From the moment your baby starts to roll for the first time, they are officially on the move, so you should be putting all precautions in place to prevent them from getting themselves into mischief asap; whether it’s stopping them from scooting over the top stair or getting under your feet while you’re pottering around in the kitchen, the best stair gates will ensure that your little one is safely limited to the selected room!
Stair gates (or baby gates) are a useful way of keeping the little ones out of trouble(ish), and once they have worked out that really cannot get around them, they will be back to playing with their toys and keep out of mischief in no time(ish). Fairly cost-effective, most stair gates are easily secured to the wall or the door frame and contain an adults-only opening system so you can move around the house freely while they’re contained to one area. The best kind of stair gate won’t have a lip on it that you can trip over and it’s best that you purchase one that opens inwards rather than outwards so you don’t accidentally push yourself down the stairs in the process of opening it.
There’s a fair amount to consider if you’re looking to purchase a stair gate; including design, material and price. Would you prefer a pressure-fitted one that doesn’t require you to make any permanent holes in walls or door frames? Or how about a fixed gate for those not looking to compromise on the width of their doorway or stair gap?
Expandable gates are ideal for those with a variety of different sized door openings and gaps, and for those looking to take their teetering tot away with them on holiday, there’s even travel safety gates that’ll keep them out of mischief wherever you go.
Aside from their functionality, it’s worth looking at the material of your gate; many are white plastic or metal, while others are neutrally wooden. There isn’t one material better than the other, it’s just a case of personal preference and deciding which one will look best in your home.
We’ve rounded up the best stair gates from popular retailers, including John Lewis, Mothercare and Argos, so you have a well-rounded round up of all the possibilities out there.
1. Lascal Kiddyguard Avant Safety Baby Gate
An automatic locking gate for complete peace of mind
Best for: Automatic locking | Material: Aluminium and plastic | Fits: Up to 120cm | Fitting type: Wall fix
There’s nothing worse than second guessing yourself, especially when it comes to the health and safety of your baby. This gate locks automatically once you have closed it, giving you peace of mind that the gate is secure while you potter around the house. As long as you’re planning on using this gate for your staircase only, its fixed wall-fitting shouldn’t be a problem, and will make sure that your gate is 100% secure at all times. With an easy slide-to-open mechanism and no threshold to trip over, this is an extra safe gate for both you and your baby.
2. Dreambaby Nottingham Gro-Gate
Pressure-fitted or screw-fixed, choose your pick
Best for: Versatility and style | Material: Beech wood | Fits: 69-104cm | Fitting type: Pressure or screw fix
If you’re a fan of wooden furnishings, it’s good to know that you don’t have to completely compromise on style when it comes to your stair gate (although we’re sure your baby’s safety will always come first!). Made from beech wood, this natural-looking wooden gate combines two mechanisms to give you complete choice over how you use it. Those looking for a more permanent fixture will benefit from screw fitting but if you’re planning on relocating your stair gate around the house, the pressure fitting will give you the freedom to move it around with you; it’s extendable too, so it’ll fit a wide range of door and entranceways.
3. BabyDan Extra Tall Pet Pressure Safety Baby Gate
A stair gate for pets and babies!
Best for: Pet owners | Material: Metal | Fits: 73-80cm | Fitting type: Pressure
Pets can get underneath your feet, too and there’s nothing worse than finding muddy footprints all over the carpet, so it’s handy to know that this gate is tall enough to deter both your baby and your dog from making a bid for freedom. With a pressure safety mechanism, you don’t need to worry about drilling holes in your wall and it means you can move the gate around the house if needs be. While the gate has the capacity to fit openings up to 80cm, additional extensions are available for extra-wide doorways.
4. Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate
An easy to use stair gate with additional stair safety features
Best for: Additional stair safety | Material: Steel | Fits: 73-80cm | Fitting type: Pressure
If you’re not a whizz at putting things together, Lindam's claim to fame is that this award-winning gate is incredibly easy to install. With a four point pressure system, it may be a fiddle to move around, but once you place it you know your child is safe, thanks to the double locking system. If you’re looking to use this product as a stair gate, you can opt for single-opening, which means you can only open it by pulling the gate towards you, but you’ll still need to mind the lip.
5. Safest Start Wooden Extending Safety Gate
An extendable wooden gate for use in multiple door and entranceways
Best for: Extending wooden gate | Material: Wood | Fits: 63.5-106cm | Fitting type: Wall fix
This fixed stair gate is good choice if you’re concerned about tripping over a lip, but as a compromise, you’ll have to make it a permanent fixture. You can easily extend or reduce the width of this gate so it fits securely, and with a one way or two way opening system, you can ensure that you’re operating it safely from the top of the stairs. If you like the idea of a wooden baby gate, but feel the RRP of our Dreambaby offering on the expensive side, this one is a great alternative.
6. Lindam Flexiguard
For full peace of mind on holiday
Best for: Travelling | Material: Metal and fabric | Fits: 71-92cm | Fitting type: Pressure
Holidays are for relaxing, but you won’t be able to relax completely if you know there’s risk that your baby may end up somewhere they shouldn’t. This travel gate easily folds up into its own bag for easy transportation, and can be quickly installed thanks to the four point pressure system. The only downside to this gate is the entire thing comes away when you release the pressure, which means you’ll have to make sure it’s properly resecured each time you pass through.
7. Lindam Wall Fix Push to Shut Extending Metal Safety Gate
With a wide walk through section and no step over bar, this gate is convenient to use
Best for: Extendable metal gate | Material: Steel | Fits: 64.5-102cm | Fitting type: Wall fix
Both narrow and wide staircases are covered with this extendable metal gate. It can open 2 ways or 1 way, great if you’re placing it at the top of your stairs, while the full open and close mechanism means you don’t compromise on width and you don’t have to remember not to trip over a threshold. Double locking, this stair gate is very safe, yet easy to open thanks to the one handed opening mechanism.