How to Choose the Best Artificial Christmas Tree

Choosing Your Perfect Artificial Christmas Tree 

There are so many choices these days when it comes to artificial Christmas trees. We are going to make sense of if all so you will make the right decision and choose the absolute best artificial Christmas tree to enjoy for many years to come.

beautiful artificial christmas tree

Buying an artificial Christmas tree is overwhelming these days. So many choices, so much to consider.

How do you choose? We’ve got you covered.

This post is sponsored by Puleo International, a family-owned and run Christmas tree company that Jodie and I love. All opinions are fully our own. There are affiliate links in this post that we earn commission from. These links don’t add any cost to use.

elegant artificial Christmas tree

Why Consider an Artificial Christmas Tree?

There are many reasons more and more people are opting to buy artificial Christmas trees vs. a real Christmas tree.

  1. Save money. Real trees are expensive, and obviously not reusable. So, you may be investing anywhere from $50 – $200 every single year. This adds up. Artificial Christmas trees are a one-time purchase and can last 10-15 years or more.
  2. Save time. There are several aspects of real trees that add time and effort into the equation. Real trees take time to choose, pack up, transport, set up safely. There is also the chore of watering to take into consideration. Finally, the clean-up and disposal is another big task. 
  3. Less mess. Real trees need regular watering. They also drop needles, especially as time goes on.
  4. Avoid alergies. Some have mild or even serious allergic reactions to evergreen trees.
  5. No fire hazards. Real trees pose a fire hazard, especially if not watered sufficiently. This was the reason our father always gave for having an artificial Christmas tree when we were growing up.
  6. No babysitting. We mentioned it above, but seriously. If you don’t want to have to stay home to water your Christmas tree, then you might consider going artificial.
  7. Longer lasting. More and more people are extending the enjoyment of the holiday season. We take all the time and effort to decorate our Christmas trees we want it to last longer than a couple weeks. If you want to enjoy your tree for a month or more, you will want to jump on the artificial Christmas tree bandwagon.


colorful classic artificial Christmas tree


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What to Consider when Shopping for an Artificial Christmas Tree

Now let’s look at what things you should consider when deciding on an artificial Christmas tree.

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Type of branches
  • Tree material
  • Tip count
  • Flocked or not
  • Pre-lit or not
  • Type of bulbs
  • Density
  • Warranty
  • Price

fabulous artificial Christmas tree to love

Choosing the Size of your Artificial Christmas Tree

When trying to decide the size of your tree here are things to consider:

  • Measure your space in advance.
  • Ideally you want 6-12″ between the top of the tree and the ceiling.
  • Leave 6″ between the bottom of the tree (widest spot) and the walls.

Note:  These aren’t hard and fast rules but general guidelines. Jodie and I move our trees all around our houses, so we don’t always follow these “rules.”


Choosing the Shape of your Tree

The main shape categories you’ll find are:

  1. Full:  regular, full-size tree
  2. Slim:  more narrow-shaped tree
  3. Pencil:  most narrow-shaped tree
  4. Tabletop
  5. Potted

Within these categories you’ll find a variety of sizes.

Look to the specific dimensions to find the best fit for your space.


classy & sparkling Christmas tree decor

Type of Branches

There are two main types of branches available on artificial Christmas trees:

  1. Hinged:  This type is easiest to set up. This type is also available in pre-lit because the tree is connected.
  2. Hook in:  This type takes more time. This type requires piece by piece setup. This type can’t be pre-lit.

Note:  My first artificial Christmas tree was this type. It was a huge project putting the tree together. I remember it taking a full day to put the tree together. I was always too exhausted by the time I put the tree to start the decorating process. Plus, it was easy to get off track and make mistakes putting branches in out of order. 


classic red christmas tree decor


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Types of Materials Used in Artificial Christmas Trees

There are two main types of materials used:

  1. PVC:  Needles are attached using wires.
  2. PE:  Branches are fabricated creating a more realistic tree.
  3. Combination of PVC & PE:  Some companies use both materials to create realistic, affordable trees that last. 

Our new trees from Puleo International combine the best of both materials to make a high-quality, value-driven tree that is both affordable and gorgeous. 


choose the perfect artificial Christmas tree

What does “Tip Count” mean?

The number of tips determines the fullness of a tree. 

It’s a direct reflection of the quality of a tree.

Unless your specific goal is to have a “Charlie Brown Tree,” you’ll want to look for a tree with a high tip count for a full, lush-looking tree that will look beautiful and hold a lot of ornaments.

Puleo International Christmas trees have a high tip count, another aspect that makes them look so beautiful and so realistic.


Should I Choose a Flocked Christmas Tree?

  • This decision is totally a personal choice based on preference.
  • A flocked tree looks like it is covered in snow.
  • Some flocked trees have a slight dusting.
  • Others are covered in flocking.
  • Some flocked trees have sparkle or glitter mixed in to reflect the light.

white flocked artificial Christmas tree

A few things to consider when trying to decide:

  • Flocked trees are beautiful on their own and need less decorating to look finished.
  • Some flocked trees can drop material and be messy.
  • Flocked trees are stylized. Is this the look you want this year and next year as well?
  • You can’t remove the flocking, so it’s a permanent look.

Double click on tree below to shop.


Jodie’s Puleo International tree is a flocked pre-lit tree. She says her tree has a beautiful amount of flocking.

Jodie also reports that there was minimal mess.

We know so many people worry about getting a flocked tree because they think it will make too much of a mess.

We encourage you to take the leap if you want the look. 

festive christmas tree design

Puleo International:  Artificial Christmas Tree Makers

Puleo International is known as “The Oldest Family Name for Christmas Trees in America®.” Puleo International is fourth-generation family-owned manufacturer and distributor of high quality, hand-crafted artificial Christmas trees and Christmas home décor.

We absolutely love the story of how this family-owned business got started. It was 1954 and Marian Puleo bought an artificial Christmas tree for her home. She was so excited about it, but she immediately began imagining ways she could improve the tree. Her goal was to create the most beautiful Christmas tree ever. She imagined adding joy to people’s homes with her creations, and so she got to work adding lifelike details that would transform the artificial Christmas tree industry for generations to come.


artificial Christmas tree to love for years

Should I Choose Pre-lit or No Lights?

Here are the reasons to choose a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree:

  1. It saves time putting your tree together every year.
  2. Lights are well spaced, no clumping.
  3. Fewer visible wires.
  4. Adds value to your tree.
  5. Lighting warranties can protect your investment.
  6. Look for burnout protection so if one light burns out the entire string will stay lit.

Reasons against the pre-lit choice:

  1. Pre-lit artificial Christmas trees are more expensive.
  2. It can be a hassle to replace bulbs.
  3. If you don’t have burnout protection, one light goes and out goes the full string.
  4. Not all artificial Christmas trees come with a warranty.

Our new artificial Christmas trees from Puleo International have burnout protection, also called “continuous on”. They also come with plenty of replacement bulbs and replacement fuses. The instruction booklet explains how to easily replace both to maintain 100% lighting for years. In addition, all Puleo International trees come with a 2-year lighting warranty.


artificial Christmas tree inspiration


Not All Lights are Created Equal

When you choose a pre-lit tree it’s hard to know if you’ll love the lights before you get it home and lit. Jodie and I love the quality of the lights on our pre-lit trees from Puleo International.

  • First, the trees have a wonderful amount of lights.
  • Secondly, the lights themselves are big and give off a lot of gorgeous light.
  • Finally, the lights are the perfect glow, not fake, not cool, but bright and amazing.

As decorators, we consider ourselves very picky when it comes to lighting, and our new trees couldn’t be more beautifully lit. Jodie and I have many artificial Christmas trees. The lighting on our new trees from Puleo International is superior. Usually we both add more lights to our artificial trees. We both decided it wasn’t necessary with these trees. This is a huge win and a great convenience.

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How Many Lights Should You Look For?

If preferring a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree how many lights are ideal?

Roughly 100 lights per foot on average is a full tree. (Pencil or slim trees require fewer lights.)

Note:  As a decorator I love to change up the look of my tree from year to year. One trick I use is to add extra lights to my pre-lit tree. Feel free to add extra sparkle, colored lights, or different lighting accents to your tree. Just because the tree comes with lights that doesn’t mean you can’t add more if you love extra sparkle.

Julie’s Artificial Christmas Tree From Puleo International

My tree is below. It’s 7.5 ft and has 700 lights which is plenty.


It is:  Puleo International 7.5 Foot Pre-Lit Aspen Fir Artificial Christmas Tree with 700 UL Listed Clear Lights 

This tree has a rating of 4.4/5.0 from 356 buyers.


Jodie’s Artificial Christmas Tree from Puleo International

Here is Jodie’s beautiful Puleo International 7.5 Foot Pre-Lit Aspen Fir Flocked Artificial Christmas Tree with 700 UL Listed Clear Lights.

Her tree has a rating of 4.3/5.0 out of 14 global buyers.




What’s the Difference Between Incandescent Bulbs and LED bulbs?

Let’s look at the difference between incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs:

Pros of LED lights:  

  • LED lights last longer.

Cons of LED lights:

  • LED lights are much more expensive.
  • LED lights have a less preferred hue.

Pros of Incandescent bulbs:

  • Incandescent bulbs are less expensive.
  • Incandescent have a more beautiful glow.

We love our new trees from Puleo International. The incandescent lights are gorgeous. And the value of the trees is unbeatable.

Look for a Warranty When Selecting Your Artificial Christmas Tree

  • You want to choose a tree that provides a warranty.
  • It’s important to choose a reputable company that stands behind their products.
  • Puleo International offers a 2-year warranty on lights, and a 5-year warranty on the tree itself.


stunning classic christmas tree

Let’s Talk About Price and Value

  • Jodie and I own many artificial Christmas trees. Our other trees range in price from $550- $1500.
  • Our new trees from Puleo International are amazing. The quality and value is stunning.
  • My tree is $200! Jodie’s flocked tree is only $260. We still can’t believe the prices of these trees.
  • They look so beautiful.
  • The 7.5 ft. size is ideal.
  • The lights are stunning, our favorite on any tree.
  • We love our Puleo trees more than our trees priced over $1000! 
  • The branches look so real.
  • The shape is divine.
  • And finally, the strength of the branches makes decorating effortless.

Why We’re So Excited…

We hope you already know this, but just in case, we want to tell you this. Jodie and I are very choosy, very particular about the brands we choose to work with. Why? Because truth matters. And because you are our first priority. Our reputation is everything. We only want to work with companies who meet our high standards. Well, Friends, Puleo International exceeds our standards in every way. 

The people behind the brand are an example of a hard-working American family committed to making the world better by their company standards and values. And their products bring an incredible value to homes all over the world. We truly love this company and their gorgeous Christmas trees. We know you will too. 

Puleo International has a large selection of tree options. Here are a few more of our favorites.


Happy Holidays, Friends!
XO ~
jodie & julie 


How to Choose the Best Artificial Christmas Tree
Article Name
How to Choose the Best Artificial Christmas Tree
Choose the best artificial Christmas tree. We answer all the questions and take the confusion out of buying fake Christmas trees.
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The Design TWins
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  1. Emily says:

    Holy moly, what beautiful trees and I actually cannot believe the price! That’s fantastic! You ladies both did an amazing job. 🙂

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Hi Emily, I know right? It’s amazing. And in person the quality is even more astounding. Now that we know, it’s strange that anyone would pay more for trees. And thank you so much for the kind reply. It means a lot to us. Happy Holidays, Julie & Jodie

  2. Nina says:

    Beautiful trees ladies! I love them both!

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      Thanks for the kind words we really appreciate it! So glad you enjoyed seeing our trees this year!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  3. Olivia says:

    Thank you for the helpful information! The trees’ pictures are stunning.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      You’re very welcome sweet friend! We are so glad you found this information helpful. Thanks for all the love on this blog post!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  4. Karol says:

    Thanks for the great information.
    This will help me make a better decision on what tree to purchase.
    I am still deciding on whether to go with pre-lit.
    It is a big decision. I don’t want major bulb issues in the future.
    Thanks again

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      You’re very welcome hun! Jodie & I are so glad you found this blog post helpful. Absolutely, that is a big difference. We wish you all the best in your holiday decorating!
      Happy Holidays!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  5. Pamela Stansberry says:

    Your post could not have come at a better time!! I have been looking at trees these past three weeks and finally, with your great article, and recommendations I have a new tree!! Can’t wait til my new 7.5 Foot Pre-Lit Aspen Fir Flocked Tree from Puleo International to arrive. Thank you for your wonderful article!! I love following your blog 🙂

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      This makes us so happy to hear! We are thrilled you enjoyed this holiday post. We have more holiday blog content coming soon. You are too sweet. Happy holidays!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  6. Eloisa says:

    I really admire how you go into details of the Christmas trees. A lot of people just buy and do not care about those details on how to choose their tree according to height, materials, width and even the price. This is very helpful to all of us. Thank you for sharing.

    • jjdesigntwins says:

      We are so glad to hear you found this post helpful. Yes, we wanted to provide as much detail as possible to help you choose the best tree. Thanks for all the love on this blog post! Happy Holidays!
      Lots of love,
      Jodie & Julie

  7. Tonya says:

    I took your recommendation to heart and purchased the Puleo Aspen Fir. I have it up and love it!! It looks so much like the real trees I’ve been spending so much money on these past several years. This is money well spent and will pay for itself in a couple years. Now to decorate! I would love to read about some of your tree decorating tips and suggestions. I love the pictures of your personal trees. They are beautifully done. Thanks for sharing your great info.

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