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BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard review: we give our verdict on Mumsnetters' fave baby gate

A sturdy baby gate that can be folded neatly away when not in use? No wonder the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable is so popular with Mumsnetters. Our tester put the gate through its paces.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Feb 8, 2024

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Price on writing: £70 | Buy now from Amazon

What we like

  • One-handed opening

  • Folds back neatly when not in use

  • Fits a wide variety of spaces, including very narrow openings

  • Can be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs

What we don't like

  • Needs to be at least 9 cm from the top of the stairs – might not work in all houses

  • Lengthy installation despite clear instructions

  • Skirting boards may make installation awkward

  • Pricey

Key specs

Type: Screw-fit | Width: 55 – 89cm, with additional extensions available to fit up to 113.5cm

What Mumsnet users say

“[We have] the Babydan retractable stair gate. It retracts completely when not in use so no tripping over a bit at the bottom.” Tried and tested by Mumsnetter flothatchicken

“The Babydan Guard Me retractable gate. It’s more expensive but you will thank me.” Recommended by Mumsnet user HTKS 

Our verdict

It may come with a hefty price tag attached, but unlike some stair gates that have a trip hazard bar at the bottom, the BabyDan Guard Me has a unique folding and fully retractable design. At the touch of a button, the gate automatically retracts, leaving your path completely clear and you free to navigate the stairs. With a straightforward opening mechanism (once you get used to the slide-and-push technique) it can be operated one-handed and easily tackled by older siblings.

The BabyDan Guard Me is a versatile plastic gate that can be used at both the top and bottom of the stairs or on the inside or outside of your door frame. It can fit a fairly wide range of spaces - anything from 55cm to 89cm wide, but if you have a wider gap to cover,  Extend-A-Guard panels extension panels are available to purchase separately.

Although it took a bit of time to install, our tester felt this was a good quality, sturdy stair gate that does the job brilliantly. No wonder Mumsnetters rate the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard as one of the best stair gates to buy. 

Read next: Best child safety locks for babyproofing your home

How do you install the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard?

To set up the BabyDan Guard Me, all you have to do is screw the wall mounts to the door frame or wall, before adjusting the barrier to the appropriate length and attaching it to the wall mounts. Screws for wood are included.

Mumsnet tester Katja found the BabyDan instructions easy to follow but warns that you need to leave plenty of time to install the gate.

She said: “It took approximately two hours to install. Although it was straightforward, it was definitely a two-person job.”

Katja added: “It was a bit tricky to install with skirting boards, but good for narrow openings. Be sure to measure the space first.”

Read next: Spark their creativity with the best toys for 2-year-olds

How safe is the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard?

Katja was impressed with the sturdiness of the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard. It felt very stable and held firm in the face of handsy toddlers and boisterous pets. The lack of a trip-hazard bar along the bottom means the BabyDan can be safely used at the top of the stairs.

It is easy to operate one-handed, and Katja notes: “It’s very easy to open and close, when you get used to the technique. 

“After using it a couple of times, it is easy to use with one hand. Even my 4-year-old can open it.”

Unlike other stair gates we have tested, there is no audible ‘click’ to let you know that the gate has closed properly, however, Katja says this was not an issue as it is easy to see that the gate is closed and secure. The BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard does not self-close.

Read next: The best play kitchens: tried and tested toy kitchens for mini chefs in the making

How easy is it to clean the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard?

Mumsnet tester Katja found the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard easy to clean. It can be removed easily to allow you to push a vacuum cleaner around and although it does show obvious fingermarks, Katja found these very easy to wipe off.

Read next: Best garden slides for toddlers and beyond

Does the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard offer value for money?

It’s not the cheapest stair gate around, but Mumsnetters who have bought the BabyDan Guard Me Auto Retractable Safety Guard say it is worth every penny. It is a high quality, easy-to-operate, sturdy gate that can be safely used at the top or bottom of the stairs.

Our tester Katja really rated the BabyDan, saying:  “It works well, looks tidy when not in use, and folds away neatly. I feel it’s good value for money, and I would pay the price for it.”

How we tested

Mumsnet tester Katja spent several weeks putting a number of popular baby gates through their paces. Afterwards she scored each gate for safety, ease of installation, ease of cleaning and value for money.

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on toddler play, child play and outdoor play. She is a mum of two and lives in Sussex.

Laura is a freelance journalist and has written for a range of publications including The Daily Mirror, the i, Metro, Stylist and Happiful.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.