CSS grid systems are one of the most helpful tools in web development. Everything begins with them. They provide the basic functionality and styles to translate your design into a working piece and with all that lay the solid foundation on which you can build on further. Although CSS grid systems cannot boast of colossal functionality like Bootstrap, however, they are still responsive, mobile-friendly, flexible, and quite intuitive to use.
If you need to create a simple project or high performance and speed are your top priorities, then CSS grid systems are a must-have. They are perfect for developing custom engines or bases for small-scale projects.
Therefore, if you are up to something like that, then our list of the best CSS grid systems to try in 2021 will undoubtedly come in handy. It will help you to find the ideal match for your next project to get the most out of modern technologies and ensure the best experience and high performance for the users.
The Best CSS Grid Systems to Try in 2021
Flexbox Grid is one of the most promising solutions in our list. As the name suggests, it is run by Flexbox. Therefore, be ready to enjoy some CSS magic.
It is packed with all the necessary features. For instance, you can
- specify different column sizes to divide the layout into the custom grid;
- offset the columns;
- align blocks vertically and horizontally;
- locate sections on the top, bottom, center;
- nest grids inside grids to create complex structures;
- reorder and reverse the blocks programmatically;
Along with all these, there are two types of layouts. They offer either responsive (viewport widths based) display or fluid (percent based) display.
The Griddle is a valid alternative to the previous CSS grid system. It is also created with Flexbox in mind. However, this time the author has used Grid as a core. Therefore, you can benefit from a union of two powerful layout modules. Use it to create complex structures where you can align elements horizontally and vertically without losing your nerve.
Griddle includes 12 columns with auto rows that perfectly work across 6 standard breakpoints. It also follows the mobile-first ideology providing the best experience for small devices.
Finally, yet importantly, one of the main benefits of the system is that you can create custom column lengths: it means you can build a well-organized and properly balanced 7-column layout, for instance.
The developers’ team behind this CSS grid system was aiming to make things as simple as possible. And it seems that they nailed it. The Simple Grid is a super-light solution with intuitive classes that can be handled by novices, especially those who are familiar with the Bootstrap syntax.
As usual, it has 12 columns that you can not only mix and match but also nest. Along with traditional responsive behavior, the system focuses on mobile devices, providing the best experience for small viewports.
Last but not least, the package comes with SCSS files for those who prefer preprocessors with variables and nested rules.
Much like Simple Grid, Raster Grid is up to simplicity and minimalism. It is clean, neat, and highly adaptive to various screen sizes thanks to well-thought-out responsive behavior.
Several features differentiate it from the others. First, the developers’ team focuses more on descriptive HTML instead of semantic CSS. Secondly, you will find here a default structure with only 8 columns. Thirdly, it has additional responsive controls for small columns. Finally, it provides customization through CSS variables.
Skeleton is not a new kid in a block. It has been with us for ages. Therefore, it has already proved its validity. And this year it will certainly come in handy.
The main benefit of this CSS grid system is that it is super lightweight and extremely minimal. It just has 400 lines of code. The Grid has 12 columns and a maximum width of 960px. The great thing is that if you change the width, columns will adjust accordingly.
That is not all; the dev team has also included styles for typography, buttons, lists, tables, and even forms. Therefore, it is a perfect starting point for small projects that do not require a huge functionality or massive frameworks to go live.
Milligram separates itself from the competition with its incredibly low weight: only 2kb gzipped. How impressive is that? It will not overload your project, ensuring the best performance and high productivity.
Much like any of the listed above, this CSS grid system has all the necessary functionality along with responsive behavior. It offers a minimal setup that is enough to secure a solid foundation for any design; and with Flexbox in the core, the alignment will be a mere pleasure here.
Although Milligram is lightweight, nevertheless, it is a sterling framework that has custom styles for blockquotes, buttons, typography, lists, forms, and tables. The official website of Node.js is built with it, so why not try it in your next project?
Much like Skeleton, Bulma is a time-tested solution that is used by thousands of developers out there. The reason for its popularity lies in the fact that it is much more than just a pure CSS Grid system: it is a true CSS framework. It is fully responsive, mobile-friendly, modular, and just simple to use. Some even consider it an alternative to Bootstrap.
Again, Flexbox rules the roost here underlying the system. You can add as many columns as you want. Flexbox will do all the heavy lifting for equal distribution.
On top of that, Bulma has a vast community. Therefore, you can easily find third-party extensions that help to enhance the system and extend its functionality.
Relying only on Sass, the system is neat, clean, fast, light, and, of course, responsive. It is here where Flexbox shows its powers once again. The key feature of the solution is its ability to be easily customized.
What’s more, the author has also created a handy builder that lets you design various unique styles within seconds. Just choose the options and hit the “Generate Flavor” button.
Materialize is the first-ever CSS framework that was created with Google’s Material Design guidelines in mind. It skillfully combines good functionality and optimal user experience. This cross-platform solution lets you create layouts that work consistently not only in various desktop and mobile browsers but also in iOS, and Android.
If you find Materialize too heavy but still want to pursue Material Design principles, you can try its alternative – MUI that is much simpler yet still effective.
On the contrary, if you feel like you need more, you can always address your issue to Bootstrap Material Design Framework. It is much more comprehensive and powerful.
The web is teeming with CSS grid systems. Some of them are powerful feature-rich frameworks, while others are small lightweight yet still effective. The latters have one big advantage. They do not overload projects with extra functionality that you might not need thereby providing high speed and top-level performance without sacrifices.
Though, it is for you to decide what to use in your next project.
So, tell us what do you prefer to use in your work? Let us know in the comments below.