Easy to understand React Hook recipes by Gabe Ragland
What's all this about?

Hooks are a new addition in React that lets you use state and other React features without writing a class. This website provides easy to understand code examples to help you learn how hooks work and inspire you to take advantage of them in your next project. You may also like my React app builder ✨️

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This hook makes it super easy to utilize media queries in your component logic. In our example below we render a different number of columns depending on which media query matches the current screen width, and then distribute images amongst the columns in a way that limits column height difference (we don't want one column way longer than the rest).

You could create a hook that directly measures screen width instead of using media queries, but this method is nice because it makes it easy to share media queries between JS and your stylesheet. See it in action in the CodeSandbox Demo.

import { useState, useEffect } from 'react';

function App() {
  const columnCount = useMedia(
    // Media queries
    ['(min-width: 1500px)', '(min-width: 1000px)', '(min-width: 600px)'],
    // Column counts (relates to above media queries by array index)
    [5, 4, 3],
    // Default column count

  // Create array of column heights (start at 0)
  let columnHeights = new Array(columnCount).fill(0);

  // Create array of arrays that will hold each column's items
  let columns = new Array(columnCount).fill().map(() => []);

  data.forEach(item => {
    // Get index of shortest column
    const shortColumnIndex = columnHeights.indexOf(Math.min(...columnHeights));
    // Add item
    // Update height
    columnHeights[shortColumnIndex] += item.height;

  // Render columns and items
  return (
    <div className="App">
      <div className="columns is-mobile">
        { => (
          <div className="column">
            { => (
                  // Size image container to aspect ratio of image
                  paddingTop: (item.height / item.width) * 100 + '%'
                <img src={item.image} alt="" />

// Hook
function useMedia(queries, values, defaultValue) {
  // Array containing a media query list for each query
  const mediaQueryLists = => window.matchMedia(q));

  // Function that gets value based on matching media query
  const getValue = () => {
    // Get index of first media query that matches
    const index = mediaQueryLists.findIndex(mql => mql.matches);
    // Return related value or defaultValue if none
    return typeof values[index] !== 'undefined' ? values[index] : defaultValue;

  // State and setter for matched value
  const [value, setValue] = useState(getValue);

    () => {
      // Event listener callback
      // Note: By defining getValue outside of useEffect we ensure that it has ...
      // ... current values of hook args (as this hook callback is created once on mount).
      const handler = () => setValue(getValue);
      // Set a listener for each media query with above handler as callback.
      mediaQueryLists.forEach(mql => mql.addListener(handler));
      // Remove listeners on cleanup
      return () => mediaQueryLists.forEach(mql => mql.removeListener(handler));
    [] // Empty array ensures effect is only run on mount and unmount

  return value;
  • useMedia v1 - Original version of this recipe that uses a single event listener on browser resize. Works well, but only for screen width media queries.
  • Masonry Grid - Original source of our useMedia v1 code. This demo uses react-spring to animate when images change columns.
  • Divjoy - The easiest way to start your next React project. Pick everything you need, like auth, analytics, payments, and more + a nice looking template and then export a complete React codebase. It saves you weeks of development time.
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