Seeing your little one crawl or take the first few tentative steps to walking is undoubtedly exciting. Unfortunately, however, it can also be worrying. What if your baby tumbles down the stairs and hurts itself? The thought is enough to give you goosebumps, isn’t it?
Now that’s where baby gates for stairs come in. This protective gadget can be installed at the top (or even the bottom) of the stairs in your home to function as a barrier to keep your child safe and secure. While different baby gates are equipped with their own unique safety features, overall, the best baby gates for stairs are the ones that are easy to install, as easy to latch up and easier still to maintain. They should be sturdily built, with no edges to cause injury to your baby.
Top 4 best baby gates for stairs reviews
North States Supergate Easy Swing and Lock Metal Gate
This hardware mounted easy-swing gate, with a secure safety latch design, is constructed for use at room openings as well as for stairs. Not only is it
easy to use, as the name suggests, it is also built to last, thanks to its durable metal construction. An innovative product carrying the stamp of North States excellence, it comes pre-assembled with a mounting hardware pack of all the essential things you’ll need for its installation. So if you’re in search of a baby gate for stairs to protect a 6-24 month old child, this is one gate you may like to check out.
- Has a secure safety latch design
- Self-lock mechanism with easy swing motion
- Doesn’t swing over steps
- Has no threshold for your kid to step over
- Adjustable width, crafted to fit 28” to 48” openings
- Equipped with easy one-hand operation
- Installation is somewhat complex
- Screws tend to become loose quite quickly
- Poor construction quality
- Latch is difficult to operate
- Measurements provided may not be completely accurate
North States Supergate Easy Close Metal Gate
For those of you who like the North States gate style and features but aren’t happy with the complex assembly required by the model discussed above, it may be a good idea to check out the
pressure-mounted North States Supergate Easy Close Metal Gate. One good feature of this gate is that it requires no assembly whatsoever. All you’d need to do is to extend the tension knobs till the gate fits tightly at the bottom of the stairs or between rooms. And the locking system of this versatile gate is also superior. The adjustable width enables easy fit across openings that are 30” high and 29.5”-38.75” wide, which you can actually expand by simply purchasing additional extensions.
- Solid and durable; made of heavy duty white powder-coated metal
- Equipped with triple locking system with one-hand use
- Swings both ways, as required
- Requires simple one-hand closing and opening action
- Has convenient hold-open feature to keep it at 90° angle
- Suitable for children and pets
- Self-close feature doesn’t always work
- Considerably easy for kids to unlatch
- Not suitable for outdoors; tends to rust
- Opening is small, hence difficult for adults to walk through
- Not suitable for use at the top of stairs
Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate
If you want to child-proof your home, and to do it in style, the bronze-finished Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate may be a good place to begin. One excellent feature of this gate is that while it’s pressure-mounted, for use between rooms, you can easily convert it into a baby gate for stairs with the optional hardware mounts provided by the manufacturer. Its solid metal construction seems perfect for providing protection for your little one, as it learns to crawl or walk its way through the house.
- Gate height is 36″and it’s designed to fit 28-48″ wide openings
- Safety feature includes dual locking, with auto-close walk-through
- Has removable door stopper to prevent gate from opening towards stairs
- Swings in both direction, enabling ease of use
- Auto-close facility doesn’t always work properly
- Width of the gate opening is inadequate for adults
- Clothes etc are likely to get caught due to catch mechanism
Munchkin Easy-Close Metal Safety Gate
Safety, and more safety! That’s what the Munchkin Easy-Close Metal Safety Gate is all about. This durable baby gate can be either pressure or hardware-mounted, and to add to its safety features is the double-locking system with U-shaped steel power firm to keep the gate securely in place.
- Ideal size with 29.5” height and 29.5-35” width
- Easy to shut the locks with just one simple push
- Extra safety ensured as lock is difficult for child to open
- Optional 3rd lock at base to choose direction of opening
- Swings in both directions
- Requires a whole lot of pressure to latch
- Latch tends to get stuck in open position
- Not a great fit for wide areas
- Not very solidly built
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your own particular needs. While the North States baby gates do offer a range of amazing features, the Munchkin Easy-Close Metal Safety Gate seems to have the edge when it comes to safety. And that, after all, is what the best baby gates for stairs are meant to deliver. Not only does this gate allow for both pressure-mounted and hardware-mounted installation, it also has a solid steel power frame to ensure stability. And while the double-locking mechanism may not be a unique feature of this gate, the optional third lock is. You can use the third lock to choose the direction of opening the locking system or to keep it tightly shut, as you may like. The dual swing facility is another feature that you may like, since it enables installation in virtually any area of your home, be it the top or bottom of the stairs, the hallway or between the rooms. Happy users have described this gate as quite a deal for its price, with its stylish looks complementing its efficient functionality.
Things you should look for in a baby gate for stairs
The key to choosing the best baby gate for stairs lies, of course, in its safety features. So the door, with its latch and locking system, is one thing you ought to pay particular attention to. In addition, you should take account of the height, the door swing direction, pressure, strength and certification.
Here we examine some of the basic features in more detail.
Type of door: The choice is between pressure and hardware gates. According to Home Security Systems Guide for the stairs it’s advisable to buy hardware gates that can easily be screwed tightly to the wall. Pressure gates are more suitable for use in doorways .
Ease of opening: That’s where the catch comes in (pun intended!). You need a gate that doesn’t open too easily (you wouldn’t want your little one to be able to flick it open, would you?). At the same time, it should be easy enough for you to open and walk through without having to struggle with it.
Adjustable size: If you’re looking for a portable kind of baby gate that you can easily shift from the top of the stairs to the bottom, or even to the door of a room, it may be better to go for something that’s adjustable in size.
Slats spacing: For assured safety, check out the gap between the slats. Ideally, the spacing should not be more than 3”or else there’s a danger of your baby’s head getting trapped.
Locking mechanism: Inter-locking is a good system to have on a baby gate for stairs. Or you could go for an automatically shutting latch. If you want to be extra careful, you could look for a gate with a latch that clicks to confirm when it’s shut tight, or even an alarm as an indicator.
Additional features: As far as the gate’s height goes, anything that’s at least three quarters of your baby’s height should be good. Gates currently on the market range from 22” to as high as about 40”.
Difference between hardware- and pressure-mounted baby gates
If you’re wondering why you should opt for only the hardware-mounted baby gates for the top of the stairs, let’s tell you how this works. Well, what happens is that a pressure-mounted gate works as a result of the pressure it puts against the walls or the door frame – nothing else is holding the gate in place. This means, in effect, that a hard push could make the whole gate fall out of position. What you really need when there is a danger of your little one falling down the stairs is a hardware-mounted gate which can be installed with the help of brackets that you can screw into the frames behind the walls or a door frame. Just remember to install it in such a way that it swings inwards, towards the landing. This kind of gate is generally made of aluminum, steel (enamel-coated) or wood.
While pressure-mounted gates can also be made of these materials, or even wire, plastic, nylone mesh or plastic-coated wire, they should only be used where there’s no risk of falling, such as between two rooms.
What not to buy
While it’s important to know what you should look out for when buying a baby gate, it’s equally imperative to know what you shouldn’t go for. To begin with, as mentioned above, you really ought not to opt for the pressure-mounted gate if you want to secure the top of the stairs in your home. On the other hand, if it’s a portable gate you’re looking for and which you may want to carry around while traveling then the hardware-mounted is unlikely to be of much use. There’s also the issue of the shape and size of the slats. The old-fashioned horizontal slats aren’t really what you need in a baby gate if your child’s safety is your priority. In fact, these kinds of gates don’t usually meet the high safety standards which the best baby gates for stairs should meet.
Other points to keep in mind
When it comes to your baby’s safety, you’d naturally want nothing but the best, even if that means spending a little extra. Nevertheless, cost is something you’d probably need to consider at some point in the process of selecting the best buy. So after you’ve checked out the type of gate, as well as the size, spacing between the slats, durability and strength, ease of opening and locking mechanism, it’s time to check out the prices. Remember, your little one will grow up soon enough, rendering the gate useless. What we all need is a sturdy little thing that’s good while it lasts, and it should last long enough to keep your baby protected through the initial months of crawling and walking.