Testing performance styled-components vs inline styles in React Native
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rn-styled-components-performance

Testing performance styled-components vs inline styles in React Native

To run this project

  • npm install
  • and open with expo

From this blog post: https://codeburst.io/a-quick-performance-comparison-of-styled-components-vs-inline-styles-in-react-native-e07adffd14cb

A Quick Performance Comparison of Styled-Components vs Inline Styles in React Native

I have often wondered what the performance differences were between styled-components and inline styles when it comes to React Native. Here, I’ll be comparing the two with several test cases. I will be using 2 different versions of styled-components for my test, one version being the latest release and the other version coming from the master branch (https://github.com/styled-components/styled-components). Since Max Stoiber, had informed me that they had done some performance optimizations on master.

The first test case I have includes a ScrollView that will render 10,000 elements. We use ScrollView rather than ListView since ListView is optimized for big data sets, and it doesn’t render all the data at once.
While ScrollView renders all its react child components at once.

I created 2 different screens that each housed a ListView and ScrollView, with child components created using styled-components and inline styles.

Here’s , this is the screen that has inline styles. It contains both a renderListView & renderScrollView functions (swapping them out when I test, rather than creating a different screen)

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { ListView, ScrollView, StyleSheet, View, Text } from 'react-native';
import testData from './test-data';

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  row: {
    paddingTop: 5,
    paddingBottom: 5,
    borderBottomWidth: 1,
    borderBottomColor: 'grey',
  },
  scrollView: {
    flex: 1,
  },
});

class TestScreen extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    const ds = new ListView.
({ rowHasChanged: (r1, r2) => r1 !== r2 });
    this.state = {
      dataSource: ds.cloneWithRows(testData),
    };
  }

  componentWillMount() {
    
.log(`ListView - Rendering ${testData.length} components`);
    
.time('inline');
  }

  componentDidMount() {
    
.timeEnd('inline');
  }

  renderRow(row) {
    return <View style={styles.row}><Text>{row.name}</Text></View>;
  }

  renderListView() {
    return (
      <ListView
        dataSource={this.state.dataSource}
        renderRow={this.renderRow}
        enableEmptySections={true}
      />
    );
  }

  renderScrollView() {
    return (
      <ScrollView style={styles.scrollView}>
        {testData.map((row, index) => (
          <View style={styles.row} key={index}><Text>{row.name}</Text></View>
        ))}
      </ScrollView>
    );
  }

  render() {
    return this.renderListView();
  }
}
export default TestScreen;

Here’s , and it includes all components even the ListView and ScrollView initialized with styled-components.

import React, { Component } from 'react';
import { ListView } from 'react-native';
import styled from 'styled-components/native';
import testData from './test-data';

const Row = styled.View`
  padding-top: 5;
  padding-bottom: 5;
  border-bottom-width: 1;
  border-bottom-color: grey;
`;

const RowText = styled.Text`
`;

const ScrollViewStyled = styled.ScrollView`
  flex: 1;
`;

const ListViewStyled = styled.ListView`
`;

class TestScreenStyled extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    const ds = new ListView.
({ rowHasChanged: (r1, r2) => r1 !== r2 });
    this.state = {
      dataSource: ds.cloneWithRows(testData),
    };
  }
  componentWillMount() {
    
.log(`ListView - Rendering ${testData.length} components`);
    
.time('styled');
  }

  componentDidMount() {
    
.timeEnd('styled');
  }

  renderRow(row) {
    return <Row><RowText>{row.name}</RowText></Row>;
  }

  renderListView() {
    return (
      <ListViewStyled
        dataSource={this.state.dataSource}
        renderRow={this.renderRow}
        enableEmptySections={true}
      />
    );
  }

  renderScrollView() {
    return (
      <ScrollViewStyled>
        {testData.map((row, index) => <Row key={index}><RowText>{row.name}</RowText></Row>)}
      </ScrollViewStyled>
    );
  }

  render() {
    return this.renderListView();
  }
}

export default TestScreenStyled;

Performance Results

Performance Results

The current version of styled-components performed way better than the latest release version. There is about a 1–2 second performance difference in styled-components latest release version vs master in the ScrollView tests. I only tested the time it took from componentWillMount to componentDidMount, for rendering components in both ListView and ScrollView. When it comes to rendering smaller amount of components (1000 and under) in a ScrollView or using the ListView for rendering any amount of components, then the difference is negligible between styled-components and inline styles.

When you’re rendering large amounts of components in a list, you would want to use a ListView rather than a ScrollView, since ScrollView just loads everything at once. So you would never really use a ScrollView to render a large set of components. The time difference between rendering components in a ListView in styled-components versus inline styles, is fairly small for all different amounts of components rendered. Even when it comes to rendering large amounts of components in the ScrollView, the latest version on master for styled-components comes fairly close to inline styles.

Conclusion

Styled-components is coming closer and closer to being as fast as inline styles. I recommend everyone to give it a try in their project, it’s pretty rare if ever that you’ll actually render large amounts of components in a ScrollView. The ListView performance for styled-components is almost the same to the performance of inline styles even for extremely large component sets. The amount of context and readability that styled-components provides to your components and screens is well worth the small performance costs (if any) in many instances. I have no doubt in my mind as future updates to styled-components happen, we will start to see the performance gap become even smaller.