Simple White vs Pure White: What’s the Difference?

simply white vs pure white

When searching for the perfect crisp white paint color, it’s easy to get stuck comparing two similar versatile shades from Sherwin Williams. Popular choices Simple White SW 7021 and Pure White SW 7005 appear very alike at first glance. But what really differentiates these two beautiful, bright whites?

In this guide, we’ll analyze Simple White vs Pure White in-depth to help you determine the ideal white paint for your home. We’ll look at undertones, light reflectance, real-life photos, room pairings and more.

Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between Simple White and Pure White

Before getting into the nitty gritty, here is an overview of the main differences between Sherwin Williams’ Simple White and Pure White:

  • Undertones – Simple White is a cool white, Pure White is a true white
  • Light Reflectance – Simple White has an LRV of 70, Pure White has an LRV of 84
  • Use – Simple White suits modern styles, Pure White fits traditional decor
  • Rooms – Simple White excels in bathrooms, Pure White shines in kitchens
  • Availability – Both come in all sheens

Now let’s explore Simple White and Pure White more thoroughly.

Sherwin Williams Simple White SW 7021

Sherwin Williams Simple White
Image Credit:@ greysonmull

With its subtle cool white appearance, Sherwin Williams Simple White SW 7021 creates an understated backdrop well-suited for contemporary styles. This versatile neutral works across modern spaces.

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Here are some details about Simple White:

  • LRV: 70
  • Undertones: Cool white
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Bold colors, blacks, metallics

Simple White is a bright, clean white with a barely detectable cool undertone. In all lighting it maintains its neutral, understated white appearance.

The 70 light reflectance value provides ideal illumination without being too stark. Simple White gives an open, breathable feel.

This adaptable neutral complements a wide variety of colors from vibrant to muted. Popular Simple White pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Naval
  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  • Black and white patterns
  • Polished chrome and stainless steel

While suitable anywhere at home, Simple White truly excels in these sleek, modern spaces:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Hallways

Simple White’s crispness helps create a relaxing yet fresh backdrop, perfect for accentuating contemporary styles.

Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005

Real Sherwin Williams Pure White

With its clean, true white appearance, Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005 creates an understated backdrop well-suited for accentuating traditional decor. This versatile neutral works in both formal and casual spaces.

Here are some details about Pure White:

  • LRV: 84
  • Undertones: True white
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: All colors

Pure White is a bright, vivid white without strong undertones. In all lighting it maintains its clean, neutral white appearance.

The 84 light reflectance value provides ideal illumination without being too clinical. Pure White gives an open, airy feel.

This adaptable neutral complements all colors beautifully. Popular Pure White pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Naval
  • Sherwin Williams Online Blue
  • Black and white patterns
  • All wood tones
  • Metallic finishes

While suitable anywhere at home, Pure White truly excels in these crisp, classic spaces:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Hallways

Pure White’s true white tone helps create a clean, traditional feel perfect as an all-over home color. Use it to allow bold colors to really pop.

Comparing Simple White vs Pure White

Now that we’ve examined Simple White and Pure White independently, let’s directly compare them:

Light Reflectance

Simple White and Pure White have LRVs of 70 and 84 respectively. Pure White will appear much brighter.

Undertones

Here’s where the main difference lies. Simple White is a cool crisp white, while Pure White is a true white neutral.

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Use & Rooms

Simple White’s coolness excels in sleek baths. Pure White’s true white works perfectly in traditional kitchens.

Availability

Both Simple White and Pure White come in any sheen from matte to gloss.

Paint Color Simple White SW 7021 Pure White SW 7005
LRV 70 84
Undertones Cool white True white
Use Contemporary styles Traditional decor
Finishes All sheens All sheens
Style Modern Traditional

Real-Life Photos: Simple White vs Pure White

Let’s look at real-life photos to better visualize the differences between Simple White and Pure White:

Sherwin Williams Simple White

Real Sherwin Williams Simple White
Image Credit:@ greysonmull

Sherwin Williams Pure White

Sherwin Williams Pure White

While they can overlap, Simple White generally appears slightly more crisp and cool toned than the true bright white of Pure White. But lighting affects their look.

Should I Choose Simple White or Pure White?

So how do you decide between Sherwin Williams’ Simple White or Pure White for your home? Here are a few tips:

Choose Simple White SW 7021 if you want:

  • A cool, crisp bright white
  • A versatile color suitable for modern spaces
  • A sleek feel for contemporary kitchens and baths
  • To allow bold colors to pop

Choose Pure White SW 7005 if you want:

  • A clean, true bright white
  • A versatile color that works with any style
  • An airy feel for traditional kitchens and baths
  • To make all colors look bold and vivid

Get samples of both Simple White and Pure White. Paint large test sections to view at different times of day. This gives you the best sense of how the undertones read in your lighting.

You can also try decor pairings with each shade. Both offer beautiful crisp white tones.

Ideal Room Pairings

Here are some rooms that are especially well-suited to Simple White and Pure White paint colors:

Sherwin Williams Simple White

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Hallways

Sherwin Williams Pure White

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Hallways

While both whites work well throughout the home, the above applications make optimal use of their unique strengths.

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Simple White and Pure White create peaceful backdrops. Complement them with colors and materials for gorgeous spaces:

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Simple White SW 7021 Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Naval
  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  • Black and white patterns
  • Polished chrome and stainless steel

Pure White SW 7005 Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Naval
  • Sherwin Williams Online Blue
  • Black and white patterns
  • All wood tones
  • Metallic finishes

Simple White vs Pure White – Which is Better?

So which white paint color is better for your home – Simple White or Pure White?

Consider Simple White SW 7021 if you want:

  • A cool, crisp bright white
  • A versatile color suitable for modern spaces
  • A sleek feel for contemporary kitchens and baths
  • To allow bold colors to pop

Consider Pure White SW 7005 if you want:

  • A clean, true bright white
  • A versatile color that works with any style
  • An airy feel for traditional kitchens and baths
  • To make all colors look bold and vivid

While Simple White offers sleek modern style, Pure White provides an airy traditional feel.

Get samples before deciding. Either beautiful white from Sherwin Williams you choose will suit your home perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to decide between Simple White or Pure White? Here are answers to some common questions:

What are the main differences between Simple White and Pure White?

The main differences are their undertones and suitability for varied styles. Simple White is a cool, bright white while Pure White is a clean, vivid true white.

Does Simple White have yellow undertones?

No, Simple White does not have strong yellow undertones. It maintains a bright white appearance with just a hint of coolness.

Can you use Pure White in a nursery?

Yes, Pure White’s 84 LRV provides ample illumination for a nursery. Decor like colorful art and textiles can make it feel warm and inviting.

Is Simple White suitable for southern exposure?

Yes, with an LRV of 70 Simple White reflects enough light even in rooms with lots of direct sunlight from southern exposure.

Does Pure White come in satin finish?

Yes, Pure White is extremely versatile and comes in any sheen from flat matte to eggshell satin to high gloss semi-gloss.

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