Buying the best artificial Christmas trees can be are the smartest (and most important) purchases you make the entire holiday season. (Yes, even more important than the perfect present or Santa’s cookies and milk.) While very few things usher in the festive spirit like a Christmas, buying a live one can be a complete nuisance. After scouring your nearest Christmas tree lot for hours on end, only to select the first option you saw, you have to excessively water your tree until December 25. (After all, waking up on Christmas morning to a limp, lifeless tee is the décor-equivalent to receiving a lump of coal.) Even after the festivities are over, there’s a good chance you’ll find stray pine needles well into the new year.
Artificial Christmas trees, on the other hand, are time-efficient, low-maintenance, and designed to look good all season long. Since you can use the same artificial Christmas tree year after year, you can save the real deal for Mother Nature.
That said, buying an artificial Christmas tree can feel a little risky—especially if you’ve spent most of your life with a live one. While some options are a dead ringer for the live, luscious Christmas tree, others look unmistakably fake. So, how are you supposed to find an artificial Christmas tree that looks surprisingly real? Read for shopping tips and the best artificial Christmas trees available. You’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree before you know it.
Then, check out our Christmas tree decorating ideas for inspiration.
Best Artificial Christmas Trees 2020
National Tree Company has been making festive holiday décor for 60 years, so the company definitely has the artificial Christmas tree down pat. If you’re looking for a great option that can work in a variety of spaces, have a look at the brand’s lush Dunhill Fir option. With over 2,000 positive reviews on Amazon and a 4.6/5 rating on the site, it’s clear this style is a cut above the rest—and for good reason. National Tree Company looks like the real deal, thanks to its flame-retardant, non-allergenic plastic. This option boasts layers of hinge branches attached at the tree’s center and 2,144 individual tips to give this artificial tree a full, life-like look.
Another thing to love about this tree: It’s incredibly versatile. While seven-feet is the Goldilocks of artificial Christmas trees —not too big, but not too small—National Tree Company is available in an array of different heights, ranging from four to 12 feet. That way, you can rest assured your tree will fit nicely in your space.
In a perfect world, your home would feature a grand foyer fit for a giant Christmas tree. But, in reality? Your small only has so much room. Whether you're decking out a studio apartment, college dorm, or your children's playroom, there's a good chance you're in need of a smaller style. But, as National Tree Company's Kingswood Fir style proves, great things come in small packages.
This four-foot-tall style is proportional with your small space, but no so small that it looks miniscule. (Another perk: If you’re placing this tree in a kid’s room, let your little ones spearhead the decorating.) But just because this model is small doesn’t mean it’s flimsy. Between the sturdy metal base and durable, plastic branches, this is one artificial Christmas tree that’s built to last.
Once Christmas rolls around, your high ceilings might feel like a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the holidays are a great time to flaunt your magnificent setup. However, finding a large artificial Christmas tree that looks real is a tall order—pun intended.
As the purveyor of holiday decorations, National Tree Company has beautiful artificial trees of all species and heights. If you’re looking for one to complement your high ceilings, check out the brand’s North Valley Spruce Christmas tree. At a whopping 12-feet-tall, this artificial Christmas tree with draw the eye upward—flaunting your high ceilings in the process. Since the 12-foot Christmas tree takes up a lot of space, it’s important that it looks realistic; otherwise, your holiday décor will look a little cheesy. Fortunately, this option does not disappoint. With hinged branches and 2,992 individual tips, option will trick guests into thinking it’s the real deal.
For many, Christmas decorations are more than a way to ring in the holiday spirit; it is an extension of your home décor. So, if you’re going to invest in an artificial Christmas tree, you might as well make it stylish. While luscious, green needle trees are the norm for the most wonderful time of the year, this snow-capped option from Best Choice Products makes a case for straying from the expected.
Unless you live in a winter wonderland, it’ll be obvious that Best Choice’s Products snow-flocked pine tree is artificial. However, with the right ornaments and accoutrements, it can give your space that delightfully festive feel. With hinged branches and up to 2,094 PVC-clad tips, this tree has lots of texture that will give your space a warm, rustic feel. Like most artificial Christmas trees, this option comes with a sturdy metal stand to keep this one in place. (That way, you won’t have to yell, “Timber!” in your own home.)
Though an artificial Christmas tree can save you time and money in the long-run, they can elicit some sticker shock. In fact, many styles can cost a couple hundred dollars. If you're looking for a great, without spending a small fortune, consider this artificial spruce from Best Choice Products. This option has over 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon and a 4.1/5 rating on the site, proving it hits that sweet spot between quality and price.
The magic behind this one lies in its versatility. Standing six-feet tall, this option can fit comfortably in most homes. With easy-to-maneuver hinged branches and a deep forest hue, this option is just as pretty as it is practical. To keep costs down, Best Choice Products reimagined the Christmas tree is a series of flat PVC strips. While PVC has the reputation for looking less realistic than its counterparts, it is a reliable, economical choice. If you're looking to get the best bang for your buck, this is one small detail worth overlooking.
If you fancy something completely different, this gorgeous and shiny Christmas tree comes in a trendy rose gold color – that's an Insta-ready tree if ever there was one. Whatever decorations you choose will look amazing against the gold backdrop, and the branches are good quality. It doesn't look remotely real, but we love it. Just bear in mind that it is made from Polyvinyl Chloride, which isn't the most eco-friendly material around, so plan on keeping it for a while.
What to Look for in an Artificial Christmas Tree
Whether you’re on the hunt for an artificial Christmas tree that looks real or a cheery, colorful one that shows off your personal style, it’s important to find an option that looks full and luscious. Simply put, a limp, bare Christmas tree is the exact opposite of jolly. To help, check out our tips for finding a high-quality artificial Christmas tree.
Construction: Behind every beautiful, artificial Christmas tree is a sturdy foundation that’s built to last. Look for artificial Christmas trees with strong, metal bases. That way, you won’t have to worry about the tipping over to one side—only to come crashing down on a not-so-silent night. It’s also important to select a tree with strategically placed branches. Not only do pre-attached hinged branches offer a quick and easy setup, but they’re usually placed just so to create the illusion of a fuller tree. Hooked branches, on the other hand, need to be manually hooked onto the center each year and have a reputation for not looking very realistic.
Material: As important as an artificial Christmas tree’s construction is, the first thing you and your guests will notice is its texture. (Read: You can always cover bare spots with statement ornament string lights, and garland.) The right material can be the deciding factor between a chic and chic artificial Christmas tree. Normally, shoppers choose between polyethylene (PE) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Artificial Christmas trees made with PE are typically 3D-modeled to create a realistic look. (Minus the sap, that is.) On the other hand, PVC is reimagined into flat pieces that mimic the texture of real Christmas tree. While PE needles are the more popular choice, artificial Christmas trees made with PVC are generally more affordable. Popularity or affordability? Ultimately, the choice is up to you.
Size: No two homes are created equal so before you add an artificial Christmas tree to your cart, it’s a good idea to double check the dimensions. (Nobody wants to create National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in their own home.) Seven-and-a-half feet is the standard height for most artificial Christmas trees are available in plenty of sizes to fit your home’s needs. Not only they available in an array of heights, but they also come in several widths. If you live in a small space—or are trying to fill that tiny, awkward corner with a beautiful tree—look for slim or pencil silhouettes.
Lit Versus Pre-Lit: It doesn’t matter if it’s real or artificial: No Christmas tree is complete without a strand of gorgeous string lights. But, before you weigh the pros and cons of white lights, colored-strands, and flashing styles, you’ll need to figure out if you want to buy a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree.
A Christmas tree with built-in lights are indisputably easier to set up: Just think about all the free time you’ll have if you don’t have to detangle a bunch of strands. That being said, it will be more difficult to replace your lights when bulbs start to burn out. An unlit artificial Christmas tree might require some more legwork; however, you can easily replace string lights as needed. (Or, if you want to shake things up a bit, you can always switch up your lights mid-season.)