A Complete Guide To Inline Style In React

April 04, 2023
A Complete Guide to Inline Styles in React

The competition among front-end libraries is picking up steam as the big guns continue to invest heavily to gain an edge. Among these is React, a brainchild of Facebook with worldwide popularity.

Developed as a JavaScript library, the program helps build modern and dynamic web applications. Further, it allows developers to create reusable components and manipulate them using various styling techniques, a crucial aspect of creating eye-catching and highly functional web applications.

Within React, several ways to style components exist, including React inline styles, CSS modules, styled components, and CSS-in-JS libraries. Each method has benefits and drawbacks, and it is a must to understand which fits the bit perfectly to make web app development simple in React.

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This article focuses on React inline style and presents a complete guide to using inline styles in React, including syntax, benefits, and limitations.

What Are React Inline Styles?

React Inline styling adds CSS styles directly to HTML elements using a style attribute. The feature enables us to add dynamic styles to our components. React Inline styles are defined as a JavaScript object, where each property represents a CSS rule, and the property value represents the CSS value.

Two Ways To Define Inline Styles

Using Object Literal

const styles = {

    color: 'red',

    backgroundColor: 'yellow',

    fontSize: '18px',


  function MyComponent() {

    return <div style={styles}>Hello to React Inline Style!</div>;


Using a Function

function MyComponent(props) {

    const { isBold } = props;

    const getStyles = () => {

      return {

        color: 'red',

        backgroundColor: 'yellow',

        fontSize: '18px',

        fontWeight: isBold ? 'bold' : 'normal',



    return <div style={getStyles()}>Hello to React Inline Style!</div>;


The second approach comes in handy when we want to dynamically change the styles of a component based on props or state.

Benefits of Using Inline Styles

1. Scoped Styles: Inline styles scopes to a particular component, and hence don’t disrupt the styles of others. Thanks to this, there is a lesser risk of unintended side effects.

2. Dynamic Styling: They can add dynamic styles to components based on props or state. Using this, developers can create more flexible, responsive, and adaptable user interfaces.

3. Performance: They can be optimized for performance using various techniques like memorization and CSS-in-JS libraries. This help reduces application load time and improves overall performance.

4. Clean Syntax: The syntax for defining inline styles is simple and easy to read, making it ideal for small applications and prototypes.

5. Flexibility:Inline styles work alongside other techniques like CSS modules, styled-components, and CSS-in-JS libraries.

Limitations of React Inline Style

1. Lack of Reusability: Inline styles work with specific components and are not reusable. Thus, developers often duplicate codes and write new ones to maintain and update apps.

2. Limited Tooling Support:Unlike traditional CSS, inline styles have limited tooling support, making it harder to perform tasks like linting, auto-completion, and code analysis.

3. Specificity Issues:They have high specificity, which leads to conflicts and unexpected behavior when applying multiple styles to the same element. That makes it harder to debug and maintain the application.

4. Difficulty in Theming:Implementing theming in applications using React inline styles is tricky. Since they tie to specific components, changing the theme requires updating the component style individually, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.

5. Limited Styling Features:Inline styles have limited styling features compared to traditional CSS, which can make it harder to implement more complex styling and layout requirements.

Best Practices for Using React Inline Styles

1. Keep Styles Simple: They are best for simple, one-off styles specific to a single component. Avoid using them for complex or reusable styles that require sharing across multiple components.

2. Avoid Inline Styling for Layout:CSS is a better choice for layout and positioning.

3. Use CSS Pre-processors:If you’re using a CSS pre-processor like Sass or Less, consider using their inline style syntax. This helps keep the style consistent across the application and provides additional features like variables and mixins.

4. Use Class Names for Reusable Styles: If you have reusable styles that need to be shared across multiple components, consider using class names instead of inline styles. This allows for easier maintenance and updating of styles and reduces the likelihood of errors.

The Final Word

React Inline styles work like a charm for adding dynamic styles to React components. They offer several benefits, like scoped styles, dynamic styling, and flexibility.

Overall, inline styles are a great addition to React developer’s toolkit, but it’s essential to know their limitations and use them wisely.

Read Also: What Is The useState In React: A Complete Guide?

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