Web Development

Bootstrap vs Materialize Showdown

Comparison Review of the Two Frameworks

When it comes to choosing between Bootstrap vs Materialize CSS, your clear purpose is what will give you the right answer. In this Bootstrap vs Materialize review, we will explain in short what are both frameworks good for and then expand on each framework with its pros and cons.

Both Bootstrap and Materialize are Front-End Frameworks. While the first is an HTML CSS and JS framework, the other is a CSS framework that is also based on Material Design by Google.

Bootstrap vs Materialize: Overview

Bootstrap vs Materialize: What makes them similar?

There are a few things that both frameworks have in common.

First, both Bootstrap and Materialize utilize a grid system based on 12 columns with similar class names and overall structure. Second, their structure in web apps is identical with CSS, JS, and fonts stored in their respective folders by default. Third, both frameworks are responsive and both have a set of components and an icon set.

In addition, both Bootstrap and Materialize get active maintenance and support.

Bootstrap vs Materialize: What makes them different?

Bootstrap is the most popular framework with an exceptionally vast community, which makes it extremely easy to find what you’re looking for in the detailed itemized documentation out there. Developing your website comes easy and intuitive as most of the work is already done. Once you learn the grid system and the CSS classes of Bootstrap, you could take advantage of the high-speed development and complete your projects in no time.

As far as Materialize CSS goes, it’s based on Mobile UI with great input areas, default screen features, and everything you need for developing a mobile app. The framework makes great use of JS components as well. Unfortunately, it’s not suitable for beginners. The use of said JS components that are slightly critical might become quite an issue. Furthermore, it’s harder to find a solution for these issues as the community isn’t that vast and developed in comparison.

The main difference between the two frameworks is that Bootstrap grants you significantly more freedom and control while Materialize is more opinionated about how your elements should look and behave.

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is a front-end framework developed by Twitter. It’s a free open-source CSS framework that is aimed at mobile-first web development. Its main purpose in a web project is to apply a layout and provide basic style definitions for all HTML elements. Developers who apply Bootstrap can take full advantage of its defined CSS classes and customize the content further. In addition, the framework features jQuery plugins that are basically JavaScript components with additional UI elements such as carousels, dialog boxes, and others. Bootstrap components come with HTML structure and CSS declarations as well as JavaScript code.


Bootstrap is easily the most popular framework out there for a number of reasons. It’s easy to learn and offers reusable components for design consistency. It’s widely used and well documented.

  • Flexibility

The framework is a CSS structure with predefined classes, different CSS segments and JS capabilities all included. This enables developers to leave the unnecessary code and components out and this won’t affect the basic functionality.

  • Speed Development

The framework already comes with blocks of code that are ready to go, so you could start coding in no time. You could download resources such as pre-made templates, themes, and components and customize them quickly to meet your goal instead of start coding from scratch. This is especially valuable if you have tight deadlines for your web or app development projects.

  • Mobile-First Approach and Responsiveness

Responsiveness is vital for every web project and it’s the most important of Bootstrap. The framework offers a 12 column grid, layouts, and components and the developer could just need to decide how many squares will each column occupy as well as how to stack your columns to display on mobile.

Since Bootstrap is aimed at mobile-first development, it’s ideal for responsive websites. The framework has fluid grids and responsive utility classes that will make things easier for you to complete the task.

  • JS Modules

There are parts such as the drop-down menus, accordions, tabs, sliders that are packed JS modules. These functionalities are all included in the Boostrap bundle, so you won’t need to test various modules on the web.

  • Community and Support

There is a huge amount of available resources on the official Bootstrap website as well as a large community of developers with years of experience with the framework. With that being said, even if you’re new to Bootstrap, the detailed itemized documentation with demos and illustrations available will give you huge support while learning.

In the meantime, the team of Bootstrap regularly updates and releases fixes and improvements.
This way you work with the latest tools which guarantee a larger scope of cross-device and cross-browser similarity.

The framework is protected on GitHub where it’s also facilitating along with more than 9K submits.


The framework has its ups and downs, so it’s only fair to cover some of the clear cons that come with Bootstrap.

  • Learning Curve

It’s a fact that Bootstrap is really easy to learn. However, you will still need to spend some time to get to know the grid system, all CSS classes available in the framework as well as how the components access these classes.

  • Similarly Looking Results

Bootstrap websites will have similar looks and one could instantly recognize the framework just by looking at the result. This is understandable as twitter created the framework for one purpose. For developers to work faster on a standardized interface, as a tool. Surely, you could completely customize and overwrite the templates, but that would simply defeat the whole purpose of using a framework.

  • A Bit Heavy

As much as a perfectly functioning responsive website will climb the rankings in the search engines, there is a catch. Responsive Bootstrap websites tend to quite heavy at times, which might result in longer loading time. This is another thing Google takes into consideration while granting leads to websites. In addition, the Bootstrap generated files can be huge which could slow down your work as well. The unused CSS styles should be trimmed to make the framework look clean.

Who uses Bootstrap?

Twitter, Spotify, Udemy, Robinhood, StackSharee, LinkedIn, Postman, and Lyft.

What is Materialize?

Materialize employs the philosophy of modern design by Google’s Material design. Its target is bringing uniformity to Google UI on all possible platforms. The main focus of this philosophy is set on how UI elements interact and behave visually.

The framework is a library that packs HTML, CSS (written in Sass), and JS that combines the best practices for design, browser portability, and responsiveness. It’s extremely lightweight at 29K and comes with built-in easy to use features, flow texts, parallaxes, hoverable items, and other essential functionalities.

Since Materialize is an actual implementation of Material Design, the elements utilize motion and depth. All animations and transitions are smooth and neat and behave as they provide optimal use of the screen.

Same as Bootstrap, the existence of these ready to go elements reduce drastically the developing time.


Materialize is ideal for Material Design users, it’s also responsive and works with all modern browsers, including Internet Explorer 10+.

  • Speed Development

As a framework should, you needn’t start coding from scratch. The built-in custom components are ready for you to customize and speed up the whole process to meet your deadlines easier.
In fact, Materialize can be also implemented for multiple projects without the need to write CSS.

  • Smooth Experience

You as a developer can have a very smooth experience while working with the framework as it offers refined transitions and animations that allow more feedback to the users.

  • Responsive

Materialize is also responsive, however, unlike Bootstrap, it has a wide color palette of base colors. It allows you to choose a large number of colors.
The responsive across platforms grants an enhanced user experience.

  • Android

Materialize also offers the best possible browsing experience across Android platforms.

  • Plugins

You could take advantage of numerous free plugins for dialogs, drop-downs, collapse, parallaxes and more functionalities to improve the user experience. In addition, the framework allows end-users to create highly interactive interfaces.

  • Fresher Look

The built-in functionalities allow actual uniqueness to the websites based on Materialize. They look fresher and more appealing.


Not compatible with older browsers
Materialize is compatible with all modern browsers, however, it doesn’t work with anything older than Internet Explorer 10+.

  • Smaller Community

As relatively new, Materialize ids yet to gather a large community of developers and build detailed documentation to help new developers get used to the framework.

  • Limitations

Materialize very opinionated about how the UI elements should look and behave based on certain principles of Material design, a technique by Google.

Large CSS files

CSS files in Materialize CSS are heavy and very large in size.

Who uses Materialize?

Digital Services, IWB, DroneDeploy, fileee, Tool Time, Ikarus, and Greencode.

Can you use Materialize and Bootstrap together?

Technically, it’s possible to use both Bootstrap and Materialize together but you need to be extra careful with the names of the classes. Keep in mind that there many are the same and could result in performance issues. In addition, since both frameworks have their own individual style it would be quite difficult to combine them into a single page. Moreover, many of the functions of both frameworks would clash and reflect badly on the page loading time.

If you, for example, prefer working with Bootstrap but also want to implement functionalities that only Materialize offer, your best alternative would be to use Material Design for Bootstrap.

This is a free UI kit for Bootstrap 4 and comprehensive Material Design frameworks to date. You could develop Material Design apps with HTML, CSS, and JS with Sass variables, responsive grid system, prebuilt components, and jQuery built plugins.

Bootstrap vs Materialize: In Conclusion

In the search for the best framework for web development, it always comes to choosing between Bootstrap vs Materialize. The thing is, both have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages and strongly depend on the purpose of your projects.

Bootstrap is a highly popular and powerful tool for web development. It’s easy to learn and has an insane amount of documentation and community available at its disposal. However, Bootstrap websites look pretty similar to one another. They also tend to be heavy which might slow down the loading speed of the page, therefore worsen the user experience.

On the other hand, Materialize is perfect for mobile apps. It offers smooth animations, transitions, and neat looking and working functionalities. On the downside, it’s not ideal for beginners as it’s relatively new and doesn’t have the advantage of a large community and documentation in comparison to Bootstrap. It’s also not compatible with the older browser and has its own opinion on the looks and behaviors of UI elements.



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