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How to create a sticky navigation with only CSS

Sticky navs are navigation components that stick to the top of the page as you scroll down.

For a long time, making the nav “stick” required using JavaScript to detect when the navigation was going to scroll past the top of the page, then adding a class to switch to position: absolute.

But today, you can use a simple CSS property to get the same effect. Let’s look at how it works.

position: sticky

The position: sticky property tells the browser to let an element scroll with the rest of the document until it reaches to the top of the page.

Once it does, it should stick there, and let the rest of the elements on the page scroll behind it.

.sticky {
	position: -webkit-sticky;
	position: sticky;
	top: 0;
<nav class="sticky">
		<li><a href="#a">Section A</a></li>
		<li><a href="#b">Section B</a></li>
		<li><a href="#c">Section C</a></li>
		<li><a href="#d">Section D</a></li>

Here’s a demo you can play with.

I’m continually amazed at CSS’s ability to replace complex JavaScript with one-liner properties. More of this please!

Browser Compatibility

The position: sticky property works in all modern browsers, but cannot currently be used on thead or tr elements in Chrome or Edge (it does work on th elements, though).

It has no support in IE 11 and older and some more basic mobile browsers.

Some webkit browsers require the -webkit- prefix (position: -webkit-sticky), so you should always include it for the time being.