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Picture your home at Christmastime. Do you see a big tree in the corner, decorated with ornaments and strung with lights? We'd stake money on it that you do!
But, in that picture, we bet the tree is standing proudly upright, not leaning against a wall or looking lopsided in a bucket. What’s required, of course, is a quality Christmas tree stand.
The type of stand you need depends on whether your tree is real or artificial and how big it is, so finding the right stand can be a daunting task.
Here at BestReviews, our mission is to help you find the perfect products to fit your needs. We consult experts, test products in our labs, thoroughly analyze relevant data, and listen to the opinions of existing customers.
The result: fair, honest reviews you can trust.
We understand everyone's an individual, and what's right for one consumer might not be right for another. Our shopping guide, below, will provide you with the information you need to discover the Christmas tree stand that ticks all the right boxes for you.
Unless your Christmas tree comes with a stand or you buy a live potted tree, you're going to need a stand. Let's take a look at the reasons why.
Proper Christmas tree stands for live trees have water reservoirs that keep trees fresh and green longer and reduce the number of dropped needles.
Your Christmas tree will be properly secure in its stand, and you won't run the risk of it falling over.
Because Christmas tree stands make your tree more secure than it would be in a makeshift stand, they are safer, especially if you have kids or pets.
What’s wrong with this image: a roaring fire, beautiful ornaments, and a leaning Christmas tree? It’s nearly picture-perfect, but of course you should have the best — and that means the right Christmas tree stand to fit your needs. Here are the main factors you need to consider.
Most Christmas tree stands are made from metal or heavy plastic/polymer. In some cases, it may be a combination of the two. For instance, a stand might have a heavy metal base with plastic claws holding it in place.
Metal stands are usually thought to be of better quality and, therefore, are more expensive. But today, a high-end plastic Christmas tree stand is more or less as durable as a comparable metal tree stand.
Some people prefer the look and feel of metal Christmas tree stands, but modern plastic varieties are just as durable, and they don't rust.
Not all Christmas tree stands are compatible with all trees. Most have a maximum height limit. If you put a tree taller than the maximum height limit in your stand, it won't be stable and could tip over.
Some stands come in different sizes. For instance, you might find a stand that’s manufactured in a medium size for trees up to eight feet and a large size for trees up to 12 feet.
Make sure your chosen Christmas tree stand is able to hold a tree of the height you desire.
As well as tree height, you need to ensure your Christmas tree stand can accommodate the diameter of your tree trunk.
Of course, you're probably buying your Christmas tree stand before your tree and don’t know how large the trunk will be.
Taller trees tend to have larger trunks. If you usually have a fairly tall tree in your home, we recommend opting for a larger tree stand that can hold a trunk diameter of seven inches or so.
Stands designed to fit real Christmas trees can accommodate much larger trunk diameters than stands designed to fit artificial Christmas trees.
Dark green is the most popular color for Christmas tree stands, presumably because it's the same color as the trees themselves.
If you'd prefer something different, however, you could probably find a brighter and more decorative Christmas tree stand. But you might have to shop around to find the right one.
Most Christmas tree stands are dark green to complement the tree’s color, but other hues are available.
Durability is an important factor when you're deciding which Christmas tree stand to buy. Since you're only going to be using it for a few weeks each year, a top-of-the-line model could potentially last you a lifetime.
For example, we've heard from satisfied customers who have owned a Krinner Christmas tree stand for more than 15 years, and they’re still going strong.
A good indicator that a Christmas tree stand will be durable is that it comes with a warranty.
Christmas tree stands that are designed to hold real trees should come with a water reservoir. Although it's been cut down, your tree is technically alive for some time — a bit like cut flowers — and it needs water to stay fresh.
Without water, your Christmas tree would lose its vivid green color and start dropping its needles sooner.
An average tree can consume a quart to a gallon of water each day, so it's a good idea to look for a stand with a large water reservoir. For example, during the course of our research, we found a model by Emerald Innovations that can hold an impressive 3.5 gallons of water.
It's vital you keep the water reservoir in your Christmas tree stand full, as it will help your tree last longer.
The price of a Christmas tree stand varies considerably from model to model. In fact, you could find yourself spending anywhere from $15 to $200 on a Christmas tree stand.
This is a large range, but you generally get what you pay for.
At the cheaper end of the spectrum, you'll find stands designed to hold artificial trees. Since artificial trees are lighter, their stands don't need to be as sturdy, and they tend to be much cheaper.
You can get a good stand for a medium-size artificial tree for about $20.
Some people use a bucket with stones or logs wedged inside as a makeshift Christmas tree stand, but this isn't as safe or secure as using a proper stand.
As a general rule, Christmas tree stands for real trees are more expensive.
A basic plastic stand designed to hold a small tabletop tree may set you back as little as $15 to $20.
A mid-range stand for real trees of up to about 10 feet will probably cost $50 to $100.
Q. Do real trees and artificial trees need different kinds of stands?
A. Yes. Because of their different properties, there are different kinds of stands for real trees and artificial trees.
Artificial trees are lighter, have thin poles in the middle instead of thick trunks, and — of course — don't require water. As such, stands for artificial trees are more lightweight and simply constructed.
Christmas tree stands for real trees, on the other hand, need to be heavy and sturdy to support the weight of a real-life tree without letting it tip over. They also need to have a water reservoir and should be able to accommodate a thick trunk.
Although it would be overkill, you should theoretically be able to fit an artificial tree into a stand built for real trees, but it wouldn't work the other way around.
Q. How do I prepare my Christmas tree stand?
A. Christmas tree stands for artificial trees don't need any preparation, but if you have a real tree, there are a couple of things you should do before you put it in its stand.
First, pour a little water into the reservoir to check for leaks. Assuming it's leak-free, you should then wash out the reservoir with a mild bleach solution with a ratio of one capful of bleach to one cup of water. This will kill bacteria and microorganisms that could harm the tree or prevent it from properly absorbing water.
Q. How often should I refill the water in my Christmas tree stand?
A. A cut Christmas tree can drink up to a gallon of water each day, so you should refill the water in your Christmas tree stand regularly. Most of the time, you'll need to refill the water daily, but if the stand has an especially small water reservoir, you may need to do it twice a day.
Some Christmas tree stands have handy gauges on the side that allow you to check the water level in the reservoir without looking inside.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.