Stainless steel has dominated the American kitchen appliance market for years. Now some are asking "What's the next big thing?" The answer just may be black stainless steel. It is often called a softer, warmer alternative to traditional stainless. KitchenAid's (pictured above) matte black finish is less reflective and resists fingerprints better than regular stainless steel.
Samsung offers a similar finish with similar smudge resistance qualities. Samsung reports that customers are using the new finish to mix and match appliances. For example a range and microwave in black stainless paired with a standard stainless refrigerator and dishwasher.
LG describes its black stainless as "Formed from stainless steel coated with a darker hue and topped with a protective coating... A dry cloth is all it takes to bring back its original luster."
The stone inspired finishes offer a softer alternative to regular stainless and the smudge resistance is sure have appeal. Whether black stainless will offer a serious threat to the popularity of standard stainless steel has yet to be determined. But isn't great to have options!