Which free-standing baby gates are best?
Despite your instincts, you can’t possibly keep an eye on your baby 24/7. As any new parent knows, once your baby starts crawling, you can’t turn your head for a second. Even the best baby-proofed houses are loaded with potential hazards, which is why a quality baby gate can provide that extra level of safety and additional peace of mind.
Baby gates come in different shapes and sizes. Pressure and hardware-mounted gates can be secured to doorways to block out rooms and stairways, but if you want a portable gate that you can easily transport from room to room and even outside, then a free-standing baby gate is your best bet. One top pick is Dreambaby Mayfair Converta 3-in-1 Playpen Gate.
What to know before you buy a free-standing baby gate
The ability to move your baby gate is what makes a free-standing gate so appealing because you can use it in multiple locations. Pressure- and hardware-mounted gates are a great way to secure doorways, and there are baby gates for stairs, but they can damage your wall, and if you have an open floor plan, they don’t do you much good.
Keep in mind that some free-standing baby gates also have pressure-mounted options that still allow the gate to securely block off rooms.
The average free-standing baby gate is 26 to 30 inches tall, but the length varies significantly. They come with multiple panels (usually between six and eight) that allow you to form different shapes. You can create a playpen-like enclosure or stretch the gate out to block off entire rooms and potentially dangerous areas, like a fireplace.
Free-standing baby gates can be made from plastic, metal, wood and even mesh. Steel and wood are the sturdiest and can be the most secure, but you want to make sure there aren’t any sharp edges that could harm your baby. Mesh gates are the softest but also the least secure.
What to look for in a quality free-standing baby gate
Since you can easily adjust and change the shape of a free-standing baby gate, they don’t all have a door that allows you easy access in and out. Some are designed so each panel can provide door access, and others are just panels that you either have to step over or detach.
The potential downside of a free-standing baby gate when compared to pressure- or hardware-mounted gates is stability because they aren’t secured to the wall. This means your baby could potentially knock them over if they aren’t secure.
The weight of the gate and the material used is important because heavier gates are more difficult for your baby to knock over. You also want to look for a gate with a sturdy base. Many free-standing gates come with non-slip, anti-scratch floor pads, so they can work well on hardwood floors. Many come with lawn stakes if you want to bring them outside.
How much you can expect to spend on a free-standing baby gate
Free-standing baby gates can range from $50-$120, depending on materials, construction, design, and size. A smaller gate can run you about $50, while an extended or extra-tall gate ranges from $60-$100. Top-of-the-line gates with added bonus features and details can cost up to $120.
Free-standing baby gate FAQ
Are free-standing baby gates safe?
A. Baby gates are an essential part of childproofing and an excellent way to keep your baby safe both inside the house and out, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the gate is assembled correctly before it’s used. Secure the gate so it won’t tip over and double-check that there aren’t any loose pieces that could become choking hazards.
Where can I use a free-standing baby gate?
A. What’s great about a free-standing baby gate is that it’s portable and can be used both indoors and outdoors. You can even bring it with you when visiting friends and family. However, even with a free-standing baby gate, an adult should always be in close proximity to your child.
What’s the best free-standing baby gate to buy?
Top free-standing baby gate
What you need to know: This durable indoor/outdoor baby gate provides a flexible and expandable play space.
What you’ll love: Give your baby 18 feet of space to play and crawl. This model is great for outdoors, as it comes with lawn stakes that can secure the gate to the grass. The non-slip, anti-scratch floor pads make it safe for indoor use, while the EZY-Check color lock indicator lets you know the gate is locked securely. The convenient one-hand release makes it easy to break down or disassemble.
What you should consider: If your child is a climber, you should be cautious, as the design allows for them to step their way up the gate.
Top free-standing baby gate for the money
What you need to know: This free-standing baby gate is a budget-friendly, indoor/outdoor option suitable for babies from 6 to 24 months old.
What you’ll love: The design allows for each piece to be used as a door or opening, so you and your child have convenient and safe access to the area inside the gate. The ergonomic handles make this baby gate easy to transport, and the durable, weather-resistant plastic is sturdy and dependable.
What you should consider: Customers have noted that this gate is lighter than other versions on the market.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Create a safe play area for your child either indoors or outdoors with this durable enclosure that extends over 7 feet.
What you’ll love: This free-standing baby gate is easy to to put together. The non-slip pads make it secure when on hardwood floors, while the foldable design and carrying strap make it easy to transport when necessary. The multiple colors of the gate panels can help stimulate your child. It’s also JPMA certified for babies between 6 to 24 months.
What you should consider: This baby gate does not come with a door entry, so adults have to step over the fence to enter the gate.
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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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