DEV Community

Cover image for CSS Drop Shadow vs Box Shadow
Chris Bongers
Chris Bongers

Posted on • Originally published at

CSS Drop Shadow vs Box Shadow

The other day Josh made a super cool tweet about drop-shadow supporting PNG's; I didn't know it supported PNG's, so I decided to give it a go.

🔥 box-shadow doesn't work well with transparent images. filter: drop-shadow does what you'd expect, adding a shadow to the image's contents.

.my-img {
filter: drop-shadow(1px 2px 3px black);

CSS filters are so rad 🥰


— Josh ✨ (@joshwcomeau) July 30, 2020

HTML Structure

For my example we are using my favourite Pokémon "Eevee" and will place our three Eevee png's in a container.

<div class="container">
  <img src="" />
  <img src="" class="box-shadow" />
  <img src="" class="drop-shadow" />
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

As you can see one is going to be a raw example, one will have a box-shadow and the third will have the drop-shadow.

CSS Box Shadow

You probably have seen and used the box-shadow before, it's a cool feature and adds a shadow to our "box".

It works like this:

.box-shadow {
  box-shadow: 0px 0px 10px #000;
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

It puts a shadow on the image, but on the box of it.


CSS Drop Shadow

Then there is a CSS Filter which is amazing when it comes to contouring a PNG!

.drop-shadow {
  filter: drop-shadow(0px 0px 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.5));
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode


This all will result in the following Codepen.

Browser Support

As mentioned before, CSS Filters are cool, but not widely supported yet 😩.

There is a polyfill, but also limited.

CSS Filter support

Thank you for reading, and let's connect!

Thank you for reading my blog. Feel free to subscribe to my email newsletter and connect on Facebook or Twitter

Top comments (3)

christophwessels profile image
Christoph Weßels

thanks for the tip

dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers

Hi Christoph! Your welcome, hope it serves you some use in the feature.

williamhenderson profile image
William Henderson

Drop Shadow is VERY buggy on iOS so I strongly recommend not using it if your app will be used on iOS.