Cut leaves are as elegant as they are easy. Drop 'em into a tall vase and set it down on a dining table, entryway console, or bathroom counter to instantly elevate your whole look. For what feels like a week, maybe.
Truth be told, some greenery can dry out and last a while, but you have to face the music: Cut leaves (like cut flowers) all die eventually. The only way to maintain that fresh flora look year-round is to bring in a few convincing fakes.
Pro tip: Fake flowers usually look fake. (Ask your grandma's bookshelf.) But fake leaves... fake leaves are a thing I can get down with. And I'm not the only one, Pinterest reports that interest in single leaf displays is up 136 percent since last year.
So if you're in the market for a budget frond-ly way to get a tropical vibe at home, why not try out a fake monstera. We ordered three of the top-rated, most-recommended fake monstera leaves to the Apartment Therapy office and compared them side by side with a real one.
At first glance, the World Market monstera is the closest match to our real leaf, thanks to its shape and size (both are pretty big IRL!). But it loses points for being a little too shiny and not quite the right color. The CB2 leaf was the best match for the real monstera leaf's hue in person, and was plenty big enough to pass. The West Elm leaf was the smallest of the bunch—maybe too small to pass—but it would be the most at home on a small table at home.
Up close, the World Market leaf really doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The back of the World Market leaf has a clear backing you can see that immediately gives it away and the top side has a shiny, bumpy texture that leaves you feeling way off. In contrast, both the CB2 and West Elm leaves had pretty convincing veining at a glance. The CB2 leaf also had a waxy coating that gave it a nice weight and texture akin to a real plant.
The monstera's signature look is all about the Swiss-cheese holes, and if that's a big draw for you, the World Market one was the only fit that had as much hole detailing as our big, real leaf. The West Elm leaf has a few holes, but the CB2 leaf has none. You still get the palm-y shape, it's just less holey overall, if that matters to you. (Real monsteras can vary from plant to plant and leaf to leaf—the more holey leaves are signs of a more mature plant.)
As for the stems, the connection between the stem and the leaf is the most noticeably fake on the West Elm find.
Both the leaves from West Elm and CB2 had bendable stems, so they could be bent and shaped to fit any vase. The World Market leaf had the worst stem—too perfectly round to feel real, and not shapeable. The CB2 stem felt the sturdiest, overall, and had the most organic shape of all three choices.
The Winner: CB2
Even though they didn't have the signature Swiss cheese holes, we liked CB2's monstera leaf the best of all the options. They were the closest match to the large, real monsteras we had in the studio. Plus they come the cheapest, meaning you can feel good about doubling or tripling up for a super lush look, forever.
Buy it now: CB2's Faux Monstera Leaf, $13