• Last updatedLast updated: Nov 03, 2022

10 Secure Baby Gates for Stairs – Safety Comes First (2022)

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Ready to discover the best baby gate?

There are a lot of great reasons to find the best baby gates for stairs. Whether you have pets or young children, the safety that a gate at the top, bottom, or both can provide is a huge advantage.

But is just any baby gate useful for stairs or is it better to find something designed especially for these features?

Read on to discover ten fantastic examples of baby gates to try for yourself.


BabyDan Guard Me Retractable GateEditor’s Choice

  • Fitted measurements for inside of a door frame: 25.4″ – 35″. With Extend-A-Guard it measures up to 44.6″.
  • Fitted measurements for outside of a door frame: 21.7″ – 31.2″. With Extend-A-Guard it measures up to 40.7″.
  • Automatically retracts with accordion folding.
  • Made in Denmark to EN1930:2011 & ASTMF1004 standards
  • Solid gate, no trying to get body parts through vertical railings
  • Plastic body is 100% free of PVC
  • Can be installed inside or outside of door frames, and at the top or bottom of stairs
  • Made in Denmark especially for tight spaces
  • Retracts almost flush to the wall for convenience

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, BabyDan’s Guard Me Retractable Gate is a great choice.

There are a lot of advantages to retractable gates. If you have partial custody of a child, a babysitting job in your home, or grandchildren who visit on a regular basis, this is a great way to have an effective door when you need it and an open passageway when you don’t.

Made in Denmark for the narrow passageways associated with older architecture, this is a wonderful choice for doors made in times before building codes existed. A smart and unique choice for homeowners who appreciate both.

This Danish design is especially nice if you live in a small home or an older home with narrow doorways and not a lot of room for a swinging gate. It is also very nice if you are a grandparent or other person who has children part-time and don’t want the constant obstruction of gates when they are not needed.

Danish safety standards top US requirements for things like green manufacture, so you can be certain that it is as safe as possible for your little one. European style and safety, available in the U.S.

Why did it make our list?

  • Green-certified plastic free of PVC and made to Danish environmental standards
  • Easy to install in any doorway or stairwell
  • Can be retracted to stay out of the way when not needed
  • Especially good for narrow passageways
  • Chic, European design
  • Solid gate means no kids trying to squeeze through bars
  • Comes with extender for wider doorways

What is not ideal about it?

  • Some found that they had difficulty with the instructions
  • The latch takes some learning for some people
  • Easily adjusts to fit openings 30″ high and 29.5 inches – 38.75 inches width with one extension (included)
  • Heavy-duty aluminum with white, wipe-down paint job
  • Swings both directions for easy maneuverability
  • Recommended for bottom of stairs only
  • Pressure-mount attachment system
  • The box comes with: One pre-assembled gate panel, two extensions, a hardware packet consisting of four bolts with tension knobs, four extension pins, four mounting cups, four screws, four double-coated tape pads, one wrench, and an instruction manual.

What’s strong, beautiful, and slides to adjust? This baby.

The Supergate Easy Close Gate is a great choice in that it can slide to a number of different widths to accommodate different areas. This gate can be used on a stairwell to start when a baby is crawling and then moved to accommodate a wider doorway later all without the need to buy another gate.

A great choice for moms and dads who like multipurpose items. Clean, white, and strong metal make it an even more attractive choice.

What are our favorite features?

  • Two-way swinging for easy maneuverability
  • Pressure mounting gate leaves no screw holes when you're done
  • Easily adjustable for a number of room widths or uneven walls
  • Easy install- done in seconds.
  • Can be moved from room to room without major installment needs

What could be better?

  • Not good for top of stairs
  • Threshold can be a tripping hazard for some
  • 36″ tall gate fits openings 28-48″ wide
  • Double-locking auto-close door makes it extra safe
  • Easy lift-up, one-handed opening
  • Extensions of different sizes included to fit most any room size
  • pressure mounts extend out to compensate for handrails or uneven walls
  • Hardware and one-way hinge great for top of stairs

Beautiful, functional, and adjustable. Extra tall with an arched architectural feature in the gate. A gorgeous choice for the aesthete.

The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate is a great choice if you need an adjustable pressure-mount gate that has the optional hardware for the top of stairs. It swings both ways when needed, but has a one-way insert to avoid this at the top of the stairs as well.

A number of different sizes of extension are there to make sure it fits most any door frame, and the pressure mounts compensate for uneven walls.

Why is it special?

  • Good for top of stairs or rooms
  • Beautiful arched iron design
  • Comes with everything needed for install
  • Choose between hardware and pressure only, one-way or two-way swing

What are the flaws?

  • Threshold can be a tripping hazard
  • 30.5 inches high, fits doorways 26.5 to 40 inches in width
  • Aluminum construction with silver finish
  • Double-locking latch stays secure while providing easy one-handed opening
  • Designed to fit vertically even when the walls are not even
  • Extra-wide walkthrough area
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Secure wall-mount hardware

If you like Ikea chic, this is a great compliment to the style!

Munchkin Loft Aluminum Infant Safety Gate looks great. Very sturdy. More so than the gates that don’t mount to the wall. Easy to open for an adult. Swings inward and outward. You  can also adjust the width of the gate by 2-inch increments.

Munchkin Loft Aluminum Infant Safety Gate is designed for those who want a slim profile and a truly clean, modern stainless look. It is strong and well-liked, as are all Munchkin products, and the screw-in design ensures that anyone who properly installs it into a wooden stud can be sure that the gate will stay secure.

What stands out?

  • A great match to modern decor
  • Extra-wide walkthrough gate
  • Chic, silver color
  • One-handed double latch for safety and ease of use
  • Slim profile of strong aluminum
  • Comes with two half-inch spacers

What cons did we manage to find?

  • The piece requires permanent screws into walls, which means screw holes remain when the gate is removed
  • Install bracket makes it great for top of stairs installation
  • Great for wide doorways- expands to 9 feet in length!
  • Can retract to 25.5 inches
  • No pinch/choke design is patented
  • Center leg support
  • 30-33 inches high, depending on the width of expansion
  • Meets J.P.M.A. certification specifications
  • Can swing 180 degrees on hinges

The classic, original baby gate still fits the needs of many families.

The GMI Keepsafe Expansion Gate is one of the first designs to ever hit the baby gate market. The crisscrossed lattice shape and expandable wood design have long been used to provide a simple yet effective way to keep your little ones safe where they belong. This is not the best choice for an active climber who studies latch mechanisms.

However, if you have pets or kids who are not lockpicking masterminds, it is a great choice and a fun nod to the retro designs of your own childhoods or babysitting days.

Know what? Classics are classic for a reason, and this is no exception. Simple, effective, well-loved.

Why did it make our list?

  • No risk of trapped heads, fingers, or other parts
  • Wooden design is free of plastics and eco-safe
  • Mounting design is safe for the top of the stairs
  • Hinged to swing a full 180 degrees

What is not ideal about it?

  • Center foot may rub carpet down in some cases
  • Foot design requires you to put holes in the floor
  • Flexible design means cats and small dogs may squeeze under it
  • Width can be adjusted for openings between 29.5-51.5. The gate has a height of 36″
  • An extra-wide area to walk through offers 2-way opening and easy, one-handed operation
  • Includes three extensions to allow you to place it in a number of extra-wide doorways
  • Double-locking system on the handle helps foil toddlers
  • Gate is sleek and durable metal
  • U-shaped steel power frame keeps gate securely in place
  • Pressure mounting system does not require screw-in

Parents love the safety that this provides!

Easy Close XL Metal Safety Gate is a favorite choice for the top of stairs because of the fact that it offers a smaller opening in a wide doorway and it swings both directions. Three locks keep it from fooling all but the most clever children, yet it can still be operated with just one hand.

Simple, beautiful, great for large spaces. Clever and functional.

Why did it make our list?

  • Durable, easy-to-clean metal
  • Tricky double latch with a third available to keep little engineers from escaping
  • Great for wide areas
  • Smaller inset gate means no wide gate banging all of your furniture
  • Three expansion pieces means full adjustment to fit your unique stair or door frame widths
  • Extra tall to keep your little ones extra safe
  • Two-way swinging

What is not ideal about it?

  • Pressure-mounting system can be difficult to secure in areas that are 40 inches or more in width
  • Can mount at angles up to 30 degrees against angled stairs
  • Optional stop bracket to keep it from opening over stairs
  • Width is adjustable 27″-42.5 Height is 29.5″
  • One-handed latch great for adults and tricky for toddlers
  • Hardware, wall-mount design
  • Comes in white, black, and wood
  • Outdoor version available in white, black, or brown
  • Aluminum body
  • Optional wooden clamps sold separately can enhance security

If you are looking for a gate for the bottom of the stairs, this should win, hands-down. If you are looking for a gate for the rest, the strength of materials, clever design, and strength of install should make sure that Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate is in your top list of considerations. An excellent choice all around.

A smart and fantastic gate on all counts.

What makes it stand out?

  • Both indoor and outdoor versions available
  • All aluminum for safety and strength
  • Can be angled for bottom stairs and still open freely
  • Can keep from opening over stairs if you choose
  • Tricky yet easy one-handed latch system

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Some kids have found that the hex bolts securing the latch can be unscrewed by hand. (This is only the most crafty escape artists, but it should be mentioned.)
  • This gate fits widths 29.5″ – 35″ wide with one 2.75″ extension included. For larger openings, extensions are available for purchase
  • White square frame with cylindrical rails
  • Meets or exceeds ATSM voluntary standards
  • Double-locking system and steel frame
  • Two-way swinging gate
  • White, easy-clean finish
  • Steel U-frame pressure-mount attachment
  • Limited one-year warranty

Simple, elegant, strong, easy to clean. This baby gate is a mother’s dream!

The Munchkin Easy-Close Metal Safety Gate is the perfect choice if you swear by the style and function of Ikea furniture.

This stunning silver piece looks at baby gates as a fashion statement instead of an unintrusive furnishing. Thick, rectangular tubing makes a statement that is at home in any modern decor scheme. The silver coating gives a modern look that fits well with anyone who uses stainless steel for their furnishings.

Its clean, angular design is strong and the adjustable sliding system allows it to fit in doorways or stairwells between 26.5 and 40 inches. It is easy to install and comes with an integral tuning system (ITS) to make sure the gate has a vertical hang, even when the walls do not. Everything you love about clean, modern design in a quality baby gate!

Munchkin Easy-Close Metal Safety Gate is a great choice for those who are looking for a gate that fits their budget and is strong. The white, easy-clean surface is wipe-down friendly, which is a huge relief to anyone with sticky-fingered toddlers.

What are our favorite features?

  • White, easily-cleaned surface
  • Strong steel U-frame supports light aluminum gate
  • Pressure-mounting system designed to reduce the need for screw holes in walls
  • One-year warranty

What could be better?

  • Single-latch system can be figured out by some clever kids (but great for pets)
  • Some customers struggle with the instructions
  • No threshold
  • Won’t swing over steps
  • Can swing out of the way when not in use
  • Automatically swings back and self-locks
  • Safety latch can be operated with one hand
  • Mounting hardware all included
  • Comes in white and bronze

An all-around solid gate that is mechanically installed.

The North States Supergate Tall Easy Swing and Lock Gate is a tall, mounted baby gate that is a great choice for parents who want a safe environment and want to discourage gate climbing. The threshold-free system eliminates the tripping hazard that thresholds present.

Simple, screw-in design is low profile and designed to stay out of your way when you need and swing automatically back into place if you desire.

What are our favorite features?

  • Threshold-free design reduces tripping hazards
  • Safety latch is tricky for toddlers yet can be operated with one hand
  • Door swings completely out of the way and automatically relatches behind you to keep it working well with full hands
  • Screws telescope to adjust for uneven surfaces
  • Rails are aligned close together to avoid getting a child's head stuck.

What could be better?

  • Latch is plastic so it may not last as long as a metal latch
  • Screws will back out of drywall if they are not applied correctly and securely to studs
  • Pressure-mounted gate mechanism
  • Certified okay for the top of the stairs
  • Optional hardware mounting kit included (used for the top of the stairs)
  • Autoclose
  • Stay-open feature
  • Fits openings 28-39 inches in width
  • 29.5 inches tall
  • One-handed operational latch
  • Comes in white or black bronze
  • All metal with plastic latch mechanism

The elegant styling and strength of a wrought-iron gate with the functionality of a baby gate. A truly excellent combination!

Dreambaby Auto Close Gate with Stay Open Feature is a smart yet beautiful way to keep your children safe. It offers an auto-close feature and a double locking system to keep busy hands from figuring out how to open it. This gate is an attractive pressure mounted gate that is easy to install.

The Smart Stay-Open feature is perfect for when you are carrying babies, laundry, groceries or other things through the barrier. Suitable for stairs and doorways, it will fit openings of 28”-32”. When you use the included (2 x 3.5”) extensions it can be increased to fit up to 39”. The gate is 29.5″ tall.

Additional extensions are sold separately to accommodate doorways up to 111.” This Dreambaby pressure-mounted gate is easy to install. In most cases, you don’t need to screw holes into woodwork or walls. At the top of the stairs, however, mounting cups and screws are needed to ensure security.

It’s well-reviewed by anyone who uses it and installs it correctly, and over 95% of those who have reviewed Dreambaby Auto Close Gate are highly satisfied with the product.

Why did it make our list?

  • Certified safe for the top of the stairs when used with the hardware mounting kit
  • Your choice of bronze/black or white to match home decor and aesthetics
  • Sturdy, all-metal body
  • Easy, one-handed latch can be used while carrying children or groceries
  • Stay-open setting allows for multiple trips while carrying a load
  • Automatically swings closed behind you

What is not ideal about it?

  • Pressure-mounted design means gate threshold

Things to Consider

Retractable Baby Gates for Stairs

Retractable gates are a great option, especially if you want to have a gate in place when you need it but an open stairwell when you don’t.

If you are co-parenting with an ex, a babysitter out of your home, a pet owner who limits access when you’re at work, or a grandparent who has the kids two days per week, retractable gates are a great way to get the protection you need while reclaiming your stairs the rest of the time.

They stretch across the doorway and attach when needed. When not needed, they hang close to one side of the door frame, out of the way.

Retractable gates can be made of wood, plastic, metal, or even fabric. They can have an expanding lattice design, a roll-out projector screen design, or a folding accordion version. They are also one of the best choices if you have an extra-wide stairwell as many of them can expand to fit 9 or 10-foot expanses.

These sound like great choices!

Baby Gates for Stairs Without Drilling

There are two kinds of attachments: Hardware and pressure-mount.

Baby gates that don’t require drilling typically tend to be pressure-mount gates. Because these gates require a lot of pressure to keep in place, they are difficult to remove and replace unless you buy a model that has a swinging gate over a threshold.

Great to know!

Baby Gates for Stairs with Railings

10 Secure Baby Gates for Stairs - Safety Comes First (2022)Baby gates and railings can be tricky, but there are a few different ways to accommodate both.

  1. Choose a baby gate that is lower than the railing.
  2. Choose a baby gate that has cutouts that fit the railing hole. Some expansion kits will be a different height than the rest of the gate or will offer pressure-mount pins that provide the width needed to avoid the railing.
  3. Shorten the railing so that it begins after the gate.
  4. Adjust the railing height to accommodate the baby gate.

With a little trial and error (and an understanding of what you are and are not willing to do, you can find a way to share space between the railing and the baby gate.

Safety first!

Baby Gates For The Bottom Of Your Stairs

Baby gates can be used at both the top and the bottom of your stairs. At the top, they can prevent a baby from falling down. At the bottom, they can prevent access to the stairs at all. This is great if you have pets that are only allowed downstairs but not upstairs in your home. These gates can only swing one way, as they cannot go over the stairs.

They are a good choice for pressure-mounted gates with thresholds, as the thresholds are less likely to become tripping hazards. One thing to watch for with baby gates at the bottom is handrails, as they can be an obstacle.

Hardware Mounted Baby Gates

Hardware is used to screw a baby gate securely into the wall. This must be done into a solid wood surface like a stud, and not into an open drywall or plaster portion of the wall in order to be secure and not wiggle out as children or pets push against the gate.

In many cases, a drill is needed to pre-make the holes for the hardware. In other cases, a self-driving screw and a power screwdriver may be sufficient. The advantage of using hardware is that it is one of the safest and secure ways to attach a baby gate to an area.

It also leaves screw holes when you are done using the gate, so it can take some clean-up to erase the evidence that it was there. It’s the safest choice, but it does require sacrificing a pristine wall to get there.

Extra Wide Pressure Mounted Baby Gates

The wider openings will typically require one of two kinds of gates: a pressure-mounted gate that is mostly solid with a smaller hinged entrance or a retractable gate that is designed to expand to a wide area.

Pressure-mounted baby gates are a good choice if you need a high gate for a wide area. If you have pets who try and push under the gate, it is again a good choice.

If you want a gate that stays in place all the time, pressure-mounted gates are the best way to achieve this. Some of these pressure mounted gates are also reinforced with a hardware mount, especially if you are using them at the top of the stairs. They are also designed to swing both directions.

A smart design for a good purpose!

Gates for Pets

10 Secure Baby Gates for Stairs - Safety Comes First (2022)Are pet and baby gates different?

Traditionally, baby gates and pet gates are the same. However, there are a few specific things about each that you need to consider. When looking at gates for pets, here are a few things to know:

  • Gates that don’t have complicated locks are still great for pets, as they don’t have the thumbs to open them.
  • Retractable gates can gap at the bottom and are more likely for pets to squeeze beneath.
  • Wooden gates can be chewed by dogs. This can damage the gate and cause splinters in their throats. Metal and plastic gates can have paint that chips off. Though it is typically safe to swallow due to safety requirements. Powder-coated metal and solid plastic are least likely to have things that pets can ingest.

Good things to know to keep your fluffy babies safe!

When Should I Buy a Baby Gate?

When your child begins to crawl, you will need a gate. Once they begin to toddle, you will really need a gate. The best time to buy a gate is when your baby begins to become mobile. As they get older and you become more comfortable letting them go out on their own, the more you will need a gate.

This can protect the top of stairs when they are toddling to your bed in the dark. It can keep them (and their toys) in a designated toy room. It can put rooms with dangerous or delicate items off-limits.

Consider where you need gates as you begin to recreate your home for your child. This is the point to choose gates and assign where they go. Consider these measures before you need them and you’ll be sure to be safe when you do.

Measuring the Opening

Here is a list of things that you need to do to correctly measure an opening:

  1. Measure the top and bottom, outside and inside of the walls: Walls are rarely truly straight. Be sure you know that the width at the top and bottom of the gate is the same. You can choose a gate for the narrower width and shim the top if needed.
  2. Find the studs: If you are adding hardware, be absolutely certain you know where the studs are. Most baby gate problems happen because people screw the gate into plaster or drywall, which is not secure enough for something like this.
  3. Mark the height and intrusion length of banisters and handrails and consider your gate dimensions based on this: You need to keep all stair fixtures in mind and measure around them when you install.

Measure twice to be sure, and you’ll save yourself a world of headaches!


How to Install

The big thing to remember with these gates is to read the instructions thoroughly and ahead of time. One read-through before you start can help you to keep from stopping ten times to grab something at the store and will typically make it go faster.

Be sure that all of the hardware you need is included or that you have it ready before you begin. Every install is different based on the gate, the level of pre-assembly, and the style (pressure-mount, hardware-mount, and retractable).

Preparation can make all the difference!


The Winner of the Best Baby Gates for Stairs Is…

For innovation, ease of use, green certification, and smart design, the BabyDan Guard Me Retractable Gate wins best of the show. It offers no place for little heads or limbs to get stuck, a green plastic design, and the slimmest retractable profile of the bunch. It still doesn’t work for extra-large archways, but it offers the best barrier to keep baby from falling down the stairs, and even from throwing toys and other tripping hazards down the stairwell when thwarted.

Safe with added features. You’ve got to love it!

Thanks for reading!

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