What's it all about?

Headroom.js is a lightweight, high-performance JS widget (with no dependencies!) that allows you to react to the user's scroll. The header on this site is a living example, it slides out of view when scrolling down and slides back in when scrolling up.

Why use it?

Fixed headers are a popular approach for keeping the primary navigation in close proximity to the user. This can reduce the effort required for a user to quickly navigate a site, but they are not without problems…

Large screens are usually landscape-oriented, meaning less vertical than horizontal space. A fixed header can therefore occupy a significant portion of the content area. Small screens are typically used in a portrait orientation. Whilst this results in more vertical space, because of the overall height of the screen a meaningfully-sized header can still be quite imposing.

Headroom.js allows you to bring elements into view when appropriate, and give focus to your content the rest of the time.

How does it work?

At it's most basic headroom.js simply adds and removes CSS classes from an element in response to a scroll event:

<!-- initially -->
<header class="headroom">

<!-- scrolling down -->
<header class="headroom headroom--unpinned">

<!-- scrolling up -->
<header class="headroom headroom--pinned">

Relying on CSS classes affords headroom.js incredible flexibility. The choice of what to do when scrolling up or down is now entirely yours - anything you can do with CSS you can do in response to the user's scroll.


Using headroom.js is really simple. It has a pure JS API, and an optional jQuery/Zepto-compatible plugin.

With pure JS

// grab an element
var myElement = document.querySelector("header");
// construct an instance of Headroom, passing the element
var headroom  = new Headroom(myElement);
// initialise

With jQuery/Zepto

// simple as this!
// NOTE: init() is implicitly called with the plugin
$("# header").headroom();

The plugin also offers a data-* API if you prefer a declarative approach.

<!-- selects $("[data-headroom]") -->
<header data-headroom>

Note: Zepto's additional data module is required for compatibility.


Headroom.js can also accept an options object to alter the way it behaves. You can see the default options by inspecting Headroom.options. The structure of an options object is as follows:

    // vertical offset in px before element is first unpinned
    offset : 0,
    // scroll tolerance in px before state changes
    tolerance : 0,
    // css classes to apply
    classes : {
        // when element is initialised
        initial : "headroom",
        // when scrolling up
        pinned : "headroom--pinned",
        // when scrolling down
        unpinned : "headroom--unpinned"


Head over to the headroom.js playroom if you want see some example usages. There you can tweak all of headroom's options and apply different CSS effects in an interactive demo.


Licensed under the MIT License.