9 Best Fake Christmas Trees, According To Experts

Including a checklist for how to decorate a picture-perfect tree.

best fake Christmas trees, according to experts
Balsam Hill/Target
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Filling your home with cheer for the holidays can come down to selecting the perfect Christmas tree for your space. Whether you’re decking the halls of a small apartment or a grand living room, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the options available online. Plenty of questions pop up along the way — Should you choose a real or artificial tree? If you go with a fake tree, what size do you need? What colors do you like best? What looks fit the vibe you’re going for? The list goes on and on.

Holiday style experts at Balsam Hill and HomeGoods shared the best nine fake Christmas trees they recommend (with a little something for every budget and aesthetic), as well as key tips for choosing and trimming your dream tree to take the guesswork out of the season. Read on to learn more about what tree might make the most sense for your lifestyle.

Tips To Select The Perfect Tree For Your Home

Don’t Be Afraid To Buy A Fake Tree

HomeGoods Style Expert Jenny Reimold shared her insight for choosing a tree that feels just right. First, consider choosing a fake tree — it doesn’t mean you’re dimming the magic of the holiday season.

“While real trees are beautiful, the maintenance and longevity can make them a bit impractical. Artificial trees are easy to care for, typically pre-lit, and the branches are much sturdier for decorating. Plus, you can trade in a traditional look for something over-the-top,” Reimold tells Bustle. Even better, fake trees can be reused year after year, so they can be more cost-effective.

Try Before You Buy

It can be overwhelming trying to select your Christmas tree, especially online. But what if you could try it before you buy it? If you’re worried about making the right choice, Balsam Hill actually offers a Branch Sample Kit for $29 with samples of 24 different branch types. You’ll be able to see the color and feel the branches to figure out your preference.

Then, as Jill Osaka from Balsam Hill tells Bustle, “the price of the kit can be applied toward the purchase of a tree.” This is a great way to see, touch, and feel the elements of different trees before you make your important decor decision.

Get Customized Recommendations

If you’re just unsure what’s best for your space, consider taking Balsam Hill’s free (and super quick) Tree Finder Quiz. It’ll ask you questions about the height of the ceiling in your space, the tree shape you’re envisioning, what color lights you love, and what bonus features you’d like to see when you purchase a tree. Those bonus features include things like remote-controlled lights, easy setup, and minimal prep.

Once you take the quiz, Balsam Hill will give you some custom-tailored recommendations for trees that’ll meet your qualifications. And don’t worry — the quiz does feature “I’m not sure” options, so if you’re just completely lost on what you want, they’ll give you a good starting list of trees.

Now comes the fun part: shopping! These nine tree options are sure to brighten any space with the holiday spirit.

1. A Classic, Full-Sized Tree

This tree is one of Balsam Hill’s most realistic artificial trees. Choose from several different heights, ranging from 5.5’ to 12’, and lighting options to find the perfect one for your home.

A customer favorite, this tree will help you create extraordinary holiday moments. It features distinct semi-flat needles and upward-sloping branches and is modeled after real balsam firs from a tree farm in Maine. You’ll love the tree’s Easy Plug system, which incorporates light connections in the trunk so lighting the tree is easy and quick. This tree looks realistic and has a full shape, so it’ll fill your space nicely.

2. A Pre-Lit Tree With Glitter Details

Bring whimsical woodland flair to your holiday home with the modern gold sparkle and classically festive design of this shimmering tree. It’s pre-lit with warm white lights and is made with a resin and metal combination. This tree has a different vibe with extra decorations: pinecones are tucked away in the branches, which sparkle with the glitter added right onto the artificial pine needles. It also comes with a metal base, so it’s easy to set up. Bonus points: it’s under $100!

3. A Bold, White Tree

Want to change up from a traditional green tree? Try a clean, white look, like this white spruce artificial Christmas tree from Target. You’ll have your choice of warm white or clear lights, and the tree comes in a range of height options from 4.5’ up to 12’ so you can choose what best fits your space.

If you love snow on Christmas morning, this tree might make a great fit for you — it gives off a snow-covered look and features beautiful white flocking on white PVC tips. It also comes with a tree stand so you can set it up and start enjoying it right away.

4. A Timeless, Durable Tree

Add timeless charm to your Christmas celebration with this artificial Christmas tree. It’s made with 100% Classic Needle foliage for a full, abundant look. Choose from a variety of heights and lighting options that suit your space and decorating style — prices go up depending on the height and light options you choose.

Balsam Hill’s Classic Blue Spruce features dense foliage composed of soft yet sturdy needles in blue-green and silvery hues, complemented by light brown tinted stems for added depth. The needles in this tree are flexible and resilient, which gives the tree a traditional, realistic look, and are great for hanging ornaments.

5. A Frosted Pine Tree

Create a dazzling winter wonderland display with the frosted pine needles and feathery boughs of this icy tree. This faux pine tree comes pre-lit with warm white lights, and lights up when plugged into an outlet — no extra finagling needed.

6. A Retro, Porcelain Tree

Want the feel of a tree without…well, an actual tree? For the Elle Woods fan, this nostalgic pink Christmas tree from Mr. Christmas at Maisonette is small but packs a powerful punch of Christmas spirit. This painted porcelain tree with faceted, multicolored LED lights is battery-operated, so you don’t even need an extra outlet to plug into. The tiny 14” tree adds a bit of colorful magic to any space.

For bonus picks with the same vibe, try the nightlights in Blue or White — they’re so gorgeous and would add a cozy, festive touch without being over the top.

7. A Full-Sized, Snowy Tree

There’s something so beautiful and magical about a frosted Christmas tree, but investing in quality saves you the heartache of crumbly white flakes on your floors. Balsam Hill has perfected the frosted tree look with this Frosted BH Balsam Fir, available at 6.5’, 7.5’, or 9’.

You’ll be able to create an enchanting scene in any space with this beautiful snow-kissed Christmas tree. Designed with a beveled base and a layered top, the Frosted BH Balsam Fir mimics one of the most popular Christmas trees in North America. Its upward-sloping branches feature lightly flocked needles with brown-tinged stems and semi-flat branch tips for added depth.

8. A Set Of 3 Potted Trees

Target has taken the vibes of a Christmas tree farm, with the evergreens, warm lights, and bright red trucks, and captured them in this set of mini potted artificial balsam firs. Each little tree comes in a red metal pot with rope handles, and the trees themselves are pre-lit in dewdrop warm whites with long-lasting LED bulbs.

These would be adorable for the corner of an apartment, a tabletop display, or even to spruce up (get it?) a screened-in porch. Avoid putting them outside on your porch, though — they’re safe for indoor use only.

9. A Gold Tinsel Tree

Okay, maybe your Christmas vibe is more modern than straightforward classic. If the look of a typical evergreen or pine tree isn’t what you’re into, consider something more snazzy, like this gold tinsel tree from Target. This is perfect for small spaces at just 24” tall and comes with pre-decorated colorful metallic ornaments for a cheerful, festive look.

This is truly a hassle-free way to decorate for Christmas, especially if you love all things shimmery. It comes with a round base, so it’s easy to set up — just place it on any table, countertop, desk, or another flat surface for a dazzling, effortless pop of cheer.

Checklist For Trimming Your New Tree

According to Reimold, there are also several things to keep in mind when putting together your holiday decor. Use this checklist to help you decorate your brand-new tree.

  • Identify a theme: Select your favorite holiday aesthetic or wait to see what catches your eye while shopping, then explore decorations that tie the overall theme together.
  • Top the tree first: Reimond tells Bustle, “While it may be unconventional, I like to top the tree first to help determine the balance and proportion of ornaments that will be added.”
  • Work from the inside out: Set your foundation with lights and garland by alternating strands of each throughout. Try mixing and matching the garland for added dimension!
  • Create an ornament out of anything: Avoid a ‘cookie cutter’ tree by going out-of-the-box with what you use as ornaments! Even trinkets will work.
  • Try the “Shove and Stuff” technique: Take your decorative accessory, like a vintage resin reindeer or plush stuffed animal, separate the branches, and place the item(s) angled towards the tree. Each accessory should be facing out and then secured with a hook or wire.
  • Vary the ornament types you use: Lay out an arsenal of ornaments in varied sizes to complete the tree. Then, stuff larger ornaments toward the inside of the tree, and place small, round ornaments along the outside.
  • Bring in branches: A fool-proof finishing touch is to stick faux individual sprigs of branches like frosted berries, holly leaves or white flocked and glittery pine cones in with the tree’s branches to fill in holes and to create an even fuller look. These require no wire or hooks, so they’re an easy way to finalize the tree and make it picture-perfect.
  • Skip the tree skirt: Blankets or throws can easily serve as a tree skirt. They’re more affordable (or you can use one you already have), and more sustainable because you can continue using them beyond Christmas.


Jenny Reimold, HomeGoods Style Expert

Jill Osaka, Balsam Hill