Best Christmas Tree Toppers

Updated January 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
312 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Christmas tree toppers

Last Updated January 2020

A beautiful Christmas tree needs a beautiful topper to finish it off. That is a given, but which topper would look best on your tree?

The shape of your tree is one of the most important determining factors when selecting a tree topper. Evergreen trees, come in two distinct profiles: full conical trees and slim, narrow trees. If your tree has a full conical profile, a wide tree topper would be perfect for it. The fuller the tree, the wider your topper can be without overpowering it. If your tree has a slim shape, however, you’d be better off with a slender or elongated topper.

There are other issues to consider when shopping for a Christmas tree topper, as well. Do you want something lighted or unlighted? Are you partial to stars? Angels? Religious or secular figures? How big should your tree topper be, and just to be on the safe side, how much should it weigh?

At BestReviews, we understand that the holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about finding the perfect tree topper. We’ve done the research so you can easily select the perfect adornment for the top of your Christmas tree. Read on to learn more.

For many households, the hanging of the holiday tree topper is part of a family tradition.

Key considerations

We’ve already discussed the profile, or shape, of your tree and how it may affect your topper choice. This knowledge is particularly helpful if you have an artificial Christmas tree, since you already know its shape. The same goes for tree height.

Tree height

The height of your tree will determine the best size for your tree topper. You don’t want the topper to be too big for the tree or make it top-heavy, as that poses a safety issue. Whether you use the same artificial tree every year or invest in a fresh-cut evergreen each winter, there are some general guidelines to follow regarding tree height and topper size.

  • A tree that stands between 4 and 5 1/2 feet looks great with a 5-inch topper.
  • A tree that stands between 6 and 6 1/2 feet does well with a 7-inch topper.
  • A tree that stands between 7 and 7 1/2 feet  is a good candidate for a 10-inch topper, but only if your ceiling is more than 8 feet high. If you have a standard 8-foot ceiling, then your topper should only be about 4 inches tall.

Topper weight

Large Christmas tree toppers can be beautiful and eye-catching, but they can also be heavy. Bear in mind that the top of a pine tree is the weakest part of it. The slender trunk at the top will bend and sway quite easily. Putting a heavy topper on your tree could cause the top to lean. The farther it leans, the more stress it puts on the tree as a whole. That, in turn, puts pressure on the tree stand, risking a crash.

Since the type of Christmas tree you get can vary from year to year, it might be best to have several tree toppers of different sizes and weights in your collection. Weight is less of a concern if you have an artificial tree, as the top of those is generally much sturdier than the top of real trees.

Theme

Some people do “theme” Christmas trees that adhere to a particular style. A Christmas tree topper that reflects the overall theme of your decorations ties everything together nicely. These break down into several broad categories, although the average person might have ornaments and strings of garland that fit several of the following styles.

Traditional style

A tree decorated in this style has a more formal look to it, like something out of an old-time storybook. Think of the kind of tree you might expect to see in a manor house. For that, you’ll want a topper that is equally formal.

Religious

For trees that focus on the “reason for the season”, an angel or star topper would be appropriate. There are some Jesus figurine toppers, as well.

Santa Claus

A tree decorated in this style emphasizes red and white, Santa Claus, reindeer, and presents. There are some excellent Santa Claus and snowmen toppers that would work with this style.

Other

This is a catch-all category that could be anything you like, from a Doctor Seuss tree to a playful, whimsical tree with cartoon characters or movie themes. If you look, you’ll likely find something that suits your theme.

Lighted or unlighted

Should your tree topper be lighted or unlighted? Like the endless debate between which is better, vanilla or chocolate, this is an issue that may never actually be resolved.

Safety is the biggest issue related to lit tree toppers. Prior to the widespread use of LED bulbs, the issue on was an even bigger one. Incandescent lights quickly grew hot when they were lit. On a live tree with flammable branches, needles, and sap, a fire could potentially start. (And believe it or not, before incandescent bulbs, people used to put actual candles on the trees!)

Today, LED lights are cool enough to alleviate those concerns. If you opt for a lit tree topper, consider one with LED bulbs for the sake of your safety and peace of mind.

Of course, you could also opt for a tree topper that is not lit. If you’re going for a simplistic or rustic look, consider a plain star with no lights or a doll-like angel for the top of your tree. In some households, this sort of understated tree topper packs a bigger punch that a lit tree topper.

DID YOU KNOW?

Queen Victoria of the Victorian Era was once photographed with her family standing around a Christmas tree that had an angel topper on it. This photograph helped popularize angel toppers.

Features

Material

Christmas tree toppers can be made from nearly every material you might imagine. Some toppers are made of low-cost materials, such as cotton and plastic. Others are made of pricier materials, such as crystal and glass. The material with which a tree topper is made doesn’t always dictate the price, but it does factor into it.

During our research, we found tree toppers made from a range of interesting materials, from blown glass to hardwood to silk. The sky is the limit. Don’t forget to take into consideration the décor of your room and the nature of your ornaments when perusing tree toppers made of different materials.

Color

Red, green, gold, silver, blue, and white are famously known Christmas hues. The vast majority of tree toppers fall within this color palette. There are some outliers with other colors, of course, such as purple or orange. For the most part, these colors are in the minority.

Cord length

Many tree toppers have cords. If yours does, you’ll want to take note of the cord length in case you ever need to plug the topper in separately. Many toppers daisy-chain onto your string of lights, so this is a non-issue. If you will be plugging your tree topper in separately, however, it pays to take note of the cord length before buying.

Projector

Some Christmas tree toppers come with an LED projector inside. The device projects moving snowflakes or other Christmas shapes on the ceiling in your tree room. These projections can be especially beautiful in the dark when you turn off the other lights.

Mount

Most Christmas tree toppers have a conical base that slips over the top of the tree. This type of mount works for a lightweight topper, but if you decide to invest in a topper that’s heavy, look for something with a clip on the back that grips the branch of the tree. This provides some much-needed security as you enjoy your tree during the holiday season.

Christmas tree toppers can become heirlooms that are handed down from generation to generation.

Christmas tree topper prices

Inexpensive: The price range for Christmas tree toppers is wide. The low price range starts around $4 and goes up to about $12. In that range, you’ll find Christmas tree toppers made from flexible polyester, hard plastic, burlap, and wood. Most will be unlit, although a few might be lighted.

Mid-range: The medium price runs from $12 to $50 and includes a wide assortment of lighted stars, porcelain angels, Jesus figures, and Santa Claus toppers. Most are lighted, and some have LED projectors in them to put moving lights on the ceiling above the tree.

Expensive: The priciest Christmas tree toppers run from $50 to $250. You’ll find hand-sculpted toppers, hand-painted blown glass toppers, and much more in this price range. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Pre-lit Christmas trees don’t come with toppers. The topper must be purchased separately.

Tips

  • Put the topper on the tree last. If the tree is lit, you can plug it into the end of the string of lights on your tree.
  • Inspect the top of a freshly cut tree before buying it. Note that you may have to cut some of it off to support the weight of a heavier topper.
  • The total height of your Christmas tree isn’t how tall the tree is. It’s a combination of the tree, the tree stand, and the topper. If you’re not careful, you could end up with more tree than ceiling height.
  • Make sure your tree is standing perfectly straight. Otherwise, the weight of the tree topper could tip it over.

Another product we considered

We like the Kurt Adler 8-Inch Gold Glittered 5 Point Star Tree Topper. It has a coiled spring mount that fits over the top branches on the tree to hold it in place. This 8-inch plastic star has a raised middle that is 2 inches wide for a 3D effect. It is hollow with detailed cutouts in intricate shapes that allow light to shine through from the other side. It’s a classic tree topper that doesn't require electricity or cords.

A Christmas tree topper can make a personal statement about the owner of the tree. If you’re looking for an offbeat Christmas tree topper, you can certainly find it.

FAQ

Q. Why are angels and stars common Christmas tree toppers?
A.
These toppers are symbolic. An angel on top of the tree is often meant to represent the angel Gabriel, who announced to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus. A star on top of the tree is often meant to represent the star of Bethlehem that led the three wise men, or Magi, to Jesus in the manger.
 

Q. Can I put my tree topper on a tree outside my home?
A.
Probably not. Unlike Christmas lights, many of which can be strung outside, most tree toppers are designed for indoor use only. Check the product literature to determine whether it’s safe to place any sort of electrical light outside in the elements.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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