Material Design by Google is a popular web design trend. Being familiar with the Bootstrap framework, I went around hunting for Material Design based Bootstrap themes available for use in my web projects. In this post I am listing down the best Bootstrap themes and UI kits in Material Design that I have found and will let you know about the UI kits that I finally selected for my projects.
Note that not all the themes listed below are free. Some of these are premium Material Design themes and UI Kits for Bootstrap, however they may offer a free limited version too. Note that some of the links below are affiliate links.
Bootstrap Material Design Themes
A theme for Bootstrap is generally built by re-skinning the different UI components and elements offered in Bootstrap to a new design. There are many themes available and a lot of them are free and can be found at Bootswatch. Certain themes go beyond just a re-skin job and offer additional UI components, new interactions and animations as well as include additional plugins. These themes are generally termed as UI Kits as we will see below. I have selected some of the best quality Material Design themes and UI kits for Bootstrap below:
Material Kit is a premium Bootstrap UI Kit made by Creative Tim with a design inspired by Google’s Material Design. It has an excellent implementation of material concepts and provides easy to use and beautiful set of material design components. Along with the restyling of the Bootstrap elements with material design principles, you will find over 1000 components, 11 fully-coded example pages and 7 customized plugins which are helpful in designing your own web projects in material design. PSD files and SASS files are also included with the PRO version of this kit.
There is a basic version of Material Kit also available for free download which comes with 60 components, 3 example pages and 2 plugins.
While this UI Kit is currently based on Bootstrap 3, according to its developers a Bootstrap 4 version is also in the making and will be offered as free upgrade to existing users.
MD Bootstrap is another well implemented Material UI kit for Bootstrap. It supports both Bootstrap 3 as well as Bootstrap 4. It offers 400+ Material UI elements, 600+ Material icons, 74 CSS animations. On the site you will also find free templates and tutorials to build Material Design websites.
BMD – Bootstrap + Material Design
BMD is a premium material design skin for Bootstrap on CodeCanyon and offers many additional components such as Material spinner, floating action button (FAB), nav tabs, material design card layouts, toast messages and sidebar menu. It also supports Material style animations and has integration with Material icons.
This skin is based on Bootstrap 3 and according to it’s author a skin based on Bootstrap 4 is also being developed. However it is unknown whether it will be offered as free upgrade or as a separate item.
Paper Bootswatch for Bootstrap
As we mentioned earlier Bootswatch is a popular destination for finding free themes for Bootstrap, and I could find Paper Bootswatch which is built on the principles of Material Design. The UI elements that come out of the box in Bootstrap have been given a Material Design look. Tapping on buttons gives ripple effects but are not very accurate (originates from center instead of point of contact).
There are no additional materiel style components or plugin offered by this theme and hence you may find it limited when implementing your web project.
Material Design for Bootstrap
Material Design for Bootstrap is a theme for Bootstrap 3 as well as Bootstrap 4 from Fez Vrasta and is available on GitHub under MIT license. You will find nice implementations of ripple effect (from the point of touch) on Buttons in this theme as well as animations in almost all UI elements such as modal popups and check-boxes. In-fact Material Kit that we covered earlier is itself an advanced version of this theme which offers additional components and premium support from developers.
Daemonite’s Material UI
Daemonite’s Material UI is a responsive front-end framework based on Material Design using Bootstrap 4. Just by replacing the Bootstrap CSS on any site with the CSS from this project will transform all components and elements on the website to have a Material look. You can find the project on GitHub under MIT license.
Other Web Frameworks offering Material Design
Bootstrap is not the only option when it comes to implementing Material Design in your web projects. If you are fine with not having Bootstrap in your web project, then you may want to take a look at other Material Design CSS frameworks such as Materialize or Google’s MDL. These other frameworks are built from ground up on the principles of Material Design and may offer little bit extra when it comes to having Material Design look and feel. However, choosing one of them may require a bit of learning curve if you are switching from Bootstrap.
To Sum Up
You may choose to go with a Material Design Bootstrap theme to leverage on the knowledge of framework that you already know, or you can choose a new framework built specifically for Material Design but it may involve learning something new.
If you ask my advice then I will recommend Material Kit or MD Bootstrap for Bootstrap lovers as they are the most complete material design UI Kit that I could find and they offer additional material style components which can be helpful in making web applications. You can also go with MDL if you want a dedicated web framework (other than Bootstrap) for Material Design. I did work with MDL myself to give it a try and you can find a free Material Portfolio template that I built with it, however, I found it to be a bit more harder to use than using a Bootstrap UI kit like Material Kit.
Which one will you pick for yourself? Do you have any better alternative for implementing Material Design on the web other than the ones I could find?