Babies and toddlers are experts at getting into places and things they should be in. Once your baby is mobile you need to corden off all those places in your home that didn’t seem dangerous until you had a baby.
The stairs are a number one concern for parents. Whether they lead down to the basement or up to the second floor, a tumble from the top can have serious consequences. The best way to prevent these accidents is to install a baby gate.
Choosing the right gate is not child’s play, but we’ve made the process easier by collecting five of the best baby gates for stairs and also creating a buyer’s guide. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your family and home.
Is your baby already on the move? Here’s our top pick to keep them safe.
KEEPING TODDLERS SAFE SINCE 1953: Worry-Free Safety! The Easy Swing & Lock Baby Gate is built from long lasting, kid-tough, heavy-duty metal with vertical bars that are difficult to climb, keeping your child safe and secure
SAFE & SECURE: Keep your loved ones safe with this hardware mounted gate that's perfect for large openings and stairways. There is no threshold so there is no risk of tripping and the gate will not swing over stairs. Bars are 2 3/4" apart
STYLISH AND DEPENDABLE: The matte bronze finish and durable steel construction make this gate durable and easy to use. The simple and elegant design will complement any home décor
LOADED WITH CONVENIENT FEATURES: Equipped with one-hand operation. Swings closed & locks with a gentle push. Door only swings in one direction to avoid dangers of swinging over stairs. When not in use, gate can be completely removed and stored
ADJUSTABLE FOR A VARIETY OF SPACES: This gate is 31 inches tall and designed to fit room openings 28.68 inches to 47.85 inches wide. This gate is JPMA certified. Safe for babies ages 6-24 months
Security, style and ease of use, this gate has it all. Extendable to fit openings between 28.68” and 47.85”, this gate will fit most stairwells and doors so you can rely on it throughout your home.
The cate is supplied with all the hardwear necessary for mounting including four mounting planchers and all the screws. It is also supplied with a mouting guide which you can tape to the wall and drill through to save you fussing around with levels and markers.
The gate has no threshold bar to prevent trips when going up and down the stairs and it has a one way opening system to stop it opening over the stairs. These features provide added safety for you and your child and are a really nice touch.
The opening mechanism is a one handed latch. You press the latch and lift the gate to unlock it. Crucially, the gate has a swing close feature which means it will automatically lock when let go so it will be safe and secure without you having to remember to lock it.
Extendable to fit most openings.
Hardware mounted for extra securit.
No threshold bar.
One handed opening.
Durable metal construction.
Stylish matt bronze paint job.
Some users find the installation directions confusing.
Mounting planchets are made of plastic so may not be as durable as the gate.
Made of wood with an antique oak finish, this baby gate is extra stylish and safe enough to use at the top of the stairs thanks to its hardwear mounted design.
The gate will fit openings between 30” and 48” wide which should cover most stairwells. It has a small foot attached at the bottom below the handle so that it stays open if you need it too and doesn’t put too much pressure on the wall mounts by simply hanging in place.
Installation is made easier with a guide that canbe tacked to the wall to drill holes. It also supplies a longer bracket if you have baseboard on one side. You will need to have flat surfaces both sides to install the gate. If you have rounded banisters you may need to buy an additional bannister fitting.
To open the gate, there is a comfortable squeeze handle which must be pushed while lifting the gate. It is super simple to open one handed. Also, there is no threshold bar on this gate so no accidental toe stubbing or trips.
Extendable to fit most staircases.
Extra secure thanks to wall mounts.
Comfortable, one-handed opening.
Additional long bracket for walls with a baseboard.
Beautiful antique oak finish.
One way opening.
Instructions seem to be slightly confusing.
Will need to buy an extra mounting kit for rounded bannisters.
This is a pressure mounted baby gate so should only be used at the bottom of the stairs. It is a great choice for the bottom of the stairs due to it’s extra height. This might just give you an extra few months of use before your toddler learns to climb over it.
Fitting opening between 37.8” and 43.3” you should be able to fit this to most stairs and doorways. The actual opening is 23.6” wide which will give you plenty of room to pass through without snagging yourself on the edges.
Because it is pressure mounted, you can install it in minutes by twisting the screws out to your desired length. If you have a rounded or beveled bannistar make sure you have a flat enough area for the screws to push against.
The gate opens both ways though if it’s at the bottom of the stairs that may not be very useful. It does mean that you have lots of options throughout the house however. When open, the gate will swing shut and auto lock. If you open it over 90° then the gate will stay open. Useful if you’re moving things up and down the stairs and don’t want to stop each time to open the gate.
This is another hardwear mounted gate which can be placed at the top or bottom of your stairs. It is extra tall which will give you greater peace of mind, and extra wide making it perfect for large or awkward stair cases.
The installation is very simple using the installation guide template and you can fine tune the way the gate hangs by loosening or tightening a nut.
The opening is simple enough for adults to open one handed but complex enough to stop your child unlocking the latch.
There is no threshold bar to worry about with this model and the gate has a locking mechanism that prevents it from opening over the stairs. It can work as a dual way gate if you would prefer elsewhere around the house.
A really nifty feature of this gate is that you can easily remove it from the wall mounts when it is not needed. This will be very useful if you have to move furniture or bulky items around your home.
Extra tall and extra wide.
No threshold bar.
Latch to prevent two way opening if required.
Supplied screws are not very sturdy.
Opening mechanism is quite stiff and some may struggle with it.
Another extendable gate, this one fits openings 29” to 43” wide which covers an awful lot of openings. Made from metal with plastic mounting hardwear. The Regalo 2-in-1 will keep your child safe and secure.
What sets this gate apart is that it comes with a variety of mounting hardware so that you can fit the gate no matter whether you are putting it between two walls, wall and bannister or two bannisters.
The full content of the package includes the gate, two mounting poles with buillt in levels, 16 bannister corner protectors, 4 square bannister adaptors, 1 round bannister adaptor, 6 plastic wall spacers and the screws needed to install.
The bannister adaptors are really handy if you don’t want to drill into your bannister although if you have two rounded bannistars you will need to purchase another adaptor or make a work around as only one is supplied.
The gate has no threshold bar to trip over and a supposedly one handed locking mechanism although some users find the locking mechanism a bit fiddly for one handed use.
Extendable to fit many openings.
Includes a variety of mounting hard wear to help you attach the gate.
No threshold bar.
Two way opening if needed.
Easily rotates on it’s hinges.
Latch is difficult to open with one hand.
Does not auto lock.
Only supplied with one round bannistar adaptor which feels a bit daft.
Safety is your number one concern when looking for a stair gate. You need to find one that is secure enough to stop little one’s exploring places they shouldn’t be but easy enough to open so you don’t take a tumble while wrestling with the gate.
To help you find the safest gate, we have put together a buyer’s guide that will take you through the materials, mountings and opening options available. Armed with this information, you can make the right choice that will keep you and your family safe.
Thinking about the look and material of your baby gate might not seem like a priority but you should consider the material before purchasing. Not just to check it matches your decor but to make sure that it will do it’s job and keep your baby safe!
Most gates are made from metal and painted white or gray. Nowadays, you can find them in a range of different colors to suit your home too. The metal construction makes them durable which is really important. Babies like to hang on, pull, push and clamber on baby gates so they need to be sturdy.
Metal baby gates are much cheaper to produce and so tend to be in most people’s price range. This is good news after all, babies don’t come cheap.
Some gates are made from wood and look very stylish. They tend to be more expensive because of the higher production costs associated with them. They are also durable though may snap under a lot of pressure.
Plastic and mesh is used for some safety gate though these tend to be travel gates. Mesh isn’t really recommended for stairs because it just ins’t as sturdy or safe as metal or wood. The same goes for plastic.
Gates can be mounted or fitted different ways. Often you will see pressure mounted gates which have spring loaded pressure pads at each corner. You put them in place and tighten the screw and the gate is held in place by the pressure exerted by the pads.
The other option is hardware mounted gates which require you to drill into a door frame or wall stud and attach the mounting plate with screws. Though you might not like the idea of driling into your walls, these are the most secure types of gates.
It is not recommended to use a pressure mounted baby gate at the top of the stairs simply because they just aren’t secure enough. Pressure mounted gates are great for leveled floors such as between the living room and the kitchen to stop baby from getting under your feet as you cook, or even the bottom of the stairs on the ground floor.
To keep your baby safe at the top of the stairs, you will need a hardware mounted gate. You can always fill the holes with putty once you’re finished with the gate and paint over the holes.
Baby gates are notoriously tricky to open but that doesn’t have to be the case. The last thing you want to be doing with a baby in your arms or a toddler round your legs is trying to get a fiddly latch to open.
When choosing your safety gate, make sure to look for ones that have one-handed lock mechanisms. These will usually require you to lift the gate and press a button at the same time to release them but you will be able to do it whilst holding your baby or laundry basket.
Another thing to consider is which way the gate opens. You don’t want the gate opening onto the stairs because it means you will need to lean or step back to open it and that can be dangerous on the stairs. Look for gates that open both ways or that can be reversed if needed.
You should be able to fit the gate in with direction but if you have a tricky bannister in the way or no wall studs on one side, you will probably want to get a two way gate so your aren’t stuck with a gate that opens onto your stairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where should stair gates be placed?
The top of the stairs is a must. With stark statistics showing that a child is hurt in a stair related injury every six seconds, you need to make sure your stairs are off limits.
Placing a gate at the bottom of the stairs is also a good idea, especially if you spend a lot of time downstairs in a living room with your child. Gates at the bottom of the stairs can be pressure mounted so they are easy to fit and remove as you need them.
What age are stair gates suitable for?
Stair gates are recommended for children aged between six months and two years. You should have safety gates installed as soon as your little one starts crawling. This might be earlier than six months in some cases.
You should remove your stair gate when your toddler learns to climb over them or open them for sure. This will hopefully be around the two year mark but keep an out for any sly younger climbers or little ones with clever fingers!
Are stair gates standard size?
No but neither are stairs. Most gates will be about a two and a half feet tall thought you can get taller gates if you need them. Often the taller gates include a pet door so your dog or cat can have free roam.
In terms of the width, there is hugh variety. The best thing is to measure the opening of your stairs from the banister to the wall, or wall to wall depending on your set up.
If you can’t find one with your exact measurements, there are plenty of extendable gates out there that will fit your configuration. These extendable gates are just as secure as the non extendable ones.