Matthew Miner

Dark Mode CSS

Just in time for Halloween but late for the 20th anniversary of The Smashing Pumpkins’ Adore[1], Apple added support for dark mode on the web via the prefers-color-scheme media query in Safari Technology Preview. Lately I’ve noticed developer-centric sites like Docker and Microsoft’s docs offer a dedicated switch to toggle between light and dark themes, but this CSS-only solution is way easier.

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {
    body {
        background: black; /* like my soul */
    }
}

Implementing dark mode support on this blog was a breeze thanks to its grand total of 13 colours. I took the lazy route and just inverted most of them using Sass’ invert function. The end result looks respectable given the minimal effort expended.

Dark mode CSS comparison

I doubt we’ll see widespread adoption of prefers-color-scheme — providing multiple themes would be a serious undertaking for many websites — but it’ll be useful for web apps that strive to honour the user’s preferences. Because the customer is always right, power to the people, yadda yadda yadda.


  1. This was the best goth reference I could think up. I'm not even sure it counts. I missed the goth boat in my youth.