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CSS container queries have been long-awaited by web developers, promising a significant breakthrough in responsive web design. They allow us to design responsive layouts that adapt not just to the viewport size but to the size of their containing elements. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the world of CSS container queries, exploring what they are, why they are important, and how to use them effectively.

Understanding the need for CSS container queries

Responsive web design has come a long way since the early days of fixed-width layouts. The introduction of media queries allowed developers to adapt their designs based on viewport dimensions, making websites more accessible across various devices. However, traditional media queries have limitations when it comes to adapting to the size of individual elements within a layout.

Consider a scenario where you want to create a card-based design. With media queries alone, it can be challenging to ensure that the content within each card adapts appropriately when the cards' dimensions change. This is where CSS container queries come to the rescue.

What are CSS container queries?

CSS container queries are a new CSS feature designed to allow elements to adapt their styles based on the dimensions of their container. This enables developers to create more flexible and responsive designs, where the content inside a container can adjust to different sizes without relying solely on the viewport size.

To create a container query, you define a set of rules within the context of an element's container. These rules are similar to traditional media queries but apply to the container's dimensions rather than the viewport's. Container queries can be used in combination with media queries for more complex responsive designs.

How to use CSS container queries

Let's dive into the practical aspects of using CSS container queries.

  1. Enabling container queries: To use container queries, you need to ensure that the parent element (the container) has the contain: size property set. This property informs the browser that the element's size is intrinsically tied to its content, making it responsive to changes.

    1.container {
    2contain: size;
  2. Defining Container Query Rules: Similar to media queries, you define container query rules using the @container rule. Here's an example:

    1@container (min-width: 300px) {
    2/* Your styles here */
  3. Applying Styles: Within the container query rules, you can apply styles to adapt your content to different container sizes. For instance, you can change font sizes, column layouts, or image scaling based on the container's width.

    1@container (min-width: 300px) {
    2.content {
    3    font-size: 18px;

Benefits of CSS container queries

  1. Precise Control: container queries give you fine-grained control over your layout by allowing elements to adapt based on their parent's size, resulting in more flexible and intuitive designs.

  2. Improved Responsiveness: they enhance the user experience by ensuring content remains legible and visually appealing across a wide range of screen sizes and devices.

  3. Reduced Code Duplication: by reducing the need for complex media query combinations, CSS container queries can simplify your code and make it easier to maintain.

  4. Consistency: container queries help maintain a consistent design aesthetic by keeping elements in proportion with their containers.

Challenges and Browser Support

While CSS container queries offer exciting possibilities, it's essential to be aware of their current limitations. Browser support is still evolving, and some features may not be fully supported across all platforms. Developers are encouraged to experiment with container queries while being mindful of the need for graceful degradation on unsupported browsers.


CSS container queries represent a significant step forward in responsive web design, offering developers the ability to create adaptive layouts that respond to the size of their containing elements. While full browser support may be a work in progress, it's an exciting feature that's worth exploring and incorporating into your web development toolkit.