Once your little one starts crawling, it's time to batten down the hatches.
We lab test and review the latest safety gates and barriers to help you find the best child safety gate for you.
Our safety gate and barrier buying guide will help you decide which type of gate you need, and how we test explains our testing rigour.
We test a variety of expandable baby gates and barriers to see which are best for your home and safest for your curious toddler, focusing on safety features and potential hazards such as strength, durability, projections and climbing footholds. There's currently no Australian standard for safety gates, so we use an in-house method that draws upon clauses in other relevant Australian standards such as folding cots, as well as overseas standards.
Our expert testers give every safety gate and barrier a thorough workout to help find the models that:
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which models will fit your installation space. Our Recommended list lets you see quickly which models come out on top.
List of brands we tested in this review.
This is the manufacturer's recommended retail price. You can often get a better price by shopping around.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 38 and 199
Recommended products pass all key safety tests and are also easy to use.
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We assemble and install each gate or barrier according to the supplied instructions and see whether they pass key safety checks. We look for major hazards including gaps and moving parts that might trap limbs or heads, climbing footholds, detachable small parts that could be a choking hazard, the strength of the gate and its attachment to the doorway and projections or openings that could entangle clothing and lead to strangulation.<P>
Some safety gates may pass key requirements but may still have minor or very minor issues including slightly sharp edges which could scratch skin, or finger entrapment hazards on openings. These are listed in our bad points.
For ease of filtering, we've listed the maximum required width of the safety gate in cm.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0
For ease of filtering, we've listed the minimum required width of the safety gate in cm. Some retractable gates may not specify a minimum width.
Apart from safety gates, we occasionally test safety barriers, or gate/barrier combinations.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1.6 and 14.3
The ease of use score includes: ease of assembly and installation; ease of releasing the latch or latches when opening the gate; and ease of opening and closing the gate.
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.