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The Best Artificial Christmas Trees, According to Testing

These trees look so realistic, you can’t even tell they’re fake.

We’ve been testing artificial Christmas trees in the Good Housekeeping Institute for more than 15 years, so we know that many of them not only look like the real deal, investing in a high-quality fake tree can save you time and money down the line.

But, just like there are so many different types of real Christmas trees, fake trees come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles and the most desired are often found at https://www.kingofchristmas.com. So if you’re on the hunt for the best artificial Christmas tree, it can really come down to a matter of personal preference in our experience. Here, we’re recommending our top picks from trusted brands based on extensive research and recent evaluations, but if they’re not quite your style, poke around the manufacturers’ sites and you’re bound to find the perfect tree for your needs.

From Christmas light projectors to outdoor twinkle lights to solar Christmas lights, our engineers and product analysts test all types of holiday decorations. When testing artificial trees, we review a variety of criteria, including ease of assembly and disassembly, appearance, safety and durability. We do everything from trying to tip the trees over to test their stability, to seeing if they catch on fire in our Lab’s flammability chamber.

Read our reviews below, and find more expert advice on what to look for when shopping for a fake Christmas tree at the bottom of this guide. Once you find the best fake tree for your family, check out our guide to the best tree stands — or reference the best Christmas tree delivery services if you decide to go the real tree route!

BEST OVERALL ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

Balsam Hill 7.5′ Vermont White Spruce

The top performer in our tests, the Vermont White Spruce is also Balsam Hill’s most popular offering, thanks to its realistic, attractive design and traditional, full silhouette available in a range of heights, from 4.5 feet to 11 feet. You can purchase your tree unlit or choose among a variety of UL-certified lighting options, like twinkling LED lights, which allow you to alternate between festive colors and light shows.

GH Institute Test Engineer Alec Scherma says he found setting up this tree to be super simple: Snap the sections together, plug the tree into an outlet and then use the included foot pedal or remote to turn the lights on. He also notes that this tree appeared much fuller compared to other models in our most recent round of testing. When disassembling, there’s no need to remove the lights; simply detach the tree sections and store away until next year.

Another pro of Balsam Hill if you’re the type who likes to deck out your home in holiday cheer: The brand also sells a wide variety of high-quality wreaths and garlands that pair nicely with its faux trees.

BEST VALUE ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

Best Choice Products Premium Artificial Pine Christmas Tree

If you’re looking to spend less than $100, this budget buy is a worthy choice. With thousands of five-star reviews, it’s one of Amazon’s top-selling faux Christmas trees, measuring a solid 6 feet tall with plenty of fluffy, full needles.

Our pros like its timeless Douglas fir-inspired branches, ready to be decorated with your favorite ornaments. “It’s full and looks great once you get the branches spread out,” one Amazon reviewer noted. “This tree is undeniably one of the best your money can buy! The tree has fullness, it’s pretty and perfectly shaped,” said another.

We also like that it’s available in green or white, and for a bit extra, you can opt for the pre-lit version. Just keep in mind that it may not be as sturdy as other premium (read: higher cost) models.

BEST ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE WITH SNOW

Best Choice Products Pre-Lit Snow Flocked Artificial Pine Christmas Tree

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, then this fake flocked Christmas tree is for you. Available in a variety of sizes, from 4.5 to 9 feet, you can opt for the height that’s best for your space. A high tip count and plenty of branches contribute to its lush, full shape. We also appreciate that warm white lights are pre-strung so this tree looks festive and elegant as soon as it’s set up. The downside: The flocking got everywhere when we assembled this white Christmas tree in our Lab. That said, our testers found it very easy to put together.

BEST TRADITIONAL ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

Balsam Hill 7.5′ Classic Blue Spruce

If you’re looking for a more affordable tree from Balsam Hill, we recommend this classic blue spruce. Featuring soft yet sturdy needles and a beautiful blue-green hue, it’s no surprise that this fake tree was a top performer in our Lab evaluations.

Not only did it score well for ease of use, but it comes with some nice extras, like gloves for scratch-free fluffing, a storage bag and replacement bulbs (if purchasing the prelit version). Like other Balsam Hill artificial Christmas trees, you’re free to choose from a variety of lighting options that enable you to turn the tree on and off with a quick tap of a handy foot pedal. “The lights are amazing and automatically connect,” Scherma notes, thanks to the light connector built into the trunk of the tree.

BEST ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE FOR SMALL SPACES

Puleo International Pre-Lit Potted Flocked Arctic Fir Artificial Christmas Tree

Maybe you want to set up a small fake Christmas tree in your dining room, porch or office. We recommend this baby fir tree, which is flocked to create a true winter wonderland vibe.

It sits on a rustic potted base that’s 24″ in width and is available in either 4.5 or 6 feet heights. In our Lab evaluations, we found it very easy to assemble and appreciated its unique, petite design that set it apart from other artificial Christmas trees.

The tree is pre-lit and casts a pretty warm glow, thanks to clear lights. “The flocking goes over the lights, which is unique and blends in well,” Scherma says. It’s the perfect size for those that don’t have large spaces but want something that stands out.

BEST PINE ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

National Tree Company Carolina Pine Tree

If you’re looking for a Christmas tree that looks like it hails straight from the mountains, consider this pick from National Tree Company. Featuring flocked pinecones and pre-strung clear, white lights, you can leave the tree as is for a simple, rustic vibe or add extra decorations and ornaments to fully fill it out.

National Tree Company trees have performed well in our tests, thanks to their quality design and construction. It did take some time to fluff out all the branches during set up — but once the tree was up and ready, it looked like the real deal. Overall, we found assembly straightforward, and that the lights were evenly strung out.

We also appreciate that even if one bulb burns out, the remaining lights will stay lit. Just note that this tree only comes in a 7.5 foot height, so you’ll want to make sure you have the ceiling height to accommodate it before purchasing.

To evaluate which artificial trees deserve a spot in your home, we first set up Christmas trees in our Lab to see how easy they are to assemble and shape. We take note of how long the assembly process takes as well as how easy it is to remove the tree from the box, open it up and fluff the branches. Once set up, artificial Christmas trees are evaluated for their aesthetics, including how realistic the tree looks.

We then verify the tree’s safety and durability, testing for flame retardancy in our flammability chamber and performing in-Lab stability checks, such as tip-over tests in which our pros determine how much force would be required to knock over an artificial tree. We also consider any ASTM International conformance testing for characteristics like corrosion resistance and tension. For pre-lit trees, our experts also verify that the tree is UL-certified for safety.

 

We then assess how easy it is to light the tree and how evenly distributed the lights are. Once we’re done, we score how easy it is to disassemble the tree and put it into storage, taking note of any that are more compact.

 

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