The best artificial Christmas trees to decorate your home in style this festive season

We've assessed the best artificial Christmas trees available to buy for 2021 to ensure your home looks as festive as possible

A collage image of some of the best artificial Christmas trees to buy for 2021
(Image credit: Future)

Our guide to the best artificial Christmas trees to buy for 2021 will guarantee your home has a show-stopping festive display—whether you're after a pre-lit tree, a snowy one, or a regular, fluffy pine-green tree.

Putting up and decorating the tree is key to helping build the anticipation and joy of Christmas—after all, nothing signals the beginning of festive season quite like it.

And while the best real Christmas trees are a lovely addition to many homes, recently, artificial Christmas trees have instead become the tree of choice for many modern homes. No matter how lovely a real tree looks or smells, thanks to central heating the winter home is often not a welcome environment for real trees. It can be especially difficult for a real tree to last the entirety of December (and into January), with all of the warmth and disruption in a modern home. And quite frankly, having to clean up dropped pine needles on a daily basis is no ones idea of a fun festive task. 

So why not save yourself the chores by choosing an artificial tree that will see you through—not only for the whole month of December, but for years to come? Artificial trees can be superior in so many ways—they often work out to be much more affordable given that they can be used year to year. And, they're generally easier to assemble, as opposed to lugging a real tree into your home. Not to mention the fact that artificial trees are generally much safer for babies and pets, with no dropped needles. 

In order to help you choose the best artificial Christmas trees for your home, we've taken a look at the best options on offer for 2021, to help you assess the right one for your needs.

How we pick the best artificial Christmas trees

So just how did we choose the best artificial Christmas to include in our guide? In order to share an accurate cross-section of the trees available, we made sure to include models from many of the top retailers across the US and UK—including John Lewis, Walmart, Cox & Cox and Home Depot. We examined each one’s quality and durability, as well as how easy they each are to assemble and then pack away again. We also made a note of which trees are pre-lit and which don’t include lights and so require extra decorations. 

We also assessed the height and width of each tree in order to share an insight into which type of space each one would fit into. Our final assessment was to include artificial Christmas trees that offered great value-for-money—be they worth paying more for fantastic quality or a lower price for a tree that offers a brilliant quality reflecting in the price.

Best artificial Christmas trees 2021

Best artificial Christmas trees: US

Wayfair tree

(Image credit: Wayfair)

1. Wayfair 4.5' H Pre-lit Slim Fraser Green Fir Artificial Christmas Tree

Best full artificial tree

Specifications
RRP: $108.99
Dimensions: 78" H x 40" W
Reasons to buy
+Simple assembly+Pre-lit+Great fullness and quality
Reasons to avoid
-Branches need a fair bit of primping

With over 1,339 glowing reviews, this much-loved Andover Mills tree at Wayfair is one of their most popular artificial Christmas tree offerings. This pick is 4.5 feet tall, so it isn’t the biggest tree, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in quality, fullness and its realistic looks.

The tree is pre-lit (so no faffing about with tangled lights of your own), with 800 incandescent warm lights that switch on as soon as the tree is plugged in. We love the warm, clear lights on the pick which create a cosy, festive atmosphere in the home, and emulate the more traditional of Christmas decor. Assembly is simple, with three separate pieces that need to be slotted together—and given that the tree is smaller than the average height of an adult, it’s much much easier to put together than some other, taller trees (and much easier to transport into your home than a real one!) Plus, a stand comes included, so there’s no need to buy one separately.

Made from artificial Fir, this one of the most real looking and traditional artificial trees we’ve seen—though it does have the neat uniformity that might give its artificial nature away to any visiting guest. Be aware that the leaves will need some primping too, though this just gives you a chance to create a unique tree. However, some homes may love that it’s a bit more sleek than the average tree—its slim build and the fact that it’s that little bit smaller means that it would fit perfectly in smaller homes, flats, or simply in a tighter corner of your living space. 

Available to buy: Now

National Tree Dunhill Fir Tree

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. National Tree Dunhill Fir Tree

Best traditional artificial Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: $486
Dimensions: 7.5ft H x 59in D
Reasons to buy
+Very traditional look+Easy to assemble+Handy foot pump for lights
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

If you’re after a mighty, traditional tree to fit in a big area of your home, look no further than this option from the National Tree Company Store. At 7.5 feet (and also available in 9ft and 10ft), this is a better option for large home and homes with higher ceilings—be sure to measure your space before purchasing! On assembly, this artificial tree does need a bit of work, fluffing and primping to extend the branches, in order to make it look more realistic, so make sure you wear gloves in order to protect your hands and arms. But when this is done, you’ll be left with a very full tree that not many would doubt is the real deal.

This is another pre-lit option, offering dual color LED lights. This means you can set the lights to the typical, warm white lighting that is often the most popular—or, you can use the multi-color function, which will adorn the tree with red, blue and green lights. And there are around 900 lights on this tree, so you can be sure that it’ll be lit up, well, like a Christmas tree. And handily, there's a foot pump to program the lights.

One warning however is that some shoppers on Amazon experienced a much more sparse tree than appears to be the usual—so don’t hesitate to contact Amazon should you receive a tree that isn’t as full as it should be.

In terms of storage, the branches of this tree are designed to fold back up easily when you’re ready to pack it away post-Christmas. It also breaks up into four pieces, so should be easy to put away in a basement or loft-space for the duration of the year. However, this tree is undoubtedly expensive, so only plump for it if you have the budget.

Available to buy: Now

Home Accents Holiday 7.5 ft Wesley Long Needle Pine LED Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree

(Image credit: Home Depot)

3. Home Depot 7.5 ft Wesley Long Needle Pine LED Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Tree

Best big artificial Christmas tree for an affordable price

Specifications
RRP: $149
Dimensions: 7.5ft H x 53in D
Reasons to buy
+Great full shape+Colored lights
Reasons to avoid
-Quality of lights is questionable

For a big tree at an affordable price point look no further than this Home Accents option at Home Depot. At 7.5ft in height and 53 inches in diameter it’s definitely one of the more sizeable trees out there, so once again, make sure you have the room to accommodate it in your home.

This tree offers a full shape but one fluffed out and branches separated, it’s not the fullest tree out there—if you’re after a wider, thicker tree, this might not be the option for you. However, with 550 color-changing lights (a few less than other options) it’s a great choice if you prefer not to have a white-lit Christmas tree, and instead favor something a bit more fun and unique. Handily, this artificial tree also comes with a remote control, so you can adjust the lights and colors easily from afar, saving that annoying duck under the tree that we often have to do. However, some shoppers have commented that some of the lights fail after a few weeks, so be sure to check each one is working when you purchase, and keep your receipt after buying, too. 

But on the plus side, this tree is very easy to set up, and comes complete with a metal stand frame for easy, instant assembly (it’s not circular though, like some other stands, so consider whether this is to your liking). Overall, this is a great tree at a fantastic price—but there are a few small drawbacks to bear in mind that you may be willing to compromise on for the cost.

Available to buy: Now

Target 6ft Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree Alberta Spruce

(Image credit: Target)

4. Target 6ft Unlit Artificial Christmas Tree Alberta Spruce

Best budget artificial Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: $40
Dimensions: 6 Feet (H) x 34.0 Inches (W) x 34.0 Inches (D)
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Offers great value-for-money+Easy to assemble
Reasons to avoid
-Unlit

This Alberta Spruce 6ft tree offers fantastic value-for-money, at just $40. If you’re on the lookout for a simple, easy to manage tree that won’t set you back hundreds of dollars, this really is a great option.

It’s not the skinniest tree on our list but it is pretty slimline, so if you’re after a thick, full tree, you might want to look elsewhere. However, its slender shape (it measures at 2.8inch width) means it’ll handily fit in almost any spare corner of your home. One huge perk of this artificial tree is the fact that it’s very easy to set up when assembled—the branches are pre-attached and easy to pull down and into shape, though it may take a little primping to make them look their best.

This tree is unlit, so if you want lights or decorations on it, be aware that you’ll have to get those sorted yourself. But for a slim, easy to use and assemble tree that will fit in any space—be it a small corner by the fireplace or a tiny apartment.

Available to buy: Now

Costway 5Ft6Ft7Ft9Ft PVC Artificial Pencil Christmas Tree Slim Green

(Image credit: Walmart)

5. Costway 5Ft6Ft7Ft9Ft PVC Artificial Pencil Christmas Tree Slim Green

Best slim artificial Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: $49.99
Dimensions: 6' H X 2.1' D
Reasons to buy
+Fits in even the smallest of spaces+Very affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not super realistic-looking

Walmart’s Costway PVC Artificial Pencil Christmas tree is the ideal option for those on a budget—or shoppers who want to adorn other, smaller rooms of their home (such as a bedroom) with a tree during the festive season.

At 6ft, it’s a tall tree, but it’s perhaps the skinniest, slimline option on our list—hence it’s ‘pencil’ name. Its 6ft version is just 2.1' in width, so it’ll fit into even the tightest of corners, rooms with minimal floor space or small rooms such as a children’s bedroom or living rooms in small apartments or homes.

Made of dense PVC needles, it’s arguably not the most realistic-looking tree, but there’s no doubt it does the job. Plus, it divides into three separate pieces meaning it’s incredibly easy to assemble and disassemble, as well as being easy to store either side of the festive period.

The main plus of this artificial tree is the fantastic price of $49.99, which is one of the most affordable options we’ve seen. For a small, easy to use tree and a very reasonable price, this is our main pick—though we wouldn’t recommend this to be your main tree in your living area if you have the space for a bigger one. Also comes in 5, 7, 8 and 9ft.

Available to buy: Now

Best artificial Christmas trees: UK

Hayes Garden World Christmas tree

(Image credit: Hayes Garden World)

1. Hayes Garden World Real-Feel Spruce

Best realistic artificial Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: £209.99
Dimensions: 183cm H x 100cm D
Reasons to buy
+Super realistic+No plasticy scent+Great guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-None!

So confident in its realism is this tree, that it comes with an adorable tag that reads ‘Good enough to fool Santa’. And we have to agree that this tree has us fooled. It may not be cheap but it’s well worth the investment if you are looking for the best artificial tree with a realistic appearance.

The realism is largely thanks to the placement of the hand-wrapped branches. The lower tier features two layers with six hinges on each. With the second-tier offering five layers, with assorted hinged branches in a formation of six; eight; eight; seven and seven to create a natural spruce effect. No real tree is the perfect shape, after all.

An added bonus, there was no discernible plasticy scent, meaning you’d never get a whiff of it being faux. The branches can also handle heavy decorations with ease—at most taking on a realistic minimal droop. Best of all, this tree comes with a lifetime guarantee. Hayes states the ‘Life expectancy for this tree is 15 years.’ This means its a great investment and makes it a far more affordable purchase in the long run, rather than buying a cheaper tree that comes with no guarantee. The only improvement we’d make for this tree is to have it pre-lit, to save adding your own.

Available to buy: Now

 

Christmas tree World 6ft Green Half Tree

(Image credit: Christmas Tree)

2. Christmas Tree World 6ft Green Woodland Pine Half Tree

Best artificial half Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: £74.99
Dimensions: 183cm (6ft) H x 62cm D
Reasons to buy
+Great for a smaller home+Very realistic-looking
Reasons to avoid
-Half-size may not appeal to everyone

With half the tree and over half the budget this tree is a complete steal, making it a great option for those on a smaller budget or those with a smaller space at home.

The beautifully realistic Woodland Pine Half Tree has bushy branches made from a mix of moulded PE and traditional PVC tips, to emulate the look and feel of real spruce. It’s an attractive deep fir green, so it certainly wins in the style stakes.

The folding metal stand means this tree is easy to assemble, and the plastic tips prevent any scratching or damage on the floor. However, one drawback is that if the weight isn't evenly distributed on the stand, the tree constantly wants to fall over—this is where constructing it against the wall will come in handy. The branches need pulling into place, which we’d recommend doing once it’s in place against the wall.

Where a full-sized tree might be too big and overwhelming, this quirky half tree design is perfect—because who really needs to see the back of the tree anyway? Generally, most of us only make us of the front as a place store presents, making this half tree excellent for both budget and space-saving, with no wasted floor space or wasted decorations.

See our full Christmas Tree World 6ft Green Woodland Pine Half Tree review

Available to buy: On pre-order now, for delivery closer to Christmas

artificial christmas tree

(Image credit: The White Company)

3. The White Company Pre-lit Mini 1.5ft Christmas Tree

Best small artificial Christmas tree in a pot

Specifications
RRP: £35
Dimensions: 1.5ft/46cm H x 37cm D
Reasons to buy
+Great for small spaces or less traditional decor+Very affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Perhaps not a replacement for a bigger tree

This petite delight from The White Company is small but mighty. The charming tree is compact in size, but effective enough to create a festive atmosphere with your decor, without you having to make space for a larger tree. It’s the perfect miniature tree if you’re not really a fan of decorating, or of even having a tree altogether. Not to mention it’s incredibly affordable.

The pre-lit 1.5ft tree stands in a decorative woven willow basket, with a switch to control the included lights neatly hidden in a compartment located in the base, discretely out of sight. The warm fairy lights, on an undetectable green wire, are evenly distributed from top to bottom for a perfect finish. There are three settings for the lights On, Off and Timer.

In terms of realness, the branches are thoroughly realistic-looking. Even the base around the bottom of the tree is covered in a life-like moss earth-effect covering, adding to the realism.

While the sturdy branches will support larger decorations, they might look a bit out of place because the tree is so small. We’d recommend miniature baubles if you wanted a bit of decoration. But in all honesty, this tree is magical enough au natural. It’s the ideal size for a coffee table display, hallway console table or even a dining table as a festive centrepiece. 

Available to buy: Now

Cox & Cox Alpine Fir Tree

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

4. Cox & Cox Alpine Fir Tree

Best artificial twig Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: £95
Dimensions: 180cm H
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Lovely lighting
Reasons to avoid
-Branches need a fair bit of adjustment-Not a traditional tree

If a traditional fir tree is not your thing then you might be looking for a completely alternative tree. If so, a stylish Scandi-inspired twig tree may be just the thing—and Cox & Cox are the masters of stylish alternative trees. Their Alpine Fir Tree looks just like a real tree trunk, but it’s actually made from a brown lightweight plastic trunk that twists into a section of faux snow-covered ground. 

This alternative tree is simple to assemble—however, it does require perhaps the most ‘branch styling’ of all the best artificial Christmas trees. The 20 branches are quite sparse, and therefore need tweaking out so they fill more space. They're delicate, but do move, so don't be afraid to gently tease them out.

The tree is pre-lit with lights tightly wound around each branch on a copper wire, which adds a lovely hint of glamour and festivity to the tree—if you can believe it, there are 312 warm white LED lights. 

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use the tree comes complete with pegs to secure it into the ground. Alternatively for indoor use, we’d follow in Cox & Cox footsteps by hiding the base in a beautiful woven basket. This would also allow you to weigh it down and make it feel more secure, because it is a very lightweight tree. This tree needn’t be just for Christmas either—bring it out at the first signs of winter for a lovely, cozy ambience for your home.

See our full Cox & Cox Alpine Fir Tree review

Available to buy: On pre-order now for delivery late September/early October

Balsam Hill European Fir

(Image credit: Balsam Hill)

5. Balsam Hill European Fir Tree

Best woodland-esque artificial Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: From £449
Dimensions: From 5.5' H and 52" W
Reasons to buy
+Natural looking+Very attractive+Lots of light options
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

This Balsam Hill beauty is the perfect choice for those who want a natural, woodland-inspired tree that'll be a showstopper in your home. This European Fir encapsulates the realistic look by incorporating sparse branches with fuller branches, and gaps in between branches, creating a tree that looks as natural as one picked straight from the ground—because after all, a perfectly symmetrical real tree just doesn't exist. With dark green needles crafted with the brands expert True Needle technology, there's no doubt this looks like the real deal.

Just be warned that the base of this artificial tree is pretty wide, so make sure you have the space for it in your home.

The European Fir comes in a variety of options, from unlit to prelit, with a few different lighting options. You can get your tree with just the Candlelight Clear LED lights, or choose the Color + Clear LED lights, for a fun variation. Balsam Hill also offers the tree in varying different heights depending on your needs—from 5.5 feet to 9 feet tall. 

This is certainly one of the most attractive trees on our list, and easy to assemble to boot. There's no doubt that it's an expensive option, but many shoppers have stated how durable and long-lasting it is, so we reckon it's a worthwhile investment.

Available to buy: Now

B&Q smart looking alpine tree

6. B&Q 6ft Smart Natural Looking Artificial Christmas Tree

Best smart Christmas tree

Specifications
RRP: £95/£155
Dimensions: 183cm H (or 6ft)
Reasons to buy
+Utilizes smart technology+Lots of lighting options
Reasons to avoid
-Very uniform which some might not like

A smart artificial tree at an even smarter price. B&Q’s smart tree comes pre-lit with 300 multi-function LED bulbs for a traditional look. The dual coloured bulbs can be changed from warm white to multicoloured lights. The smart design means the lights are compatible with both Google Home and Alexa devices. As with many of our smart home appliances, these days the voice control functionality allows you to control the lights with a single spoken command.

Not only is there the option to choose between warm white or multicolour lights, but there are seven multifunction settings allowing you to choose your desired look for every occasion. The settings include White, White White; Blink White; Multicolour Fade; Multicolour; Blink Multicolour; Colour Change and Off. With one voice control, this tree goes from a traditional looking Christmas tree to a bright, multi-colored tree.

In terms of realism, this tree is a thoroughly good fake. The densely populated branches are spread across three sections, all of which are an even mix of moulded PE and traditional PVC tips to emulate the look and feel of real spruce. Combined with the more tinsel-like branches, the stand is very robust, helping to ensure the tree feels very stable. It's also available in 7ft, if you're after a taller tree.

See our full B&Q 6ft Smart Natural Looking Artificial Christmas Tree review

Available to buy: Now


What are the most realistic artificial Christmas trees made of?

Most artificial trees are made from PVC (plastic), though you can also get fake aluminum and fiber-optic illuminated trees. Most of the PVC trees are designed to look like real trees, with many designed in the style of Nordmann Fir and Spruce trees. 

If you're after a real-looking artificial tree though, it's best to take it on a case-by-case basis, as no matter what material fake trees are made of, some are undoubtedly more realistic-looking than others. Often, trees that have less of a uniform shape, and have more sporadic branches at different lengths, look more real realistic—so keep your eye out for those whilst shopping. And w&s has plenty of realistic options above to choose from.

How much should I pay for an artificial Christmas tree?

The prices for one of the best artificial Christmas trees can vary dramatically, depending on the size and the desired look, as well as the brand. You can pay less for a smaller tree of course, and you can certainly get slimmer or mini tree, or even just a budget tree for under $40/£40. Most basic artificial trees cost in the region of £50 and £100, with pre-lit designs costing more.

But it’s worth bearing in mind you generally get what you pay for when it comes to artificial trees. At the higher end of the price-band are the most realistic looking trees, these can cost anything from $200/£200 up to $1000/£1000. It sounds pricey, but many of the expensive options come with a prolonged guarantee and offer much more in terms of extras—such as being pre-it and being supplied with spare bulbs etc. The more you pay, generally speaking, the better the quality and the longer the life of the tree. Generally, more expensive trees are also more realistic-looking too, which is an important factor to keep in mind.

What’s the best way to light my artificial Christmas tree?

Most sizable trees (anything over 4ft), will benefit from being dressed with two sets of fairy lights—to ensure the whole tree is covered, from top to bottom. Choose lights with a cord that best suits your tree, i.e green for a natural look tree, black for a more modern coloured tree. We’d recommend turning the lights on while you place them, as it helps you to clearly see where they are—remembering to step back often to check them as you go. This also ensures you know they are working before you go to the effort of placing them.

Also, it's worth remembering that many of the best artificial Christmas trees can also come pre-lit, saving you the bother of decorating yourself. Decide whether this is the right option for you.

And when you've decided on your tree, why not see our guide to the best Christmas decorations?

Are real or fake trees better for the planet?

Due to their synthetic nature, there is an element of concern, as with all plastics, about how good artificial trees are for the environment. It’s estimated that artificial trees need to be reused for at least 10 Christmases to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree.

Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust, gives the following statement, ‘A real pine or fir tree naturally absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen. The best thing you can do at Christmas is to keep a tree alive and breathing. Disposing of a tree by composting produces CO2 and methane. An artificial tree has a higher carbon footprint than a natural one because of the energy-intensive production processes involved. By far the best option is a potted tree which, with care, can be replanted after the festive season and re-used year after year.

Tamara Kelly

Tamara is a homes content expert and is Digital Editor at Ideal Home. She previously worked on the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home where she honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing.