Skeleton vs Chakra UI

When it comes to designing and developing web interfaces, the CSS framework you choose can significantly influence the efficiency of your workflow and the quality of your final product. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into a detailed comparison between two popular CSS frameworks: Skeleton and Chakra UI. We’ll explore their core principles, usability, customization options, and provide code samples to help you understand how each framework operates.

Introduction to Skeleton

Skeleton is a lightweight CSS framework that provides a simple and clean starting point for the development of responsive websites. It’s designed to be minimal and only includes the bare essentials to style a website, making it an excellent choice for small projects or when you want to avoid the overhead of larger frameworks.

Key Features of Skeleton:

  • Responsive Grid: Skeleton includes a fluid grid system that easily adapts to the screen size of mobile devices and desktops.
  • Fast to Load: With a minimal file size, Skeleton ensures quick loading times.
  • Typography: It offers basic typography styles for standard HTML elements.
  • Cross-browser Compatibility: Skeleton aims to provide a consistent look across various browsers.

Documentation and Installation:

To get started with Skeleton, visit the Skeleton documentation page. Installation is straightforward as it involves including the Skeleton CSS file in your HTML.

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

Popular Third-Party Add-ons for Skeleton:

While Skeleton is minimal by design, there are a few community-driven add-ons that can extend its functionality:

  • Skeleton-Sass: A Sass port of Skeleton for those who prefer using the Sass preprocessor.
  • Skeleton Plus: An extension that adds additional components and features to the base framework.

Introduction to Chakra UI

Chakra UI is a modern React-based framework that provides a set of accessible, reusable, and composable UI components to build your React applications with ease. It emphasizes simplicity, modularity, and accessibility, making it a go-to choice for developers who want to create inclusive applications without compromising on design.

Key Features of Chakra UI:

  • Component Library: Chakra UI comes with a comprehensive set of pre-styled components.
  • Accessibility: Each component is designed with accessibility in mind, following WAI-ARIA guidelines.
  • Themeable: Customize the default theme or create your own to match your brand.
  • Responsive: Chakra UI components are responsive and work well on various devices.

Documentation and Installation:

The Chakra UI documentation is a great resource to get started. To install Chakra UI in your React project, you can use npm or yarn:

npm install @chakra-ui/react @emotion/react @emotion/styled framer-motion
# or
yarn add @chakra-ui/react @emotion/react @emotion/styled framer-motion

Popular Third-Party Add-ons for Chakra UI:

Chakra UI has a burgeoning ecosystem of add-ons and libraries to enhance its capabilities:

  • Chakra UI Icons: A collection of commonly used icons for Chakra UI applications.
  • Chakra Templates: A set of ready-to-use component templates to kickstart your design.

Code Samples

To give you a better understanding of how Skeleton and Chakra UI work in practice, let’s look at some code samples.

Skeleton Code Sample: Responsive Grid

Skeleton’s grid system is based on a twelve-column structure. Here’s an example of how to create a responsive layout with Skeleton:

<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="one-half column">
      <p>This is a half-width column.</p>
    <div class="one-half column">
      <p>This is another half-width column.</p>

Chakra UI Code Sample: Responsive Grid

In Chakra UI, you can achieve a similar layout using the Grid component:

import { Grid, GridItem } from "@chakra-ui/react";

function App() {
  return (
    <Grid templateColumns="repeat(2, 1fr)" gap={6}>
      <GridItem w="100%">
        <p>This is a half-width column.</p>
      <GridItem w="100%">
        <p>This is another half-width column.</p>

Both frameworks offer solutions for creating responsive layouts, but Chakra UI’s approach is more component-based, aligning with React’s design principles. Skeleton, on the other hand, provides a more traditional CSS approach that can be used with plain HTML or any web framework.

Customization and Theming

Customization is a crucial aspect of choosing a CSS framework, as it allows you to tailor the look and feel of your website or application to match your brand’s identity.

Customizing Skeleton

Skeleton doesn’t come with a built-in theming system, given its minimalistic approach. However, you can easily override the default styles by adding your custom CSS after the Skeleton stylesheet. Since it’s a pure CSS framework, you can modify the styles directly in your stylesheet.

/* Custom styles after including Skeleton */
.container {
  max-width: 800px; /* Custom container width */

/* Custom button color */
.button-primary {
  background-color: #33c3f0;
  border-color: #33c3f0;

Customizing Chakra UI

Chakra UI, on the other hand, has a built-in theming system that allows for deep customization. It uses a default theme that can be extended or overridden using the extendTheme function. You can customize colors, fonts, sizes, and more.

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

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

function App() {
  return (
    <ChakraProvider theme={theme}>
      {/* Your app components go here */}

Responsiveness and Flexibility

Both Skeleton and Chakra UI are designed with responsiveness in mind, but they handle flexibility in different ways.

Skeleton’s Flexibility

Skeleton provides a basic responsive grid that can be customized with media queries for different screen sizes. It’s flexible in the sense that you can build upon it as needed, but it requires more manual work to create complex responsive designs.

Chakra UI’s Responsiveness

Chakra UI offers a wide range of responsive design features out of the box. Its components are built with responsiveness in mind, and it provides utilities for responsive styling. For example, you can specify array values for different breakpoints in most style props.

<Box width={["100%", "50%", "25%"]}>
  {/* This box will have a width of 100% on mobile, 50% on tablet, and 25% on desktop */}

Community and Support

The community and support around a CSS framework can be just as important as the technical features.

Skeleton Community

Skeleton has been around for quite some time, but it has a smaller community when compared to bigger frameworks. Support can be found through various forums and discussion boards, but official channels are limited.

Chakra UI Community

Chakra UI has a growing community, especially among React developers. It has an active GitHub repository for support and contributions, a Discord community for discussion, and a Contribution Guide for those who want to contribute to the project.


Skeleton and Chakra UI serve different purposes and audiences. Skeleton is a minimalist framework that’s perfect for small projects or when you need a lightweight starting point without the complexity of a full-featured framework. Chakra UI, with its focus on React and comprehensive component library, is well-suited for developers building complex, modern web applications that require a high degree of customization and accessibility.

When choosing between Skeleton and Chakra UI, consider the size and scope of your project, your familiarity with React, and your project’s requirements for accessibility and responsiveness. Both frameworks have their strengths, and the best choice depends on your specific needs.

Regardless of your choice, both Skeleton and Chakra UI can help streamline your web development process and ensure that your final product is both functional and visually appealing.

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