The 10 Best Baby Gates to Buy in 2018

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Babies turn to little explorers in no time. You will love seeing them crawl, scoot, and walk around but you will want to keep them from some areas in the house that are not baby-safe. One of the most vital baby proofing items you will need is a baby gate. They are made in different styles and are safe, to best protect your little one.

Given the vast options in the market and the immense parents’ baby proofing needs, getting the best baby gate can be surprisingly tricky. The size of your house and what you want to baby proof will determine the baby gate you pick. Not to worry though, we have gone through the top 10 baby gates in 2018 and everything you need to know to make your selection easier.

Types of baby gates

Pressure fit gates
They easily press on opposing walls and are mostly used to restrict the baby from getting into a room or climbing upstairs. They are not safe where falling is a hazard such as at the top of the stairs.

Hardware mounted gates
These gates are screwed into the wall, and they work as barricades to keep the child from accessing some areas. They are best for use at the top of stairs and window openings.

Yard gates
They feature expandable panels to create a play area for the child. They are perfect for keeping your child safe while playing both indoors and outdoors.

Features to Consider in Good Baby Gates

Locking mechanism
A child-proof gate without a childproof lock will not play its purpose. Confirm how the gate locks before picking one. The lock should be easy for you to unlock for your convenience when moving around the house but hard for the baby to figure out.

It is helpful to select a safety gate with a lock-signal such as a color indicator that shows you when the gate is latched and when it is not.

Sturdiness
Your baby will try to fight the gate which could fall on them and hurt them. Pick a baby gate that is sturdy enough to hold out your baby no matter how strong they are. You can always test them by yourself to confirm which will work best.

Durability
Babies grow so fast you won’t even notice. A durable gate will keep them safe for longer even when they get bigger and stronger. We are sure you will love that it also saves you on replacement costs.

Safety
The baby gate should be of good quality to guarantee no parts that can choke the baby will come off. Also, ensure it does not have any sharp parts that can hurt the baby. If not properly inspected, a baby gate can be dangerous to your little one and the pets.
Height

Baby gates should stand at least 60cm high for maximum safety. Ensure they are also not less than three-quarters of your child’s height.
Ease of set up

How quickly can you assembly the gate? Some baby gates such as pressure mounted ones feature two sliding panels that press onto the wall thus very easy to set up. Hardware gates are more difficult to set up but make the best barriers. Ensure you can quickly put up the gate by yourself before making the selection.

Here is a guide to help you set up your baby gate easily.

Top 10 Best Baby Gates in 2018

1. Richell Deluxe Freestanding Pet Gate with Door; for dogs

Why we like it: The Richell Deluxe Freestanding pet gate fits extra wide openings of between 61.8 to 90.2 inches. Its walk-through door locks both at the top and bottom for maximum security. The gate stands 28.1-inch high convenient for small to medium-sized dogs and they also have a larger option. We like that the gate stands by itself and can be set anywhere, even spots without walls. It boasts of side panels and a broad base to keep it from tipping over. Its base also has rubber feet to protect your flooring.

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Convenience features
If you do not like wall-mounting fixing jobs, you will love this gate from Richell. The dog gate offers an adjustable width of up to 71.3 inches. The front panels extend as per your preference by adjusting the screws. The sizing enables you to fit the gate almost anywhere in your house.

The gate features a walk-through door that locks automatically to let you pass while keeping the dog out with ease. The door opens from either side and secures both at the bottom and top for extra security. We like that the door remains open at 90 degrees when you need it to allow you to move between places with ease.

It is very sturdy thanks to its high-quality construction. It is also durable to guarantee you years of use. The side panels and broad base ensure it does not tip over while the rubber feet on its base keeps your flooring protected.

Additional features
The Richell Deluxe Freestanding pet gate folds very easily facilitating storage. You can quickly assemble the gate in minutes with the help of a screwdriver. It is also effortless to move around to create safe spaces as you desire thanks to the freestanding design. The gate features a beautiful hardwood with matte brown finish that will complement your home interiors.

Verdict
The Richell Deluxe Freestanding pet gate is durable, high-quality and features an elegant design. It is larger than most hallways making it perfect regardless of the size of your home. It is very stable, stands 28.1-inch high, and is available in medium and large sizes making it an excellent choice for dogs.

Pros
  • Features an anti-slip and anti-scratch rubber feet
  • Has side panels for increased stability
  • Easy to move around
  • Expandable up to 90.2 inches wide
  • Stylish and durable construction
  • Easy to assembly
  • Features an auto-lock walk through door
Cons
  • Expensive but this is expected given its elegant and robust construction

2. North States Superyard 3 In 1 Arched Decor Metal; for play area

Why we like it: The North States Superyard encloses up to 10 square feet and stands 30 inches high. It offers extensions for a play yard, or it can be wall mounted to act as a barrier or a gate. It features a swing walkthrough panel with a dual-lock system for easy access. It is constructed from heavy-duty metal with a matte bronze finish to give a stylish and durable gate.

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Convenience
The North States Superyard features six panels that are removable and adjustable and encloses up to 10 square feet. The adjustable, rotating joints allow you to use the gate almost anywhere in your house as it takes up the area’s shape. It has a walk through door for easy access. The door features a double-locking system that is childproof. It also self-locks for maximum safety and has a hold-open feature that comes in handy when you need the door to stay open.

You can use the barrier either outside or indoors. You will love that it does not scratch floors nor slip thanks to the rubber foot beneath each panel. It features a heavy-duty steel for sturdiness and durability to guarantee long years of safety. You will love the elegant matte brown finish that will blend well in your home decor.

Versatility
The gate is versatile meaning you can use it in multiple areas. As a play yard, it offers two panels extension that increases the size of enclosed space to 19 square feet. It makes a great play area both for children and pets. You can also hardware mount it to keep baby safe from fireplace or as an extra-wide barrier for openings of up to 144 inches wide.

Installation is easy with the help of the mounting hardware packet that comes in the box. It is suitable for both straight and angled walls.

The North States Superyard can be positioned as a freestanding playard for a safe playing area for your child or pet. It works on virtually any surface whether indoors or outside, making it the best selection for play areas. We love that it gives you the option of removing or adding panels based on the space you want to childproof.

Verdict
The North States Superyard can be positioned as a freestanding playard for a safe playing area for your child or pet. It works on virtually any surface whether indoors or outside, making it the best selection for play areas. We love that it gives you the option of removing or adding panels based on the space you want to childproof.

Pros
  • Versatile; A gate, a play yard and a barrier all in one
  • Has a bumper pad below each panel to prevent slipping and scratching
  • Has a beautiful design
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Includes a walk-through opening with a double-locking system
Cons
  • It is heavy, but this is expected given its sturdy construction and multiple panels

3. Summer Infant Walk-Thru Gate; for 6 months to 2 years old

Why we like it: The walk-thru gate from Summer Infant is extra tall (36 inches) to deter early climbers. It is adjustable to fit most openings (28.5 to 45-inch openings) and can be used between rooms to keep your baby in baby-safe areas. We love the auto-close feature that self-closes after you and opens in either direction when used between rooms. It has two locking mechanism and opens with one hand for your convenience.

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Convenience features
Early climbers are hard to restrain using most baby gates but not with this walk-thru gate from Summer Infant. It is 36-inch tall to prevent your baby from climbing over. The height is convenient for you to reach out and open without a lot of bending. It is adjustable to fit door openings and stairways measuring between 28.5 to 45 inches wide.

It is easy to position between doorways using the pressure mounted tension bolts. The pressure mount does not require any tools or drilling to put up which helps prevent dents and scratches on the wall. The auto close feature allows the gate to gently close after you meaning no more turning back to close it. The door can be controlled using one hand and opens from either side when placed in between rooms for your convenience.

Bonus features
It has an optional hardware mount for a more secure installation. The hardware mount and an included door stopper make it suitable for use at the top and bottom of stairways. It is durable to hold out your baby safely as they grow. The metal construction makes it a sturdy barrier that can withstand your baby’s pushing and leaning. The gate also helps keep medium and large-sized dogs out of restricted areas.

Style
The Summer Infant walk-thru baby gate has a lovely design that you will never get tired of having around your home. It comes in beige and bronze colors to enable you to pick one that best suits your home décor.

Verdict
The Summer Infant walk-thru gate offers both style and safety thanks to its construction. It is taller than most baby gates making it ideal for toddlers and early climbers. It is easy to use and also multifunctional to be used in various places in the house thus an excellent choice if you are looking for a versatile baby gate.

Pros
  • Extremely strong and durable
  • Easy to install
  • Versatile
  • Features a door stopper for extra safety when used on top of stairways
  • Conveniently tall
  • Features an auto-close mechanism
Cons
  • Does not stay open when you need it to
  • Not suitable for small pets

4. Supergate Easy Close Gate by North States; Best versatile baby gate

Why we like it: The Supergate easy close gate from North States features a heavy metal construction making it ideal for both top of the stairway and between rooms. It easily adjusts to fit doorways of different sizes and can be locked into an open position for multiple pass-through. We love the easy to operate double locking mechanism for increased safety and your convenience.

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Convenience features
The North States Supergate is a tension gate that squeezes into a doorway without any setup. It is easy to close with a simple push and opens from either side when placed between rooms for your convenience. You will love the double-locking mechanism that will give you peace of mind on your baby’s safety. The gate is 29-inch tall making it easy for tall parents to walk over as opposed to opening it therefore convenient for busy parents.

Supergate offers a hold-open feature that holds the gate at 90 degrees angle allowing you to keep the gate open when you need to, for multiple pass-through. It is constructed from steel to guarantee durability meaning the gate will grow with your child. Its construction also enhances sturdiness to withstand any pushing, pulling and climbing by the baby.

Additional features
The gate has a crisp white finish that will blend into your home décor. It also offers a bronze finish if you do not like the white color. It includes two extensions that allow the door to fit most door openings (28 to 38.5 inches wide)
It is versatile meaning it can be used both between rooms and at the bottom of stairs thanks to the heavy duty construction.

Verdict
The Supergate easy close gate from North States is stylish to blend into any home décor. Its construction makes it a sturdy and durable gate to offer safety as your baby grows. It allows you to walk through with ease and features an excellent locking mechanism making it the best versatile baby gate.

Pros
  • The walk-thru door swings both sides
  • No assembly required
  • Features two extensions to fit most door openings
  • Strong and durable
  • Locks in a 90 degrees open position
Cons
  • Does not include an auto-close feature but closes easily with a simple push

5. Supergate Deluxe Décor Gate; for wide openings

Why we like it: The Supergate Deluxe Décor Gate from North States adjusts to fit openings measuring up to 72 inches wide and also mounts on angled walls making it the best baby gate for wide openings. It can be used between rooms or at the bottom of stairs. It features a heavy-duty metal construction thus sturdy and comes in a matte brown finish that blends with any home décor.
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Performance features
How about a sturdy gate to enhance safety in extra wide openings in your home? The North States Supergate Deluxe Décor gate adjusts and will fit openings between 38.3 to 72 inches wide. The gate swings open from either side so you can leave it open when you don’t need it. It features an extra-wide 25.5-inch door at the middle that is stress-free to operate. The door size is perfect for your family members to walk through with ease. The walk-through door has a stay-open feature and a double locking system for your convenience.

The pivot points on the gate’s panels allow you to mount it either straight or slanted for a perfect fit. Installation is a breeze with this gate, and it easily detaches from the mounting hardware facilitating storage. It is constructed from a heavy-duty metal for sturdiness and to guarantee years of service. The bronze matte finish blends with any home décor and will add to your home’s style.

Additional features
You can purchase the 6-bar extension that adds 15-inches to the gate for extra-wide openings in your home. The slats are about 2-inches apart therefore great to keep both your child and pets out.
Verdict
The Supergate Deluxe Décor gate is strong, durable and stylish. The walkthrough gate is extra-wide thus convenient for all family members and has a safety latch to give you peace of mind about your child’s safety. The gate stands out with the extendable features that make it an excellent selection for extra wide openings.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Easily removable for storage
  • Offers ample space to pass through
  • Easily adjusts to fit most spaces
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Blends well with any interior décor
  • Guarantees safety
Cons
  • The gate is heavy giving no option to pressure mount

6. Cardinal Gates Stairway Angle Baby Gate; for slanted openings

Why we like it: The Cardinal Gates Stairway angle baby gates is designed for the top of a stairway but can also be used in other areas with a maximum width of 42.5 inches. It features a stopper that keeps it from opening over the stairs for increased safety. Its latch system is easy for adults to operate with one hand and it can be installed straight or slanted up to an angle of 30 degrees.

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Convenience features
If you want a versatile gate that can be used anywhere in the house and also at the top of stairs, consider this baby gate from Cardinal Gates. When used for stairs, it offers an optional stopper to prevent the gate from opening from the stairway side for increased safety. It has an easy to operate latch system for adults but hard to figure by toddlers. It includes an auto-lock feature that allows multiple pass-through, swing the door and it closes automatically.

The gate is wall mounted for maximum safety. Its installation is quick and easy for your convenience. It can be fitted either straight or slanted up to 30 degrees. It opens from either side which is convenient when used between rooms. We like that it is adjustable and will fit most openings measuring 27 to 42.5 inches wide and 29.5-inch high.

Additional features
It has a powder coated finish that is easy to clean and guarantees durability to assure you your child’s safety over the years. The aluminum construction makes the gate very lightweight (just 3 pounds) and rustproof. It is available in black, white, and wood and you can be sure it will blend with any interior décor.

It offers 10.5-inch extension sold separately for openings that are over 42.5 inches wide.

Verdict
If you are looking for an excellent gate for stairs, the Cardinal Gates Stairway baby gate could be your best bet. It is easy to operate with a hard to figure latch system and has an optional stopper to guarantee maximum safety. It fits in most door openings thanks to its adjustability and can slant making it an excellent selection for most spaces.

Pros
  • Rustproof and durable
  • Extendable to fit most openings
  • Includes a stop bracket for increased safety on stairways
  • Includes an auto-lock feature
  • Features a one-hand latch system
  • Can be installed at angles of up to 30 degrees
  • Very lightweight
Cons
  • Some adults find the latch mechanism tricky to open and close
  • It is noisy when opening and closing

7. Evenflo Easy Walk Thru Top of Stairs Gate; baby gate for the top of stairs

Why we like it: The Evenflo Easy Walk Thru gate is a versatile gate that works best for stairs but can be used for hallways, doorways, kitchen and any other place in the house. It is easy to install and operates with one hand making it ideal for everyday use. The gate opens from either side making it easy for you to walk through. We also love that it is adjustable to fit most door openings.

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Convenience features
The baby gate from Evenflo expands from 29 to 32 inches wide to fit most spaces. It is 30-inch tall meaning you can achieve a height of about 33 inches if you install it 3 inches off the floor. It does not have a bottom rail making it best to use at the top of stairs. You will love that it comes in handy in other places such as the bottom of stairs, in between rooms, kitchen, and other areas.

The hardware mounted gate has two screw-mounts on each side to allow it to fit most surfaces permanently. You can mount it on either left or right side thanks to its ability to open from either side. Its handle is easy and ergonomic therefore convenient for day to day use. It comes with a swing stopper to keep the gate from opening from either side for enhanced safety when used on the top of stairways.

It features a lock release handle that is easy for you to use and has an indicator to warn you when the gate is not well locked. To close and lock it, all you have to do is give the gate a gentle push, and the slam-latch feature does the rest for you.

Style
The Evenflo Easy Walk Thru top of stairs gate comes in colors that blend with any home décor, and you will like it.

Verdict
The Evenflo Easy Walk Thru top of stairs gate is wood, and hardware mounted gate that will keep your baby off stairs when put up at the top of stairs. You will love that you can use it to baby proof other areas in the house such as the kitchen. It is easy to lock and features a red-green indicator for guaranteed safety making it a good baby gate given its price.

Pros
  • Quite affordable
  • Conveniently tall
  • Includes a removable swing control
  • Features a red-green indicator to ensure the gate is locked
  • Sturdy construction
Cons
  • It is not meant for installation on walls with baseboards
  • Some people found it somewhat challenging to install, but this is expected with a hardware mounted baby gate

8. Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock Gate; for high traffic areas

Why we like it: The Evenflo Easy Walk Thru gate is a versatile gate that works best for stairs but can be used for hallways, doorways, kitchen and any other place in the house. It is easy to install and operates with one hand making it ideal for everyday use. The gate opens from either side making it easy for you to walk through. We also love that it is adjustable to fit most door openings.

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Convenience features
The Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock gate makes an excellent option for high traffic areas, the bottom of stairs and door openings. It has a patented latch that’s easy to operate to allow rapid pass-through. You can open it from either direction easily by simply pulling and twisting the lock. Closing it is equally easy by just pushing the door, and the latch system takes over.

It is quick and simple to mount to almost any hard surface using the included hardware. It is also extendable meaning it can comfortably fit openings as wide as 40-inch. If you need the gate for an opening that is more than 40-inch, you can purchase the 10.5-inch extension or the 21.75-inch option for 61.75-inch doorways.

The safety gate can be used at the top of stairs and includes a stop bracket to restrict the gate from opening over the top of the stairway for enhanced safety.

Design
The Auto-Lock Gate is constructed of lightweight aluminum that is rustproof and chew-proof. It is powder coated making it easy to clean and comes in black and white colors to easily blend with your interior décor.

Verdict
The Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock gate is made of aluminum that is not only lightweight but also chew-proof making it a good pick for pets. It is great to use for high traffic areas such as hallways and the kitchen. We like that it offers both style and safety and is easy to install.

Pros
  • Features an easy to operate latch for rapid pass-through
  • Includes a stopper for the top of stairs use
  • It is long lasting
  • Beautiful yet tough
  • Chew proof and rustproof construction
  • Adjustable to a width of 40.5-inch
Cons
  • We wish it could be set up at an angle

9. Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock Gate; for high traffic areas

Why we like it: The Cardinal Gates Auto-Lock gate is adjustable to fit openings measuring 26.5 to 40.5 inches wide and is 29.5 inches tall. It is constructed of lightweight aluminum and swings in both directions. It includes an auto-lock feature for maximum safety and is powder coated to guarantee durability.

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Convenience features
When you want to keep everyone else out without limiting your smalls pets’ freedom, consider this pet gate from Carlson. The 10-inch by 7-inch pet door only lets small pets through. It has an adjustable fitting that can fit up to 37 inches openings and stands 30 inches for maximum security. It features a convenient walk-through design and an all-steel construction making it very sturdy.

You can easily walk through the gate by sliding the safety latch and lifting the handlebar. The operation needs only one hand which comes in handy when carrying items or holding back an excited pet. The gate has a pressure mount system that makes it easy to install without having to drill holes on the wall and also to take off.

Additional features
The pet gate from Carlson offers extensions sold separately to allow the gate to fit up to 52 inches wide door openings. It includes wall cups to help you attach the gate to the wall in case you prefer to hardware mount it.

When it comes to storage, you will love that the Carlson Extra Wide pet gate is lightweight, portable and stows flat so you can put away almost anywhere in the house or take along with you when traveling with pets. The mount does not damage your wall.
The all-steel design is durable to guarantee you years of use. The material used is lead-free and chew-proof.

Verdict
If you want to pet-proof some areas in your house, the Carlson Extra Wide pet gate is your best bet. It is durable and heavy duty to hold out any pressure put on it. It is adjustable and offers extensions for wider openings and stairways. It features a small door for cats and other small pets while keeping the bigger ones where they belong making it the best baby gate for pets.

Pros
  • Very sturdy and can endure all conditions
  • Durable
  • Features a cat door for small pets
  • Adjustable pressure mount systems
  • Features a convenient walk-through design and a safety latch
  • Adjustable and allows extensions for wider openings
Cons
  • We wish the opening were a little bigger for huge people
  • Babies can easily open the latch when it is not locked

10. Evenflo Soft and Wide Gate; best for travel

Why we like it: The Evenflo Soft and Wide gate expands from 38 to 60 inch wide. It is pressure mounted therefore easy to install, and the rubber bumpers do not damage walls. It comes ready to use and does not need any assembling. We like that it is lightweight and portable therefore best for travel. It features a neutral design to complement most home decors and is machine washable.

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Convenience features
The Evenflo Soft and Wide gate is adjustable to fit extra wide openings (36 to 60 inches) making it suitable for use in most openings in the house. It uses pressure-mounting system therefore easy to install. It is constructed of metal and cloth and is firm to withstand baby’s pushing and pulling. No matter how hard your baby leans, hung on or pulls the fabric, it does not break.

Evenflo Soft and Wide gate is lightweight and portable meaning you can easily carry it along when traveling or move it to other areas in the house. When it comes to storage, all you need to do is twist the horizontal rods, take out and store. The knobs allow you to fit the gate in uneven openings.

Additional features
The Evenflo Soft and Wide gate features non-marring rubber bumpers so you can be sure your walls will not be damaged. It also features a neutral design to compliment any home décor. You will like that it comes ready to use so you won’t have to stress over setting it up.

The gate has nice padding and cloth over it and uses a sheer mesh to allow your curious baby to see what is happening in the next room. The clothing does not allow pets to go through and also has a strong stitching to keep pets from damaging it.

Its wide fitting allows you to use the gate in hallways, kitchen, laundry room, among other areas. You will love that the fabric comes off and is machine washable making it very easy for you to clean. You can also step over it and pass through when not in a position to bend over to open it.

Verdict
If you are looking for an easy to install baby gate to fit wide openings, then this could be your best bet. It does not come with any bars to keep children from climbing over making it very safe. The easy to clean fabric makes it great for pets as you can quickly clean any mess. Its portability also makes it the best baby gate for travel.

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight and portable
  • It does not damage walls
  • Features a neutral style to fit most homes décor
  • The fabric is machine washable
Cons
  • It is not suitable for frequently accessed areas
  • It does not have a doorway, but you can easily step over to pass through

Guide to Buying the Best Baby Gate

When should you get a baby gate?

You should get and install a baby gate before your little one starts crawling. And, a baby gate is not the only way to child proof your house. Here are more tips on how to child proof your house.

How are the slats spaced?

If the baby gate has vertical slats, ensure they are less than 3-inches apart for safety. If more than 3 inches, your baby’s head could get trapped leading to strangulation.

The slats should also be vertically placed. Otherwise, your baby will climb over.

Purpose

How and where will you be using the gate? Baby gates come in different sizes and styles for different purposes. Most gates will block standard door openings. Get an extra-wide one for wide openings and an interlocking one if you want to enclose a big section such as a play area.

If you want to use the gate at the top of your stairway, ensure it does not have a horizontal bar beneath it to prevent tripping when the gate is open.

How wide is the area?

Ensure you have the correct measurement for the area you want to place the gate. This makes your selection easier given the different shapes and sizes baby gates come in. It is also useful to have information on the gate’s adjustability and extensions beforehand.
How often do you use the area?

Not all gates swing open especially pressure mounted ones. Go for one that swings open for easy access to high traffic areas such as hallways and kitchens. Some gates allow you to climb over, but this is not safe in some cases like when holding your baby

Budget

Lastly, baby gates vary widely in costs depending on their quality and size. Hardware mounted gates are more expensive than pressure mounted gates because of their construction. Freestanding gates are the most costly of the three. Select a gate based on how much you are comfortable spending but be sure not to compromise on quality.

Final words

No matter how baby proof your house is, you will need a baby gate once your little one starts crawling. We have reviewed the best baby gates you should consider in 2018 based on safety, convenience, among other features to give you nothing but the best. Whether you are looking to use the gate for wide openings, for play area, for cat or dog, our list has everything you need.