The Best Child Safety Gates For Stairs

Nothing scares a parent more than the fear of their child helplessly tumbling down the stairs due to either faulty child safety gates or worse yet no gate at all. Having piece of mind that you can turn your head and know that the safety gate in place will keep this tragedy from happening is worth taking the time to pick the right gate. We have polled our team of writers and have come up with some tips below that will help parents select the best suited safety gate for their stairs.


The first and most important thing when selecting a safety gate for stairs is to measure the top of your stairs properly. Some homes have very unique openings or angled walls and depending on the age of your home the area may not be as square as newer homes. I’ve seen some stair tops where there was simply no way to install a safety gate unless you did major construction and others that were perfectly square that had no issues. Make sure you measure the width and height of the area and take those measurements to the store (online or brick and mortar store) to make sure the gate fits your needs.

The measurements should also take into consideration the current age and height of your child. Most gates will run approximately 26″ to 31″ in height and will be more than suitable for most children whether babies or toddlers. We recommend purchasing a size that will grow with your child so don’t skimp on the height of the gate as you may be end up purchasing another one down the line if your child goes through a growth spurt. Given the chance I think most would lean towards the higher end of the height scale purely for safety reasons. The higher the gate, the less chance your adventurous toddler will try to scale or climb over it.

Regarding the width, this will be totally dependent on your particular opening. Most times you will need to select the gate that best fits your stairs but a majority of safety gates will fit openings from about 24″ on up to 42″. Some gates like the Safeway Baby Gate by KidCoColors have an optional extension kit that will extend the opening up to 66″ which is a nice feature. Others have limited maximum widths so make sure you measure accurately so you purchase the correct gate.

child safety gates for stairsThe construction of the safety gate is another important thing to consider. Most times child safety gates are made of either metal, plastic or wood and some also incorporate mesh into the construction. Most times this will come down to personal preference and the look you’re going for to match your interior décor. However, for a top of the stairs safety gate we would highly recommend going with either wood or metal construction not because plastic isn’t sturdy but some plastic models can flex and bend over time and that is not something we want at the top of the stairs. Top quality metal safety gates made of strong tubular steel or solid wood are better suited for stairs and most parents feel safer with these types as well.

In addition to the type of construction another important factor is the hardware that fastens the safety gate to the wall or banister and the locking mechanism. In all cases we recommend going with a hardware connection to the wall where the gate is screwed or bolted to the wall. There are many gates that offer pressure mounting where a locking mechanism is pressed down to wedge the gate against the walls. Although screwed or bolted hardware connections are our recommended way to go, in most cases the higher end pressure mounted gates are extremely safe and it really comes down to personal preference. Also, if you have a banister on one side and you do not fancy running screws into the wood you can now purchase a Stairway Gate Installation Kit (K12) by KidCo that allows you to connect your child safety gates directly to banisters without ruining the decorative wood. It’s a safe alternative that looks great too.

When it comes to price, the best child safety gates for stairs can run anywhere from about $35 on the low end to around $75 on the higher end. Adding a Stairway Gate Installation Kit for both sides of the gate can run you about $65 alone but it is worth the price when it comes to safety of your child. Some of the better deals on safety gates can be found online at places like where we have found the most competitive pricing, best shipping and most customer friendly return policy. Some of the safety gates for stairs that we recommend looking at include:

Best Steel or Metal Construction Safety Gate for Stairs:
Kidco Safeway Gate (Model G20)
Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate (Model SS30)
Safeway Baby Gate by KidCoColors

Best Wood Construction Safety Gate for Stairs:
Evenflo Top of Stair Plus Gate
Evenflo Home Décor Wood Gate (Model 1555C)

Best Pressure Mounted Safety Gates for Stairs:
Dream Baby Swing Closed Security Gate Combo
KidCo G15 Center Gateway with Walk Through Pressure Gate

Best Angle Mounted Child Safety Gate for Stairs:
KidCo Angle-Mount Safeway Gate

NOTE: Read descriptions on every gate as some are simply not made for the top of stairs and will indicate that on their product description. All of the safety gates listed above are made to work with stair wells.

Spend some time and read user reviews online to see which child safety gates for stairs are working best for others. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, especially when others have done a lot of the homework for you!

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