An artificial Christmas tree provides holiday joy without the hassle of having to provide water and vacuum up pine needles every day.
Another positive of artificial trees—they can be used year after year and even beyond the holiday season. "You can use the tree for multiple seasons, not just Christmas," says Michelle Essix, owner and executive designer at home decor company SwayM.E. Vegas. "I had one for Halloween, Easter, and Valentine's."
We purchased 24 fake Christmas trees and tested them in The Lab for a full day, evaluating ease of setup and storage, appearance, sturdiness, and lighting quality. Our best overall pick, the Puleo International 7.5 Pre-Lit Teton Pine Artificial Christmas Tree has a realistic appearance, pre-strung lights, and can be assembled with just one person.
Here are the best artificial Christmas trees, complete with pros, cons, and tested tips.
Puleo International 7.5 Pre-Lit Teton Pine Artificial Christmas Tree
Varied needles give a full look
Easy to assemble and take down
Don't need gloves to assemble
Can assemble with one person
Lights don't extend to the end of the branches
No variations of lights
After a full day of testing, the Puleo International Teton Pine Artificial Christmas Tree was a clear winner. With its classic appeal, this 7.5-foot pre-lit tree received high scores from our testers across all categories—including the incredibly important appearance category.
The branches on this option vary in size and shape, giving it a very full appearance that rivals a natural tree. And unlike other artificial trees, the "needles" also felt soft while assembling—no gloves required. Our tester noted that you only need one person and assembly took about 17 minutes, which we love. The base and tree stand were both simple to assemble and felt sturdy enough to handle heavier ornaments and garlands. Disassembling and storing the tree was even easier, only taking about five minutes with no visible damage or bulging on the included box.
One downside of this tree is that the lighting does not reach the very bottom of the branches; in addition, all of the lights are white without the choice of variation. That being said, it's easy to wrap around another string of your favorite colored lights for a different look each holiday season. Plus, it should be easy to locate and fix specific broken bulbs: "When one light is out only a small section is impacted so it would be easy to troubleshoot the missing bulb," said our tester.
Editor's Note: Due to high demand, this tree is currently out of stock. Until then, we recommend checking out the Puleo International 7.5 Foot Pre-Lit Elegant Series Fraser Fir Artificial Christmas Tree. While we didn't test it, it's the same brand we loved in a similar style, size, and price point.
Price at time of publish: $560
Height: 7.5 feet | Base Diameter: 52 inches | Lights: Yes | Special Features: PVC tips on branches, lights remain lit if one goes out, Varied branches
National Tree Company Kingswood Fir Slim Artificial Christmas Tree
Sturdy branches or ornaments
Quick assembly and disassembly
Not the most realistic
If you’re looking for a more minimal tree that you can make your own, the National Tree Company Artificial Slim Christmas Tree is a great option. This simple tree is free of any lighting or decor, so you can decorate it with your own style—and even change it up year after year.
Assembly for this tree was quick (less than seven minutes) and only required one person. The sections were far lighter in weight than other options, and the branches were easy to pull apart for intuitive and quick fluffing. Disassembly was even easier, with no instructions needed. The tree compresses easily and fits well into its storage box.
This tree's slim appearance is ideal for tight corners and small spaces, but lends it a slightly less realistic appearance. The tree still feels sturdy enough to handle ornaments and tree toppers, so it's perfect for those looking to get fancy with decorations.
Price at time of publish: $76
Height: 7.5 feet | Base Diameter: 30 inches | Lights: No | Special Features: N/A
Balsam Hill Vermont White Spruce
Offered in six sizes
True Needle branch tip technology
Five light options
Extremely realistic and beautiful
Very heavy and bulky
Need many people to assemble and disassemble
One of the best parts about artificial Christmas trees is that you can find options that look and feel just like the real thing. Take Balsam Hill's Vermont White Spruce, which earned a perfect score for its realistic appearance.
Regarding both assembly and disassembly, we found it helpful to have another person on hand as the pieces are somewhat heavy. Our testers found that one person should align the sections (there are helpful arrows on the sections) and the other should insert the pieces. Still, we found the instructions to be thorough and helpful, but the heaviness of the tree makes it difficult to assemble and disassemble without help.
The size and weight of this pick definitely make it more difficult to assemble, but it also contributes to the tree's lush, realistic appearance. Balsam Hill models its artificial trees after nature, with True Needle technology for optimal realism and fullness. We tested the 7.5-foot option, but it comes in five other sizes to fit any room or space. Plus, there's an option to add Twinkly smart lights for an added price, so you can create beautiful light shows in your living room with just your smartphone.
Price at time of publish: $2,399
Height: 7.5 feet | Base Diameter: 63 inches | Lights: Yes | Special Features: True Needle branch tip technology
Tree Classics by Balsam Hill Real-Feel Heritage Balsam Spruce Faux Christmas Tree
Realistic look and feel of needles
Full look after fluffing
Options for tall tree
Hard to assemble due to height
Some needles point down
If your top priority is bright festive lights, consider the Real-Feel Heritage Balsam Spruce Faux Christmas Tree from Pottery Barn. Choose the lighted option that works for you, from a fully white tree to color-changing lights for a more festive look.
Don’t worry if this is your first time assembling an artificial tree: the instructions in the box were very comprehensive, but our tester didn't even need to reach for them until getting to the top piece. We tested the 9-foot option, which makes the top sections especially difficult to place, but there are also 6- and 7-foot options for smaller spaces, lower ceilings, or tighter budgets.
One of our other favorite features that stood out from the other 12 trees we tested was the sturdiness, with three ways to tighten this tree. The mix of PVC and "feel real" needles add to the realistic appearance of this tree and make the perfect base for a stunning tree topper. Just note that some of the bottom branches can point downwards, so keep heavy ornaments near the top.
Price at time of publish: $1,699 for 9'
Height: 9 feet | Base Diameter: 61 inches | Lights: Yes | Special Features: Real-Feel branches
Grandin Road Long Needle Tinsel Tree
Shiny, bright finish
Dispersed and attractive lighting
Assembly may require two people
Fluffing can be time consuming
If you don’t have a collection of ornaments—or just don’t have the time to decorate—a tree that doubles as decoration, like the Grandin Road Long Needle Tinsel Tree, is a great option.
The tree includes 550 clear lights that add to the festive vibe, while the metallic finish and frosted look give a beautiful glowing appearance to this tree, so it looks beautiful without a single ornament. Of course, you can add in some extra tinsel or colored lights, but our testers loved this tree's appearance as-is (even though a few needles may fall off when fluffing).
Unfortunately, this wasn't the easiest tree to assemble, especially when it came to connecting the lights. It took almost 20 minutes with two people, so be sure to set some time aside during decorating. Our tester noted that fluffing to perfection may take a while, but luckily, the branches are super easy to move. They also feel extremely sturdy, so don't be afraid to break out the heavy ornaments this year!
Price at time of publish: $799
Height: 7.5 feet | Base Diameter: 51 inches | Lights: Yes | Special Features: Shiny metallic finish
Vickerman 7.5-ft. Flocked Alaskan Pine Artificial Christmas Tree
Decorated with faux snow
Stable branches for ornaments
Two different light styles
With Vickerman's Flocked Alaskan Pine Artificial Christmas Tree, you get realistic flocking that’ll make your home a winter wonderland. Assembly and disassembly both received high scores, as we found it easy to lift each piece out of the box and put it back in the box for storage. We love that there are no complicated wires to connect, so it took less than 15 minutes to complete. Just note that disassembling can be a bit difficult, mostly due to the tree's heavy weight.
Once set up, we loved the frosted look that brings a bit of snow into your home, even if you live in a warmer climate. Another plus of this pick is the different light shapes and sizes included. The 800 bright clear lights are broken up by 45 larger bulbs that look make this tree look gorgeous without any ornaments. If you want to add some extra decoration, you'll be pleased to know that our tester found the branches extremely sturdy. "It would support heavy ornaments with ease. As I was placing the ornaments, the tree did not sway much or shake," they shared.
Price at time of publish: $903
Height: 7.5 feet | Base Diameter: 68 inches | Lights: Yes | Special Features: Faux snow, Two different light styles
Wondershop 7.5-ft. Pre-Lit Slim Virginia Pine Artificial Christmas Tree
Varied, realistic branches
Easy to store
Thin tree doesn't look full compared to other options
If you’re decorating a smaller space or want a tree with a slimmer profile, consider Wondershop's Pre-Lit Slim Virginia Pine, which earned high scores for its ease of assembly, disassembly, and appearance.
We thought the assembly was simple, taking just over 12 minutes with two people helping. Our tester did note that the sections are stacked inside each other upon arrival, so be sure to take them apart before stacking. The tree is pre-lit with 400 clear lights and the varied needles, including some made from cashmere, give it a realistic look. The branches fluffed easily to hide any bare spots for a full effect.
The lightweight tree came apart and stored extremely easily, which adds to this pick's value. It comes at a competitive price, to begin with, and the easy storage ensures you can reuse this option year after year.
Height: 7.5 feet | Base Diameter: 38 inches | Lights: Yes | Special Features: Cashmere needle tips for a realistic look
Best Choice Products 7.5-ft Premium Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree
Quick to disassemble
Taller and shorter options
Takes a lot of fluffing to perfect
If you're looking to decorate a big room with high ceilings, consider a tree with a tall option like this spruce option from Best Choice Products. Our lab tested the 7.5-foot version, which is a pretty standard height for artificial trees, but it also comes in a 6-foot and 9-foot option for those looking for something a bit taller.
Set-up took less than 13 minutes thanks to the helpful instructions. It definitely takes a long time to perfect this tree by pushing down and fluffing all of the branches for a full appearance. If you don't have a full hour to spare, expect a bit of the trunk to show, but with lights and decor, you won't even notice. This tree comes unlit, so you have free range to decorate this pick any way you wish.
Disassembly took less than five minutes, so storing this tree to prepare for next year is a breeze. While it's not extremely realistic looking, it comes at a budget-friendly price and the stable tree ensures you can use it again and again.
Price at time of publish: $140
Height: 6, 7.5, 9 feet | Base Diameter: 52 inches | Lights: No | Special Features: N/A
Treetopia Artificial Pencil Christmas Tree
Easy to assemble and disassemble
Different light settings with foot pedal
Smaller than other options
If you think holiday decor has to be expensive, allow us to introduce you to this slim artificial tree from Treetopia. The budget-friendly design is an easy way to bring holiday cheer into your home without breaking the bank.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the tree is how simple it was to assemble and disassemble—we were able to put it together in under 10 minutes and store the tree in its original box in under three minutes, earning it a five out of five on our scale. The 250 lights come pre-strung and include a foot pedal to easily turn them on and off. There are eight different light functions to choose from to create different looks with just one tree.
The lightweight tree, which was a foot shorter than most of the trees we tested, would also be great for entryways and smaller rooms. The pencil shape adds a bit more interest than the classic Christmas tree shape, and this pick feels sturdy enough to support intricate decorations.
Editor's Note: Due to high demand, this tree is currently out of stock. Until then, we recommend checking out the National Tree Company Artificial Slim Christmas Tree, another budget-friendly pick that's slim enough for small spaces.
Height: 6.5 feet | Base Diameter: 28 inches | Lights: No | Special Features: N/A
Out of all of the trees we tested, our favorite was the Puleo International 7.5 Pre-Lit Teton Pine Artificial Christmas Tree, which impressed our testers with its realistic needles and quick assembly time. If you’re looking for a simpler tree for your home, we like the National Tree Company Artificial Slim Christmas Tree as our best unlit pick. Its slim design makes it the best choice for smaller spaces, and it comes without built-in lights to keep the price lower.
How We Tested the Artificial Christmas Trees
To make this list, members of The Spruce’s editorial team tested 24 artificial Christmas trees at The Lab for ease of assembly and disassembly, appearance, appearance, sturdiness, and overall value. For a full day, we assembled and disassembled each tree, rearranged the branches, installed lights, and tested the stability of the trees. Then we gave our own numbered ratings for each factor.
To test the ease of assembly and disassembly, we timed how long it took to set up and store each tree and noted everything from the quality of the instructions to how heavy the pieces felt. When considering appearance, we judged the quality of the needles, lights, branches, and trunk to determine if the tree had a lifelike quality. Finally, we used weighted ornaments to determine how strong the branches felt and whether the tree as a whole felt stable enough to hold the ornaments. We then selected our top eight trees, based on our own testing results and scores.
What to Look for in an Artificial Christmas Tree
On average, Christmas trees are about 7.5-feet tall. Though many will have a traditional, full look, there are also slim options out there if you’re working with limited floor space. "The standard width is about 48 inches to 54”," says lifelike trees buyer at English Gardens Dean Darin.
Ease of Assembly
Christmas trees typically come in three sections that lock into each other, making them easy to assemble. When choosing a tree, however, check the weight of the tree—if it’s on the heavier side, it may require at least two people and more time to put together.
Lighting can also be a tricky part of the assembly. While some options have to be plugged into an outlet, many require you to connect multiple plugs throughout the tree, a process that may lengthen assembly time.
You also need to factor in the time you’ll spend making the branches look full and minimizing gaps. In our testing, we found this to be time-consuming. However, some trees made the process easier and more comfortable than others. In addition, some trees have stiff branches and needles that can scratch, so we recommend wearing long sleeves and a pair of gardening gloves during setup.
Some trees will offer a simple warm white light with one setting, while others include both white and multicolor lighting with an assortment of settings.
SwayM.E. Vegas' Michelle Essix's philosophy is the more lights, the better. "Buying a pre-lit tree that has both colored lights and white lights allows for more versatility in design. Current trees are so advanced that when adding each piece on, it automatically connects the lights so that you are not searching for plugs. It really makes the tree sparkle," she says.
Some trees may have additional features that suit your style. For example, if a tree has lighting, it may also include an on/off foot pedal that makes it easy to control. Other trees may be pre-decorated with ornaments or faux snow for a winter look. All of these upgrades can add to the cost of the tree, so it may not be worth it to you to add them.
What is flocking?
Flocking refers to artificial snow, which is a popular decorative element sometimes added to trees to create the look of a winter scene in your home. While there are options out there that are pre-flocked for your convenience, you can purchase faux snow separately to create a custom look on your tree.
FYI: Darin also shares that flocking can lead to yellowing when placed in direct sunlight, so be sure to pick a shady spot for your flocked tree. Also, flocking can be quite messy!
How long can you keep your Christmas tree up?
"You can have your tree up for four to six weeks and not worry about it drying out," says Darin. "Many people spend hundreds on decorations and on a fresh cut tree can only enjoy them for about two weeks—then the tree is dried out and really should be removed from a home," he says.
But for artificial trees, there are no rules. They are meant to be used season after season as long as they are stored correctly.
How do you store an artificial Christmas tree?
Darin advises storing the tree in a cool location, like the basement. "An attic or garage usually is too hot and the tree needles will start to get deformed in the heat," he says.
After you disassemble the tree, you’ll want to press the branches together in each section so they become compact enough to fit back into the box it came in. To make it easier, you can purchase ribbons or ropes to hold the branches in place.
Some trees may come with a storage bag, but testers found that the loose structure of a bag can take up a bit more space versus when the tree is stored in a box.
Are all artificial Christmas trees toxic?
Yes, all artificial Christmas trees contain toxins. Almost all trees are made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC and the others are made of less toxic plastics. The chemicals present in PVC are associated with negative health impacts. To limit exposure to these chemicals, leave your brand-new artificial tree outdoors for a few days before bringing it inside so it has a chance to air out some of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
Can you recycle artificial Christmas trees?
Artificial Christmas trees unfortunately cannot be recycled because they are made of PVC plastics. There are some specialty recycling organizations that will take them and repurpose the materials. Your municipality may also offer curbside services to remove your tree, but it will be destined for the landfill.
Another option is to donate your former tree to local charities, hospitals, or thrift stores.
Can you shorten an artficial Christmas tree?
It's not advisable to try to shorten your artificial Christmas tree. Unlike a real tree, artificial trees are not designed to be resized once brought into the home. Many of the trees on this list offer more than one size. We recommend measuring your ceiling height before you purchase your tree, calculating about twelve inches from the top of the tree to account for a standard Christmas tree topper, and finally think outside the box when it comes to decorating.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more. Before testing, we searched through hundreds of artificial Christmas tree options, looking at customer satisfaction, price, and features to determine which trees we would choose to put to the test.