Top 5 Best Baby Gates for Stairs in 2017
When it comes to protecting your little one, it’s good that you shop around for the best product. Baby gates are used to wall off dangerous areas from your children, namely stairs. In this article, we’ve rounded up five of the best baby gates for stairs available on the market in 2017. Each person has their own requirements, so none of these gates are objectively better than any other.
To give you a better idea of what you should be looking for in your baby gates for stairs, we’ve prepared a brief crash-course in Baby Gate selection. Alternatively, you can just skip ahead to check out our reviews of the products.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Choosing from the range of baby gates for stairs available can be tough, so we’ve prepared a list of things to look out for in your baby stair gate selection.
Every space is different, that’s why baby gates for stairs come in a range of widths. You’ll want to select a gate that will fit into whatever space you’re installing it in. Most baby gates will come with a few extension fences that can be installed on the side of the baby gate for extra width.
One thing to look out for with the width is that there may be “dead zones” in the width range, where the gate won’t fit comfortably due to the fixed width of the extension fences. Where a gate may span from 35-40” with no extensions, it may span 42-47” with a single extension installed.
If you’re choosing a baby gate for stairs, then your gate should always be hardware mounted. In general, there are two types of mounting solution: hardware mounting and pressure mounting.
Hardware mounting involves mounting the gate to the wall with some kind of wall fixture. Typically, you’ll need to drill a hole in your wall to install a hardware-mounted gate. Hardware-mounted gates are more secure, thus should always be used at the top of stairs.
Pressure mounting simply uses some screws to push a piece of plastic or rubber against the wall. The pressure should then keep the gate in place. Unfortunately, pressure gates can be pushed over with far less force than a hardware-mounted gate. Additionally, pressure-mounted gates will always have a bar at the bottom, to maintain pressure when the gate is open. This is a tripping hazard near stairs, so do not use them on tall or high-traffic staircases.
Different gates will use different opening mechanisms. If you’re installing the gate in a high-traffic area, you’ll want a latch that can be opened and closed with one hand. Easy-to-open gates are often referred to as walk-through gates. These types of gates are very useful in areas that you’re going to be walking through frequently.
Another important thing to consider with the latch design is that it’s difficult for your child to open. Babies will struggle with the simplest of latch designs, but toddlers can be clever. Choose a latch that you think your child will not be able to open.
Choosing a gate that’s tall enough is very important. As children grow, they tend to like to climb things. You should choose a gate that’s tall enough to stop your child from climbing over. This is especially important if you’re planning to use the gate near stairs.
The height you want will vary depending on how old your child is. Babies will struggle to climb over most gates, so you don’t need to worry too much if your child is still very young. However, once your child has begun walking, it’ll take a taller gate to keep them secure.
Most gates will tend to favor the vertical bar design. This is because it’s difficult to climb but still offers a good barrier to stop children and pets from crawling straight through. Some gates may use different designs. It’s important that the gate is not easy to climb over, particularly if you’re going to use it near stairs.
The Stair Barrier
The Stair Barrier
The Stair Barrier
28 to 48 inches
From Summer Infant is their very stylish Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate. This gate uses a pressure-mounted design, though Optional hardware mounts are included if you wish to install this gate on stairs. As the name suggests, this gate is quite tall, sitting at 36”.
Features and Specifications
- Stylish design that should fit into the décor of nearly any room
- Convenient walk-through design that allows users to open the gate with only one hand
- Optional door stopper which can be used to stop the gate from swinging open over the stairs
- Pressure-mounted with optional hardware mounting solution for stair use
- Auto-close door gently closes behind you once you’ve walked through
In our opinion, the best part about this gate is its versatility. It can fit in a wide range of gaps and it can be pressure-mounted as well as hardware-mounted. This versatility means that you can move it around your home as your needs change. In fact, in its pressure-mounted configuration, it can be easily uninstalled and reinstalled without the need for tools.
Unfortunately, this versatility comes at a price. If you’re looking for a gate that’s solely going to be used on stairs, you may want to look elsewhere. Due to the pressure mounting option, this gate has a pressure bar at the bottom. This is a slight trip hazard, which can be quite dangerous near stairs. Installed properly, the bar is only a couple of inches off the ground, but that can be dangerous if you’ve got other children who will need to use the gate.
Another thing this gate has going for it is its design. This gate is designed to be attractive as well as functional. It comes in two colors: bronze or beige. Both look very stylish and should fit nicely into any room. It features an arched gate, which looks great and poses a bit more of a challenge to any would-be climbers. One thing to be aware of though is that the height of the gate is only 36” at the top of the arch, it’s 34” everywhere else.
This gate is also quite tall, which is perfect for larger animals and older babies. At 36” high, it’s recommended for use with children between 6 months and 2 years. It should work very nicely for keeping pets from climbing the stairs as well. The vertical bar design is quite difficult to climb, though some animals may be able to jump straight over it.
As far as baby gates for stairs go, this one isn’t a bad choice. However, the pressure bar at the bottom does pose a tripping hazard. Tripping hazard aside, this gate is very solid. In its hardware-mounted configuration, it won’t be going anywhere fast. It’s stylish and can fit a good range of gaps.
Overall, it’s hard to fault it. It’s an excellent choice, though be aware of the tripping hazard if used in high-traffic stairways.
26.5 to 40 inches
Slightly higher up the price scale is the LOFT Aluminum Safety Gate from Munchkin. This gate is only able to be hardware mounted, though for a stair gate, that’s ideal. It uses a clever mounting system that can be adjusted to ensure a good mount, even when the walls aren’t perfectly parallel. It also uses their ‘Indexed Sizing System’, which pretty much just allows it to adjust in width at fine increments rather than by extension fences.
Features and Specifications
- Strong and secure wall mounting system
- Easy to shut latch
- Quick-release wall mount allows the gate to be easily removed when not in use
- Swings open in both directions for easy bi-directional travel
- Slim design with an integrated handle for a streamlined look
What really sells this gate is its mounting system. Whilst the included drywall anchors aren’t brilliant, the rest of the mounting system is pretty well-designed. It’s designed to allow for fine-tuning of the angle of the mounting brackets so that the gate installs well on walls that aren’t level. Due to the complexity of the mounting system, it requires a little more precision and skill to install than most baby gates for stairs.
As a safety gate, the Munchkin LOFT is exceptional, if a tad pricey. However, it’s lacking a feature that some people consider vital on baby gates for stairs: directional locking. Some people prefer that their gate doesn’t open outwards over the stairs, though this isn’t too important unless you have very steep stairs.
Being a hardware-mounted gate allows this gate to ditch the inconveniences of pressure mounting. For instance, this gate makes use of its entire width as a gate, minimizing wasted space on either side. This is very useful in smaller or high-traffic corridors.
The latch on this gate is quite clever. It requires pushing two buttons to unlock, both of which can be easily reached with one hand. This makes for a latch that’s difficult for infants to open whilst being simple for adults to manage. The latch also just pushes shut, meaning that it’s suitable for high-traffic corridors. In fact, if you prefer, you can simply remove the entire gate from its mountings when it’s not needed.
From a style perspective, this gate is excellent. It’s a very simple aluminum gate with little in the way of flair, but it still fits nicely into most rooms. The only complaint with the design is that the sliding adjustment can cause the bars in the gate to form a solid block in the middle if the adjustment is in an odd setting.
Despite the price, this gate is overall very well built and well designed. It’s stylish and easy to use. The installation is a bit of a pain, so it may take a little effort unless you’re well versed in DIY. The only real complaint we have with it is the lack of a directional locking feature, which is very important on steep stairs to prevent the gate from opening outwards over the dangerous staircase.
On the whole, this gate is highly functional and attractive. Unless you struggle with DIY or have very steep stairs, we think this gate is perfect for most people.
21.7 to 35 inches
BabyDan’s Guard Me safety gate uses a nifty folding design that offers full baby gate functionality in areas where a traditional gate wouldn’t have room to swing open. This really helps to set it apart from other baby gates for stairs. This clever mechanism offers flexibility, allowing the gate to be easily fitted into tighter spaces. This innovation offers the benefit of allowing the gate to be installed on the outside of a doorway, meaning that when shut, this gate cannot be seen from the opposite side of the door.
Features and Specifications
- Automatic folding mechanism
- Convenient and accessible Latch
- Can be fitted outside of a doorframe for a more discreet appearance when open
- Silent when opening to avoid waking sleeping children
Clearly, the main feature of this gate is the folding open/close mechanism. When the lock is opened, the gate folds away on its own, opening the gate. This opening mechanism is very safe for stairs as there’s no possibility of it opening over the staircase. Though, unlike most baby gates for stairs, this gate lacks locking.
The unfortunate lack of a lock on this gate can be a problem, particularly if the gate is being used with toddlers who may be able to figure out the mechanism on their own. That said, baby gates for stairs should not be trusted to work effectively with children older than 2.
The latch on this gate is very easy to use, though it relies on height and weight rather than complexity to stop children from opening it. The button to open the gate is located on the top of one of the mounting brackets. When pulled out slightly and pressed down, the gate opens on its own. This opening mechanism is very convenient and simple, even if you’ve got your hands full. The latch does take a little pressure to actuate it though, it’s not a major issue for most people, however, if you suffer with arthritis, then you may struggle opening this gate.
Despite being a hardware-mounted gate, the installation of this gate is relatively simple. It’s not quite as simple as installing a pressure-mounted gate, but most people should have zero trouble installing it. One minor issue with the installation is that the gate isn’t designed to accommodate baseboards.
Due to the design of this gate, it’s quite secure, even against animals and children that have learned to climb things. This gate completely lacks any footholds that’d allow a young child or animal to climb over it. That being said, the gate isn’t particularly tall, being only 28.5” high when installed.
The compactness of this gate makes it a spectacular choice for small spaces and the design makes sure it’s not in the way when you don’t want it to be. The compactness really helps to set it apart from other baby gates for stairs; it’s a viable option in very small spaces, such as those found in cottages. It may not be a particularly stylish gate, but it’s excellent for keeping young children and pets safe and away from harm. It suffers from a lack of height and a lack of locking, but this shouldn’t be an issue unless it’s being used with larger animals or older children.
In short, this gate is well-suited for small spaces and excels at keeping young children and animals safe. However, once children have got the strength to open the latch, it’s not very effective.
29 to 42 inches
As the name suggests, this gate from Safety 1st comes ready to install straight out of the box, no assembly required. The whole gate is designed to be extremely easy to install, with the manufacturer boasting that the gate can be installed in less than 15 minutes with nothing more than a screwdriver. The accuracy of this claim doesn’t hold up if you’re installing it on wood, in which case you’ll need to drill pilot holes for the screws, but it appears to work fine on drywall. This easy installation gives it a huge advantage over other baby gates for stairs.
Features and Specifications
- 15-minute installation requiring nothing more than a screwdriver if installed on drywall
- Comes ready to install straight out of the packaging
- Easy-close mechanism allows the gate to be shut with a push
- Clever latch mechanism is easy for adults to open one-handed but difficult for kids
As far as baby gates for stairs go, this one performs pretty well. It comes assembled right out of the box. In fact, the installation instructions are attached to the gate when you open the box. The installation process—on drywall—is extremely simple. You put the gate where it’s meant to go, slide it to the right width, pop out the brackets, and screw the gate into place. The installation process has 5 steps—it’s extremely easy to install. The installation process is slightly more complex if installed on wood, as you will probably have to drill pilot holes for the screws.
This gate has everything that baby gates for stairs should have. It features directional locking to prevent the gate swinging open over the stairs, it’s hardware-mounted to eliminate the bar at the bottom, and the latch is very secure. It’s not particularly tall, so I wouldn’t trust it with the older children that like to climb but it’s more than secure enough to keep pets and babies safe.
Despite the easy installation, this gate is very secure. The manufacturer shows the gate being used by a dad to comedically abseil down the stairs as well as bowling balls being rolled into the gate. Users have even reported children climbing on the gate without it coming down. Of course, you should avoid allowing these kinds of stresses to be applied to the gate, particularly if it’s installed at the top of the stairs.
If the installation of the gate is what’s influencing your purchasing decision, then this gate is certainly worth a look at. The installation for this gate is a breeze; you could have it installed in less than 15 minutes using nothing more than a screwdriver when installing it on drywall. Once installed, the gate is secure and has all of the features that are essential in a baby stair gate.
All in all, this gate is perfect for those looking for a safe and secure baby gate, but aren’t DIY-minded. It offers a secure barrier against the stairs in a package that can be installed quickly.
44 to 72 inches
This gate by Summer Infant is very similar in style and design to the other Summer Infant gate on this list, with the obvious difference being that this one is much wider. It’s worth noting that this gate isn’t designed like other baby gates for stairs. It’s a very sturdy hardware mounted design, but it is primarily designed for wide doorways and corridors. It’s still definitely sturdy enough to function as a stair gate if you’ve got a wide staircase though.
Features and Specifications
- Attractive bronze design that fits nicely into most décor
- Scratch guard on the bottom of the gate protects your hard flooring
- Simple one-handed walk-through style gate
- Strong hardware-mounted design
Since this gate wasn’t designed for stair use, it lacks a number of features that you should expect from a stair gate, such as directional locking. However, if you’ve got a wider stairway, this baby gate is a surprisingly good option. The gate is very stable once mounted to the wall and offers a good height and design. Though the gate is only 36” high at the top of the arch of the gate, it’s still taller than many stair gate options available.
Much like the other Summer Infant gate on this list, it’s got a bronze finish. In our opinion, we think it would fit nicely into just about any home décor. One thing to be aware of though is the bottom bar of the gate could blend into the carpet. One user suggested wrapping brightly colored tape around it if used in areas where a tripping hazard is a serious issue. Most baby gates for stairs won’t have this issue, as they deliberately avoid using a design with a bottom bar. However, the bar is fairly slim and doesn’t pose too much of a threat if installed low down.
For such a large gate, the installation is surprisingly easy. It requires drilling a few holes, as most hardware-mounted gates do. But it’s a fairly straightforward mounting process that results in a very secure mount.
For convenience, the gate is designed with a one-handed walk-through latch. This allows users to walk through the gate without stopping, using only one hand to unlock it. The latch is very secure, using a clever design that’s very easy for an adult to use, but stops people shorter than the gate from getting the leverage to open it. Some users have reported that the gate latch clicks a bit when it’s first installed, but it’s not loud enough to cause any real issues.
As a baby gate for use in hallways or doorways, this gate is excellent. It’s stylish and effective. However, this list is for baby gates for stairs, it’s hard to recommend it quite as much as the other gates on this list. If you’ve got a wide stairway, then this may be your best option. It’s still a very strong and competent gate, but it lacks features that some would consider essential for a baby gate, particularly on steep stairs.
All things considered, this gate is a great choice if you’ve got a wide stairway. We’d suggest going for one of the other gates on the list if they fit, but for wide stairways, this is a great option.
There you have it, our 5 picks for the best baby gates for stairs in 2017. All of the options on this list are going to fit different requirements. However, our personal pick has to go to the Safety 1st Ready To Install Everywhere Gate for its easy installation and solid performance. Whilst it’s not the cheapest, the easy installation and reliability make it surprisingly good value for money.