10 of the Best Artificial Christmas Trees

Searching for the best artificial Christmas trees to put up in your home? We researched and tested the top picks for flocked, slim and full options.

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‘Tis the season to deck the halls—and if you’re as fanatical as us, the bedrooms, front yard, living room and kitchen, too! Our favorite way to pack a Christmas punch is with an over-the-top festive, tastefully imposing tree.

Faux trees make decorating your space especially easy (and mess-free), but selecting which one to buy among the hundreds, if not thousands, online is dizzying. Some are too sparse, others too fake-looking and others yet too difficult to store. And you’d never be able to tell any of this from the online listing, so we took on the task for you.

We researched and tested the best artificial Christmas trees out there, then sorted them by category so you can choose which one works best for your space and your squad. Based on our thorough and honest assessments, you can be certain that when the Christmas centerpiece arrives at your doorstep, it’ll be just as stunning as you’d hoped.

The Best Artificial Christmas Trees

1 / 10

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Best Overall Christmas Tree

Grandin Road Woodside Tree

Our team was blown away by this winner from Grandin Road. In addition to standing precisely nine feet tall as advertised, the tree measured up in every other way imaginable. (A 7.5-foot version is also available.) After assembling the admittedly hefty tree, which is four pieces plus a base, in under seven minutes, the testers just had to plug in the Christmas lights to make the rest of the magic happen. The glowy yellow bulbs were evenly distributed on the tree, and the needles were nice to the touch and ultra-realistic, which made for easy fluffing.

The fluffing process took about 15 minutes, but we all agreed we could’ve gotten away with fluffing for half the time. (Note: A few small 3-inch branches snapped off during fluffing.) The branches were pliable, somewhat of a rarity in realistic-looking trees, so the user can primp the tree until it looks exactly how they please. This also comes in handy when hanging ornaments. If a heavier ornament causes a branch to droop, you can simply bend the branch upward to mitigate that effect. That being said, this tree could readily handle heavy ornaments up to 5 ounces.

In sum, this tree is as high-performing as it is pretty. The setup, including the lighting and fluffing, was straightforward and fast, and the finished product is stunning enough to sway even real-tree faithfuls. One of our colleagues who falls into this category admitted, “The brown branches and realistic greens make me seriously consider switching to artificial.” It’s a substantial investment that we feel is well worth it.


  • Easy-connect lights with plentiful, evenly dispersed bulbs
  • Quick and easy to fluff with non-scratchy branches
  • Incredibly realistic
  • Suitable to hold heavy ornaments
  • Pliable branches
  • Full, dense classic “Christmas tree” look


  • Heavy box requiring two-person transport and setup
  • Only two heights available
  • A handful of branches snapped off during fluffing

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2 / 10

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Best Pre-Lit Christmas Tree

Balsam Hill Fraser Fir with Twinkly Light Show

If you’re Team Lights more so than Team Ornaments, this showy Balsam Hill Fraser Fir is the tree for you. When it comes to Christmas trees, Balsam Hill has been the brand to beat for more than a decade, and this customizable tree that comes in six sizes makes it clear why. Fitted out with more than 500 Twinkly lights, it works in conjunction with a phone app to display dozens (yes, dozens) of lights effects that pan, flash, shift and all-around dazzle. The testers had tons of fun toying around with the handful of presets and could’ve kept exploring this smart tree’s capabilities for hours if time allowed.

Although these bulbs can’t be replaced, they’re LED lights, so they should last a long time, and if they don’t, they’re backed by a best-in-class three-year warranty that covers the tree as well as the lights. You shouldn’t need to employ the warranty for either, though. This tree doesn’t shed, assembles easily, boasts one of the highest-quality bases we saw and stores inside a conveniently included bag. It was a little tricky to fluff—the hyper-realistic branches aren’t very bendy, but the tree looked great after about 10 minutes of finessing.

Our main drawback is that the Balsam Hill tree didn’t hold our heavy 5-ounce ornament very well. That being said, if you put heavy decor toward the trunk and/or toward the bottom of the tree, you should be OK. But who’s looking at the ornaments amid those mesmerizing lights anyway?


  • Storage bag included
  • Fun, flashy customizable LED lights
  • Quick to fluff
  • No shedding
  • Three heights available
  • 3-year warranty


  • Fairly wobbly
  • Drooped significantly with heaviest ornaments
  • Pricey

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3 / 10

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Best Budget Christmas Tree

Holiday Living Norman Pencil Flocked Tree

This flocked cutie from Lowe’s was the least expensive tree in our entire makeshift Christmas tree farm by more than $100. Although it can hardly be compared to those that cost more than $1000, we found this $128 item to be an amazing value. We’d recommend setting it up in an area that can easily be swept or vacuumed because the flocking will flake off, but once it’s ready to shine after only about 2 minutes of setup, it will do just that: shine. There are multiple light settings, including colored and white options that perform nine functions altogether (you have to connect various cords around the tree before the lights are operational).

Next came the fluffing, which arguably wasn’t even necessary. The testers only fussed with this flocked tree for about five minutes before it looked totally presentable. The whole process from unboxing to decorating could take under 10 minutes if you hustled. And we’d go so far as to say, thanks to the heavy flocking and funky lights, this skinny little thing looks handsome enough without anything hung on it. If you do choose to add ornaments, though, keep in mind that it’s best suited to hold light-to-medium ones.


  • Fastest setup of all the trees
  • Great value for just $128
  • Small footprint
  • Multiple light settings, both colored and white
  • Required very little fluffing


  • Quite messy
  • Doesn’t support heavy ornaments very well
  • Slightly rickety with lower-quality hardware

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4 / 10

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Best Splurge Christmas Tree

Frontgate Classic Fraser Fir Tree

For some, money is no object when it comes to Christmas decorations. And if you’re dedicated to decking your halls to the highest degree, then the Frontgate Classic Fraser Fir Tree should be an instant “Add to Cart.” Available in 7.5, 9 and 10 feet, this bluish beauty looks super realistic. We assembled and assessed the 9-foot model, which shipped in two boxes and was split into five pieces, plus the base. Although it’s a bit of a behemoth, the breakdown of the tree into so many parts made it easy to build. The fluffing? Not so easy.

The branches are barely maneuverable and quite scratchy. However, these negatives are cancelled out by the fact that the tree is full and lush straight from the box, and arm protectors and gloves are included in the event that you want to futz with the tree anyway. The hundreds of beautiful branches hold ornaments of all sizes and weights with ease, and the brown trunk was one of the most realistic of the bunch. Thanks to this tree’s heft and sturdiness, you can load it up to your heart’s content. The needles and LED lights both have cool undertones, so this is the perfect pick for someone looking to create an icy winter wonderland within their home.


  • Accessories including arm protectors, gloves, lights, fuses, etc.
  • Three sizes available
  • Easy-connect, remote-controlled lights
  • Fairly sturdy, thanks to high-quality 3-foot base
  • No shedding
  • Very realistic-looking with a unique bluish hue
  • Suitable for ornaments of all weights


  • Very scratchy branches
  • Difficult to fluff
  • Expensive

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5 / 10

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Best Slim Christmas Tree

Grandin Road Classic Slim Tree

Whether it’s due to spatial restraints or personal tastes, some people want a slim Christmas tree, and this one from Grandin Road delivers. Between the lightweight box and tree segments and the easy-connect lights, this tree allowed for quick one-person setup. The fluffing was just as simple. We took our time with it—about 16 minutes—which we were only able to do because of how pliable the branches are. This is a quality that our testers really valued. Additionally, the needles were made of two distinct textures: some a tissue-papery plastic with flat ends, and others a thicker plastic with rounded ends. We were actually at odds about which needles we preferred, so the healthy mix ensures both camps are satisfied.

This slender piece of decor is small but mighty. The branches, especially those with the thicker plastic needles, readily held the light, medium and heavy ornaments during our tests. Its abundance of sturdy branches will make for a beautifully decorated tree in no time. All that said, this certainly isn’t the most realistic tree of the group. It’s noticeably artificial, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also look good! And thanks to its slim silhouette, it easily fits back into its box for off-season storing. (Psst! Peep this wrapping paper organizer for more easy off-season storing.)


  • Fast one-person setup
  • Easy-connect lights
  • Small footprint
  • Easy to fluff
  • Dual-textured branches
  • Suitable to hold ornaments of all weights
  • Easy to store


  • A little wobbly
  • Less realistic than others
  • Lightbulbs are somewhat sparse
  • Only two heights available
  • Slightly overpriced

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6 / 10

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Best Flocked Christmas Tree

Terrain Snowy Norway Spruce Tree

You can make it a white Christmas no matter where you live with the gorgeous Terrain Snowy Norway Spruce Tree. First, let’s talk packaging. Although it might not be the sexiest subject, it’s very important. The Terrain tree came in a sturdy box with handles and the various tree segments were arranged in the box loosely, without any wasteful bubblewrap or plastic. As if that wasn’t good enough, there’s also a storage bag in which to stow the tree until next season.

Now, on to the fun stuff. The parts of this tree clicked together seamlessly, and the twinkly white lights with eight functions were easy to connect. We needed to primp this snowy tree and its flexible branches for about eight minutes, and during this time, very few needles and very little flocking fell off. This pick is on the slightly sparser side, so it’s a good thing the flocking and tree are so natural-looking. This also makes it one of our favorite vessels for ornaments. It held the 1-, 2.5- and 5-ounce ornaments with ease, and the upturned design of the branches makes them especially perfect for presenting your trinkets.


  • Included storage bag
  • Minimal shedding of flocking or needles
  • Easy-connect white lights with various display settings
  • Packaged well and with little waste
  • Easy and quick to setup and fluff
  • Realistic trunk and needles with tasteful flocking
  • Suitable for all ornaments


  • Slightly taller than advertised

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7 / 10

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Best Bare Christmas Tree

Holiday Living Snowy Berkshire Flocked Tree

When we rallied the on-site staff to choose their favorite Christmas tree from those we assembled, a whopping nine people voted for this snowy Holiday Living stunner (the second-best tree had five votes). Never would we have guessed a flocked tree would generate so much fanfare. But, golly, isn’t it gorgeous? Although it’s not quite as all-purpose as our overall winner, this tree, with its wispy, natural-looking needles, cute pinecones and tasteful flocking, charmed all of us. And the modest $278 price tag is just the angel on top.

This dazzling underdog took us just over two minutes to build and light, and only 5 minutes to fluff. The branches are fairly immovable, so it’s an “it is what it is” situation in terms of placement and positioning, but we were so pleased with the appearance of the tree right out of the box that this didn’t matter. The top third of the tree is the only portion that needed any real fluffing. Perhaps the most remarkable feat is that this tree didn’t shed at all—not even the flocking.

This would be the perfect tree for a rustic farmhouse or cozy cabin. And because it’s not the best candidate for ornaments due to its long needles, we even think it could be a worthy year-round addition to a space.

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  • Fast one-person assembly
  • Easy-connect lights
  • Distinct look with subdued flocking, pinecones and long needles
  • Hardly any fluffing required
  • No shedding of flocking or needles
  • Affordable
  • Exceptionally realistic for a flocked tree
  • Four heights available


  • Slightly taller than advertised
  • Not the best at holding ornaments

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8 / 10

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Best Sparse Christmas Tree

Terrain Woodland Fir Tree

Lovingly dubbed the “Charlie Brown tree” by those at Taste of Home headquarters throughout testing, this whimsical Terrain woodland fir is perfect for the ornament collectors of the world. There’s something to be said for the spaciousness, which lets any and all ornaments shine. The super sturdy branches with two types of needles certainly help that, too.

This tree was oh, so speedy to set up, in part due to the efficient packaging without any bubble wrap, foam or ties. From there, the testers plugged together various cords of lights around the body of the tree and then the outlet into the wall. The lights on this adorable decoration are tiny dewdrops that glow a cozy yellowish-white color. And with the button on the control box, you can switch the lights between eight modes like flashing and twinkling. Note: Due to the trees sparseness, you’re able to see some of the wiring.

Another perk of less branches means there’s less to fluff. It took us about five minutes to get the tree to a satisfactory spot. The branches aren’t particularly flexible, but we all agreed that the slight imperfections of this tree are part of its charm—and realism. It’s no easy task making a sparse fake tree look like its real counterparts, but this guy gets pretty dang close.

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  • Packaged well and with little waste
  • Fast one-person assembly due to its light weight
  • Charmingly sparse
  • Eight light functions with warm white bulbs
  • Quick to fluff
  • Pretty realistic for a sparse tree
  • Ideal for ornaments of all sizes, shapes and weights


  • Slightly unstable
  • Some visible cords

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9 / 10

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Best Realistic Christmas Tree

Balsam Hill Classic Blue Spruce Tree

If you looked up “Christmas tree” in the dictionary, there’s a chance you’d find an image of the Balsam Hill Classic Blue Spruce. Available from 4.5 feet to 12 feet, it’s the quintessential tree, with its full shape, real-looking needles and candlelight-inspired, easy-connect lights. Because of how lush the branches are, each tree section is fairly heavy, so setup works best as a two-person endeavor. With a little help, this tree should only talk about four minutes to assemble.

The fluffing, on the other hand, is a bit more of a time commitment. This 7.5-foot tree took the longest to fluff of all the trees (even longer than the nine-footers), but spending 20 minutes perfecting the placement of the branches was well worth it. The end result was a dense, head-turning tree. (S0 dense, in fact, you might not ever recover your pickle ornament!) And we weren’t worried about over-fluffing this tree because we knew that, when the time came to tear it down, we’d be able to stow it easily in the provided storage bag. If anything should go awry during the setup or tear-down process, the tree is backed by a three-year warranty.

When decorating this Christmasy majesty, we recommend hanging the heavier ornaments toward the bottom or center of the tree, as the branches best supported light-to-medium ornaments.

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  • Included storage bag
  • Dense, natural-looking branches
  • Plentiful warm white lightbulbs with easy-connect feature
  • Seven heights available
  • Easily maneuverable
  • Long-lasting, durable materials and parts
  • 3-year warranty


  • Fairly wobbly, likely due to the small base
  • Took the longest to fluff of all the trees
  • Doesn’t support heavy ornaments very well

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10 / 10

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Best Christmas Tree on Amazon

Fraser Hill Farm Foxtail Pine Tree

During our multi-day testing, this Fraser Hill Farm Foxtail Pine was the first tree we unboxed and built—and we unknowingly picked a good one to start us off. The needles are incredibly natural-looking, and though this took us nearly 20 minutes to fluff, with a bit of TLC, this can look like a truly real tree. During our first pass, we felt there were still some gaps between the three separate tree segments that left the hardware around the trunk visible, but with some more aggressive bending of the branches, we were able to get it looking beautiful. And in the midst of all this futzing and adjusting, barely any needles fell off.

The easy-connect lights only add to this tree’s beauty. There are 900 warm lightbulbs to accentuate your ornaments, tinsel and eventually our prettily wrapped Christmas presents. Speaking of, this tree passed our ornament test with flying colors, holding the various weights without issue. And if you do run into an issue with the tree, Fraser Hill Farm offers a limited one-year warranty.

Oh, and that’s not to mention the speedy (and potentially free!) shipping with Amazon. Christmas-loving procrastinators, rejoice!

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  • Easy-connect lights—and lots of ’em!
  • Very realistic needles
  • Maneuverable branches
  • Quick assembly
  • No shedding
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Suitable for ornaments of all weights
  • Fast shipping


  • Lights are wrapped around branches and trunk somewhat poorly
  • Unrealistic trunk with somewhat visible hardware
  • Took nearly 20 minutes to fluff due to gaps between branches and tree sections

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What to Look for When Buying an Artificial Christmas Tree

It can be tricky to search for an artificial Christmas tree online. If you’re having it shipped to your home, chances are, you won’t see it until it’s unboxed. In choosing the perfect tree for your needs, first consider the size and shape for your space. You might also want to consider the type of tree, and think about how realistic it looks, as well. Ease of setup and storage are also important, especially if you’re after a large tree.

You’ll also want to consider the price point. Now is the best time to buy an artificial Christmas tree because you’ll have your pick of the best selection. Keep an eye on Black Friday deals, too. We know you’re scoping out kitchen sales, but Black November is a great time to pick up a tree. Many major retailers are running sales.

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Why You Should Trust Us

We’re called Taste of Home, and we consider the holidays one of the most cherished things to happen within the home. So, we’ve made it one of our missions to ensure your holidays are special year after year, whether it’s with our Christmas cookie recipes, seasonal gift guides or decoration recommendations. The most iconic decoration of all is the artificial Christmas tree, which is why we sought to find the best one on the market. Our Test Kitchen team has been testing recipes and gadgets for more than two decades and our shopping team recently joined them in their testing endeavors. Needless to say, we’re experts at evaluating popular products, running tests on them and rating them honestly and fairly, which is exactly what we did with more than 10 of the best artificial Christmas trees.

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How We Found the Best Artificial Christmas Trees

First, we researched and identified popular Christmas trees in a number of styles and at various price points. The trees in this test ranged from $128 to $2,500 and included sparse, slim, flocked and full selections from various vendors. We gathered the top contenders in our office, where we tested them for three days. We set out with a handful of criteria we wanted to assess and tests we wanted to run. The steps for testing a Christmas tree might not be as obvious as, say, those for a kitchen appliance, but we knew we could still put these trees through the paces.

With one notetaker and two hands-on testers, we evaluated and rated the unboxing experience, setup, lights, fluffing process, realism, ornament-friendliness, takedown and price of each tree. For all of these categories, the trees received a numerical rating from one to five (five being the best), which we added together for a total tree score that helped guide our categorization and ranking of each tree. We sought to answer questions like: Does the tree end up looking like the online picture? Do we anticipate this tree lasting for many seasons? Can one person set it up, or is it a two-person job? And would it fit a standard tree skirt or collar?

Some of the aforementioned categories entailed specific tests. For example, we recorded how long it took to set up each tree, which spanned from the time the box was open to the time the last section of the tree was secured in place. Similarly, we timed ourselves fluffing each tree—a process that entails adjusting the branches and needles to add to the realism of an artificial tree. We also measured various components of the tree, including the base, as well as the height of the assembled tree to see whether it matched the online listing.

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Perhaps the most tedious yet important test of all was our ornament test. To gauge the branch strength of each tree, we placed ornaments that weighed 1 ounce, 2.5 ounces and 5 ounces on a branch. On each tree, we chose a branch that was roughly 40% from the top and hung the ornaments, one at a time, about 3 inches inward. If the ornaments hung securely and without significant drooping, the tree would pass.

This series of tests gives a wholistic portrait of the performance of each of these trees so that you can purchase your Christmas tree—the focal point of so many special memories and what should be a long-lasting seasonal staple—with confidence.


What type of artificial Christmas tree is the most realistic?

The type of artificial Christmas tree you choose is entirely up to you. However, if you want something that looks as close to the real thing as possible, consider a noble fir or blue spruce. Those options tend to have a more realistic, full look with a classic Christmas tree shape.

Are expensive artificial Christmas trees worth it?

Generally, when it comes to artificial Christmas trees, a more expensive option will mean it’s more realistic. An artificial Christmas tree is an investment that should last for 5-10 years. Some trees even come with a warranty to cover quality issues with the tree or the lights if it’s a pre-lit option.

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie is Taste of Home’s Shopping Editor and previously worked on the brand’s magazine and special issues. It was during this time she tapped into her love language, gifts, and spearheaded the print holiday gift guides in 2021 and 2022. She’s thrilled to continue creating gift guides full time for the shopping team, in addition to testing and reviewing products, spotlighting viral gadgets and editing freelanced content. A midwestern transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, crafting and—you guessed it!—shopping and cooking.