10 Styled Components Best Practices

If you're using styled components in your project, there are a few best practices you should follow to keep your code clean and maintainable. In this article, we'll go over 10 of them.

Styled Components is a CSS-in-JS library that allows you to write your styles in JavaScript and automatically generates unique class names for your styles. It also provides a way to scope your styles so that they don’t leak out to the rest of your application.

In this article, we’ll discuss 10 best practices for using Styled Components in your React applications.

1. Use the styled-components library

The styled-components library provides a way to write CSS that is scoped to a particular component, and it also provides a way to automatically prefix CSS properties with vendor-specific prefixes. This means that you don’t have to worry about writing vendor-specific prefixes yourself, and your CSS will be more concise and easier to read.

Additionally, the styled-components library provides a way to dynamically generate class names, which can be helpful for managing state in your components.

2. Create a theme file

A theme file centralizes all of your design decisions in one place. This means that if you want to change the font size for all of your text elements, you only have to make that change in one place.

It also makes it easier to share these design decisions with other members of your team. If someone on your team wants to use the same font size as you, they can simply import the theme file into their own project.

Creating a theme file is simple. Just create a new JavaScript file and export an object containing your design decisions. For example:

export const theme = {
fontSize: ’16px’,
Then, to use this theme file in your styled components, just import it and destructure the values you want to use. For example:

import styled, { css } from ‘styled-components’;
import { theme } from ‘./theme’;

const Text = styled.p`
${({ fontSize }) => css`
font-size: ${fontSize || theme.fontSize};
This example component will use the font size defined in the theme file unless a different font size is passed in as a prop.

3. Avoid using !important in stylesheets

When !important is used in a stylesheet, it makes it very difficult to override those styles later on. This can be a problem when using styled components because they are designed to be easily overridden.

If you do need to use !important in a style sheet, make sure that it is only used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.

4. Use props to pass values into components

When you use props, it’s easier to change the styles of a component without having to modify the component itself. For example, let’s say you have a button component that has a primary and secondary style. If you want to change the color of the secondary button, you can do so by simply passing in a different value for the color prop.

This is much easier than having to modify the button component itself, which would require changing the code and potentially breaking other parts of the application that are using the button component.

It’s also worth noting that styled components are written in JavaScript, so you have access to all of the power of JavaScript when creating your styles. This includes things like variables, functions, and even loops.

5. Don’t use IDs for styling

When you use an ID to style an element, you’re making that ID specific to that one element. If you ever need to reuse that same ID elsewhere on the page, you’ll have to make sure it’s styled exactly the same way, which can be tedious and error-prone.

Class names, on the other hand, can be reused as much as you want, so you can style different elements with the same class name however you want. This makes your code more flexible and easier to maintain.

6. Make your code reusable

When you’re creating styled components, you’re essentially creating new React components. That means that you can use all the same techniques for making your code reusable that you would use for any other React component.

So, if you find yourself creating a lot of similar styled components, it’s a good idea to abstract them into a higher-order component or a utility function. That way, you can reuse that code without having to duplicate it.

It’s also a good idea to name your styled components in a way that makes them easy to identify and reuse. For instance, if you have a button component that you want to be able to reuse with different styles, you might name it “Button” instead of “StyledButton”. That way, it’s easy to see that it’s a reusable component, and it’s easy to import it into other files.

7. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS)

When working with CSS, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to create the perfect solution for every situation. However, this often leads to code that is unnecessarily complex and difficult to maintain.

With styled components, you should aim for simplicity over perfection. This doesn’t mean your code should be sloppy –– far from it. But it does mean that you shouldn’t try to overengineer your solutions.

Keep your styled component definitions as simple as possible, and don’t be afraid to extract common patterns into separate components. Not only will this make your code easier to understand and maintain, but it will also make it more reusable.

8. Use CSS grid or Flexbox instead of floats

When you use floats for layout, it can be difficult to achieve the precise alignment you want, and your code can become messy very quickly. CSS grid and Flexbox, on the other hand, are much more straightforward and easy to use.

Additionally, using CSS grid or Flexbox will make your code more responsive and easier to maintain.

9. Use BEM naming convention

BEM (Block, Element, Modifier) is a naming convention for classes in HTML and CSS. It’s designed to help developers better understand the relationship between HTML elements and CSS styles.

BEM naming is especially helpful when working with styled components because it makes it easy to see which CSS styles are applied to which HTML elements. This can be helpful when troubleshooting issues or making changes to your code.

To use BEM naming with styled components, simply prefix your component names with “b-“, “e-“, or “m-“. For example, if you have a button component, you would name it “b-button”. If you have a header element, you would name it “e-header”. And if you have a modifier class, you would name it “m-modifier”.

10. Write tests for your components

When you’re working with CSS, it can be difficult to know if your styles are actually being applied to your elements. By writing tests for your styled components, you can be sure that your styles are being applied correctly.

Not only will this save you time in the long run, but it will also help you catch errors early on. In addition, writing tests is a great way to document your code and make sure that your team is on the same page.


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