Tailwind versus BEM

Avatar of Chris Coyier
Chris Coyier on

Find and fix web accessibility issues with ease using axe DevTools Pro. Try for free!

Some really refreshing technological comparison writing from Eric Bailey. Like, ya know, everything in life, we don’t have to hate or love everything. Baby bear thinking, I like to say. There are benefits and drawbacks. Every single bullet point here is well-considered and valid. I really like the first in each section, so I’ll quote those as a taste here:

Tailwind Benefit: “The utility CSS approach creates an API-style approach to thinking about CSS, which helps many developers work with it.”

Tailwind Drawback: “You need to learn Tailwind class names in addition to learning CSS property names to figure out the visual styling you want. Tailwind is reliant on, and will be outlived by CSS, so it is more long-term beneficial to focus on CSS’ capabilities directly.”

BEM Benefit: “BEM will allow you to describe any user interface component you can dream up in a flexible, extensible way. As it is an approach to encapsulate the full range of CSS properties, it will allow you to style things Tailwind simply does not have classes for—think highly art directed experiences.”

BEM Drawback: “BEM runs full-tilt into one of the hardest problems in computer science—naming things. You need to not only describe your component, but also all its constituent parts and their states.”


And remember, these certainly aren’t the only two choices on the block. I covered my thoughts on some other approaches here.

Direct Link →