Best Realistic Christmas Trees for All Budgets
A round-up of the 16 most realistic Christmas trees for all kinds of budgets and decorating styles.
Consider this the nerd lab of finding the most realistic Christmas trees.
Finding the best fake Christmas tree that actually looks real is like finding a unicorn and a pot of gold in the same day, but by golly, I think we did it.
I’ve admitted this before and I’ll say it again… I’m a research nerd. I cannot help it.
It is physically impossible for me to buy anything online without reading reviews and comparing a bajillion different similar items. So I had a hay day doing a ton of homework for finding the best artificial Christmas trees this year so that you don’t have to.
The Most Realistic Artificial Christmas Trees
- “Feel Real” Pre-Lit Tree
- “Feel Real” Pre-Lit Tree
- “Feel Real” Pre-Lit Frasier Fir
- Pre-Lit Dunhill Fir Tree
- Pre-Lit Norway Spruce
- Pre-Lit Frasier Fir
- Frasier Fir “Quick Shape” Pre-Lit Tree
- Noble Fir Pre-Lit Slim Profile Tree
- Flocked Pre-Lit Aspen Fir
- Pre-Lit Flocked Balsam Fir
- Flocked Pre-Lit Frasier Fir
- Flocked Pre-Lit Mixed Pine
We’ve had our fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly with Christmas trees over the years.
Recently, they’ve come SUCH a long way that sometimes it’s difficult to tell apart the real from the fake until you really get up close and personal with them.
Best Sparse Christmas Tree
We bought this artificial sparse Christmas tree for our living room two years ago, and we’re still completely happy. It’s as beaut without a lotta moolah.
If you love the look of a charmingly sparse Christmas tree, this one is the perfect budget-friendly pre-lit option under $300.
We have 8 foot ceilings, and the 7.5 feet tall option fit with just enough room to spare for a star tree topper. It’s on the slim slide making it great for small spaces.
The scrawny Alpine tree look is best suited for rustic, cottage, Scandinavian styles. They’re so easy to decorate because they’re so beautiful in their perfect imperfection without any ornaments at all, if you prefer the minimal look.
But they’re wide spaces between branches making decorating boughs easier than other tree types.
The high quality “pine needles” on its branches are rigid, yet slim making them appear lifelike even up close.
This tree is definitely much more easy to assemble than any other tree we’ve own because the branch tips need very little fluffing when we pull it out of its storage bag each year.
It comes with a foot pedal switch to make turning on lights easier too (though hooking up a smart plug to your outlet is even better).
Best Flocked Christmas Tree
The best part about this flocked Christmas tree is it makes any colored ornaments pop beautifully against the white, snowy branches.
But if you prefer a neutral look, the fluffy white branches create a glamorous almost metallic look against twinkle lights.
We love using a flocked Christmas tree in our girls’ playroom filled with handmade ornaments our family has collected over the years, brought home from preschool or doing arts & crafts with Grandma.
The white flocking helps those hodgepodge ornaments actually look cohesive with a little ribbon thrown in.
The flocking on this tree is very thick and fluffy, despite being in and out of the attic over the past four years.
Best Traditional Christmas Tree
This traditional pre-lit Christmas tree we use in our dining room, the Spruce kind that is a full but not “fat” shape, works so well if you prefer a standard tree.
If your family has mixed preferences between white, colored, or twinkling LED lights, this tree has different settings for all of them so you can change the look or effect at the click of a button.
Realistic Cheap Christmas Tree Tip
If you want a fake Christmas tree that look as realistic as possible but you don’t want to shell out too much for the pricier versions, buy an unlit tree instead and add lights yourself.
It might require an extra few minutes in the decorating process, but it can sometimes save a couple hundred bucks this way. And it gives you the flexibility to add multicolor lights if you prefer that more retro style instead.
We used this unlit sparse Christmas tree a couple of years ago that took some extra effort in the decorating process, but I loved having that natural look for cheaper than the pre-lit version.
We totally went overboard with the lights by adding the strands ourselves but that just made it extra glowy at night. Not a bad problem, right?
How to Make a Fake Tree Look Realistic
Here are a few more tips you can try to make your artificial tree look like the real thing.
- Separate each of the branch tips on every bough of the tree to make tree look more full
- Add battery powered candle lights clipped onto ends of branches
- Weave ribbon through the tree to hide any holes or bare spots
- Tuck some artificial pine garland or pine picks through the branches to make it appear full
- Add a tree collar at the base to hide the metal tree stand (or get creative by stuffing it inside of a large basket or barrel planter)
- Hang some Scentsicles all over the tree to make it smell like the real thing!
Got any other tips you’d add?
Or other fake tree recommendations you would add to the list this holiday season? The more the merrier (literally). Ho Ho Ho.