xmas tree close up with red and silver baubles

A guide to different heights of Christmas trees

When it comes to choosing a Christmas tree, we all have a vision in our head of the perfect specimen. However, that picture may not always suit the size and style of our homes. In reality, the perfect Christmas tree fits well in the space you have, not the space you'd like to have!

Xmas tree near cream sofa

Our Christmas tree size guide will hopefully help you choose the perfect Christmas tree for your space.

That example of the perfect Christmas tree you have in your head will likely be tastefully decorated with twinkling lights and shimmering decorations. But before you even begin thinking about decorating, you need to consider how tall Christmas trees should be.

Getting the height of a Christmas tree right can be quite tricky, particularly if you're buying online and can't see how big it is next to you. Even if you go to buy a tree in person, they usually look a lot smaller out in the open air and it's easy to underestimate the size.

So what is the answer?

How tall should an indoor Christmas tree be?

The average ceiling height in UK homes is 8ft so the tallest a Christmas tree should generally be is 6-7ft. However, there is no right or wrong answer as it depends so much on the room and the space available.

Really, it's all about striking a balance. Too large and the tree will overwhelm the room and you'll be clambering over it to reach the sofa. Too small and it won't make much of an impact and you'll regret not going bigger.

christmas tree light up with family

The perfect size of Christmas tree largely depends on the shape and size of the room.

Guide to tree heights

Homes with large rooms and vaulted ceilings can obviously accommodate a larger tree while smaller homes with average ceilings will be obliged to choose something a bit more modest.

While your perfect Christmas tree size will largely depend on floor space as well as height, there is a general guide for choosing the right size tree based on the height of your ceiling.

Ceiling height: 7ft 8ft 9ft 10ft 11ft

Maximum tree height: 5ft 6ft 7ft 8ft 9ft

Note that freshly cut trees are usually measured from the base to the tip and you'll need to add extra inches to accommodate Christmas tree stands and toppers.

xmas tree in the background

Leave room for your Christmas tree topper when measuring your space.

What is the most popular Christmas tree height?

The most popular size of Christmas tree in the UK is 5-6ft (150-189cm.) This height of tree is particularly well suited to limited spaces and homes with lower ceilings.

It is estimated that 6-8million Christmas trees are bought in the UK every year. Nordmann Firs are the most popular variety, accounting for around 80% of purchases.

xmas tree in living room with neutral decor

Most trees sold to decorate in the UK are Nordmann Firs. 

Outdoor tree heights

When buying a tree for your garden or outdoor space, height becomes much less of an issue as there is no ceiling to contain the top of your tree. In many cases, the bigger the better!

However, the width of the tree can sometimes be a concern so it's worth taking things like pathways and entrances into account when choosing the right Christmas tree for the garden.

fresh cut trees in farm

Width is more important than height when choosing a Christmas tree for the garden.

What height Christmas tree should I buy?

Choosing the Spot

To decide on what height of Christmas tree is best for your home, the first thing you need to do is decide where you're going to put it. Bear in mind that your tree is the focal point of your Christmas decor. This means the best room for it is where you spend the majority of your time. For most people, this is the living room but you may wish to place your tree in the hallway to welcome guests or in the dining room to create the perfect mood for Christmas dinner.

Top Tip

Check the availability of electrical sockets near your chosen spot for plugging in lights.

horse xmas decorations

The Christmas tree is the focal point of your Christmas decorations.


Once you've chosen your spot, get the measuring tape out and calculate how much space you have. Be sure to measure the width as well as the height as this is just as important.

Freshly Cut Christmas Trees

Our freshly cut Christmas trees are measured from the bottom of the trunk to the branch tip at the top. This means you'll need to take into account the amount of space required for your tree stand when calculating how tall your tree can be.

Step One:

Measure the distance between the floor and the ceiling then subtract 6 inches.

Step Two:

Calculate how much space you'll need for your tree topper and the tree stand. Subtract this from your measurement.

This will give you the maximum height of Christmas tree that will comfortably fit in your room.

Step Three:

Measure the floor space and subtract 1 foot from the measurement. This will give you the right size for the width of your tree.

measuring tape

A measuring tape is essential for determining the perfect Christmas tree size.

Potted Trees

Pot grown Christmas trees are measured a little differently from freshly cut ones. Our measurements for potted Christmas trees includes the pot the tree comes in. As they stay in their pots, you don't need to worry about a Christmas tree stand.

Step One

Measure the height between your floor and ceiling and subtract 6 inches. If you're planning to add a tree topper then take a further six inches (or more for a particularly large topper) from your measurement.

Step Two

Measure the floor space of your chosen spot and subtract 1 foot to give the maximum width of tree .

When measuring for pot grown trees, it's worth bearing in mind that, unlike their freshly cut counterparts, they will grow during the year. If you plan to keep your tree in the garden and bring it back inside to use next Christmas, make sure your measurements allow for this. Leaving some extra room for growth will ensure your Christmas tree appears right for the space in years to come.

Choose your tree

When your spot has been chosen and carefully measured, you can then use this knowledge to select the perfect tree for your home. The two main things to consider are ensuring you'll have a little space between the tree and the ceiling and that you won't be cursing your Christmas tree size as the branches spread through a huge chunk of the room.

red star on top of xmas tree

Make sure the topmost tip of the tree doesn't touch the ceiling.

Picking a variety of tree

As a general rule, the taller the tree, the wider the branches will reach out at the bottom. However, there are some tree varieties, such as the Fraser Fir, which are known for being narrower. Choosing one of these will allow you to have a taller tree in a limited space.

Our range of real Christmas trees offers a variety of shapes and sizes and whether it's for a small or large room, we are sure to have the right tree to fit your space.

Nordmann Fir

As previously mentioned, the Nordmann Fir is the most popular variety of Christmas tree in the UK. This is partly due to its classic symmetrical shape but also its soft dark green needles, which are family-friendly and don't drop easily.

nordmann fir close up needles

A Nordmann Fir Christmas tree has many benefits, including a traditional shape.

Fraser Fir

A Fraser Fir is the ideal Christmas tree for a smaller living room. This full tree is available in a range of tree sizes and is narrower at the bottom than many other varieties. It has a full, bushy appearance and a wonderfully festive citrus scent that fills the space.

fraser fir farm

Fraser firs are ideal real trees for small spaces.

Norway Spruce

Norway Spruce trees have been popular in the UK since Victorian times and to many are the quintessential Christmas tree. They have a fresh pine fragrance that permeates the room and a conical shape with vibrant green prickly needles.

dark gray wall with small xmas tree in front of it

The Norway Spruce has a traditional shape that makes a feature of even a small Christmas tree.

Korean Fir

Beautifully shimmering foliage and extra strong needle retention make the Korean Fir really stand out as a Christmas tree. They have quite a compact shape but the foliage is dense so they look incredibly full throughout the holiday season.

korean fir

Korean Firs make excellent Christmas trees. 

What not to do when considering Christmas tree height

Don't be tempted to opt for a really big tree and squeeze it into a tight space. Lopping a bit off the bottom and pruning the branches may sound simple enough but it can ruin the shape of the tree.

Equally, pushing the tree as far back into the corner of a room as it will go is not ideal. Placing the tree up against a wall reduces the air circulation around it, which will result in needles dropping sooner. It also makes the tree balance lopsided and more likely to fall over.

Getting it right

Getting the height of your Christmas tree right is one of the most important things you can do to make your festive decorations stand out. Even if the rest of your ornaments and garlands are perfect, if your tree is too large or indeed too small, it will detract from the overall effect.

Taking the time to measure carefully and consider the ideal size of Christmas tree for your living room will pay off when you decorate the perfect tree to admire and enjoy throughout the festive season.

Here at Christmas Trees Direct we have a range of tree types in a variety of sizes to help you find the right tree for your space. Whether you're looking for the ideal tree to fit your home or office, our real Christmas trees look and smell amazing.

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