White countertops are white-hot right now, and for good reason: they're bright, light, and add a sense of cleanliness that's appealing in food prep areas. And while some may decry white counters as "boring" and "plain," the truth is they are available in a wide variety of materials, each with their own texture and aesthetic, and each with pros and cons.
If you want perfection don't get marble — it's been known to stain and etch and develop a "patina" over time. But if you want a classic and timeless choice for countertops that's versatile enough to look good in a wide variety of kitchens, then natural marble might be for you. Read the comments on this post if you're curious about what other readers have to say about the cost and value of marble. Options include the Carrara white, Jazz white and Oriental white, and Ariston white.
Quartz has dramatically risen in popularity in recent years, for good reason. Quartz is a non-porous material that resists stains and etching — so rest easy red wine lovers —and doesn't harbor bacteria. It also doesn't require the periodic sealing that comes with marble and granite. It is, however, vulnerable to hot pans and discoloration when exposed to sun (it's not a good surface to use for outdoor kitchens). Also note that, if your counters are quite large, they almost certainly will have visible seams. It's also one of the more expensive options. Common brands are Cosentino (Silestone), DuPont (Zodiaq), Cambria, Caesarstone, Santa Margherita and Technistone — all of whom have lots of white options.
Granite is a natural material, meaning every single piece comes from the earth and is uniquely beautiful. It's very durable, but, due to its porous nature, it can stain if spilled substances are left to linger for too long, and needs to be sealed (and resealed annually) in order to fully protect the surface. Still, it is very highly rated by Consumer Reports: "Like quartz, granite survived our spills, hot pots, knives, and more with top scores," but note that it can chip. Although granite is typically more affordable that quartz, some of the whiter slabs are often considered high tier stones which might drive the price higher. Your best bet is visiting a granite yard to pick out your slab. Popular options include: G603, G633, and Wave white etc...