Top 5 ReactJS UI Component Libraries
Are you on the hunt for the best ReactJS UI component library for your next project?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, I will show you the top 5 React UI component libraries and their use cases.
By the end, I am sure you’ll have a clear idea of which one you should take up for your project.
But before that for those who need an answer to -
Why do I need a React UI Component Library?
Let me tell you, building an application (be it web or mobile) can be much more simple and more straightforward if you’re using ready-made React UI components.
You can customize the components to your specific needs, which means you won’t have to start from scratch which will save time, money & energy.
Now, that’s sorted…So let’s quickly have a look at some component libraries:
This is one of the oldest React UI component libraries and is also the most popular. It is a customizable front-end framework completely re-built in React consisting of ready-to-use components that are accessible and fully responsive. It is used for UI foundations, websites, and applications design.
The major advantage that React-Bootstrap has, is that it is compatible with thousands of other Bootstrap themes. And because it has proper documentation, I can say that it is also beginner-friendly.
On the flip-side, if you are acquainted with Bootstrap and want to choose React-Bootstrap for your development project, you’ll need to learn a new API. Also, it has a somewhat smaller set of components when compared to other libraries like MUI.
You can install the React-bootstrap components library using npm:
npm install react-bootstrap
yarn add react-bootstrap
2. MUI (earlier known as Material-UI)
MUI is not simply a component library — it is an entire DESIGN SYSTEM!
Based on Google’s Material Design, MUI is a straightforward and customizable components library with the best practices of UI design and its principles.
The most exciting thing about MUI is that because it has a large set of components, you can easily create a user interface in React applications that too with little design experience, or you can create & customize your own design system using the existing Material Design components.
But because MUI is based on Material-UI design system (which is used in Google’s own platform), it can have a Google-like look and feel. So if you want your application to stand out and not be associated with Google, then you have to bring your A-game on designing components.
How to install:
npm install @mui/material @emotion/react @emotion/styled
yarn add @mui/material @emotion/react @emotion/styled
3. Ant Design
Created by Alibaba (the Chinese e-commerce company) Ant Design describes itself as a React UI library and design system for enterprise-level users which essentially means that the elements are designed for business use.
If you want to build an entire UI framework or just use some individual components — Ant Design offers a large set of high-quality components for both.
The fun part of Ant Design is its compatibility with lots of third-party React libraries and several of their own products such as AntV Data Visualization, Ant Design Charts, and Ant Design Mobile — all these help expand the number of use cases that you can cover with their libraries.
When you compare Ant Design’s bundle size to other React libraries, it goes into Mbs while others are around a few hundred Kbs. Also, if you are not working on a business development project — choosing Ant Design might be overkill.
You can install Ant Design components using npm:
npm install antd
yarn add antd
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4. Semantic UI React
Another frontend component library for ready-made, mobile-responsive solutions — Semantic UI React is the official React integration of the Semantic UI development framework which is known for its responsive, human-friendly HTML code.
Similar to other libraries, you can too use the Semantic UI React library for your whole project or only install individual elements as per the project needs.
You can install Semantic UI React components using npm:
npm install semantic-ui-react semantic-ui-css
yarn add semantic-ui-react semantic-ui-css
Because Semantic UI React is based on the Semantic UI framework — which was created for web development — so React’s Semantic UI is also suited more for web development projects and not for mobile apps.
If you choose to work with Semantic UI React for your project, do keep in mind that not all the components are accessible by default — so you’ll have to put in some more hours! Adding to that, the original Semantic UI framework is no longer maintained — so keep that in mind before choosing it for your project.
A younger component library as compared to others on the list, Reactstrap has slightly fewer components available comparatively. But guess what? Isn’t it good that you are not overwhelmed by so many options.
If you are looking to create simple designs — go for Reactstrap. You can use it for complete UI development or use only a few components — in both cases it does give great flexibility and prebuilt validation which I must tell you is essential for building beautiful forms with a great user experience.
The official Reactstrap documentation is sufficient but it mainly consists of code and doesn’t have a lot of explanations. Even then, as it’s quite a straightforward library, it’s still easy to understand and work with — even for beginners.
To use Reactstrap, you first need to install Bootstrap:
npm install bootstrap
yarn add bootstrap
Then you can install Reactstrap using npm:
npm install reactstrap
Or using yarn:
yarn add reactstrap
For those of you wondering whether Reactstrap is similar to React-Bootstrap?
Yes, it is but with a few small differences. If you like working with Bootstrap, you can easily choose either for your project.
Now let me break down which are the use cases for these:
- Look into MUI, Ant Design or Semantic UI React if you want great documentations, examples, and a large number of pre-built components
- Go for MUI, React-Bootstrap, or Ant Design if you want to do mobile app development
- If your React project needs seamless accessibility then you can consider React-Bootstrap or MUI
- If you are looking for Bootstrap compatible themes then React-Bootstrap and Reactstrap are good options
No matter what type of project you’re working on, there are several useful UI component libraries that can help you craft customizable, feature-rich React apps quickly and easily.
Which React library do you like the most and why? Let us know in the comments section.