The best artificial Christmas trees are pretty popular this time of year; few holiday decorations evoke the childhood nostalgia of this seasonal staple. But splurging on a farm-grown tree each winter isn’t practical (or safe) for everyone, and there are tons of artificial options available from a variety of retailers.
If the tradition of tree-trimming is turning you into a Grinch, maybe it’s time for a hassle-free artificial Christmas tree.
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What are the best artificial Christmas trees?
After hours of exhaustive research, the Dunhill Fir Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree is at the top of the list. Dollar for dollar, it’s the best artificial Christmas tree overall. This realistic fir tree has lots of room for ornaments (2,514 branch tips, to be exact), and the flame-resistant construction is easy to assemble. It also comes with a generous 5-year warranty, so you’re sure to get your money’s worth.
For a super-affordable tree that comes with built-in lights, look no further than the Wondershop Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree. This knock-off spruce is surprisingly realistic for the price, and the dense boughs have an inherently lifelike appearance. At just 10 pounds, this tree is also easy to move (and store).
If you’ve got a holiday decoration contest to win, even persnickety judges might overlook this tree as the real deal: The National Tree Company Fraser Grande Artificial Christmas Tree is expensive for a synthetic tree, but it looks like it was just plucked from the forest. This massive 9-foot tree has tons of room for ornaments, too. (5,687 branch tips total.)
We have lots of other pics, from fully decorated to tabletop to more whimsical options, so read on for the best artificial Christmas trees.
The best artificial Christmas trees you can buy today
The Dunhill Fir Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree is our top choice for the best artificial Christmas tree. Designed to imitate the look of a traditional fir (tree species non-specific), it comes in three sections for easy setup. Measuring 7.5 feet tall with a 59-inch base diameter, the tree features 2,514 branch tips for you and your family to decorate. The hinged branches are attached to the center pole, making storage a painless procedure when the clock strikes January.
Lights and built-in decorations aren’t included, which is why this is the best artificial Christmas tree for your family to decorate from scratch. (Hey, at least you do some things the old-fashioned way.) It comes in a reusable storage carton and is bundled with a sturdy metal stand. The tree itself is made of fire-resistant, non-allergenic material, which should give you some extra peace of mind around younger kids. In short, the Dunhill Fir Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree will help keep your holidays bright every night.
(Bonus: If 7.5 feet is too tall for your abode, this artificial Christmas tree also comes in a 4.5-foot size that includes built-in lights.)
Fashioned to resemble an Alberta spruce, the Wondershop Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree is a no-frills ornament-holder that will leave some extra cash in your wallet. This 6-foot artificial Christmas tree also gets the ball rolling in terms of decoration; it comes with 250 built-in white lights (and a 36-inch extension cord).
Like other trees on this list, the Wondershop Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree is flame-retardant; the tree is made from PVC, plastic, and iron. It has a lower branch tip count than competing brands, but that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for this kind of value. This is the best artificial Christmas tree for just the basics, and nothing more.
If money is no object for your holiday decor, check out the National Tree Company Frasier Grande Artificial Christmas Tree. As the same suggests, it’s modeled after a Frasier fir tree with long, elegant branches. This model is more expensive than most artificial Christmas trees, but it’s also far more realistic; the tree features Feel Real branch technology for extra-sneaky woodland aesthetics.
Standing 9 feet tall (it’s also available in 7.5- and 6-foot sizes) with a 77-inch diameter, the National Tree Company Frasier Grande Artificial Christmas Tree comes with 1,500 built-in LED lights. (Dual-color, low-voltage.) This tree also has a massive branch tip count (5,687), which is ideal for those with oodles of bulky ornaments. If you have the money to spend, this might be the last artificial Christmas tree you ever buy. And heck, even Santa won’t be able to tell the difference from the real thing.
Is having a realistic tree an important factor? The Elegant Grand Fir LED Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree lives up to its name, and it’s substantially cheaper than the Frasier Grande above. It’s available in 9, 7.5, and 6-foot sizes.
This faux-fir is outfitted with 9,953 flame-resistant branch tips, in addition to 3,000 beautiful low-energy LED micro-dot lights (which include a remote control and built-in timer). Other than that, the rest of the decoration process is up to you. It’s more realistic than many artificial Christmas trees you’ll find on the market today, and if you’re looking for a true-to-life tree for your living room, this one was built to last.
Standing at 7 feet tall, this pine tree wannabe does some heavy lifting in the decoration department. In addition to 280 multicolored LED lights built into the branches, a five-point star rests on top for that finishing touch of holiday cheer; the fiber optics have three brightness settings and eight different light sequences,
Take note: There’s a substantial setup process for this tree. (It’ll take you about an hour of “fluff time” to tease out the shape of each branch, according to the manufacturer.) And thanks to all those built-in electronics, you’ll want to keep this tree indoors. When Christmas season is over, the iron base folds up for easy storage.
When it comes to pre-decorated trimmings, the BrylaneHome Christmas Fully Decorated Pre-Lit Pop-Up Christmas Tree is constructed with a unique pancake-flat sphere design that magically pops up into a fully decorated 6-foot Christmas tree — no additional assembly required. Adorned with French ribbons, bows, and other colorful ornaments, this tree is ready to use in just 60 seconds flat (or less).
The tree itself houses 300 twinkling white lights, creating instant ambiance for any social gathering. The 30-inch diameter isn’t too intrusive, and the whole thing is incredibly easy to store when collapsed. The best part? No pine needles to clean up after the new year.
Constructed to imitate a balsam fir, the Wondershop Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree is a fantastic choice for tight spaces, and it adds a rustic touch to any holiday trimmings. Plus, thanks to the integrated lighting, additional ornaments are entirely optional. (Though highly encouraged.)
At only 3.3 feet tall, this potted tree has a pleasantly diminutive stature, and its 32-inch diameter isn’t overly wide. Constructed from plastic, burlap, iron and polyethylene, it’s designed for indoor and outdoor use. The built-in LED lights (120 total) add a soft glow to the surrounding area; it’ll look right at home on your porch, in your living room, or anywhere else you want Santa to visit.
If conventional Christmas-time decor isn’t your thing, consider the Twinkle Star 208 LED Cherry Blossom Tree Light. This beautiful decoration is perfect for year-round use; each LED bulb is shaped like an actual cherry blossom, which makes for a great indoor/outdoor centerpiece. (Ornaments optional, of course.)
At 6 feet tall, this artificial tree is sure to grab attention in all the best ways; the (flexible) branches create a soft, ethereal glow that’s pleasing to the soul. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Festivus, or simply human connectedness, the Twinkle Star 208 LED Cherry Blossom Tree Light will put a sparkle in your eye.
Need some fun in the sun? Well, here’s the next best thing this holiday season. The Island Breeze Pre Lit Artificial Tropical Palm Tree comes with two trees (one is 5 feet fall; the other is 3 feet tall) that attach to the same metal base. It’s a unique, whimsical option for holiday decorations, and the whole package looks more realistic than you might expect.
With only 100 branch tips at your finger...well, tips, there’s not much room for extra ornaments on these artificial Christmas trees. But you’ll be too busy sipping piña coladas by the fireplace to care.
(Only want one tree? The company also offers a standalone 5-foot palm tree for a few bucks less.)
Good grief! Peanuts fans will love this replica of the tree Charlie Brown picked out in the Christmas special. Featuring a sparse eight branches and one shiny red ball, it’s as humble as it is heartwarming — just don’t expect to add a lot of decorations.
This model also comes with Linus’ blue blanket, and a hidden speaker in the base of the tree plays the iconic Linus & Lucy song featured in the holiday special. (Two AAA batteries are included). If anything captures the true meaning of Christmas, this is it.
How to choose the best artificial Christmas tree
Depending on where, when, and how you grew up, the scent of a freshly felled Christmas tree in your home might be a familiar one. But as fun as the Griswalds make it look, this particular holiday tradition was never particularly practical. After all, once an evergreen is cut down, it’s only a matter of time until the pine needles on every single branch start to dry out and fall off the tree — right onto your living room rug. Add in some heat-producing lights, a fidgety cat, and...well, you see where I’m going with this. ‘Tis the season for fire extinguishers, if you’re not careful.
Granted, Christmas tree farms are a thriving American industry; in 2018, we purchased 32.8 million farm-grown trees for the holidays (compared to 23.6 million fake ones). So if you’d like to help stimulate your local economy, there’s nothing wrong — or environmentally questionable — about springing for the real thing.
That being said, the general potential for a highly flammable mess might be reason enough to skip your local Christmas tree stand this year; a recent poll found that three quarters of American households display a tree each year, but of those that do, 80 percent opt for the artificial kind.
Should an artificial Christmas tree be on your short list this holiday season? If you’re thinking about switching from paper to plastic (so to speak), consider the perks:
- Overall value: It’s simple math. Why pay for a new tree every year when you can purchase just one to use for several seasons? Being as the average (real) Christmas tree cost $81 in 2019, the savings add up real quick.
- Convenience: Instead of retrieving a tree from the woods (or paying someone to do it for you, more likely), why not retrieve it from the comfort of your garage? This convenience is doubled if your tree comes with built-in (ie, tangle-free) lights and/or decorations.
- Safety / Health: As mentioned above, nobody likes a fire hazard, especially if you have young children underfoot. Plus, the wrong artificial Christmas tree is a ticking time bomb for the wrong family member with the wrong allergies. (Christmas morning tears should only be happy ones, after all.)
Once you’re ready to purchase, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind:
Size - This seems obvious, but make sure you’ve got enough space for your artificial Christmas tree of choice. Eyeballing the overall height and base diameter will give you an idea of how much square footage you need.
Style - There are lots of different types of trees, from traditional (read: realistic) evergreens to multicolored novelties. At the end of the day, Christmas traditions are what you make of them, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
Lights / Decorations - Many of the best artificial Christmas trees come with colorful built-in lights and/or decorations. If trimming the tree isn’t your forte, keep an eye out for pre-decorated options as you shop; it’s the most hassle-free a tree can be. It's also worth checking our list of the best smart plugs, which can be used to turn your tree lights on and off from your smartphone, or by using Alexa, HomeKit, or Google Assistant.