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    Tailwind and Material usage in next.js

    Updated 14 March 2024



    Here, we tried a duo of Tailwind CSS and Material-UI in a Next.js project for web development. In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, these two frameworks have emerged as powerful tools for creating beautiful and highly functional user interfaces.

    By combining the utility-first approach of Tailwind CSS with the rich component library of Material-UI, you can unlock a world of possibilities for designing and building your website.

    Tailwind CSS, known for its utility-first methodology, offers a unique approach to styling websites. Instead of writing traditional CSS, developers can leverage a vast array of pre-defined utility classes to rapidly create custom styles.

    With Tailwind CSS, you can easily manage spacing, typography, colors, and responsive design without sacrificing flexibility or code maintainability.

    Material-UI, on the other hand, provides a comprehensive collection of pre-built React components following Google’s Material Design guidelines. These components are designed to be visually stunning, accessible, and consistent across different devices and platforms.

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    By integrating Material-UI into your website, you can harness the power of a robust component library, enabling you to create interactive features, stylish navigation menus, and visually appealing cards and forms.

    Overview of This Guide

    In this guide, we will walk you through the process of setting up a Next.js project with Tailwind CSS and Material-UI, exploring their integration and showcasing best practices for creating an exceptional website.

    You will learn how to create a responsive website layout using Tailwind CSS utility classes and how to enhance its functionality and aesthetics with Material-UI components.

    By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge and confidence to create a stunning, feature-rich website that combines the best of Tailwind CSS and Material-UI, enabling you to deliver an exceptional user experience to visitors.

    So, let’s dive in and embark on this exciting journey of building a website with Tailwind CSS and Material-UI in Next.js!

    Tailwind CSS and Material-UI are two powerful frameworks that are widely used in modern web development and for headless website development.
    If you want to know more about Headless development you can check out our other blog “What is headless eCommerce?“.

    Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

    About TailwindCss

    Source: TailwindUi a tailwinds component library

    Tailwind CSS: Tailwind CSS is a utility-first CSS framework that takes a unique approach to styling websites. It provides a comprehensive set of pre-defined utility classes that can be used to quickly and efficiently style HTML elements.

    Rather than writing custom CSS, developers can leverage these utility classes to apply styles and create responsive designs.

    Tailwind CSS offers a wide range of utility classes for various aspects of web development, including layout, spacing, typography, colors, and more.

    By combining and composing these utility classes, developers can create custom styles without the need to write extensive CSS code. This approach offers unparalleled flexibility and enables developers to iterate and experiment with designs rapidly.

    The utility-first approach of Tailwind CSS promotes a highly modular and reusable codebase. Instead of defining styles in traditional CSS files, developers apply utility classes directly to HTML elements, allowing for a more declarative and self-explanatory code structure.

    This makes collaboration and maintenance easier, as the styling decisions are explicit and accessible. This banner component is made up entirely of tailwind and for this, we created every element from the core like button and text.

    About Material-UI

    Material User Interface
    Source: Material-Ui

    Material-UI: Material-UI is a popular React component library that follows the Material Design guidelines developed by Google.

    It provides a comprehensive set of pre-built, visually appealing, and interactive components that can be easily integrated into React applications.

    Material UI components are designed with a focus on usability, accessibility, and consistent user experience. These components include navigation bars, buttons, forms, cards, modals, and many more.

    MUI comes with predefined styles and behaviors that adhere to the Material Design principles while ensuring a consistent and polished appearance.

    In addition to the components, Material-UI also offers a powerful theming system that allows developers to customize the visual aspects of their applications.

    With Material-UI’s theming capabilities, developers can easily change the color palette, typography, and other design attributes to match the branding or specific requirements of their projects.

    Material UI components are highly modular and can be easily composed to build complex user interfaces.

    They also provide built-in support for responsiveness and accessibility, making it easier for developers to create user-friendly and inclusive applications.

    As the material provides us with reusable components for example typography and buttons we can reuse them to follow the dry rule don’t repeat yourself with lots of accessibility.

    Combination Of Material, Tailwind, and Next.js

    By combining the utility-first approach of Tailwind CSS with the rich component library of Material-UI, developers can leverage the strengths of both frameworks to create visually stunning, highly customizable, and functional web applications.

    Like the above component is created by using material and tailwind we get rid of extra CSS in the form of ‘sx‘ of material for overriding default behavior or material.

    import { Box, Button, Typography } from '@mui/material';
    export default function App() {
      return (
        <Box className='max-w-xl space-y-3 mx-auto'>
          <Typography variant='h2' component='h2'></Typography>
          <Button variant='contained'>Learn Material</Button>
    Component by material+tailwind

    Setting up a Next.js project with Tailwind CSS and Material-UI is a straightforward process that involves installing the necessary dependencies and configuring the project for seamless integration. Let’s walk through the steps:

    • Create a new Next.js project: Begin by creating a new Next.js project using the create-next-app command or any preferred method. Open your terminal and run the following command:
    npx create-next-app demo-website
    • Install dependencies: Navigate to your project directory and install the required dependencies. You will need tailwindcss, @emotion/react, @emotion/styled, @mui/material, and @emotion/react packages. Run the following command:
    npm install tailwindcss @emotion/react @emotion/styles @mui/material
    • Configure Tailwind CSS: Create a Tailwind CSS configuration file by running the following command in your project directory:
    npx tailwindcss int -p

    For more information on project setup, you can check our blog on Project Setup for NextJS

    Completed the above steps?

    This will create a tailwind.config.js file in your project root.

    • After creating a tailwind config file add the following code or like your needs, you can define your theme structure and can override tailwind behavior as well.
    • You can import various types of plugins to make your work and things more customizable and reusable we used forms plugin by tailwind to customize form default behaviour, and created our customer font size, color, and font family palette:
    /** @type {import('tailwindcss').Config} */
    module.exports = {
      corePlugins: {
        preflight: false,
      important: '#_next',
      prefix: 'th-',
      content: [
      theme: {
        extend: {
          colors: {
            /*Neutral shades*/
            'neutral-0': '--neutral-0',
            'neutral-10': '--neutral-10',
            /*green shades*/
            'green-50': '--green-50',
            'green-100': '--green-100',
            /*success shades*/
            'success-200': '--success-200',
            /*error shades*/
            'error-200': '--error-200',
          screens: {
            '-2xl': { max: '1535px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 1600px) { ... }
            '-xl': { max: '1279px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 1400px) { ... }
            '-lg': { max: '1023px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 1023px) { ... }
            '-md': { max: '767px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 767px) { ... }
            '-sm': { max: '639px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 639px) { ... }
            '-xs': { max: '370px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 420px) { ... }
            '-xxs': { max: '329px' },
            // => @media (max-width: 330px) { ... }
          fontFamily: {
            inter: 'var(--font-inter)',
          fontSize: {
            h1: '4rem',
            h2: '3.5rem',
            h3: '3rem',
            h4: '2.5rem',
            h5: '2rem',
            h6: '1.5rem',
          backgroundImage: {
            'gradient-radial': 'radial-gradient(var(--tw-gradient-stops))',
              'conic-gradient(from 180deg at 50% 50%, var(--tw-gradient-stops))',
      plugins: [import('@tailwindcss/forms')],
    • Configure Material-UI: Create a custom Material-UI theme file to override default styles and customize the look of your website. Create a new file called theme.js in a folder named styles in your project’s root directory. In this file, define and export your custom theme using create Theme from @mui/material/styles. You can customize various aspects of the theme, such as colors, typography, and spacing.
    • Import and apply Tailwind CSS and Material-UI: Open the _app.js file in the pages folder. Import the required dependencies at the top of the file:
    import '@styles/globals.css';
    import theme from '@utils/theme';
    import dynamic from 'next/dynamic';
    import { ThemeProvider } from '@mui/material/styles';
    export default function MyApp(props: MyAppProps) {
      return (
           <ThemeProvider theme={theme}>
                  <Component {...pageProps} />

    Then, wrap the Component with the ThemeProvider and pass your custom theme:

    • Start the development server: Finally, start the Next.js development server and verify that the setup is successful:
    npm run dev

    You have now set up a Next.js project with Tailwind CSS and Material-UI. You can begin building your website by leveraging the utility classes of Tailwind CSS and incorporating Material-UI components into your pages and components.

    Note: It is best practice while using these together to add a prefix in the tailwind class and by setting tailwind to important so that class conflicts are reduced between these two libraries.

    // tailwind.config.js
    module.exports = {
      prefix: 'tw-',   ­čĹł Use your desired prefix 

    After adding a prefix you can use your classes for padding like this way: tw-p-4 and for text size


    // TO add some predence to your tailwind classes
    module.exports = {
      important: true,

    While Creating a Website Layout


    Creating a website layout with Tailwind CSS is a straightforward process that allows you to leverage its utility classes to structure your website’s design and ensure responsiveness.

    Let’s explore the steps involved:

    Layout Planning

    • Plan your layout: Before diving into the implementation, sketch out the desired layout of your website. Consider the placement of elements such as the header, navigation, main content, sidebar, and footer.
    • Create a layout component: In your Next.js project, create a new component that will serve as the layout for your website. This component will be responsible for rendering the header, footer, and other common elements across different pages.
    • Set up the grid system: Tailwind CSS provides a responsive grid system that simplifies creating flexible layouts. Within your layout component, use the grid class to define the overall structure.

    Position and typography

    • Position your elements: Utilize the grid classes to position the different elements within your layout. For instance, you can use the col-span-1 and col-span-2 classes to span an element across multiple columns. Experiment with different combinations of utility classes to achieve the desired layout.
    • Apply spacing and typography: Tailwind CSS provides utility classes for managing spacing and typography. Use classes like p-4 for padding, m-2 for margin, text-xl for larger font size, and font-bold for bold text to style your website’s content. Above all, it also, Leverage responsive classes like md:p-6 to adjust spacing for different screen sizes.
    • Implement responsive design: Ensure your website layout is responsive by utilizing Tailwind CSS’s responsive utility classes.
    • Use classes like md:grid-cols-2 to change the number of columns based on screen size. You can also use the flex and flex-col classes to create responsive column layouts on smaller screens.
    • Customize and extend: Tailwind CSS allows for easy customization and extension.
    • You can customize the color palette, add custom utility classes, or even create custom components to maintain a consistent design system across your website.

    Completed the above steps?

    • Customize and extend: TailwindCss allows for easy customization and extension. You can customize the color palette, add custom utility classes, or even create custom components to maintain a consistent design system across your website.
    • By following these steps, you can create a visually appealing and responsive website layout using Tailwind. Remember to refer to the TailwindCss documentation for a comprehensive list of utility classes and their usage.
    • Additionally, consider applying design principles and best practices to ensure a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website layout.

    Responsive Design by Tailwind and Material

    We can achieve responsive and functional User-Interface by combining both
    Source: TailwindUi a tailwinds component library
    • Utilize media queries: Furthermore, you can Implement CSS media queries to apply different styles based on the user’s screen size. This allows you to create responsive designs that adapt and rearrange content to fit different devices. Use breakpoints strategically to optimize the user experience.
    • Responsive images: Optimize overall images for different screen sizes by using responsive image techniques like srcset and size attributes.
    • Serve different image resolutions or use modern image formats like WebP to ensure fast and efficient loading.
    • Fluid layouts: Design your website with fluid layouts that adjust proportionally to different screen sizes.
    • Avoid fixed pixel values for widths and heights, and instead use relative units like percentages or em or rem as it is mostly used across the whole tailwind to allow elements to resize fluidly.
    • Mobile-first approach: Start while designing your website with mobile devices in mind. This approach ensures that the core content and functionality are optimized for smaller screens.
    • Test on real devices: Use physical devices or device simulators to test your website’s responsiveness. These tools allow you to see how your website looks and functions on specific devices and emulate touch interactions.
    • Accessibility considerations: In addition, Ensure that your responsive design accounts for accessibility. Test with screen readers and verify that content remains accessible and understandable across different screen sizes.
    • Consider color contrast, font sizes, and navigation accessibility on smaller screens.

    Above all, by thoroughly testing your website and implementing responsive design techniques, you can deliver a seamless and optimized user experience on various devices.

    Regularly test and iterate based on user feedback to continually improve your website’s responsiveness and usability.

    Conclusion Of using Tailwind with Material

    In conclusion, building a website that provides an exceptional user experience requires careful consideration of performance optimization, responsive design, and thorough testing.

    By following best practices and employing the right techniques, you can create a website that is visually appealing, functional, and accessible across different devices and screen sizes.

    Optimizing overall performance involves minimizing bundle sizes, optimizing images, utilizing caching and CDNs, enabling server-side rendering, and leveraging responsive design.

    These techniques ensure that your website loads quickly performs efficiently, and delivers content to users in a seamless manner.

    Responsive design plays a crucial role in adapting your website’s layout while designing various screen sizes.

    In fact, By using media queries, fluid layouts, and responsive images, you can create a visually consistent and user-friendly experience on different devices, ensuring that content is accessible and easy to navigate.

    Furthermore, testing is vital to ensure that your website functions as intended across different browsers, devices, and screen sizes. User testing provides valuable insights into usability and helps identify areas for improvement.

    Performance testing helps optimize load times and overall responsiveness, while cross-browser and device testing ensures consistent functionality and design.

    By combining these practices, you can create a website that is well-optimized, visually appealing, and provides an excellent user experience.

    In fact, Regularly monitoring and fine-tuning your website’s performance, responsiveness, and usability to adapt to changing user needs and technological advancements.

    By prioritizing performance, responsive design, and testing, you can create a website that engages and delights your audience, encouraging them to return and explore your content.

    For more information check out these links:

    MUI Documentation

    Tailwind Documentation

    Next.js Documentation

    . . .

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