Matte Black vs. Gloss Black vs. Satin Black Wheels: Comprehensive Comparison

Matte black wheels are a popular choice for those looking to make their car look sleek and modern. Gloss black wheels, on the other hand, offer more of an expensive luxury feel that can also be achieved with matte or satin finishes.

If you’re wondering whether matte black is better than gloss black, then this article will provide some insight into which type of finish might work best for your vehicle.

Matte Black

This is the most basic/classic look of black wheels. The surface is not shiny at all and can be described as a non-gloss, but not quite a full-on flat “murdered out” finish either.


Matte black wheels can look very classy and sophisticated; especially if they are polished to perfection. They pop when they are on a nice luxury car.


The full “murdered out” matte look may tend to make the wheels blend into the fender wells or look too dark depending on your color choice of tire and rims. It is hard to go wrong with a matte black finish, but it can go wrong if not done right.

Gloss Black

The biggest difference between matte and gloss black rims is the shine factor. Gloss black rims maintain a nice deep black finish but present more of a glossy/shiny look instead of a flat one. If you ever see any shiny black wheels; those would be gloss black wheels. Gloss black rims are great for luxury cars with darker paint colors where the matte would make the wheel look off or dirty against the paint color chosen.


Gloss black wheels are very appealing and tend to appear less dark than matte ones depending on their finish. The shine of gloss really makes them stand out even more during daylight, but also gives them a more classy look. They can be appealing to the eyes and are incredible when caked in tire shine during nighttime.


Gloss black rims don’t look as “murdered out” or stealthy as matte ones do; especially with dark paint colors of cars like black, blue, violet, etc. Shiny black wheels are more of a targeted look many guys want, but will not fit everyone’s tastes.

Satin Black

Satin is the middle ground/in-between matte and gloss rims. A satin black wheel has a deep dark finish like matte ones do, but also presents some shine like gloss rims do (but it isn’t exactly shiny). They can vary from looking near flat to having just enough of a sheen to them that they appear darker than any other type of wheel usually does. There is no exact science behind what makes up a “good” or “bad” satin black finish, but most good ones generally don’t have too much luster on them. Generally speaking, the more of a sheen they have compared to the more flat matte finish; the better.


Satin black rims are relatively new and can look great depending on how they’re finished. The more glossy satin ones will give you more of a dark/smoky appearance than most gloss black wheels do, but still less so than matte ones even though it may be hard for some people to tell.

Good satin finishes generally tend to blend in with car paint colors and keep the rims dark and stealthy looking without making them stand out too much as gloss and matte finishes generally do. A lot of guys prefer their cars with satin black rims as opposed to any other finish because it keeps that “murdered out” appearance without making the rims look too dark.


The biggest problem with satin black rims is that many of them are subpar and don’t present well at all. The ones that do “work” can be very expensive depending on what type of wheels they are (especially forged/3 piece styles).

Satin rims tend to look best on cars with matte paint colors, but this isn’t always the case as it comes down to personal tastes/style preference. “Satin” may also not be the first thing you think of when trying to go for a certain look or color scheme; especially if your car already has a shiny finish to it.

Different Types Black Wheels

1. Matte Black

2. Gloss Black

3. Satin Black

4. Polished/Monochromatic

5. Hyper-Polished

6. Brushed Aluminum (Gunmetal Grey)

7. Gold/Chrome Plated

8. Cobalt Chrome Plated

You may concern: 3 Best Different Types of Black Paint for Cars

Which color should you get for your car?

If you want a darker/smokier look, matte black wheels are the way to go. You’ll get that stealthy appearance that makes people think your car is “buffed out” or has been “murdered out”.

In terms of having a more luxury/classy shine to them; gloss black rims are what you’re looking for. Most guys opt for gloss as opposed to any other type because they look amazing during nighttime and draw less attention than matte or satin ones do.

Satin rims have gained traction in recent years thanks to newer generations liking shinier things as opposed to dark and “murdered out” styles often preferred by older generations who first started getting into cars. Satin finishes have been found to give rims a deeper, darker appearance when compared to gloss black ones.

Is matte or satin better?

It all comes down to personal preference and what type of wheel you already have. Some matte rims look terrible with matte paint colors, but the same wheels can look great if your car has a gloss or satin finish on it. So, matte black isn’t always the best choice to go for depending on other factors at hand.

Do gloss black wheels scratch easily?

No, matte finishes are the ones most likely to scratch because they have a “flat” look to them. Gloss black wheels are more durable and have a sheen to them that tends to resist being messed up/scratched as easily.

Is matte black easy to maintain?

No, it is not.

Matte black tends to show scratches and other blemishes more prominently than most other colors due to its lack of shine. This means that it will require frequent polishing to maintain a pristine appearance. However, this may be a small price to pay for those who admire the color’s high-tech look.

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