Bootstrap Containers

The tutorial will teach you to make use of Bootstrap to build container.

Creating Containers with Bootstrap

Bootstrap's primary layout element is the container, which is essential when utilizing the grid system. These containers serve to enclose content with padding and also facilitate horizontal center alignment in fixed-width layouts.

There are three types of containers:

  • The .container-fluid class, which adjusts its max-width at each responsive breakpoint.
  • The .container-fluid class, which maintains a 100% width at all breakpoints.
  • The .container-{breakpoint} class, which sustains a 100% width until the specified breakpoint is reached.

This table that follows shows that each container's maximum width varies at each end - point.

Container Classes X-Small
.container 100% 540px 720px 960px 1140px 1320px
.container-sm 100% 540px 720px 960px 1140px 1320px
.container-md 100% 100% 720px 960px 1140px 1320px
.container-lg 100% 100% 100% 960px 1140px 1320px
.container-xl 100% 100% 100% 100% 1140px 1320px
.container-xxl 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 1320px
.container-fluid 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

For example, when employing the .container class, the container's actual width will be 100% until the viewport width reaches 992px, then it becomes 960px for viewport width ≥992px but <1200px, 1140px for viewport width ≥1200px but <1400px, and finally 1320px for viewport width ≥1400px.

Likewise, when utilizing the .container-lg class, the container's actual width will be 100% until the viewport width reaches <992px, 960px for viewport widths ≥992px but <1200px, 1140px for viewport widths ≥1200px but <1400px, and 1320px for viewport widths ≥1400px.

Creating Responsive Fixed-width Containers

You have the option to easily create a responsive, fixed-width container using the .container class. The container's width will adjust at different breakpoints or screen sizes, as illustrated above.

<div class="container">
        <h1>The heading</h1>
        <p>This content of paragraph.</p>
      	<p class="mt-3 text-info"><strong>Tip:</strong>To learn how the Bootstrap responsive grid system functions, view the results into a fresh empty tab (Click the arrow next to the "Show Output" button) then resize the browsers window.</p>

Creating Fluid Containers

Alternatively, by employing the .container-fluid class, you can craft a container with a full width. This fluid container will always occupy 100% of the available width, regardless of the device or screen size.

<div class="container-fluid">
        <h1>The heading</h1>
        <p>This content of paragraph .</p>

Specify Responsive Breakpoints for Containers

Since Bootstrap v4.4, you can also generate containers that are initially 100% wide until a specific breakpoint is reached, and subsequently, the max-width for each higher breakpoint will be applied.

For instance, using .container-xl will render the container 100% wide until the xl breakpoint is met (i.e., viewport width ≥ 1200px), after which the max-width for the xl breakpoint, which is 1140px, will be applied.

<div class="container-sm border py-3 my-3">100% wide until screen size less than 576px</div>
    <div class="container-md border py-3 my-3">100% wide until screen size less than 768px</div>
    <div class="container-lg border py-3 my-3">100% wide until screen size less than 992px</div>
    <div class="container-xl border py-3 my-3">100% wide until screen size less than 1200px</div>

Adding Background and Borders to Containers

By default, the container does not possess any background-color or border. However, if needed, you can apply your own styles or simply use Bootstrap's background-color and border utility classes to add the desired background-color or border, as demonstrated in the following example.

<div class="container bg-dark text-white border py-3 my-3">
        <h1>The heading</h1>
        <p>This content of paragraph.</p>

    <!-- Container with light background -->
    <div class="container bg-light py-3 my-3">
        <h1>The heading</h1>
        <p>This content of paragraph.</p>

    <!-- Container with border -->
    <div class="container border py-3 my-3">
        <h1>This is a heading</h1>
        <p>This content of paragraph.</p>

Applying Paddings and Margins to Containers

Moreover, containers are set to have a padding of 12px on the left and right sides, and no padding on the top and bottom sides. To incorporate additional padding and margins, you can utilize the spacing utility classes.

<div class="container border py-3 my-3">
        <h1>The heading</h1>
        <p>This content of paragraph.</p>

Tip: It is advisable to refrain from setting left and right margins on fixed and responsive containers since Bootstrap automatically applies the value auto to the margin-left and margin-right properties at specific breakpoints to horizontally center-align the container.


What are Bootstrap Containers?

Bootstrap Containers are fundamental layout elements that help manage the arrangement and alignment of content within a web page. They provide a structured way to organize and control the width of the content based on different screen sizes. Containers are designed to ensure that the content within them scales appropriately across various devices, maintaining responsiveness and optimal user experience.

What are the different types of Containers in Bootstrap?

Bootstrap offers three types of containers: .container, .container-fluid, and .container-sm, .container-md, .container-lg, .container-xl, and .container-xxl for specific breakpoints.

  • .container: This is a responsive fixed-width container. It centers the content and adjusts its width based on the screen size. It has a max-width value for different breakpoints, creating a neat layout.
  • .container-fluid: This container spans the full width of the viewport, regardless of the screen size. It's particularly useful when you want your content to occupy the entire width of the screen.
  • .container-sm, .container-md, .container-lg, .container-xl, .container-xxl: These containers allow you to define specific max-widths for different breakpoints. For instance, .container-sm is suitable for small screens, .container-md for medium screens, and so on. This lets you fine-tune the layout for various devices.

How do you create a basic container in Bootstrap?

To create a basic container in Bootstrap, you can use the .container class. Here's an example:

<div class="container">
    <h1>Hello, Bootstrap Containers!</h1>
    <p>This is a basic container.</p>

In this example, the .container class is applied to the div element, and the content within it will be centered and adjusted based on the screen size.

How do Bootstrap Containers contribute to responsive design?

Bootstrap Containers play a crucial role in responsive design by providing a structured way to adapt content layout to various screen sizes. The container classes define maximum widths and alignment properties, ensuring that content is displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner on both small mobile devices and large desktop screens. By using containers, developers can create consistent and user-friendly interfaces that automatically adjust based on the user's device, enhancing the overall user experience.

Can you nest Bootstrap Containers?

While it's technically possible to nest Bootstrap Containers, it's generally not recommended. Bootstrap's container classes are designed to structure the overall layout of the page. Nesting containers might lead to unintended behavior, such as conflicting width constraints and improper alignment. Instead of nesting containers, consider using other Bootstrap components, like rows and columns, to achieve the desired layout structure without sacrificing responsiveness and consistency.

How can you customize the maximum width of a Bootstrap Container for specific breakpoints?

To customize the maximum width of a Bootstrap Container for specific breakpoints, you can use the responsive container classes like .container-sm, .container-md, .container-lg, .container-xl, and .container-xxl. Here's an example:

<div class="container">
  <h1>Default Container</h1>

<div class="container-sm">
  <h1>Small Container</h1>

<div class="container-md">
  <h1>Medium Container</h1>

<!-- You can do the same for other breakpoints -->

In this example, each container will have a different maximum width based on the specified breakpoint. This allows you to fine-tune the layout for various screen sizes.

How do you create a fluid (full-width) container in Bootstrap?

To create a fluid (full-width) container in Bootstrap, you can use the .container-fluid class. Here's an example:

<div class="container-fluid">
  <h1>Fluid Container</h1>
  <p>This container spans the full width of the viewport.</p>

The .container-fluid class ensures that the content spans the entire width of the screen, regardless of the screen size.

What's the purpose of the viewport meta tag in the HTML head when using Bootstrap Containers?

The viewport meta tag is used to control how the webpage is displayed on different devices and screen sizes. When using Bootstrap Containers, setting the "viewport" meta tag is crucial for enabling responsive behavior. Here's an example of the meta tag:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

This meta tag ensures that the width of the webpage matches the device's screen width and sets the initial scale to 1.0, which maintains the responsive design provided by Bootstrap's CSS.

Can Bootstrap Containers be used in combination with other Bootstrap layout components?

Yes, Bootstrap Containers can be used in combination with other layout components like rows and columns. Bootstrap's grid system allows you to create complex layouts by using rows and columns within containers. This helps organize content and achieve responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes. Here's an example:

<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="col-md-6">
      <p>This is the left column.</p>
    <div class="col-md-6">
      <p>This is the right column.</p>

In this example, the columns are placed within a container, allowing you to control their alignment and responsiveness.

How can you vertically center content within a Bootstrap Container?

To vertically center content within a Bootstrap Container, you can use Bootstrap's flexbox utility classes. Here's an example of vertically centering content within a container:

<div class="container d-flex justify-content-center align-items-center">
  <p>This content is vertically centered.</p>

In this example, the classes d-flex create a flex container, justify-content-center horizontally centers the content, and align-items-center vertically centers the content.

Are there any limitations to using Bootstrap Containers?

While Bootstrap Containers are versatile and useful, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Overuse: Using too many containers in a single page can lead to overcomplication of the layout and affect the overall performance.
  • Nested Containers: As mentioned earlier, nesting containers can lead to unexpected behavior and may not be recommended for typical use cases.
  • Customization: If you need highly customized layouts that diverge significantly from Bootstrap's default styles, you might find it challenging to achieve your vision solely using Bootstrap's built-in container classes.
  • CSS Conflicts: Applying extensive custom styles directly to containers without proper organization might lead to CSS conflicts and difficulties in maintaining the code.

Are there any alternatives to Bootstrap Containers for creating responsive layouts?

Yes, there are alternatives to Bootstrap Containers for creating responsive layouts. Some alternatives include:

  • CSS Grid: A native CSS solution for creating grid layouts. It offers more control and flexibility over layout design.
  • Flexbox: Another native CSS solution that's particularly useful for building flexible and dynamic layouts.
  • Other CSS Frameworks: There are various CSS frameworks similar to Bootstrap, such as Foundation, Bulma, and Tailwind CSS, each with its own approach to creating responsive layouts.
  • Custom Media Queries: You can write custom media queries in your CSS to define specific styles for different screen sizes.

How do Bootstrap Containers help with mobile-first design?

Bootstrap Containers are integral to mobile-first design, a design philosophy that prioritizes creating layouts and styles for mobile devices first and then progressively enhancing them for larger screens. Bootstrap's responsive grid system, in combination with Containers, facilitates mobile-first design by automatically adjusting content width and alignment based on screen sizes. By starting with a mobile-friendly layout and enhancing it for larger screens, you ensure a better user experience across a wide range of devices.


The Bootstrap framework provides a versatile set of tools and classes for creating responsive and visually appealing web layouts. The Bootstrap container class, Fluid container, and grid container are essential elements for structuring content and achieving a responsive design. You can choose between Container-fluid and responsive container to control the layout of your web pages and adapt to various screen sizes.

When working with containers in Bootstrap, you have the flexibility to adjust container width and apply container styles to suit your design preferences. Additionally, you can customize the container div and its overall container structure to meet specific requirements. Understanding the differences between Container-fluid vs. container allows you to make informed layout decisions, and you can set container breakpoints for responsive design. Bootstrap also offers options for container customization, allowing you to tailor your project's look and feel.

To add the finishing touches to your Bootstrap containers, you can focus on styling backgrounds, customizing borders, padding and margins, and adjusting spacing. This enables you to enhance the visual appeal and usability of your containers. Whether you're designing a responsive layout with fixed elements or creating static-width containers, Bootstrap provides the tools to ensure your web design is both functional and visually appealing. Responsive web design and designing responsive fixed-width layouts are made easy with Bootstrap's fluid containers and fixed-width containers.

When it comes to styling your containers, you can implement background effects and leverage the box model to achieve the desired look. Styling Bootstrap container elements and creating visual effects with Bootstrap allows you to fine-tune the aesthetics. Furthermore, Bootstrap offers various container border and spacing options, spacing and layout, and border styling to achieve stylish backgrounds and adjust spacing with spacing classes while customizing margins for an overall polished appearance.