9 of the best stair gates for baby

Safety gate

by Georgina Terry |

When your little one is on the move, a baby gate will be one of the most useful pieces of nursery kit you’ll buy. Stair gates can stop them from accessing the stairs while they're too small to be up there by themselves. It will also keep your bubba from wandering off where your eyes can’t follow so they stay safe in your home.

There’s a wealth of safety gate products on the market, so to make your life easier, we've put together some tips on how to choose the best stair gates for baby.

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How to choose the best stair gate for baby

First up, you need to consider the place you’re guarding. You won’t want anything with a step-over bar at the top of the stairs, but they could work fine at the bottom. Is there space for a door to swing open and shut in the space? If not, a retractable gate could be the answer. And you’ll definitely need a gate that you can open and shut with one hand – trust us on this.

Stairgate safety advice

According to RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), "every year there are more than 42,000 Accident and Emergency attendances by the under five age group resulting from accidental falls on stairs."

In their research into 'Can The Home Ever Be Safe?' - a publication that looked into the need to improve safety in the built environment of homes and gardens. The Society wrote: "RoSPA considers the provision of reinforcement of the wall substructure to ensure the safe fixing of European Standard stair gates should be included in the specification of all new and refurbished homes."

We spoke to Selina Russell, from safety products brand Fred UK, about the importance of stair gates; she said:

"Stairways, kitchens, bathrooms, fire hearths to name but a few, are areas of the home that pose potential risks for older babies finding their feet and confident toddlers on the move.

"It is important that any access to open stairways and rooms in the home that could be hazardous to young children if left alone, are restricted by installing safety gates. As infants have an innate curiosity and tend to feel the need to explore their surroundings, stair gates enable you to restrict little ones to safe areas in the home."

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The best stair gates for baby you can buy

Baby Dan No Trip Metal Safety Gate

Best baby gate under u00a320: Baby Dan No Trip Metal Safety Gate

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The BabyDan No Trip Safety Gate opens in either direction and with one hand just to make things a little easier when you’ve got your hands full. There are no bars or footplates to trip over at the top of the stairs, and the gate features a wide walk-through area.

One reviewer said: "We have two of these now - one at the top of the stairs and one on a door frame and they work brilliantly."

• Fits opening measurements: 72-78.5cm
• Height: 70cm
• Weight: 2.98kg
• Extra features: Stop pins for mounting at the top of stairs, double locking

Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate

Best baby gate under u00a330: Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate

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Shortlisted for Best Safety Product in the Mother&Baby Awards in 2015 and 2014.
Assembled and ready to install, the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe safety gate can be installed in just five minutes. All tools are provided and the four-point pressure fit frame means that it does not require drilling to the wall, whilst still providing ultimate strength when in position for complete peace of mind. Parents can easily open and close the gate and the wide walkthrough offers more space as you pass through. The clever pressure indicator provides a visual assurance that the baby gate is installed correctly, creating a safe environment for your little explorer.

One reviewer said: "Brilliant gate! I read up on reviews before ordering this and it's been excellent. We needed to order a 7cm extension (super easy to install) but once fitted it's doing the job. It took me (on my own) 15 minutes to install from adding the extension to getting out 15-month-old daughter hanging off it in a (failed) attempt to break it down. No screws (just some sticky pads on the walls) and it is as firm as the wall it's attached to. Well worth the money and peace of mind so that our monster doesn't go for a nose diver down the stairs. I recommend getting the gate first and then seeing which extension you might need as it's hard to tell before, due to the added length of the screws."
Read our full review of the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe here

• Fits opening measurements: 76-82cm (can be extended up to 117cm with separate extensions)
• Height: 75cm
• Weight: 1kg
• Extra features: Two-way opening, double locking

Lindam Sure Shut Porte Pressure Fit Gate

Best baby gate under £50
Best baby gate under u00a350: Lindam Sure Shut Porte Pressure Fit Gate

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The Lindam Sure Shut Axis safety gate comes with all tools needed for a quick installation. The gate does not require drilling to the wall as it has a pressure-fit U frame to provide high strength when in position for complete peace of mind. The clever pressure indicator provides you with the visual assurance that the gate is installed correctly, keeping your little one safe at all times. The wider walkthrough means you have more space as you pass through the baby gate and with a double lock, even the most determined baby will not be able to open the gate.

One review said: "Quite easy to install and provides what appears to be quite a sturdy fit. However, it probably should be thoroughly checked before being put in use, just to ensure the baby doesn't push it over. It's been a few weeks and baby is secure, however, my mum knocked the gate off its hinge by forcing her weight against it. She had no idea how to open it and ended up pushing the whole gate off, but I had it reinstalled within 20 minutes. To be fair, it isn't designed to withstand a grown adult's weight/force. I would recommend this to withstand a baby's advances. However, I am unsure how useful or safe they would be to withstand larger children that are older than 2 years. The handle can prove tricky, and a baby would never be able to open this. Even my mum had trouble figuring it out. The design is also quite neutral so should fit in with any decor."
Read our full review of the Lindam Sure Shut Porte Pressure Fit Gate here

• Fits opening measurements: 76-82cm (can be extended up to 117cm with separate extensions)
• Height: 80.5cm
• Weight: 5.54kg
• Extra features: Second lock at the base of the gate

Lindam Push To Shut Extending Metal Safety Gate

Best wide stair gate
Best wide stair gate: Lindam Push To Shut Extending Metal Safety Gate

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If you have a wide opening between rooms, this could be the perfect gate for you. It has no bar at the bottom, which means it could go at the top of the stairs. The easy-close, push-to-shut closing feature allows parents to quickly and easily push the gate closed.

Tested by mum, Louise: "I feel that this Lindam extending safety gate is good value for money. It is essential for those awkward spaces in a home where a standard size gate will not fit. The fact that this gate has no bar at the bottom is brilliant as my three-year-old is constantly tripping over these on standard gates. Very easy for parents to open but I would say near impossible for an inquisitive clever toddler, which is perfect."
Read our full review of the Lindam Push To Shut here

• Fits opening measurements: 63.5-102cm
• Height: 69.2cm
• Weight: 4.75kg
• Extra features: One-handed push-to-shut closing, can be set to open in just one direction only or in both directions, quick release fittings

Baby Dan Guard Me

Best foldaway gate
Best foldaway gate: Baby Dan Guard Me

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If you like to make a clear distinction between adult time and baby time, or prefer not to battle with a baby gate during late-night loo trips, this could be the one for you. When this retractable baby gate is opened, it folds neatly back against the wall, becoming almost invisible so it is unobtrusive when not in use. It also comes pre-assembled for easy installation.

Tested by Vicky, 34, from Cheshire, mum to Finn: "Perfect for the most high-traffic spot in the home. A drill is required but it’s easily installed. It’s easy and quiet to operate, and there’s no trip hazard."
Read our full review of the Baby Dan Guard Me here

• Fits opening measurements: 55-89cm (can be extended up to 113.5cm with separate extensions)
• Height: 72.5cm
• Weight: 2.98kg
• Extra features: Folds back automatically when opened, One hand opening, Three spare extensions in the box to take it up to 89cm

Baby Dan Super Flexi Fit Extending Wooden Safety Gate

Best wooden baby gate
Best wooden baby gate: Baby Dan Super Flexi Fit Extending Wooden Safety Gate

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Want a baby gate that looks good while also being super sturdy? Look no further than the Baby Dan Super Flexi Fit safety gate. You can choose the direction the gate opens in and there’s no bottom bar to potentially trip over. Plus, it’s easy to use with one hand, ideal if you’re holding your baby. We love the beechwood finish and that it's FSC-certified too.

One reviewer said: "Purchased for frequent grandchildren visits and needed a more versatile gate for the top of my stairs. Very good quality but found one of the fittings screw thread was ineffective and delayed completing the installation. In fairness to the company, they were very helpful and sent out a pack of the connections very quickly, so not delayed too long. Installation was a little fiddly and I needed to fix a small wooden packing on the top fixing the wall in order to equal the difference of the bottom fixing due to the large wooden skirting boards I have. The gate is perfect for the angled fitting I needed to make due to a low window on my landing. Once set up it works a treat and the added benefit of it being without a threshold is far safer without potential trips etc. On top of that, it simply unhooks when not needed. Recommended by me if you need something that is sturdy and adaptable."

• Fits opening measurements: 69-106.5cm
• Height: 69cm
• Weight: 3.5kg
• Extra features: Opens both ways when mounted inside the door frame, Child-proof release

Dreambaby Chelsea Xtra-Tall Auto-Close Gate

Best tall baby gate
Best tall baby gate: Dreambaby Chelsea Xtra-Tall Auto-Close Gate

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If you’ve got a particularly adventurous toddler, this model’s extra height makes it harder to climb over than standard ones. The opening mechanism is higher too, so you don't have to bend down so far which is better for your back. It is especially good for use with stairs and also great for when your tot gets taller. For most situations, there is no need to screw holes into woodwork or walls unless used at the top of stairs where the mounting cups must be screwed in for added security.

One reviewer said: "These are fab! I love the swing shut function. They are really sturdy and of good quality. They come up to the height of the door handle. My Houdini-child has figured out he can put his foot through the bars and kinda push himself over. It did take him quite a while to figure out, but that's not a negative to the gate. Although a flat panel (no bars) version would be great!"

• Fits opening measurements: 71-98cm (can be extended up to 406cm with separate extensions)
• Height: 100cm
• Weight: 13.2kg
• Extra features: Auto-close feature, two-way opening, double locking

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Fred Pressure Fit Clear View Baby Gate

Best modern baby stair gate
Fred Pressure Fit Clear View Baby Gate

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We love the unusual design of the Fred Pressure Fit Clear View Baby Gate. This is the best baby stair gate for modern homes as it has a contemporary acrylic barrier. You will be able to watch over your little one through the crystal-clear screen instead. This solid wall means that your little one won't have any openings to squeeze themselves through. The magnetic slam-shut locking system is child-proof, so you always know your gate is secure.

Review: “Stylish alternative to traditional baby gates, opening up the room. Super quick delivery and great value!”

• Fits opening measurements: 75-96cm (can be extended up to 124cm with separate extensions)
• Height: 77cm
• Weight: 9.14kg
• Extra features: Child-proof magnetic locking, finger-safe hinges, glow-in-the-dark anti-trip strip to illuminate bottom rail

John Lewis & Partners Single Panel Wooden Safety Gate

John Lewis & Partners Single Panel Wooden Safety Gate

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At just £29, this is a great option for a budget baby stair gate. If you have a more traditional home, you will like the look of this wooden safety gate. It is made using FSC® graded beech wood that has a smooth finish. If you need to remove that gate for any reason, the wall fittings are quick-release. They are made to be adult-operated, so you don’t need to worry about little hands releasing them by accident.

Review: "It is relatively easy to install. It is great that the gate can be adjusted easily for the width of door frame etc. I like the wood finish. It is nice and smooth and fits with our décor too, which is a bonus."

• Fits opening measurements: 72.5-78.5cm
• Height: 73cm
• Extra features: Quick-release wall fittings

How often will you use a baby gate?

If your space needs a baby gate, you’ll use it every day. From stopping your tot from crawling upstairs alone and risking an accident to keeping them in one room while you're cooking dinner, safety gates are a lifesaver!

How much money should I spend on a baby gate?

The best stair gates for baby can cost less than £20 but ones for unusual spaces can cost up to £200.

Are baby gates safe?

As with everything in life, you’ll need to apply some basic common sense - so no step-over bars at the top of the stairs. And the gate will only work if you actually remember to close it. Hey, nothing can be taken for granted after six months of sleep deprivation.

We spoke to home safety expert Roger Cheetham, from Clippasafe, in one of our Safety Q&A sessions. Here's one important question he answered about stair gates:

Q: "My little girl is fascinated by our stairs. We have stairgates but I'm not sure when and how to teach her how to go up and down safely - any tips?"

A: "In comparison to an adult, each stair is a huge step for a small child. When your child is tall enough to manage each step without crawling, take them up and down the stairs whilst holding their hand on the opposite side to the stair rail, whilst they hold the handrail themselves with their other hand. Ensure that they go up/down one step at a time, and slowly. Make sure that you can grab the handrail yourself if one or both of you become unstable."

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