How To Choose an Artificial Christmas Tree That's Right for You - Backyard Boss
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How To Choose an Artificial Christmas Tree That’s Right for You

Each year, the number of families who opt for artificial Christmas trees instead of their real counterparts continues to grow. It certainly makes sense why so many people are over the idea of having a real tree in their living room. Freshly cut trees cost money each and every year, and require a pretty significant level of care to keep them fresh throughout the holiday season. Plus, nobody likes the needle cleanup when January rolls around. And let’s not forget about the bugs that tend to hitchhike from the woods to your living room.

So how does one find the best artificial Christmas tree? Artificial trees can be a bit pricey, so it’s important to search carefully and look for quality. It all comes down to your personal preference, your aesthetic, and sourcing your tree from a reputable retailer. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Benefits of an Artificial Christmas Tree

artificial tree branch tips with blunt streamer needles and foam flocking

Naturally, people want fake trees. They’re clean, relatively realistic-looking, and can be packed away for the rest of the year and used again next winter. There are so many varieties of artificial Christmas trees as well. Just about anybody could find an artificial tree that fits their style!

pine trees shed prodigiously and require a lot of cleanup

Aside from leaving more trees in the ground for the future, artificial trees offer a range of flexibility and ease that isn’t found in a live tree. No, it probably won’t smell like the cabin you spent the Christmases of your childhood in, and it probably won’t be passably realistic under close inspection. But there are perks to an artificial tree, and some of them are game-changers.

No Cleanup After the Holidays

Real pine trees shed. Like, a lot. By the time the holidays are over and it’s time to dispose of the tree, pine needles will be everywhere. And you’ll probably still be finding them months later.

They’re Less Expensive

While artificial Christmas trees can be pricey, they’re usually much cheaper than a real tree. Plus, there is no need to continuously buy new trees each year. Once you make your investment, your artificial tree will last for years.

They’re Great for People with Allergies

Real Christmas pine trees carry everything from mold to pine oil, both of which can cause allergic reactions. Artificial trees don’t carry any kind of allergen, though it’s important to double-check the packaging of your chosen tree to ensure that it’s made from non-toxic materials.

You Really Don’t Have to Take Them Down

year round christmas tree ideas butterflies rainbow upside down and cinco de mayo

Sure, you probably shouldn’t leave the Christmas regalia up all year long, but with an artificial tree, you have the option of leaving it where it is and just swapping out the decor for each season or holiday. Year-round trees have long been popular in schools, doctors’ offices, and donation collection centers, but this trend is making its way into an increasing number of homes, too. If you’d like to make your artificial tree a year-round festivity, check out our favorite ideas for perpetual holiday tree decor.

Unlimited Variety

Yes, pines are classic. But what if you prefer a type of tree that isn’t available where you live? Or you could get a rainbow-colored tree. Or a permanently flocked tree? Or a pink tinsel tree? Or… well, you get it. There are some things a live tree can’t do, and for everything else, there’s an artificial option.

    YuQi 5-Foot Silver Point Pop-Up Artificial Christmas Tree

Buy at Amazon
    Great for Christmas party decorations, small apartments, offices, or doorway areas. Features shimmering sequins. Easy to set up and store: collapsible, resusable, no tools needed. Comes in a wide assortment of colors.

What Should I Look For When Buying an Artificial Christmas Tree?

There are a number of things one will need to look for in an artificial Christmas tree. On a basic level, you’ll need to consider the shape, decorations, and material that you prefer.

artificial tree closeup of needles realistic flocking and artificial pine cones

Think About Shape

Not all Christmas trees come in a simple cone shape. Some are more narrow, while others have a “fluffy” appearance. You can even find artificial trees that are uniquely shaped, such as round or spherical trees. This all comes down to your unique aesthetic and how you want your tree to fit into your space.

Lighting & Decoration

Some Christmas tree-havers don’t want to deal with decorating. This can take a lot of work, so it’s understandable if you’d prefer something that is pre-decorated with lights and ornaments. Just keep in mind that pre-decorated trees don’t offer much in the way of customization. Prelit trees are usually quite flexible, however, particularly with white lights that can match any decor. The level of effort you’d like to make is the primary consideration here: Do you want to pop a tree up in one minute flat and never think about it again, or does stringing the lights and hanging every ornament mean something significant to you and your loved ones?

    BrylaneHome Christmas Decorated Pre-Lit Pop-Up Christmas Tree

Buy at Amazon
    This pull-up tree is quick to assemble in less than 1 minute. Place it into plastic stand, pull it up and plug it in. Each tree comes adorned with 450 lights, French ribbon, bows, and ornaments. Once collapsed, the fully-decorated pop-up tree stores practically flat in our compatible storage bags that are designed to fit, store and protect.

Material & Color

Material is another important aspect to consider. Most artificial trees are made from PVC or polyethylene. The color of polyethylene trees will fade over the period of a few years, while PVC trees will maintain their color. PVC is usually a preferred material because it is fire resistant, though polyethylene trees will look more realistic. It all comes down to your safety and preferences.

closeup of artificial christmas tree made of gold tinsel and strung with gold leaf-shaped sequins

Height & Width

In addition to all of these features, you’ll also need to consider tip volume and overall size. Do you have low ceiling? Very high ceilings, or limited horizontal space, or a really big bay window to fill up? Your space will determine what the right size is. A dorm room might do best with a 4-foot tabletop tree, where a large foyer with 20-foot ceilings would likely be best served with a very large tree—or multiple trees—to fill the space.

How Many Tips Should Be on an Artificial Christmas Tree?

artificial tree with lights and decoration low tip volume

When shopping for artificial Christmas trees, you’ll notice right away that listings will often include the number of attached tips. Artificial trees typically come in multiple pieces and each branch needs to be manually attached. The more tips that are included, the fuller your tree will look once assembled.

If you’re looking for a realistic-looking tree, keep an eye out for ten or more tips. Some artificial Christmas trees will feature a realistic bark trunk, so those products will not include as many tips in order to show off the trunk. Trees with fewer tips may be less expensive, but they will usually appear fake.

What Size Christmas Tree Should I Buy?

Probably one of the most important things to consider when shopping for an artificial Christmas tree is the size of the overall product. Your space should be your first consideration. Will your tree be placed in a large open living room with a high ceiling? Or will it be placed in front of a small dorm window? Before shopping, grab a tape measure and find the height between your floor and ceiling. Don’t opt for trees that exceed this measurement in height.

Just as well, a big tree will be harder to move and to put together. If you decide to get a larger artificial Christmas tree, you’ll also have to figure out how to store it.

Where Can I Buy an Artificial Christmas Tree?

Artificial Christmas trees are quite plentiful, so searching online will be quite easy! However, it’s important to source your Christmas tree from a reputable retailer or a shop that displays customer reviews.

prelighted artificial tree with semi realistic needle shape and color


There are a ton of unique artificial Christmas trees available on Amazon. In addition to finding the right tree for you, Amazon also makes it easy to find Christmas tree storage, decorations, and accessories to match.

    National Tree Company 'Feel Real' Downswept Douglas Fir - 7.5 ft

Buy at Amazon
    This tree uses our trademarked 'FEEL REAL' technology that offers outstanding realism on 1,867 branch tips. These crush-resistant tips give our trees and greenery foliage that best mirrors nature’s design. Includes stand. Made in USA.

Home Improvement Stores

Shops like Home Depot and Lowe’s will often carry a wide range of artificial Christmas trees around the holiday season. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find the perfect artificial Christmas tree available with free delivery. Nobody likes lugging heavy plastic trees from their car to their house.

realistic needle and branch artificial tree with red garland

Local Nurseries

Christmas tree nurseries will have a ton of different real Christmas trees in stock, but many will also carry artificial trees. If you’d prefer to see your potential tree already set-up and in person, a quick stop to your local nursery could be fruitful.


How was our guide to finding the best artificial Christmas tree ever? Drop us a comment below with your own recommendations!