If you’re debating Benjamin Moore’s Simply White vs. White Dove, it may seem like splitting hairs, but I get it. These paint colors are two of Benjamin Moore’s most popular white paint colors for a reason: they’re both versatile, neutral whites that work well as a whole house color as they do for trimwork. But, there is a difference between them, and even if it’s subtle, the one you choose will impact the overall feel of your space.
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In my Benjamin Moore Simply White review, I note that the color is one of the brand’s brightest whites. It’s still an off-white, but it’s oh-so-subtly creamy, which makes it a great pick for giving a fresh feel to homes with traditional architecture.
White Dove is a touch deeper than Simply White, and it’s also a bit more neutral (i.e. not as warm or yellow-toned). The way these colors read in your home will be almost completely dependent on the lighting and style of your space.
Below, I’ll share the key differences between the two paint colors, plus how I’ve used them in my own homes.
[TIP: Want to see the colors up close? I love Samplize, which makes peel & stick paint samples that are so easy to use].
What’s the difference between Benjamin Moore Simply White vs White Dove?
There are two big differences between Simply White and White Dove.
The first comes down to how light each color is. To understand how these colors compare in terms of lightness, let’s look at each color’s LRV (or Light Reflectance Value). Basically, the higher the LRV is, the brighter the paint color, and the closer to a true white it is.
Simply White has an LRV of 89.52, while White Dove has an LRV of 83.16, meaning White Dove is ever-so-slightly darker than Simply White. It’s a subtle difference, but one that can be amplified depending on where each paint color is used.
You’ll notice in the swatch images, above, that White Dove looks noticeably deeper than Simply White. I will, say, though, that the way the swatch images look on a screen is a lot different than how they read in real life, on a wall. Both colors look much more bright white in person than they do above.
The second way that Simply White vs. White Dove differ is in terms of color profile. Simply White is a warm shade with yellow and subtle green undertones. It doesn’t look yellow or green to the naked eye, but if you place a Simply White paint swatch against a true white, like Decorator’s White, you’ll instantly see the cream tones.
White Dove is more of a neutral white than Simply White, color wise. Its undertones are greige, which give it an off white feel without the yellow tint. Again, it’s a very subtle greige touch, and White Dove is still pretty close to a true white.
How this impacts the way each color looks in a room, honestly, depends on the room.
Simply White can look very washed out and bright white in a room with a ton of natural light. But otherwise, it tends to look more cream-toned than White Dove. Simply White is a good choice if your decorating tends to be on the traditional side, or if you use a lot of cream colors and wood tones.
White Dove, on the other hand, can look a bit cool in rooms with low-light. Overall, it’s an incredibly versatile color that works better for organic-modern design, coastal homes (since it goes better with blues) and spaces with more gray.
The colors are similar in that neither one is a stark or true white. They’re both close, but each has warmer undertones and more depth that a true white paint.
Benjamin Moore Simply White vs White Dove In Pictures
These rooms are all painted Benjamin Moore Simply White.
This is our sunroom. It’s bright, and gets a ton of natural light. In here, the color looks very bright, but the warmth adds enough depth so the room doesn’t feel washed out or cold.
This is our dining room, which is in the front of the house, with fewer windows than the sunroom. The color looks a bit deeper here, but still like a bright white.
These rooms, from our old Michigan beach house, are all Benjamin Moore White Dove.
As you can see, White Dove is ever-so-slightly darker than Simply White, and Simply White appears to be just a bit brighter.
Finally, in this home, the walls are painted White Dove, and the trim is Simply White. You can see how subtle the difference is, but you see how the walls look a touch more gray-toned than the trim?
Should you use Simply White or White Dove?
The paint color you choose for your space will be largely dependent on the room you’re painting and your decorating style. If you paint a bright, sun-drenched room, Simply White will look like a pure, bright white in the middle of the day, while White Dove will look a bit more subdued. If you’re painting a dimly lit room, on the other hand, White Dove can look a bit gray, while Simply White ends up looking more like a soft, warm white.
I’ve chosen one of the paint colors over the other based purely on the home and room I was decorating. I usually buy samples of each color (along with a few of the other best Benjamin Moore white paint colors), and test them on my walls. I paint big swatches, and look at them in the morning, afternoon, and evening light to see which one offers the look I most want.
Choosing whether to use Simply White of White Dove can also come down to what you’re painting. Simply White is one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular colors for trimwork and doors, since it’s close to a pure white without being stark. It’s a good alternative to just using white trim paint un-tinted, straight out of the can.
White Dove is more often used for walls, and actually makes a beautiful, subtle complement to Simply White trim. It’s also a top pick for home exteriors.
Finally, the choice will come down to your decorating style and the look you want to create at home. If you want an extra-bright room that doesn’t feel cold, Simply White is an unbeatable choice. However, it does tend to play better with more traditional decor or farmhouse style. White Dove has a bit more depth and is the cooler of the two colors, so works well with modern, modern farmhouse, coastal, and transitional styles.
Ultimately, the best way to make your decision will be to order paint samples and try them out in your home for yourself!