react-hook-form vs formik comparison

React-Hook-Form vs Formik: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

React-Hook-Form and Formik are the most popular libraries for handling forms in React applications. Both have their own sets of pros and cons, which can help in deciding which one to use based on the specific needs of your project.

💡 Note: Both of these react form libraries are open source, so be cognizant of that (a reason for the cons provided in this article). If you are a SaaS product looking for a deep integration with more extensible form components that can fit within the tentacles of your application(s) and that is well supported by more than just a OSS community, consider a more robust form library like Joyfill.

Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the pros and cons of React-Hook-Form and Formik.

What is React-Hook-Form?

React-Hook-Form is a lightweight and performant library for managing form state and validation in React applications. It leverages React hooks to provide an intuitive API for handling form inputs, validations, and submissions.

React-Hook-Form Pros:

  1. Performance: React-Hook-Form is built with performance in mind. It minimizes re-renders by leveraging uncontrolled components and ref APIs, which can be especially beneficial for large forms.
  2. Minimal Boilerplate: It requires less code and configuration compared to Formik. The API is simple and straightforward, making it easy to set up and use.
  3. Built-in Validation: It offers built-in support for form validation using either custom functions or schema-based validation with libraries like Yup.
  4. Tiny Bundle Size: React-Hook-Form has a smaller bundle size compared to Formik, which can be a crucial factor in performance-sensitive applications.
  5. Flexible and Extensible: It provides flexibility in managing form state and validation. You can easily integrate it with other libraries and tools.

React-Hook-Form Cons:

  1. Learning Curve: While the API is simple, the concepts of uncontrolled components and refs might be less familiar to developers who are used to working with controlled components.
  2. Limited Built-in Features: React-Hook-Form focuses on being lightweight and performant, which means it might lack some of the built-in features that Formik provides out-of-the-box, requiring additional custom code or third-party integrations.

What is Formik?

Formik is a popular form library for React that simplifies form handling by managing form state, validation, and submission. It provides a declarative approach to building forms, reducing boilerplate code and improving code readability.

Formik Pros:

  1. Rich Features: Formik comes with a lot of built-in features such as field-level validation, nested objects, and arrays, making it very powerful for complex forms.
  2. Controlled Components: Formik uses controlled components, which can be more intuitive for developers who are familiar with this pattern in React.
  3. Ease of Use: It has a comprehensive and well-documented API, which makes it easy to set up and use for common form-related tasks.
  4. Community and Ecosystem: Formik has a large community and a mature ecosystem with many examples, plugins, and integrations.

Formik Cons:

  1. Performance: Formik can lead to performance issues with large forms due to frequent re-renders, as it uses controlled components.
  2. Boilerplate Code: It often requires more boilerplate code compared to React-Hook-Form, which can lead to larger and more complex codebases.
  3. Bundle Size: Formik has a larger bundle size, which might be a consideration for performance-critical applications.

React-Hook-Form and Formik Comparison Table

React Hook Form Formik
Gzipped bundle size 12.12KB 44.34KB
Dependencies 0 8
GitHub stars 40.2k 33.7k
Active maintenance Yes No
Performance Good Good
Documentation Good Good
License MIT Apache 2.0
NPM weekly downloads 5.2 Million 2.7 Million
Pricing Free Free
Community support Good Good
Open GitHub issues 13 688
Closed GitHub issues 4,384 1,550

The Good

The combination of simplified form management, performance optimizations, built-in validation, ease of integration, strong community support, flexibility, and enhanced developer experience makes React-Hook-Form and Formik highly desirable tools for handling forms in React applications. They help reduce boilerplate code, improve form handling efficiency, and allow developers to build robust and scalable forms with minimal effort.

The Bad and Ugly

While React-Hook-Form and Formik offer many advantages for form handling in React applications, there are valid reasons why developers might choose to avoid them. These include concerns about the learning curve, bundle size, performance, unnecessary complexity for simple forms, dependency management, a preference for native React solutions, potential issues with library maintenance, specific project requirements, and integration challenges. Developers must weigh these considerations against the benefits to determine the best approach for their specific use case.

React-Hook-Form and Formik Comparison Summary

  • Performance: React-Hook-Form generally offers better performance due to its use of uncontrolled components and ref APIs. Formik’s use of controlled components can lead to more frequent re-renders and potentially slower performance in large forms.
  • Ease of Use: Formik might be easier to use initially due to its comprehensive documentation and built-in features. React-Hook-Form requires understanding some more advanced concepts but rewards with less boilerplate and better performance.
  • Flexibility and Extensibility: Both libraries are flexible, but React-Hook-Form’s minimalistic approach can make it easier to integrate with other tools and libraries without added complexity.
  • Bundle Size: React-Hook-Form has a smaller bundle size, making it a better choice for performance-sensitive applications.

Ultimately, the choice between React-Hook-Form and Formik depends on the specific needs of your project. If performance and minimal boilerplate are top priorities, React-Hook-Form is a great choice. If you need a feature-rich solution with robust validation and form handling out-of-the-box, Formik might be more suitable.