The Best Baby Gate For Stairs: 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

Before buying the best baby gate for stairs, read the important information in this article first.

One of the most challenging parts of toddlerhood or any time the little one has learned to walk is childproofing your home. It is when you will need to buy the best baby gates for stairs.

And yes, even that takes some consideration before you go for the product that fits your needs.


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

This metal gate is a pressure-mounted type thus making it ideal for use at the bottom of the stairs, not the top part. The gate measures 36 inches and can fit openings which are 24-48 inches wide.

The bronze metal finish looks sleek and can also blend in with the house decors.


  • Has a dual locking system and is an auto-close walk-thru gate – it’s always good to have additional safety features
  • Can also be used as barrier between rooms like keeping the child away from the kitchen
  • Because it’s pressure-mounted, you don’t need to drill it which means it won’t leave any unnecessary marks and dents or even scratches on the walls or your stairs
  • Gently closes behind you and you can operate it using only one hand
  • Sturdy and reliable construction
  • High quality and durable materials
  • Not easy for kids to figure out how to open
  • Easy to install and adjust


  • Although it has a removable door stopper which prevents the gate from opening into the staircase, I still wouldn’t advise using this for the top of the stairs.
  • The gate is pretty noisy when it shuts and locks


I don't agree with the idea of using this at the top of the stairs even if the company claims it’s perfectly safe to do so. Nevertheless, it does its job which is to keep the kids out and also make it easy for adults to walk through.

2.    Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate

This gate has been certified by the JPMA for use at the top and also at the bottom of the stairs.

Aside from toddlers, you can also use it as a protective barrier for pets like dogs and cats.

It may not look as attractive as metal, but it still blends well with your walls.


  • Mesh is scratch-resistant
  • Fabric is sturdy, washable and see-through – it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy
  • When opening or closing, there’s no winding needed because it automatically retracts
  • Quiet operation and opens and closes smoothly
  • Installation is foolproof, easy and quick
  • Process requires just one hand and is relatively quiet
  • Toddlers will find it difficult to figure out how to work it
  • Robust and sturdy enough to hold a child hanging on to it – holds up well even with constant beating
  • Subtle and barely noticeable when retracted
  • Looks clean and straightforward but very effective


  • Not much support at the bottom – an adventurous and persistent child might crawl under it
  • Quite expensive for a gate
  • If you’re planning to move it to another area or location, you need to buy another set of tools


It may be pricier than other baby gates, but for me, we should never go cheap when it comes to our children’s safety.

Although I don’t like the fact that you need to purchase additional hardware to relocate it, it’s totally understandable since you will need screws and other stuff for installation.

3.    Evenflo Swing Wide Expansion Gate

Although this is an easy hardware-mount installation, the company itself discourages using it for the top of the stairs.

You can use it at the bottom instead, and it’s also ideal for doorways and hallways.

It can fit openings from 24 to 60 inches and is 32 inches tall.


  • Features a retractable gate
  • Sturdy and stable since it uses a four point hardware mounting
  • You can operate with just one hand
  • Swings open and close with ease so you can walk thru
  • Has a child-resistant one-hand release
  • Also, has a telescoping plastic safety rail to prevent fingers from pinching because you’ll never know what your child will attempt next
  • Suitable for extra wide openings and places with odd angles
  • Easy to install and move – you can use it for both indoors and outdoors
  • Looks subtle when not in use
  • Pattern and design are lovely


  • Might not survive being regularly clashed into or climbed up on – it’s always a possibility when it comes to toddlers
  • Can be a bit dangerous for small pets to get stuck in
  • Wood material is a little flimsy – dogs can quickly chew on it


Although it keeps the kids contained in one room or area, I’m doubtful about the spaces in between. There’s a safety rail, yes, but little hands can still get stuck.

It’s probably good for older kids, but for those below 18 months, they are still starting to explore so I wouldn’t advise using this.

4.    Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate

Although you can use it practically anywhere, the company designed it for the top of the stairs. Installation is quick, easy and straightforward.

It features a one-hand operation for adults, but it will be difficult for toddlers to figure out how to work it.

There’s also an optional stop bracket to prevent the toddler from opening it into the staircase.


  • Material is lightweight but durable
  • Wall-mounted which makes it the perfect choice for this dangerous area in the house – the top of the stairway
  • Allows you to install it at an angle – up to 30 degrees and it won’t affect the latch
  • Even the smartest of toddlers will still struggle with how the latching system works – it’s simple but effective
  • You could swing it both ways
  • No bottom parts to trip you over
  • Lets you open and close it with one hand while you’re holding your child with the other
  • Stays secured once latched and closed
  • Might be lighter than other models but still reliable and sturdy


  • The wood clamps are sold separately (in case you don’t want to drill holes on your wall) – a big bummer considering the price of the gate


Although it doesn’t exactly blend well with your house décor, it keeps your child safe. No more worrying about accidentally opening the gate into the stairway because for kids below four years old, they won’t figure out how to work it.

The peace of mind is priceless.

5.    Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Gate And Play Yard

It is probably one of the most versatile baby gates you’ll ever see. It’s certified by the Juvenile Product Association and has eight removable and configurable panels which, in total, enclose 19 square feet.

That’s a lot of space! It’s an all steel design which makes it more durable than other models.


  • Easy to set up and store – folds down with ease
  • Features a safety locking feature
  • Expands into a 192-inch wall which you can use to keep the child from the stairs and you can also use it as a free-standing barrier
  • Quickly converts into a play yard – you wouldn’t need extra hardware or tools for this
  • Sturdy and strong
  • Compact design makes storage a breeze
  • Lightweight and portable which makes it ideal for travels
  • High quality and well-engineered
  • It’s incredibly versatile – fits well for both large and small spaces
  • Moving and mounting it won’t break a sweat
  • Not easy to knock down
  • Stable enough to stand on its own
  • Putting together won’t take too much of your time


  • Not advisable for use at the top of the stairs, just on the bottom part
  • On the heavy and bulky side


I’m always a fan of anything that’s multi-purpose which is why I love how you can turn this stair gate into a play yard. Its versatility is impressive, but of course, the downside is that you have to purchase a different one for the top of the stairs.

Why The Need For Gates?

The answer, which you probably already know by now, is for your child’s safety. When people say toddlers like to wander around, they mean everywhere – from the little spaces between cabinets to under the tables.

The truth is, even if you’re watching them 24/7, they can still get to places without you noticing them. I mean, maybe you’ve already experienced this similar scenario.

I was playing with my then-1-year-old who was still mastering how to walk but who could already start climbing. I looked at my husband for just a few seconds because he asked me a question.

When I looked back at my son, he was already on the second step in our makeshift gate which was a bed frame. So there, before you start being sceptical about the importance of baby gates, don’t be.

Besides, one of the leading causes of emergency room visits by those below two years old is falling down the stairs.

It’s not just for stairs, but even the kitchen or balcony since this barrier will prevent them from getting to places where they might sustain injuries, even minor ones. One example is when you’re cooking dinner, and you want to keep your eyes on the child but keep them away.

You can put the gate between the living room and kitchen. That way, you have the peace of mind that they’re safe.

When should you put it?

Don’t wait before your kid can already walk. In fact, you should start putting them up even before the child starts to crawl, like maybe around six months.

Ideally, there should be a gate at the top and the bottom. But the more crucial part is the former.

Last update on 2018-02-16 at 22:21 PST - Detail

Reminders Before You Buy

  • Make sure you measure the area so the gate can perfectly fit it. It is vital because it defeats the purpose if you end up with a gate that’s too long or too short for the staircase.
  • It should be at least three-quarters of your child’s height. As I mentioned earlier, toddlers are so active they will find it fun to climb that gate or even see it as a challenge.

    But if it’s way too tall for them, chances are, they will stop trying eventually. In line with this, the material should be sturdy enough to withstand beating because it will get plenty.
  • According to the Juveniles Product Manufacturing Association, the gap between the slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inches. If it’s wider than that, the child might attempt to pass through and could potentially get stuck.
  • Another essential consideration is whether your child will be able to open it with ease or not. I know this is probably the most “DUH? OF COURSE” factor but it’s something we often overlook.

    We want something that the toddler can’t climb on but, what if it’s so easy to figure out how to open or unlock?
  • Does it have additional features like latch indicator (clicks to signal it correctly latched) or alarm system (goes off if they accidentally open the gate)?

    These are all helpful to ensure that you installed the gate properly and also let you know if your little one somehow has managed to outsmart your stair gate.

    These are nice to have but something you can do without if you’re always watching your child closely even behind the gates.

Additional Safety Information

  1. Stair gates are best suited for kids below 30 months old or sometimes, depending on their weight (because of maximum limit). Always stay mindful about the instructions and other relevant information from the manufacturer.Read the manual before using.
  2. Never use a pressure-mounted gate at the top of the stairs – the companies usually didn't make them for that purpose. You can choose other types of gates for this particular area of the house and only avoid the pressure-type.

    It is to prevent the child from pushing it over and falling towards the bottom.
  3. Don’t leave them unattended. No situation warrants leaving the child alone – whether it’s a stroller, a baby rocker and more importantly, a stair gate.

    Although it’s designed to serve as a protective barrier and keep the child safe, there are still other things that could pose a hazard which is why never put your toddler in a different room with no one to look after them.
  4. Avoid purchasing or accepting second-hand gates. Trust me; this is not worth it.

    For one, the product might have been recalled by the company. Two, it might no longer be sturdy enough due to wear and tear.


The clear winner for me here is the Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate for the reason that the top of the stairs should be prioritised than the bottom, at least that’s how I see it.

Although it’s a given that you should still keep your eyes on the child, what matters most is you get the peace of mind that they won’t wander on that dangerous part of the house.

If it does its job, that’s always good enough for me. As for the price, it’s still within my budget, and I wouldn’t mind paying a few bucks more if it ensures the safety of my child.

Nancy Shaw

Hi. My name is Nancy. I am a nurse by profession and a writer by passion and ever since I became a mother, I’ve become very active in sharing useful and important information about basically anything under the sun and a full-time mother to a 21-month old boy. Read more about me here.

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