Best Cabinet Locks
The Vmaisi Magnetic Locks is a pack of magnetic locks that install with adhesive or can be hard-mounted. This kit includes 20 locks and 2 magnet keys and can be used on drawers, cabinets, and some types of closet doors. These locks are totally concealed, so there is no unsightly lock on display. The keys work well, and installation comes with a guide to ensure it aligns properly. We like that the magnet can be turned off if you don't need the lock or need a reprieve. They worked well in most locations during testing. This set comes with a good step by step directions and a template for easier installation.
The biggest issue is the potential to accidentally lose the key required to open the lock. If you misplace the keys, there is no way to open the lock without order and waiting for a replacement key. Also, using the adhesive means it could fail if a determined toddler pulls hard enough. Overall, we love how easy these locks are to use and that they are hidden from view and don't allow pinching. We recommend placing keys where they won't get lost and buying backups ahead of time just in case they do.
The HoneyBull Magnetic Locks are budget-friendly magnet locks for cabinets and drawers. The locks come in a set of 14 locks and 2 keys. The locks are adhesive installation and come with a template for easier installation alignment. We like that these locks can be turned off when not needed, and the adhesive can be removed with no lasting impact on the location. Magnet locks prevent potential pinching injury, and we had no difficulties during testing.
The adhesive on these locks, like all adhesive, can fail, which could provide access to areas baby should be. There is also the chance you could misplace the keys, which would result in no access to the cabinet for anyone. We recommend keeping backup keys in a designated safe location to avoid cabinet downtime. Overall, if you need magnet locks and are ready to keep track of keys, this is a good option on a budget.
The Skyla Homes - Multi-Purpose Child Lock is a sliding lock that works on a double handle or knob design doors and cabinets. This lock is a temporary option and leaves behind no holes or adhesive residue. The lock comes in two parts, and they slide together to create the lock, and one end has a pinch release. It is plastic, lightweight, and good for travel.
This lock is challenging to use and requires two hands to operate. Some testers felt it was frustrating to use and would prefer it as a temporary solution instead of something they have to deal with daily. It also has limited uses as it only works for cabinets with knobs and or handles. Overall, we don't think this is a great overall solution for most applications, but we think it is a great travel tool to help create a safer area for your baby when you aren't at home and can't set up a more permanent solution.
The Vkania Child Proof Kit is a kit of strap locks and outlet covers. The outlet covers are plastic two-prong covers, and the straps are adhesive attachment straps good for cabinets, drawers, toilets, ovens, and more. These straps are super versatile and can keep trashcans and diaper pails closed to tiny explorers. Installation is quick and simple with adhesive backing, and they can be adjusted to fit various size needs. In our tests, we found these to be useful in almost every room.
These are not the most attractive locks as they are big and white and draw the eye. They are also somewhat challenging to unlock if you have any finger dexterity trouble. Like all adhesive, there is a chance this lock could fail with enough persistence from persistent toddlers. Overall, we love how many uses these locks have and think it is a budget-friendly choice for those who have needs outside of only cabinets and drawers.
The Heoath Baby Proofing Latches are adhesive latches that work on any location with two sides of equal height, but mostly cabinet doors. They are black and somewhat stylish, blending in with some decor and looking less like babyproofing that stark white locks. We like the quick adhesive attachment and think the design is one many parents will appreciate for looks and convenience.
As with any adhesive product, the stickiness can fail, so you'll want to avoid leaving little for too long on their own. It is also not a one and done solution as it has a very particular niche and won't work for all your needs. We love the look and feel of these locks, and while they will only work in some situations, we think parents concerned with style will appreciate what these latches bring to the table.
The Betertek Adhesive Safety Latches are plastic straps that can be used in various locations. These straps are somewhat adjustable and install with adhesive on each end. The straps are simple to install and work well. During testing, we liked that they can work in so many places and parents enjoyed the versatility they offer.
These straps are not the prettiest thing you'll have in any room and are not a good choice if looks are important to you. Also, adhesive can fail if your toddler tugs hard enough or long enough. Some inquisitive toddlers might also be able to sort out the press and slide detachment process, so that you may need a backup option as your child ages. Overall, if your needs are varied and you want a one and done solution, then these straps could be a good fit with 10 in each pack.
The Eco-Baby Magnetic Cabinet Lock are cabinet and drawer locks you open with a magnet key. These locks work well and are hidden from sight, which keeps your house looking uncluttered and prevents children from trying to solve the puzzle. Unlike traditional pressure latches, they also don't allow partial cabinet openings that could lead to injuries. We like the ease of magnet locks, and the key use is a no-brainer for quick open and close locks. The locks install with adhesive and come with a template to help align the sides. This set also comes with subtle butterfly stickers to indicate where the key should be placed to unlock the magnet. This set includes 12 locks and 2 keys.
Losing the magnet keys means you won't be able to access the cabinet or drawer. You might consider keeping backup keys in a safe location just in case. Also, adhesive can fail, and gregarious toddlers might gain strength or weaken the adhesive over time, causing it to fail and gaining access to the locked space. However, despite these minor hiccups, we love the way magnet locks look and work and think they are the best option for curious toddlers as they are invisible and out of sight, out of mind.
The Goodv Adhesive Adjustable Strap are strap locks that are good for almost anything with two sides. This kit works for cabinets, drawers, trash cans, toilets, closets, and more. The kit comes with 10 straps and includes the adhesive you need for installation. The straps are adjustable, and you can cut them to fit your situation. We like how easy they are to install and the variety of uses they will work on.
Strap style locks are always on display, and they aren't great looking. This is also a draw for little ones who like to mess with things they can see and reach. Given that adhesive can fail, we worry that excessive strap play or pulling could result in lock failures. Overall, straps have their place and can do things other lock styles cannot. While they may not be your top choice for custom cabinetry, they might be a great go-to for toilet and trash can lids where other locks won't work.
The Vmaisi Latches are a traditional cabinet lock that uses a pressure hook to connect the door to the cabinet body. Cabinets and drawers open just wide enough to fit your hand and finger inside to press the latch down to open the cabinet. They work fairly well, and the functionality is straightforward. You can install these with adhesive, but using hardware would be more secure.
The latch requires hardware and tools to install (for best security). Also, there is a potential for pinches or hurting hands as the cabinet doors open partially so you can reach the pressure switch. This means they can also be shut or slammed on little hands trying to open the door. Older and more industrious toddlers might figure out the pressure switch with some keen observation skills of groups utilizing the locks. While these locks are effective enough, they aren't our favorites as they could lead to potential crying and aren't as effective as the magnet options.
The Safety 1st Side by Side Cabinet Lock is for cabinet doors that open side by side. It works best on cabinet handles but will also work on some pull knobs. It has an indicator that lets you know when it is locked, and it is a temporary solution that leaves no marks behind when you are done using it. This pack comes with 6 locks.
This lock is bulky and relatively unsightly. It is also one of the more challenging options in the review to use. You will need two hands to operate this option. Our testers felt it was the most difficult lock in the group to use and not something they'd want to use daily. This might be a potential choice for travel use or locking cabinet; you rarely need to open in areas where style isn't a concern.
Why You Should Trust Us
Bob Wofford, Senior Review Analyst, and father of 7 children, lead this review. Bob has been a central figure for all BabyGearLab testing in the last 7 years, including car seats and strollers. Bob selected the cabinet locks tested for this roundup considering ease of installation, ease of use, and how well they work to keep children out of locked spaces. Mother of 2 and Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz analyzed the cabinet lock test result and created the write-up. Wendy has been a valuable team member since 2014.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased 10 cabinet lock competitors for this roundup. Each lock was analyzed for how easy they are to install, how useful and easy they are to use daily and whether or not they work on savvy toddlers who often seem to be master Houdinis.
While each lock in this review is designed to keep little ones from breaching the door and accessing the contents within, you should still use your powers of observation and close monitoring to ensure that tiny explorers avoid any truly harmful substances or materials. Even the best childproofing solution can potentially fail under the right circumstance.
Ease of Use
The style and type of cabinet and drawer lock you choose will largely depend on your situation and goals. Some of the options are fairly interchangeable and will work in various locations, while others are more specific ad will only work in a few select situations. A great example of this is the Safety 1st Side by Side Cabinet Lock. With two loops to wrap around cabinet handles, this design works well for dual open cabinet doors that each has a loop handle. It won't work for any other application, including if your cabinet drawers have a simple round pull knob instead of cabinet handles. While it is still a potential option and one you might find suitable for travel, its range of uses is minimal, and its method of use is more convoluted and involved than the more simple options that also work in more situations.
Alternatively, the magnetic lock options are harder to install; some require tools, though most are adhesive attachment. However, once installed, they are the easiest to use, assuming you keep your key in a known location. We love how simple it is to get the key and open the door one-handed without the potential for pinching hands in the doors that often happens with the compression latches that allow the cabinet to open a crack so you can press the lock down with your finger. The simplicity of the magnetic options, the Vmaisi Magnetic Locks, is what makes them our favorite style. The magnets can also be turned off if you no longer need them or need a temporary break.
The strap style locks are also easy to use and do not require keeping track of a key to operate. These straps are versatile, working in a variety of locations, from oven doors and toilet lids to keeping cabinets closed and drawers closed. They have simple adhesive installation and can be operated with one hand if you have the dexterity. While not ideal, as adhesive can fail and industrious toddlers might discover how to use them, they are easy to use and install, making them a parent favorite in many locations.
While most determined toddlers will figure out most childproofing eventually given enough time and motivation, some of the locks are more effective than others. The magnet locks are really impossible for a child to open, at least until they figure out the key secret and learn where the key is kept. The pressure latch variety can be sorted out eventually, though smaller children will likely accept it is a no go area. The latch can be pressed down by any hand with almost any strength, so a toddler could manage it. Also, if you tug hard enough and are persistent, we've seen this style of latch fail during ordinary use. The strap style is probably the easiest option for a child to figure out and thwart. The straps require some dexterity and smarts to get them to open, but in our experience, toddlers have nothing but time and excellent problem management skills when it suits them. Trust us, eventually, your toddler will be able to open childproof pill containers and doorknob locks swifter than you can. This sad truth means that a strap with a press button or squeeze side lock will be no problem for a little one who really wants to see what is no the other side.
No matter which option you choose, we encourage you NOT to rely on its efficacy and instead use it as a time buffer for parental supervision. By this, we mean don't take a nap thinking your child lock will stop a toddler from accessing chemicals or a hot oven (other dangerous locations). Instead, allow the lock to give you some extra time to get to your puzzle-solving Houdini or to pee in another room quickly.
Childproofing is a thankless task every parent has to undertake to some degree. While clearing a safe path is the best first-line defense to help protect your little one from danger, you're likely going to need some locking backup help in your efforts to create a safer area for your baby. Finding a great cabinet lock or versatile choice for areas like toilets and ovens can help you keep little ones safe, even if you get distracted momentarily. We've done the testing for you and believe our roundup of great options has a lock for most needs and budgets.
— Wendy Schmitz and BabyGearLab Review Team