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Carol Skelly for Codeply

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Bootstrap 5 Sidebar Examples

Now that Bootstrap 5 has a Offcanvas component 👏, it makes sense to explore building a Bootstrap 5 Sidebar. Sidebars are often used for vertical navigation, but they can really be used for any content that's an aside to main content.

Sidebars can get complex. There are many things to consider...

  • Responsive? different width, visibility or orientation based on screen width?

  • Multi-level? do the nav items have sub levels? Will this impact height, scrolling or visibility of items?

  • Toggleable? can the sidebar be toggled by a button or "hamburger"?

  • Push vs. Overlay? is main content hidden behind or next to the sidebar?

  • Left or Right? is the sidebar to the left or right of main content?

  • Fixed or Sticky? how is the sidebar positioned on page scroll?

  • Animation Style? slide left/right/up/down?, collapse?

IMO, the best way to get after all of the above considerations is to look at various Sidebar examples. These examples demonstrate Sidebars with navigation since that's what I consider to be the primary function. The examples also use common page layouts and content, because Sidebars are often impacted by the entire page layout.

Sidebar Example 1

Left vertical sidebar with submenus

Here's a left side 2-level vertical sidebar with collapsible menu items. The menu functions like an "accordion" where only a single menu is open at a time. It's also responsive which allows the main content area to be visible. The sidebar shrinks in width, hides the text labels and collapses to icons only on mobile devices.

Alt Text

HTML Markup

<div class="container-fluid">
    <div class="row flex-nowrap">
        <div class="col-auto col-md-3 col-xl-2 px-sm-2 px-0 bg-dark">
            <div class="d-flex flex-column align-items-center align-items-sm-start px-3 pt-2 text-white min-vh-100">
                <a href="/" class="d-flex align-items-center pb-3 mb-md-0 me-md-auto text-white text-decoration-none">
                    <span class="fs-5 d-none d-sm-inline">Menu</span>
                </a>
                <ul class="nav nav-pills flex-column mb-sm-auto mb-0 align-items-center align-items-sm-start" id="menu">
                    <li class="nav-item">
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link align-middle px-0">
                            <i class="fs-4 bi-house"></i> <span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Home</span>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#submenu1" data-bs-toggle="collapse" class="nav-link px-0 align-middle">
                            <i class="fs-4 bi-speedometer2"></i> <span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Dashboard</span> </a>
                        <ul class="collapse show nav flex-column ms-1" id="submenu1" data-bs-parent="#menu">
                            <li class="w-100">
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Item</span> 1 </a>
                            </li>
                            <li>
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Item</span> 2 </a>
                            </li>
                        </ul>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0 align-middle">
                            <i class="fs-4 bi-table"></i> <span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Orders</span></a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#submenu2" data-bs-toggle="collapse" class="nav-link px-0 align-middle ">
                            <i class="fs-4 bi-bootstrap"></i> <span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Bootstrap</span></a>
                        <ul class="collapse nav flex-column ms-1" id="submenu2" data-bs-parent="#menu">
                            <li class="w-100">
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Item</span> 1</a>
                            </li>
                            <li>
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Item</span> 2</a>
                            </li>
                        </ul>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#submenu3" data-bs-toggle="collapse" class="nav-link px-0 align-middle">
                            <i class="fs-4 bi-grid"></i> <span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Products</span> </a>
                            <ul class="collapse nav flex-column ms-1" id="submenu3" data-bs-parent="#menu">
                            <li class="w-100">
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Product</span> 1</a>
                            </li>
                            <li>
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Product</span> 2</a>
                            </li>
                            <li>
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Product</span> 3</a>
                            </li>
                            <li>
                                <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0"> <span class="d-none d-sm-inline">Product</span> 4</a>
                            </li>
                        </ul>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link px-0 align-middle">
                            <i class="fs-4 bi-people"></i> <span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Customers</span> </a>
                    </li>
                </ul>
                <hr>
                <div class="dropdown pb-4">
                    <a href="#" class="d-flex align-items-center text-white text-decoration-none dropdown-toggle" id="dropdownUser1" data-bs-toggle="dropdown" aria-expanded="false">
                        <img src="https://github.com/mdo.png" alt="hugenerd" width="30" height="30" class="rounded-circle">
                        <span class="d-none d-sm-inline mx-1">loser</span>
                    </a>
                    <ul class="dropdown-menu dropdown-menu-dark text-small shadow">
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">New project...</a></li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Settings</a></li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Profile</a></li>
                        <li>
                            <hr class="dropdown-divider">
                        </li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Sign out</a></li>
                    </ul>
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
        <div class="col py-3">
            Content area...
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
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Example 1 - Demo


Sidebar Example 2

Vertical sidebar that changes to navbar on mobile

This 2nd example is a vertical sidebar (on large screens) that switches to a horizontal navbar (on smaller mobile screens). It's a multi-level sidebar with collapsible menu items. The menu functions like an "accordion" where only a single menu is open at a time.

This sidebar layout also considers sticky and scrolling behaviors. The sidebar and bottom footer both appear fixed on larger screens. Only the content area is scrollable (when content height allows). On mobile screens, the horizontal sidebar remains fixed at the top (using sticky position), and the remaining content and footer sections scroll the entire page height. For this reason a small CSS change is need to make the height responsive...

Alt Text

HTML Markup

<div class="container-fluid">
    <div class="row">
        <div class="col-sm-auto bg-light sticky-top">
            <div class="d-flex flex-sm-column flex-row flex-nowrap bg-light align-items-center sticky-top">
                <a href="/" class="d-block p-3 link-dark text-decoration-none" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Icon-only">
                    <i class="bi-bootstrap fs-1"></i>
                </a>
                <ul class="nav nav-pills nav-flush flex-sm-column flex-row flex-nowrap mb-auto mx-auto text-center align-items-center">
                    <li class="nav-item">
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Home">
                            <i class="bi-house fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Dashboard">
                            <i class="bi-speedometer2 fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Orders">
                            <i class="bi-table fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Products">
                            <i class="bi-heart fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Customers">
                            <i class="bi-people fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                </ul>
                <div class="dropdown">
                    <a href="#" class="d-flex align-items-center justify-content-center p-3 link-dark text-decoration-none dropdown-toggle" id="dropdownUser3" data-bs-toggle="dropdown" aria-expanded="false">
                        <i class="bi-person-circle h2"></i>
                    </a>
                    <ul class="dropdown-menu text-small shadow" aria-labelledby="dropdownUser3">
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">New project...</a></li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Settings</a></li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Profile</a></li>
                    </ul>
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
        <div class="col-sm p-3 min-vh-100">
            <!-- content -->
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
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Example 2 - Demo

If you don't need the sticky footer, here's a slight variation that doesn't reguire extra CSS


Sidebar Example 3

Sidebar with Bootstrap icons

The next example is similar to the prior as it changes to horizontal orientation on mobile. This full height example has big beautiful icons from Bootstrap icons. This example also use sticky position to make the sidebar appear fixed as the page is scrolled.

Alt Text

HTML Markup

<div class="container-fluid">
    <div class="row">
        <div class="col-sm-auto bg-light sticky-top">
            <div class="d-flex flex-sm-column flex-row flex-nowrap bg-light align-items-center sticky-top">
                <a href="/" class="d-block p-3 link-dark text-decoration-none" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Icon-only">
                    <i class="bi-bootstrap fs-1"></i>
                </a>
                <ul class="nav nav-pills nav-flush flex-sm-column flex-row flex-nowrap mb-auto mx-auto text-center align-items-center">
                    <li class="nav-item">
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Home">
                            <i class="bi-house fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Dashboard">
                            <i class="bi-speedometer2 fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Orders">
                            <i class="bi-table fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Products">
                            <i class="bi-heart fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                    <li>
                        <a href="#" class="nav-link py-3 px-2" title="" data-bs-toggle="tooltip" data-bs-placement="right" data-bs-original-title="Customers">
                            <i class="bi-people fs-1"></i>
                        </a>
                    </li>
                </ul>
                <div class="dropdown">
                    <a href="#" class="d-flex align-items-center justify-content-center p-3 link-dark text-decoration-none dropdown-toggle" id="dropdownUser3" data-bs-toggle="dropdown" aria-expanded="false">
                        <i class="bi-person-circle h2"></i>
                    </a>
                    <ul class="dropdown-menu text-small shadow" aria-labelledby="dropdownUser3">
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">New project...</a></li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Settings</a></li>
                        <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Profile</a></li>
                    </ul>
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
        <div class="col-sm p-3 min-vh-100">
            <!-- content -->
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
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Example 3 - Demo


Sidebar Example 4

Collapse off-canvas left sidebar

This is the first collapsible example, and it's done using Bootstrap 5's new Offcanvas component. This left sidebar overlays the main content area and can be hidden/shown using a toggle button.

Alt Text

HTML Markup

<div class="offcanvas offcanvas-start w-25" tabindex="-1" id="offcanvas" data-bs-keyboard="false" data-bs-backdrop="false">
    <div class="offcanvas-header">
        <h6 class="offcanvas-title d-none d-sm-block" id="offcanvas">Menu</h6>
        <button type="button" class="btn-close text-reset" data-bs-dismiss="offcanvas" aria-label="Close"></button>
    </div>
    <div class="offcanvas-body px-0">
        <ul class="nav nav-pills flex-column mb-sm-auto mb-0 align-items-start" id="menu">
            <li class="nav-item">
                <a href="#" class="nav-link text-truncate">
                    <i class="fs-5 bi-house"></i><span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Home</span>
                </a>
            </li>
            <li>
                <a href="#submenu1" data-bs-toggle="collapse" class="nav-link text-truncate">
                    <i class="fs-5 bi-speedometer2"></i><span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Dashboard</span> </a>
            </li>
            <li>
                <a href="#" class="nav-link text-truncate">
                    <i class="fs-5 bi-table"></i><span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Orders</span></a>
            </li>
            <li class="dropdown">
                <a href="#" class="nav-link dropdown-toggle  text-truncate" id="dropdown" data-bs-toggle="dropdown" aria-expanded="false">
                    <i class="fs-5 bi-bootstrap"></i><span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Bootstrap</span>
                </a>
                <ul class="dropdown-menu text-small shadow" aria-labelledby="dropdown">
                    <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">New project...</a></li>
                    <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Settings</a></li>
                    <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Profile</a></li>
                    <li>
                        <hr class="dropdown-divider">
                    </li>
                    <li><a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Sign out</a></li>
                </ul>
            </li>
            <li>
                <a href="#" class="nav-link text-truncate">
                    <i class="fs-5 bi-grid"></i><span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Products</span></a>
            </li>
            <li>
                <a href="#" class="nav-link text-truncate">
                    <i class="fs-5 bi-people"></i><span class="ms-1 d-none d-sm-inline">Customers</span> </a>
            </li>
        </ul>
    </div>
</div>
<div class="container-fluid">
    <div class="row">
        <div class="col min-vh-100 py-3">
            <!-- toggler -->
            <button class="btn float-end" data-bs-toggle="offcanvas" data-bs-target="#offcanvas" role="button">
                <i class="bi bi-arrow-right-square-fill fs-3" data-bs-toggle="offcanvas" data-bs-target="#offcanvas"></i>
            </button>
            Content..
        </div>
    </div>
</div>
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Example 4 - Offcanvas "overlay" Sidebar Demo


Sidebar Example 5

Navbar with search form and left sticky sidebar

This last example considers other components like the top Navbar and main content area. The sidebar uses sticky-top to appear fixed on the left side so that it remains in place as the page is scrolled. On mobile, the sidebar switches to a horizontal icon bar positioned below the Navbar.

Example 5 - Navbar + Sidebar Demo


Sidebar Example 6

Simple offcanvas "push" sidebar

If you read my Bootstrap 5 Offcanvas article you've seen that the Offcanvas component is for an "overlay" type sidebar. However, if you want a "push" type sidebar, the Offcanvas component isn't going to work.

To create a "push" type sidebar, instead use a Bootstrap grid column to contain the sidebar, and the Collapse component to toggle it open/closed...

<div class="container-fluid">
    <div class="row flex-nowrap">
        <div class="col-auto px-0">
            <div id="sidebar" class="collapse collapse-horizontal show border-end">
                <div id="sidebar-nav" class="list-group border-0 rounded-0 text-sm-start min-vh-100">
                    <a href="#" class="list-group-item border-end-0 d-inline-block text-truncate" data-bs-parent="#sidebar"><span>Item</span> </a>
                    (more nav items) ... 
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
        <main class="col ps-md-2 pt-2">
            <a href="#" data-bs-target="#sidebar" data-bs-toggle="collapse" class="border rounded-3 p-1 text-decoration-none"><i class="bi bi-list bi-lg py-2 p-1"></i> Menu</a>
            <div class="row">
                <div class="col-12">
                    Content area...
                </div>
            </div>
        </main>
    </div>
</div>
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Example 6 - Simple "push" Sidebar Demo


Did you notice that all of the above examples were done using only Bootstrap classes? 😎 This means you don't need custom CSS to create a Sidebar with Bootstrap 5.

It's also worth taking a look 👀 at Bootstrap's official sidebar examples. The official Bootstrap examples don't consider entire page layout, but still may be helpful when considering the sidebar content alone. Discover what else is new in Bootstrap 5

I hope these Sidebar example will kickstart your next Bootstrap project. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Top comments (27)

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pgarciabaez profile image
Patricio García

I have a problem in Sidebar Example 2 when I try to introduce a big responsive table in the text. As you can see in my fork of it (codeply.com/p/PNoCYKK8Wk), using table view there is an overlapping between the sidebar and the contents. Do you know how I can fix this problem?

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hayesb profile image
Brian C. Hayes • Edited

I know this is a bit old, but I think what you were saying is that the content area is not forcing the nav to collapse to the top of the screen when on mobile devices. If there is not enough content in the content area, the nav bar is expanding vertically.

To fix this, I looked at the other examples, and noticed that many of them are using this on the div tags around the content "min-vh-100". This is basically saying minimum vertical heigh of 100% where the content is displayed.

<class="col pt-4 min-vh-100">
CONTENT HERE
</div>

This should push the nav bar up so that it is compressed to the correct size.

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carolskelly profile image
Carol Skelly

I'm not seeing overlap.. I'm seeing the table wrap. Is that what you mean?

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pgarciabaez profile image
Patricio García

There is an overlap when I scroll, but finally I solved it adding "col-sm-9" in div class of line 62. Thanks

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afif profile image
Temani Afif

Ah, Zim is on DEV. Nice seeing you here 👍

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carolskelly profile image
Carol Skelly

Hello 👋 my SO friend, Nice see you too!

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afif profile image
Temani Afif

I want you to crash DEV 💥 with Boostrap posts!

PS: you can add html in front of the 3 slashes to have a colored code dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/up...

Thread Thread
 
carolskelly profile image
Carol Skelly

Cool... much better 😉 thanks for the tip!

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neutromancer profile image
neutromancer

Neat examples, I have a problem with Example 2 tho... in the "sticky footer" version, both the footer and the top navbar stretch to fill the space if there is not enough text to fill the page. This doesn't happen in the "normal footer" version. Is there any class or tag that can be added to prevent this?
This isn't normally noticeable in the Demo since there's a bunch of placeholder text, but if I delete some of it, it stretches.

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viragdesai profile image
Virag Dilip Desai

Very nice! Great, simple and fantastic examples!

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lexiebkm profile image
Alexander B.K. • Edited

Good article. But I am not really satisfied when seeing the result of Example 6, i.e "Push" Sidebar.
My only concern is on the placement of the element/component used for toggling the sidebar. When the sidebar is shown/open, I think the appearance of the toggle element on the main element is not intuitive, even a bit confusing. The sidebar is already open, why should we need to display the toggle element on the main element/section ? In that situation, it appears as if there will be another menu content when user click the toggle element.
We quite often see in real applications, the toggle element is usually placed on the sidebar itself when the sidebar is open, commonly using certain icon on the right side of the sidebar. Only when the sidebar is closed, then the toggle element (with text) is placed and appears on the main element/section.
I realize that in order to achieve that purpose, it needs additional work and might be tricky.

For comparison, we can see on bootsnipp.com/snippets/Q0dAX which uses version 4, but yeah... it requires additional work on CSS.

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franbejarano profile image
Fran Bejarano

Hello.

I am new coding with bootstrap and web developmente in general. I was wondering if there is a way to implement this sidebar in every page without the need to paste the code in all the pages.

Thanks!

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franpn84 profile image
Francesco

Hi everyone,
I really liked the examples and wanted to try Sidebar Example 6. I made a new React project and added bootstrap and react-bootstrap latest versions. Clicking the button does not close the menu. Do you happen to know how I could fix this?

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2pulses profile image
2pulses

Nicely done! One question: how does one place the horizontal Navbar in Example #2 to the bottom as opposed to the top? I've tried changing to "fixed-bottom" but then the Sidebar no longer occupies the full length of the screen.

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devmedtz profile image
DevMed

Its real amazing

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paulkd profile image
Paul Dunderdale

I haven't checked/tried your code, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Bootstrap, or the Bootstrap Offcanvas component (which displays just fine on mobile).

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foussenitoure profile image
foussenitoure

thank DEV community i am just used your templates sidebar

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udo_schmitz_184a9d42ff3bd profile image
Udo Schmitz

Super interesting. Unfortunately I can’t see any of the examples. Codeply certificate expired?

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udo_schmitz_184a9d42ff3bd profile image
Udo Schmitz

Working again :)

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faizbyp profile image
Faiz Byputra

Thanks! Looking for this but on the Bootstrap 5 documentation there's only an offcanvas

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davidvandertuijn profile image
David van der Tuijn

Looking for examples with font awesome icons

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ramone04 profile image
Ramone04

Hello, can you please tell me what is the stylesheet link?

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