Head-to-Head: Headless UI React vs Material-UI Analysis


v2.0.4(27 days ago)

This package is actively maintained.Types definitions are bundled with the npm packageNumber of direct dependencies: 4Monthly npm downloads

@headlessui/react is a library that provides fully accessible, customizable, and unstyled components for building user interfaces in React applications. It offers a set of headless UI components like buttons, menus, modals, and more, allowing developers to create accessible and interactive UI elements without the need for styling. The components are designed to be highly flexible and can be easily customized to fit the design requirements of any project.


Tags: reactui-componentsaccessibilityheadlesscustomizable


v4.12.4(about 2 years ago)

This package is deprecated: Material UI v4 doesn't receive active development since September 2021. See the guide https://mui.com/material-ui/migration/migration-v4/ to upgrade to v5.Types definitions are bundled with the npm packageNumber of direct dependencies: 12Monthly npm downloads

@material-ui/core is a popular React component library that provides a set of customizable and accessible UI components for building modern web applications. It follows Google's Material Design guidelines, offering a wide range of components like buttons, cards, dialogs, and more, all styled with a consistent design language.


Tags: reactui-componentsmaterial-designaccessiblecustomizable



@Material-UI/core is a very popular UI library in the React ecosystem, with a large user base and extensive community support. @HeadlessUI/react, although newer, has gained popularity for its lightweight and customizable approach, but it may not have the same level of popularity and community support as @Material-UI/core.

Components and Styling

@Material-UI/core offers a comprehensive set of ready-to-use components and follows a Material Design style. It provides a consistent and polished look out of the box. @HeadlessUI/react, on the other hand, focuses on providing low-level utility components that serve as building blocks for custom UI implementations. It is designed to be unstyled by default, offering more flexibility for developers to apply their own styling.


Both packages allow for customization, but in different ways. @Material-UI/core provides theming support and allows for easy customization of its components using its own styling solution called CSS-in-JS with JSS. @HeadlessUI/react, being unstyled by default, requires developers to provide their own styles and customization, offering more control over the appearance and behavior of the components.

Documentation and Learning Curve

@Material-UI/core has excellent documentation with comprehensive examples, API references, and a large community-driven knowledge base. It also has a higher learning curve due to the complexity of its styling solution and the vast number of components available. @HeadlessUI/react, being a simpler utility library, has a smaller learning curve and provides clear and concise documentation, although it may not be as extensive as @Material-UI/core.


@HeadlessUI/react, being a more lightweight library, may have better performance compared to @Material-UI/core. However, the performance difference might not be significant unless your application has specific performance constraints.

Ecosystem and Integrations

@Material-UI/core has a rich ecosystem with various extensions, tooling, and community support, including a design system, icons, and integration with popular state management libraries like Redux. @HeadlessUI/react is a smaller library and may not have the same extensive ecosystem and pre-built integrations available.