Material design is hot right now

6 best open source material web design frameworks

Keval Padia
Silver vintage photo frame image via Shutterstock

Are you building websites or mobile apps without any of the handy material design frameworks? Then it is important that you use at least one of them and speed up your design workflow with the best material design compliant user interfaces.

Back in 2014, Google released the first of these frameworks to standardize the design of Chrome OS, Android apps, and even iOS apps. The guidelines set standards for developers and designers, especially in the open source design and development world.

The Material design has since then risen in popularity and has transformed the look and feel of the web world. Web designers have started using material design CSS and different components for diverse projects while the biggest designing companies have tried to use material design guidelines for shortening the design life cycle.

Using a material design framework can get you ready with material design-compliant CSS and spare yourself from having to build all the components and the CSS from scratch. With multiple production-ready material design frameworks in existence as open source, one can leverage their features for best results.

Here are the six best open source material web design frameworks that can be used for best results.

Materialize CSS

Materialize is one of the first few web frameworks that has aligned its CSS and components as per Google’s guidelines. It was developed by Carnegie Mellon University. Materialize CSS has a complete design package for small projects and perfect for creating responsive websites along with several HTML5 hybrid mobile apps. The CSS includes attributes for color, typography, grids and helper classes too. It can also embed responsive images and videos. It even supports vertical alignment of components too.

Materialize includes Navbar, badges, and buttons, while the JavaScript implementation includes dialogs, modals, waves, and the like.

Material Design Lite (MDL)

Material Design Lite is the official Google framework so most of the components will always be updated in accordance with latest standards. The framework is relatively easy to use and includes no external dependencies.

Material Design Lite does not depend on JavaScript frameworks and it is perfect for cross-device use. It also offers a wholesome user experience. MDL is a library of components for web developers that rely on principles of good design. Understanding the goals and principles of the approach is crucial to benefitting from Material Design Lite components.

Angular Material

Angular Material works under the canopy of AngularJS and is a framework that implements Google’s material design while providing components that are reusable and accessible. Available as open source, Angular Material is maintained by Google’s team who are experts in material design guidelines, along with the assistance of Google’s Angular framework developers.

The Angular ecosystem runs on directives especially for all material design components while its behavior can be controlled with attributes. One can set the typography, colors and other components with the themes embedded in the framework. Angular Material also includes the grid system for creating any of the web layouts one needs.

The material package is available on GitHub. Alternatively, one can get distribution files and install the same using Bower.

SEE ALSO: Essential qualities designers must have to survive 2016 and beyond

Material Design For Bootstrap (MDB)

Material Design for Bootstrap was built by Federico Zivolo and is meant for anyone who wants to start a new web project. It is basically a theme built using bootstrap 3 that makes use of Google’s material design.

Since it is packed with several components and CSS, which is compliant with material design guidelines, one can create any layout and design the web by making any number of configuration changes. Bootstrap is touted as the best web framework for building a responsive website at lightning speed and rests on the contemporary design philosophy too. The best part is that it has several Bootstrap elements dipped in material design including navigation bars, typography, progress bars, sliders, and the like.

Material UI

Material UI is a very professional grade framework that implements Google’s material design. Developers of this framework have made it open source and are also maintaining its attributes with the incorporation of changes or new additions.

The components run on Facebook’s Reactjs library and each element is a React component except for the prime CSS classes. Non-programmers would find it a bit complex to implement since one should have JavaScript knowledge and should be familiar with basic React concepts.

Roboto fonts are at the core of the framework.


LumX is a framework for Angular fans; it is built using Sass, Bourbon, jQuery and propelled by AngularJS. Angular developers can leverage the Angular Material for design implementation. The framework is created by Google Cloud Platform experts.

LumX is a complete responsive framework and makes use of core jQuery without the need of plugins to ensure better performance. The framework has a clear roadmap and is expected to compete against Angular Material in the near future.


Material design is very popular amongst the web developers while the mobile platform is undergoing mass scale redesign based on Google’s own material design principles. Frameworks revolving around the design principles are in vogue now and mushrooming around. One will have to wait and see how the frameworks shape up with respect to material design in the near future.

Keval Padia
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps. He is in the field of Android Game Development, with acute knowledge of Mobile App Design and Web Design. His vision is to become the best mobile app development company.

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