baby gate, you should measure the space where you are going to use the baby gate. Whether it is the opening at the top of the staircase or the doorway leading into the kitchen, you'll want to make sure that the gate wide and tall enough to safely fit into the space.

Material

Baby gates are available in various materials, depending on where you will be using them and their purpose. For your older toddlers who can easily topple over a gate that is made of flimsy plastic, you'll want to consider a more weighted option that will stay in place. On the other hand, an easy to clean and lightweight plastic option might be better for outdoor use or travel.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching for parenting content. Katrina is a parent herself and has a passion for helping parents and caregivers through writing.

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