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It’s a fact that more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, and this is particularly the case when it comes to homes with children. Small kids like to go about their business as they wish, and are oblivious to the dangers that might present themselves to them around every corner of the home, so we have to do out utmost to make sure they are protected at all times.
Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Read Our Review
Read Our Review
|Bettacare Autoclose Safety Gate||Yes|
|Bettacare Wooden Auto-Close||Yes|
|Lascal Kiddyguard Avant||No|
|One4All Flexible Safety Gate||No|
|Todeco Baby Safety Gate||No|
We invest a lot of time and effort – let alone money – in making our homes as safe as possible for our youngsters, and then there’s the work we put into making homes pet-proof! You may have dogs, and rooms that you don’t want them in – or, alternatively, want them kept in – and this can be problematic. For children, one of the most dangerous areas of the home is the stairs, and we need to protect them from this problem.
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What’s the answer? It’s the tried and tested stair gate, a great idea that has been around now for many decades, and one that can be used both to keep children safe, and to keep pets where we want them. We took a look at a selection of the best stair gates on the market – and we were surprised at the variety available – so you can make your choice easier, but before we get into our reviews, let’s have a quick look at what a stair gate is, and how it works.
Our Top 10 Best Stair Gates
1: Bettacare Autoclose Safety Gate
Our first model is a great one for getting an idea of what to expect, and comes from the well-known Bettacare brand which offers a wide variety of items for use around the home. It’s well-made and finished in white, and it’s worth noting that this one is a narrow size – 68.5cm wide – and is 75cm high. It fits via the usual wall pads, and can be screwed into place if necessary.
This one is a pressure fitted gate; this means it will close automatically when you let go, which is a neat touch if you have kids or pets around the home. It also has child-proof handles so cannot be undone by accident, and will not work loose. It’s easy to fit, easy to use and effective, and will do the job in a narrow opening.
2: Bettacare Wooden Auto-Close
Another from the Bettacare range, we chose this one because it is finished – at least partly – in wood. It does, however, come with a metal frame that it needs to function, so we’re not sure whether the wood construction is going to attract too many people. Nevertheless, it’s good, and comes with all the refinements you would expect from a market leader in this area.
This one is standard width – it can reach up to 82cm wide and is the usual 75cm height – and also comes with the auto-close feature, which makes sure it closes and locks itself every time you let it go. We can’t stress what an important feature this is. It has the newer type of locking wheel, too, so is easy to fit, child-proof and secure. It can, if required, be fixed with screws.
3: Lascal Kiddyguard Avant
This one is an example of a different approach; unlike the above – and most – it’s not a gate at all, but a mesh screen that rolls away when not in use, and that locks into place when functioning. If that sounds a bit precarious, it claims to be able to withstand pressure of 100kgs impact; this will be fine for a small child, but we would be wary of using it with, for example, large dogs.
It is very stylish in use, and when not in use is barely visible. It can be opened and locked with one hand and in a simple move. It is easy to fit and will be best suited for modern, sleek and minimalist homes. In effect, it operates like a roller-blind on its side, and it can be extended to cover a width of as much as 120cm. It’s clever, neat and an interesting take on the idea.
4: One4All Flexible Safety Gate
We like this one as it is one of those items that offers you more than one practical function. It’s designed not as a stair gate, but as a type of barrier, and consists of four wooden-framed gate panels, each joined together. These can be extended as one to a length of 3.25m – enough to block off half a room, for example – or can be doubled over for smaller gaps. The gate and 3 x panels are 90x75cm, so will close any standard gap.
Its other function is a clever touch: join them up in a square and you have a safe and secure 90cm square play pen. It’s easy to put together, comes with all the fittings for either free-standing or wall-fitting, and looks good in its nice and clean wood finish. This one may cost you a shade less than £120, but we think it is worth it because of the multiple uses, although it’s worth noting the gate does not have an auto-close feature.
5: Todeco Baby Safety Gate
Back to the standard type of safety gate with this model from Todeco, another brand with a range of household items and safety gear. It’s made from stainless-steel and finished in an unobtrusive white, and takes the form of the usual gate and frame design. It fits via the standard sucker cups – although can be screwed into place if required – and is extendable to a width of 87cm with the usual 74cm height, making it suitable for most standard openings.
This one has a manual locking mechanism; it is very strong, safe and secure, and appears to be child-proof, but there is no auto-lock if you forget to close it. It is easy to fit and sturdy, rust-proof and therefore long-lasting, and does what a stair gate is designed to do. At not much less than £40 we think that while not expensive, there may be others that you should consider first.
6: Fairy Magnetic Stair Gate
This one has its own clever locking system, it’s magnetic so you can be sure it will close, but we’re not sure it is as secure as some. Nevertheless it is nicely made, and finished in a nice white so will fit in with all surroundings. Indeed, it can be extended to as much as 112cm wide, so is perfect for those wide staircases in older houses that may otherwise cause a problem for standard gates.
It fits in the usual way, and can be screwed into place if required, and swings in both directions, and you need to remember to lock it manually if you are to be sure. It feels well-built, and is easy to set up and use. This is not the most attractive of designs but the focus is on functionality here, and while we like it – and it is available in different sizes too – we do feel it a little expensive at more than £100.
7: Lascal Kiddyguard Assure
This is the second one from the Lascal range, and differs from the other mainly in that it is white, rather than black. It takes the form of a mesh screen that rolls away when not in use, and that locks into place when functioning. If that sounds a bit precarious, it claims to be able to withstand pressure of 100kgs impact; this will be fine for a small child, but we would be wary of using it with, for example, large dogs.
It is very stylish in use, and when not in use is barely visible. It can be opened and locked with one hand and in a simple move. It is easy to fit and will be best suited for modern, sleek and minimalist homes. In effect, it operates like a roller-blind on its side, and it can be extended to cover a width of as much as 100cm. This is a very clever design that is worth looking it if you want a gate for a small child.
8: Bettacare Pet Gate
As these reviews have shown, while the width of a stair gate varies considerably, the height tends to be static at around 75cm. This may not be tall enough if you have a large dog or even a small one that can easily jump such a height! This gate is designed for just such a requirement and is built to 104cm high – considerably more than the standard. It’s to the usual gate and frame design, and is from a known brand.
It’s easy to fit and can be screwed into place, comes with a strong, patented double-locking system – although it is manual – and has multiple extensions that can be bought as add-ons, to extend the width to as much as 148cm. It is finished in white, is fully tested for use with children as well as pets, and is a good, solid gate that should keep your pets at bay.
9: Carlson Tuffy Expandable
While most of the gates we have featured are strong and built from stainless steel for added strength, this one is a plastic construction, but it does come with some attractive features. We should mention to begin with that it is only 60cm tall; this is somewhat lower than most others here that meet the standard of 75cm. It can be extended to fit a width of between 65cm and 105cm, so will easily fill most gaps.
It is a neat design that looks the part, and comes with a tried and tested manual locking system – no auto-shut then – and also features a small additional door within that is perfect for cats or dogs to get through while keeping children at bay – until they find it! This can be locked, too. It’s easy to fit, functional and simple, and you will get change from £30 so is good value.
10: Callowese Carusi Safety Gate
Our final featured model is this one from Callowese, and it is a stylish design that will happily grace any traditional or modern home. It’s the usual gate and frame design but with some nice detail touches that make it that little bit different, and it is easy to fit using the standard sucker cups or screws if needed. It is attractive, which is not something we can say for some of these gates!
This one can fit a width of between 73cm and 82cm, so is easily suitable for most locations, and it is a tall one at 80cm so is suitable for pets as well as children. It has a one-handed operation that includes locking, with an auto close function for added peace of mind, and if you don’t want it in white, it is also available with a black finish. It can also be fitted with extensions so if you have a larger space, this one can be adjusted to fit.
That’s our list of the ten best stair gates for children and pets, then, so before we go on to say which one we believe may be right for you, here’s a useful reminder of some of the important features you should look out for when making your decision.
Features to Consider
What do you look for in a stair gate? Safety is obviously the primary consideration, and there are various factors involved, so here’s a brief list of what we think you need to consider.
- Size – your stair gate need to not only fill the width of the gap you have, but also to provide adequate height. Some of these are more readily adjustable than others, so consider your options carefully before making your final decision.
- Operation – a few of these models offer an auto-closing mechanism; we believe this is a very important factor as when in rush or distracted, it is all too easy to forget to click the gate into place, and thus leave it open. Check the details carefully if this is important to you.
- Secure – how secure is the gate when in operation? You need to be sure it can withstand the rigours of a small child trying to get through or – if it is your requirement – the weight of a large dog. For this reason, we believe a metal gate is the way to go.
- Accessories – some of these come with available additions that can make them wider and more versatile; this may be of interest if you are going to need it for a long time.
- Fitting – most of the stair gates featured use the usual suction-cup fitting system, which presses them into the wall or joist for a strong support. Some can also be screwed into place on a more permanent basis, so if you are looking for long-term use, this may be the way for you.
That’s our list of important features, so which of the ten is for you? We have a few ideas, so let’s sum things up.
How Stair Gates Work
Do you need a stair gate? If any of the above applies to you, it is an inexpensive and simple answer to many of your problems so yes, you do! A stair gate is simple: it’s an additional, removable gate that you fit in the gap at the top of your stairs, or in a doorway where it may be necessary, in order to protect children against danger or to keep pets in one place.
Most stair gates come with doors that swing both ways so you can easily get through; they are fitted in place by way of a frame with suction cups that you pressure fit to give a secure gate. This is easy to do and – unless you want it to – involves no permanent fixtures. The best models have an auto-close system that means they shut and lock automatically, a major bonus for parents with busy lives!
We took a look at the best stair gates on the market, so you can make an informed choice, so without further ado, here’s our list of the top 10 stair gates on the market.
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The purpose of a stair gate is to keep children or pets safe, or out of one area that you want them away from. Each of the ten featured does this, but some do a little bit more. If it’s style you are after, the two models from Lascal – the mesh screen designs – are very neat and clever, yet we have our reservations about their ability to keep anything other than a small child at bay, and at the price of these two.
The One4All model, at number 4, offers multi-purpose use as a gate, barrier or playpen, and as such is certainly worth looking at. If it’s a large gate you are looking for, then number 8 from Bettacare is the one to look, thanks to it being tall and extendable.
We reckon the best for overall value is the last one on the list, from Callowese; it is tall and can be adjusted to width, has available extensions, is well-made and comes with auto locking, and is also very well priced. Have a look through again as all of these are worth considering, and make sure you have the best stair gate for your needs.