Nectar of the Programming Masses

    This package has been deprecated

    Author message:

    Deprecated in favor of react-use-queries: it has better name, API, and is almost half the size!


    1.1.0 • Public • Published

    useMediaQuery and useElementQuery

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    These React hooks make it easy for you to match with your media queries.

    Get it: npm install use-element-query --save


    Given things you want to do with your media queries...

    const queries = {
        '(max-width: 299px)': { thing: 'A' },
        '(min-width: 300px) and (max-width: 599px)': { thing: 'B' },
        '(min-width: 600px)': { thing: 'C' }

    ... you can ask for a list of things that match!

    function ResponsiveComponent() {
        const things = useMediaQuery(queries)
        // server side: = []
        // client side: = [{ thing: 'A' }]
        //          or: = [{ thing: 'B' }]
        //          or: = [{ thing: 'C' }]
        return (
                Things that match:
                <pre>{JSON.stringify(things, null, 4)}</pre>

    As the output is an array you can have multiple matching queries at one time. Also, you can use whatever you want as your "thing": it can be a string, object, array, React component, CSS styles, callback function...

    useMediaQuery works with window.matchMedia so you can use any query that works with it.

    What about useElementQuery?

    This is an extension that creates <object data="about:blank" type="text/html" /> element inside container element that is determinted via ref. A position that is not static is required as the object element is made as large as the container using position: absolute. This is a trick from 2013 used for element resize detection. This library however instead uses matchMedia of the object which then allows to use media queries for a viewport that is the same size as the container element!


    import React, { useMemo } from 'react'
    import { useElementQuery } from 'use-element-query'
    // define this outside component to keep the same reference
    // or if you need this to be dynamic: useMemo
    const queries = {
        '(max-width: 299px)': 'small',
        '(min-width: 300px) and (max-width: 599px)': 'medium',
        '(min-width: 600px)': 'large'
    function ResponsiveComponent() {
        // third value is always an array with all matching items
        const [ref, baseStyle, [size = 'default']] = useElementQuery(queries)
        // for demo purposes set a width that is smaller than the viewport width
        const style = useMemo(() => ({ width: '50%', ...baseStyle }), [baseStyle])
        // ref and baseStyle always passed to the container
        return (
            <div ref={ref} style={style}>
                <h2>Size is <code>{size}</code></h2>

    Can useElementQuery be used with Styled Components?

    Yes, check out this CodeSandbox!

    You will end up with a bit more boilerplate code than with :container() syntax that is used by solutions like Styled Container Query, but this library is much smaller yet also supports changing your render path entirely depending on available container width; although one could argue you should always keep the HTML/DOM the same and only change the appearance via CSS.


    While this trick is performant there are some memory consumption issues so you should avoid using this on very many elements at the same time. Also, object element is added to the DOM and this may have some effect to your CSS if you need :first-child or :last-child on the container. The current minimalist design tries to make usage as easy as possible and thus object is added without React: if this proves to be problematic it might be necessary the change the API at some point.

    Circularity issues are shared with all solutions that do container queries these days, and is the reason there are container query libraries instead of a CSS standard.


    I got annoyed at work how hard it was to calculate "content width" in CSS, especially with a dynamic sidebar and having complex product lists. So originally this was a quick weekend project to get something usable that gives CSS / matchMedia style of syntax via a React hook. I didn't find any other solution that would keep familiar media query syntax, or that would allow for anything to be used as a result value from query. Also, I do not know of any other solution that has used matchMedia from a <object data="about:blank" type="text/html" />.

    Container queries and element queries have been long in the discussion, but ultimately it seems they might never be actually implemented despite numerous proposals, polyfills, and other JavaScript based implementations.

    Alternatives for Container Queries

    Minzipped sizes are as of 2019-11-28.

    Note about the status of the repo

    I really should upgrade to latest Babel and stuff, instead of copy-pasting from old projects. Packages are a bit old. Also, should see the trouble to learn Storybook and make use of it.


    npm i use-element-query

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    • merri