Top 10 CSS Frameworks in 2024

There are many CSS Frameworks out there, different frameworks have different strengths you may be wise to work with several as opposed to one or you may even decide it’s best to develop your own set of frameworks that better align with your projects and coding style.

It’s hard to find the framework that works for you. Try to understand the CSS code and the quality of that code inside the framework. If you are not happy with any public framework then build your own. Tailwind is leading as the most loved CSS framework.

  1. Tailwind CSS (78.9k ⭐) • Highly customizable, utility-first, and low-level CSS framework that gives you all of the building blocks you need to build bespoke designs rapidly without any annoying opinionated styles you have to fight to override.

  2. PureCSS (23.4k ⭐) • A small, responsive CSS framework for web projects. It’s open-source, built on Normalize.css, and offers layout and styling for native HTML elements and common UI components, with minimal styles for easy customization.

  3. Ant Design (90.4k ⭐) • A React UI library for enterprise-level products. It’s feature-rich, with high-quality components and extensive design resources, supporting flexible theme customization and internationalization for building interactive user interfaces.

  4. UIKit (18.2k ⭐) • A lightweight, modular front-end CSS framework for creating fast, powerful web interfaces. It offers a comprehensive collection of HTML, CSS, and JS components, customizable themes, and is designed for ease of use and flexibility.

  5. Bulma (48.7k ⭐) • A modern, open-source CSS framework based on Flexbox, Grid, and CSS variables. It’s responsive, modular, free to use, and built with Sass. Bulma simplifies web development with ready-to-use classes and styles for quick, attractive designs.

  6. Semantic UI (51k ⭐) • A front-end framework offering a wide range of customizable, responsive components. It uses semantic class names for readability and quick development, facilitating the creation of modern, consistent web applications.

  7. MaterializeCSS (38.9k ⭐) • A modern responsive front-end framework based on Google’s Material Design. It speeds up development by providing default styling, custom components, and refined animations for a unified user experience across all platforms.

  8. Tachyons (11.6k ⭐) • A CSS toolkit designed for creating fast-loading, highly readable, and 100% responsive interfaces with minimal CSS. It provides composable building blocks that allow you to build UI components without writing extensive custom CSS.

  9. Bootstrap (168k ⭐) • Open source toolkit for developing with HTML, CSS, and JS. Quickly prototype your ideas or build your entire app with our Sass variables and mixins, responsive grid system, extensive prebuilt components, and powerful plugins built on jQuery.

  10. UnoCSS (15.6k ⭐) • An on-demand atomic CSS engine that is fully customizable with no core utilities. It’s instant, 5x faster than similar CSS tools, and browser-friendly with a size of ~6kb min+brotli.

Which CSS framework should I use?

Ultimately, the best framework is the one that aligns with your project’s goals and your team’s skills. It’s worth experimenting with a few to see which one fits best.

  • Are you looking for a minimalist design or something more complex?
  • Some frameworks have a steeper learning curve than others.
  • How much control do you want over the design?
  • A lightweight framework might be more suitable for a project where speed is crucial.
  • A larger community can provide more resources as well as better support.
  • Look for a framework that is actively maintained and updated to ensure long-term viability.

Tailwind CSS offers more control over styling and is utility-first, which can be more efficient for developers who prefer a hands-on approach. Material UI is good for projects that aim for a material design aesthetic.

Benefits of using a CSS framework

Increased productivity. Imagine a situation when you install a framework, set CSS class name for an element, then a beautiful styled element emerges from nowhere! How cool is that! Effortless styling is the selling point of CSS frameworks.

Standardized codebase. CSS frameworks often come with enforced naming conventions, style guides and architectures. This leads to standardized styling code everywhere as long as you’re still using the same frameworks.

Responsive by default. All CSS frameworks take responsive design very seriously, all their components come with responsive by default. This is very helpful when you’re using grid or layout frameworks.

Browser compatibility. As responsive design, cross browser compatibility is tested very carefully by framework authors.

Consistent layout. Frameworks comes with a consistent design on their own. You’ll have very consistent paddings, margins, animations, colors and many little things.

Downsides of using a CSS framework

Non transferable learning. There are no standards for designing CSS frameworks, authors can build whatever they want. Your investment in learning one framework can come in vain when you switch company using different ones.

Heavy unnecessary code. Most CSS frameworks include tons of styles you’ll never use. Things get worse with small projects when you only use one feature but loading the whole big framework. This will slow your site down!

Similar style everywhere. Many frameworks provide beautiful built-in styles that everyone can use with minimum customization. People are happy with these designs because they save a lot of time, this ends up with bunch of similar websites with very little character.

Painful custom design. If you use general purpose CSS frameworks in a highly customized design project, you’ll end up overrides styles for many components. This is the turning point when you realize writing from scratch is far more easier!

Vulnerable to changes. The more dependencies you have, the more vulnerable you are. Things get really ugly when you’re heavily using a framework which is somehow loses community interests and get abandoned. The cost of switching CSS frameworks is high.