Finding The Best Retractable Baby Gate For Your Home In 2023
Parents that look for a retractable baby gate tend to want a gate that is easy to use, safe, and disappears stylishly when not needed.
But finding such an ideal retractable baby gate is not the easiest task, as you have to make sure it’s also wide enough to fit the opening you want it in, has the appropriate spacers to adjust for your baseboard or anything else that’s in the way, and is sturdy and stylish enough for your home.
Plus, ideally it will have a convenient opening mechanism that suits your strength and everyday life well–not too hard, not to easy, not too loud, and hopefully openable and closable with one hand so you can easily get through while you’re holding the baby, groceries, or whatever has your other hand tied up at the time.
With all these considerations in mind, we’ve put together this list of what we have found to be the best retractable baby gate options in 2023, and we hope it helps you find the right one for your home.
Comparing The Best Retractable Baby Gates
|Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate in White, Cafe, or Black||72" or 52"||34"||$$$$$||4.3|
|Lascal KiddyGuard Avant Gate, Black or White||48"||36"||$$$$$||4.0|
|Summer Infant Retractable Gate||50"||30"||$$$||3.5|
|Dreambaby Retractable Gate, Black||55"||35"||$$$||3.7|
|Dreambaby Retractable Gate, White||55"||35"||$$$||3.4|
|Munchkin Wide Spaces Expanding Gate, Light Wood||65"||32"||$||4.2|
|Bindaboo B1136/L821 Retractable Gate in White||55"||34"||$$$||3.6|
|North States Supergate Extra-Wide Gate, Ivory||62"||31"||$||4.2|
A More In-Depth Look Into The Top Retractable Baby Gate Options
Hopefully the comparison chart above is useful in getting a quick sense of the variety of retractable baby gates that are available at different price ranges. Below we’ll highlight a few of our favorites and go into more detail about what makes them popular choices.
You’ll notice that all three of the highlighted models are made of mesh. If you’re interested in seeing some more mesh baby gates, feel free to check out our article on the topic.
The Retract-A-Gate Baby Safety Gate
The Retract-A-Gate Safety Gate is the highest customer rated gate on our list, and it’s also the most expensive. It does however come in two sizes: a standard 52″ wide version and an extra-wide 72″ version that costs about $30 more.
What makes it so popular is its high-quality material. Many retractable baby gates are made from mesh, which can be quite weak sometimes, but the Retract-A-Gate system uses a higher quality mesh that is designed to be sturdy and scratch resistant. The system at both widths comes in a clean white, cafe brown, or black.
They have also put a lot of thought into the design as far as safety and usability goes. The gate is designed for one hand operation and opens and closes quietly. It has a child safety lock on the top for extra security against curious little ones, and it is even JPMA certified for use at the top and bottom of stairs.
So even though the Retract-A-Gate is pricey, parents who don’t mind the price for getting a dependable gate the first time have been pleased with it. It is designed to withstand dogs, so your little one should be no match for it!
The Lascal Kiddyguard Avant Gate
The Kiddyguard Avant Baby Gate by Lascal is another high-quality top contender with an attractive and functional design.
Lascal is a Swedish company that specializes in baby gates and carriers, so there is a certain amount of quality and precision you can expect just from that. Of course it comes with a price tag as well, and the Lascal Avant comes in at a similar price tag as the Retract-A-Gate.
It has a delayed release button that helps smooth the opening of the retractable mesh gate, is suitable for use at the staircase, and comes in either white or black. If you have a wide space to cover though, the Avant is not the right choice for you as it only stretches to cover spaces up to 48″ wide, the shortest of any of the gates on our list.
That is wide enough though to fit any standard opening, and parents really love how stylishly this baby gate blends in and disappears into their home.
Summer Infant Retractable Baby Gate
While the Retract-A-Gate and Kiddyguard are both great options, they are out of the acceptable price range of many parents. For that reason, the Summer Infant Retractable Gate is our choice for the best value retractable baby gate as it comes in at nearly half the price and presents a similarly stylish aesthetic while maintaining quality.
The mesh of this Summer Infant gate is black with an elegant and subtle decorative pattern. It’s designed to be durable and holds up well to user reviews in this regard. The top of the gate housing unit has a simple locking mechanism that you simply push down to lock and pull up to unlock. At 30″ tall this is hopefully in reach for the little ones in your family who you’d like to be able to open the gate, and out of reach of the littlest ones who should not be getting by on their own.
What’s great about this set too is it comes with the extra pieces some other sets require you to pay extra for, like a baseboard kit that spaces out the top of the enclosure for snug installation on your walls that have baseboards.
Frequently Asked Questions About Retractable Baby Gates
Can retractable baby gates be used for stairs?
Certain retractable baby gates are certified for use on the top of stairs. The Retract-A-Gate, for example is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) for use at the top of stairs. However, not all retractable gates should be used on stairs, since the mesh strength varies by manufacturer. Check here for a list of more retractable baby gates suitable for stairs.
Can retractable baby gates be used outdoors?
Not every model is equal for outdoor use. However, Retract-A-Gate claims that their gate stands up well to outdoor use, and has extensively tested their gate in rainy seasons and hot summers. They do recommend bringing the gate indoors during freezing temperatures. And if you worry about the color fading, they also recommend bringing it indoors when not in use to avoid unnecessary sun exposure. Like most any product, the product’s life expectancy will be shortened with outdoor use, but this model at least is backed up by the manufacturer for outdoor use.
What is the widest retractable gate available?
If you’re looking for an extra wide retractable baby gate, the widest currently available is the 72″ Retract-A-Gate. Most other mesh retractable gates top out at 55″ (such as the Dreambaby and Bindaboo), and the only other one close is the Munchkin Expanding Gate at 65″, which is a wooden accordion-style gate.
How do retractable gates mount to the wall?
Retractable gates are hardware mounted gates. There are typically brackets that you screw into your drywall or wood wall, which holds the main bart of the retractable gate in place, then clips that are screwed into the opposite wall which hold the other end of the gate when it is fully expanded. Some gates, like the Retract-A-Gate, can be easily unclipped from their mounting brackets so it is simple to move them around. If you buy extra mounting brackets, you could move a Retract-A-Gate around in your home depending on where you need it that day, simply by unclipping it from one bracket and clipping it into another.