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Top five stair gates for 2019

By Hannah Fox

We've tested a range of stair gates to see whether they're sturdy, simple to install, and not fiddly to open and close. Here are five of the best - and some to avoid

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The key purpose of a stair gate is to keep your curious toddler away from anything that might cause them harm, including flights of stairs and busy kitchens with hot pots and pans.

All the stair gates have to meet the requirements of the relevant safety standard to pass our testing, which ensures they're sturdy, and can withstand the various shakes and rattles of a determined child.

However, the very best stair gates won't just be secure and safe. They'll have simple instructions for a straightforward installation, and they'll be easy to open and close.

These five stair gates got the highest scores in our tests, and are all Best Buys, so you can be sure they're a good option when it's time to pick out your safety gate. We've also included three stair gates to avoid. These gates failed a key safety test, which could put your child at risk, so we've made them Don't Buys.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up to get instant access.

To take a look at all our tested stair gates, read our stair gate reviews.

Top 5 stair gates

90%
£42.00
Reviewed

This four-point pressure-fit gate comes ready to install with all tools provided, so you can set it up in five minutes. We time how long it takes to install every stair gate we test, and rate them on ease of installation. Read the full review to find out if this one is as quick and simple as promised.

90%
£34.95
Reviewed

This stair gate is mounted to doorways using screws, and the manufacturer claims it can fit openings from 69 to 106.5cm. We've sent it to the lab to be checked and tested, including whether the gate can withstand the tough shakes and rattles of a determined toddler, making it safe to use. Read the full review to find out how it coped.

89%
£25.00
Reviewed

This stair gate has a double-locking system, which the manufacturer claims makes it easy for adults to open but difficult for a child. It also has one-handed opening and locking. Our testing checks not only how safe a stair gate is, but also how easy it is to install and use. Read our full review to find out how this one scores.

89%
£17.00
Reviewed

This stair gate is a pretty basic screw-fit safety gate that's made from one panel. While it may lack some of the extra features you get with other stair gates, it's still got one-handed opening and locking, and a wide walk-through section. Read the full review to find out what this gate is like to install, and how it help up during our strength and durability testing.

82%
£120.00
Reviewed

This unique pressure-fit stair gate aims to provide a safety barrier that's less of an eyesore. It's got some really useful features to make it easier for parents to use, and it survived our tough impact and pressure tests. Read the full review to find out which safety gate this is.

Our testing has also uncovered a number of stair gates that have failed key tests that form part of the EU safety standard. Below is just a selection but read our Don't Buy stair gate reviews to find out the others.

Three stair gates to avoid

Baby Dan Perfect Close

£30.00
Reviewed

The Baby Dan Perfect Close stair gate has a slam shut or silent close handle. We've given this stair gate a Don't Buy warning after the sample we tested failed a test in the EU safety standard. Read the full safety alert with this review for more information.

Mothercare Essential Wooden Wall-Fix Safety Gate

£22.00
Reviewed

The Mothercare Essential Wooden Wall-Fix Safety Gate is a screw-fix stair gate, so there’s no U-frame bar running along the bottom causing a trip risk. We've given this stair gate a Don't Buy warning after the sample we tested failed two tests in the EU safety standard. Read the full safety alert with this review for more information.

Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close

£43.00
Reviewed

The Dreambaby Chelsea Auto-Close gate is a pressure-fit gate with a one-handed open and close mechanism. However, we've given this stair gate a Don't Buy warning after the sample we tested failed part of the EU safety standard. Read the full safety alert with this review for more information.

(Tables last updated in November 2018)

Haven't found what you're looking for? Check out all of our stair gates reviews.

Unbiased stair gate reviews from Which?

We have a range of the best stair gates for different budgets. They've all passed our independent, rigorous safety checks and been scrutinised by our lab experts.

Our stair gate tests will help you sort a sturdy, safe and easy-to-use stair gate from one that is fiddly, rickety and has the potential to come loose, possibly making it unsafe for your child. 

We look at all the key features of a stair gate, including how easy each one is to assemble and install, open and close. We also subject stair gates to tough stability and impact tests so you can find out whether the product you're considering will stand up to the rattles and shakes of a determined toddler (or dog, if that's what you're using it for).

Find out more about how we test stair gates.

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