Real vs. Artificial: Picking Your Perfect Christmas Tree

The holiday season is upon us, and the classic debate arises once more: should you opt for a real or artificial Christmas tree this year?

White Christmas room with a Christmas tree decorated with golden toys
How to choose the perfect Christmas tree | Sinellia/Shutterstock

The holiday season is upon us, and you might be wondering what type of Christmas tree is the better option for your home. Whether you're getting a new tree or looking to switch it up this year, the question remains. What type of Christmas tree should you get?

While both options have pros and cons, the decision ultimately depends on your preferences and circumstances. In this post, we explore the advantages and drawbacks of each option and provide tips to help you make the best choice for your home.

Real Christmas trees

Let's start with the classic real Christmas trees. Many people prefer having a real tree in their home because of its authentic and natural look and feel. Freshly cut trees exude the scent of pine and add a festive touch to your home that no artificial tree can replicate. 

close up of a pine tree with decorations
Nothing beats the scent of real tree | Michel Stockman/Unsplash

Real trees also come in different shapes and sizes. You can easily find one that fits your space perfectly. However, they require more care and maintenance than artificial trees. You'll have to mount them in a stand or a pot as they don't come with one. 


  1. Natural beauty: There's no denying that real trees look great, especially after you decorate them. Their unique shapes and imperfections often add to their appeal, making them a focal point of your holiday decor. 
  2. Festive scent: No fake tree can beat that unmistakable fragrance of pine or fir in your home. That fresh-cut tree smell evokes a sense of warmth and nostalgia, enhancing the holiday ambiance.
  3. Eco-friendly option: As long as they're responsibly sourced and properly recycled after the holidays, real trees can be more environmentally friendly than their artificial counterparts.


  1. Maintenance: Real trees require regular watering to keep them fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season. They can also shed needles, meaning you must sweep them up frequently. 
  2. Limited lifespan: Real trees have a short lifespan. Even with regular watering, they eventually dry out, losing their needles and vitality. As they come without roots, your tree will not survive after the holidays and can't be replanted. 
  3. Mobility: You might have difficulty getting the tree in and out of your home, especially if you go with a large one. It might also be challenging to bring one home as they don't fold and might not fit in your car. 

Artificial Christmas trees

Artificial Christmas trees have gained popularity over the years and remain a firm favorite in many households. They offer the advantage of being low-maintenance, durable and reusable. You can store them away and use them again for years to come. 

Two decorated Christmas trees on the sides of the hall and a fireplace in the center.
Artificial Christmas trees offer more flexibility | Artem Sokolov/Shutterstock

Artificial trees also guarantee that your tree won't shed needles all over your home. They come in various styles, colors, and sizes. You can even get one that is pre-lit with lights. However, they lack real trees' authentic look and aroma, and some people even find the plastic smell off-putting.


  1. Ease of use: Artificial trees are incredibly convenient. They require no watering, and once set up, they maintain their appearance throughout the season without shedding needles.
  2. Longevity: Investing in a high-quality artificial tree that can last many years is a cost-effective option in the long run.
  3. Customization: Artificial trees often come pre-lit with various lighting options and can be found in different shapes and sizes, allowing for customization to suit your preferences.


  1. Artificial appearance: Artificial trees lack the natural charm and fragrance of real trees. Despite advancements in design, they may not perfectly replicate the authenticity of a real tree.
  2. Storage: Storing an artificial tree, especially larger ones, can be cumbersome. Finding adequate space to keep it during the off-season might be challenging for some.
  3. Cost: Artificial trees, especially if you want one that is as close in appearance to a real tree as can be, can be very pricey. This can put a strain on your wallet, which can be especially hard at a time when you have gifts to buy. 

Fake or artificial Christmas tree - how to decide

Now that we've looked at each option's pros and cons let's explore how to decide which one to choose. Consider whether you care more about the authentic look and aroma of a real tree or the convenience and longevity of an artificial tree. 

The cat looks out from the branches of a decorated Christmas tree
Got pets? An artificial tree might be a better option | ShineTerra/Shutterstock

If you have allergies or pets that may nibble on your tree, an artificial one may be a better option. The same might be said if you live in an apartment prohibiting real trees or making it challenging to get the tree in and out of your unit. 

christmas tree sale at night
Christmas trees for sale | Checubus/Shutterstock

If you're concerned about the environmental impact of your tree, opt for a real, locally sourced one or an artificial one made from eco-friendly materials. As Christmas trees are grown on a farm, they don't have the same effect as deforestation, as new trees are planted all the time. 

Tips for selecting and decorating your tree

Whether you choose an artificial or real Christmas tree, there are a few things to consider before buying one. Measure the space where you plan to put your tree to ensure it fits correctly. Remember to measure the height, especially if you plan on placing a tree topper or decoration on top of your tree.

Holiday decorated room with fireplace,light blue sofa, and golden pillows
Find a tree that works for you | Alina Troeva/Shutterstock

Look for healthy, green needles and sturdy branches if you decide to buy a real tree. If you're purchasing an artificial tree, check the quality of the material and make sure it's fire-resistant. Once you've chosen, gather all the necessary decorations and get creative. Add lights, tinsel, ornaments, and a tree skirt to give your tree a personal and festive touch.


In conclusion, the debate over whether to get a real or artificial Christmas tree comes down to personal preferences and circumstances. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, and it's important to consider your lifestyle and needs before deciding. 

We hope this post has provided you with helpful tips to make the best choice for your home. Whatever tree you choose, we wish you a merry and cheerful holiday season!

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