Whirlpool® 4-Door Refrigerator in a bright kitchen

Stainless steel vs. white vs. black appliances

The kitchen is the heart of your home, where you prepare family dinners, on-the-go breakfasts and snacks to take to soccer practice. When you’re shopping for new kitchen appliances, you want to find the finish that matches your personal taste and functions well with your family’s lifestyle. 

Use this guide to compare stainless steel vs. white vs. black appliances to help you on your shopping journey.

Stainless steel appliances

A stainless steel finish offers a sleek and modern feeling to your kitchen and can complement a variety of color schemes and design styles. The finish is typically durable and easy to clean, but can be prone to showing fingerprints and smudges.

However, select Whirlpool® Cooktops, Range Hoods, Microwaves and Refrigerators offer stainless steel finishes that are fingerprint-resistant and easily wipe clean so you can keep up with whatever messes the day brings.

Are stainless steel appliances going out of style?

Stainless steel’s consistent popularity over the last few decades has sealed its ranking as a timeless appliance finish. Its appeal is due largely to its ability to blend in with past and future design trends, from sleek and modern to classic and rustic.

What color cabinets go with stainless steel appliances?

Since stainless steel is considered neutral, you can pair the finish with colors that suit your personal tastes. Play up the modern feel with dark wood cabinets and black or gray countertops or brighten the space with white cabinetry and a colorful backsplash.

White appliances

Compared to stainless steel and black, white appliances tend to feel classic and traditional. The color can help open up smaller spaces and create a light and airy feel. If you want a stylish yet economical option, a white finish is typically less expensive compared to stainless steel and black.

Kitchens with white appliances tend to help camouflage fingerprints, so you don’t have to worry about wiping your appliances down whenever your kids’ hands touch them. Whirlpool brand offers a selection of dishwashers, ranges and refrigerators that combine the timeless white finish with innovative design and features.

Are stainless steel appliances better than white?

Whether you choose stainless steel or white appliances depends on your personal taste, budget and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a sleek and durable finish, you may want to opt for stainless steel, while white may work best for you if you’re looking for economical and traditional options.

Are white appliances in style?

While there may not be as much buzz around them as black or stainless steel, white appliances’ timeless appeal withstands the trend cycle and they can be stylish when paired with a variety of design choices.

You can opt for a bright and fresh monochromatic look by pairing white appliances with white cabinets, counters and backsplash. Or you can complement your white appliances with a vibrantly colored backsplash, paint and even countertop appliances.

Black appliances

Like stainless steel, black finish has been a popular choice for years. Its sophisticated style looks elegant in spacious kitchens and is also a neutral look that can complement several kitchen color schemes. Black appliances blend well with dark cabinets for a more seamless look, or can pop against white or light colored cabinetry.

Black stainless steel appliances

In recent years, black stainless steel appliances have gained some traction. This finish is similar to traditional stainless steel in its ease of cleaning and sleek feel, but the darker color can soften up your space. Whirlpool brand offers a selection of fingerprint-resistant black stainless steel options with a matte finish that can withstand wear and fingerprints.

Are black or stainless steel appliances better?

The best appliance finish is the one that fits with your design aesthetic and lifestyle. Both black and stainless steel can give your kitchen an upscale feel, however, stainless steel has an industrial and contemporary look, while black can be softer and may give your kitchen a warmer vibe.

Do black appliances go with white cabinets?

The dark hue of black appliances can beautifully complement white cabinets for a timeless and elegant black and white color scheme. This combination creates a striking contrast that creates visual interest in your space. Depending on the style of your cabinets and other decor, this can create a classic or ultramodern look.

Pair black appliances with white shaker style cabinets for a warm and inviting traditional kitchen, or choose minimal white cabinets and all white countertops for maximum impact in a contemporary space.

Can you mix black and stainless steel appliances?

Mixing black and stainless steel appliance colors can be a creative way to upgrade your kitchen without doing a complete remodel. It is typically recommended that you don’t mix appliance brands when mixing finish colors, as the difference in designs can disrupt the cohesion of the space.

Can you mix stainless steel and white appliances?

Like black, white appliances can be mixed with stainless steel to create a balanced color scheme. Both finish colors are bright and draw light into your space, and mixing the two can create a fresh look that combines contemporary and traditional elements.

When mixing stainless steel and white appliances, you can help create a more cohesive look by incorporating stainless steel accents into your kitchen through hardware, light fixtures and small appliances.

Explore Whirlpool® Kitchen Appliances

Whether you choose a black, stainless steel, white or black stainless steel finish, Whirlpool brand has kitchen appliances to fit your family’s lifestyle. Browse Whirlpool® Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Ranges and more with innovative features and stylish designs to find the right option for your home.

Learn more appliance tips from Whirlpool brand

Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background

home heartbeat

Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?