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Sometimes baby accessories can be more of an eyesore than anything else. This includes baby gates, which are sometimes designed to be bulky, even if that’s necessary for safety reasons. Luckily, some solid retractable baby gates will give you the best of both worlds.
That’s right — baby gates don’t all have to be big and bulky pieces of wood or plastic that take up a lot of room even when they’re not in use. One of the main problems that most parents have with baby gates is figuring out what to do with them during those times when they don’t need them.
Another big issue is dealing with baby gates that are hard to open or climb over. It can be a big inconvenience for parents who have other small children or babies to care for. Retractable baby gates are much sleeker and, as the name would suggest, they retract into a base when they’re open. Some retractable baby gates even have clear cutouts in place of handles, which makes it easy to open and close the gate each time.
Baby gates, in general, are beneficial for families who need to keep stairways blocked off (gates for stairs that can withstand a baby’s weight) or to keep babies in one room for their safety. But retractable baby gates can be moved out of the way with ease when they aren’t in use. Then, when you need to close it again, you just pull the fabric or vinyl gate out of its base and lock it into place.
It also makes it easier for older children to move from room to room without potentially injuring themselves. In general, retractable baby gates are useful to pretty much everyone who needs them, whether for kids or even as a pet gate to keep animals contained (or away from toddlers).
These are the best retractable baby gates that we’ve tried:
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- 1. Dreambaby Retractable Gate With Spacers
- 2. Best Extra-Wide Baby Gate: Summer Infant Retractable Gate
- 3. Perma Retractable Baby Gate
- 4. Gaterol Active Retractable Safety Gate
- 5. Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Retractable Baby Safety Gate
- Other Retractable Child Safety Gate Options
- Final Thoughts on the Best Retractable Baby Gates
1. Dreambaby Retractable Gate With Spacers
The Dreambaby Retractable Gate With Spacers can be used either indoors or outdoors and is made with a safe mesh material. This makes it possible for your little one to see through the gate, so he or she won’t feel alienated or frustrated with the gate closed.
It’s also a lot more breathable than a heavy plastic or thick vinyl gate in place. What makes it unique, however, is the fact that you can move the gate to different doorways.
Since it comes with a second set of mounting hardware (pressure mounted), you can keep both sets installed in different doorways and move the gate to each one as needed. This truly makes it possible to use the gate both inside and outside. You can open and close the gate with the cutout handle, which makes it easy to use, even for older kids who may have a hard time pushing release buttons on thick plastic baby gates.
- Size: The gate can fit door frames up to 55 inches.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon or in-store at Walmart.
- The Best Part: You can install mounting hardware in more than one doorway at once, so you can take the gate off one door frame with ease to move it to another one.
- The Not So Great: Although it’s supposed to be a one-handed gate, it may take two hands to pull the gate out.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no current or recent recalls on the gate.
2. Best Extra-Wide Baby Gate: Summer Infant Retractable Gate
Not only does the Summer Infant Retractable Gate Summer Infant Retractable Gate offer families an easier way to use the baby gate, but it also has a design that makes it aesthetically pleasing.
It’s easy to use too since it has a convenient button that you can press down to lock it in place and press again to release the gate and wind it up. Either way, unlike other baby gates, there’s no track on the floor that you can potentially trip over when the gate is open.
You can install it in doorways or at the top or bottom of staircases as gates for stairs, and it’s an extra wide retractable baby gate for larger doorways or stair landings as a baby gate for stairs (our top gate for stairs).
Although some small dogs or cats might jump over the gate, or at least attempt to, it can hold up under the weight of such pets landing on top and jumping off. It also offers easy one-handed use, which is one of the most important things parents look for in a retractable baby gate’s convenience (in addition to being a particularly wide gate).
- Size: It’s 30 inches tall and can open up to 50 inches wide.
- Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon or in-store at Target.
- The Best Part: If you prefer to step out of it rather than open it, it’s short enough to be able to do that.
- The Not So Great: If you don’t pull the gate open at the right angle, it can sometimes come out crooked as you pull it to the other side of the doorway.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on the gate.
3. Perma Retractable Baby Gate
The Perma Retractable Baby Gate is more than 20 inches wider than some other similar baby gates, which definitely sets it apart from some of the rest. It’s also suitable for either indoor or outdoor use, as it’s made from a UV-resistant mesh material.
Unlike some other gates, it has an easy-to-access plastic handle that you can firmly grasp as you pull it open. You then hook the handle to the plastic hoops that are easily installed on the opposite side of the doorway, gates for stairs (stair barrier), or hallway.
Despite having a small gap on the bottom, the gate is also suitable for use with pets, as it can typically keep them in or out of any room in your home. The mesh material is not only breathable, but it’s also made to be resistant to pet claws.
- Size: The Perma gate is 71 inches wide and 33 inches tall.
- Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon.
- The Best Part: It’s relatively easy to install.
- The Not So Great: Some smaller pets may be able to wiggle beneath the gate.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Perma gate.
4. Gaterol Active Retractable Safety Gate
If you’re looking for an easy to insa tall retractable gate with one-handed use, then the Gaterol Active Retractable Safety Gate may be the right one for you. No bottom track can be tripped over and no places where your child’s fingers will get jammed or pinch, so you can be sure that safety is key.
It even has a warning sound-enabled that will alert you if it’s been unintentionally opened. Thanks to the additional installation brackets that come with it, you can essentially install the gate in two different places in your home so you can use it in more than just one room or staircase (stair barrier).
It also comes in a few different color options, so you can choose one that goes best with wherever you need it in your home. And when you no longer have a use for it or need to put it away, you roll it up for easy and compact storage.
- Size: The Gaterol gate is 55 inches wide, which means that you can fit it in most doorways with ease.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon.
- The Best Part: It’s easy to unsnap the gate and move it to another spot in your home whenever you need to.
- The Not So Great: To close and open the gate, you need to push down a button, and it can become bothersome to do each time.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on the gate.
5. Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Retractable Baby Safety Gate
One of the biggest things that parents look for in a retractable gate is its ability to look sleek when it is and when it isn’t in use. The Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Retractable Baby Safety Gate offers just that.
When it’s not in use or when it’s open, it rolls up into the base on one side of the doorway or staircase, keeping the stair barrier out of the way when not needed. It also has a locking system (child-proof lock and latch) so you won’t have to worry about your little one pulling it open with a prying hand.
You can choose between either the black or white option and in most cases, it will fit the aesthetic of your home with ease and without crowding any doorways. Although you may need the Lascal KiddyGuard installation kit in some cases, it’s still relatively simple to install the gate in most doorways.
- Size: The Lascal gate stretches to fit doorways up to 48 inches wide.
- Where To Buy: You can primarily buy it on Amazon at this time.
- The Best Part: Overall, the mesh material of the gate is pretty durable against babies, toddlers, and even pets.
- The Not So Great: Compared to other similar retractable baby gates, it’s a bit more costly and may be over budget for some families.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no current or recent recalls for the Lascal KiddyGuard.
Other Retractable Child Safety Gate Options
While they didn’t make our top list above, these are some other great options worth considering for special use cases:
- Retract-a-Gate Safety Gate: This truly INNOVATive gate offers 52″ or 72″ of gate coverage, rolling up to one side when not required. If you’ve ever struggled with a finicky safety gate (usually troublesome pressure-mounted suction caps), this might be a better option. The Retract-a-Gate safety gate is definitely a better use of space, and a wide retractable gate can cover more effective ground!
- Summer Infant Extra Wide and Tall Gate: This gate is taller and wider than most, offering a perfect safety gate solution for non-traditional doorways, open-concept living areas, or any situation where tall baby gates are required for your child’s safety. It also features ergonomically designed (easy to use) pressure-mounted ends.
- Regalo Baby Gate: This one is a best seller and relatively affordable. Stock up on these if you have doors for days!
Final Thoughts on the Best Retractable Baby Gates
For some families, a baby gate is an absolute must-have. So instead of investing money and time in installing a big bulky one that may not be as sturdy as it promises to be, some top-notch retractable baby gates may get the job done a lot more easily.
It’s not necessarily a matter of retractable baby gates being better, per se, but they’re certainly easier to install, easier to use, and they look better in most homes. Not only that, but you can easily store them away when you no longer need them. When it’s all said and done, you really can’t go wrong with a solid retractable baby gate.
Regardless of your budget, you’re bound to find one that is either the same price or similar to that of more standard baby gates. If you need a sleek and modern baby gate, but you’re tired of worrying about your toddler hurting him or herself on wooden or plastic ones, then a retractable baby gate is definitely for you.