When it’s time to deck the halls, you want to be sure you're investing in the best holiday decorations on the market. And while choosing the right ornament is all about personal preference, there are plenty of high-quality basics that everyone will need.
We’ve tracked down some of the best-reviewed artificial Christmas trees, tree stands, and string lights on the market today. Whether you want budget-friendly trimmings or lavish holiday décor, you’ll find some items worthy of consideration... below.
Available in 7.5- and 9-foot versions, the National Tree North Valley Spruce is an especially good value for the money, reviewers say. The 7.5-foot tree has a 52-inch base and 1,346 branch tips; the 9-foot tree has a 65-inch base and 2,128 branch tips.
The three-section National Tree spruce features all-metal hinged branch construction that reviewers say makes the tree easy to set up: The branches simply fold down without any chance of getting tangled, they say. Most report that fluffing the tree... is an easy process, and the result is a realistic, full-looking tree with a pleasingly uniform shape. The tree is flame-resistant and non-allergenic, and sits atop a folding metal stand that owners say is admirably sturdy, even when tested by intrepid pets or kids.
If holiday gifts have already stretched your budget, the Best Choice Premium Hinged Artificial Christmas Pine Tree will be a welcome option in a sea of pricey artificial trees. The 6-foot tree has a 55-inch base and 1,000 branch tips, and reviewers say it’s hard to do better for less than $50.
Like many trees, the Best Choice pine comes in three sections and has hinged metal branches that reviewers say allow for fairly painless setup, especially compared to other budget trees that require buyers... to attach each branch individually to a center pole. While most reviewers say the tree is pleasingly full after being fluffed, some say it is actually several inches shy of 6 feet tall. It comes with a metal base that owners say is stable.
Buyers ready to invest in a tree that will wow family and friends year after year will want to check out the Balsam Hill BH Balsam Fir Prelit Artificial Christmas Tree, which owners say is as close as you can get to the real thing without buying a real tree. The tree is available in five heights: 5½, 6½, 7, 7½, and 9 feet. The 7-foot tree has a 56-inch base and a staggering 5,062 branch tips.
The Balsam Hill BH Balsam Fir comes with 1,400 hand-strung lights, and buyers can choose from clear or... colored; more-efficient LED lights and unlit trees are also available. This tree wowed editors at GoodHousekeeping.com, who praise its vibrant green needles and convincing fullness. Owners agree that realism a strong suit here, and they say the three-piece construction and hinged branches make set up easy. The tree comes with a metal stand, storage bag, extra bulbs and fuses, cotton gloves and a remote control.
If you're opting for a real tree this year you'll need a tree stand. The Emerald Innovations XTS3 tree stand draws raves because it’s long-lasting and easy to use—exactly what users say they want in a tree stand. This stand will accommodate all but the largest trees, maxing out at trees that are 10 feet tall with trunks up to 5 inches in diameter.
Using the Emerald Innovations XTS3 is a simple three-step process: Users put a clamp on the trunk, insert the clamp into the base, and swivel... the tree until it locks in place—some report that they can even do this without help. The stand holds up to 3½ quarts of water, just shy of a gallon, and is made of a durable impact-resistant polymer that won’t rust, crack, or damage floors. It has a 19-inch base.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
A lower-cost tree stand that doesn’t skimp on quality, the Cinco C-148E Express Tree Stand does a good job keeping trees stable, especially for the price, reviewers say. It works with trees up to 10 feet tall with trunks up to 7 inches in diameter.
The Cinco stand uses three galvanized metal screw-in braces with a push-pull ratcheting mechanism to keep trees upright. Users say setup is as simple as twisting the screws, and though it’s easiest with two people, the process is still relatively... painless. They also appreciate the large 2-gallon water reservoir. Quality control may be an issue: A few reviewers warn that they received units with missing parts.
Is it worth spending big bucks on a tree stand? Reviewers say the Krinner Christmas Tree Genie XXL is worth the investment because it can keep even the largest trees sturdy and stable. This stand will accommodate trees up to 12 feet tall with trunks up to 7 inches.
What really makes the Krinner stand shine is ease of use, owners say. They simply place the tree in the middle of the stand and pump a foot pedal until the trunk is secure. A level indicator assures users that the tree is stable. The... stand has a 20-inch base and holds 2½ gallons of water.
It can be hard to improve on basic white string lights, but reviewers say the Novelty Lights Commercial Grade Mini Light Set manages to do it. The 100-light strand is 34 feet long and features a light every 4 inches, whereas most other string lights feature 6-inch spacing. Buyers can also choose from four wire colors: green, white, brown, or black. The lights can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Reviewers say the Novelty Lights seem sturdier and more durable than typical string lights, and they... love the tighter spacing between lights that makes for a more brilliant display and less unsightly bare wire. The 3,000-hour bulbs cast a warm, soft glow, they say. Up to five strings of lights can be connected to one plug, and one light can go out without running the whole strand. The lights are unable to blink or flash, however.
Buyers who need basic string lights at a budget-friendly price could do much worse than the Holiday Wonderland Christmas Light Set, reviewers say. The 100-light strand is just shy of 25 feet long and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The lights are available in clear, red, blue, or multi-color; all have green wire.
There is only 3 inches between lights on the Holiday Wonderland Set, making for dense, bright displays that reviewers love. Up to five strings of lights can be connected to one... plug, and the manufacturer says one dead light won’t affect the rest of the strand. However, while most reviewers report trouble-free use, a few owners say large chunks of the string burned out at once. Others say they received lights that were broken or dead out of the box. The set comes with two flasher bulbs.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
GDEALER’s Solar String Lights are fully waterproof, but they also have another convenient outdoor bonus: They’re solar-powered, running up to eight hours on a full charge. They also light up automatically at dusk. The 200-light strand is 72 feet long and can be used indoors as well. Both white and multi-color versions are available.
Owners of these lights say they’re extremely convenient—they love not having to find an outdoor plug, fuss with extension cords, or remember to turn the lights on and... off at the right times. They also love the long 72-foot length, which makes it easy to string them around even large trees, porches and yards. Eight special effects include flash, slow fade, twinkle, and light waves. The solar power panel has a plastic garden spike on the bottom for ideal positioning, but some reviewers wish for metal to better accommodate hard, cold ground. Others say their lights didn’t hold a charge and stopped working.
LEDs are more efficient and cooler to the touch than other string lights, and TaoTronics Dimmable LED String Lights deliver on both counts and much more, reviewers say. The 100-light stand is 33 feet long and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The lights are available in both white and multi-color versions; buyers can also select non-dimmable lights.
The TaoTronics lights come with a 5-foot adapter cord and a remote control that allows users to select from 10 brightness levels; flash,... strobe, or fade; or turn the lights off and on. The copper wire is also easily molded to cling to certain shapes, making it simple to wind these lights around trees, porch rails or other places. Reviewers love the remote and say the lights are easy to put up because the wire maintains its shape. However, some caution that they aren’t truly weatherproof because the remote control receiver itself cannot be exposed to rain.
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