Styling and CSS

How do I add CSS classes to components?

Pass a string as the className prop:

render() {
  return <span className="menu navigation-menu">Menu</span>

It is common for CSS classes to depend on the component props or state:

render() {
  let className = 'menu';
  if (this.props.isActive) {
    className += ' menu-active';
  return <span className={className}>Menu</span>


If you often find yourself writing code like this, classnames package can simplify it.

Can I use inline styles?

Yes, see the docs on styling here.

Are inline styles bad?

CSS classes are generally better for performance than inline styles.

What is CSS-in-JS?

“CSS-in-JS” refers to a pattern where CSS is composed using JavaScript instead of defined in external files. Read a comparison of CSS-in-JS libraries here.

Note that this functionality is not a part of React, but provided by third-party libraries. React does not have an opinion about how styles are defined; if in doubt, a good starting point is to define your styles in a separate *.css file as usual and refer to them using className.

Can I do animations in React?

React can be used to power animations. See React Transition Group and React Motion or React Spring, for example.