Safety gates are an extremely practical item for parents of young babies and toddlers. By allowing parents to cordon off certain areas around the house, they can help protect babies, toddlers and young kids from any potential accidents or falls. However, for many first-time parents, choosing the right safety gate for your household and family can be confusing. Should you go for a hardware-supported gate, for example, or maybe a freestanding gate which you can easily pack in the back of the car?

In this week’s article, we explore the three most common types of baby gates: pressure-supported gates; hardware-supported gates; and freestanding gates. Go ahead and take a look.

Pressure-Supported Baby Gates

Pressure-mounted baby gates are one of the most commonly used style of baby gates. They use pressure inside the top railing to allow you to wedge them between two walls. As with any other style of baby gate, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.


One of the main advantages, of course, is how convenient and easy to assemble they are. Unlike hardware-supported baby gates, which require a little bit of set-up and some tools to assemble, the pressure mounted baby gate can be assembled and disassembled both quickly and easily. This means you can easily use the pressure-supported baby gate as a travel gate or bring it around with you to any new locations.

Not only that, but the pressure-supported gates tend to be cheaper in price than their hardware-supported counterparts.


One of the most significant disadvantages with this style of gate is its lack of sturdiness. Although they may fulfill their function the majority of the time, they are just not as sturdy and solid as the hardware supported kind. For this reason, they can easily dismount under the weight of an older toddler. This makes them impractical for cordoning off areas for safety reasons, such as the top or bottom of stairs, or other hazardous areas.


Additionally, this style of baby gate rarely has an easy-to-open gate. In order to open the gates with these models, you generally need to release the entire gate, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome.


Permanent Hardware-Supported Safety Gates

Hardware-supported gates generally involve some set-up and assembly. They usually come with screws and additional pieces, and need to be mounted to walls, door frames or banisters.


The main advantage to hardware supported gates is that they’re stronger and sturdier than other gates. As a result, they’re usually the safer option for parents looking to cordon off certain areas. You can use them to bar entry to stairs or other areas, for example.

Also, if you have a dog in the house, and want to keep them seperate from your baby or toddler (or just keep the dog relegated to a certain part of the house), a hardware supported gate is your best option.

In addition to these advantages, hardware mounted gates tend to be easier to open and navigate through than some of the freestanding and pressure mounted models. Unlike pressure mounted models, they don’t have a bottom railing (which is easy to trip over) and can also be attached in more angular areas.


There are, of course, some obvious disadvantages. Firstly, because these require some assembly and are permanently attached to the wall, they can’t double-up as travel gates or easily be brought to other locations. Not only that, but some may find the assembly a little challenging, particularly if you’re not the DIY type.

Not only that, but hardware-supported gates tend to be a little pricier than the pressure-mounted kind. When the time comes to retire the baby gate, once you’re little one has gotten a little older, these type of gates will leave holes and other damaged areas in your wall.


Freestanding Baby Gates

Freestanding baby gates are gates that don’t require walls, banisters or door frames to remain upright. They stand upright on their own.


One of the obvious advantages of this style of gate is that you can use it almost anywhere. You can use it to block of particular areas, rooms, or even put it in the middle of your living room. This is particularly helpful if you live in an open-plan style house or apartment. Additionally, they can be very useful if you want to block off certain areas of a room, such as your television, stereo system, or perhaps the area in and around your fireplace.

Not only that, but free-standing gates are extremely portable, so can be taken anywhere you go with relative ease.


Firstly, freestanding gates are only suitable for certain areas and situations. They are not suitable for cordoning off stairs or other hazardous areas, as they are not sturdy enough and can be circumvented by older babies and toddlers.

In addition, they just aren’t as solid or as effective as hardware supported gates, which makes them unsuitable for older toddlers, or for families with dogs.