Best Baby Gates for Stairs: Safety Review [2020]

Your stairs are one of the most dangerous hazards in your home. But you can protect your baby by finding the right baby gates. Not all baby gates are rated appropriately for being used at the top and bottom of stairs, and gates need to be at both the top and bottom of stairs.

BEST OVERALL

Regalo Stairway and Hallway Baby Gate

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Regalo is one of the most versatile and trusted brands of baby gate.
Extendable, with multiple mounting options, and safety lock features.
Not very secure or sturdy when extended, may wear out before 24 months are through.
RUNNER UP

Munchkin Loft Aluminum Hardware Mount Gate

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It’s hard to find something sturdier than the Munchkin, though it may be excessive for some situations.
Sturdy aluminum design, extensions available, with hold open features.
Industrial in appearance, and more expensive than other options.
BEST FOR THE MONEY

North States 42″ Wide Supergate Ergo Baby Gate

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This plastic lattice gate remains one of the most affordable and convenient options.
Affordable design, climbing resistant, and easy to open.
Not very attractive, and while it’s easy to open, it’s not as easy as some other swinging gates.

Here’s everything you need to know about finding the safest baby gates for your child, including the Top 18 baby gate products.

1. Regalo 2-in-1 Extra Wide Stairway and Hallway Walk Through Baby Safety Gate with Mounting Kit

best baby gates for stairs

This is one of the most affordable baby gates that you can find, and it’s designed specifically for stairway and hallway use. One of the major advantages to this kit is that it can be used at the bottom or top of stairs, and that it can expand between 24 inches to 40.5 inches wide. It needs to be mounted at least 6 inches back from stairs, but otherwise this versatile gate can be installed practically anywhere. This gate can also be quickly removed and adjusted for storage. Because it hangs on brackets, it’s safe but also removable.

This durable door also has a safety lock feature, which can prevent the potential for a child or toddler opening the door. This is ideal for parents who have older toddlers they’re trying to keep off the stairs, or parents who have pets that could potentially disrupt a single lock. The rotating latch is easy to open when people pass through, and that again increases general safety on the staircase. 

In terms of appearance, the Regalo has a sleek metal frame that doesn’t allow for any curious or inquisitive children to poke their heads through. Unlike some other designs, the bars are quite thin, and therefore the gate itself has a low profile and is fairly unobtrusive. Consider this gate if you’re looking for simplicity and sturdy construction.

PROS

  • Perfect for both stairways and hallways, making it versatile.
  • Removable, for when it’s no longer needed.
  • Easy for even a novice to install.

Cons

  • Not that attractive. 
  • May wear out in a year or two (though that’s usually as long as it’s needed).

2. Toddleroo by North States 47.85″ Wide Easy Swing & Lock Gate

best baby gates for stairs

With most gates, a simple gate inside of the baby gate opens and shuts. With the Toddleroo gate, the entirety of the gate swings open and shut. That’s a lot of versatility there, which makes the Toddleroo an excellent choice for a top-of-the-stairs gate. Available in a sleek, modern-looking matte bronze, the Toddleroo gate fits openings from about 27 inches wide to 48 inches wide, so make sure you take the appropriate measurements!

This is a brand that many parents trust, and it has the reviews to back it up. The Toddleroo has one-handed operation, opens with ease, and is large enough that anyone and anything can pass through. That includes parents who are toting strollers or car seats up and down the stairs. When it comes to stairs, you want to have versatility and durability, because you want to be able to handle anything that life throws at you.

This adjustable gate is designed to open only in one direction rather than both directions, and that further improves safety. The gate can also be removed from the hardware mounts if needed, which means that it can be removed entirely when it’s not in use. The hardware mounting itself is unobtrusive and easy to setup, even for parents who aren’t accustomed to using drills and other types of equipment. In short, this is a slick design that’s going to be suitable to most locations.

PROS

  • It features a removable gate, for additional convenience.
  • Has a wide swing and one-sided swing for easier traffic flow.

Cons

  • Can’t fit in smaller openings.
  • Bronze matte may not suit everyone’s style.

3. Munchkin Loft Aluminum Hardware Mount Baby Gate

best baby gates for stairs

If you want something really sturdy, you want the Munchkin Loft. Made from high performance aluminum, this baby gate features wider poles that are designed to keep kids and pets in. This hardware mount kit fits 26.5 inches to 40 inches wide and is 30.5 inches high, which is perfect for protecting your stairs. The Munchkin Loft can be used in both hallways and stairs to make absolutely sure no one gets in and out of areas that they shouldn’t.

This hardware mounted baby gate can be removed on-the-fly if you’re entertaining, and it has an Integrated Tuning System that makes it exceptionally easy to install. Door swings in both directions for better ease of use, and a double-locking system prevents children from accidentally (or intentionally) opening the gate themselves. There are very few gates that are as heavy duty and durable as the Munchkin Loft.

Of course, that’s a double-edged sword. You should also be aware that the Munchkin Loft does look heavy and industrial, and it isn’t as unobtrusive as a sleek white gate. It is aluminum and it looks aluminum, and its heavy-weighted appearance may become a hindrance to your design. At the same time, a gate at the top of the stairs isn’t likely to be seen by anyone but you.

The only other downside to this gate is that it is expensive. The Munchkin Loft is two to three times as expensive as other baby gates of its class, but that’s because it is a great deal heavier.

PROS

  • A heavy-duty baby gate with wide slats, for extra security.
  • An Integrated Tuning System, which lets you know when the gate has been properly installed.
  • Able to be removed quickly when entertaining or during high traffic times.

Cons

  • An industrial look that doesn’t suit every decor.
  • More expensive than many other options.

4. Summer Deluxe Stairway Simple to Secure Wood Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Wood gates have a classic look and timeless appeal, and the Summer Deluxe stairway gate is no exception. The Summer Deluxe is an all-around gate that is finished in Antique Oak, ideal for hallways, stairs, and anywhere else that you want to have both safety and flair. This gate has a hardware-mounted, four-point installation that ensures that it’s safe at the top of a staircase, and anywhere else for that matter.

This gate is 32″ tall, which makes it a little taller than other similar gates, and any additional height only makes the gate safer. It can fit openings 30″ to 48″ wide, which does mean that the gate isn’t going to fit more narrow spaces. Some hallways and staircases are closer to 27″ to 26″, and it’s not always standardized in older homes, so you should be careful when measuring. As always, the largest gate that will fit in your size is usually the safest.

A precision fit template included in the box makes this easy to install. You simply put the template along the wall and drill where it directs, and then you can place the gate as marked. A unique comfort grip handle makes it easy to use, and it has one-handed release for parents who are on the go. Altogether, the Summer Deluxe Stairway gate is a great option, and it’s affordable as well.

PROS

  • Attractive antique wood finish that suits many designs.
  • Easy install template, even for those who have never installed a gate before.
  • Sturdy, hardware installation for any home.

Cons

  • Antique wood isn’t perfect for everyone and may look out of place in modern homes.
  • Gate can’t be installed in particularly narrow locations, or very wide locations.

5. Evenflo Secure Step Gate

best baby gates for stairs

The Secure Step gate by Evenflo has hundreds of ratings on Amazon and excellent reviews to back it, and that’s because it’s one of the most straightforward and affordable options out there. The Evenflo Secure Step Gate offers a 29″ to 47″ gate at 30″ high, with a hardware mounting pack that’s specifically designed for stairs. That’s important. Stairs are one of the most important areas for a baby gate, but they also remain one of the most dangerous places.

In addition to that, the Evenflo Secure Step Gate also has no bottom bar. Many gates do, which can increase the chances of tipping over at stairs, because there’s a pivot point. This gate has been specifically designed with stair safety at a priority, and that’s what makes it a great choice for those who want the best baby gates for stairs. It’s also easy walkthrough; it can be opened both ways.

At the top of the stairs, you really do want a gate that can open both ways, because otherwise you may find it awkward to get through either going up or going down. No one wants to find themselves at a disadvantage when moving up or down stairs!

On the other hand, the Evenflo isn’t a very attractive gate. Its appearance is a little busy and more complicated than a lot of gates, and the dated beige color isn’t going to fit into a lot of decor. If you need a very basic gate, this is a great option, but at the same time, it doesn’t have a lot that makes it stand out among the competition.

PROS

  • Designed for stairs, which makes it more suitable than a general purpose baby gate.
  • Opens both ways, depending on your needs. 
  • Has no bottom bar, which can potentially pose a trip hazard.

Cons

  • Not very attractive; will stick out in some homes.
  • A little more expensive than other options (even if still affordable).

6. North States 42″ Wide Supergate Ergo Baby Gate

best baby gates for stairs

North States builds baby gates different. Rather than the traditional vertical bars, North States tends to build its baby gates with a plastic lattice. And that makes it both more affordable and safer, depending on the age of the child. 

For the most part, this baby gate is safer because it doesn’t allow things to be squeezed through, and the lattice is designed so it doesn’t give footholds that toddlers could potentially use to climb up it. But that can go both ways, it’s still possible a particularly determined child could climb up, and it’s very important that this type of gate be removed before the child gets to be 24 months or older.

Second, the lattice makes the gate as a whole stronger, which means that the gate can be more durable. This very large baby gate can be hardware mounted above stairs and can be hardware mounted in extra large hallways. It can also be used as pressure mounted in other areas of the home, though it’s not advised to use pressure-mounted gates on stairs. And when hardware mounted, the entire gate can swing, rather than slide (the default position).

But as mentioned, this type of gate can be dangerous for older children, because they could attempt to climb it. It’s also not very attractive: it’s a giant plastic lattice that looks a lot like a big plastic egg crate. And, you also need to bend down to slide the gate opened and closed. So, while it’s a great solution (and it’s extremely cheap), it’s probably not going to be the right gate for everyone.

PROS

  • Durable and unique construction.
  • A special, swinging design that doesn’t interrupt the flow of traffic.
  • Very cheap compared to some other baby gates on this list.

Cons

  • May be able to be climbed by children, especially older toddlers.
  • A little awkward to use.

7. Evenflo Top of The Stair Extra Tall Hardware Mount Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Evenflo’s Top of the Stairs Extra Tall gate stands a little higher, which is ideal for gates at the top of the stairs. When hardware-mounted, gates really only have two risks. One, they can be left ajar. If they’re left ajar, someone might lean against them and take a tumble. Two, they can be climbed. Older toddlers could climb them and also fall. Making the gate extra tall fixes the latter problem, while the former generally needs to be resolved through habits and conscientiousness.

This four-point mounted gate is very secure, and can swing open in either both directions or one direction depending on what you want. If you want your stair gate to be extra secure, you make it only open towards the landing, because that means it can’t be easily opened by someone pushing on it. If you want your stair gate to be more useful, you can set it to open in both directions. That means less fumbling while going up and down the stairs, which can also lead to better security.

A one hand release makes this gate easy for parents to open but challenging for children to open, which is exactly the goal. And it can be used for both children and pets, because it’s durable enough to do so; that makes it even better for families who have children and pets that they need to separate.

Finally, this extra tall gate comes in both dark and light wood, which means that it can more easily suit decor, and looks a little classier, than the plain white gates. If you want a gate that can blend seamlessly into your home, the Evenflo Top of the Stairs Extra Tall gate may be a great option.

PROS

  • Attractive wood appearance that will blend into many homes.
  • Versatile swing settings, for easier passage.
  • An extra tall design to keep children and pets in place.

Cons

  • Wood can be eaten through by pets.
  • May get warped in humid locations, where plastic might be better.

8. Munchkin Extending XL Tall and Wide Hardware Baby Gate

best baby gates for stairs

While a little more expensive than other options, this extra tall and wide hardware baby gate is a perfect choice for those who have large stairwells. A hardware mount baby gate should always be sized properly to suit the space, but hardware gates tend to be better for larger spaces than tension gates, because they can be affixed better into place. In all respects, the Munchkin baby gate looks like a classic baby gate: It’s a brilliant white metal with narrowly spaced slats.

This gate features a quick release, detachable gate format, which means you can quickly take the gate up and remove it when needed. If you have guests over, or if your toddler is being watched by the grandparents, you can remove the gate and walk freely. There’s also a unique hinge mechanism which puts less stress along the wall and ensures that the gate isn’t going to fail prematurely.

For stairs, there’s a one way opening, which guarantees superior safety. But you can also place this gate in other areas of your home, because there’s the ability to open both ways, as well. The handle is specially designed so that it’s easy to open for adults, but very challenging for children to open, and that also guarantees some additional safety. On the other hand, it is more expensive than some other options, and it does look generic, so if you’re looking for a baby gate that’s going to be aesthetically pleasing, you might want to look in another direction.

PROS

  • Extra tall and wide.
  • Can be removed on-the-fly for easier passage.
  • Has a unique hinge mechanism that improves utility.

Cons

  • Not very attractive; rather plain.
  • More expensive than other options.

9. Regalo 2-in-1 Extra Tall Easy Swing Stairway and Hallway Walk Through Baby Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Take a look at this exceptional, black baby gate, that’s cheaper than most, and provides 2-in-1 features for stairways and hallways. Similar to the other Regalo gate on this list, the exception is that this is an extra tall gate, which is perfect for stairs. It’s always better for gates on stairs to be taller, while they’re a little harder to open they are much safer because they are more difficult to scale.

For safety, there’s a safety lock feature that ensures that children aren’t going to be able to open the gate even if they are able to open the lever itself. And the gate itself is made out of an all steel, durable construction, that also has an attractive, sophisticated black finish. There are adjustable panels available to ensure a snug fit into your stairway, and the entire design is manufactured to JPMA (Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association) and ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) certified standards. This means that it’s been put through some rigorous tests regarding both the design and build and the materials used. 

Regalo is a trusted brand that makes durable, versatile baby gates. It is admittedly not the most durable brand available, though: It’s durable enough for everyday use, but it can be a little flimsy if you extend it. If you’re using a Regalo, you may want to make sure you’re using the largest one that will fit into your space, rather than trying to use extensions. At 38″ tall, it’s ideal for both children and pets.

PROS

  • 38″ tall, which is taller than many other gates.
  • JPMA and ASTM certified.
  • A simple and affordable option.

Cons

  • A little flimsier than some other options. 
  • Black might not suit everyone.

10. KidCo Angle Mount Safeway Pet Gate

best baby gates for stairs

This KidCo gate may be listed as a pet gate, but it’s for both children and pets. And it’s unique. This Angle Mount gate can be used for stairs that have an angled surface, which is a lot of staircases in a lot of homes. Most gates are only designed for halls and other areas where the walls run perfectly parallel to each other. This Angle Mount gate can work even if the walls are extending away from each other, such as if the staircase is in a corner, or if the staircase widens. 

That’s not the only thing that’s special about this gate. This gate is also designed for one-handed operation, which has a directional stop that prevents the gate from swinging out over the stairs, which can be dangerous if you aren’t expecting it. The hinge side hardware means that the gate can be lifted up and removed entirely when it’s not in use, which adds some flexibility and versatility.

And, of course, it’s ideal for both children and pets, and particularly households that need to keep children away from their pets (and vice versa). That also means that it is more durable than many other options. It’s available in both white and black depending on your decor and design, it has a stay open feature, and it can fit into openings that range from 24.75 inches to 42.5 inches.

The gate itself is a little delicate, so it may not be usable if you have particularly heavy pets. But for children, it should be fine.

PROS

  • Can be used even in angled stairways.
  • Has a stay open feature.
  • Comes with easy, one-handed operation.

Cons

  • Not very tall compared to some other gates. 
  • Can be difficult to assemble.

11. Toddleroo by North States 47.85″ wide Tall Easy Swing & Lock Gate

best baby gates for stairs

This Toddleroo gate is ultra tall, which improves safety at the top of stairs. The North States Toddleroo features heavy duty construction that can prevent any toddler from straying, while it’s also 47.85 inches wide and 36 inches tall. Comparatively, most baby gates are 30 inches tall rather than 36 inches, and that means they’re much easier for an intrepid baby explorer to climb. 

This extra wide door is easier to use, because there are fewer things to potentially catch on. The gate swings only in one direction and can be open one-handed, and the gate can be removed from the hardware mounts when it isn’t in use. Altogether, that makes this one of the most versatile gates available, and it’s on par with other gates of its class in terms of pricing. 

There’s no threshold for this gate (no lower bar), so there’s nothing to trip on, which also makes the gate less dangerous for adults passing through. And the gate’s construction makes it hard to climb, because it is composed almost entirely of vertical bars, rather than any other framing. 

But there are some downsides as well. While the gate itself is made out of a durable metal construction, the mounts are made out of plastic. These plastic mounts may wear down. The hardware kit itself, including the screws, are also not the best designed, and may pose some issues during installation. It’s advised that you have some home improvement knowledge if you’re going to install this gate, so you can compensate for the parts.

PROS

  • One-handed gate.
  • No threshold bar to pose a trip hazard. 
  • An extra wide format.

Cons

  • Plastic mounts can wear down.
  • Hardware mounting kit isn’t the best quality.

12. Qdos Crystal Designer Baby Safety Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Maybe you want to add some flair to your safety. If so, the Qdos Crystal Designer gate is for you. This designer gate has been designed to European standards of safety, which the manufacturer assures is more rigorous than other standards. While expensive, this gate has a unique format that makes it very attractive. It’s crystal clear, which means that it offers complete unobstructed viewing, and doesn’t seem noticeable to guests. But it still keeps your child in.

In fact, it may even be safer than many other gates, because there’s no way a child can climb its slick surface. As children grow older and reach 24 months or so, they begin to try to climb the bars of traditional baby gates, which is one reason that baby gates need to be removed at this time. The Qdos is much harder to climb, and because of its format, it’s also suited to keeping out pets as well as children.

The gate is easy to install, but cannot be installed with extensions, so while it fits a space 29.5 inches to 39.8 inches wide, you won’t have much luck beyond that. But if you do have a space that measures that, and you’re looking for a baby gate that has a little flash, then Qdos designer baby gate is a great choice. It also still has all the standard safety features, including double action lock, and one way stop. It’s not just an attractive gate, but also a usable and versatile one.

PROS

  • Unique crystal clear look. 
  • Double action lock. 
  • One way stop.

Cons

  • Much more expensive than other options.
  • No extensions.

13. Babepai Retractable Baby Gate Wide Safety Mesh Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Metal gates aren’t the only gates approved for use at the top of staircases. What’s most important is the hardware mounting. This Babepai Retractable Baby Gate is made out of mesh, and it’s able to be placed on stairways, patios, and other areas. Retractable mesh gates are ideal because they can be installed in virtually any location; this one in particular can fit areas 54″ wide.

This see through woven mesh is extra tall to make sure that it can’t be climbed. It’s high quality, and see through, so you can still see babies and pets on the other side. The gate is easy to open, though not quite as easy as gates that simply swing open. But an advantage is that it’s not possible to confuse yourself and think the gate is locked when the gate isn’t: It’s very obvious whether the gate is retracted or not.

This gate can still be used with a single hand, and it has a double locking mechanism. The stay open and stay closed feature makes it easier when you’re walking up and down the stairs frequently, and the fact that it’s so versatile is great for unique spaces. Cordon off the areas of your home safely with a durable and non-disruptive gate. This gate is more suited towards the bottom of the stairs than the top of the stairs but can be used for either, and since it doesn’t swing up or down, it’s less of a danger to those approaching the stairs.

PROS

  • Affordable.
  • Easy, one-hand operation.
  • Adaptable to unique spaces.

Cons

  • Mesh design isn’t as ideal for the top of staircases.
  • Can be more difficult to use.
  • May potentially sag with time.

14. Heele Metal Mesh New Design Baby Gate Auto Close for Stairs

best baby gates for stairs

This gate is a hybrid between metal mesh and traditional bar stairs designs. On the frame, there’s bars.But the gate itself is mesh. This improves safety, since there is the strength and the structure of the metal bars, but a mesh in the middle that can prevent climbing or trying to get through. This gate is pressure-mounted, but says that it can be used safely for stairs. Your mileage may vary, and you should be cautious when installing it.

These stairs are designed to take up to 200 pound impact, which makes it safe for both pets and children. The large gate makes it easier for people to walk through when they’re holding things or just doing their day-to-day tasks, and it’s designed to install without any damage to the wall. There’s a double lock and safety releaser, and Heele says this unit can be used for children up to 36 months, likely due to the mesh design and heavy-duty impact resistance.

This is a fairly attractive gate that looks less obtrusive than most barred gates, because the mesh is easy to see through. And if you want an auto-closing gate that’s easy to secure, it’s the perfect choice. However, parents should make sure that they’ve secured it properly at the top of the stairs, and double check to make sure that it is safe at the top of their stairs; manufacturer recommendations only go so far. The 100% quality guarantee does mean that you can return the Heele mesh gate if you find that it isn’t suitable to your needs.

PROS

  • Pressure-mounted approved for staircases.
  • Takes up to a 200 pound impact.
  • Large gate for easier use.

Cons

  • It is still pressure-mounted.
  • The mesh design isn’t for everyone.

15. Storkcraft Easy Walk-Thru Metal Safety Gate

best baby gates for stairs

The Storkcraft Easy Walk-Thru Metal Safety Gate is an extremely unobjectionable gate. Coming in white, black, and gray, it can be tailored to your home. At only 27 inches tall, though, you should be cautious around older children, as that does make the gate a little easier for them to scale. The Storkcraft has an attractive, simple design, with evenly spaced bars, and secure brackets. The one-hand quick-release latch system makes it easy to go in and out while still securing the gate against small children.

This gate is JPMA certified and designed to be both child and pet-friendly, making it good for child and pet households. It can be expanded from 23.5 to 42 inches wide, and it can be set to swing open in either both directions or only a single direction. However, this gate is designed only for the bottom of stairs, not the top of the stairs, which does cut down on its versatility somewhat.

Some features include a wall-mounted hinge that improves stability, adjustable width, and an easy locking mechanism. However, it likely can’t be installed at the top of stairs because it is so short. This gate’s design makes it ideal for many households, but its limitations should also be kept in mind. It’s also one of the more affordable options available, and every household does need a gate at the bottom of the stairs.

PROS

  • One of the more affordable options.
  • Available in multiple colors.
  • Comes with a quick-release latch system.

Cons

  • Can only be installed at the bottom of stairs.
  • A little plain looking.

16. Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Baby gates don’t have to look boring. The Summer Infant Multi-Use gate has advantages for multiple reasons. First, the archway makes it even more difficult to climb, and its design makes it difficult for children to get through. The archway also makes it more attractive and visually interesting than many other gates, which can be a plus if you’re looking for something that really fits into your home. It’s also available in five colors: beige, bronze, grey, grey and white, and slate. So you can find one that suits your decor, especially if your home already has a sort of “art deco” feel.

Apart from appearance, the gate also has easy installation with a five minute installation for hardware mounting. It will auto close on its own for hands free convenience, making it easier for busy parents, and a removable door stopper can prevent the door from swinging outward into the stairs, making it even more secure for top-of-the-stairs use. This baby gate is 36 inches tall and fits 28 to 48 inch gaps.

Summer makes a variety of decorative, tall, walk through gates, all of which can be used on stairs, but this is one of our favorites because it’s so versatile. There are also metal-and-wood options and metal-and-mesh options that are similar, and this gate can be installed pressure-mounted in other areas of the home, though hardware-mounting is recommended for staircases.

PROS

  • Five colors to suit virtually any decor.
  • Uniquely decorated.
  • Sturdy and secure.

Cons

  • A little more expensive than plain options.
  • Doesn’t fit narrow staircases.

17. Summer Modern Home Decorative Walk-Thru Baby Gate

best baby gates for stairs

Possibly the most extravagant baby gate on this list, it still isn’t the most expensive. The Summer Modern Home Decorative baby gate features a bold design in the very center of the gate, which is suited to classical decor, and which can fit 28 inches to 48 inches wide. This baby and pet gate can fit doors and stairs, and is hardware and pressure-mounted depending on your needs (of course, at the top of stairs it should be hardware-mounted, but at the bottom pressure-mounted may be suitable).

This decorative gate has many superb reviews and it’s easy to see why. The design isn’t just attractive, but functional. By making the gate in a complex design, the gate also becomes less easily scaled, and that makes it better for stairs. So, if you want an attractive gate that can’t be climbed, this is the one.

This gate is roughly twice as expensive as some of the cheapest gates, but even so it’s pretty affordable, especially if appearance is a priority of yours. At the same time, since it does have a rather specific design, it isn’t going to fit into every home. Some of the features that it has include auto-close and hold-open, both of which make it easy to use as well as attractive. It also has a 36 inch height, perfect for stairs. And the pattern isn’t just attractive, but it’s also functional: It makes it harder for children to climb. 

PROS

  • Designed to be both attractive and functional.
  • Has auto close and hold open for additional convenience. 

Cons

  • A rather specific design.
  • More expensive than other options.

18. Cardinal Gates Wood Gate, Maple

best baby gates for stairs

Sophisticated maple wood sets the Cardinal Gates Wood Gate off from the competition. With this wood gate, the entirety of the gate swings open and closed, rather than just a gate inside of the frame. The gate itself attaches directly to the wall through hardware mounting, and the gate is suggested for 6 months to 24 months. This gate has a special latch that can defeat even the smartest of toddlers, while still being easy to use by adults. It can also install at angles up to 30 degrees for angled staircases.

This gate is also available in white or black if the maple wood look isn’t desired, with a powder-coated finish and an outdoor version available in white, black, or brown. This is important, because you also want gates at the top of your outdoor staircases, and most gates aren’t properly rated for outdoors. This special gate is compatible with extensions, has an adjustable width, is 29.5 inches high, and can either open in one direction or both directions depending on desired effect.

Over time, the latch on this Cardinal gate can become loose and stop latching—so make sure you check it frequently. If the latch becomes difficult to open, you can use some grease such as WD-40 to make it a little smoother. 

PROS

  • Elegant wood look.
  • Special, angled installation.
  • Easy hardware mounting.

Cons

  • More expensive than simpler options.
  • Can be a little difficult for even adults to open.

Why Do You Need Baby Gates for Stairs?

It’s easy to understand why you need baby gates at the top of the stairs. But why the bottom? Parents often forget that inquisitive babies can climb up stairs and then fall down them, and it doesn’t take much to cause an injury. That’s especially true on harder surface stairs, such as hardwood stairs.

Baby gates for stairs are made in different ways:

  • They are usually hardware-mounted. While pressure-mounted gates are fine for other use, they aren’t as sturdy as hardware-mounted gates. Hardware-mounted gates attach directly to the walls, whereas pressure-mounted gates use tension to hold them in.
  • They can usually swing both ways and a single way. It’s safer to have a baby gate that swings only out towards the landing, rather than out towards the staircase itself. At the same time, some parents do prefer the option to have the gate swing both ways, so they don’t fumble with it as much.
  • They are generally sturdier. The stakes are raised when it comes to staircases, as a broken gate could lead to more than just an escaping baby… it could lead to a tumble down the stairs.
  • They may be taller. The taller the gate is, the safer the gate is. A tall gate is going to serve a child for longer, too: as a child gets older, they become more predisposed towards climbing a gate, and can more readily do so.

And apart from the above, baby gates for stairs still need to meet the rigorous standards of baby gates in general. They can’t be easy for the baby to open, they need to be difficult for the baby to climb, and they should swing closed if they’re forgotten when open.

Finding the Right Baby Gate for You

With all that in mind, how do you find the right baby gate? The right baby gate is going to be rated for stairs, certified for safety, and will also have the appearance and functionality that you need. Appearance is often the area in which baby gates differ the most. The standard baby gate is a white metal gate with thin bars, but there are baby gates that are made out of wood, come with exciting finishes, or unique designs. While you don’t want to compromise on safety, you may also want a gate that fits well into your home and its style.

What If You Can’t Hardware Mount Your Baby Gate?

There are still some pressure-mounted designs that are approved for stair use, but they are rare and usually not advised. There’s one of them on this list. But in general, if you can’t hardware-mount your baby gate, you may need to look into other options for safety. One option is to speak with your landlord about whether you can compromise: You can patch the walls after.

While hardware mounting a baby gate may seem intimidating, it’s actually no more complicated or damaging than hanging a few pictures. If you’re allowed to hang pictures on your walls, you should be allowed to hang a baby gate. A baby gate can be seen as a health-related accommodation, and you should talk to your landlord about whether they really won’t allow one. They are easily removed and will leave behind only a few holes.

If you’re in an area where a baby gate just wouldn’t be possible (such as having a concrete wall), there may be other options. But you may want to talk to an actual contractor to explore them.

Conclusion: Finding the Right Baby Gate for Your Stairs

As you can see, there are a lot of options for a secure gate. You can begin looking for gates that are hardware-mounted, because hardware-mounting is naturally going to be more secure. From there, look to make sure that the gates are appropriately certified with the safety standards in your area; this rigorous safety testing ensures that babies are not able to go over or under the gates, or manipulate the gates in a way that could be unsafe.

Measure your stairs multiple times to ensure the right fit, and follow all installation instructions. Hardware mounting isn’t difficult, but if things aren’t installed correctly, you could encounter issues later on. Start with the above gates, and then take a look at the reviews and the features that matter most to you!

Last updated on May 5th, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Francine Wingard

I was always around kids since I was just a little girl, babysitting my siblings. When I turned 15 my parents allowed me to become a part-time nanny. Now I’m a full-time mom of 2 beautiful angels. If you’re as concerned about your baby’s safety as I am, consider Modern Baby Advice to be your new home.