No matter whether your Christmas celebrations lean towards the religious or the secular, a Christmas tree wreathed in lights, smelling of fresh pine, and ladened with presents underneath makes for a wonderful centerpiece to your holiday festivities. Yet, for as much yuletide cheer as a freshly cut and decorated tree in your home can bring, having one in your living room can also be a source of danger to you, your family and your home. A reliable, heavy duty Christmas tree stand can help keep your home a happy and full of good tidings during the holidays.
We spent weeks researching and testing some of the best-selling Christmas tree stands on the market to find one that'll serve you and yours well, for years to come. We evaluated each stand that came into our labs to see if they were easy to assemble, use, and could withstand a solid blow.
After lifting, watering, and striking a seven-and-a-half-foot Christmas tree a few dozen times, we think the Krinner Tree Genie Deluxe(available at Amazon for $87.31) is the best for most households.
Here are the best Christmas Tree Stands we tested ranked, in order.
Krinner Tree Genie Deluxe L
Krinner Tree Genie XXL
The Christmas Tree Company Santa's Solution
Dyno Swivel Straight
Jack-Post 519-ST Oasis Tree Stand
L.L. Bean Heirloom Cast Iron Tree Stand
Black and Decker BD3037 Smart Stand
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We breathed a sigh of relief when we opened the box for the Krinner Tree Genie Deluxe–no assembly required. Its design allows it to handle any tree up to 8 feet tall. However, what sets the Krinner stands apart—we also tested the Krinner Tree Genie XXL, which is made for trees up to 12 feet tall—are that they require only one person to set the trees up.
This German-designed tree stand has the right combination of materials. We found that plastic made up the interior and the point of contact with the tree but most of the gears appear to be made of steel. Since you have to water your tree, too much steel isn't good for longevity and too much plastic can make a tree stand flimsy.
After placing the tree into the stand, a foot pedal tightens a steel cable and five ratcheting arms around the base of the tree. We found that this system allows for a more even distribution of pressure. During testing, we struck the Deluxe with considerable force and found the extendable legs more than enough to keep our 7.5-foot-tall tree from tipping over.
If your Christmas tree is taller than 8 feet, we’d suggest getting the Krinner Tree Genie XXL (available at Amazon), which can handle a pine up to 12 feet tall. When we tested the XXL, it performed almost identical to the Deluxe.
If you're looking for an American-made Christmas tree stand that just gets the job done, then you should check out the Cinco Express C-152E. We liked the fact the bolts had handles that saved our fingers from endless twisting. After setting up the tree, our testing showed that this stand excels at stability. When it struck, it barely moved an inch. The bottom has a lattice texture to help the stand grip the floor.
We also liked the fact that this tree stand is low maintenance. It can hold up to 1.3 gallons of water. If you have an 8-foot-tall tree, we'd reckon that you'll have to water it every one to three days. The majority of the construction is plastic, save for the galvanized steel spikes on the bottom and the bolts.
We found the difficulty of the assembly to be on par with others on this list. However, the value was above average. You can find the C-152E for under $25. As far as utility goes, the Cinco is number one.
Hello, I’m Jon Chan, the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. Over the years I’ve worked here, I’ve tested everything from pocket knives to pressure washers. I worked with my colleague Kyle Hamilton because lifting Christmas trees and setting up tree stands is not a one-man job.
Testing came in three phases looking at assembly, usage, and stability. During the assembly stage, we always tried to set up the stands without looking at the instructions first. It’s not because all the testers were men–mostly. A Christmas tree stand should last for years and from season to season, instructions get lost. Intuitive design is a must. We used a seven-and-a-half foot tall Fraser fir. After surveying our office and researching the average ceiling height for American households, we decided to get a tree that was no taller than eight feet, but not shorter than seven.
Usage testing covered placing the tree in and securing it. We assigned scores based on how long it took and how arduous the task was. We also made note of how easy it was to water and remove the tree.
Finally, with the tree all snug, we struck different parts of the tree using a 10-pound weight hanging from a three-foot length of cord attached to an adjustable frame. To keep the force consistent, we pulled the cord back until it was at a 45-degree angle and let gravity do the rest. After each swing of the weight, we measured how far each stand was pushed back.
Throughout our tests we kept the water level for our tree at three quarts—the amount needed to water our tree for a day.
What You Should Know About Christmas Tree Stands
Getting the right size
Tree stands are designed for trunks of a certain length and diameter. Typically, you use a tree stand designed for a taller tree on a smaller one. The exception is when the trunk is too narrow. For example, a tree stand designed to take a 12-foot tree may only take a trunk that's down to three inches in diameter, any smaller trees and you risk the it falling over.
The real problems happen when you get a tree stand that's too small for your tree. More often than not, your Christmas tree will fall over the moment it goes in. We recommend you follow the sizing instructions from the manufacturer.
Does the material matter?
Ideally, you want a mixture of plastic and metal. The best Christmas tree stands that we tested used metal for the moving parts and plastic in the interior. You don't want metal all the way through because trees have to be water and that can corrode steel. The exterior should be made of either metal or high-density plastic. Both of these materials resist impact and scuffing so the stand can last for years to come.
Notes About Christmas Trees
Before you buy
In order to help ensure your Christmas tree lasts through the holidays, you need to do your due diligence. Before you purchase a tree, make sure to give it a smell test. A fresh pine tree should have pliable needles and exude a strong scent. The bark is another indicator of freshness. If you run your hand along the trunk and you feel sticky sap, that is a sign that the tree is still in good shape.
Before you bring a Christmas tree into your home
When a tree gets cut down, sap hardens at the base and forms a sort of cap that prevents water absorption. To keep your Christmas tree alive, you need to cut about half an inch from the tree when you get it home. If your stand has a long spike in the middle, this is also the time to bore a pilot hole.
After cutting the base, you should remove the netting and inspect the tree for critters. Christmas trees are grown outdoors and can become homes for any number of insects. Common hitchhikers include spiders and beetles. A good shake and a thorough eyeballing with the aid of a flashlight should be done before the tree enters your home.
Where to place your tree and how much to water
Avoid placing your Christmas tree near heat sources like radiators or sunward windows. While it looks nice, placing your tree next to a fireplace is a surefire way to turn your evergreen forever brown.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the general rule of thumb is one quart of water for each inch of the trunk's diameter. Our tree had a three-inch trunk so we added three quarts of water per day.
Other Christmas Tree Stands We Tested
Christmas Tree Company Santas Solution
The Christmas Tree Company makes a tree stand called Santa’s Solution. We enjoyed how festive this model was painted. We also liked how sturdy the construction is and that’s probably why the manufacturer is willing to back it with a lifetime guarantee. The exterior is made of steel, while the interior is lined with impact-grade plastic. The plastic tub on the inside can hold up to 1.5 gallons of water.
The process of setting up the tree was fairly involved. It’ll require at least two people. Following the instructions to a T, our testers lifted the tree straight up to screw in a plastic base which sits inside the tree stand. This base elevates the tree, providing some stability as well as room so the tree can absorb water.
After placing the tree into the stand, we screwed the four bolts into place. We liked the fact the plastic stoppers on the tips kept the bolts from scuffing the trunk. However, it took forever for those stoppers to get into place because the cylinder the tree sits in is so broad. It’s designed to be that way so it’s easier to pour in extra water.
The Jack-Post 519-ST Oasis Tree Stand falls behind the competition because of how difficult it is to use. First, five bolts need to be screwed in and secured. We understand the more angles that you come in from the more likely the tree will become straight, but if you're going to use five bolts give them larger handles to prevent fatigue. However, we have to give the Jack-Post props for being stable. Its vague star shape dispersed most of the force when we struck it with our testing weight. It barely moved an inch.
While holding your tree up is the ultimate point of a tree stand, you can get the same performance for less money. For example, you can get the Cinco C152-E for less and that model holds more water.
L.L. Bean TA503068 Heirloom Cast Iron Christmas Tree Stand
The John Wright company produced the L.L. Bean Heirloom Christmas tree stand so the frame is entirely made of cast iron. While this tree stand felt nigh indestructible, it didn't hold onto our Christmas tree well. On a side note, some consumers may take issue with the cast iron construction. It weighs around 20 pounds. Not an insurmountable weight, but enough that we wouldn't want to lug it in and out of the attic every Christmas.
The issue was two-fold. First, the TA503068 relies on a stout spike in the middle of the stand. To keep the tree stable, you should bore about a half-inch hole in the bottom of your tree. Many stands utilize some sort of impaling measure, but few require the usage of a drill. The second issue we had was with the shallow design. The bolts grip the trunk at around the four-inch mark–that's not a lot of purchase. When struck, our listed to one side. The website lists that it can handle an 8-foot tree, but we won't put anything nearly that tall in this one.
The Black and Decker BD3037 Smart Stand came in last in our roundup. The design looks very domineering and that's actually a problem. It sticks out like a bear-trap-like thumb. It also doesn't work that well. The advertisements tout a ten-second setup time and we did find that to be true. What you do is that you lock the three pongs into place and force the tree through them. The problem was we couldn't get our tree straight or stable.
We also have doubts about the longevity of this model. As stated above, you have to force your tree through metal prongs, which bend to secure the trunk. While pine wood is soft, an 8-foot tree tips the scales at around 60 pounds, so it can come down with considerable force.
Get this model if you want a very quick setup, otherwise, there are better tree stands out there.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.