Last Updated: May 8, 2023 @ 1:34 pm.

What are the best indoor safety gates? To find out, we tested gates from 9 major brands. Which were easiest to install? Easiest to use? Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Walk-Through Gate

Great for stairs
Loved this gate, which is easy to install and use. Also nice: expandable up to 38.5" wide. All steel construction is sturdy. Door can swing open both ways.

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Best Walk-Through Gate: Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate

This safety gate has been a reader favorite for years and is among the top-selling gates in the country—and there is a good reason for that.

We love this gate’s overall design and safety features. Yes, this is a walk-through gate which is super-easy to use. We also love the included six-inch extension kit (it fits openings between 29″ up to 38.5″ with the extension).

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Steel construction. Cheaper baby and pet safety gates are often made of plastic—and those are nice, but if you want something sturdy, steel is the way to go.

• Easy to install.

• Can be hard mounted or pressure mounted.

• Top and bottom width can be adjusted, in case your door opening is wider at top than at the base.

• Multiple safety lock features.

• Extra extensions are available as accessories if you need more width.

What Needs Work

• Door can swing both ways . . . but that requires flipping a tab on the bottom of the gate. We see some user reports that getting that to work can be a challenge.

• Gate must be closed and locked manually. This gate is NOT self-closing or locking.

• Pricey. 

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Best Budget-Friendly

No assembly required
Super simple gate works straight out of the box and is a snap to install. We liked the rubber bumpers that protect walls. Made in the USA. Great for pets or kids.

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Best Budget Friendly: North States MyPet Paws 40” Portable Pet Gate

Don’t let the name fool you—this safety gate is great for both pets AND babies.

For this article, we tried out several different pressure gates . . . gates that use pressure against a doorway to hold them in place. We thought North States’ pet gate was an excellent choice, at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

What We Liked

• Flexible. This gate fits in openings from 26″ to 40″ wide. That extra flexibility is better than other gates we tested.

• Affordable.

• Rubber bumpers protect walls.

• Made in USA.

• No assembly required.

• Easy to install.

What Needs Work

• Not baseboard friendly. If the opening has baseboard at the bottom, this gate isn’t the best choice—it doesn’t work well if the top is wider than the bottom. 

• No extensions available.

• Plastic looks, well, plastic-y. And while this gate is safe and will hold up when securely installed, plastic isn’t as sturdy or durable in the long-run as steel. 

• No swinging door—you have to take it down or climb over it to access the gated off area.

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Best Hard-Mounted Safety Gate

Looks sharp, works well
Easy to use, this sturdy gate is made from steel. Secure hard-mounting makes it a good bet for the top of stairs. Caveat: install can be a bit tricky—make sure your measurements are precise!

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Best Hard-Mounted Safety Gate: Toddleroo by North States

Indoor safety gates come in two flavors: hard or pressured mounted.

As the name implies, hard mounted gates are installed by screwing mountings into a wall or other solid surface. 

Pressure mounted gates use pressure to hold the gate in place—no drilling needed.

The best gate for your situation depends on where it is installed. When it comes to the top of stairs, the safest solution is a hard mounted gate. Why? Hard-mounted gates are more secure than pressure-mounting . . .  and when you are talking the top of stairs, you want a secure install.

We tried out several hard-mounted gates before picking the Toddleroo by North States as the best of the bunch. The steel construction is very sturdy and you can operate the gate with one hand—great when you have your baby in the other hand.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Very secure.

• Great for top of stairs.

• Steel construction is durable and sturdy.

• Fits openings up from 28.68″ to 47.85″.

What Needs Work

• Installation can be a bit tricky. You must be very precise in your measurements!

• Latch is plastic. We wished this was steel as well.

• Door only swings one direction.

• Not as easy to install if you have tall moulding on the baseboard of your flooring.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.