Narcoleptic Programmers' Medicine


    2.1.0 • Public • Published

    Truly responsive React components

    Using media queries to style components differently depending on the screen width is great if you're only working in a single column. But let's say you have a multi-column layout where you want responsive components based on the available width in the current container? Or you want a component to be able to render in a lot of different contexts, with unknown widths? With regular media-queries, you can't do that.

    withAvailableWidth is a HOC that will inject a availableWidth prop to the wrapped component. It will allow you to write components that render differently based on the currently available width. Here's an example -- a ToggleButton that collapses to a checkbox in narrow contexts.

    function ToggleButton({
     }) {
      if (availableWidth < 50) {
        return <input type="checkbox" value={isDown} />;
      return (
          <button disabled={isDown}>{downLabel}</button>
          <button disabled={!isDown}>{upLabel}</button>
    export default withAvailableWidth(ToggleButton);

    What's great here is that we can reuse this component in many contexts. If it's rendered in a table for instance, it's likely to render as a checkbox. But if it's a standalone component in a wide container, it's probably going to show the regular, wider version.

    Similar solutions

    react-measure is a great general tool for computing dimensions. But it suffers from having to render components twice in order to get the width and react to it.

    react-measure-it is also a HOC with roughly the same idea as withAvailableWidth. But it gives you the dimensions of the container, not the available width inside the container.

    How does it work?

    To figure out the available width in the current context, we drop an empty <div> in the DOM for a brief moment. As soon as the div is mounted, we measure its width, then re-render with the calculated width injected as availableWidth to the component. The component can then render things conditionally based on this number.

    Reacting to size changes

    By default, withAvailableWidth will only recalculate the width when the window is resized. If you need more fine-grained control, you can provide your own observer by passing in a function as the second argument to the HOC. Here's an example using ResizeObserver :

    import ResizeObserver from 'resize-observer-polyfill';
    export default withAvailableWidth(
      (domElement, notify) => {
        const observer = new ResizeObserver(() => notify());
        return () => observer.unobserve(domElement);

    The observer function is called once from the HOC, with two arguments:

    • domElement: the parent element of the wrapped component
    • notify: a function to call on every size change

    You need to return a function that will clean out the observer. This function will get called when the HOC is unmounted to clean up possible event listeners.


    See for help on how to contribute.




    npm i react-with-available-width

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads






    Unpacked Size

    10.4 kB

    Total Files


    Last publish


    • trotzig