Which Christmas mantel decor is best?

A classic image of the Christmas season is a warm fire, stockings hung in a row and a beautifully decorated mantel. There are many ways you can go with your Christmas mantel decor, and it can be a bit overwhelming to decide on your favorite items from the seemingly endless options out there. Consider your mantel’s size, outlet locations and which essential items you might be missing. This will narrow your search and help you pick the perfect decor item for you. The National Tree Company Carolina Pine Garland, both lighted and hyper-realistic in appearance, makes a beautiful addition to any mantel decor. 

What to know before you buy Christmas mantel decor

Mantel measurements 

Before you purchase any new decorations, take your mantel’s measurements. Measure both the mantel’s length and width. These dimensions will be vital while you shop. For items like garland and lights, you want to make sure they are long enough to cover the entire length of the mantel. Depending on the look you’re going for, you may want a few extra inches to work with if you plan to twist the garland or lights around other objects. The depth of your mantel will be necessary to know when considering different Christmas figurines. You want to ensure your mantel is wide enough to accommodate the entire base of the decor items. 

Outlet locations 

Take a look around your mantel to see if there are any outlets. If you don’t have any outlets on or near your mantel, many decor items are available that source their power from battery packs. These items are usually easier to arrange because a power source doesn’t limit their location. Battery-powered Christmas mantel decor items also are easier to handle if you aren’t quite sure where you’ll be placing each item and want to try different looks out before you settle on one.  

Personal decor style 

Take into account the Christmas decor you already have before you purchase anything new. If you like all your decorations to match, narrowing your search to your current style can make the process of shopping a lot easier. Think about what your mantel display looked like last year. Are there any gaps? Think about items you can add to enhance the pre-existing decor. 

What to look for in quality Christmas mantel decor


Stockings are a staple of any Christmas mantel display. Whether you put up a single stocking for yourself or have an entire family line to display, they are a fun way to personalize your Christmas mantel decor. You can find stockings of all different styles, from the traditional red sock to a bone-shaped stocking for your dog. 


No mantel decoration looks quite as festive as garland. Garland ranges from plain green to lighted and covered in sparkling ornaments. You can find artificial garland that appears quite realistic. These often come pre-decorated. If you love the smell of pine, you can also purchase garland made of real, fresh-cut greens. 


A popular collection item, Santas are a great item to use as mantel decor. You can use one large Santa in the middle or a few smaller ones spaced out. Santas come in all styles and colors. There are traditional ones in a red suit or Santas that look ready to take a beach vacation. You can also find cute Santas holding trays of sweets or the naughty and nice list. 


Candles on the mantel can add some nice ambiance to your living room. While it can be a fire hazard to use real candles, especially if you’ve also used real garland to decorate, plenty of flameless candles are available. These usually work with LED lights and run on batteries. Most come with a remote and a built-in timer for convenient use. You can find sets with various numbers and candle sizes. Some sets have decorative holders, and even flameless candles can resemble the tall, skinny candles that work well in candelabras. 


A wreath makes a great centerpiece for your Christmas mantel display. You can either place the wreath directly on your mantel or hang it on the wall above. Most come pre-decorated, and some have battery-powered lights. There are many styles of wreaths out here, and you are sure to find the perfect one to fit your color and style preferences. 

Christmas figurines 

Once you have the larger items picked for your mantel display, you can fill any gaps with fun Christmas figures. These come in all shapes, styles and sizes. There are snowmen, reindeer, angels, nativity scenes, train sets, elves and any other fun Christma character you can imagine. 

How much you can expect to spend on Christmas mantel decor

For smaller items, like flameless candle sets and figurines, you can spend anywhere from $20-$50. If you buy larger items like a wreath or garland, expect to spend at least $70-$100. 

Christmas mantel decor FAQ

Is it safe to use real candles in my display?

While there is nothing better than the real thing, candles with a flame are a fire hazard. If you use these in your mantel display, never leave them unattended. Flameless, battery-powered candles are a much safer alternative. 

What is the best way to hang stockings without drilling holes in my mantel?

There are a few alternatives to drilling holes in your mantel. You can use stocking hangers that sit on top of your mantel. These often have a decorative top and a hook on the bottom where you can attach your stockings. Another alternative is using hooks with adhesive strips on the back. 

What’s the best Christmas mantel decor?

Top Christmas mantel decor

National Tree Company Carolina Pine Garland

National Tree Company Carolina Pine Garland 

What you need to know: This beautiful garland looks realistic and versatile enough to fit in with any Christmas decor. 

What you’ll love: You’ll love the lifelike feel and appearance of this Carolina Pine garland. It has pine cones and 100 white lights spaced along its length. It measures 9 feet long and 10 inches wide. The materials are fire-resistant and non-allergenic. 

What you should consider: This garland is pricey and heavy. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Christmas mantel decor for the money

DRomance White Christmas Glass Flickering Flameless Candles

DRomance White Christmas Glass Flickering Flameless Candles

What you need to know: This set of flameless candles features a provincial Christmas scene. 

What you’ll love: Despite being flameless, these candles flicker so that you still get the ambiance of real candles. There are three candles in the set at varying heights. They come with a remote and have a built-in timer. You can choose to have them lit for 2, 4, 6 or 8 hours.  Powered by AA batteries, you’ll never be worried about fire or dripping wax. 

What you should consider: Some purchasers have noted that the white color is too bright to mimic real wax. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

National Tree Company Lit Artificial Christmas Wreath

National Tree Company Lit Artificial Christmas Wreath

What you need to know: With its traditional coloring and battery-powered lights, this wreath is a stunning centerpiece for any mantel. 

What you’ll love: This realistic wreath comes decorated with red ornaments, glittery springs of leaves and white LED lights. Batteries power the lights, so you don’t have to worry about cords reaching an outlet. A timer of 6 hours on and 18 hours off is integrated into the wreath. 

What you should consider: Some buyers have had issues with the wreath’s sizing. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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