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Material-UI vs Tailwind CSS: What are the differences?

What is Material-UI? React components for faster and easier web development. Build your own design system, or start with Material Design. React components for faster and easier web development. Build your own design system, or start with Material Design.

What is Tailwind CSS? A utility-first CSS framework for rapid UI development. Tailwind is different from frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, or Bulma in that it's not a UI kit. It doesn't have a default theme, and there are no build-in UI components. It comes with a menu of predesigned widgets to build your site with, but doesn't impose design decisions that are difficult to undo.

Material-UI and Tailwind CSS belong to "Front-End Frameworks" category of the tech stack.

"React" is the top reason why over 51 developers like Material-UI, while over 2 developers mention "Highly customizable" as the leading cause for choosing Tailwind CSS.

Material-UI and Tailwind CSS are both open source tools. It seems that Material-UI with 48.6K GitHub stars and 11K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Tailwind CSS with 12.9K GitHub stars and 586 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Material-UI has a broader approval, being mentioned in 69 company stacks & 80 developers stacks; compared to Tailwind CSS, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 19 developer stacks.

Advice on Material-UI and Tailwind CSS
Needs advice
on
Ant DesignAnt DesignMaterial-UIMaterial-UI
and
Next.jsNext.js

Hi, I start building an admin dashboard with next.js and looking for a frontend framework ( components ready ). So I end up with Ant Design and Material-UI, but I never built a project with these two.

Here is a list of my requirements.

  1. Good documentation.
  2. easy CRUD ( date picker and date range picker bundled )
  3. built-in multi-lang feature or Great 3rd library support
  4. Admin dashboard template
  5. well code maintenance

Which is better for the long run?

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Replies (2)
Recommends

I'm using both of them. But If you want to create admin dashboard, You should try AntDesign. They (Alibaba / Taobao) created a group of UI libaries to create admin dashboard. It's production ready. https://procomponents.ant.design/en-US/components/table https://pro.ant.design/docs/layout In my opinion, If you want to create a dashboard with mobile first / simple dashboard, you can choice material ui. otherwise, antdesign is better (if you want focus on desktop /tablet ui). Some of skeleton has built with material ui such as react-admin is good point to start. But if you want to create admin site with antdesign, I think you should build with umijs (it is alternative and compatible with nextjs and antd support directlly)

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Irving Caamal
Mid Level Software Engineer at Fullstacklabs · | 2 upvotes · 77K views
Recommends

https://github.com/uber/baseweb I highly recommend you baseweb, it's easy and very customizable and also beautiful.

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Ashish Sharma
Sr. UI Associate at Daffodil Software · | 5 upvotes · 513.6K views

I am a bit confused when to choose Bootstrap vs Material Design or Tailwind CSS, and why? I mean, in which kind of projects we can work with bootstrap/Material/Tailwind CSS? If the design is made up on the grid, we prefer bootstrap, and if flat design, then material design. Similarly, when do we choose tailwind CSS?

Any suggestion would be appreciated?

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Replies (4)

Hi Ashish,

If you need minimal work to be done from your end and like most of the components / design available out of the box - go with Bootstrap. This is the oldest and has the widest adoption and a whole range of components built out by others.

If you like Material design, this is a good choice too. Please note that Bootstrap also has a Material theme, though it is not as native.

Both of these above frameworks are bulky and has more than what you may need.

If you like to build micro-components in a elegant way, TailwindCSS is the way to go.

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I don't know about material design.

You would go with Bootstrap if you want to prototype / build something without bothering about the design at all and you are OK if everything looks kinda template-y, using bootstrap out of the box components.

Go with Tailwind if you need a sleek design, a user interface where building with components will be important (because tailwind strongly favors component-based UI), and you know you will need to extend the built-in classes with your own (because tailwind is very easy to extend)

I would personally recommend tailwind over bootstrap any day of the week.

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Recommends
Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Tailwind is great you don't have to mess with naming things and it is so much more flexible than the cookie cutter bootstrap, but I don't know about material UI. I recommend tailwind it's super simple to learn and has great code snippets.

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Recommends
Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Put simply, you should use Tailwind regardless. It is a great addition to whatever you use because it removes the hassle of writing CSS.

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Needs advice
on
BootstrapBootstrap
and
Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

I am planning to redesign my entire application, which is currently in Bootstrap. I heard about Tailwind CSS, and I think its really cool to work with. Is it okay if I use Bootstrap and Tailwind together? I can't remove Bootstrap altogether, as my application is using the js dependencies of Bootstrap, which I don't want to disturb.

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Replies (3)
Ivo Pereira

Factually talking about systems, we gotta make two bold headlines about each one: Bootstrap has been around for a while, has a vast community and much probably will not be gone in a while. Tailwind in the other hand, is the trendy framework starting from the past year. Referring to UI, I really prefer Tailwind, however I can't ignore the fact that a lot of libraries that emerged felt short in the end after a few years (a point where Bootstrap kept his status).

You are able to use both them together but I advise you — it will be a mess. And you gotta hope that you won't have any kind of conflicts between class naming and other general styling.

My recommendation would be to use one and only one. Perhaps rebuild the UI with a specific framework in mind, otherwise you will start to workaround things of both frameworks to contradict each other - and your team (if you work with one) will hate you.

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Arslan Ameer
at Synares Systems Pvt Ltd · | 5 upvotes · 451.5K views
Recommends
BootstrapBootstrap

You might have heard about bootstrap 5. Bootstrap is now totally jQuery free. i have tried foundation and bulma too. but eventually fall again for bootstrap, as it is most convenient and stable. i use bootstrap with less or sass.

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Barry Hylton
Recommends
BootstrapBootstrap

I use both of these regularly. If you're going to have to use Bootstrap due to your js dependencies, stick with Bootstrap. I actually prefer Tailwind, but trying to use both of them and make them "play nice" feels like making things more complex with no real benefit.

EDIT: Sorry for the late response, I just noticed how old this is. StackShare sent me this in an email for some reason so I assumed it was relatively fresh.

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Needs advice
on
BootstrapBootstrapTailwind CSSTailwind CSS
and
UIkItUIkIt

We are re-modifying the existing portal to the new one. Looking out for a CSS framework where over-rides are possible, the performance of page loading, extendable, etc Please suggest between tailwind, UIkit and bootstrap frameworks explaining in detail on different factors. I request your help on the same.

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Replies (2)
Brett Stevenson
Recommends
BootstrapBootstrap

I'm a big proponent of Tailwind and I personally use it whenever I get the chance, mostly because it's not really a UI-kit, but it sounds like in this case a UI-kit like Bootstrap with pre-defined components is more what you are looking for. Bootstrap is (relatively) extendable and overridable and makes it really simple to make a decent looking UI using a handful of pre-defined classes, whereas with Tailwind you configure the classes and create your own components. My main reason for replacing Bootstrap in my workflow is that it feels like the component creation has become so abstracted from the developer that any meaningful customization becomes a chore, resulting in many websites having the generic "Bootstrap-look". Nonetheless, it is effective for creating a pleasant and responsive UI. Though, I don't have any experience with UIkit.

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Collins Ogbuzuru
Front-end dev at Evolve credit · | 0 upvotes · 411.7K views
Recommends
Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Hey Sai, My thoughts on UIkit - It's beautiful, it's fast and it has good animation too. Why would I choose it ? Nothing other than giving the internet a new look .

My thoughts on Bootstrap - it's beautiful, if used well. It's very fast and has clean class naming convention unlike Uikit.

Why I would choose it ? It's been tested and trusted, I can find a whole lot of resources and a community around it. Also with the type of project you working on I bet Bootstrap would do the job .

My thoughts on tailwind - classic, difficult to set up and clean utilities. I wouldn't think of tailwind the way I would to Bootstrap or UIkit. What do I mean ? Tailwind is more like a tool set to create your own design flow rather than giving you a pre-designed button it gives you the ability to design yours.

My final thoughts.

If you have the time , setup and use tailwind it will give you a great chance when it comes to extending and performance.

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Decisions about Material-UI and Tailwind CSS
Kexin Lin
at University of Toronto · | 8 upvotes · 196.6K views

I replaced Bootstrap with Material-UI during the front-end UI development, because Material-UI adopts a component-based importing style, making it suit well in a "React programming style". This makes me comfortable when programming because I can treat importing UI components as other React components I define.

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Xinyi Liu
Software Developer at BigClarity · | 6 upvotes · 261.7K views

As our team will be building a web application, HTML5 and CSS3 are one of the standardized combinations to implement the structure and the styling of a webpage. Material-UI comes with all sorts of predesigned web components such as buttons and dropdowns that will save us tons of development time. Since it is a component library designed for React, it suits our needs. However, we do acknowledge that predesigned components may sometimes cause pains especially when it comes to custom styling. To make our life even easier, we also adopted Tailwind CSS. It is a CSS framework providing low-level utility classes that will act as building blocks when we create custom designs.

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Bridget Sarah
Full Stack Developer at Bridget Sarah · | 10 upvotes · 501.9K views

I do prefer to write things from scratch however when it came to wanting to jump-start the frontend, I found that it was taking me a lot longer hence why needing to use something very fast.

Bootstrap was the boom when it came out, I didn't like it, to be honest, set in its way and a pain to over-ride and in addition, you can tell from a distance if you're using boostrap and as everything looks the same.

I came across Tailwind CSS as I wanted more dynamic features, you could say, I've been now doing it for a few days and I love it a lot. I've been practising with the full stack part installed but I an't we wait until I do a new project, and I'll e able to select exactly what I want. Much faster.

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Fonts and typography are fun. Material Design is a framework (developed by Google) that basically geeks out on how to assemble your typographical elements together into a design language. If you're into fonts and typography, it's fantastic. It provides a theming engine, reusable components, and can pull different user interfaces together under a common design paradigm. I'd highly recommend looking into Borries Schwesinger's book "The Form Book" if you're going to be working with Material UI or are otherwise new to component design.

https://www.amazon.com/Form-Book-Creating-Printed-Online/dp/0500515085

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Pros of Material-UI
Pros of Tailwind CSS
  • 131
    React
  • 80
    Material Design
  • 56
    Ui components
  • 26
    CSS framework
  • 22
    Component
  • 13
    Looks great
  • 10
    Good documentation
  • 10
    Responsive
  • 9
    LESS
  • 7
    Open source
  • 6
    Ui component
  • 6
    Code examples
  • 5
    Flexible
  • 4
    JSS
  • 3
    Supports old browsers out of the box
  • 3
    Angular
  • 3
    Fun
  • 3
    Very accessible
  • 2
    Interface
  • 2
    Designed for Server Side Rendering
  • 1
    Easy to work with
  • 40
    Highly customizable
  • 29
    Utility first styles, its amazing
  • 29
    Quick setup
  • 23
    Versatile
  • 21
    Great docs
  • 16
    Customizable
  • 16
    Fast
  • 15
    Consistent
  • 11
    Very light
  • 11
    Semantic
  • 11
    Open source
  • 9
    Responsive
  • 0
    Sex

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Cons of Material-UI
Cons of Tailwind CSS
  • 30
    Hard to learn. Bad documentation
  • 25
    Hard to customize
  • 19
    Hard to understand Docs
  • 6
    Extra library needed for date/time pickers
  • 6
    Bad performance
  • 5
    For editable table component need to use material-table
  • 14
    Priced
  • 5
    Cluttered html structure

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What is Material-UI?

Material UI is a library of React UI components that implements Google's Material Design.

What is Tailwind CSS?

Tailwind is different from frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, or Bulma in that it's not a UI kit. It doesn't have a default theme, and there are no build-in UI components. It comes with a menu of predesigned widgets to build your site with, but doesn't impose design decisions that are difficult to undo.

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Jobs that mention Material-UI and Tailwind CSS as a desired skillset
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What companies use Material-UI?
What companies use Tailwind CSS?
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What tools integrate with Material-UI?
What tools integrate with Tailwind CSS?

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What are some alternatives to Material-UI and Tailwind CSS?
Kendo UI
Fast, light, complete: 70+ jQuery-based UI widgets in one powerful toolset. AngularJS integration, Bootstrap support, mobile controls, offline data solution.
Flat UI
Flat UI is a beautiful theme for Bootstrap. We have redesigned many of its components to look flat in every pixel.
Ant Design
An enterprise-class UI design language and React-based implementation. Graceful UI components out of the box, base on React Component. A npm + webpack + babel + dora + dva development framework.
react-md
React MD is Google's Material Design specifications implemented with Sass and React. The goal of the project is to create components that adhere to the Material Design specifications.
Angular Material
Sprint from Zero to App. Hit the ground running with comprehensive, modern UI components that work across the web, mobile and desktop. It allows to create material styled angular apps fast and easy.
See all alternatives