The Hidden Downsides To Black Stainless Steel Appliances

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The classic white kitchen may have finally met its match. In 2021, dark, moody, and cozy kitchens may just be taking over, and we're not just talking about the paint color.

This bold trend is popping up in all sorts of finishes and fixings, from matte black hardware to slate gray silverware (we're looking at you, Joanna Gaines). And, while we're completely on board with this unconventional aesthetic, there's one very expensive place to consider drawing the line.

Appliances Connection named black stainless steel appliances one of the best appliance finishes for 2021, and consumers would certainly agree. The dramatic look is making its way into kitchens but at a steep cost. You're buying into this trend at nearly $300 more per piece than regular stainless steel, according to

But, while these fancy new appliances may look straight out of a luxury catalog (as they should for the price), consider yourself warned: They won't stay that way for long.

You can't mix and match with black stainless steel appliances

If you're considering black stainless steel appliances because you want the modern look, one thing to keep in mind is that all of these appliances are not created equal. A black stove from LG may not match a black Samsung fridge, for example, so don't even consider mixing and matching.

The Spruce explains that this is a problem in both the "shade and sheen," since different brands may have different hues of black as well as finishes (e.g., matte or glossy), leading your appliances to completely clash. So, if you opt for black stainless steel appliances, you'll want to purchase the entire line from one brand. There's no room for shortcuts here if you're looking to save on a budget-friendly fridge but splurge on a premium stove. Without a uniform appearance, your kitchen could end up looking like an attempt at the black stainless steel trend gone terribly wrong.

Black stainless steel is prone to peeling

One of the greatest selling points of black stainless steel is that it's fingerprint-free, unlike the typical silver. explains that the metallic sheen of traditional stainless picks up every bit of smoke or grease that might hit the surface, but black stainless steel has a thin, dark coating on top that hides most smudges.

While this coating may seem like a saving grace on delivery day, homeowners have quickly learned that it's far from it. In fact, it's the cause of several consumer complaints. Dozens of Best Buy shoppers reported that the finish of their black stainless Samsung, LG, and Kenmore appliances started to peel away within a year of minimal use, leaving large flecks of silver exposed on the surface. One reviewer said that even gently using a paper towel would completely peel away the coating. The worst part? Each and every retailer had the same answer: the damage was "cosmetic" and, therefore, not covered under warranty.

In April 2021, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Samsung Electronics America, Inc., for "harming its customers by selling defective products and ignoring customers complaints" about the black stainless steel products. According to the suit, Samsung advertised the appliances as having a 10-year lifespan, but most buyers are lucky to get a year of use before regretting their decision (via Top Class Actions).

Say goodbye to scratch-free appliances

The manufacturer drama doesn't stop there, either. If you're springing for black stainless steel, you might want to toss your magnets. Author Dana McMahan shared her experience with the appliances with Apartment Therapy, and it may have you rethinking the supposed pros of this trendy option.

McMahan says that the fridge of her dreams was a whopping $4,000, so she settled for a clearance model of the black stainless steel KitchenAid at about $2,000 — still a worthy investment, but, for such a luxurious look, it seemed like a fair bargain. However, when a house sitter accidentally used a magnet on the fridge, it left a lengthy scratch front and center. As if the giant gouge weren't frustrating enough, she says that KitchenAid refused to repair it. The company didn't even have a suggestion to offer, explaining: "We are very sorry, we do not have any recommendations for taking scratches out of black stainless steel."

So, unless you're using your fridge exclusively for show, you may want to save a few bucks and stick with some timeless stainless steel instead. Otherwise, your dream statement piece might become a statement for all the wrong reasons.