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Ivory vs. Cream: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 13, 2024
Ivory is a slightly yellowish-white color, while cream is a pale yellow, resembling the dairy product.

Key Differences

Ivory is a subtle, elegant color, often compared to the material of the same name, derived from elephant tusks. It's a soft, off-white with a hint of yellow. Cream, on the other hand, is a warmer shade, closely mirroring the rich, comforting tone of dairy cream. Both colors exude a sense of calm and understated sophistication.
In fashion, ivory is preferred for its light, almost pure appearance, making it a favorite for wedding dresses. Cream, with its slightly richer tone, is often used in interiors for a cozy, welcoming feel. Both ivory and cream are versatile, blending seamlessly with various color palettes.
When it comes to printing or digital media, ivory can be challenging to replicate accurately due to its subtle undertones, while cream is more forgiving and versatile. Both colors, however, offer a softer alternative to stark white, bringing warmth to designs.
In terms of symbolism, ivory often represents purity and cleanliness, akin to white but with a softer touch. Cream, evoking the richness of butter and milk, is frequently associated with luxury and comfort. Both colors, while similar, hold distinct emotional resonances.
For home decor, ivory is often used to create a light, airy ambiance, while cream, with its hint of yellow, adds warmth and coziness. Both ivory and cream are popular choices for creating a neutral, yet inviting environment.

Comparison Chart

Base Color Tone

Pale yellow

Common Uses

Wedding dresses, elegant designs
Cozy interiors, comfortable attire


Purity, cleanliness
Luxury, comfort

Digital Reproduction

Challenging to replicate
Easier to replicate

Interior Design

Creates light, airy ambiance
Adds warmth and coziness

Ivory and Cream Definitions


Made of the material ivory.
The ivory chess pieces were exquisite.


The fatty part of milk, rising to the top.
She skimmed the cream off the milk for her coffee.


Of a legal or ethical concern relating to ivory trade.
The conference discussed ivory trade regulations.


A pale yellow color.
The walls were painted a soft cream.


A hard, creamy-white substance composing the main part of the tusks of an elephant.
The antique statue was carved from a single piece of ivory.


The best part of a group or selection.
The students in the honors program were considered the cream of the crop.


A shade of white tinged with yellow.
She chose an ivory gown for her wedding.


A thick liquid or semi-solid cosmetic or medical preparation.
She applied a moisturizing cream to her skin.


Resembling ivory in color or smoothness.
The piano's ivory keys felt smooth under his fingers.


To defeat decisively.
The home team creamed their rivals in the championship.


A hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance composed primarily of dentin that forms the tusks of the elephant.


The yellowish fatty component of unhomogenized milk that tends to accumulate at the surface.


A similar substance forming the tusks or teeth of certain other mammals, such as the walrus.


Any of various substances resembling or containing cream
Hand cream.


What is the primary color tone of ivory?

Ivory has a yellowish-white color tone.

What does cream color resemble?

Cream resembles the color of dairy cream, a pale yellow.

Is ivory considered a neutral color?

Yes, ivory is considered a neutral color.

Can cream be used as a neutral in design?

Yes, cream is often used as a warm neutral in design.

Are ivory and cream suitable for all types of interior decor?

Yes, both ivory and cream are versatile and suit various decor styles.

Can ivory be used in minimalist designs?

Yes, ivory is excellent for minimalist designs due to its subtle elegance.

What does the color cream represent?

Cream represents luxury, comfort, and richness.

Are there ethical concerns associated with ivory?

Yes, there are significant ethical concerns due to the illegal ivory trade and elephant poaching.

Is ivory closer to white or yellow?

Ivory is closer to white but with a hint of yellow.

What does ivory symbolize in culture?

Ivory often symbolizes purity and cleanliness.

Is cream a good choice for cozy, inviting spaces?

Yes, cream's warmth makes it ideal for cozy, inviting spaces.

Can cream be achieved artificially in design?

Yes, the cream color can be easily replicated artificially in various design elements.

Do ivory and cream require specific maintenance in textiles?

They don't require specific maintenance but should be cared for like other light-colored textiles.

Does cream have a warmer tone than ivory?

Yes, cream has a warmer tone due to its pale yellow hue.

Can both ivory and cream be used in wedding themes?

Yes, both colors are popular in wedding themes for their soft, elegant appearance.

How do ivory and cream compare in fashion?

In fashion, ivory is often used for its light, pure look, while cream adds a touch of warmth and comfort.

Does the word 'cream' have culinary uses?

Yes, 'cream' is commonly used in culinary contexts to refer to the rich, fatty part of milk.

Is there a significant difference between ivory and cream in digital media?

Yes, ivory can be more challenging to replicate accurately due to its subtle undertones, while cream is more straightforward.

Are ivory and cream easy to match with other colors?

Yes, both colors pair well with a wide range of other colors.

Is ivory a natural or synthetic color in its origin?

Ivory is a natural color, named after the material from elephant tusks.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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