TailWind CSS vs Bootstrap: What is The Difference & Which One is Best?

Athena Ozanich
Athena Ozanich



When starting new programming projects, it’s nice to get it started with a good boast from templates and similar starter files. Many programming languages offer similar starter files to get projects up and to run quickly. In HTML, there are starter files called Boilerplates that offer the startup code needed to get a simple page going.

Woman studying the differences between Bootstrap and Tailwind.

In CSS, some files offer similar startup benefits; for example, a CSS Reset file helps reset browser default styles. However, CSS offers even more powerful files like Bootstrap, which can do most of the heavy lifting for developers.

This post will cover the differences between two types of project assets that help simplify the development and design process. You will learn the differences between Bootstrap CSS and Tailwind CSS and how each should be used. Both serve similar purposes but take different approaches to accomplish their goals. You will also see examples of each and how they differ in behavior.

Let’s get started.

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Tailwind CSS vs Bootstrap

Tailwind and Bootstrap are used to help set up a project’s UI to help improve development time and, ultimately, the user experience. Bootstrap is much older and has made many changes over the years. While that fact comes with many benefits, it has drawbacks, too, such as significantly larger file size.

Bootstrap is much larger than Tailwind and requires multiple files to access its full functionality. Because of this, using Bootstrap means a significantly larger file size than Tailwind. Bootstrap also offers mobile-first, responsive components pre-styled to create flawless website pages quickly.

Tailwind, however, is much younger and smaller than Bootstrap, which results in faster loading times, but also has drawbacks. The biggest drawback is that because Tailwind is so new, it isn’t quite as robust as Bootstrap. Tailwind is built to create functional, neat, and flexible UI elements, and Bootstrap focuses on developing components for sitewide use.

Check out the video below to learn more about the differences between the two frameworks.

Is Tailwind CSS Better Than Bootstrap?

So all the above explains a lot, but it leaves room for interpretation regarding the better choice. That question is unfortunately subject to individual interpretation; each option has many pros and cons.

Thankfully there are ways to decide which is best for your individual uses and needs. One thing you can do is identify the pros and cons and discover which one will fit your needs the best. The truth is that both have plenty of merits when rapidly developing user interfaces for the projects you are creating.

Tailwind may be new, but it is growing in popularity rapidly, so despite its age, it has a lot of support within the developer community. The only person who can decide which approach suits your needs is you and your development team.

Getting Started With Tailwind or Bootstrap: Deciding Which to Use

The subject developing with Tailwind or Bootstrap is vast, and deciding which is better should start with research. Learning more about each approach and how you can use each will help inform you on which is best for your needs. There are many ways to do that research, and you can use them in small projects, watch videos and get involved with the community.

Keep in mind that Bootstrap is more robust, offering templates for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but it comes with larger asset size. And Tailwind focuses more on the CSS, resulting in a smaller asset size and a less generic appearance than Bootstrap.

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