Box or bag? The best artificial Christmas tree storage solution experts say to invest in

Our experts have explained the pros and cons of both options, plus how to choose the best type

Is it better to store an artificial Christmas tree in a bag or box?
(Image credit: Covet House)

The question of whether it is better to store an artificial Christmas tree in a bag or box depends on a few things, but experts tend to agree on the pros and cons of each.

For those who have an artificial Christmas tree, aside from the economic and environmental benefits, the main pro of choosing this over a real tree is that you have a tree on hand year after year. However, to make this a worthwhile investment it's essential to preserve its quality while ensuring it is easy to store and move – all of which comes down to what your artificial tree is stored in.

Choosing the best storage option is an easy trick to make your Christmas tree look better. So, before packing away your tree for the next season, be sure to store it safely.

Is it better to store an artificial Christmas tree in a bag or box?

'Storing an artificial Christmas tree is the key to making sure it looks its best year after year, especially because it’s kept away for most of the year,' explains Fantastic Services' cleaning and organization expert, Petya Holevich. 'Artificial Christmas trees can quickly turn yellow or brown if they aren’t stored properly. 

'When deciding whether to put it in a bag or a box, each option has its positives and negatives.'

1. Consider protection

A Christmas tree in a bay window.

(Image credit: Future)

Boxes can provide sturdy protection against potential crushing that bags do not.

'However, while the original box can be a good option, it's often not durable enough for long-term use and repeated packing and unpacking,' warns LinaDaSilva at Toronto Shine Cleaning. 'Cardboard can deteriorate over time, especially in areas prone to moisture or pests.

'If you opt for a storage box, ensure the box is clean, dry, and adequately sized to fit the tree's components without excessive bending.

'A storage bag, on the other hand, is generally better for preserving the shape and integrity of the tree,' says Lina DaSilva. 'It allows a bit more flexibility, accommodating trees that might not compact down to their original box size.'

Bags are also typically made from durable, moisture-resistant materials that protect against dust, pests, and mold, which is crucial for maintaining the tree's quality. 

Consensus: A well-ventilated, sturdy bag with a zip closure is ideal for keeping your tree safe and clean, protecting the tree against the typical wear and tear of storage. 

By ensuring proper storage you can contribute to keeping it well preserved, making your artificial tree look more realistic.

2. Think about convenience

Real tree in a living room near a fireplace

(Image credit: Joanna Henderson / Future)

Using a purpose-built Christmas tree bag designed for artificial trees can be a convenient option. They are often more lightweight and easier to handle.

'A bag with handles can make transporting the tree to and from storage much more manageable,' says Lina DaSilva. 'Additionally, many bags come with wheels, which is a bonus if the tree is particularly heavy.

'It allows a bit more flexibility, accommodating trees that might not compact down to their original box size.

'A box, however, can be more cumbersome to move, especially if it lacks handles or is an awkward shape.'

Consensus: Storing an artificial Christmas tree in a bag is generally the better option in terms of convenience. It is more flexible, allowing it to conform to the tree's shape and fit into storage spaces more easily than a rigid box. Bags are also easier to handle and don't have the added weight a box would, and make it easier to fit the tree into storage spaces.

Look for a sturdy, zippered bag with handles made of durable materials.

3. Assess your storage space

classic christmas tree in modern living room with white lights

(Image credit: Future, Chris Everard)

'Bags can be more space-efficient as they can conform to the shape of the tree and fit more snugly into storage areas,' says Lina DaSilva.

This allows a bit more freedom in terms of tree shape and size, making it suitable for trees with irregular dimensions. If you opt for a bag, ensure that it is large enough to accommodate the disassembled tree without compressing it too much. 

'Boxes, on the other hand, can be bulky and take up more space than necessary, particularly if the tree does not fill the entire box,' adds Lina DaSilva.

'Although a tree bag's flexibility makes it easier to store in tight spaces, I think keeping your artificial tree in a box is best,' says Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love. 'A sturdy box can keep your artificial tree from being bent, crushed, or otherwise damaged while in storage, which will keep it in shape for longer.

'A weathertight plastic box is among the best choices, especially if you store your tree in an attic or basement. These boxes help protect against moisture, which can damage your tree over time.'

Consensus: If storage space is limited, a bag may be a more suitable option since it is flexible, meaning you can it can compress to fit into tight spots to save space. However, a box offers more structural support to prevent the bending or breaking of tree branches and can be preferable if you are storing it beneath other items, provided you have enough space.

How to choose the right bag or box

'Invest in a high-quality bag or box to ensure longevity,' advises Bhavin Swadas
founder of Coupon Saturn. 'A well-made storage solution protects your artificial tree, extending its lifespan and preserving its appearance.'

If you opt for a bag, choose one that is specifically designed for Christmas trees, ensuring it is durable, waterproof, and has the right dimensions. Ideally, select one with handles and wheels to make moving it easier.

If you choose a box, go for a durable plastic storage box with a sealable lid to protect the tree from any damage, and to keep out moisture, bugs, and dust.

If your storage area is prone to temperature or humidity fluctuations, opt for storage solutions that offer protection against these factors, such as bags or boxes with moisture-resistant properties or additional insulation that can help preserve the tree's quality. You can also utilize silica gel packs, such as these from Amazon, in the box or bag to absorb moisture and preserve the tree.

Zober Christmas Tree Storage Bag | Was $41.99, now $29.99

Zober Christmas Tree Storage Bag | Was $41.99, now $29.99
This waterproof Christmas tree bag fits a 9 Ft artificial tree.

Dinoera Rolling Large Christmas Tree Storage Bag | Was $35.99, now $25.19

Dinoera Rolling Large Christmas Tree Storage Bag | Was $35.99, now $25.19

This 9 Ft tree storage container has wheels and protects against dust, insects, and moisture.


How should you store an artificial Christmas tree?

'Store the tree in a cool, dry area, as heat can cause artificial trees to become discolored or even melt,' advises Gerry Boerlage, founder of FormBoss.

'It's important to allow the tree to dry thoroughly before storing it, as any moisture accumulated during storage can cause damage.

'Use a container of baking soda or fresh coffee grounds to help absorb any moisture and keep the tree fresh.

'Ultimately, whether you choose to store your artificial Christmas tree in a bag or a box, the most important thing is to ensure that it's stored in a safe and secure place, so it stays in displayable shape for next year.'

Overall, a storage bag designed specifically for artificial Christmas trees is generally the better option. It offers greater protection, is easier to handle, and is more adaptable to various storage environments.

'Regardless of your chosen storage solution, consider labeling the bag or box with the tree's size and any assembly instructions,' recommends Bhavin Swadas. 'This ensures a smoother setup next holiday season.'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.