- Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way. They have a more realistic and festive look during the holiday season than their predecessors.
- Even better, quality artificial trees are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles, from smaller trees that are ideal for apartment living to nontraditional trees like the ombre one in this guide.
- The 7-foot Classic Blue Spruce from Balsam Hill is the best artificial tree you can buy with a convincingly realistic look, full body, and durability that ensures this tree will last for years to come.
The artificial holiday trees of today aren't the aluminum monsters of the past. Many are made of high-quality combinations of PVC, polyethylene, and sometimes vinyl, that you have to get right up against and take a big whiff of before you realize they're not from a tree farm.
Can grabbing the artificial tree box from the basement ever equal the nostalgic thrill of chopping your own from a snowy field and strapping it to the roof of the family car? Don't even try to convince me. However, can a natural tree rival the convenient, no-mess, lower-cost, shippable, symmetrical perfection that a high-quality artificial one can lend your holiday decor? Not likely.
After researching scores of artificial trees that are available and assessing them for issues like cost, convenience, beauty, and realism, we've whittled it down to the five best artificial trees you can buy this holiday season.
Here are the best artificial trees:
- Best overall: Balsam Hill Classic Blue Spruce
- Best for big rooms: Pre-lit 10-foot Dunhill Fir Tree by National Tree
- Best for small spaces: Home Heritage 5-foot Pre-Lit Artificial Half Christmas Tree
- Best on a budget: Best Choice Products 6-foot Artificial Christmas Tree
- Best nontraditional: Treetopia Silver Shadow Ombre Artificial Christmas Tree
- Best miniature: Goplus 2-Foot Tabletop Christmas Tree
Updated on 8/19/2020. We updated links and prices. Steven John contributed to this article.
The best overall
The Balsam Hill Classic Blue Spruce Tree looks so real you'll have to look twice (or thrice) to realize it's manufactured.
The realistic color of the Balsam Hill Classic Blue Spruce is a major selling point. The shade is a very natural-looking deep green that will remind you of an authentic winter wonderland.
The set-up is quick and easy so that anyone should be able to do it themselves in less than an hour. In addition to the tree itself, the box from Amazon also comes complete with a storage bag, and two pairs of white gloves to aid in your "branch-fluffing" efforts.
This highly rated tree is available in multiple sizes, ranging from 4.5 to 9 feet tall, and can be purchased with or without built-in clear LED lights. The only remaining problem is the lack of that beloved pine scent. But you know what? Tree-scented candles and aromatherapy oils are getting more realistic, too. Problem solved.
Pros: Realistic color and detail that's easy to store and assemble
Cons: A few buyers wanted fuller shape for the cost
The best for big rooms
The 10-foot Pre-lit Dunhill Fir Tree by National Tree is the ideal artificial tree for people with high ceilings who want to impress guests.
When nothing but the biggest and best will do, National Tree's 10-foot pre-lit Dunhill Fir Tree is just what you need. It's more expensive than the other options in our guide, though it's far from the most expensive artificial tree we looked at. And if you want your living room to look like the grand ballroom in The Nutcracker Ballet, then this is your pick.
This particular tree comes pre-lit with 1,500 perfectly spaced clear lights, so there's no fiddling with tangled strands or burnt-out bulbs since if one burns out, the others will stay lit. The metal stand is also included, so just add a tree skirt, your family's own traditional ornaments, a topper, and you're set for Santa!
Some owners said that the tree is rather difficult to put up, but looks amazing once it's done. So that's something to consider if you're planning to set it up by yourself. But two people should be able to set it up perfectly well with a bit of time and patience. Besides, at 10-feet tall, you can expect a little assembly time for any tree.
Pros: Wow-factor is easy with a tree this giant and full
Cons: Its size means a little more planning and storage space required than with a smaller tree
The best for small spaces
The 5-foot Home Heritage Pre-Lit Half Christmas Tree is perfect for smaller spaces that still want a good-sized tree.
Trying to jam a taller-than-you majestic tree into your studio apartment or even a dorm room just got easier. With the Half Christmas Tree from Home Heritage, you don't have to limit yourself to a tiny tabletop tree. What blew me away about this artificial tree is that you can get the look of a full tree without sacrificing your precious floor space, thanks to the fact that it's basically a faux tree that's been cut in half.
The Home Heritage 5-foot Pre-Lit Artificial Half Christmas Tree comes with all the trappings of a full-size pre-lit artificial tree but only takes up half the space. It's made with only 180 degrees of branches and needles so you can set it up against a wall or in a corner.
At 14-inches wide, you'll use up what will seem like a tiny amount of floor space for a tree this tall. If you're worried that the lack of width might make this tall tree tippy, some owners said the stand it comes with works perfectly to keep it upright, with no need to anchor it to the wall.
Owners praised this tree's easy assembly and attractive light arrangement, but they noted that it can be a bit "wobbly" if you use very heavy decorations and that the branches can take a while to settle out of the container so that they're ready to decorate.
There's also a 7-foot version if you have a bit more space that can accommodate a slightly taller and wider tree.
Pros: Doesn't take up a lot of space
Cons: Probably not good for households with cats or small kids, as it might be wobbly
The best on a budget
The 6-foot Best Choice Products Artificial Christmas Tree is a solid, sturdy tree that offers bang for your buck.
Is this the single greatest artificial tree you can buy? Nope! But at just over forty bucks, you'll be hard-pressed to find one you love more than this 6-foot hinged pine from Best Choice Products.
You won't find the same level of detailed realism and lasting craftsmanship here that you will with some of the pricier trees in our guide, but it's still a good-looking option.
Customers praise the tree's easy set-up. The metal stand also drives up the functionality, since it makes the whole shebang a lot sturdier and less likely to tip than other inexpensive trees that come with cheap plastic stands.
A few buyers thought the tree wasn't quite a full 6 feet in height, but others said they measured and the size was accurate. Some noted that the tree was very full for the price, while still others thought it wasn't quite full enough to look realistic, or that a few branches came out of the box limp.
If the perfect Pinterest-worthy tree is important to your holiday cheer, then you may want to up your budget. But if a pretty good tree with easy-as-pie setup and a dirt-cheap price tag sounds great to you, then deck the halls with this pick.
Pros: A nice, affordable full tree with lightning-fast setup
Cons: You won't be fooling anyone that this tree was once alive
The best nontraditional
The Treetopia Silver Shadow Ombre Artificial Christmas Tree is a modern conversation-starter of a tree.
Do you want your living room to look like a Kardashian holiday card backdrop? Look no farther than this black and silver ombre tree from Treetopia.
A sturdy metal base supports the 6-foot-tall tree shape composed of high-quality PVC and tinsel needles. The shape is tall and thin, like a real-life Douglas fir, but no one will be under the impression that this tree once grew in the ground.
The fact that this tree doesn't strive to look "realistic" is actually one of its upsides. The shininess and sparkly color, combined with a perfectly cone-shaped silhouette, are the tree's top features.
Treetopia is a very highly praised and customer-friendly brand in general. Treetopia trees tend to be highly regarded as quality trees on the low end of the pricing scale.
You should have no trouble setting this one up yourself, but note that it may take a few days of fluffing and waiting for all the branches to lie perfectly symmetrically.
Pros: Style and originality at an ultra-low price
Cons: Non-realistically shaped or detailed, but that may be a pro to some
The best miniature
The little Goplus 2-Foot Tabletop Christmas Tree arrives with no set-up required — pop in three AA batteries and perch it wherever you need a bit of seasonal decor.
Whether you have a small apartment or a dining table that needs some festive cheer, the Goplus 2-Foot Tabletop Christmas Tree is a perfect choice.
It's battery-powered, so there is no cord to plug into an outlet — you can place it anywhere (note: it's not meant for use outdoors). The base of the tree is weighted to keep it upright and wrapped in decorative red fabric, but some users said the base could be heavier. There are 35 soft-white LED bulbs and 71 branch tips you can hang ornaments on, though the tree looks fine even without decorations. — Steven John
Pros: Low price, no set-up required, battery operated
Cons: Not really for use outdoors, base could be heavier
Check out our other great Christmas decorating guides
The best holiday decorations
A beautifully decorated home is part of the wonder of the holiday season. We've rounded up the best decorating essentials for your home to make it easier for you.
The best holiday lights
Sure, those old strands of tiny incandescent bulbs you have tangled up in boxes on the garage shelves are probably fine, but these lights are definitely better. Upgrade your light game this season with these shining examples of great holiday lights.
The best tree skirts
Tree skirts add a dash of color and style to your holiday decor while hiding away that unsightly tree stand and all the holiday light cords. Here are our top picks.
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