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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best retractable baby gate is, I’d recommend the Evenflo Expansion Walk Thru Room Divider Gate.
Baby gates are something that every parent needs when their little ones become old enough to crawl and walk around. Saying that you want to make sure that you get one that’s able to fit in different corners of the house and can be attached to the most difficult of doorways.
I’ve come up with a list of the best retractable baby gates to help keep your baby safe inside your home.
Here are the retractable baby gates I will be reviewing:
- Evenflo Expansion Walk Thru Room Divider Gate
- Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate
- Baby Retractable Mesh Extra Wide Safety Gate
- Summer Infant Retractable Gate
- North States Extra-Wide Baby Gate
- Dreambaby Retractable Gate, Black
How to Choose the Best Retractable Baby Gate
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a retractable baby gate is that it will actually fit on your door or stairway. It’s all well and good going out and spending loads of money, but if it doesn’t fit, it’s useless.
Measurements: The Right Size For Your Home
Check the measurements of your door frame or space that you wish to use it on and compare it with the gate’s dimensions. Retractable gates come in different sizes. Some are smaller than others and may not fit correctly.
I purchased a baby gate for my eldest and didn’t check the size. When I mounted it on the wall, I realized that it didn’t reach all the way over to the other side of the door. That was a costly mistake that I certainly learned from.
Most retractable baby gates are made from a mesh material that can be easily stored away. Others can be made from plastic or wood. These are much sturdier than mesh retractable gates and usually last a lot longer.
There are also metal retractable gates on the market as well. When looking for one, have a look at what they are made from and what would suit your needs better in the home.
Durability Is Key
Children love to make a mess and run around everywhere. Because of this you need to make sure that your baby gate is durable enough to survive your little one as they grow.
You want to make sure that when you buy one, you won’t have to replace it in a few months. If it can survive a two-year-old, it can survive anything!
Easy to Use
Are you able to handle a screaming child in one arm while securing a baby gate with the other? I’ve had to do this many times, and I’m sure you’ll need to as well.
Look at how the retractable baby gate connects to the other side. Can you pull it over and attach it easily, or do you need two hands to use it? This is incredibly important if you want to prevent tears and tantrums.
One of the most important things you should consider when choosing a retractable baby gate is safety. You want to make sure that it will stay secure through use and not open with a slight touch.
Another significant safety feature is preventing your little one from getting their hands stuck. Some designs feature holes or shapes in them that toddlers love to play with. Check to see how big the holes are so that no little fingers get caught.
The Advantages of a Retractable Baby Gate
One of the main reasons why people choose a retractable gate over a normal one is space. You can easily fold it away and still have room to move through the doorway. This is something to consider if your doorway is narrow already.
If your doorway or stairway is wide, a normal baby safety gate may not fit. This is where the best retractable baby gates can come in handy as they fit wider spaces.
Another advantage of a retractable baby gate is that you can use it nearly anywhere in your home. Whether it be the top of the stairs, the kitchen, or an awkward corner, you can fit it and come and go as you please.
Precautions When Using a Retractable Baby Gate
There are many things to be aware of when using a retractable baby gate for your child. Their safety is the main priority.
Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using the gate. They are there for a reason, and if you miss a step, you could end up putting the baby gate up incorrectly.
I tried ignoring the instructions, thinking I was clever and knew how to do it. Once the gate fell on my toes, I realized it was best to follow instructions for everyone’s safety.
Do It Yourself
Don’t try and make your own retractable baby gate. There are so many ideas on Instagram and Pinterest of artistic retractable baby gates that match your living room. However, these will not provide the safety you’re looking for.
Homemade baby gates cannot withstand the pressure of a little one hanging on them and will most likely break. A proper baby gate has gone through safety standards and has locks on to secure everything in the correct position.
Space to Get Under
Don’t leave a massive gap between the floor and your gate. It may be that you want smaller pets like cats to be able to crawl under, but if your little one sees it, they will want to try as well. The baby safety gate is for your baby, not for anything else. Keep the space between the floor and the gate no more than 3 inches to stop them from attempting to get underneath.
Leave Up Too Long
An important thing to remember is not to leave the retractable baby gate up too long. At some point, your little one will get too big for it and attempt to climb over the top. This can cause them to become stuck or even fall over the other side and hurt themselves. When they’re able to climb up and down the stairs safely, you should remove it.
Children copy what adults do, so if they see you trying to climb over it rather than using the gate properly, they will try to copy. Always open and close it as per instructions for every use.
My Top Retractable Baby Gate Reviews
I scanned through almost all the retractable baby gates out there to find the top products. Here are the best retractable baby gates for you to consider.
This retractable baby gate is currently one of the cheapest on the market, yet its sturdy design makes it look like it’s not. It goes from a 24-inch gate to a 60-inch gate and anything in between.
Whether you have a narrow walkway or an extra-large walkway, this baby gate can be used for both. This also works well if you have an open floor plan and want to divide the kitchen from the living room so your little one won’t get in.
It has a four-point hardware mounting system that can be set up within minutes. With easy-to-follow instructions, you will be sat on the sofa with a cold drink in no time.
A great feature of this child safety gate is that you can open it even if one of your hands is occupied. If you need to hold your baby and get to the other side of the room, simply lift the latch and you can open the gate. It can also be opened in both directions, so you don’t have to move to a difficult position to get through.
Instead of being made from metal or fabric like many others, this baby gate is made from wood and plastic. It’s easier for your little one to grip onto if they’re trying to stand up and move around but sturdy enough, so they don’t push it over. It also has a plastic telescoping rail to stop any little fingers being pinched while in use. Perfect if you have a curious little one who wants to know what everyone is up to.
- Easy opening
- One-hand usage
- Telescoping safety rail
- Easy to install
- High quality product
- Not one of the top gates for stairs
- Customers don’t like the look of the plastic rail on the top
Although one of the more pricey models, the Retract-A-Gate is an excellent baby gate for any first-time parents. It can open up to 52 inches and secure nearly anywhere in the house, including the top of the stairs! This is perfect for someone who is trying to stop their little one using the stairs unsupervised. The Retract-A-Gate also comes in a 72-inch design for wide areas.
The mesh that this retractable gate is made from is scratch-resistant and easy to clean. This is ideal if your baby loves to crawl or walk around with sticky fingers. A quick wipe and it’s clean again—saving you taking it down and trying to replace a new one. If you feel like it needs a good clean, you can simply remove it and wash it in the sink.
The childproof lock on the top of the system stops your child from being able to open it. My eldest worked out how to open our first baby gate and we had to get a better one with a more secure lock, so this is an essential feature.
It also has a quiet, one-handed system to open and close it. This is perfect if your kids are napping—they won’t wake up from the sound of the gate.
You have the ability to uninstall it quickly and move it to another place in the house, as it comes with an additional wall bracket for you to use if needed. This is always handy as you will be able to use it for a few years rather than just a few months in a certain area.
- One of the best gates for stairs (top of stairs or bottom of the stairs)
- Made from durable see-through fabric
- Two sizes available
- Child safe locking system
- One-hand opening
- Easily removable
- Three colors to choose from
- Scratch resistant
- High quality
- Gap at the bottom, so younger children may climb under
The body of this retractable baby gate is made of aluminum to hold the retractable mesh inside when not in use. Both are durable and can withstand toddlers attempting to pull themselves up. It can extend up to 53 inches and is rust-proof and waterproof.
The mesh is soft and gentle as well as see-through, so you can see your little one while doing other things around the house. One of its main functions is to serve as a soft wall for your baby to play up against while keeping them safe.
It comes with two unique locking systems; a child locking system as well as a double locking mechanism. The child lock requires you to pull up and push down to unlock and lock. Babies shouldn’t be able to work it out and it’s suitable for children up until the age of two.
The double locking mechanism requires you to press and turn to lock or unlock. Double the protection for your little one.
It’s possible to use this child safety gate in any room of the house as you can attach it to any wall with one side and then lock it in place on the other side. Having it fold all the way into the aluminum body allows the extra space in the house that not many baby gates are able to offer.
- Saves space in the house
- Can be used almost anywhere
- Two unique locking systems
- One-hand release
- Mesh is soft yet durable
- Waterproof and rust-proof
- Locking system is complicated
- Mesh can become flimsy and not work effectively
This retractable gate can be mounted almost anywhere in the house, including the top and bottom of the stairs and between rooms. This allows for added security when installing it at any location in your home. It also comes with a baseboard kit if you’re thinking of attaching your baby gate to baseboards.
The height of this retractable gate is 30 inches, so you can use it up until your child is two years old. This is something to consider if you want it to last longer. It also extends to 50 inches in length, which is great for wide walkways.
The decorative mesh fabric allows you to break up the room without it looking like a baby gate is there. It will complement your home decor without looking garish. Your little one can clearly see that it’s a barrier and hopefully won’t attempt to climb over it like they may do if it’s see-through material.
The baby gate can be easily used with one hand as it has an automatic locking system. This is a good feature if you have to carry your child to bed and only have a single free hand. You will be able to pull it open fully and click it into place securely.
- Can be used anywhere in the house
- One-hand automatic locking system
- Decorative mesh
- Comes with baseboard kit
- Included hardware isn’t always secure
- Not able to move it once installed
At 62 inches wide, this baby gate is perfect for parents who need to cover a large area of the house such as an open plan kitchen or an wide walkway. It’s hardware mounted to the wall, so as much as your little one tries to push on it, the retractable gate will not give.
Although the North States gate doesn’t fold away completely, you can unclip it from the wall mount and store it somewhere safe and out of the way. If you want to reattach it, you simply snap it back into place, and you can use it safely again. This is great for someone who needs all the space they can get in their home.
This retractable gate has been made with your child’s safety first. The top of the gate comes with rounded edges, so no little fingers get stuck in harm’s way. This is a particularly good feature if your little one is curious and likes to explore new things.
The retractable baby gate can be used with one hand as it opens and closes with ease. This is perfect if you’re busy trying to sort out your child or a handful of laundry and need to go into the other room. You also don’t have to open the gate fully as it can be open to different sizes for use.
- Extra-wide extension
- Able to remove and store away from the wall
- One-hand operating system
- Can be used at different sizes
- Rounded edges
- Can only open to set sizes
- Locking mechanism can be difficult
The final retractable baby gate on my list can extend up to 55 inches. It can be used on the stairs, and in more than one place as it comes with two sets of mounting brackets. You can set them up in different areas and simply unclip the gate and move it elsewhere. This saves you going out and buying another retractable gate for different situations.
It can also be used indoors as well as outdoors. Once your child can climb the stairs safely, there may be areas outside you want to keep them away from.
The locking feature is a two-step locking mechanism that is childproof and easy to use. Simply press the button down and turn the button to unlock and lock it into place. This is difficult enough so that children cannot use it but easy enough so that you can use it with a single hand.
It’s made from lightweight aluminum and mesh fabric that can easily be retracted inside. This is a great feature as you can move it and store it easily anywhere. You are also able to clean the mesh fabric easily if it gets dirty.
- Extends to 55 inches
- Can be unclipped and moved to another location
- Used indoors and outdoors
- Two-step locking features
- Lightweight materials
- Comes with two sets of mounting hardware
- Material can be flimsy
- Spacers are not included
Bringing Home The Right Retractable Baby Gate
For an affordable and effective retractable baby gate that you will be able to use for years, I would recommend the Evenflo Expansion Walk Thru Room Divider Gate. In my opinion, this is the best retractable baby gate on the market.
Although you can’t use it on top of the stairs, you can open it like a gate or store it away in a smaller position. It’s possible to use it anywhere else in the home and not worry about your little one getting their fingers stuck.
The gate is easy to open and has an excellent safety standard for your child. You can comfortably leave them on the floor, and they will not be able to climb through it or under it.
If this is not for you, one of the other retractable gates on our list should feature everything you’re looking for.