What unit or approach is best (or at least good!) practice for using measurements relative to screen size? I'm constraining this question to mobile devices, which I suspect may affect the answers. I'd thus wrap the styles inside @media (hover:none), (hover:on-demand) { }.

1 Answer 1


[...] measurements relative to screen size

For elements at the top level within <body> you can use %.

But in many cases I'd be inclined to use viewport units:

  • vw - 1% of the viewport width
  • vh - 1% of the viewport height
  • vmax - equal to 1% of whichever is larger, viewport width or viewport height
  • vmin - equal to 1% of whichever is smaller, viewport width or viewport height

Further Reading:

  • 1
    One thing that's slightly bad about vw is that if there's a scrollbar then the box will ignore it, leaving horizontal and vertical scrolling. But vh always works fine. Aug 25, 2020 at 15:18
  • 2
    Agreed, @Sven - 100vw and 100% of <body> give different results depending on what type of scrollbar you're dealing with - a touchscreen style scrollbar or a desktop window viewport style scrollbar. This is consistently a pain, but it won't be resolved until we have OS-agnostic scrollbars.
    – Rounin
    Aug 25, 2020 at 18:01

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