When a baby is on the way, everyone in the family scrambles to make sure their house is safe for the new arrival. Whether you are the parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, or anyone who will have babies or small children in your home, keeping them safe is the number one priority. Little ones have a natural born passion for exploring, and you can bet that they will find anything and everything in your home to climb, poke, and put in their mouths!
Sometimes, it is just not possible to baby-proof certain areas of the house like stairwells, offices with shelves to climb and wires to pull, or kitchens when there is cooking going on. The best solution for these situations is a good baby gate. Baby gates allow you to close off areas of the house, or even create large enclosed playpens for children. This way, you know they are safe even if you need take your eyes off of them for a few minutes.
Baby gates are essential for new parents, which makes them great baby shower gifts as well. Here are our favorite baby gates for all budgets and home environments.
1. Regalo Extra Wide Safety Gate
Regalo is an industry leader in baby gates, producing some of the most well loved and best constructed baby gates on the market. This extra wide gate is perfect for areas that do not have a standard door frame, like you would find in open floor plan homes. It is pressure mounted so you do not need to screw or nail it into the walls, and you can move it around the house easily as many times as you need. It expands from 29 to 34 inches wide, and if you need an even wider space you can add on the included six, eight and 12 inch extra panels. This gives a total possible width of 58 inches. The handle is an easy to use lever style with a baby-safe lock. This gate is constructed of durable, high quality steel so it can be used for many years and many babies!
Price: $49.98 with free shipping
Watch a manufacturer’s video here.
- Expandable up to 58 inches
- Has a baby safe locking handle
- Constructed of 100% steel
- One reviewer noted that the gate bows in the middle
- Handle requires two hands to open
- Does not automatically swing shut
2. Safety 1st Nature Next Bamboo Gate
This bamboo baby gate from Safety 1st combines all of the best elements in baby gates – It is safe, inexpensive, durable, attractive and eco friendly. The frame is made from bamboo, and the panels are 100% recycled plastic. The gate expands from 28 inches to 42 inches for use in doorways and similar sized openings. The height of the gate is 24 inches to keep babies and toddlers from being able to climb over the top. This is a pressure mounted system, which makes it very easy to install and move from one location to another inside of the house. If you are using this gate at the top or bottom of a staircase, you can purchase a separate banister protector/adapter so that this pressure mounted system will work with your stair banister.
- Has a unique and stylish look to it
- Made of 100% renewable and recycled materials
- Easy to install and move locations
- Does not have a one touch handle
- Not suitable for wider spaces
- Not as tall as some other gates on this list
3. Summer Infant Decorative Wood & Metal Gate
If you are looking for an elegant and well designed baby gate that will match your home décor, this decorative gate from Summer Infant may be the perfect fit. This gate is constructed of high quality Oak wood and metal and has east, one handed open and close operation. It is pressure mounted and extra wide for use between rooms and large door openings. The extra wide swinging door swings in either direction for even easier operation. The dimensions of this gate are 30 inches tall and 30 to 60 inches wide.
Price: $67.14 with free shipping
Watch a manufacturer’s video here.
- Constructed of durable and quality materials
- Extra wide door that swings both directions
- Easy to use one touch handle
- Reviewers noted that the latch is loud to open and close
- Cannot be installed flush with the floor if you have base boards
- Some reviewers noted that the hinges start to stick after months of use
4. Regalo Expandable Metal Stair Gate
If you are looking for a baby gate to put at the top or bottom of a staircase, regular gates are not the best option. Regular gates are designed to fir in between solid walls, not banisters, and their pressure mounted operation is not the safest thing if you have a baby pushing on the gate at the top of the steps. This gate from Regalo is specially designed for use on stairwells, and includes both wall mounting and banister mounting kits. The gate expands from 28 to 42 inches and stands 30.5 inches tall. The lever is easy to operate with one hand.
Watch a video on installing baby gates here.
- Universal installation kit fits 99% of stairwells
- Easy one handed operation of the gate
- Durable steel construction designed for stairwell use
- Only comes in one color, white
- Reviewers found the assembly instructions difficult to follow
- Requires holes to be drilled in the wall
5. Regalo Extra Tall Stair Gate
If you need a stair gate that is taller than the previous Regalo gate at 30.5 inches, they also make an extra tall version that is 35 inches tall. This is great for older children or any babies that are extra good climbers. The gate comes with a banister and wall mounting kit that can be used on square or round banisters and walls with or without baseboards. It is constructed of strong and durable steel and has a rust free finish. This gate will fit openings between 32 and 53 inches wide and it has an easy, one handed latch handle.
Price: $50 with free shipping
Watch a review video here.
- Extra tall at 35 inches
- Can be used with or without baseboards and on round or square banisters
- Easy to use, one handed opening mechanism
- Must be drilled into the wall
- Some reviewers found the handle hard to operate one handed
- Some reviewers noted the plastic joints are not durable
6. Homey Three in One Gate, Barrier, Play Yard
If you need a gate for an extra wide area such as in between rooms of an open floor plan home, or dividing a single room, this multi panel gate would be perfect. The gate includes six removable and configurable panels constructed of steel frames with extra strong wire. It can be expanded to 146 inches as a straight gate or you can even connect the panels in a circle to make an enclosed play yard. The panels can be easily stacked and stowed when not in use, as well. The surface is 100% non toxic materials and it features an easy to operate gate with a safety locking feature. There are two exterior locks that prevent the gate from popping open when kids pull on the door. The panel sizes are 25 by 29 inches, and the door is 18 by 25 inches. You can either purchase the standard six panel kit, or you can purchase a larger eight panel kit as well.
Price: $99.99 to $159.99 depending on number of panels
Watch a review video here.
- Works for extra wide spaces in between rooms or inside single rooms
- Converts into a play yard
- Non-toxic finish free of lead and phthalates
- Takes up much more storage space than standard baby gates
- Some reviewers found the extra panels difficult to install
- Handle is not one-hand accessible
7. Evenflo Position and Lock Pressure Mount Gate
This gate from Evenflo is an inexpensive yet well constructed solution for anyone looking for a no-frills baby gate. It uses the same time-tested position and lock, pressure mounted technology that you have seen in baby gates for decades. The gate is constructed of durable wood, is lightweight and easy to move in between rooms, and is easy to stow away when not in use.
watch an installation video here.
- Easy to use position and lock mechanism
- Simple to move from location to location, and lighweight
- Constructed of durable wood
- Does not have any extra features
- Does not have a separate door, must be reinstalled every time it is used
- Some reviewers received the item damaged
8. Regalo Super Wide Gate and Play Yard
Here is another option for extra wide spaces where a regular baby gate just will not do the job. This gate from Regalo includes eight configurable panels that can expand to become a 192 inch barrier or enclose an area of 19 square feet. You can use this gate in extra wide doorways, across a single room or open space, or even outdoors. It is constructed of super durable steel and has a convenient walk-through gate with safety locking features so that baby cannot push on the door and pop it open.
Price: $79.98 with free shipping
Watch a review video here
- Expandable up to 192 inches for extra wide spaces
- Can enclose a 19 square foot area as a play yard
- Folds up easily for storage
- Reviewers noted that the red latch handle attracts babies attention and curiosity
- Some reviewers noted that the nobs loosen over time
- Some reviewers received the gate with screws missing
9. The Stair Barrier
The Stair Barrier is a unique solution that is designed specifically for stairwells. It is more attractive than standard baby gates, and fits in with home decor much more easily without being prohibitively expensive. The durable upholstery fabric gate drills into your wall on one side and rolls out to the banister on the other side. This unique rolling design allows you to hide the gate away from sight when it is not being used, without taking up valuable storage space.
- Unique design does not require storage when not in use
- Upholstery fabric is more attractive than most metal or wood gates
- Specially designed for stairwells
Watch a product demonstration video here.
- Fabric may not be as strong as metal gates
- Does not work as well for doors as stairwells
- Requires some drilling to install
10. Richell Tall One Touch Gate
This one touch gate from Richell is extra tall as well as extra wide, so tiis great for older kits and wider than usual doorways or openings. It is constructed of rubberwood, pine and steel for an attractive and strong finish. You can choose from two colors – standard white or brown to match wood floors and furniture. The gate uses an easy to install tension mounting system, and the one touch latch gate opens in both directions.
Price: $216.25 with free shipping
- Is taller than most baby gates
- Extra wide for non-standard doorways and wide openings
- Comes in two finishes – Brown or white
- More expensive than other gates
- Does not work well on staircases
- No warranty