Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee Review

A Swiss Coffee Kichen – Image via Jodi Mockabee

Why everyone loves Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee is not only one of the brand’s best-selling paint colors, it’s also the favorite white paint of Studio McGee designer Shea McGee.

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That’s it. This review is done. What else do you need to know?

Kidding.

So what else is so great about Swiss Coffee? For one, it features a perfect balance of cool and warm undertones, making it a neutral and versatile paint color choice that perfectly complements traditional and modern styles.

The off-white color is also bright and clean, but has a warmth that pure white shades lack, which makes it feel modern but inviting. It’s really a perfect hue for right now, when designers and home decor trends are leaning away from gray and into colors like beige, tan, and taupe.

Still, it’s not for everyone, or every home. Read on for more about this go-to hue.

What color is Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee?

Swiss Coffee is an off-white. Benjamin Moore describes is as “An essential white with just the right amount of warmth.” It’s a creamy shade will yellow undertones, that can also look like a very pale beige in certain lighting.

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee LRV and Undertones

A Swiss Coffee kitchen by Studio Mcgee. Note the paint is used at 75% strength here, which makes it look a bit whiter.

Swiss Coffee is a popular off-white that perfectly complements traditional styles, modern farmhouse spaces, or any area with lots of natural light where you want a white paint that doesn’t feel stark. It comes with very pale green-yellow undertones that give off warmth, noticeable when placed next to a stark white.

With an LRV of 81.91, it is a bright color that reflects the light, but not as bright as say, Simply White or White Dove. (If you’re curious, here’s more about Simply White vs Swiss Coffee, two of Benjamin Moore’s favorite whites).

If you’ve never heard of LRV, I’ll explain. It’s worth knowing because it makes paint colors so much easier to evaluate, especially if you’re choosing between two similar shades.

LRV measures the light reflectiveness of a color. It’s measured on a scale of 0-100, with 0 being the blackest of blacks, and 100 being a true white. Generally, paint colors range between a two or three LRV, and a 93 LRV, since there isn’t a true white or true black paint colors.

The RGB of Swiss Coffee is 237, 234, 224, which means it’s a fairly neutral paint color that leans red and green.

What colors go with Swiss Coffee?

Benjamin Moore recommends White Drifts, Lush, Fossil, and Newburg Green for curating a versatile color palette. 

Does Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee look yellow?

Image via Studio Mcgee

Lots of off white paint can tend to take on a buttery yellow appearance, a look that I personally think feels dated, like your mom’s off white. Swiss Coffee is not your mom’s off white. It’s primarily a neutral off-white, and I think the undertones look more beige than yellow.

That said, it does have very subtle yellow undertones, like all off-white paints do, and those warm undertones might be more prominent under specific conditions, like when placed in a room with lots of yellows, for example, or when it’s placed against trim that’s painted a true white or a cool white. The yellow undertone in Swiss Coffee will contrast the blue undertone in cool whites. Therefore, it might appear yellowish. To avoid this, you can perform a test before committing to this specific color, and avoid pairing Swiss Coffee with cool white paint colors.

There are a few shades to consider if you are looking for an alternative to Swiss Coffee, if it appears too yellowish for your taste, including Dune White or Vanilla Milkshake. 

Does Swiss Coffee look gray?

If you’re wondering if Swiss Coffee has the tendency to look gray, the answer is no. In north-facing rooms, the color will look cooler, but if anything, it can read as a pale greige/beige in certain lighting, which is why it’s important to get a paint sample.

I’ve used it in very bright rooms where it looks like a super subtle off white (almost like Benjamin Moore Simply White reads in a darker room), and I’ve also used it in rooms without much natural

Studio McGee and Swiss Coffee at 75 %

As I mentioned, Swiss Coffee is one of Studio McGee’s favorite paint colors. It’s even the white Shea McGee used in her own home. However, there’s a caveat to that. Shea McGee uses Swiss Coffee at 75% strength, which makes the color a little brighter. If you want the exact hue Shea McGee uses, go to your nearest Benjamin Moore store, and just ask them for Swiss Coffee at 75% strength. They’ll know what to do.

Where to use Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

Swiss Coffee is a versatile off-white that will seamlessly blend into lots of spaces. It will ideally fit farmhouse, organic modern, and traditional styles, adding a dose of warmth and making rooms look more inviting. 

Small Spaces

Swiss Coffee will also work perfectly for small spaces, as it brings a sense of spaciousness. The high LRV allows this color to reflect the light, making small spaces appear bright and airy.

Kitchen cabinets

Swiss Coffee cabinets and Simply White walls. Image via Jodi Mockabee

Swiss Coffee is the perfect paint for your kitchen cabinets, and a very popular choice at that. For the best effect, pair it with other warm-toned elements. Stay away from cool whites, as they can bring out the yellow undertones in Swiss Coffee and make the cabinets appear yellowish.

Trim work

Swiss coffee is ideal for trimming. It works well when your walls are a deeper color, and a brighter white will also create too stark a contrast. However, I also love it as a trim color with brighter white walls. It makes the home feel warmer and more unexpected.

Exteriors

Swiss Coffee is an excellent choice for painting your house exterior. It is a warm and welcoming white that brings a classic look. Check the matching colors for Swiss Coffee to give you ideas on which paint to use for the door and shutters for a complete look. 

Swiss Coffee Compared to Other Popular White Paints

Swiss Coffee Vs. Creamy White

Creamy White is an off-white with an LRV of 70.95. Therefore, this paint choice is slightly deeper when compared to Swiss Coffee. Also, it tends to look a bit more beige, tan or taupe than Swiss Coffee. If you are looking for a white that tends to be more towards greige, then Creamy White would be a better pick. Regardless, keep in mind that both colors are relatively easy to work with. Before you decide to commit to specific paint color, it would be better to test them first and see how they behave under particular lighting conditions. 

Swiss Coffee vs. Pure White

Every white comes with different prominent undertones, determining whether it is the right fit for your needs. Pure White features an LRV of 78.94, meaning that it is only slightly deeper white when compared to Swiss Coffee. However, there’s a noticeable difference in their undertones. While Swiss Coffee has a neutral undertone, Pure White comes with blue and gray undertones, giving it a colder appearance. Therefore, Pure White would make an ideal choice for cool color schemes and modern styles. 

 Swiss Coffee vs. Cloud White

Swiss Coffee and Cloud White are part of the Benjamin Moore Off White collection. With an LRV of 85.05, Cloud White is a little lighter than Swiss Coffee. They are both soft and creamy whites that add a touch of warmth to the space. Cloud White brings subtle warmth with its creamy undertones. On the other hand, Swiss Coffee adds more depth to the room. Yet, they both have warm undertones and make the space feel cozy. The two colors don’t feel stark, but neither feels too yellowish like some creamy shades. 

Swiss Coffee vs. Cool December

Cool December is a cool white in Dunn Edwards collection. It is a bright, cool white that perfectly flatters modern and contemporary styles. It is a universal white and ideal if you are looking for crisp white that stands out. We can instantly notice the difference when we compare Swiss Coffee and Cool December. Swiss Coffee appears creamier thanks to its prominent warm undertones.

On the other hand, Cool December is a start and bright white. It has gray undertones, which don’t stand out as much, so the paint color is versatile enough to fit various styles. The color is crisp enough to appear like a true white, but it doesn’t bring a sterile feel. It is an excellent choice for walls and trim and molding if you wish to accentuate them. With an LRV of 88, Cool December sits higher on the LRV scale when compared to Swiss Coffee. In north-facing rooms, the cool undertones will become more noticeable. 

What is the best Benjamin Moore white paint?

With so many gorgeous whites in the Benjamin Moore collection, you might feel overwhelmed and not know which Benjamin Moore white is the best. Soft off whites with yellow undertones are an ideal choice for traditional styles. Crisp whites can appear too stark for such styles.

Even though the mood you want to achieve will determine the choice, there is one more thing to keep in mind. Different white shades will behave differently under specific light conditions. Therefore, you would wish to find the best fit for your space.

Benjamin Moore’s collection features a curated mix of cool and warm whites. The cool whites have prominent blue or gray undertones, which give them a cold appearance. On the other hand, warm whites feature yellow undertones. This makes them appear warmer and cozier to the eye. 

Another important factor in choosing the best white paint is the LRV. The light reflective value features a scale from 0 to 100, describing the amount of light the color reflects, where 0 is pure black, and 100 is pure white. Each paint color in the Benjamin Moore collection comes with an LRV value, which you can use to determine how light it is.