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The Best Christmas-Tree Toppers, According to Interior Designers

Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

Whether it’s a star, a bow, or a delicately shaped finial, a topper is the first thing you see on a Christmas tree. “It’s what catches the eye when we admire a decorated tree,” says interior designer Elaine Griffin, “so it should be gorgeous, glorious, and never an afterthought.” Once you’ve got your ornaments all picked out and artfully arranged on your Christmas tree, the topper is what ties it all together. Or, as Griffin explains, “Ornaments are the choir that makes your Christmas tree sing; the tree topper is its statement-making headliner.” To help you choose from the many options out there, whether a classic look or something more modern, we asked interior designers about their favorites in a variety of styles and price points — all under $100. Below, 13 show-stopping toppers to crown your tree.

Best star-shaped Christmas-tree toppers

The star-shaped topper is arguably the most traditional option, but just because it’s classic doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Nicole Fisher of BNR Interiors loves these stars for their “traditional shape but unexpected texture and material.” They’re made from paper that has been treated and tanned to look like leather and are available in three muted shades of red, tan, and gray.

The star on your tree doesn’t necessarily have to be gold or silver (or any of the colors above), according to Decorist designer Ellen Fleckenstein. Both she and Griffin like this metal one painted in a matte-black finish. “I like this one because it coordinates well with the matte-black accents so many of us have in our homes right now,” Fleckenstein says. “I could easily see this one on the top of all my modern-farmhouse-loving friends’ trees.” Griffin agrees that this topper would work great in a cabin getaway for its “streamlined, cool, country-casual look that’s made for the mountains.”

Of course, if it’s tradition you’re after, you can’t go wrong with a brilliant gold topper, like this one that Heather Goerzen, Havenly’s design editor, recommends. “This tree topper features the perfect combination of nostalgia, elegance, and Christmas magic,” she says. “The classic star design and glittering gold finish make it a fitting choice to reign over a more traditionally decked tree.” Bonus: It lights up from the inside, giving you some extra holiday glow.

Here’s another, more subdued option that Goerzen also likes. It’s made of unlacquered brass, “making for a luxurious moment to top your tree,” she says, “and it will develop a storied patina in years and decades to come.”

For a gold star with a bit more drama, consider this starburst design that Fleckenstein recommends. “I love this graphic and modern take on a traditional star and think this could look amazing on the tree or even just out on a table as a decorative object,” she says. And at under $20, it doesn’t cost much if you want to experiment with something more contemporary. Fleckenstein adds that it would work well in “most glam, contemporary, and transitional home décor,” especially because the mid-century Sputnik shape has become “integrated into most modern design trends and isn’t going away any time soon.”

Fleckenstein also likes this more traditional star in a mirror finish with gold trim. “When I’m looking for the jewel of the Christmas tree, I want it to be beautiful and timeless,” she says. And the fact that it’s on the affordable end makes this one even more appealing.

Best finial Christmas-tree toppers

Instead of a star, consider a finial if you’re looking for something more streamlined. Both Fisher and Alessandra Wood, Modsy’s VP of style, recommend this slender white borosilicate-glass finial from CB2. “It’s a classic tree topper with a twist, a vintage-inspired stunner,” says Fisher. “This feels like a perfect piece of jewelry for your tree.” Wood agrees, calling it “unexpected, chic, and minimal.” She says it pays homage to “classical designs with its bulbous shape and pointed top,” while the white glass “brings contrast to a green tree.”

If you like something a bit more ornate, Fleckenstein recommends another vintage-inspired design with an antiqued silver-and-gold patina. She calls it both “sophisticated and unique” and says it coordinates well with more traditional ornaments. “You could easily use this at the top of any glam, luxe, traditional, or even contemporary treescape and it would not detract from the other elements in the room,” she explains. Plus, “it isn’t overly ornate, so it allows the tree itself to shine brightest.”

More Christmas-tree toppers

Stars and finials aren’t the only acceptable toppers for your tree. “Disco balls have been trending, so why not add one to the top of your tree?” asks Decorist designer Jessica McCarthy. Interior designer Leah Alexander has also noticed the recent disco-ball craze and is a fan of the “nontraditional take on holiday décor these days,” as exemplified by this “whimsical,” as she calls it, disco-ball tree topper.

Here’s another retro option that McCarthy calls “over-the-top.” This snowflake-shaped crowner is made with gold tinsel and multicolored flower lights. “It’s the perfect way to bring back the nostalgia of the ’50s in an updated way,” she says.

For the interfaith family, Griffin recommends incorporating a Star of David in your Christmas-tree décor. She recommends this simple silver one from Kurt S. Adler, one of our favorite ornament-makers.

If you’re lucky enough to get away for the holidays — to the beach, say — Griffin suggests “going the distance and opting for a tree topper that reflects your destination’s flavor,” like this straw one she likes. “I’m a fan of tastefully done seashell or woven straw montages for the beach,” she says.

Huge bows are another popular option that’s big in the South. “As a Southerner, my love affair with ribbon bows of every iteration began at birth and continues unabated — it’s in our DNA,” says Griffin. “Oversize pom-pom-bow tree toppers are tried, tested, and irrefutably true; they’re eternally chic but also come in every color under the sun, are always affordable, and go with everything.” In other words, “they’re the LBDs of tree toppers.” Here’s a tip from Griffin: “Go easy with the streamers, not longer than 16 inches on an eight-foot tree. Honey, they’re not supposed to be hoopskirts.” She likes this burlap option you can get on Amazon.