Faux vs Real: A Comprehensive Guide To Shopping Christmas Trees This Festive Season

In this blog post, we run through the best lifelike artificial trees the interweb has to offer as well as the different real tree varieties and their best features.

Every year thousands of households face the same Yuletide dilemma of choosing between a real Christmas tree or an artificial one, and whilst locally grown Christmas trees are definitely the more sustainable option, they can also be quite the investment during what is an already ridiculously spenny month for most.

In this blog post, we run through the best lifelike artificial trees the interweb has to offer as well as the different real tree varieties and their best features.

Artificial Christmas Trees

Artificial trees may not be able to compete with that pine-fresh real Christmas tree smell but what they lack in scent-imental appeal they more than make up for in cost-effective convenience and longevity.

There’s also the added bonus of easy decorating and maintenance since they tend to be more symmetrical than their real fir counterparts

Faux spruces can be dusted off & reused every year for a fraction of the price, making them a great long-lasting and budget-friendly option during the most expensive month of the year. There’s also the added bonus of easy decorating and maintenance since they tend to be more symmetrical than their real fir counterparts and you don’t have to remember to water them every other day.

From pre-lit to fully decorated, frosted, flocked, wooden and everything in-between, here’s the best and most realistic faux Christmas trees to ensure your holiday season is merry and bright.

Real-looking Artificial

Best feature: They’ll never know!

The creme de la creme of the artificial tree world these bad boys are hard to clock. Taking notes from the finest spruce, invest in one of the below if you’re hoping to trick your guests into thinking yours is the real deal!

White Company £295 | Homebase £115 | Balsam Hill £579

Classic Artificial

Best Feature: Perfect for fitting all your decorations on

The picture-perfect artificial tree; tall, triangular and perfect for packing all your brilliant baubles on. Top points if you invest in a tree that’s pre-lit for the ultimate faff-free assembly.

White Stores £109.99 | Next £70 | Wayfair £163.99

Super Snowy

Best Feature: Finally a white Christmas you can rely on!

Every year we dream of a white Christmas so why not guarantee it yourself with a snow-tipped spruce. Admittedly these won’t fool anyone but they will look fantastic against all your white decorations.

White Stores £279.99 | Wilko £75 | Marks & Spencer £149


Best Feature: Super cute on table tops

Not every abode can fit a 6ft Christmas tree in, so these little fellas will make you feel super festive without having to squeeze a tree through the door. Pop them on tabletops or window bays and decorate with battery-powered fairy lights and tiny baubles.

Marks & Spencer £7.50 | Habitat £16 | Next £20

So Scandi

Best Feature: Great for smaller spaces or pet owners

Looking for an uber-cool Christmas with none of the fluff? Every minimalist who isn’t into the trad trees will love these Scandi alternatives, extra points if you add the beautiful brown paper packages underneath!

Cox & Cox £25 | Cox & Cox £75 | Cox & Cox £175

Pine Cone Paradise

Best Feature: bring the outdoors in

Nothing says Christmas quite like pine cones and berries so why not grab a tree with some extra nature already thrown on. Go easy on the decorations and let the little pops of red speak for themselves.

Habitat £80 | Dunelm £269 | The Range £55.99

Nicely Novelty

Best feature: Heaps of fun and personality

Stuff the idea of a green tree altogether, go balls to wall and pick up something festively fabulous! You can pretty much buy trees in every colour, go for rainbow if you can’t make up your mind. These beauties make the perfect backdrop to all those novelty decorations you can’t get enough of.

Housing Units £199 | Next £110 | Ginger Ray £25

Real Christmas Trees

If you prefer to shop real Christmas trees over the artificial variety, you’ll know all about the mind-boggling struggle of picking your favourite felled fellow each year. To make the task a tad easier, here’s the 411 on the most popular fir baby types and their most common characteristics.

Top tip: look for a shiny, glossy green coat and tap it on the ground to test the needle drop before buying to ensure it’s a fresh cutting. Once you’ve picked your favourite fir, we’ve got a handy blog post here to help you keep him green and glossy all through the holidays.

Norway Spruce

Best feature: bushy shape and traditional aesthetic

Originally from Scandinavia, the Norway Spruce is considered the oldest traditional Christmas tree that boasts a classic festive scent and pyramidal shape. Great for late Christmas tree decorators or those with cooler rooms as it can be prone to dropping more needles than the other varieties. If you want a tree packed with decorations, the Norway Spruce is a good tree to pick due to its abundance of branches.

Nordmann Fir

Best feature: great shape and longer lasting

This majestic fir originated from the Caucus mountains in Russia and has rich glossy green needles and strong tiered branches. Renowned for its elegant picture-perfect shape and superior needle holding abilities, it is the most popular Christmas tree species in Europe. You can now purchase a beautiful Nordmann Fir for delivery from John Lewis here.

Balsam Fir

Best feature: Aromatic scent

The Balsam Fir is the most aromatic of all the firs. It’s one of America’s all-time favourite Christmas trees due to its soft short needles, distinctive long-lasting aroma, dense foliage and dark green colour.

Blue Spruce

Best feature: steely blue / silvery green foliage

With its distinctive cool-blue colour and elegant shape, it’s definitely one of the most stylish trees of the bunch. However, they are very prickly so they’re probably not idea for families with young children. Handle with care.

Fraser Fir

Best feature: Narrow, fragrant & bushy

Although best suited for smaller spaces, the Fraser Fir is still one of the most popular and most fragrant Christmas trees. With its classic balsam scent, good needle retention and soft green/silver branches, it’s a beautiful spruce that’ll make any home feel holiday-ready. You can now purchase a beautiful Fraser Fir for delivery from John Lewis here.

Noble Fir

Best feature: handsome blue /green foliage

The ultimate in luxury Christmas trees – a Noble Fir is a chunky tree with beautiful blue-tinged needles and perfectly spaced branches. If you’re looking for a dramatic festive focal point with sturdy needles, this is the one to go for.

Lodgepole Pine

The crème de la crème – a Lodgepole Pine has the best needle retention of all the species. You’ll be able to spot one from its long green needles, bushy appearance, strong pine scent and upward-pointing branches. If you get lucky, it might even have some little pine cone on it. How festive!

Which camp are you in, real or faux? Either way, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without that humble green icon would it!