Looking for the best retractable baby gate for your household? Take a look at my top pick – the Retract-A-Gate Safety gate 52″ White.
Are you looking for a baby gate that can keep your little one safe without occupying too much space? Permanent metal bar safety gates are usually bulky and are not suitable for narrow openings. If you are looking for an alternative, consider buying a retractable baby gate. You can easily operate it with one hand. When folded, it occupies little space, which is perfect for narrow doorways. Plus, retractable safety gates are made with soft mesh. So, even if your baby runs into it, they won’t get hurt.
In this article, you will learn how to choose a perfect retractable baby gate for your household. For your convenience, I have selected 5 best such gates. I will discuss their quality, special features and drawbacks to help you make an informed choice.
My Top Picks
- Best Overall – Retract-A-Gate Safety gate 52″ White
- Best Budget – Gaterol Active Lite White Retractable Safety Gate
- Best Extra-Wide – 2020 New Retractable Baby Gate by Babyseater
- Best Foldable – BabyDan Guard Me
- Evenflo Soft and Wide gate
What are Retractable Baby Gates, and Why Should I Buy One?
Babies are tiny explorers. They are on a mission to discover the world, even if it is limited to an apartment or a house. As a parent, you want to keep them safe, but at the same time you can’t constantly keep an eye on them. Kitchen, stairways, there are many areas in the house that you don’t want your child to have access to without your supervision. A retractable baby gate might be a perfect solution to your problem. It is a protective barrier that will keep your baby away from dangerous places giving you peace of mind.
Easily installed retractable baby gates can serve as a stair guard, room divider, or a pet gate. They are not bulky and don’t have a threshold, which makes them a convenient alternative to traditional baby gates.
One of the key advantages of a retractable babe gate is that it takes up little space. Once you don’t need it, you can easily open it, let it retract and lock it back in place. When retracted, it takes up only a few inches of space. It’s especially useful if you plan to use it to block a narrow doorway.
Retractable baby gates are flexible and can suit a variety of widths. From a narrow doorway to wide spaces, some gates can extend up to 72 inches without extension kits. That’s similar to a height of an adult!
Unlike their traditional counterparts, they are made of soft mesh. If your child has just started walking, and approaches the gate, you don’t have to worry that your kid will bang his head against metal bars.
They come in a range of colors and designs. They will blend in with most interiors. And when folded, you will barely notice them.
Usually, these gates are not portable. Just like the traditional ones, they are permanently attached to a doorframe or stairs. However, the Retract-A-Gate – a brand so a producer – found a solution for those who want to buy one baby gate and then use it at multiple locations at home. With the company’s Universal Mounting Bracket Kit, the gate can easily snap in and out of the brackets which makes it portable.
Things to Consider During Purchase
The retractable gates may vary in durability. You need to consider whether a gate can withstand wear and pressure. For instance, can a gate hold the weight of a kid that tries to climb it? Also, look at the quality of the mesh, whether it is strong, washable, resistant to damage.
It is always better to measure in advance how wide you need your gate to be. The price of the gate will vary depending on its width.
Retractable baby gates tend to be more expensive than the traditional ones. However, their benefits, such as the optimization of space, ease of use and installation, make them worth the money you spend on them. Plus, they vary in price. Some are more affordable than others. You can probably find a product that suits your budget.
There are some precautions to consider. Firstly comes the installation at the top of the stairs. Some, such as the Retract-A-Gate are certified for use at both the top and bottom of the stairs. However, many brands of retractable baby gates do not recommend the installation at the top of the stairs.
Secondly, there’s the age limit to consider. Such gates are usually suitable for kids of up to 24 months. An older child can figure out the locking mechanism and open the gate.
Thirdly, regarding the owners of small pets, there are cases when small dogs were able to get under the gate.
Best Retractable Baby Gates
Best Overall – Retract-A-Gate Safety gate 52″ White
Retract-A-Gate Safety gate produced by Smart Retract stands apart in its category. It is ideal for a busy household that wants to avoid using bulky, permanent baby gates. I love it that it’s easy to install and use, it’s sturdy and versatile. It has a dual locking feature and can be used with one hand. Unlike other retractable baby gates, Retract-A-Gate is JPMA certified, meaning it can be safely used at both the top and bottom of the stairs. In addition, its mesh material is durable and strong. The mesh is also washable and scratch-resistant. With an additional Mounting Bracket Kit, Retract-A-Gate is portable.
- Size: 3.2 x 3.2 x 39.4 inches
- Weight: 4.1 pounds
- Width: 52″ or 72″ wide
- Colors: white, black, cafe
- JPMA certified for top and bottom of the stairs
- Can be easily opened and closed with one hand quietly
- Stays firmly in place when a child leans on a gate or tries to climb it
- Has a childproof lock
- With a Mounting Bracket Kit, one baby gate can be used at multiple locations
- Better quality compared to other retractable baby gates
- Can be used as a pet gate
- Mesh is scratch-resistant
- Works for indoors and outdoors
- The gate doesn’t lock automatically – after you close it, you have to manually turn the lock mechanism
- Small dogs can go under the gate
Best Budget – Gaterol Active Lite White Retractable Safety Gate
I believe the Gaterol Active Lite Retractable Safety Gate is an excellent choice for families that look for a good quality, affordable safety gate. It has several safety features that make it stand out among the competitors. The gate is 36.6″ tall to ensure additional safety. It also has a built-in mechanism that sounds an alarm if the gate opens unintentionally. The gate is sturdy. Shaking and rattling won’t knock it over. The mesh is scratch-resistant and is made of BPA free material. For completeness, BPA stands for Bisphenol-A, a chemical that reportedly has negative health effects on infants and children. This gate is a good option to fit small openings, as the gate has minimal space requirements. The Gaterol Active Lite is suitable for kids up to 24 months. It is for domestic and indoor use only.
- Size: 3.4 x 37.8 x 3 inches
- Weight: 3.09 pounds
- Height: 36.6″
- Width: max. 55″
- Colors: mesh only in white; gate in white, black, blue, grey, and pink
- Good quality for a lower price
- 36.6″ tall to ensure additional safety
- Fits narrow and wide openings from 18″ to 55″
- No threshold
- Requires little space when folded
- One-hand operation
- Portable – the gate can be used at two different locations thanks to the 2 sets of mounting brackets
- Can be used as both child and pet gate
- Mesh is scratch-resistant
- BPA-free material
- Doesn’t operate quietly – makes noises when retracting
- For indoor use only
Best Extra-Wide – 2020 New Retractable Baby Gate by Babyseater
It is a durable, good quality safety gate. This product is an affordable option. It has multiple locking mechanisms for extra safety and it is the ultimate space saver. If you are looking for a baby gate to fit an awkward doorway or dangerous stairways, the 2020 New Retractable Baby Gate could be for you. It is also suitable for outdoor use. The gate is recommended for kids up to 24 months and pets under 40 lbs.
- Size: 37.6 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches
- Weight: 6.65 pounds
- Height: 33″
- Width: up to 48″
- Multiple locking mechanisms along both sides of the gate for extra safety
- Easy to install and use
- One-hand operation
- Child and pet safe
- Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
- Unidirectional – only mountable from left to right
Best Foldable – BabyDan Guard Me
The BabyDan Guard Me retractable safety gate is ideal for tight spaces. You can use it for wider openings, but for doorways 36″ inches or wider, you would have to buy a 9.46″ extension for Guard Me. Unlike other baby gates in our top 5 picks, this one is made of plastic. But just like the others it folds back automatically and can be operated with one hand. The BabyDan Guard Me has an easy wipe-clean surface and is suitable for both kids and pets. What makes this safety gate stand out is that it meets the latest US and European safety standards making it a great choice for any household.
- Size: 35 x 0.4 x 28.4 inches
- Weight: 6.61 pounds
- Height: 28″
- Width: expands from 21.7″ to 35.2″
- Material type: plastic
- Color: white
- Ideal for tight spaces
- Meets latest US and European safety standards
- Lead-free, BPA-free, Latex-free, Phthalate-free
- Wipe clean surface
- Suitable for both kids and pets
- Folds back automatically
- One-hand operation
- For doorways 36″ inches or wider one must purchase an additional item
Evenflo Soft and Wide gate
Evenflo Soft and Wide gate is for fitting it to a wide opening. The installation is simple, and it is easily adjustable. It can expand from 38″ up to 60″ It is a sturdy gate that stays firmly in place even if a child decides to play with it. An additional advantage is that it is pressure-mounted with rubber bumpers that won’t damage your walls. It is lightweight and portable.
- Size: 60 x 38 x 27 inches
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Height: 27″
- Width: expands from 38″ to 60″
- Color: Emery
- Pressure-mounted with rubber bumpers that won’t damage walls
- Doesn’t require tools for assembly
- Suitable for wide openings
- Designed for an adult to step over it, rather than open and close it whenever you need to go through. If you can’t easily step over a gate that is 27″ high, this product might not be for you
If you need a safety gate for keeping your baby safe inside a house, which is easy to use, requires little space, a retractable one is something you should probably consider.
While all five retractable baby gates in this posts are good options, my top pick is the Retract-A-Gate Safety gate 52″ White. It has many features that make it stand out among the competitors. Unlike other retractable gates, it is certified for use at the top and bottom of the stairs. It has a strong and durable mesh, and it is suitable for both indoors and outdoors.
Those who purchased the Retract-A-Gate safety gate praise it for its quality and ease of use. Many choose to buy an additional Mounting Bracket Kit to use the gate at multiple locations. It is not the cheapest option, but this safety gate is built to last.