Milligram vs Chakra UI

When it comes to front-end development, the choice of CSS frameworks can significantly impact the design and functionality of web applications. Two popular options that often come up for discussion are Milligram and Chakra UI. Both frameworks offer unique features and benefits, and in this article, we’ll dive deep into comparing these tools to help developers make an informed decision.

Introduction to Milligram

Milligram is a minimalist CSS framework designed for speed and productivity. The framework provides a bare-minimum setup of styles for a fast and clean starting point. It’s specifically crafted for better performance and higher productivity with fewer properties to reset, resulting in cleaner code.

Key Features of Milligram:

  • Lightweight: Milligram is incredibly lightweight, with its CSS file size being only a few KB.
  • Responsive Grid: The framework offers a simple and flexible grid system.
  • Typography: Milligram includes styles for typography, buttons, lists, and other elements.
  • Browser Support: It supports modern browsers including Chrome, Firefox, IE11+, Edge, Safari, and Opera.

Documentation and Installation:

You can find the Milligram documentation at Milligram Documentation. To install Milligram, you can use npm:

npm install milligram

Or include it directly from a CDN:

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

Popular Add-ons for Milligram:

While Milligram is minimal by design, there are a few third-party add-ons that can extend its capabilities:

  • Sass version: For those who prefer using Sass, there’s a Sass port of Milligram available here.

Introduction to Chakra UI

Chakra UI is a modern React UI framework that offers a set of accessible, reusable, and composable React components that make it super easy to create websites and apps.

Key Features of Chakra UI:

  • Component Library: Chakra UI provides a comprehensive suite of components that are ready to use out of the box.
  • Accessibility: Each component is designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring that applications are usable by as many people as possible.
  • Customizable: The framework is highly customizable, allowing developers to theme components to match their design requirements.
  • Dark Mode: Chakra UI includes out-of-the-box support for dark mode.

Documentation and Installation:

The Chakra UI documentation can be found at Chakra UI Documentation. To install Chakra UI in your React project, you can use npm or yarn:

npm i @chakra-ui/react @emotion/react @emotion/styled framer-motion

Or with yarn:

yarn add @chakra-ui/react @emotion/react @emotion/styled framer-motion

Popular Add-ons for Chakra UI:

Chakra UI has a growing ecosystem of add-ons and libraries that complement its core components:

  • Chakra UI Icons: An icon library that provides a set of commonly used icons.
  • Chakra Templates: A collection of ready-to-use component templates.

Code Samples

Milligram Code Sample:

Below is a sample HTML structure using Milligram for a simple card component:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="">

<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="column">
      <div class="card">
        <h3>Card Title</h3>
        <p>This is a simple card example using Milligram.</p>
        <button class="button-primary">Click Me</button>


Chakra UI Code Sample:

Here’s how you can create a similar card component using Chakra UI in a React application:

import React from 'react';
import { Box, Heading, Text, Button } from '@chakra-ui/react';

function Card() {
  return (
    <Box p={5} shadow="md" borderWidth="1px">
      <Heading fontSize="xl">Card Title</Heading>
      <Text mt={4}>This is a simple card example using Chakra UI.</Text>
      <Button colorScheme="teal" size="sm" mt={4}>
        Click Me

export default Card;

Both code samples illustrate the ease of creating a simple UI component with Milligram and Chakra UI. However, the approach differs, with Milligram being more traditional and Chakra UI leveraging React’s component-based architecture.

Customization and Theming

Milligram Customization:

Milligram is designed to be minimal, and as such, it doesn’t offer a built-in theming system. However, developers can easily customize the styles by overriding the default CSS variables. Since Milligram is written in CSS, you can include your custom styles after Milligram’s styles to override them.

Here’s a simple example of how you can customize the primary color:

:root {
  --color-primary: #e91e63; /* New primary color */

.button-primary {
  background-color: var(--color-primary);

Chakra UI Customization:

Chakra UI, on the other hand, has a powerful theming system built on top of Emotion. It allows you to customize any part of the component library using the extendTheme function.

Here’s an example of how to customize the theme in Chakra UI:

import { extendTheme } from "@chakra-ui/react";

const customTheme = extendTheme({
  colors: {
    brand: {
      900: "#1a365d",
      800: "#153e75",
      700: "#2a69ac",

export default customTheme;

Then, you can use your custom theme by wrapping your application with the ChakraProvider component:

import React from 'react';
import { ChakraProvider } from '@chakra-ui/react';
import customTheme from './customTheme';

function App() {
  return (
    <ChakraProvider theme={customTheme}>
      {/* Rest of your app goes here */}

export default App;

Community and Support

Milligram Community:

Milligram, being a smaller and more focused framework, has a relatively smaller community compared to some of the larger frameworks. However, it is still well-maintained and has a dedicated user base. You can find support and discussions on platforms like GitHub and Stack Overflow.

Chakra UI Community:

Chakra UI boasts a large and active community, which can be a significant advantage when seeking support or resources. The Chakra UI GitHub repository is active with contributions, and there’s a vibrant community on Discord where developers can get help, share ideas, and collaborate.

Use Cases and When to Choose

When to Choose Milligram:

  • When you need a lightweight, no-frills CSS framework that doesn’t impose much on your HTML structure.
  • For small projects or single-page websites where you want to keep things simple and minimal.
  • When performance is critical, and you need a CSS framework with a small footprint.

When to Choose Chakra UI:

  • For React-based projects where you want to leverage a component-based architecture.
  • When accessibility is a priority, as Chakra UI components follow WAI-ARIA guidelines.
  • If you need a comprehensive set of ready-made components that you can customize extensively.


Both Milligram and Chakra UI offer distinct advantages depending on the needs of your project. Milligram is perfect for those who want a minimalistic approach with a focus on performance, while Chakra UI is ideal for developers building complex and accessible React applications with a need for a rich set of components.

Ultimately, the choice between Milligram and Chakra UI will depend on your project requirements, your familiarity with React, and your preference for customization and theming capabilities.

Remember to explore the documentation and community resources for both frameworks to get a better understanding of what they offer:

By considering the features, customization options, community support, and use cases, you can make an informed decision that best suits your web development needs.

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