Finding an excellent cabinet lock isn't a trial-and-error experience. Using our extensive review of the top 9 options available today, you can discover which products are the best for your situation before you buy. If your little one is starting to crawl, then it's time to up your childproofing game with cabinet locks, and this review is what you need for the details on how each option installs, how easy they are to use, and whether or not they keep little ones from opening the things they shouldn't. We believe there is something for everyone and every budget in this lineup of great options.
Finding a great baby gate can also help in your babyproofing adventures when it is easier to block off a space than proof it.
Editor's Note: We updated this review on May 1, 2023, to ensure that the product selection is still available and pricing is accurate.
The Vmaisi Magnetic Locks is a pack of magnetic locks that install adhesive or hard-mounted. This kit includes 20 locks and two magnet keys and can be used on drawers, cabinets, and some types of closet doors. These locks are 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 you can turn off the magnet if you don't need the lock or need a reprieve. They worked well in most locations during testing. This set comes with good step-by-step directions and a template for easier installation.
The biggest issue with Vmaisi locks is possibly losing the key to open the locks. If you misplace the keys, you have no way to open the lock without ordering and waiting for a replacement key. Also, the adhesive method could fail if a determined toddler pulls hard enough. We love how easy these locks are easy to use and that they are hidden from view, and they don't pinch. We recommend placing keys where they won't get lost and buying backups ahead of time just in case they do (or attaching them to some kind of tracker).
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 no holes or adhesive residue behind. 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 travel-friendly if you need a cabinet lock solution when away from home.
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 a daily fdrustration. 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 solution for most applications, but we believe 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 strap locks and outlet covers kit. The outlet covers are fairly standard plastic two-prong covers, and the straps are adhesive attachment straps suitable for cabinets, drawers, toilets, ovens, and more. These straps are super versatile and keep trashcans and diaper pails closed to tiny explorers. Installation is quick and straightforward with adhesive backing, and they can be adjusted to fit various size needs. We found these to be useful in almost every room in our tests.
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 trouble with finger dexterity. Like all adhesives, 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 with 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, mostly cabinet doors. They are black and stylish, blending in with some decor and looking less like babyproofing than stark white locks. We like the quick adhesive attachment and think the design is one many parents will appreciate for its looks and convenience.
As with any adhesive product, the stickiness can fail, so you'll want to avoid leaving littles alone for too long in case they get curious and start tugging. It is also not a one-and-done solution as it has a very particular niche and won't work for every need. 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 installed 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, an 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 you may need a backup option as your child ages. Overall, if your needs are varied and you want a one-and-done solution, these straps could be a good fit with 10 in each pack.
The Eco-Baby Magnetic Cabinet Locks are cabinet and drawer locks that utilize a key magnet. These magnets work well and are hidden, which keeps your home uncluttered and prevents little ones from locating a puzzle to solve. Unlike traditional pressure latches, they prevent partial cabinet openings that can cause potential pinch injuries. We like the ease of magnet locks, and the key use is a no-brainer for quick, one-handed access. You install the locks using adhesive stickers, and they include a template to help you align the sides. This set has subtle butterfly stickers to indicate where to place the key to unlock the magnet if you are worried about remembering where to put it. This set includes 12 locks and two 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/alternate location just in case you find yourself without the keys it came with. Also, any adhesive can fail, and gregarious toddlers might gain strength or weaken the adhesive over time, causing the lock to fail and them to gain access to the off-limits space. However, despite these minor hiccups, we love the way magnet locks look and function and think they are the best choice for curious toddlers as they are out of sight and mind.
The Goodv Adhesive Adjustable Strap are strap locks suitable for almost anything with two sides. This kit works with cabinets, drawers, trash cans, toilets, closets, etc. It comes with ten straps and includes adhesive for installation. The straps are adjustable, and you can cut them to suit your needs. We like how easy they are to install and their various uses.
Strap-style locks are always on display, and they aren't great-looking. They can also be a draw for toddlers who like to figure out puzzles. Given that adhesive can fail, we worry that excessive strap play or pulling could result in lock failures over time. However, straps have their uses and can function to protect things that no other lock styles can. So, while they may not be your go-to choice for every space, they might be an excellent selection for a toilet or trash can lid where other locks simply can't work.
The Vmaisi Latches is 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 pretty 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 design 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 six 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 challenging lock in the group to use and not something they'd want to use daily. This design might be a potential choice for travel use or locking a cabinet you rarely need to open in areas where style isn't a concern.
Safety 1st has updated its cabinet locks. The new version is called the OutSmart Flex-Lock, and it features a new large decoy button for toddlers, while the functional buttons are hidden beneath a flexible surface. We are linking to the new style in this review.
Why You Should Trust Us
Bob Wofford, Senior Review Analyst and father of 7 children, led this review. Bob has been a central figure for all BabyGearLab testing in the last eight 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 and conducted hands-on testing of 9 cabinet lock contenders for this review. We analyzed each lock for ease of installation, how useful and easy they are to use regularly, and whether they can stand up to savvy toddlers who often are masterful Houdinis.
While the manufacturer designs each product to keep little ones from breaching forbidden areas and accessing contents, you still need to use your powers of observation and monitor your child to ensure they avoid contact with harmful items. Even the best childproofing solution has the potential to fail under the right circumstances.
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 relatively interchangeable and will work in various locations, while others are more specific ad will only work in a few select situations. A great example 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 have 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 attachments. However, they are the easiest to use once installed, 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, which often occurs with the compression latches that allow the cabinet to open a crack so you can press the release with your finger. The simplicity of the magnetic options, like the Vmaisi Magnetic Locks, 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 various 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 adhesives 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 nearly impossible for a child to open, at least until they figure out the key secret and learn where you keep the key. The pressure latch variety can be sorted out eventually, though smaller children will likely accept it as a no-go area. The latch can be pressed down by any hand with almost any strength, so some toddlers may be able to manage it. Also, if you tug hard enough and are persistent, we've seen this latch style fail during everyday 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 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 desperately wants to see what is on 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. 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 an essential task every parent must tackle at some point and to varying degrees. While creating a safe space is the best first-line defense (or finding the best baby gate) to protect your child from danger, you'll probably need some type of cabinet-locking backup to help create a safer home. Finding an excellent cabinet lock or versatile latch for areas like toilets and ovens can also help keep little ones safe if you get distracted or need to use the bathroom. Our test results reveal what we think are good options for most needs, many with budget-friendly prices.