Skip to Content

Is ivory the same as soft white?

When it comes to choosing the perfect color for your wedding dress, tablecloths, bedding, or even walls, the choices can be overwhelming. Two classic colors that often come up are ivory and soft white. Are they the same color, or is there a difference between the two?

Ivory, a warm, creamy color, is a mix of white with a touch of beige or yellow undertones. On the other hand, soft white is a brighter, cleaner shade of white with a hint of blue or gray undertones. While they may look similar to the untrained eye, there are differences that make them stand apart from each other.

The Origins of Ivory and Soft White

The color ivory is named after the tusk of the elephant, which has been hunted and harvested for centuries for its precious ivory. The color ivory used in the Western world today is much lighter than the color of real ivory and usually associated with antiquity or luxury. Ivory has been a popular color for wedding dresses since the 19th century and is still a popular choice today.

On the other hand, soft white was created more recently as a response to the cooler, blue-hued lighting that became popular in the mid-twentieth century. The cooler lighting made traditional whites look almost sickly yellow, so designers created a new shade of white that eliminated any yellow hues and added a touch of blue or gray.

Color Comparison

To the untrained eye, ivory and soft white may look like the same color. However, when placed side by side, it is easy to see the differences. Ivory has a warm, creamy tint, while soft white is cleaner and brighter with a cool tint. When it comes to choosing between the two colors, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic of your home or event.

In a home with warm-toned décor, ivory may be the better choice, as it complements earthy tones and wooden accents. In contrast, a modern and minimalist home can benefit from soft white walls to create a bright, clean look. When it comes to weddings or formal events, the choice between ivory and soft white may depend on the time of day. Ivory can create a romantic and intimate atmosphere for evening events, while soft white can create an airy and refreshing look for daytime occasions.

The Meaning of Ivory and Soft White

Both ivory and soft white have different connotations that make them stand apart. Ivory is associated with antiquity, luxury, and elegance. In contrast, soft white represents purity, cleanliness, and modernity. As mentioned earlier, ivory is a popular color for wedding dresses and represents tradition, while soft white can evoke a more contemporary and refreshing vibe.


While ivory and soft white may look similar, they are different colors with different undertones, meanings, and associations. When choosing between the two, it is important to consider the overall aesthetic of your home or event and the connotations you want to evoke. Whether you choose ivory’s warm, timeless elegance or soft white’s modern and clean vibe, both colors are beautiful options that stand the test of time.


Is soft white closer to white or ivory?

When it comes to the color spectrum, there is often a lot of confusion between shades that appear to be similar. In the case of soft white, it can be difficult to determine whether it is closer to white or ivory. Soft white is also referred to as natural white, which is essentially a balance between stark white and ivory. It is often considered as the whitest that natural fabrics can achieve. Soft white, as the name suggests, has a subtle and gentle glow, giving it a look that is much softer than stark white.

In terms of its color, soft white is a slightly creamy white shade, which may not have the same starkness as pure white. On the other hand, ivory is a much warmer and darker shade compared to soft white. Ivory is also closer to beige or light brown than white, which makes it distinctly different from soft white.

When it comes to choosing between soft white and ivory, it is important to consider the color scheme of the room or outfit. While ivory may be preferred for a vintage or antique look, soft white offers a modern and subtle touch. Additionally, soft white is known to be more forgiving than stark white, which can have an overly bright hue that can affect skin undertones and fabric textures.

Soft white falls somewhere between pure white and ivory, offering a subtle and gentle color that can be appropriate for a variety of situations.

What is the difference between ivory and white paint?

When it comes to paint colors, ivory and white are often used interchangeably. However, despite their similarities, there are some differences between these two colors that are worth noting.

Firstly, the main difference between ivory and white lies in their undertones. While white has cool-toned undertones, ivory has warm-toned undertones. This is because ivory is a mixture of white and yellow, with a slight hint of brown or peach. The presence of these additional hues gives ivory a warm and creamy appearance that is not present in white.

Another difference between ivory and white paint is in their versatility. White is a neutral color that can be used in almost any setting, from modern to traditional, and from minimalist to ornate. Ivory, on the other hand, has a slightly warmer and more rustic feel. For this reason, it is often used in more traditional or historic homes, as well as in cozy, cottage-style interiors.

The way that each paint color interacts with light is also worth noting. White is a reflective color that bounces light around a room, making it appear brighter and more spacious. Ivory, on the other hand, has a more subtle effect on light, creating a soft and cozy ambiance that is perfect for bedrooms and living areas.

Finally, the way that ivory and white paint colors work with other colors is also slightly different. White is a neutral color that pairs well with virtually any other color, making it the perfect backdrop for bold or colorful decor. Ivory, on the other hand, works particularly well with warm, earthy tones such as terracotta, rust, and olive green.

While ivory and white may seem similar at first glance, there are some notable differences between the two. Ivory has warm-toned undertones, a rustic feel, and creates a soft, cozy ambiance, while white is a neutral color that is versatile and brightens up any space. Understanding these differences can help you choose the perfect paint color for your space, depending on the mood and style you want to create.

What color is the same as ivory?

When we talk about colors, sometimes we find certain shades and tones that are similar or identical to each other. One such color that often confuses people is ivory. Many people wonder what color is the same as ivory? Is it white or cream?

Ivory is a pale, yellowish-white color, but it is not the same as plain white or cream. It belongs to the family of light, warm, off-white colors. Think of ivory as a slight variation of white, with a subtle tint of yellow, cream, or peach. The resulting color is a soft, warm and elegant shade that evokes a sense of understated sophistication.

Ivory is a popular color choice in fashion, interior design, and wedding themes because of its muted and timeless appeal. It is often paired with earthy tones like brown and beige, as well as other warm colors like gold and blush. Ivory is a versatile color that complements a wide range of color schemes and styles, making it a popular choice for various occasions and purposes.

However, it is important to note that ivory is often associated with the use of animal ivory, obtained from elephants or other animals. The ivory trade has been linked to illegal poaching and animal cruelty, leading many industries to use synthetic or faux ivory alternatives instead. Therefore, when discussing ivory as a color, it is important to acknowledge its origins and the ethical concerns surrounding it.

Ivory is a beautiful and distinctive color that is not quite white or cream but has a unique, subtle tint. Its warmth and elegance make it a popular choice in various fields, and its association with luxury and sophistication adds to its appeal. Although the use of animal ivory is controversial, the color itself remains a timeless and versatile choice.