CSS framework is a pre-prepared software framework that is meant to allow for easier, more standard-compliant web design using the Cascading Style Sheets language. Most of these frameworks contain at least a grid . More functional frameworks JavaScript is not available anymore, but is mostly oriented and unobtrusive . This differentiates these functional and full JavaScript frameworks .

Two notable and widely used examples are Bootstrap and Foundation .

CSS frameworks offer different modules and tools:

  • reset style sheet  ( de )
  • especially grid for responsive web design
  • web typography
  • set of icons in sprites or icon fonts
  • styling for tooltips , buttons , elements of forms
  • parts of graphical user interface like accordion , tabs , slideshow or modal windows ( Lightbox )
  • equalizer to create equal height
  • often used CSS helper classes ( left , hide )

Bigger frameworks use a CSS interpreter like Less or Sass .

List of notable CSS frameworks

Grid systems

name Latest release (Date) License Grid Units Features No. of columns
Blueprint 1.0.1 (May 14, 2011) MIT License Typography, forms, print. plugins for buttons, tabs and sprites.
bootstrap 3.3.7 (July 25, 2016) MIT License
( Apache License prior to 3.1.0)
fixed, fluid, responsive px,% Layout, typography, forms, buttons, browsing, media queries + more, + .less files + js libraries 12
Cascade Framework 1.5 (August 28, 2013) MIT fixed, elastic, fluid, responsive px,% Grid, layout, typography, forms, buttons, media queries + more Any
Foundation 6.4.2 (August 10, 2017) MIT License fluid px,% Responsive Layout, source ordering, typography, forms, buttons, navigation, media queries, js libraries Any
Materialize 0.100.2 (August 26, 2017) [1] MIT License fixed, fluid, responsive px,%, em Grid, Layout, typography, forms, buttons, navigation, transitions + more, + .sass files + js libraries 12
W3.CSS 4 (March 24, 2017) MIT License Simplicity, CSS-only, grid, responsive, layout, typography, tables, buttons, animations 4
YAML 4.1.2 (July 28, 2013) CC-BY 2.0 fixed, elastic, fluid px, em,% Layout, grids, columns, forms, buttons, progressive linearization for responsive layouts, float handling, navigation, typography, accessibility, add-ons (accessible tabs, rtl-support, microformats) Any
YUI CSS grids 3.18.1 (October 22, 2014) BSD-3 fixed and fluid

See also

  • Cascading Style Sheets


  1. Jump up^ Wang, Alvin (August 26, 2017). “Materialize Releases” . GitHub . Retrieved October 28, 2017 .