A pair of stair gates identified by our experts as so unsafe that we made them 0% Don't Buys have had crucial changes to them to ensure they now pass our lab tests.
The results of our expert tests have a major impact on the way manufacturers make or develop stair gates, which in turn helps to keep babies and toddlers safer. At Which?, we'll continue to fight for parents to ensure baby products are built to a high standard.
Below, we've rounded up a selection of stair gates that have recently returned from our lab. Each has been scored on how easy it is to install, and how safe the stair gate is when pressure and force is applied.
Back in 2019, our samples of the Dreambaby Chelsea and Liberty gates failed the fatigue test that forms part of the EU standard for gates (EN1930:2011).
As part of this test, the stair gate is clamped to a motorised arm (shown below, right) that pulls it back and forward 10,000 times while applying a 140 Newton horizontal force. This exercise is designed to replicate a cheeky toddler pulling the gate back and forth over time - secure stair gates should stay in position despite the use of force for the full 10,000 cycles.
The original Dreambaby Chelsea gate came loose after 1,456 cycles, while the Liberty came loose after 2,727 cycles. As the gates were dislodged, enough of a space was created so that a child could walk through the product and potentially fall down the stairs. We had no choice but to label these products as 0% Don't Buys.
We're pleased to report that amendments have now been made to the stair gates to the point where they are no longer considered 0% Don't Buys. Changes have been made to the installation method described in the instructions - these gates are pressure-fit models, but the instructions now state you must install them with adhesive wall cups and screws.
This metal safety gate can be used on stairs or in doorways measuring from 71cm to 80cm across. The Dreambaby Chelsea Auto Close Security Gate is available in black or white and, if you're dealing with a wider-than-average space, you can invest in some extension pieces to keep it secure.
To install this pressure-mounted stair gate, you'll need to use wall cups and adhesive pads, as well as screws to fix it securely and safely. If you're living in a rented property, note that fitting this gate could potentially create marks to the frame or wall.
This pressure-mounted stair gate works several parent-friendly functions into its design, including one-handed opening and a stay-open feature. The gate is carefully weighted so it doesn't swing in either direction when left ajar.
You can set this stair gate up in a doorway or at a stair opening using the bundled cup mounts, adhesive pads and screws.
The Dream baby Arizona Extenda Gate can be extended from 68cm to 112cm. As it has a full-width side opening, there are no trip hazards that run across the floor or width restrictors.
To secure this stair gate in place, you'll need screws to fix it to a wall or door frame - that's something to bear in mind if you're living in rented accommodation.
Cuggl's Pressure Fit Safety Gate is made of metal, and fits doorways and stair openings between 75cm and 81cm wide. If you need to install the gate in a wider opening, Cuggl offers extension pieces so you can guarantee a good fit.
With this being a pressure-mounted stair gate, the Cuggl requires wall cups and sticky pads, plus screws - all of these are included in the box.
This Cuggl stair gate is extendable, meaning it can fit a stairway or doorway up to 97cm. As it requires screws to fix to a wall, there's no trip hazard across the bottom of the gate. The gate can be opened in either direction, which is handy if you're holding your baby as you walk through.
A hex key and a spanner come included in the box, but you'll need to get your own screwdriver and drill to finish the job.
Our expert stair gate reviews cover the latest releases from big-name baby brands including Baby Dan, Cuggl, Dreambaby, Kiddyguard and Safetots.
What's more, if a stair gate is marked as a Don't Buy, we add a safety alert to the review to flag it to parents, even if you're not a member. By consulting our reviews before you part with your money, you can ensure you're protecting your child with a stair gate that's truly safe.