Nowadays, everyone is more concerned about lessening their carbon footprint. Using an artificial Christmas tree instead of a live one is a great way to start. Choosing one for your holiday décor can be tough because there are so many out there. It’s usually a toss-up between a PVC or tinsel Christmas tree. It all depends on what floats your boat: something that looks realistic or shiny and sparkly?

PVC vs Tinsel Christmas Tree

We’re taking the guesswork out of your Christmas tree shopping spree with this guide to PVC and tinsel Christmas trees.

The Main Difference

Let’s start with the more technical aspect. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic is used to make artificial tree needles. It’s also used in construction materials, electronics and even stretchy clothing.

white PVC Christmas tree and blue tinsel tree
White matte PVC needles and blue shiny tinsel needles

On the other hand, tinsel is ultra-shiny. Guess what. It’s also made from PVC. What’s the main difference? Tinsel needles are coated with a film that give them their trademark metallic sparkle.

Benefits of a PVC Christmas Tree

#1 PVC Christmas Trees Come in a Variety of Colors

While it’s true that tinsel Christmas trees come in a wide variety of colors, PVC ones come in different shades and patterns. For instance, a pink PVC tree can come in baby pink or hot pink.

Pink PVC Christmas tree
Different shades of pink for a PVC Christmas tree

If you have a specific color scheme in mind and like your trees realistic, then a PVC Christmas tree is a good choice. Remember though that it doesn’t have the shine of tinsel on a Christmas tree.

#2 They Look Realistic

realistic artificial christmas tree needles
Realistic needles are a combination of PVC and PE.

You know the answer is no, but PVC Christmas trees sure look it. Especially when they’re a blend of other materials like PE (polyethelene). In fact, many mimic the appearance of live trees. Realistic Needle trees are great examples.

Realistic combination of PE and PVC Christmas tree
The lifelike Oh Christmas Tree from Treetopia

Check out the Oh Christmas Tree. It’s a replica of the white spruce from the forest green tips to the upward sweep of its branches.

#3 PVC Trees are Space-saving Wonders

Another great thing about PVC Christmas trees is they come in a wide range of sizes. We don’t just mean height either. Flatback and Corner Trees are a small homeowner’s answer to beautiful Christmas décor.

Save on space with a half Christmas tree
Corner Christmas tree décor by Vanessa Brady of Tried & True

These trees look as full as a typical Christmas tree from the front. They’re half the size from the side. They’re flat in the back, fit in corner, and some you can even hang on the wall. Talk about space-efficient! They look amazing all dressed up, too. Vanessa of Tried & True decorated hers with a candy cane theme.

Tinsel Christmas Trees

#1 Tinsel on Christmas Trees Gives Them a Shine All Their Own

Tinsel Christmas trees don’t need lights to stand out. That’s because they reflect the brightness coming from other light sources. This still holds true in the evening with the lights turned on.

Close-up of christmas tree tinsel
Tinsel Christmas trees stun with or without lights

Are you still wondering how else a shiny tree will benefit your holiday decorating theme? Think about what an energy-efficient choice tinsel is.

#2 Less is More

Now this is a Christmas tree that looks great with a few choice ornaments. Less means you can spend more on gorgeous decorations. The shiny needles reflect the colors of your trimmings.

Few decorations on tinsel christmas tree
Minimalist tree décor by Faith Towers Provencher of Design Fixation

However, don’t let this stop you from adding more if that’s your style. The beauty of a tinsel Christmas tree is that its shine just can’t be beat. Check out this tinsel tree decorating theme by Faith Towers Provencher of  Design Fixation for inspiration.

#3 Christmas Tree Tinsel Brings Back the Good Old Days

Tinsel Christmas trees are hot because of their retro appeal. Considering this type of tree boomed in the 1950’s, it hasn’t gone out of style.

gold and silver tinsel tree decor
Silver and gold tinsel tree décor by Jennifer Perkins.

Collectors like Jennifer Perkins choose the tinsel tree because it goes so well with their classic finds. These gorgeous silver and gold tinsel Christmas tree decorating themes say it all. Vintage is forever!

Tip: Looking for vintage Christmas ornaments to hang on your tree? Use this post on collecting classic holiday decorations as your guide.

Combination PVC and tinsel Christmas tree
Tinsel and PVC make the two-toned ombre tree a showstopper.

Just so you know, Treetopia lets you have the best of both worlds. The Black Gold and Silver Shadow Ombre Christmas trees combine the realism of PVC and the sparkle of tinsel.

We hope this guide makes choosing your Christmas tree easier this holiday season. Share this post with friends and family to help make their tree hunt a breeze.


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