The best indoor gate for your home will depend on your needs. Gates used to create indoor barriers to children or pets should be safe and sturdy. Don't just consider the width of an indoor gate in relation to the space you want to block off, but also its height.
Height is an important consideration when choosing indoor gates because otherwise the purpose of having a gate may be lost. Some dogs as well as toddlers can manage to climb over an indoor gate if it's too low. Low gates can look more decorative in a home, as they interfere less with the decor, but an inside gate should always be high enough to prevent a dog or toddler from climbing or jumping over it.
It isn't only the gate's height that poses a climbing concern; some lattice-style inside gates with holes between the criss-cross sections allow small children to use these spaces as footholds. These holes combined with the sturdiness of the gate can make it simple for a child to climb over the main section. Also consider the space at the bottom of the gate; if it's too wide, a small dog or child may be able to squeeze through it to the other side.
The latch on a safety gate should be toddler-proof yet simple enough for adults to open without having to struggle to do it. A push button type of indoor gate locking system may not be the best choice unless the product is high quality and guaranteed. The button may become stuck after repeated use, making the gate unusable. A latch system in which the top arm of the gate can be opened or closed may be best as long as it's not too simple to operate so that even a small child could do it.
When choosing an indoor safety gate for a stairway, it's best to pick one designed for the purpose. Otherwise, either the structure or material may not be safe enough to guard against a child falling down the stairs. Precautions for installing the indoor gate should always be followed. If you don't have a secure wall in which to properly install an indoor safety gate, even the most expensive, high quality product is likely to fail.
While it may be tempting to purchase an indoor gate from a secondhand store or garage sale, this may not be the best idea. The item could have been recalled due to a manufacturing flaw and not been returned at that time. If you are considering purchasing a used indoor gate, look for the label that specifies the manufacturer's name and product number as well as the year it was made, if possible. You can then check a consumer product safety organization to see if that particular gate has ever been recalled.