The 7 Best Baby Gates to Buy in 2018

Keep your kids safe at home

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When it comes to the safety of your child, there’s no doubt you pull out all the stops. If your home has stairs—or even if it doesn’t—a baby gate is one of the most important baby proofing items you’ll purchase, because sometimes you need to be sure your baby is in a safe, confined space from time to time. Even if you do have a baby gate up in your home, it's important to know where your baby is at all times, and to keep an extra eye on them once they have the ability to scoot, crawl, and walk around on their own.

Where you’ll be putting your gate will often determine the type of gate you get, and it’s likely you’ll need more than one option for your house, depending on its size. For example, pressure-mounted gates aren’t recommended for stair tops where they might come undone, and you might need something that’s easy to put up and remove at a moment's notice for spots like your kitchen, living room, backyard, or for travel. The following are a few great baby gate options available on the market today, depending on what your particular needs are.

Our Top Picks

Best Top of Stairs Gate: Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate 27”-41.5”

cardinal-baby-gate
Courtesy of Amazon

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 handyman.

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

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 set up. 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.

Best Retractable: Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Gate and Play Yard

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 playyard, which just happens to be an Amazon’s Choice product.

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 they're eight 24" panels which can be pieced together to create the barrier you need for your space.

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

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 stands 36 inches tall and fits openings between 28 and 48 inches. 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 everything you'd want in something that will protect your child.

Best Budget: Evenflo Position and Lock Wood Gate

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 take down. 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.

Best Wide: Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate

If you have large doorways you'll need a baby gate that can extend further than the average. This model goes up to 60" wide so 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.

Best Playard: North States Superyard Colorplay 8 Panel Playard

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. This top model contains 34.4 square feet of space so plenty of room for your little one to play around with and 26" tall. 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.

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