If you’re a new parent, you’re about to learn two things. The first is that babies are naturally curious and long to go where they’re not supposed to go. The second is that they’re incredibly drawn to stairs, even if they can barely crawl on a flat surface. And you know what that means. You need baby gates for stairs!
This review guide focuses just on baby gates for stairs. We cover what to do if you have irregular stairs, what to look for in baby gates, and will help you choose the right one.
Baby Gates for Stairs – Quick View
|Typical Price||Width (in)||Height (in)||Winner in|
|Regalo 2-in-1 Baby Gates||$85||29-43||30.5||Banisters and posts|
|Safety 1st Lift, Lock, and Swing||$36-45||30-42||26||Best value and plastic|
|Toddleroo Deluxe Decor||$81-125||38-71||30||Wide openings|
|Perma Child Retractable Baby Gates||$50||Up to 71||33||Most discreet, retractable|
|Munchkin Loft Hardware Baby Gates||$196||26.5-40||30.5||Most stylish|
Will Baby Gates Work On My Irregular Stairs?
Handrails, banisters, spindles, and posts. (Things that hate our baby gates most!)
Baby gates are designed to be easily and safely installed into walls. Unfortunately, many stairwells don’t have a wall on both sides, meaning that your typical gates have nothing to mount to.
Not to worry, you still have options!
Option 1 – Get banister adapters.
Whatever problem you may have, there’s a baby product for that! And this one actually delivers.
Banister adapters are a really great way to add a “wall” if all you have are posts or spindles.
These ones by safety innovations fit posts from 2.75in to 3.5in wide whether they’re square or round.
Just remember that it comes in a set of one – so if your stairs have two posts, you’ll need to buy two.
Option 2 – Close off the entire stairwell opening.
Option 3 – Find the right baby gate.
Awkward stairs are… awkward, but they’re not impossible. Ask around, especially parents in similar homes to yours, and you’re bound to find baby gates that work.
Do I use Baby Gates at the Top of the Stairs, Bottom, Or Both?
Think about your home’s layout, and use your baby gates to protect your kiddos wherever they may be left unattended (even if it’s for just a second.)
Most parents only put baby gates at the top of the stairs to keep their little ones from accidentally walking off, but what do you think will happen if they start climbing up? Toddlers and babies are naturally curious and are drawn to stairs well before they can walk. If protecting your little ones means installing baby gates both at the bottom and top of the stairs, so be it.
Should I Use Hardware-mounted or Pressure-mounted Baby Gates For Stairs?
If you’re using these baby gates for stairs, one hundred per cent they need to be hardware mounted. Even though pressure mounting does the trick in most cases, you don’t want the chance that your little one pushes against the gates at full force and then comes tumbling down. No way.
Our Baby Gates For Stairs Look-Fors
- Hardware mounted. When it comes to baby gates, some are hardware-mounted – meaning you screw them into the walls, and some are pressure-mounted – you essentially wedge them into doorways. If you’ll be using these baby gates for stairs, they need to be hardware mounted. Otherwise you risk them being pushed over.
- Sturdy construction. Some stairs feel sturdy and secure while some feel kind of flimsy. You don’t want to take any chances on the stairs, so we only went with sturdy construction.
- Good, easy-to-use lock. A gate is only as good as its lock, right? You want the lock to be easy to use for adults and hard for the kiddies, otherwise what’s the point?
- Swings in one direction only. If you’re using the gates at the top of the stairs, you’ll feel more secure if they only swing away from the stairs and not towards. Not all of our picks come with this feature though, so you might need to add a stopper if you’re using this at the top of the stairs.
Without further ado, the reviews!
Most Convenient Baby Gate for Banisters
Regalo 2-in-1 Stairway and Hallway Mounted Baby Gate
As owners of a funky stairwell, we appreciate these baby gates for stairs because they won’t need additional mounting pieces. These gates come with a banister mounting kit, meaning that you won’t have to buy one.
There are some drawbacks though.
The mounting kit is not made for all types of banisters. It comes with four square banister adapters, but only one round banister adapter. It’s also not ideal for smaller posts.
The gate swings both ways (although it would be easy to block one direction) which is not recommended in baby gates for stairs. Also, the locking mechanism is pretty standard and would be easy to overcome by determined toddlers.
In any case, we do like these as nice, sturdy, metal baby gates that can keep my toddlers off the stairs without having to buy additional adapters.
|Typical Price||$85 which includes banister adapters|
|Width Range (in)||29-43|
|Type of Door Swing||Swings in both directions|
Best Value in Baby Gates For Stairs
Safety 1st Lift Lock and Swing Baby Gate
These plastic gates may be “pressure mount” but they come with hardware as well, making them great baby gates for stairs.
We love the simplicity. These baby gates have a complete control top handle that lets you open and close the door without setting your little one down. And they’re still sturdy and tricky enough to hold off your toddler.
|Typical Price||$36 – $45|
|Width Range (in)||30-42|
|Type of Door Swing||Gate swings one-way only|
Great for Wide Openings Around Stairs
Toddleroo by North States Deluxe Décor Baby Gates
These extra-wide deluxe baby gates are perfect to guard off the entire stairwell if you can’t install them right on the stairs. If you have an awkward space that you want to close off, these baby gates will solve that problem.
We love that they offer auto-close, easy one-handed open, and a triple lock, making these safe and secure baby gates for stairs.
|Typical Price||$81 – $125|
|Width Range (in)||38 – 71 (and up to 162 with baby gate additions.)|
|Type of Door Swing||Adjustable to swing out, in, or both directions and can be kept open when needed.|
Most Discreet Baby Gates For Stairs (Retractable)
Perma Child Retractable Baby Gate
Retractable baby gates are not for everyone, but we absolutely love their look and feel!
They’re minimal looking, easy to use one-handed, and easy to install – making them great baby gates for stairs. Plus, they can be used indoors and out.
|Width Range (in)||Up to 71|
|Type of Door Swing||Retractable Gate|
Most Stylish Baby Gates For Stairs
Munchkin Loft Hardware Mounted Baby Gate
This baby gate certainly wins the “most stylish” category with its sleek aluminum styling.
We like that the baby gates are sturdy, yet easy to remove when they’re not needed, and that the double locking handle is easy for adults but tricky for children.
There has to be enough vertical room on the walls to slide these baby gates into place. So you can’t install them right under the stairs’ handrails.
Also, the gates swing both ways, which is not ideal for the top of the stairs, but would be perfect at the bottom.
|Width Range (in)||26.5 – 40|
|Type of Door Swing||Door swings both ways|
Baby Gates For Stairs – FAQ
Which baby gate is best for stairs?
It really depends on the type of stairs, but we’d recommend the Regalo 2-in-1 Stairway and Hallway baby gates because they come with a banister-mounting kit. If posts and banisters are not an issue, there are tons of great options ranging from plastic to retractable.
What are the safest baby gates for stairs?
The safest baby gates for stairs are hardware-mounted, sturdy, and swing in only one direction if at the top of stairs. We recommend the Toddleroo Deluxe Decor baby gates for that, although there are many other safe and secure options that would fit your staircase perfectly.
What can you use instead of a stair gate?
If you’re concerned about your baby or toddler finding their way to the stairs, your best bet is to buy sturdy, hardware-mounted safety gates. There are lots of great options, as well as adapters for different types of stairs. If gates are not an option, you could consider blocking off the stairwell entirely with a baby fence or being extra-mindful when your little one is around stairs.
Can you use pressure-mounted baby gates on stairs?
Absolutely not! You should not be using pressure-mounted baby gates on stairs due to the risk of pushing them over and tumbling down. There are lots of hardware-mounted baby gate options that are great for stairs. There’s no need to compromise.
Final Word on Best Baby Gates For Stairs
If you’ve got some curious kiddos, good baby gates will give you peace of mind. Whatever types of stairs you have, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect fit.