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Choosing a shade of red color can sometimes be difficult and confusing. This article will discuss the differences between cherry red, crimson red, and ruby red to help make your decision of which red color to choose much easier.

cherry red vs crimson red vs ruby red paint colors infographic

Cherry Red vs Crimson Red vs Ruby Red Paint Colors

Red is one of the primary colors on both the paint and the light spectrum. It has a tendency to stand in contrast to other shades, rather than supporting or working with them.

However, this contrast can stand as a terrific foil for the right color in the right setting. Historically, red bedrooms are not a good idea for restful sleep, but a red accent wall can be an excellent mental boost in an office.

cherry red, crimson red, ruby red wall art under lights

Cherry Red

Cherry red is primarily a red tone with just a bit of blue to cool it down. There is very little green in this color on the RGB spectrum, so this tone is not muted in any way.

cherry red wall art under lights

Most any color on the blue spectrum will coordinate well with this tone, while green will stand out strongly against it.

If you want to pair anything in the yellow family with this version of red, make sure that it is a very pure tone.

Yellow that contains too much green will just read rather dirty or dusty against this color.

To use this color in your home, look for spaces that need a bit of brightening.

For example, you may have a sofa in your entertainment space that is showing some wear.

If your children are small, a new sofa is probably not a great investment until they’re a bit bigger and can be counted on not to spill or damage the sofa.

cherry red color infographic

A blue sofa with a cherry red throw or pillow could be quite energizing. If your tan or brown sofa is looking tired, look for fabrics that contain thin stripes of cherry red for throw pillows.

This is a color that really draws the eye. It can’t really back down. If any portion of your home is feeling drab, tiny pops of cherry red, from fabric to wall art to plates or cups can really boost the energy of your living space.

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RGB: 247, 2, 42

Hex: #F7022A

cherry red wall art above a desk

Crimson Red

Unlike cherry, crimson red has a balanced ratio of green and blue. This means that it is possible to use this shade as a coordinator between those two colors.

crimson red wall art under lights

For example, a teal side chair could stand against a crimson throw or table cover as you head into the winter months.

There is enough yellow mixed into crimson that it could also work with rust or gold, especially if the space in question gets plenty of sunlight.

If you want to use crimson as a wall color, it’s a good idea to pair it with either a white painted or a light wood tone for best results.

If your home features cherry cabinetry or trim avoid putting any red tone in large spaces, such as a wall paint.

crimson red color infographic

You want your cabinetry to shine, and the red in cherry wood is simply not strong enough to stand against the red concentration in crimson.

Because the mix of blue and green in this color is close to equal, either of these colors and the spectrum between them could be wonderful combinations.

If you are working on a child’s room and they must have some red, stick with the cherry described above. Crimson will not work as well with pastels, particularly anything in the purple family.

Crimson red can be used as a coordinator between green and blue colors.

RGB: 157, 34, 53

Hex: #9D2235

crimson red wall art above a desk

Ruby Red

If cherry red is a hot color, ruby red is a furnace. This shade includes no green at all which means that it’s ready for a fight next to many shades. The intensity of red in this color may also make it rather tiresome.

ruby red wall art under lights

To keep things calm and relaxed when using ruby red in your decor, consider using it seasonally.

For example, you can frame black and white photos or drawings with a ruby red mat and hang them as part of your winter holiday decor.

You might want to invest in ruby red dishes, placemats, or tablecloths for this same season.

Ruby red is a warm color to the eye. If you live in cold climates, go ahead and invest in some ruby red fuzzy throws to use in your living areas or to snuggle under at bedtime.

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If you prefer the feel of cotton blankets and throws, avoid stripes; this color may not bleed into paler tones, but it may well fade over time.

This is a shade that works well with softer colors. Since it contains no green to take the edge off this energetic tone, it will contrast beautifully with almost every shade from teal blue to apple green.

Like ruby-red flowers, greens in every shade will coordinate well.

ruby red color infographic

Like the gemstone, ruby red also works beautifully with almost any metal tone. Going back to your holiday table, treat yourself to gold-toned dinnerware and ruby red placemats for your fancy holiday gatherings.

Both the fabric color and the metal will shine next to clear crystal goblets and bright white china.

If you choose to use ruby on a wall, do your best to minimize accessories against that wall. For example, you may want to paint your office wall ruby red to up the energy in the space.

Go ahead and put your white desk against the wall. Make sure that any paintings, bulletin boards, or marker boards are also predominantly white, as well as the trim, to avoid having the whole wall look like a poorly burned campfire.

This is a color that will come out fighting. Too much contrast will just leave the whole room feeling cluttered and unfinished.

Ruby red works well with softer colors and is best to be used seasonally as a relaxing color.

RGB: 228,0,70

Hex: #E40046

ruby red wall art above a desk


Any and all reds can add a jolt of energy to a space. However, a little will go a long way over time. Too much red in your home can leave the whole space feeling rather frenetic.

A small pop of red, like a red rose in a vase against a lot of greenery, can be just what your home needs to feel invigorated.

What colors go with cherry red?

Cherry red works well with colors in the blue spectrum. You can also pair it with:

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