Artificial Christmas Tree Buying Guide

The art of the artificial Christmas tree has come a long way over the last few years. Are you looking to replace a worn out tree this year or exiting the year after year live tree train? Here are some helpful ideas to use as a guide when purchasing your faux trees for the holidays.

artificial Christmas tree buying guide Shabbyfufu

I have to admit that for many years we only had a live tree in our home. There is nothing that beats the fresh scent of of an evergreen, but I always felt just a little bit guilty about cutting down a live tree. Plus there is the expense of purchasing a tree every year, the dreaded messy needle drop and potential allergies! All of the aforementioned really preclude me from a real pine indoors these days.

artificial Christmas tree buying guide Shabbyfufu

The early artificial Christmas trees were not realistic and it was such a pain to put those branches in the holes! If you’ve ever had one then you know what I’m talking about! But that is generally not the case any longer, especially if you spend on a better quality tree. While I’m all about watching the budget this is one of those cases that I would recommend perhaps budgeting for. And…it will save you money in the long run because those the cost of buying a live tree each year adds up! 

how to buy a fake Christmas tree

Buy A Quality Tree & It Will Last

NOTE – First I want to mention that NOW IS THE TIME to purchase an artificial Christmas tree if you’re looking. Trees are selling out quickly this year and most likely will NOT be restocked. Shipping could also be an issue if you wait too long.

A better quality artificial Christmas tree will stand the test of time and store well. I know from experience that going for the cheapest faux Christmas tree that you can find is a waste of your money in the long run. They can dry out and lose their fluff, turn yellow in many cases and if flocked the glue dries out and the flock falls off. I’ve had this happen and not just once. I’m showcasing a few photos of the high quality artificial Christmas trees that I have and some that I would want as well. Head to the bottom of this page to see more!

But first…how do you decide what will work best for your home and particular room? I’ll show you how to choose the most realistic artificial Christmas tree. There are several things to consider including height, size and with lights or without.

How To Buy An Artificial Christmas Tree

1. Determine Height

Do you know the height of your ceiling in the room that you’d be placing your Christmas tree in? If not, then measure and take a foot or so off for the topper that you plan on using. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to cut off the tip if too tall as you would with a live tree!

2. Select A Width

Artificial Christmas trees are made to look like the real deal! Just like real pine trees, there are a variety of shapes and types. Basically the categories come down to three:

  • Full size Christmas trees, where you need ample room to spread out the branches and make a statement. These tend to be the most lifelike artificial Christmas trees in the market.
  • Medium width fake Christmas trees that are narrower and will fit in most places, while still looking realistic.
  • Slim or Pencil Christmas trees. These are slender and the best trees for tight spaces or apartments.

3. Needle Type

There are two types of plastic used in Christmas tree needles, PE and PVC. The most realistic trees are made from PE or polyethylene plastic and have a rounded appearance. These trees tend to be more pricey than PVC or Polyvinyl chloride that has a flatter needle appearance.

4. Species

  • Balsam Fir 

The most realistic artificial Christmas tree made from PE plastic with rounded flexible needles and dense branches.

  • Spruce

Softer PVC makes the needles on this tree more like bristles and they can have sharper points on the end.

  • Pine 

Branches are more sparse and needles are attached in clusters, as in nature.

5. Pre-lit or Unlit

It’s really a matter of convenience. Pre-lit artificial Christmas trees give you a much faster setup. Unlit trees allow you to be more creative and choose the color or “temperature” of the lights. This is another instance of the buy the best quality tree that you can afford. The inexpensive faux Christmas trees tend to have poorer quality lights and it is SO annoying to have bulbs or strands go out on you. Been there and done that one too many times!

6. Color

Green, white, flocked or trees of a single vibrant color…there are lots to choose from in today’s market! Currently I have 5 full sized trees at our Miami house and two at the beach home. Yikes…that’s a lot I know, but it’s mostly due to working with brands over the years. I can tell you that the better quality trees have really lasted well, and one of them (lesser quality) has not. My favorites are the flocked trees!

I hope that this guide to buying an artificial Christmas tree has helped you! I’ve sourced some of my favorite trees throughout this post and will link some more below. Just click on any of the individual photos for more information and/or head directly over to my CHRISTMAS SHOP HERE or the CHRISTMAS TREE SHOP HERE!

Please note * Every effort is made to list items that are in stock. In the event of a sellout then we try to substitute with similar.


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  1. Madison de Cinq shopping link does not work.

  2. Thanx for the info. I waited too long last year and didn’t find what I wanted. Have already started looking this year. I think the true test of a relationship is when a couple can successfully put up an old tree (color coded branches), get the lights and tinsel garlands on, not break too many treasured ornaments, and still be talking to each other when it is all done!

    1. So true…decorating as a couple has it’s challenges Kathy!

  3. Susan Krauss says:

    Im STILL drooling over your dreamy pastel blue and pink tree with the feathers!! You may recall that my holiday decor is pink, aqua, white and silver. Im ALREADY itching to put up my tree. Lol

    1. I loved that tree as well Susan and look forward to seeing what you do this year too!