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Use Tailwind with Next.js


Start a new Next.js app with Tailwind

If you start a new app the fastest way to get started is with this single command.

npx create-next-app --example with-tailwindcss my-new-project
# or
yarn create next-app --example with-tailwindcss my-new-project

This creates a new Next.js app already setup to use Tailwind including purging unused CSS and some other optimizations.

Add Tailwind to an existing app

To add Tailwind to an existing Next.js app follow these steps:

npm install --save tailwindcss
# or
yarn add tailwindcss

Create a postcss.config.js file and add Tailwind as a plugin:

module.exports = {
  plugins: ["tailwindcss"],

Create a CSS file (e.g. styles/index.css) and use the @tailwind directive to inject Tailwind's styles into your CSS:

@tailwind base;

@tailwind components;

@tailwind utilities;

Import this CSS file into your pages/_app.js. Create it, if you haven't already.

import "../styles/index.css";

function MyApp({ Component, pageProps }) {
  return <Component {...pageProps} />;

export default MyApp;

With this minimal setup you are already up and running and can style your app with Tailwind. But you likely want to customise your Tailwind configuration. For that run:

npx tailwindcss init

This will create a minimal tailwind.config.js file at the root of your project. To learn more about Tailwind configuration go to the Tailwind configuration documentation.

Purge unused Tailwind styles with PurgeCSS

To ship only the Tailwind styles you are using in your app you should configure the integrated PurgeCSS. For a Next.js app add all JSX files to the purge property in your tailwind.config.js file:

module.exports = {
  purge: ["./components/**/*.{js,ts,jsx,tsx}", "./pages/**/*.{js,ts,jsx,tsx}"],
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  variants: {},
  plugins: [],

To ensure you don't accidentally purge important base styles, whitelist them by using PurgeCSS's whitelisting feature. Change your index.css to this:

/* purgecss start ignore */
@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
/* purgecss end ignore */

@tailwind utilities;

One other important caveat when enabling PurgeCSS is to avoid dynamically creating class strings in your code. Read more about writing purgeable HTML here.

Have fun styling your Next.js app with Tailwind!

Follow along as I'm building in public.