best baby gate for stairs

How do you choose the best baby gate for stairs?


I’m sure you’ll agree that a baby gate for your staircase is probably the most important type of gate you need to buy. Does trying to babyproof your unconventional staircase cause you a headache? Then let us show you that you have countless options. Keep on reading if you want to find the best baby gate for stairs to secure your staircase.

best baby gate for stairs

Best baby gate for top of stairs

At the top of the stairs, you need a quality baby gate that can withstand a lot of pushing and pulling from a curious toddler. There are several features that need your attention. When looking for a baby gate to use at the top of the staircase, the most important is that the gate is:

  • Durable
  • Hardware mounted
  • Swings one way, not onto the stairs
  • Without a step-over bar at the bottom of the gate that you can trip over.

When you’re looking for the best baby gates for the top of the stairs, even the sturdiest pressure-mounted gate is not a safe option. There is always a risk the gate can dislodge if not secured well. For the top of the stairs, I recommend you choose a gate that has an installed height of more than 29 inches.

Compare hardware-mounted baby gates you can put at the top of the stairs.

It can be difficult to find the best baby gate for stairs that are very unusual in shape. Having a landing, curve, or weird shape on your stairs can be confusing. Safety gates for such stairs are hard to find.

If you have trouble installing a baby gate at the top of the stairs, Dreambaby’s Adapta baby gate may help you solve that for you. A baby gate doesn’t necessarily have to be installed right at the top. You can create a landing space at the top of the stairs if a traditional gate doesn’t fit.

Dreambaby Newport Adapta Gate (Mesh)

Best bottom-of-stairs baby gate

When on a budget it can add up when you need to babyproof your home. You may wonder: How many stair gates do I need? Do you really need to put a gate at both the bottom of the stairs and at the top of the stairs? Sadly experience tells us that it is necessary. Your first thoughts may go to the dangers the top of the stairs hold for your baby. But imagine, without a gate at the bottom your toddler can climb the stairs lose its balance, and tumble all the way down. This will result in the same ugly fall.

At the bottom, you have more options to choose from. Here you can use a pressure-mounted gate also known as a tension baby gate. These gates are easier to install as they require no drilling. High-quality mesh retractable gates will also work.

The best baby gate for stairs to be placed at the bottom

Here are some great options to choose from. You can’t go wrong with these gates for the bottom of the staircase. (Make sure you measure the opening, so you order the right dimensions)

Best baby gate for stairs with banisters

There is no reason to worry if your staircase has banisters on both sides. The installation of a baby gate without damaging your banister is simple nowadays. In terms of the best baby gate for stairs, the Summer Metal Banister and Stair Safety Baby Gate is an excellent choice.

With the unique mounting system, this baby gate is incredibly easy to install on stairs and banisters; It can be mounted both banister-to-banister and banister-to-wall. When installing to a banister, there is no drilling required.


Baby gates for difficult and uneven stairs

If you are looking for a baby gate for awkward stairs or an extra-wide stair opening, you will probably need a hardware-mounted gate. This is because a pressure-mounted baby gate must have two solid surfaces opposite of each other to push against. So they are not an option if there are banisters or walls that are at an angle to each other.

If you need a simple solution for stairs that are oddly shaped, the best baby gate for stairs may be a configurable gate. For almost any size opening and any situation, you will be able to find and set up a baby gate. Check out the following images for some inspiration. These photos show some examples of what we can do with multi-panel baby gates

1. The KIDCO Configure Baby Gate

With this gate, shown below, you can fence off the area around the bottom of the staircase. This can be very helpful when the wall arrangements at the bottom of the stairs are not suited for traditional gates. This is a large gate that can turn corners and attach at different angles. 

KIDCO, INC. Configure Baby Gate, White

2. The Costzon Baby Safety Gate.

Another awesome gate you can use as a baby gate for irregular stair openings is this baby gate by Costzon. With infinite configurations, this product can cover large areas. Perfect solution if you are searching for a baby gate for the bottom of the stairs with only one wall.

Costzon Baby Safety Gate, 4-in-1 Fireplace Fence, 204-Inch Wide Barrier with Walk-Through Door in Two Directions, Add/Decrease Panels Directly, Wall-Mount Metal Gate for Pet & Child (Black, 8-Panel)

3. The Iron Baby Playground baby gate

If you are looking for a baby gate for split-level stairs, see the example below. Baby gates, such as the Iron Baby Playground gate, can be used to wrap around large open staircases.

SSLine Iron Baby Playground Pet Play Pen Fireplace Fence Christmas Tree Protection 5 Pieces Panel Safety Gate with Door Black

Before you buy a baby stair gate

Installing the gate – Where are you planning to install the gate? Usually included with the baby gate you get an installation kit that makes this possible. But sometimes you need to install it on a different surface than shown in the installation guide. For example, you may need to install your baby gate on stairs with a banister and without a wall. In this case, check if an installation kit is included to help you do this. Check out our post: How to install baby gates without damaging your woodwork or walls.

The latch of the gate – You should be able to open and close the top of the stairs gate with one hand. Though some gates advertise a one-hand operation while in reality the latching mechanism is complicated to use. You don’t want to fiddle to open the latch with your baby on one arm. If possible try the latch in the store. And also read reviews to see what other consumers say about how well the latch works.

The bars of the gate – The space between the bars should be no more than 3 inches apart. So it’s impossible for a toddler’s head to fit through. Moreover, it should have vertical bars (slats) to prevent climbing. Do not use an accordion-style gate as the v-shape of the slats can be used as a foothold by your toddler to climb over the gate.

The height of the gate – A child climbing over a gate at the top of the stairs is considerably more dangerous than climbing over any other gate. So, it’s very important you get a tall baby gate. Look for a gate with a minimum height of 22 inches and at least three-fourths of your toddler’s height.

Best baby gate for stairs with cat door

When your cat or dog is used to roaming freely around the house a baby gate with a pet door may seem the perfect solution. Bear in mind that if the opening is large enough for a medium-sized dog, it is probably also large enough for your toddler. Clearly, this is not the type of gate one would use to babyproof a staircase.

Baby-proofing the stairs

Recent studies reveal that every year almost 2000 children in the US need to be rushed to the emergency room because of baby stair gate-related accidents. Most of these accidents (60%) involved boys older than the age of two. How do those injuries occur?

  1. A parent slips while carrying a baby down the stairs.
  2. By using a pressure-mounted baby gate at the top of the stairs. A child can fall down together with the gate if he bumps into it with too much force.
  3. Not removing the gate when a child is old enough to climb over the gate.

Every parent’s worst nightmare is their baby falling from the top of the stairs. These falls may cause serious head injuries and even the death of a small child.

At the top of the stairs, the only safe gate is a hardware-mounted baby gate. If you are afraid of damaging your walls or banisters, read our post on installing baby gates using an installation kit. Pressure-mounted gates can be used at the bottom of the staircase and in doorways between two rooms.

Importantly, and a point often overlooked, is the fact that baby walkers are still responsible for about 2.6 % of all stair accidents. If your child still uses a baby walker, you should know they are very dangerous. And if you are under the impression that these walkers teach your baby how to walk; the opposite is true; they can actually delay a child’s normal development. Of all injuries caused by baby walkers, 75% to 95% are from falls down the stairs.

When carrying your infant on the stairs make sure you wear proper footwear. Let’s say, wearing flip-flops with a baby in your arms is not a good idea.

How long to use stair gates

Stop using the baby gate when your child understands the potential dangers and can climb up and down the stairs independently. Usually, by the age of two, you can learn your toddler how to do this safely. Remember that once the toddler’s chin reaches the top of the gate, it is safer to remove the gate. Moreover, when your child manages to climb over the stair gate or has figured out how he can open it, it has lost its purpose, and you better take the gate down.  It is our hope that by reading this post, you will discover the best baby stair gate for your house.

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