Which Christmas tree toppers are best?
Some families use the same Christmas tree topper for generations. Other families alternate between a few different Christmas tree toppers for a sense of fun and variety. No matter how you prefer to decorate, placing the topper on your finished Christmas tree is one of those cherished holiday traditions that brings the family together.
If you’re in the market for a new Christmas tree topper, there’s a lot to consider. Our top pick, the Kurt Adler LED Color-Changing Star Tree Topper, is a great mix of the traditional and the modern. Whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift, here’s how to find the perfect Christmas tree topper for you.
What to know before you buy a Christmas tree topper
Tree size and shape
You need to know your Christmas tree before you can buy a topper. Christmas trees come in two main shapes: Wide, cone-shaped trees and slim, pencil-shaped trees. Wide trees need a wide topper to look proportional. Slim trees need the opposite.
If you have an artificial tree, using the same topper year after year is a lot easier. Once you find one that works for you, it’s good for the life of the tree. If you buy a fresh tree every year, things get a bit trickier. You will need to continue buying the same size and shape of tree if you have a topper you’re particularly fond of.
The height of your tree in its stand and the height of your topper are also important considerations to make sure everything looks proportional. Measure the height of your tree in its stand in feet and then add one. That’s a good approximation of how high your topper should be in inches.
Don’t forget about the height of your ceiling either. If your topper is too close to or too far from the ceiling, it can end up looking gigantic or tiny.
Some families have a single tree in the main part of their home. Other families have several trees with different styles around the house. No matter what decorating theme you prefer, there are many designs to choose from.
If you prefer a classic look, a star or a blown-glass topper are both great options. If you prefer a more religious tree, opt for an angel or Jesus Christ himself. Secular families may prefer Santa Claus, a snowman or a favorite cartoon character.
What to look for in a quality Christmas tree topper
Weight and mount
Your topper shouldn’t weigh down the top of your tree. Most toppers have a cone base that can be difficult to position correctly. Even if you get everything just right, your topper may shift as the holiday season goes on because of gravity or from brushing up against the tree. It’s a good idea to secure your topper to a sturdy branch.
That being said, assume that your topper will fall off the tree at some point. It’s one of those unavoidable things that happens to the best of us.
Many stars, angels and other Christmas tree-topper models light up. Some shine bright white, while others rotate between colors like red, green and blue. While there are some cordless models on the market, the majority of these toppers will plug into the top of your Christmas lights. This can take a bit of extra effort to space out properly, but the effect is worth it.
Some models even go a step further and contain small devices that project snowflakes and other holiday shapes onto your ceiling.
If you’re looking for a Christmas tree topper to hand down to your children or your grandchildren, it pays to invest in heirloom-quality materials. Blown-glass or wood toppers are a great choice, although they can be a bit difficult to position correctly because of their shape and weight.
There’s nothing wrong with a cotton or plastic topper as long as you think it’ll last. There are no rules when it comes to Christmas. Whatever has meaning for you and your family is what will go on the top of your tree for years to come.
How much you can expect to spend on a Christmas tree topper
Basic Christmas tree toppers start around $10-$20. Midrange Christmas tree toppers made of higher-quality materials, possibly with lights or LED projectors, go for $20-$60. High-end Christmas tree toppers made of heirloom-quality materials begin at $60 and go into the hundreds of dollars.
Christmas tree topper FAQ
Do I absolutely need a Christmas tree topper?
A. You don’t absolutely need a topper, but your Christmas tree might look a little bare without one. In addition to being a nice decorative touch, toppers serve a practical purpose. They draw your attention away from the tangle of lights that can accumulate at the top of your tree. For this reason alone, a topper may be worth a try.
Can I use my topper on an outdoor Christmas tree?
A. While some types of Christmas lights are specifically manufactured for outdoor use, most toppers are made of delicate components that aren’t meant to withstand harsh winter weather. Snow could damage your topper’s lights, cold temperatures could crack your topper’s materials or harsh winds could just blow the whole topper away. Unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer, use your topper indoors only.
What’s the best Christmas tree topper to buy?
Top Christmas tree topper
What you need to know: The impressive LED lights on this classically designed star make this our best all-around topper.
What you’ll love: Cordless design makes installation easy. Frost and glitter detailing are included, along with two replacement bulbs.
What you should consider: Some users found the coil base challenging to position properly on their tree.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Christmas tree topper for the money
What you need to know: Give your Christmas tree a hug with this adorable snowman tree topper.
What you’ll love: It gives your tree a lot of personality for not a lot of money. The metal and polyester design makes it easy to position exactly how you want it.
What you should consider: It’s not the best choice for those who prefer a more elegant, traditional tree.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a great choice if you prefer an angel on the top of your tree.
What you’ll love: The 14-inch figure has wings, a calming face and an ethereal white outfit. It’s hand-painted and -crafted.
What you should consider: It doesn’t light up, and it might be a bit big for a shorter tree.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
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Frank Paiva writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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