If you are getting started in front-end development, you may have come across the term “breakpoint” and wondered what it meant.

In short, a breakpoint is a point at which your content will adjust to better suit the viewing environment.

For example, you may have a breakpoint set at 768px so that your content will rearrange itself when viewed on a mobile device with a screen width of 768px or less.

In this guide, we’ll take a more in-depth look at breakpoints and how to use them in your development projects.

What are Breakpoints?

As I mentioned above, breakpoints are points at which your content will adjust based on the viewing environment. This could be based on screen width, screen height, orientation (e.g., portrait vs. landscape), or even resolution.

By setting breakpoints at specific values, you can ensure that your content always looks its best no matter how it’s being viewed.

When Should You Use Breakpoints?

There’s no magic number of breakpoints that you should use in your projects—it really depends on the project itself and what will work best for your content.

With that said, it’s generally a good idea to start with a small number of breakpoints and then add more as needed. It’s much easier to add breakpoints later on than it is to remove them, so it’s best to err on the side of caution there.

How to Set Up Breakpoints in Your Project

If you’re using some type of CSS framework, like Tailwind, you already have everything you need.

For Tailwind, it might look like this:

<div class="p-4 mt-2 md:mt-8 md:p-8">
  <!-- Content goes here -->

The above snippet is increasing the padding and margin-top values at the medium breakpoint.

If you aren’t using any type of CSS framework, it’s easy to roll your own media queries. You can emulate the same pattern as above using this CSS.

  .box {
    padding: 1rem;
    margin-top: 2rem;

  @media screen and (min-width: 640px) {
    .box {
      padding: 2rem;
      margin-top: 4rem;

<div class="box">
  <!-- Content goes here -->

Wrapping up

Breakpoints are an essential tool for front-end developers and they can be used to ensure that your content always looks its best no matter how it’s being viewed.

That’s the end goal.

You want to make sure your content and designs look good across every device that your potential visitors are using to view your websites.