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Most realistic pre-lit Christmas trees to decorate without the mess

If you want the showstopping look of a real Christmas tree without all the fallen needles, the good news is that you can have it all. Highly realistic artificial Christmas trees let you decorate your home without the mess. 

What's more, you can even buy them pre-lit so there's no need to mess around with strings of lights. The most realistic pre-lit Christmas trees don't come cheap, but they're worth the investment because they'll last decades of holiday seasons. 

In this article: National Tree Company Pre-lit 'Feel Real' Artificial Full Christmas Tree, Balsam Hill European Silver Fir Artificial Christmas Tree and National Tree Company Jersey Fraser Fir Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree

Christmas tree types

Realistic artificial Christmas trees are modeled after real types of evergreen trees, rather than having generic Christmas tree shapes. They fall into one of three categories: fir, spruce or pine (with some manufacturers recreating specific species). 

  • Fir: Fir trees have dense branches and wide, flat needles with rounded tips. Douglas firs, balsam firs and Fraser firs are among the most popular options.
  • Spruce: Spruces have rough branches with sharper, pointier needles. Popular spruces include Norway spruces and white spruces. 
  • Pine: Pines have sparser branches compared to firs and spruces with tight clumps of fine needles. They're less popular than other types, but Carolina pines and Scotch pines are relatively popular. 

Polyvinyl chloride needles vs. molded needles

When you think of a basic artificial tree, you probably picture it with flat, flexible needles with blunt tips. These are PVC needles. They might give the basic illusion of a Christmas tree, but they're not fooling anyone, even from a distance. 

If you're looking for a realistic tree, you should choose one with a high percentage of molded needles. Made from molded polyethylene plastic, they have the exact shape and dimensions of real Christmas tree needles. From a distance, you'd never know it wasn't a real tree, and it's even hard to tell up close.

Most trees with molded needles still have some PVC needles on less visible parts of their branches to keep costs down, but this doesn't affect their realism too much. 

Tree size

Consider what tree size is appropriate for your space. You can find everything from miniature 1- or 2-foot trees to huge 12-foot trees. If you're looking for a large tree, one of around 7 feet is perfect for a room with standard-height ceilings of 8 to 9 feet, while trees of around 6 feet are great for rooms with low ceilings. 

Artificial Christmas tree lighting options

When you're looking for a pre-lit Christmas tree, it's important to make sure you're happy with the way it's lit since there's no changing it. Consider both the color of the lights and their quantity. 

  • Color: Some trees have white lights only. These can either be cool white or warm white, so think about which you prefer. Others have multicolored lights in a range of hues. The most advanced LEDs let you switch between white, multicolor and other solid colors, such as red or blue. 
  • Number of lights: For a well-lit tree, look for around 100 LED lights per foot. So, a 6-foot tree should have at least 600 lights, and a 7.5-foot tree should have around 750 lights. More than this is fine, but any less, and it can look sparsely lit. 

Best pre-lit Christmas trees

National Tree Company Pre-lit 'Feel Real' Artificial Full Christmas Tree

Thanks to the tips molded in casts made from real branches, this artificial tree is among the most realistic around. You can choose from clear or dual-color lights, and size options range from 6 to 9 feet.

Sold by Amazon

Balsam Hill European Silver Fir Artificial Christmas Tree

With 100% molded foliage, this tree looks like the real deal and is available in 5-foot, 6-foot and 7-foot sizes. It's modeled after the gorgeous European silver fir with a stunning silver-blue tint to its branches.

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National Tree Company Jersey Fraser Fir Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree

Densely lit with multicolor LEDs, this tree is perfect for anyone who likes Christmas to be colorful. You can choose from three sizes ranging from 6.5 to 9 feet.

Sold by Amazon

National Tree Company Nordic Spruce Pre-lit Christmas Tree

The full, conical shape is designed to look like the Nordic spruce with molded tips that replicate the shape of the branches and needles exactly. At 7.5 feet tall, it's well-lit with 900 white LEDs.

Sold by Amazon

Puleo International Pre-lit Balsam Fir Artificial Christmas Tree 

Available in 7.5-foot and 9-foot sizes, this tree is perfect for average to large rooms. Modeled after the balsam fir tree, it has a true-to-life shape and realistic needles.

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National Tree Company Pre-lit Dunhill Fir Artificial Full Christmas Tree

With a classic fir tree shape and a full appearance, this tree makes a statement, whether you opt for a small 4.5-foot version, a large 9-foot version or something in between. It's lit with multicolored lights to bring festive cheer to any room.

Sold by Amazon

Balsam Hill Balsam Fir Premium Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree

With 70% molded tips, you'd have to look deep into the foliage to tell that this tree isn't real. It's designed to look just like the popular balsam fir — minus the shedding needles.

Sold by Amazon

National Tree Company Pre-lit Douglas Fir Christmas Tree

If you want the look of a Douglas fir without the hassle of a real tree, you'll be amazed by how realistic this one looks, and it comes in sizes ranging from 6.5 to 9 feet. The dual-color lights can be set to white or multicolor with a range of twinkling and flashing settings.

Sold by Amazon

National Tree Carolina Pine Tree Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Tree

This Carolina pine is perfect for anyone who prefers a soft, fluffy look to their Christmas trees. It is pre-lit with white lights and also features artificial pine cones.

Sold by Amazon

National Tree Company Pre-Lit Slim Nordic Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree

With a slim silhouette, this tree is great for tight corners. It is 7.5 feet tall and has 900 dual-color lights that you can set to white or multicolor.

Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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