After I had children, the first time I moved to a home with a 2nd story AND a basement I knew my work would be cut out for me if I did not find a solution to those enticing steps!
It’s almost as if kids are drawn like a magnet to stairs!
Of course, there is no way for a toddler to know the danger that lies thereon, so it will likely always be an attraction.
Thankfully, these are some of the best baby gates for stairs that have been invented to help parents like us solve this crazy dilemma!
So, whether you need to keep them from tumbling downward or climbing up, up, up…you have an array of choices to fit your needs.
Best Baby Gates for Top of Stairs
First, we will start with the top of the stairs.
This is definitely the most dangerous place in your home, so you will need a gate that has hardware that can be permanently installed into place.
It will not do to simply put a pressure-mount gate, as they are most likely to fail due to user error or a heavy shove.
For safety reasons, we only recommend gates that have:
- Good reviews
- “Open wide” with no threshold trip bar at the bottom
- JPMA certified for safety
These are gates that are designed specifically for use at the top of stairs.
When it comes to figuring out which gate is the “best” for the top of the stairway, you will find that there is no one right answer. This is because there are so many different styles of staircases.
But to keep things simple, I have narrowed it down to three kinds of baby gates that will take care of almost every “top of the stairs” scenario that you can imagine.
Only about 1% of staircases won’t be able to be secured with one of these types of gates.
Type #1: Flat Surfaces on Both Sides
Fairly straightforward, this kind of configuration is pretty much what you would find elsewhere in your home. But there are a few features that make a gate for the top of the stairs unique.
First, of course, they are mounted permanently, as mentioned before. Also, they are designed to open one way so that they don’t swing out over the stairs.
Finally, they can be installed at a bit of an angle, in case your two flat surfaces are not exactly across from one another.
And there are four best baby gates for this scenario:
So Here’s Our List Of The 4 Best Baby Gates For Stairs In 2022
*For top of stairs in type #1 (flat surfaces on both sides)
Of the best baby gates for top of stairs that we found that the Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate was our favorite based on the fact that it fully swings open and can be installed at a 30-degree angle.
Top of stairs approved: JPMA Certified
This is a great baby gate that is designed especially for the top of the stairs and can be installed at up to a 30-degree angle! It is adjustable from 27-42.5” in width and stands 29.5” in height.
The bars are 2.5” apart and the optional “stop-bracket” prevents it from being opened over the stairwell, for even greater safety. Also, note that it does not automatically close.
I like that it is sturdy and well-made, as well as having a one-handed latching mechanism that most children can’t figure out. Plus, as we’ve discussed previously, this hardware mounted baby gate does not have a “door” as other types do, instead, it works as a door. The whole width of it swings open, meaning that it doesn’t have a trip bar along the floor.
Made from lightweight aluminum in a powder-coat finish in either black or white, it also accommodates extension pieces (pick from either 10.5 or 21.75 inches) so that you can custom-size it.
This gate is one of the pricier models on the market, so keep that in mind when making your decision, but is a great solution for difficult stairway mountings.
- Very sturdy and well-made
- Easy to open and close with adults, but difficult for young children
- Installation on 2 flat areas with up to a 30-degree angle
- Optional “stop” bracket to keep it from swinging open over stairs
- One-handed latching mechanism
- Adjustable width with optional extensions
- Does not have a threshold trip bar along floor
- Easy to install with only 4 holes needed in your walls (There is even a Youtube video with installation instructions)
- Has no plastic parts that can break or wear out
- Gate can be easily removed while brackets stay on the wall
- More expensive than the competition
- May make a loud or clunky noise when closing
- May needed 4 longer screws to really get it tight or to go into a stud (the manufacturer only provide 2 long screws)
- Some reports that the screws keep loosening, so you have to keep on tightening the screws every few weeks or replace the screws with the longer and better quality one
- Some reports of tricky install or difficulty with latch system
The Bottom Line
If you can afford this model, I definitely would recommend it based on features and reviews by other consumers. I especially love that it doesn’t have a piece that runs along the floor like other types of gates do…so it isn’t a trip hazard! The sturdiness of this gate definitely makes it one of the best baby gate for the top of stairs!
Top of stairs approved: JPMA Certified
This sturdy, permanently-mounted gate is a great choice for the top of stairs. Designed to swing fully open from one hinged side, this gate does not have a trip bar along the floor and must be securely attached to your walls or doorway. For added safety, it only opens over the landing, not over the stairs.
It is made of matte bronze-colored steel and can easily be opened with one hand. It is adjustable and can fit an opening between 28.68”- 47.85” wide and is 31” tall. With a bar spacing of 2 3/4 inches, it is impossible for a baby to slip through.
One of the great features of this gate is that it self-locks when you swing it shut, and though it is easy for an adult to open, little ones will be baffled.
The biggest complaint with this gate is installation. It is tricky to get it exactly where you want it the first time even if you are reading the instructions.
Double-check for differences in placement between the upper and lower sections if you have baseboards. Don’t rely just on the included directions. Lay everything out and measure carefully. If you can get past the headache of a tricky install, it otherwise should do you fine.
- Affordable price
- Looks classy
- Sturdy solid steel construction
- Does not have a threshold bar along the floor
- Swings only away from the stairs
- Can be operated with one hand
- Extra wide baby gate
- Installation can be tricky
- Locking mechanism not the most ideal due to design according to some reviewers
- May need to use wall anchors to prevent the gate from constantly coming loose.
- Not all parts are metal; the latching mechanism is made from plastic
- Can not be removed from the wall hinges without removing a screw from the hinge cap (you may want to select “Series 2” of this gate to turn this disadvantage into an advantage)
The Bottom Line
Despite some inconveniences noted, this baby gate is solidly in the running as one of the best baby gates for stairs at this price point. It is not an expensive gate and is fairly simple, but is a great option when you just need something to do the job without getting fancy. Plan to spend some time installing it and have a helper on hand to make your job a little easier. After that, you will be good to go.
If you like this Toddleroo by North States but want the extra tall one, you are the right candidate for this extra tall baby gate model:
It has the same features as the previous model, but it is taller (36″ height), and the bar spacing is 2.75″, making it hard for a baby to slip through.
North States has released a newer version of Toddleroo -” Series 2″– with some improvements.
This Series 2 version is an improved upgrade from the previous version.
The gate in this newer version alters slightly from the earlier versions, but the overall design remains the same.
One of the added benefits is that you can easily remove the gate from the wall hinge cap without requiring the screw from the hinge cap prior.
Best for Wide Openings: Munchkin Extending XL Tall and Wide Hardware Mounted Baby Gate
Wide: 33”-56” (not really fit 55 or 56” as advertised, because it has 2” incremental)
Top of stairs approved: JPMA certified
This is a very sturdy mounted baby gate that is perfect for the top of stairs. I really love that it is extra tall and wide! It stands 36″ tall and is adjustable from 33″ to 56″ wide.
It has a one-way directional opening for use on stairs (but can be set to open both directions if you have it installed in a regular doorway).
Because it attaches to the wall and swings all the way open, it doesn’t have that pesky threshold strip along the floor, making it much safer for stairways. The latch isn’t the best part of this gate unless carefully adjusted, according to the reviews, but it is not easy for a child to figure out.
The high-quality steel has a modern design that goes with any decor. It has a quick-release detachment feature when you want to remove it temporarily.
Plus, it has a uniquely-structured integrated tilting hinge mechanism designed to place less stress on your walls.
Some consumers have reported that they suggest using better quality screws than what comes with the gate and it is recommended to install it into your studs, not just drywall, due to the weight of the gate.
- Extra tall and adjustable width for wider spaces
- No trip bar along floor
- Quick-release feature for easy storage
- One or two-way directional opening
- Sturdy and strong
- One-handed latch mechanism (with practice)
- The handle is difficult for a child to operate but is simple for adults
- Not the best latching system
- May need better (bigger) screws for installation because it is a heavy gate
- The hinges are made of plastic, not metal. Consumers have different experiences concerning the durability of plastic hinges
- May only be applied to openings 2 inches smaller than the advertised size
The Bottom Line
If you have a need for an extra-tall or extra-wide baby gate, this may be the answer for you! I like that you can remove it easily when not in use and that it has a directional stop so that it won’t swing out over the stairs. The latch design does leave something to be desired, but otherwise it is a solid option.
Also worth considering: KidCo Safeway Top of Stairs Baby Gate
The white KidCo Safeway model may not be available at this time. You can, however, select a different color (black).
Top of stairs approved: Meets and exceeds federal (CPSC) standards and JPMA certified
Specifically designed for the top of stairs, this heavy-duty steel gate can only be permanently mounted.
It swings open fully, with no trip bar running along the floor, plus has a directional stop to prevent it from swinging out over the stairs.
This gate has some great features, such as a one-handed open/close feature, the ability to be installed at an angle, and quick-release hardware so that you can easily remove it when it’s not needed. It is adjustable and can accommodate an opening 24.75″ – 42.5″ wide and is 30.5” high.
Some consumers have complained that the screws that come with the package are a pain in the neck…too soft with shallow grooves, causing them to strip the screws.
It’s easy enough to get a handful of replacement screws from the hardware store, so this doesn’t need to be a deterring factor if you otherwise love the gate.
- Directional stop to keep gate from swinging open over stairway
- Hinge side can be mounted on an angle
- Quick release for gate portion
- One-handed latch mechanism
- No trip bar along the floor
- The narrowest stair gate width (24”-42.5”) is currently available on the market
- Installation may not be simple
- Comes with poor quality screws that may need to be replaced
- The latch is made from plastic
The Bottom Line
Definitely a “top” gate worth your consideration. With the ability to adjust from 24.75 inches to 42.5 inches, it covers the average span of most stairwells. I would not hesitate to purchase this unit, as it really gives you a lot without breaking the bank! However, keep in mind that this gate may be difficult to install.
This metal baby gate stands out from the competition because it comes fully assembled and “ready to install.”
As you might have noticed, many baby gates work great once they are installed, but this process tends to be tricky with most gates on the market.
Safety 1st has seen this problem and filled a vital need: making installation easy!
So, If installing a hardware-mounted baby gate sounds like a chore (and it often is!), then this is the gate for you!
Apart from the benefits of easy installation, there are a few more advantages that you can take advantage of. It can be adjusted to fit doorways 29-42 inches wide and stands 30 inches high. It swings shut easily and does not have a “trip-bar” along the floor.
It has a one-handed operation but requires two separate movements, making it easy for adults but impossible for little children to open. It has the option of a one-directional stop so that you can have it open both ways or just one (important if installed on stairways).
However, there are some downsides to this gate that you should be aware of before making your decision. First, it can only be installed at a 90-degree angle to the wall. Second, there may also be loosened screws over time, requiring an alternative solution such as drywall anchors during installation. Also, a few reports of becoming challenging to open overtime, and the locking mechanism is not great.
This sturdy permanent-mount baby gate extends between 28.5″- 45″ wide and is 29″ tall.
It has an integrated tilting hinge spring mechanism designed to put less stress on your walls when opening and closing.
The latch mechanism is easy to use and only requires you to push it close to lock it. There is an optional stop-bracket for when you only want it to swing open in one direction.
Plus, the quick-release bracket allows you to easily remove the gate from the wall for storage when not needed.
This stylish, dark gray baby gate is sleek with no unsightly adjustment holes. Because this gate functions as a wide swing door, it doesn’t have a trip bar along the floor.
Some drawbacks that need to be carefully noted is, based on my findings, the included hardware may not be adequate, especially for drywall installation. Then, it difficult to install, and also, the screws are too short of reaching the stud. In addition, I believe it would be a better value if the plastic hinge pieces were replaced with metal ones.
Type #2: Round posts or banisters on one side or both sides
So what is the difference between a banister and a baluster and a newel post?
These terms are often confusing because there is some overlap of usage, so here’s the scoop:
Banisters are the vertical posts on a stairway, but the word banister can also refer to the main handrail itself or even the whole ensemble. The original word for the spindles that hold up a railing was balusters, so in this sense, a banister and a baluster are the same things. A newel post is the larger “corner post,” which provides more structural support at the top and the bottom of the handrail. For the purposes at hand, the point being made is that the surface you are trying to attach to when dealing with banisters and newel posts is not flat but round. That means that you will need to have additional attachments to secure your gate and protect the surface of the posts.
Generally speaking, if you don’t have a flat surface (or only one) at the top of your stairs, it is because you have a series of banisters and possibly a newel post, which is a thicker, heavier, and often round post at the top of the stairs to anchor the railing.
These posts bring a new dimension to installing a baby gate. It is more tricky to attach hardware to something round than to something flat.
Thankfully, baby gate manufacturers are aware of this and provide a great solution.
There are three strong options available on the market for stairway banister adaption kits which can be used for any top of stairs gate:
If you have a newel post or banister (or any other round or square post) that you need to attach to, the KidCo Stairway Gate Installation Kit allows you to create a flat surface to hang your baby gate onto.
It consists of plastic hardware clamp pieces that adapt around the post with screws and an included flat piece of wood to anchor your gate to.
- Adapts your gate to attach to either square or round posts.
- No drilling is necessary
- Only requires basic tools to install
- Can be used at top or bottom of stairs
- One kit will have to be purchased for each side that has banisters
- Can only be used on posts between 2 ½” – 3 ⅝” wide
- May not fit every size/shape of banister
This mounting kit comes with 6 brackets, 2 long flat strips of wood, and zip tie straps to hold it all into place.
It is perfect for adapting your posts into a surface suitable for installing virtually any permanent baby gate. Plus, it works for almost any size or shape of post.
- Accommodates most baby gates up to 37 inches tall
- Works on virtually any size or shape of post
- Screwing into posts is entirely optional, not needed
- Comes with enough parts to adapt two banisters
- Can be installed even if banisters are not parallel from each other
- Can be used at top or bottom of stairs
- May need to modify for use with certain post sizes or configurations
- May be tricky to install, depending on your stair posts
- May not be sturdy enough for round posts without using wood screws
- May not work for posts larger than 4” on each side
- No drilling/screwing into posts
- Solid and sturdy
- If your gate is round at both top and bottom, company will send you an extra round adaptor free of charge, if requested
- Can be used at top or bottom of stairs
- Only works on posts between 2 3/4″ – 3 5/8″ inches wide
- Installation may be a bit tricky
- Only comes with enough hardware to adapt one post
Type#3 – Only one normal anchor point or none at all
Do you have a unique staircase configuration that nearly defies babyproofing?
Perhaps you have only one flat surface, but neither a wall nor a post on the other side.
Maybe your stairs have no actual anchor points on either side or have railings that are as dangerous as the open stairs are.
In this case, no normal run-of-the-mill baby gate is going to do the job.
There are ONLY two real choices for this scenario: North States 72″ Wide Deluxe Décor Baby Gate and Dreambaby Newport Adapta Baby Gate.
Why ONLY two?
Many extra-wide baby gates, though they appear to be safe for the top of stairs, specifically state in their instruction manuals that they are NOT to be used for that application. Both the North States 72” Wide Deluxe and the Dreambaby Newport Adapta Gate, however, are specifically designed to work properly at the top of stairs when you need more coverage and have a less-traditional configuration. For this reason, these are the gates that we recommend in these circumstances.
Here is a permanent-mount 30” tall gate with so many solution possibilities that it will likely “wow” you!
This gate is uniquely designed to handle larger openings up to 72” wide as well as angled walls. It comes with two side panels and a swing-open door.
What makes this gate extra-useful is that it is expandable if you buy the optional extensions, which are each 15” wide. It is designed to accommodate up to 6 of these extra panels, giving you additional footage that make this gate extend to 162”! That’s over 13 feet of coverage!
The important factor here is that it can be stretched out and permanently attached across a wide-open stairwell and railing scenario, as long as you can make it, eventually, from one wall to another wall…up to 162 inches apart.
According to the manual, it is safe for use at the top of stairs, but must be installed with the walk-thru door NOT opening over the stairs. Plus, the included hardware must be mounted into a solid substance, so don’t screw it directly into drywall, as it may not hold. (Using wood trim at the anchor points would be ideal.)
This gate has some great features beyond its length and versatility. The arched door is extra-wide and has one-handed operation. Plus, it can be opened fully to activate its “stay open” system or it will close automatically with just a gentle push.
It also can be unhooked from its wall mounts in a quick motion and stored flat. If you only need to push it out of the way temporarily, just unhook from one side and fold it up against the opposite wall.
- Can cover a very wide area
- Extra-wide walk-thru gate with stay-open feature
- Closes automatically
- Safe for top of stairs
- One-handed operation with childproof double-locking system
- Can be removed from wall brackets for easy storage
- Relatively easy to install
- Extra-long with additional extensions available for purchase
- Has a “trip bar” due to type of door opening
- Not the widest gate available
- Cames with poor quality of the mounting screws
- It’s possible that the 72″ opening (as advertised) will only accommodate 71 1/2”
- Comes with a template for installation, but your mileage may vary in terms of how easy it is for you to install
- Some of the plastic parts may not hold up over time
- Bottom brackets too low and may have to be installed into your baseboards
The Bottom Line:
This beautiful gate offers both security and style for when you need a configuration that is out of the ordinary. It has received an overwhelming amount of great reviews from customers. I definitely recommend this gate for a unique top of stairs application, as well as other areas that require extra length or where walls are at different angles. It may work just perfectly for your needs!
Also worth considering: Dreambaby Newport Adapta Baby Gate
This is another excellent option that we recommend if you are looking for an extra-wide gate. It accommodates 33.5” to 79” across, perfect for larger entryways.
What makes it special? It is ideal for unique openings because it allows you to adjust the panels! It causes odd angles, landings, and other openings a breeze with its flexibility.
Have you ever wondered how you know if the gate is secure? Well, with the Dreambaby Newport gate, you won’t have to! It has something called an EZY check indicator. If the tension or latch is not secure, you will see a red indicator. No red indicator means everything is closed correctly and safe.
Many parents enjoy two more features: the Auto-Lock and the Smart Stay Open. This baby gate closes and locks automatically with the auto-lock, providing you with peace of mind. On the other hand, the Smart Stay Open feature allows the gate to stay open when you need it to.
- Opens in both directions, but can be switched to only one direction when needed
- Comes in 3 stylish colors; white, brown, and black
- Top of stairs approved
- Smart stay-open feature
- Easy one-handed operation
- The EZY check indicator also lets you know if the baby gate has been installed properly
- Relatively easy to install
- Wider than North States measured without additional extension
- Has a “trip bar” due to type of door opening
- The gate opening is very small, only 14″ to walk through
- Some consumers say the screws are flimsy
- A few reports that it’s a little wobbly
- Has plastic material that potentially breakable
The Bottom Line:
You have a small selection of babyproofing solutions for unusual staircase configurations. The North States and Dreambaby are currently available, but both come with potentially broken plastic materials and poor-quality screws. The Dreambaby, on the other hand, has a wider gate width than the North States (measured without any additional extensions). Still, I prefer The North States because several reviews indicate that the Dreambaby gate is a little wobbly. Also, the gate opening is too narrow, measuring only 14″ compared to The North States’ 25 1/2″.
Best Baby Gates for Bottom of Stairs
With the bottom of your stairs you do not need to be nearly as picky as at the top, because you do not need to keep someone from a potentially nasty fall.
With that said, of course, any gate that works at the top of a stairway, such as the North States 72” Wide Deluxe Decor Gate mentioned above, can also be used at the bottom.
However, you don’t generally need a permanent mount at the bottom of the steps, so I am going to show you a couple of pressure-mounted options that are great, whether you have flat surfaces, round posts, or a combination of both.
All Pressure-Mounted Baby Gates have potential safety and usage issues that you need to be aware of to reduce risk of failure, accident, or damage:
- Gate could fall, or be pushed over, if not inspected and tightened regularly
- Pressure-Mounted should never be used at the top of stairs
- There is a metal bar along the floor that could be tripped over
- Pressure-mounts could damage wall/drywall if tightened and left in place too long
- Gate may be difficult to assemble/disassemble or move easily between locations, so should not be considered extremely portable
Type #1: Flat Surfaces on Both Sides
Updated: The white model may is currently out of stock. You have the option of selecting the Bronze model. It has the same capabilities as the white model.
Fits: 28” – 31.5” (Expands to a maximum 38.5” wide with two extensions included).
Note: Additional extensions available (sold separately) that can expand your gate to 62.25
If you have two flat surfaces at the bottom of your staircase, this is a basic no-nonsense pressure-mount baby gate. It offers one-handed operation with a locking latch mechanism. Plus, it can be locked open at 90 degrees, if necessary.
The fact that it can open both directions might seem unnecessary when used in conjunction with a stairwell. While that is mostly true, keep in mind that it means that you can also install the gate in such a way as to allow the door to open toward you to the right or turn it around and let it open toward you to the left.
Also great is that it comes with a couple of extension pieces that allow you to use it across an opening up to 62.25” inches. If you are looking to span a wider opening, then this is a great option.
Type #2: Round Posts on One Side or Both Sides
If you have banisters on one or both sides of the bottom of your stairway, you will need to purchase some special adaptors to secure your choice of pressure-mount gate to them.
There are 2 best products for this scenario:
This is the same gate described in the section above. You will just need to add special adaptors, such as the Baby Gate Guru Extra Long M10 (10mm) Stair Banister Adapter Y-Spindle Rods discussed below.
This gate is chock full of features that you want in a baby gate…it has a one-handed latching mechanism, it can swing both ways (see above to see how that is still a benefit if you are using it at the bottom of stairs), and it closes automatically.
You can choose whether to use it as a pressure-mount or a permanently mounted gate. If necessary, you can buy extensions that will allow it to fill a gap up to 111 inches.
The fact that it can open both directions might seem unnecessary when used in conjunction with a stairwell.While that is mostly true, keep in mind that it means that you can also install the gate in such a way to allow the door to open toward you to the right or turn it around and let it open toward you to the left.
The most important feature of this gate, however, is that not only will it install on flat surfaces (one or both), but you can also buy special adapters designed to fit around your round balusters or newel posts at the bottom of the stairs.
When I say “around” I don’t mean completely around, but rather these interesting Y-shaped pieces are designed to grasp/push against a round surface for the purpose of pressure-mounting a gate.
Talk about handy! They are rubber-lined so that they don’t mar the wood on your post, and they work with a few different gates, but for sure with this one.
Please remember that these are not designed to be used at the top of a stairway…even if it seems tempting, as they are still part of a pressure-mounting system.
The adaptors come in packs of two, so if you have round posts on both sides, you will need to buy two sets
If you have newel posts that are round at the top, but square/flat on the bottom, you could buy one set and use them for just the top of the two newel posts, while letting the regular gate pressure-mounts do their job at the bottom of the posts.
As an alternative to these pressure-mount adapters, you can also simply use one of the previously mentioned banister mounting adaptor kits, though they are a bit more pricey:
- KidCo K12 Stairway Gate Installation Kit
- Summer Banister to Banister Universal Gate Mounting Kit
- Safety Innovations No Hole Stairway Baby Gate Mounting Kit
Type #3: Only One Normal Anchor Point or None at All
If you don’t have any anchor points at the bottom of your stairway, but rather a large open space, you will need either a play yard or super wide gate that can extend outward and attach to various spots farther away.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to use a pressure gate-type since it will not be strong enough to withstand severe loads due to its extreme width.
You can always use the gate we mentioned before, the North States 72” Wide Deluxe Decor Gate, which can cover the opening up to 72″ or 162″ with six additional extensions, depending on the large opening you wish to cover.
Alternatively, you might also consider the North States 3 in 1 Metal Superyard below, which can fit in an opening up to 144″ (there are also smaller 6-panel and 8-panel options, if desired).
This extra-wide baby gate can be a permanently-mounted barrier or used as a free-standing play yard (up to 10 square feet).
It has 10 configurable panels that lock into place and stands 30 inches high. (There are also smaller 6-panel and 8-panel options, if desired).
The swinging walk-thru door panel features a child-proof, double-locking system which can be operated with one hand by an adult. The powder-coat finished metal is sleek and stylish and works well with any home’s decor.
The mounting hardware easily accommodates extra-tall baseboards. Plus, this gate can be mounted to angled walls and can be infinitely extended with extension panels (which are sold separately) to span extra-wide areas.
- Infinitely expandable with extra, optional panels (sold separately)
- Double-locking mechanism on walk-thru door
- One-handed operation
- Accommodates extra-tall baseboards
- Can be removed from wall mounts for easy storage
- Walk-thru door is quite narrow (13 ¾”)
- Walk-thru door only opens in one direction
- Walk-thru door can be somewhat difficult to open
- Extra panels have male/female connectors that require panels to be installed in sets of two, which may make you need to add/remove sections that you don’t want.
The Bottom Line
We love that there are infinite options with this gate! It is affordable and versatile, which makes it a great solution for a home that needs unique configurations with its baby gates! So many consumers are satisfied with this gate that it is easy to give it our recommendation! We also love the price!
How do we come to our conclusions on this website
We are committed to bringing to you, our reader, updated and relevant information about baby safety gates. We have spent a lot of time researching these products and safety standards.
We strive to update our guide regularly to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information possible.
|When did we start researching baby gates||Since July 2016|
|Number of products we reviewed||16|
|Do we accept compensation from the manufacturer||No!|
|How often do we update the reviews||Once or twice a year|
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Do you need baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs?
Yes, stairs are one of the most dangerous places for young children, so we recommend not only gating the top of the stairs, but also the bottom. If there is no gate at the bottom of stairs, then some children may be able to climb up and could potentially tumble back down.
2. When should I start using them?
We recommend installing baby gates on stairs just before your child begins to get mobile. For most children, this is usually when they are about 5 months old. If your child is learning to scoot or crawl, then that is definitely your cue to make sure that baby gates are firmly in place.
3. What age should stair gates be removed?
That depends. Baby gates are usually very adequate to contain a child who is about 2.5 years old or less, but this can vary depending on their strength, height, and climbing ability. For this reason, if your child is tall and can bend over the gate, is capable of climbing over the gate, or can unlatch it themself, then it is time to simply remove it.
Some Do’s and Don’ts about baby gates for stairs
- Install baby gates at the top of stairs
- Install baby gates at the bottom of stairs
- Only use a permanently-mounted gate at the top of stairs
- Make sure gate hardware is firmly attached into wood trim or frame
- Choose a gate with no “trip-bar” for the top of stairs
- Install stair gates just before your child is learning how to crawl
- Only use gates that are designed as safety gates for children (not pets)
- Keep gates closed and latched
- Don’t use pressure-mounted gates at the top of stairs
- Don’t use retractable gates at the top of stairs
- Don’t select a gate that automatically closes for the top of stairs
- Don’t install your baby gate too high (gap should be 3 inches or less from floor)
- Don’t install a gate that swings open over stairs
- Don’t climb over your baby gate
- Don’t leave baby unattended even with baby gates installed
Tips to install, use and care for your baby gate for stairs properly
Before attempting to install your baby gate for stairs, make sure that you have measured the opening and have all the pieces handy and laid out. Also, make sure that you have read any instructions that came with your gate and have the proper tools ready.
All top of stairs gates are permanently-mounted and will require that you install the brackets with screws. If your opening has a wooden door frame, you will likely need an electric screw gun to drill a pilot hole with a small drill bit before screwing the brackets into place. If there is only drywall to screw into, make sure to use drywall anchors to ensure that the screws hold properly.
Make sure that you measure properly and mark the wall before attempting to install the brackets. Most permanently-mounted gates are a bit tricky to install, so we suggest having a helper to hold everything in place as you measure, align, and screw everything into place. Sometimes a second set of hands just makes the whole process simpler!
If you are installing a gate at the bottom of your stairs, you have the option to use a pressure-mounted gate. These can be easy or difficult to install, depending on the type. Plan accordingly to have everything laid out and don’t hesitate to ask someone to help you to make it easier overall.
If you have balusters, newel posts, spindles, or other round or square posts at the top or bottom of your stairs, be prepared to install a mounting adaptor kit as discussed earlier on this page to give yourself a proper surface to install your gate onto.
Keep in mind that these types of mounting kits use up several inches of the opening, so install them before pulling the measurement of the opening and deciding what size of gate you will need. Most gates are adjustable somewhat, but best to know ahead of time what size you will need so that you don’t order a gate that won’t fit!
If the gates you use at the top and bottom of your stairs become dirty over time, simply use a washcloth to wipe it down with mild soap and water.
Though we have attempted to cover every bit of information that you may need to know about safe baby-gating for stairways, we are also open to your suggestions. If you think we have missed something or need to update our recommendations, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Add your question or comment below and we will respond!
So there you have it, a whole array of the best baby gates for stairs that provide baby-proofing solutions for your staircase …up, down, and all-around!
I hope you feel a lot more confident now about what choices make the most sense and what will and what won’t work the best! Keep safe and…
Happy Baby-Gate Shopping! 🙂