Materialize vs Pure.css

When it comes to front-end development, CSS frameworks are essential tools that help developers create responsive and visually appealing websites efficiently. Among the myriad of frameworks available, Materialize and Pure.css stand out for their unique features and approaches to styling. In this article, we’ll conduct an in-depth comparison of Materialize and Pure.css, covering everything from their design philosophies to their community support and documentation.

What is Materialize?

Materialize is a modern responsive front-end framework based on Material Design by Google. It is a comprehensive framework that offers a wide range of components and styles out-of-the-box, which makes it an excellent choice for developers looking to create material design-inspired websites.

Features of Materialize

  • Material Design: Materialize strictly follows Google’s Material Design principles, providing a consistent and recognizable look and feel.
  • Responsive Grid: It includes a 12-column responsive grid system that adapts to the screen size of the device.
  • Pre-designed Components: Materialize comes with numerous ready-to-use components like buttons, cards, navbars, and more.
  • JavaScript Components: It offers interactive components such as modals, dropdowns, and tabs that are powered by JavaScript.
  • Sass Support: Materialize is built with Sass, allowing developers to customize the framework according to their project’s needs.

Documentation and Installation

Materialize has comprehensive documentation that is easy to follow. To get started with Materialize, you can visit their documentation page.

To install Materialize, you can use a CDN, npm, or download the compiled files directly:

<!-- Compiled and minified CSS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

<!-- Compiled and minified JavaScript -->
<script src=""></script>

Popular Addons and Libraries

While Materialize is comprehensive, developers often extend its functionality with third-party addons and libraries, such as:

  • Materialize-stepper: A plugin that adds a step-by-step wizard component.
  • Materialize-tags: An addon for creating material design-inspired tagging systems.

What is Pure.css?

Pure.css is a minimalistic CSS framework that aims to be lightweight and highly modular. Developed by Yahoo, Pure.css provides a set of small, responsive CSS modules that you can use in every web project.

Features of Pure.css

  • Minimalist Approach: Pure.css emphasizes minimalism, with a small footprint and no unnecessary styles.
  • Modular: You can include only the modules you need, which keeps your CSS lightweight.
  • Responsive Grid: Pure.css includes a responsive grid system that can be used for mobile-friendly layouts.
  • Pure Base: It comes with a set of base styles that ensure cross-browser consistency.
  • Customizable: Pure.css is highly customizable, allowing you to build your design on top of it.

Documentation and Installation

Pure.css also provides excellent documentation for developers. To start using Pure.css, you can visit their documentation page.

To install Pure.css, you can use a CDN or download the files:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Popular Addons and Libraries

Pure.css is designed to be used as-is or as a starting point for customization. However, there are some community-driven addons and extensions, such as:

  • Pure.css Layouts: Pre-built layouts that can be used as starting templates.
  • Pure.css UI Kit: A collection of UI components built on top of Pure.css.

Code Samples

Let’s see some code samples that demonstrate how to use Materialize and Pure.css for common UI components.

Materialize Navbar

  <div class="nav-wrapper">
    <a href="#" class="brand-logo">Logo</a>
    <ul id="nav-mobile" class="right hide-on-med-and-down">
      <li><a href="sass.html">Sass</a></li>
      <li><a href="badges.html">Components</a></li>
      <li><a href="collapsible.html">JavaScript</a></li>

Pure.css Menu

<div class="pure-menu pure-menu-horizontal">
  <a href="#" class="pure-menu-heading pure-menu-link">Brand</a>
  <ul class="pure-menu-list">
    <li class="pure-menu-item"><a href="#" class="pure-menu-link">Home</a></li>
    <li class="pure-menu-item"><a href="#" class="pure-menu-link">About</a></li>
    <li class="pure-menu-item"><a href="#" class="pure-menu-link">Contact</a></li>

Both frameworks offer clean and easy-to-implement navigation components, but Materialize provides a more feature-rich set of options due to its adherence to Material Design principles. Pure.css, on the other hand, gives you the essentials, allowing for greater customization and a more lightweight implementation.

In the next section, we will continue to explore other aspects of Materialize and Pure.css, including community support, performance considerations, and real-world applications. Stay tuned for more in-depth comparisons and code samples that will help you decide which CSS framework best suits your project’s needs.

Community Support and Resources

Both Materialize and Pure.css have active communities and a wealth of resources available for developers. However, the nature and size of these communities differ significantly due to the scope and usage of each framework.

Materialize Community

Materialize benefits from a larger community due to its comprehensive set of features and popularity among developers who prefer Material Design. This larger community translates to more third-party resources, tutorials, and forums where developers can seek help and share their experiences.

  • GitHub Repository: Materialize’s GitHub repository is active, with many contributors and frequent updates.
  • Stack Overflow: There is a significant presence of Materialize-related questions and answers on Stack Overflow, which can be a valuable resource for troubleshooting.
  • Gitter Chat Room: Developers can join the Materialize Gitter chat room to discuss issues and features with peers.

Pure.css Community

Pure.css has a dedicated following as well, especially among developers who appreciate its minimalist approach. While the community might be smaller compared to Materialize, it is nonetheless supportive and resourceful.

  • GitHub Repository: The Pure.css GitHub repository is well-maintained, with a focus on keeping the framework light and modular.
  • Forums and Groups: There are fewer dedicated forums for Pure.css, but general web development forums and groups often have sections or threads related to Pure.css.

Performance Considerations

Performance is a crucial factor when choosing a CSS framework, as it directly impacts the load time and responsiveness of a website.

Materialize Performance

Materialize is a feature-rich framework, which means it comes with a larger file size compared to Pure.css. This can lead to longer load times, especially if you include the entire framework. To mitigate this, developers can use custom builds to include only the components they need.

Pure.css Performance

Pure.css is known for its minimalistic approach, which results in a much smaller footprint. This can significantly improve load times and performance, particularly for websites where speed is a priority. The modular nature of Pure.css allows for even more fine-tuned performance optimizations.

Real-World Applications

When considering a CSS framework for your project, it’s helpful to look at real-world applications to understand how each can be used effectively.

Materialize Applications

Materialize is often used in web projects that require a rich user interface with interactive elements. It’s suitable for dashboards, admin panels, and any website that aims to follow Material Design guidelines. Its comprehensive set of components can greatly speed up development time for complex projects.

Pure.css Applications

Pure.css is ideal for projects where simplicity and speed are essential. It’s a great choice for landing pages, blogs, and small business websites that require a clean, responsive design without the need for extensive UI components.


Choosing between Materialize and Pure.css depends on the specific needs of your project. If you’re looking for a full-featured framework that adheres to Material Design principles and offers a wide range of pre-styled components, Materialize is an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you prioritize performance and prefer a minimalist approach that allows for greater customization, Pure.css is the way to go.

In summary, both Materialize and Pure.css have their strengths and ideal use cases. By understanding the features, community support, performance considerations, and real-world applications of each framework, you can make an informed decision that best suits your project’s requirements.

Remember, the best framework is the one that aligns with your goals and helps you build efficient, user-friendly websites. Whether you choose Materialize for its rich features or Pure.css for its lightweight approach, both frameworks are capable tools in the hands of a skilled developer.

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