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A <1kB library for styling React components as if with CSS-in-JS, without CSS-in-JS


Nanostyled is a tiny library (< 1 Kb) for building styled UI elements in React and Preact.

Like a CSS-in-JS library, nanostyled encapsulates complex styles into simple, tweakable components:

<Button>A nice-looking button</Button>
<Button color="blue">A nice-looking button that is blue</Button>

Unlike a CSS-in-JS library, nanostyled doesn't parse CSS in JS, which makes your bundle smaller, your components faster, and your server-side-rendering a breeze.

Low overhead Props-controlled, component-based API Zero-config SSR
Plain CSS

  • Install
  • Use
    • A nanostyled Button
    • A more flexible Button
    • A full starter UI Kit
  • Use in Preact and other React-like libraries
  • API Reference
  • Performance
  • Server-Side Rendering
  • Related Projects
  • Browser Support
  • Contributing
    • Bugs
    • Pull requests
  • License


npm install nanostyled


Nanostyled works by mapping style props onto class names from your atomic CSS framework of choice, like Tachyons or Tailwind.

A nanostyled Button

import nanostyled from 'nanostyled';
// This example uses CSS classes from Tachyons
import 'tachyons/css/tachyons.css';

// A Button via three style props:
const Button = nanostyled('button', {
  color: 'white',
  bg: 'bg-blue',
  base: 'fw7 br3 pa2 sans-serif f4 bn input-reset',

const App = () => (
    <Button>Base Button</Button>
    <Button bg="bg-yellow">Yellow Button</Button>

Rendering <App /> produces this markup:

  <button class="white bg-blue fw7 br3 pa2 sans-serif f4 bn input-reset">Base Button</button>
  <button class="white bg-yellow fw7 br3 pa2 sans-serif f4 bn input-reset">Yellow Button</button>

When a nanostyled component renders, it consumes its style props and merges them into an HTML class string, as per above.

Which style props to use is up to you. In the <Button> above, it would be

  • Easy to change text color via the color prop
  • Easy to change background color via the bg prop
  • Hard to change other styles without totally rewriting the base prop

A more flexible Button

By using more style props, we can make a more flexible button:

import nanostyled from 'nanostyled';
import 'tachyons/css/tachyons.css';

const FlexibleButton = nanostyled('button', {
  color: 'white', // white text
  bg: 'bg-blue', // blue background
  weight: 'fw7', // bold font
  radius: 'br3', // round corners
  padding: 'pa2', // some padding
  typeface: 'sans-serif', // sans-serif font
  fontSize: 'f4', // font size #4 in the Tachyons font scale
  base: 'bn input-reset', // remove border and appearance artifacts

Rendering a stock <FlexibleButton /> will produce the same markup as its simpler relative. But it's much easier to render alternate styles:

<FlexibleButton bg="bg-light-green" color="black" weight="fw9" radius="br4">
  Button with a green background, black text, heavier font, and rounder corners

When you need a variation that you didn't plan for in your style props, you can still use the className prop:

<FlexibleButton className="dim pointer">
  A button that dims on hover and sets the cursor to 'pointer'

A full starter UI Kit

Here's a proof-of-concept UI kit on CodeSandbox.

Use in Preact and other React-like libraries

Under the hood, nanostyled is built as a library-agnostic factory function. To use it in Preact without a compatibility layer, import the factory directly:

import { h } from 'preact';
import nanoFactory from 'nanostyled/factory';
const nanostyled = nanoFactory(h);

const Button = nanostyled('button', {
  bg: 'bg-blue',
  color: 'white',

API Reference

nanostyled(tag, styleProps)

The nanostyled function takes two arguments:

  1. tag (String) - the name of an HTML element
  2. styleProps (Object) - an object that maps component props to CSS class names
const Paragraph = nanostyled('p', {
  font: 'serif',
  size: 'f4',

nanostyled returns a component, which will render styleProps into the HTML class attribute, and pass all other props directly to the rendered element, with one exception:

You can use the special as prop to change the HTML element rendered by a nanostyled component. If, say, you've made a nanostyled button, but you want it to render as an a tag sometimes, do this:

const Button = nanostyled('button', { color: 'white', bg: 'black' });

<Button>A button</Button>
<Button as="a">Looks like a button, is a link</Button>


In a rudimentary benchmark (test/benchmark.js), a nanostyled Button renders ~ 2x more quickly than a similar Button built with styled-components.

In addition to rendering components more quickly, nanostyled is also almost two orders of magnitude smaller than styled-components over the wire:

nanostyled styled-components
size (min + gzip) 0.4 kB 15.3 kB
3G download time 12ms 305ms

Server-Side Rendering

When rendering on a server, just use nanostyled normally.

Related Projects

Browser Support

Nanostyled aims to run in any browser that implements ES5, including IE 9+. if you discover otherwise, please file an issue.



Please open an issue on Github.

Pull requests

PRs are welcome. Please include tests! See test/nanostyled.test.js for the format to follow.