8 min. read

June 07, 2022

13 Libraries You Should Know as a React Developer

From React Query to Redux... here are the 13 great React libraries which you should know about as a React developer.


Ashutosh Mishra, React Developer and Content Writer

Being a modern React developer is not only about understanding the core concepts of React but also about getting well versed with the whole ecosystem of React.

This includes having the knowledge and experience of various React libraries which you can use in your application to make your development process a lot easier.

Even if you don't have the necessary experience working with them, you should at least be aware of their existence and the problem they solve.

So, here are the 13 great React libraries which you should know about as a React developer.

1. React Query

React Query is an open source data fetching library in React developed by Tanner Linsley. It has more than 1.2 million weekly downloads on NPM and more than 27k stars on GitHub.

React doesn't have an opinionated way to fetch data. This leaves developers free to come up with various data fetching methods. Most of the time, it involves the use of useEffect and useState hooks or the use of some general purpose state management library.

React Query gives us a standard way to fetch data in React applications and helps us avoid writing complex logic, reduce lines of code, make our code more maintainable, make our application faster, and so on.

It comes with lots of amazing features to make the data fetching and the development experience in React really awesome. These features include Auto Caching, Auto Refetching, Scroll Recovery, Render-as-you-fetch, etc. You can look up all the features in the below screenshot.

2. Redux

Redux is an open source state management library in JavaScript. It has more than 58K stars on GitHub, and more than 7.8 million weekly downloads on NPM.

According to Redux's official docs, Redux is a predictable state container for JavaScript apps. It helps you write applications that behave consistently, run in different environments (client, server, and native), and are easy to test. On top of that, it provides a great developer experience, such as live code editing combined with a time travelling debugger. (Source: Redux)

Features of Redux

  1. Predictable - Helps you write easily testable applications with consistent behaviour across environments.

  2. Centralised - Helps you centralise the state of the application.

  3. Debuggable - It comes up with its own DevTools that make it easy to track the timeline of the application's state.

  4. Flexible - Redux works with any UI layer and has a large ecosystem of addons to fit your needs. (Source: Redux)

It is one of the most popular state management libraries in React and makes building large scale, industrial applications easier.

3. MUI Core (formerly Material-UI)

Any list featuring the best React libraries would be incomplete without adding MUI Core. It's a React styling library that helps you build amazing UIs in no time. The MUI Core contains 3 foundational libraries for building and shipping UI faster-

  1. Material UI - "Material UI is a comprehensive library of components that features our implementation of Google's Material Design system."(Source: MUI Core GitHub)

  2. Material Base - "MUI Base is our library of "unstyled" components and low-level hooks. With Base, you gain complete control over your app's CSS and accessibility features."(Source: MUI Core GitHub)

  3. Material System - "MUI System is a collection of CSS utilities to help you rapidly lay out custom designs."(Source: MUI Core GitHub)

With GitHub stars of 77.8K and weekly NPM downloads of 1.18 million, MUI is one of the most popular React UI libraries in the world.

4. React Bootstrap

React Bootstrap is the rebuilt version of our old good friend Bootstrap in React. It's a standalone UI library of Bootstrap components for React with no dependency on bootstrap.js or jQuery.

React Bootstrap offers a library of components with easy to use functionality, statefulness, and default accessibility making it a great choice to start building the UI of our application.

It has more than 20K stars on GitHub and more than 1 million weekly downloads on NPM.

5. React DND

Modern React applications are rarely simple. Almost all industrial applications have some form of drag and drop functionality.

React DnD is a library that helps you build React applications based on drag and drop functionality. To make it possible, it uses the HTML5 drag and drop API under the hood.

The library is fairly simple to use with lots of interesting, and innovative use cases in real world applications. It has more than 17K stars on GitHub and more than 1.2 million weekly downloads in NPM.

6. SWR

SWR by Vercel is the second data fetching library on our list and another great option apart from React Query.

The SWR library is a lot smaller and simpler than React Query yet it provides many amazing features like Reusable Data Fetching, Suspense, Pagination, Built-in cache and so much more.

It has more than 22K stars on GitHub and more than 700,000 weekly downloads on NPM.

7. React Hook Form

React Hook Form is the king when it comes to building forms in React. It's a high-performant, tiny library without any dependencies and improves your app's performance by reducing your code, isolating re-renders, faster mounting, etc.

According to React Hook Forms' GitHub Readme, it has the following features-

  • Built with performance, UX, and DX in mind

  • Embraces native HTML form validation

  • Out of the box integration with UI libraries

  • Small size and no dependencies

  • Support Yup, Zod, Superstruct, Joi, Vest, class-validator, io-ts, nope, and custom

This project has more than 27K stars on GitHub and more than 1.8 million weekly downloads on NPM. Check out this library before building your next form in React.

8. Recharts

Recharts is an open source charting library built with React and D3. It's lightweight, built on React components, provides Native SVG support, and makes adding charts into React applications painless.

It provides 11 built-in chart components including AreaChart, BarChart, LineChart, PieChart, and so on.

This library has more than 18K stars on GitHub and more than 900,000 weekly downloads on NPM.

9. React Router

React Router is the most popular library to implement routing in React apps. It has more than 46K stars on GitHub and more than 8 million weekly downloads on NPM and it's built by the same team behind the popular Remix framework of React.

It is a lightweight, fully-featured routing library for the React JavaScript library. React Router runs everywhere that React runs; on the web, on the server (using node.js), and on React Native. (Source: React Router GitHub)

React Router is used by the dev teams at top companies like Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Discord, etc.

10. BluePrint

Blueprint is a React-based UI toolkit for the web. It is optimised for building complex, data-dense web interfaces for desktop applications that run in modern browsers and IE11. (Source: Blueprint GitHub)

There are 7 different NPM packages of Blueprint-

  1. blueprintjs/core - This is the core package with various UI components(30+) to handle all the basic UI formation of the app. These components include Card, Button, Spinner, etc.

  2. blueprintjs/datetime - This package helps you interact with dates and times in React. We can use it to select a single date, date ranges, select a time, etc.

  3. blueprintjs/icons - This package provides over 300 vector UI icons to make your React app beautiful.

  4. blueprintjs/popover2 - This package has successor components to Popover and Tooltip of blueprintjs/core.

  5. blueprintjs/select - This package provides React components to select an item or select multiple items in the app.

  6. blueprintjs/table - This package provides an interactive table component for your React app.

  7. blueprintjs/timezone - This package helps you interact with various timezones in the app.

Blueprint has more than 18K stars on GitHub.

11. React Virtualized

React Virtualized is a React library that helps you work with large lists and tabular data efficiently in React. It has more than 23K stars on GitHub and more than 900,000 weekly downloads on NPM.

This library will come in handy if you are working with large data in your application.

12. React Suite

React Suite is a set of react component libraries for enterprise system products. It is a well-thought-out and developer-friendly UI framework. (Source: React Suite GitHub)

It's a UI library like no other. Each component is very well designed to increase the beauty of your application manifold and give it the touch of excellence.

The library does provide general UI components like Button, Drawer, Pagination, Loader, etc but with way better design and depth than most of the UI component libraries.

It has more than 6K stars on GitHub and more than 30,000 weekly NPM downloads.

13. TailwindCSS

TailwindCSS is a utility-first CSS framework used for rapidly styling websites. It's not a React library but a CSS styling framework and one of the most popular options among React developers to style their applications.

Tailwind makes building UIs super easy with its utility classes like flex, pt-4, text-centre, etc. Each class has pre-defined CSS values which become active once you assign the particular class to a particular JSX element.

For instance, if you assign the className of flex or text-centre to a div, the element will become a flex element or have text aligned to the centre.

It has more than 56K stars on GitHub and more than 2 million weekly downloads on NPM.

Parting Thoughts

You don't need to learn all of these libraries to work effectively in React because many of them are used for the same purposes. For instance, MUI, React Bootstrap, and React Suite are all UI component libraries.

So instead of learning all the libraries used for the same purposes, use that time to work with libraries that are used for different purposes. For instance, build a React app that uses React Suite for UI, React Router for routing, React Query for data fetching, and Recharts for rendering charts.

You don't have to use the same tech stack I told in the above para but I hope you get the point. Learn various libraries used for various purposes.

If you have any questions or confusion, reach out to me on Twitter. Check out my blog.

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