What Christmas Tree Size Do I Need?

This post about Christmas Tree Size was updated in October of 2023.

Christmas TreesThis holiday season, go faux and say goodbye to tangled lights, brittle branches and dropped needles. Everlasting greenery is better than ever (it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference), and there are so many beautiful options for decking your home’s halls.

Before you make the switch to a hassle-free holiday, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the right Christmas tree size for your space.

Christmas Tree in living room

A beautifully decorated tree can really make a room come alive and feel festive. Naturally, it has a lot to do with the decorations and lights, but having a tree that perfectly fits the space makes a huge difference, too. So, just as if you were shopping for a piece of furniture, you should make sure your Christmas tree size and scale is proportional to the appointed space. In other words, not too big or too small, but just right.

1. How Tall Should My Christmas Tree Be?

Generally, it’s best to allow 1 ½ feet to six inches minimum between the top of the tree and your ceiling. And don’t forget to account for the height of your tree stand and the tree topper you want to use.

8 Foot Ceilings

  • If you have standard 8-foot ceilings and want the tallest Christmas tree your room will allow, you can choose a 7 ½-foot tree and still have a six-inch clearance for your tree stand and topper.

9 Foot Ceilings

  • A 7 ½-foot Christmas tree is the perfect size for 9-foot ceilings. You can be sure the tree won’t hug the ceiling, and you’ll have plenty of space to top the tree with a shining star.

10 Foot Ceilings

  • If you have 10-foot ceilings, it’s safe to size up and choose a 9-foot tree. You’ll have one foot of space between the ceiling and the tip of your tree.

Christmas Tree at night by a fireplace

2. What Shape Should My Christmas Tree Be?

Evergreen trees come in all shapes and sizes to fit a variety of spaces. And one thing to consider when it comes to finding the right Christmas tree size to fit your space is its shape, or girth. You want a tree that will fill your space without crowding out your furniture or climbing up your walls.

64” Diameter Tree

  • When you’re measuring your space, give yourself a three-inch cushion between the walls and the tree. Therefore, the total space you need to comfortably fit a 64-inch diameter tree is 67 inches.

69” Diameter Tree

  • Accounting for three inches of space between the walls and your tree, the total space you need to comfortably fit a 69-inch diameter tree is 72 inches. As long as you don’t have furniture nearby, the larger tree will look great.

Christmas Tree lights with wallpaper backgroundTime to Decorate

Now that you’ve figured out which tree size you need, it’s time for the fun part – decorating it! From ornaments to lights, garland, and tree toppers, there are so many ways you can add personality and style to your tree. Unfortunately, the decorating process isn’t as easy as it seems.

It can take multiple assessments to realize that you missed hanging an ornament on a branch or you need an extra strand of lights. This is why we’ve gathered a foolproof formula to help you achieve your desired Christmas tree look.


3. How Many Strands of Lights Do You Need?

We always recommend starting with your lights first. If you love Christmas trees that are professionally done, invest in good LED lights. For that professional look, you’ll want to work the lights in and out of the branches. Take the lights all the way in to the core of the tree and zig zag the lights outward and cover the EACH branch.

7.5 Foot Tree

  • For a 7.5-foot tree, we suggest using at least 1,000 incandescent lights. If you want your tree to be very well lit, you’ll want to use 5,000 LED lights.

9 Foot Tree

  • 9-foot trees will need at least 1,500 incandescent lights and 6,000 LED lights for that professionally lit look.

10 Foot Tree

  • For 10-foot trees, we suggest using 2,500 incandescent lights and 8,5000 LED lights for a well lit tree.

4. How Many Ornaments Do You Need?

Ornaments all come down to your your personal preference. While some love very full trees, there are others who prefer a more minimalist approach. No matter which you prefer, always make sure you are mixing sizes and finishes. We love to use filler ornaments like solids and metallics to fill the inside of the tree. Use your large metallic ornaments and push them inside the holes in the tree so they fill the negative space, but also reflect the light from the strands and sparkle. Save your special memory ornaments and collector pieces to showcase on the outer branches. You want to have those special pieces front and center.

7.5 Foot Tree

  • For a 7.5-foot tree we would recommend 105 ornaments for light coverage. If you like a heavier coverage, we suggest 140 ornaments.

9 Foot Tree

  • For a 9-foot tree we recommend 175 ornaments for lighter coverage and 210 ornaments for fuller coverage.

10 Foot Tree

  • A 10-foot tree will need around 200 ornaments for light coverage and 250 pieces for heavier coverage.

Two Christmas Trees in a Living RoomDid you find this article about finding the best sized Christmas tree for your home helpful? Browse all of our Christmas Trees and find more holiday inspiration from these helpful posts below:

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    November 2, 2017

    Hello, I have a 12′ ceiling and large space. The 10′ and 11′ trees are harder to find than the 9′ and 12′ . I want to get a 10′ or 11′ but would a 9′ be too small with the stand and a topper? Thanks in advance!

  2. Reply


    October 31, 2017

    We have 13′ ceilings in our new home. Seems like the tree sizes are either 9′ or 12′ … afraid 12′ might be a bit too big, but 9′ too small. What do you think?

  3. Reply


    January 5, 2017

    What size tree skirt should I have for a 12 foot tree??

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      January 5, 2017

      The height isn’t so much the measurement to consider, it’s the width. You’ll want your tree skirt to extend a minimum of three inches out from the widest part of your tree, and since taller trees tend to be fatter, we suggest at least a 60 inch skirt!

  4. Reply


    November 30, 2016

    I have cathedral ceilings in my living room, not sure how high but very high. I want to buy a 10 ft real tree this year. How much depth / diameter will this need? Thanks, Jill

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      December 1, 2016

      This really depends on the actual tree you buy since real trees vary so much! I would suggest measuring the area where your tree will live in your home, then take your measurements and measuring tape to the Christmas tree lot and measure while you’re there to be sure the one you pick out will fit. Most Christmas tree farms will let you take the mesh off so you can see how the limbs fall.
      Best of luck!

  5. Reply

    Ashley Dempsey

    November 3, 2016

    any idea what size topper should be used for a 9ft tree in a room with vaulted ceilings? I currently have a 12″ moravian star but not sure if it’ll look too small for the space?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 15, 2016

      Your Moravian Star topper sounds pretty! 12″ seems like a reasonable size to work with your large, 9 foot tree. As an example, we use our Venetian Tree Topper on 9 foot trees and it’s 11.5 inches tall. It’s plenty large enough in scale!
      Happy Decorating!

  6. Reply

    Carol Harris

    January 3, 2016

    I am trying to replace a string of lights that I purchased about 3 years ago. It is made up of a series of small lights on tentacles which radiated from the main cord. It has a setting for different light patterns and had to be individually plugged in. Purchased along with sparkling garlands and gold ornaments which were displayed on one of your themed trees in a sales catalogue. There was a ruffled burlap tree skirt and table cover that complimented the theme.Also, White Owls 6″ and 10″ feathered owls. Do you still sell any of these? I can’t find on the website.

  7. Reply


    December 28, 2015

    I have a 9 foot tree in a living room with 14 ft ceilings. I want to put it in an urn for next year. What diameter and height should I be looking to use?

  8. Reply


    November 25, 2015

    How would one determine the size of the tree topper? The standard size sold (stars, angels, etc.) Seem to fit a 6-8 ft tree. We usually have 10-12ft. How big should the topper be?

  9. Reply


    November 23, 2015

    How is the tree stabilized in the tall pot? Is the tree removed from the pot for storage or is it permanently attached? .

  10. Reply


    November 5, 2015

    Our ceilings are 9’8″ so we are between the 7.5′ and the 9′ tree. What do you suggest?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 15, 2016

      Kris, we would suggest airy on the smaller side. A 9 foot tree would likely feel cramped if you only have 8 inches of clearance.

  11. Reply


    October 25, 2015

    The silver hurricane glasses that are holding candles, are they available on your website?


  12. Reply


    October 13, 2015

    What size should I buy if the ceilings are 22-23 feet high? The room is about 16′ x 21′ (although 3-4′ of the 21 is a walkway). I’m afraid the diameter of the taller trees will be too much but I don’t care for the slim look.

  13. Reply


    June 25, 2015

    I love the entire setting!!! It looks like there’s ceramic tile around the fireplace. Do you know what tile that is and where I can buy some? Thank for creating and sharing this gorgeous shot.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 1, 2015

      Hi Michael,
      We’re thrilled to hear you like this space! Unfortunately we don’t have any information about the tile on this fireplace. So sorry!
      The How to Decorate Team

  14. Reply


    January 18, 2015

    Gorgeous tree decor! Where can I purchase the ornaments? Looks like there are several types of ornaments. Thanks!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      January 23, 2015

      Hi Kimberly,
      All of these ornaments are available at BallardDesigns.com.
      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  15. Reply


    January 14, 2015

    Gorgeous! I love it all but wondering if you happen to know where I can buy that rug?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      January 15, 2015

      Hi Shannon,
      Thanks for your comment! We’re so happy to hear you love this rug. It’s the Diamond Sisal Rug in Gray from Ballard Designs.
      Happy Decorating!
      The How to Decorate Team

  16. Reply


    November 28, 2014

    Any ideas for a fifteen foot ceiling? Dining room is fifteen foot but the rest of the nine foot. Thinking of going with a 12 foot, but don’t want to look tacky. Thoughts? 10 or 12? Thank you!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      December 1, 2014

      Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for your comment. We think a 12 foot tree would look absolutely gorgeous! But a 10 foot tree would be beautiful too. We say go for it!
      Happy Holidays!
      The How to Decorate Team

  17. Reply

    Candace Dean

    November 25, 2014

    Where did you get the stocking? I absolutely love them.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 25, 2014

      Hi Candace,
      The stockings are actually our Ballard Designs French Ruffle Stocking. Glad you like them. Hope that helps!
      The How to Decorate Team

  18. Reply


    November 19, 2014

    I love your stockings! Where can I purchase those?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 20, 2014

      Hi Allie,
      Thanks for your comment. The stockings are the French Ruffle Stockings from Ballard Designs.
      Hope that helps!
      The How to Decorate Team

  19. Reply


    November 15, 2014

    ln your photo, is that a faux tree? If so, can you please share what brand and type of tree it is? Thank you!

  20. Reply

    Kathy Bleakley

    November 13, 2014

    Is that a faux tree that is in the picture? If so, can you tell me what brand it is? It is beautiful! Thank you!!

  21. Reply


    October 29, 2014

    Can you please tell me the paint color used in this room on the fireplace and surround? Thank you!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 3, 2014

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks for your comment. The color is Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Shadows #1559. As always, we suggest you try a few paint swatches in your space before making your final decision. Some colors can look completely different from room to room!
      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team