Using indoor pet gates is a great way to set certain areas of your home off-limits, but they’re also a good way to keep your anxious dogs confined without the use of a crate. With so many different types of pet gates to choose from, how do you know which to pick? We've tested a large number of products to create this buying guide and ranked the best pet gates for indoor use.
Pet gates will be made of either wood, metal or plastic. Before choosing a specific item, there are a few things that you need to consider:
Dog's growth. Unless you have a senior pooch who's stopped growing already, for puppies and even young adult dogs, you want a pet gate that will still contain them when they reach their full size and weight.
Size and strength. Some baby gates are very cheap and can work for small breeds, but for any other bigger dog, you need a gate that will sustain the pressure and will not tip over from your pooch jumping up on it.
Gate's purpose. Decide where you'll place the gate (one location or more?) and consider whether you'll travel with the gate (a lightweight may be more preferable), and how important the gate's look is to you (wooden gates fit home decor better, but they're more expensive than cheap plastic white ones).
Pet gates are generally made in three different designs, too: (1) free-standing gates – they stand up all by themselves; (2) pressure mounted gates – these need to go in between two walls or in a doorway; (3) hardware mounted gates – these gates require hardware to be fastened to the walls or to both sides of a doorway.
We've taken all possible needs and requirements of a pet owner into consideration when making this best indoor pet gates buying guide and picked at least one option with either of these designs, needs and features. Below are our favorite indoor pet gates for use in your home to restrict your dog’s access to specific areas of the house.
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What Makes a Good Pet Gate?
1. Materials and Quality
When purchasing a pet gate (or a baby gate for use with your dog), even for indoor use only, it’s important to select a gate that is made from quality materials that are durable (you don’t want a gate that’s going to snap after being opened and closed half a dozen times), able to withstand your dog’s weight (they may try to lean up against or climb over the gate), and a gate that is built for your intended purpose, whether it's indoor or outdoor use (in this case, we're specifically looking at gates for indoor use with some also made multi-purpose).
2. Mobility and Adjustability
Adjustability is important when choosing a good pet gate, too. Measure the area where you will be using the gate to ensure that it will fit. Most dog gates have a built-in spacer or extension that will allow you to make the gate wider if you need it, but this will only afford an additional inch or two of coverage so don’t buy a gate that is 6” too short thinking that you can extend it to fit. (Hint: Most gates will give their maximum width in their specs if you look hard enough.)
The mobility of the gate, i.e. how easy it is to pack the gate and move it to another spot in the house, is something you may want to consider but isn't essential. Mobility sometimes comes at a cost of durability and weight. So if you have a permanent spot in the house that you know the pet gate will stay put for long time, then it's better to choose the product that gets secured, can be heavier and more sturdy. These heavier gates typically take longer to put together or breakdown for storage or movement.
3. Ergonomics and Ease-Of-Use
For us, this is another big consideration and allow me to explain briefly. One of the cheap pet gates we've tested was a plastic baby gate that we've used to keep a dog in one place when we were out of the house. To get through the gate, you had to lift up the adjustment lever and pull the whole gate down, then replace it and repeat the process if you were heading out again. Yes, you long-legged folks could hop on over, but those of us with short legs and no coordination have no such luck.
It wasn’t necessarily the “work” involved in taking the pet gate down and putting it back up again each time you had to pass through the area, but what was most frustrating was how excited our dog got when he saw the gate come down. For a few brief seconds the dog thought we were home to stay when in reality, we had forgotten a wallet, a coat, etc.
So, finding a pet gate or baby gate with a built-in “door” so that it was human-friendly became a priority for us, and this is what we've also considered in the below ranking of the best indoor pet gates. That said, not all of the gates below are gates that feature such built-in “door”; however, they are all easy enough to use that they “made the cut”.
Top 10 Best Indoor Pet Gates
Cumbor Auto Close Easy Open Thru Gate with Pet Door
The Cumbor Auto Close Safety Easy Open Extra Tall Thru Gate with Pet Door is a pressure mounted gate, but it also comes with pressure cups that allow you to attach it to the wall instead. The steel metal frame of the gate expands to fit a 29.5-38.5” opening and has a door that measures 23.6” wide which opens easily with a one-hand plastic latch. At 31” tall, this isn’t the tallest pet gate, but it is sturdy enough to withstand 200lbs of force which is ideal for you bigger dog parents out there. This gate also features a small 10” x 7” door that’s perfect for cats or very small breed dogs to pass through while still keeping larger dogs confined.
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This walk-thru baby gate is our pick for pet parents of weighty dogs who are looking for a gate with a walk-thru door that can easily be opened with one hand but also locked in place.
What we like most about this gate is that the gate door is wide enough to walk through even with a large laundry basket in hand. We also love that this gate is so sturdy without looking like a large industrial strength gate. If you have a multi-pet household, we can’t praise these pet gates enough.
The biggest complaint we have with this walk-thru gate is that the pressure mounts are much less padded than other gate options which means that they could leave marks on your paintwork or even damage your woodwork, walls, or door frames.
- The small pet door opens in both directions.
- The large door auto-closes when passed through.
- The opening latch is easy to manipulate with just one hand.
- The gate comes with extensions to allow for it to fit in larger spaces.
- The walk-thru door is wider than most other gates.
- The gate can withstand 200lbs. of force.
- The pressure mounts can damage paintwork or walls if the gate is set with too much pressure.
- Not for giant breeds who like to jump or climb.
Summer Infant Multi-Use Extra Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate
The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate is a pressure mounted gate that also has hardware mounts. This is a metal gate with a bronze finish, so it doesn’t have that cheap metal appearance that many similar pet gates have. The Summer Infant Multi-Use gate measures 28.5-45 inches wide and stands 36 inches tall.
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This walk-thru baby gate is our pick for families with medium to large breed dogs who are looking for a gate that fits in with more sophisticated décor.
What we like most about this dog gate is that it’s taller than many other options, but it’s also JPMA certified which means that it both meets and surpasses American Society for Testing and Materials standards established by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Our favorite feature, however, is the one hand walk-thru gate that closes itself so that you can use it even with your hands full.
The biggest complaint we have with this walk-thru gate is that the walk-thru gate is 16 ½ inches wide which is quite small compared to some other gates we looked at and will pose issues for larger pet parents and possibly larger pets too.
- The height of the gate (3 feet tall).
- Features a pressure mount and a hardware mount.
- The walk-thru gate is self-closing.
- The gate accommodates baseboards.
- The gate also comes with multiple extensions to fit various size openings.
- The small width of the gate opening.
- Not usable in wide openings
Carlson Pet Products Lil' Tuffy Expandable Gate
The Carlson Pet Products Lil' Tuffy Expandable Gate with Small Pet Door is a pressure mounted gate made from all steel. Designed to fit openings 26-38” wide, the pet gate also features a locking small door that measures 10 x 7” to allow cats to pass through. At 18” tall, this is a short gate which, while durable, is only recommended for shorter breeds. This gate doesn’t feature a walk-thru door, but it is short enough to step over.
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This gate is our pick for families with short breed dogs who can either use the small door for their dog to easily pass through or for cats to pass through without the dog following.
What we like most about this gate is that it isn’t domineering like some of the larger pet gates can be which is just unnecessary for families with smaller dogs. We also love that this gate is painted with non-toxic finishes which is pretty important if you happen to have a chewer on your hands!
The biggest complaint that we have with this gate is that the small locking mechanism can be very tricky to put in place particularly if you have stiff joints, arthritis, or difficulties with coordination.
- The small door allows for pet separation if you own both dogs and cats or multiple small dogs.
- Easy to put up and remove.
- Lightweight but sturdy.
- A better design for small dog families who don’t need overbearing gates.
- The locking mechanism can be difficult to use.
- Not suited to larger dogs or particularly agile climbers.
- Must be stepped over so it’s not ideal for people with coordination or balance issues.
Regalo Easy Fit Plastic Adjustable Extra Wide Baby Gate
The Regalo Easy Fit Plastic Adjustable Extra Wide Baby Gate is an extra-wide plastic gate that can be pressure mounted in spaces between 26-42” wide. Made from gray plastic, this gate stands 23” tall and is one of the most affordable gates we had the chance to look at. Although it’s plastic, this is a durable indoor pet gate that can be put up and pulled down quickly with the added benefit of minimal to no damage to your walls when the gate is set with significant tension.
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This gate is our pick for pet parents on a budget because it’s extremely affordable yet more sturdy and durable than the cheap wood gate option.
What appeals most to us about this gate is the price point and how sturdy the gate is for as affordable as it is. We also like that the gate is so easily adjusted without having to add extensions and that it is manufactured to meet current safety standards. There is also much less to worry about when it comes to marking your walls since this gate comes with large rubber stoppers on the tension cups and the fact that the dog gate is durable enough for indoor and outdoor use.
The biggest complaint we have with this gate option is that it’s made from plastic rather than a sturdier metal, but for the price point, we couldn’t really complain about that fact since the plastic construction is still fairly solid. There is also the fact that this indoor pet gate is quite awkward to step over, so it does mean that for shorter pet parents, you have to take the gate down completely to get past it.
- The gate is adjustable enough to fit spaces of a wide range of widths.
- The rubber cup covers protect the walls against damage.
- Can be used indoors and outdoors.
- The tension tightening device can be tricky to use if you have joint stiffness or other problems with coordination.
- The plastic construction isn’t ideal for large breed dog parents.
North States Wide Portico Arch Baby Gate
The North States 38.25″ Wide Portico Arch Baby Gate is a pressure mounted gate with an artistic flair. The matte bronze finish of the gate is a great match for any décor and the 16.5” portico arch door provides easy walk through access with a hold open feature to stop the gate from closing when necessary. Designed to fit areas between 28.25″ to 38.25″ wide and standing at 28.5” tall, this gate is wide and relatively tall.
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This walk-thru baby gate is our pick for families with large breed dogs or smaller, but not giant breed dogs. We also like these indoor pet gates for families looking for a decorative option that doesn’t stand out in a well-decorated home.
What appeals to us about this gate is the unique design in the portico arch door and just how extendable the gate is making it a great fit for multiple areas of your home. We also like the fact that the door can be opened with just one hand so it’s easy to use when you have your hands full.
Our biggest complaint about this gate is that it has a very narrow door like the Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate making it difficult to get through for larger family members or wider dog breeds. We also found that this gate can leave marks on the walls of your home if tightened too much.
- The unique design of the portico door.
- The door has an easy to open one-handed operation lock.
- The sturdy construction of the metal frame.
- The bronze finish as opposed to a generic white finish.
- A triple locking door to prevent accidental opening.
- The narrowness of the door.
- The possibility of marking the walls when tightened too much.
Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Pet Gate
The Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Gate is a wall mounted gate with a large swing open door that can be opened with one hand but features a smart lock to prevent accidental opening. Designed for use at the top of the stairs, this all metal gate is adjustable from 27″-42.5″ wide, can be extended with an additional 10.5” extension (not included) and stands at 29.5” tall. Unlike some other gates, this gate can also be mounted at an angle making it quite unique.
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This gate is our pick for families looking for a stairway gate but not a gate for use in other areas of the home.
What appeals most to us about this pet gate is that it can be mounted at an angle so it can fit in stairways with more unusual designs or structures. We also like that there is an additional extension available for this gate so that it can be extended to fit very wide spaces.
Our biggest complaint about this gate is that it is a specialized gate that only has one use. Making such a large investment in a one-use gate isn’t ideal for most pet parents when a more affordable gate can be purchased with multiple uses.
- The ability to mount the gate at an angle makes it great for unusually shaped stairwells.
- The door is easy to open but locks securely for safety.
- Extendable with an optional extension.
- Rust-proof aluminum construction.
- Can only be used at the top of the stairs and not in other areas of the home.
- Industrial appearance.
Dreambaby Chelsea Extra Tall Auto Close Security Gate
The Dreambaby Chelsea Extra Tall Auto Close Security Gate is a pressure mounted gate that comes in a variety of widths with optional hardware mounts and includes a smart “stay open” and easy close gate. Available in white or black, the gate can be extended from 28” to as wide as 188” wide with extensions and stands at 39.4” tall making it one of the tallest safety pet gates available.
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This walk-thru baby gate is our pick for families with big dogs, dogs who like to climb, and families with very large openings that need to be gated off.
What we like most about this indoor pet gate is that it’s very tall and can be extended to accommodate very large areas. The 18.5” door opening also features a double lock making it hard for accidental opening while still being easy to open intentionally with one hand when passing through.
Our biggest complaint about this gate is that it has less visual appeal to it than some of the other gates we have looked into. We’re also not big on the price point of this gate when compared to comparable products.
- The height of this gate makes it a unique option for big dog parents.
- This gate can be expanded to fit even the largest spaces.
- There are two colors available to fit light and dark color schemes in your home.
- The door has a stay open and auto close function.
- The appearance of the gate is less than appealing.
- For use at the top of the stairs, it must be screwed into the wall.
Carlson Pet Weatherproof Outdoor Walk-Thru Pet Gate
The Carlson Pet Weatherproof Outdoor Walk-Thru Pet Gate is a pressure mounted gate that is ideal for indoor and outdoor use. A metal gate with a black rust-proof, weatherproof finish, this indoor dog gate also has an easy access door and a small 10” x 7” door for small pets to pass through if needed. The gate itself can fit openings of 29” to 43” wide with the two included extensions.
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This walk-thru gate is our pick for families who are looking for an indoor or outdoor gate that can withstand the elements well without rusting.
What we like most about this gate is just how durable it is and that it can be used in various areas of your home. We also like the unique tightening mechanism that is easier to use than some of the smaller more difficult to use tightening options on other gates we have looked at.
Our biggest complaint about this gate, however, is that while durable, it can feel unstable when used for larger pets who like to lean up against furniture. We should say that we didn’t experience this doggy gate slipping, but it did not feel as stable as we would have liked it to feel.
- The ability for indoor and outdoor use.
- The fact that it is both rustproof and weatherproof.
- The tightening mechanism is easier to use than others.
- The less than sturdy feel when used with big dogs.
Munchkin Auto-Close Modern Baby Gate
The Munchkin Auto-Close Modern Baby Gate is a pressure mounted gate that also comes with hardware mounts so you can permanently install it if desired. This is an auto-close gate that has a unique dark wood and silver metal color scheme which makes it stand out from other pet gates and suits a more contemporary home. The gate itself measures 29.5” tall and 29.5″ – 40.5″ wide and comes with (1) 2.75″ and (1) 5.5” extension so that it can be expanded. If you are fitting a larger area, an additional 11” extension is also available.
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We recommend this gate for the average family looking for a unique looking gate and for whom budget isn’t a consideration.
What we like most about this gate is the sturdy construction along with the extra wide door that measures 21.5 inches wide making it easy to walk through. We also liked the easy pull and lift opening mechanism of the gate paired with the dual locking mechanism which makes accidental opening much harder.
The biggest complaint we have with this walk-thru gate is the price point. Although the unique design is a great purchase draw and the structure is quite sturdy, most families can’t afford to pay over $100 for a pets gate simply because it looks nicer than the competitors’ products.
- The unique color scheme.
- The auto close door feature.
- The two-way swinging door.
- Usable in doors and on stairways.
- The extra-wide doorway pass-thru.
- The price!
Baby Trend Tall Pressure Fit Wood and Metal Gate
The Baby Trend Tall Pressure Fit Wood and Metal Gate is another uniquely colored pressure mounted gate. Made to fit openings of 24.5” – 40.5” and 29.5” tall, the access door swings both ways for fast pass through and features an easy open handle with a double lock to prevent accidental opening. The gate also comes with 3 x 2.75″ extensions for larger spaces.
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This wood and metal gate is a great option for pet parents who like the unique look of a dark wood finish but who don’t want to pay too much for it.
What we like most about this gate is that it does have the classy wooden finish as well as a two-way opening door. We also like that the two-way opening door is easy enough to open while still having a safety lock in place to prevent accidental opening.
The biggest complaint we have with this indoor pet gate is not secure for large breed or heavy dogs because the gate can push open. We also dislike that the door opening is exceptionally narrow making it very hard to pass through if you are a larger pet parent or have a larger breed dog.
- The unique finish.
- A more affordable gate for something a little more uniquely finished.
- The very narrow door!
- Although it appears to have an “espresso” finish, the gate is more “cherry” in color.
- Can be pushed open by larger dogs.
Our Top Pet Gate Pick
Of all of the indoor pet gates we looked at and recommended above, our top pick still remains the Cumbor Auto Close Safety Baby Gate. Although we really liked the very next brand, Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Baby Gate, the smaller size of the walk-through gate allowed the Cumbor Auto Close Safety Baby Gate to come out on top, and the price itself was just icing on the cake.
Obviously, when it comes to picking out the best indoor pet gates for your home, your mileage may vary and a lot of variables will be different. But we do love the affordability of the Cumbor model, the fact that it can be opened with one hand, the walk-through gate door, the height of the gate, and the fact that it features a small door for cat families. The only disadvantage of it is that it doesn't look as great as some of the more expensive wooden pet gate models out there, but if that's not an issue for you, this can be a sure winner in most homes with dogs and cats.