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Baby Gate Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on September 12, 2017

Editor's note:
Summer Infant, Evenflo, and KidCo still make the best baby gates out there, but we've updated our report with a versatile, attractive gate from North States for anyone who has a wide opening to block. We've also added Evenflo's new gate for the top of the stairs, the Secure Step, to our list of picks.

Summer Infant Multi-Use Baby Gate Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Width: 28" to 48" Height: 36" Mount: Pressure or hardware

Best baby gate

Parents say there's a lot to like about the Summer Infant Multi-Use Decorative Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate. With its arched door and bronze finish, it's more attractive than the average baby gate and, because it's tall, it's extra secure for taller kids – yet requires no stooping for parents to use. The gate can be pressure-mounted for easier installation or hardware-mounted for a little extra security. Best of all, it's sturdy enough to withstand shaking and climbing, reviewers say.

Buy for $56.40
Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Width: 38" to 60" Height: 27" Mount: Pressure

Best wide baby gate

The Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate is the ultimate in ease for wider doorways and openings up to 60 inches, reviewers say. That's because this pressure-mounted barrier has no latches for users to fuss with or bars for little hands to poke through – it's a sturdy, breathable piece of mesh fabric. Parents say the gate is a snap to install and portable enough for traveling. It's also low enough for adults to step over but tall enough to corral babies and toddlers.

Buy for $41.99
KidCo Safeway Top of Stair Baby Safety Gate
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Width: 24" to 43" Height: 30.5" Mount: Hardware

Best baby gate for stairs

The KidCo Safeway Top of Stair Baby Safety Gate ticks all the boxes for a safe stairway gate: It has sturdy mounting hardware; a large, clear opening to walk through; and a door that swings only away from the stairs. Beyond all that, parents report that the gate is exceptionally strong and very tough for children to climb since it lacks footholds for small feet. An angle-mount version of the gate also provides a solution for parents who have oddly shaped stairways.

Buy for $42.95

Types of Baby Gates

Baby Gates

Most baby gates provide a stable barrier without requiring parents to drill holes in walls or doorways. This is undeniably convenient, especially for renters who want to minimize damage to someone else's property. These pressure-mounted gates are easy to install and are typically strong enough for use in most low-risk situations. However, they're not recommended for use at the top of stairs because they are not as stable as hardware-mounted gates. Also, even though you don't have to drill holes, even pressure-mounted gates can pull paint off walls when removed or tightened, and they may damage drywall.

Wide Baby Gates

Today's open floor plans demand more versatile baby gates that can span wider areas. While regular baby gates may come with one or two extensions to help them fit wider doors, they still may not be long enough to fit the widest doorways, or versatile enough to provide a barrier between a curious child and a long brick hearth or elaborate media center. Wide baby gates can help bridge the gap in these harder-to-block areas.

Baby Gates for Stairs

The major difference between normal baby gates and baby gates for stairs is that the latter are hardware-mounted instead of pressure-mounted. Hardware-mounted gates are attached directly into a wall or banister using bolts, screws or other hardware. That lessens the risk that children will push over the gate and tumble down the stairs. Baby gates for stairs may also open in only one direction and feature wider openings without any bars to step over, minimizing the risk that parents or children will trip. While these gates do require permanent mounts, many of the gates can be removed from the wall mounts when not in use.

Finding The Best Baby Gates
Our Sources
"The Best Safety Gate 2017"
"The Best Baby Gates"
"Baby Gates"

There are scattered expert reviews and roundups of baby gates that helped narrow a relatively wide field. Those included recommendations from BabyBargains.com, LuciesList.com, BabyCenter.com, BabyList.com and YourBestDigs.com. And many of these expert sources agree on the best gates -- making it easy to come to an initial consensus.

If anything, owner feedback is even more useful in this category, as parents can better attest to how baby gates hold up to long-term use and abuse. The largest and most detailed collection of baby gate reviews is at Amazon.com, but retailers including BabiesRUs.com, Target.com and Walmart.com also have a wide-ranging collection of opinions.

Recently Updated
Baby Gates buying guide

What every best Baby Gates has:

  • A secure, stable mount.
  • Easy-to-use latches.
  • Doors that open the right direction.

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