Tachyons vs Vuetify

When it comes to building modern web applications, the choice of a CSS framework can significantly impact the development speed, user experience, and overall project maintainability. Two popular choices in the realm of CSS frameworks are Tachyons and Vuetify. Each of these frameworks has its unique approach to styling, and in this article, we’ll dive deep into their differences, strengths, and use-cases.

Tachyons: Functional CSS for Human-Scale Interfaces

Tachyons is a CSS framework that embraces the concept of functional CSS. It aims to create fast-loading, highly readable, and 100% responsive interfaces with as little CSS as possible.

Philosophy and Approach

Tachyons focuses on the idea of creating small, single-purpose classes that you can combine to construct complex designs. The framework encourages a compositional approach where you build layouts by stacking these utility classes in the HTML markup itself.

Documentation and Installation

You can find the Tachyons documentation on its official website, which provides a thorough guide on how to use the framework. To get started with Tachyons, you can either download the CSS file directly or install it via npm:

npm install --save-dev tachyons

For more details on installation, visit the Tachyons GitHub repository.

Code Sample

Using Tachyons, you would style an element by adding utility classes directly to the HTML:

<button class="f6 link dim br3 ph3 pv2 mb2 dib white bg-blue">Button</button>

In this example, f6 sets the font size, link and dim add interaction states, br3 applies border-radius, ph3 and pv2 set horizontal and vertical padding, mb2 adds a bottom margin, dib makes the element display inline-block, white and bg-blue set the text and background colors.

Vuetify: Material Design Framework for Vue.js

Vuetify is a Vue.js framework that provides clean, semantic, and reusable components that adhere to Material Design specifications.

Philosophy and Approach

Vuetify is designed to work with Vue.js, offering a vast library of components and an extensive set of tools to create rich user interfaces. It’s a higher-level framework compared to Tachyons, meaning it provides pre-styled components out of the box, which developers can use to quickly assemble a functional interface.

Documentation and Installation

The Vuetify documentation is available on its official website, which includes comprehensive guides, API references, and examples. To install Vuetify in a Vue.js project, you can use npm or yarn:

npm install vuetify
# OR
yarn add vuetify

After installation, you need to configure your Vue application to use Vuetify. For more information, refer to the installation page.

Code Sample

Here’s how you might use Vuetify to create a button in a Vue.js component:

  <v-btn color="blue darken-2" dark>

import { VBtn } from 'vuetify/lib';

export default {
  components: {

In this example, the v-btn component creates a button with the specified color and text style. Vuetify handles the styling, and you can customize the button’s appearance through props.

Popular Third-Party Addons or Libraries

Tachyons Addons

Although Tachyons is minimalistic by design, there are a few addons and tools that can complement its usage:

  • tachyons-custom: This tool allows you to create a custom build of Tachyons with your configuration.
  • tachyons-sass: A Sass port of Tachyons for those who prefer using Sass for styling.

Vuetify Addons

Vuetify has a more extensive ecosystem, and some popular addons include:

  • Vuetify-loader: A webpack plugin that enables automatic tree shaking for Vuetify components, reducing the bundle size.
  • Vuetify-dialog: This library makes it easy to create dialogs and confirmations with Vuetify components.

In the next section, we will continue our exploration of Tachyons and Vuetify, examining their community support, performance considerations, and how to choose between them for your project. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into these powerful CSS frameworks.

Community Support and Ecosystem

Tachyons Community Support

Tachyons, being a smaller and more focused framework, has a niche but passionate community. It doesn’t have the extensive ecosystem that larger frameworks boast, but it benefits from a dedicated user base that values its principles of simplicity and composability. The community contributes through discussions on GitHub, sharing utilities, and creating templates that others can use as starting points.

Vuetify Community Support

Vuetify, on the other hand, has a large and active community, partly due to its association with Vue.js. The framework’s popularity ensures a steady stream of community contributions, including plugins, extensions, and integrations with other tools and libraries in the Vue ecosystem. Vuetify’s GitHub repository and Discord channel are active hubs for discussion, support, and collaboration.

Performance Considerations

Performance is an essential factor when choosing a CSS framework, as it can significantly affect your application’s load time and responsiveness.

Tachyons Performance

Tachyons’ approach to CSS is inherently performant. Its small, atomic classes mean that the overall CSS footprint can be quite low, especially when purging unused styles in a production build. Since Tachyons doesn’t dictate the structure of your HTML, it also allows for more straightforward optimization of the DOM and critical rendering path.

Vuetify Performance

Vuetify offers a comprehensive suite of components, which can lead to larger bundle sizes if not managed properly. However, Vuetify’s support for tree shaking, especially when used with the vuetify-loader, means that you can significantly reduce the impact on performance by including only the components and styles you use.

Choosing Between Tachyons and Vuetify

Deciding between Tachyons and Vuetify comes down to your project’s needs, your development philosophy, and the tech stack you’re working with.

  • Use Tachyons if:
  • You prefer a utility-first CSS framework that encourages composition directly in the markup.
  • You want to maintain a small CSS footprint and have precise control over the styling of each element.
  • You are comfortable with a more hands-on approach to design, where you construct components from scratch using utility classes.
  • Use Vuetify if:
  • You are building a Vue.js application and want to leverage a rich set of pre-styled components.
  • You need a framework that adheres to Material Design principles out of the box.
  • You prefer to work at a higher level of abstraction, focusing on application logic rather than the nitty-gritty of CSS.


Both Tachyons and Vuetify offer unique approaches to styling web applications. Tachyons is ideal for developers who value a functional, utility-first approach and want the flexibility to build interfaces with minimal CSS. Vuetify is better suited for those working with Vue.js and seeking a comprehensive framework with a robust set of components that conform to Material Design.

Ultimately, the choice between Tachyons and Vuetify should be guided by your project requirements, design preferences, and the specific needs of your development workflow. By understanding the philosophies, strengths, and communities behind each framework, you can make an informed decision that will set your project up for success.

Remember that no matter which framework you choose, keeping an eye on performance, maintainability, and the user experience is key to building a successful web application. Both Tachyons and Vuetify have their merits, and by leveraging their strengths, you can create beautiful, functional, and performant web interfaces.

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