10 of the best stair gates

From a traditional bar, mesh, wood, or even a transparent gate, we've found the stair gate that's right for your home

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When your little one starts exploring the world, a stairgate can be one of the most essential bits of baby kit you can purchase. From keeping the kitchen a play-free zone to making sure your staircase doesn’t become a playground slide, a stair gate will stop baby accessing all the places you want to keep them from and will keep them safely in your line of vision.

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But with so many different types of staircases and doorways, there inevitably comes a wide choice of safety gates. That is why we have searched high and low to bring you the top 10 stair gates to keep your worries firmly at bay.

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1. BabyDan Multidan Metal Extending Safety Gate, £27.99

This wall-mounted safety gate is a great all-rounder. We love that it can fit a wide range of openings, from 62.5-106.8cm, making it ideal for both narrow and wide doorways or spaces.

Another huge plus for us is that you can open the gate easily with just one hand – perfect if your hands are full carrying your little one around. The safety gate opens both ways, and has a double lock mechanism, which is very easy to use, but perfect for keeping little hands guessing. Another bonus is that it’s very easy to install.

Once you have installed the wall fittings, you simply adjust the gate’s width using the screws to slide it into the frame. The BabyDan also has a child-proof, quick-release closure, making it easy for parents to adjust or remove the gate when needed. One final thumbs-up is the gate’s style. It has a simple and chic white metal finish, which should blend nicely with any home’s aesthetic.

Available from: Amazon, Argos and Clas Ohlson

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2. Dreambaby Retractable Security Gate, £47.99

This sturdy, mesh barrier makes a nice change to the standard metal bar gates that we so often see. It is suitable for the top and bottom of stairways, hallways, doorways and more and presents no tripping hazards for you or your little one.

We love the simple versatility of this gate, and it is all the more desirable as it comes with two sets of mounting brackets, meaning you can choose two areas in your home that get the most use and simply move the gate between the two locations without having to remove and replace the wall brackets.

However, our favourite feature is how compact it is. The mesh barrier retracts all the way across when opened, so there is no gate in the way when open, meaning there is less chance of tripping up! Like the BabyDan, it has a one-handed opening system, so you can have your hands full and still open and close the gate with ease.

Available from: Amazon and JoJo Maman Bebe

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3. John Lewis & Partners Extending Wooden Safety Gate, £29

If you like a traditional look without breaking the bank, then this simple yet chic wooden safety gate from John Lewis is for you.

The gate is made from beech wood and like some other gates in our top 10 it can extend to fit a range of door widths. This barrier extends from 64cm to 106cm and is easily mounted against flat surfaces.

Unlike certain gates in our top 10 such as the BabyDan and the Dreambaby, although it has a quick-release wall fitting for when it isn’t in use, it doesn’t seem to have a one-handed release. This is one of the handiest features with safety gates, however, considering the price, style and general functionality, you are still getting yourself a good deal.

Available from: John Lewis

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4. Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Pressure Fit Safety Gate, £24.99

This is the first pressure-fit safety gate in our top 10, and unlike its wall-mounted competitors, you do not need a drill to fit this barrier to your walls.

This isn’t an extendable gate, such as the BabyDan or John Lewis wooden version, instead it fits widths from 76-82cm, and you can purchase an extender separately if you wish. We love the ease of using this gate, and it features a one-way opening for use at the bottom of the stairs and a two-way opening for use in doorways, making it very versatile for its price point.

It comes assembled and ready to install, which should only take you 5 minutes or so – another bonus mark from us! The only niggle we have with the Lindam is the potential trip hazard posed by the bottom bar. Therefore, we do not recommend using it at the top of your staircase.

Available from: Argos and Amazon

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5. BabyDan Alma Auto Retractable Safety Gate, £44.99

We love the contemporary design of this folding gate by BabyDan. This is the second gate from this brand in our top 10, and it has earned its place thanks to its innovative design, easy installation and its folded, near-invisible look when not in use.

Pull out and press the side handle, and the retractable barrier will fold back automatically and compactly against the wall. This leaves easy access and a clear area to walk through with no trip hazard.

It’s the perfect gate for small openings and is one of the narrowest gates in our list. It fits openings 55-89cm, depending on whether you fit it inside or outside of the door frame – it cleverly gives you both options. This gate can be extended up to a width of 113.5cm, however, like the Lindam, you need to purchase the extender separately.

Available from: Mothercare, Boots and JoJo Maman Bebe

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6. Safety 1st Pressure Fit Safety Gate, £19.99

This is the second pressure-fitted gate in our top 10 and like the Lindam, it has a very competitive price point. We love that it comes with wall cups at 4 points to provide a tight and secure fit to your doorframe or walls.

The installation is super-easy and doesn’t require a drill or tools. This is a simple gate, but it provides great security thanks not only to the one-handed lock and release on the top, but also the optional lock at the bottom.

Like some of the other safety gates in our top 10, you can buy an extender separately to allow this pressure gate to fit widths of up to 136cm. The standard width it fits is 73-80cm, so it’s a pretty generous size.

It also features a 2-way opening and, like the Lindam, it has a bar you have to step over – so avoid fitting it at the top of your stairs. 

Available from: Argos and Amazon

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7. Fred Screw Fit Clear-View Safety Stair Gate, £150

Yes, you read right. This safety gate by Fred is £150 and the most expensive product in our top 10. But we had to include it because it is just a brilliant option if you are happy to spend a little more. Not only is it a thing of beauty – clear acrylic that will not compromise the style and decor of your home – but it has unparalleled safety features that we just love.

It has a 2-way magnetic locking system and “at-a-glance” colour visual locking indicators that will give you peace of mind that the gate is either locked or unlocked. It’s very easy to install and comes with all the tools you need, including a mini spirit level!

This Fred gate also has a 180° mount which allows a perfect fit, even where walls are at an angle. It has been designed to fit walls with or without skirting and it can mount over pipes, wires and other obstructions.

Having said all that, our favourite feature must be the bite-proof materials and lick-safe finishes throughout – ideal for keeping it clean from little teething mouths.

Available from: Mamas and Papas, John Lewis and Amazon

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8. Lascal Assure KiddyGuard® Gate, £79

Like the Dreambaby Retractable style, this gate by Lascal is made from a strong, mesh fabric, which makes a nice change from the standard metal designs. We love the simple yet effective way the Assure guard rolls up onto a spindle when it is not in use. This makes it feel like a subtler way to incorporate a stair gate into your home, especially if you are a fan of minimalist design.

It can withstand an impact of up to 100kg and has a standard width for openings up to 100cm, which is one of the widest in our list without the need of an extender. Another favourite feature is the lock. It opens and closes with one hand and can be set to lock automatically or manually, ensuring total safety for your child.

Like the acrylic gate by Fred, the Assure features a colour indicator warning, and a red warning button that pops up if the gate has been left unlocked.

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe and Babylicious

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9. Safety 1st Secure Tech Flat Step Metal Gate, £29.99

The Safety 1st Flat Step gate is a metal, pressure-fitted gate designed for most standard openings and doorways. It is designed with a U-shaped frame that has 4 pressure points to provide a solid fit. It adjusts to fit openings from 73-80cm, but what makes this gate stand out against competitors with a U-shaped frame is the step.

Gates with this type of design, such as the Safety 1st Pressure Fit Safety Gate and the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Pressure Fit Safety Gate, feature a step that can be a trip hazard, which is why it is not recommended to place them at the top of your stairs.

However, this gate has a flat step of 1.1cm, while most others measure around 3cm. Another feature we love is the colour-coded lock system. Red indicates the gate is unlocked, while green means it is safely secured.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Mothercare

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10. Clippasafe Extendable Swing Shut Gate, £39.99

This extendable gate by Clippasafe extends up to 95cm, making it one of the most flexible in our top 10. It can even fit openings up to 132cm with extra extensions. This makes it an ideal choice for wider doorways or stairs.

As well as the flexible width, the Extendable Swing Shut Gate is also very secure due to its screw-on wall cups. This, by all accounts, is a good, stable fixing technique, but it is not to everyone’s taste as it’s a little more time-consuming and means the gate isn’t as easily removable as some of the others in our top 10.

We like that this gate comes in 2 designs – a chic white metal with grey accents, and natural beech (this style is slightly more expensive). The Clippasafe is a versatile, self-closing gate and can be set to open in both directions or just one, giving you complete control.

Available from: Direct 4 Baby, Precious Little One and Hello Baby

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