Accordion and Expansion Panel in pure CSS


Recently I needed to build a simple FAQ page for an SSG website and wanted to make it as light and simple as possible. So, I quickly looked for ‘accordion’ and ‘expansion panels’ examples in popular libraries. No one of them used <details> tag. All went with a bunch of <div>’s with <button> and obviously applied some JS. Even though <details> is especially suited for that kind of thing, and with 0 JS.

Yes, I know we can’t animate <details>’s height on state change (open-close) without JS, which is definitely an annoyance, but is it really necessary?

<details> is a browser native solution, and a good one. Should I not forget it!

Now, let’s build an accordion with <details>. Here Demo and Repo

First, we would need some html

		<span>Some text ...</span>

		<svg class="plus" viewBox="0 0 16 16">
				d="M8 0a1 1 0 0 1 1 1v6h6a1 1 0 1 1 0 2H9v6a1 1 0 1 1-2 0V9H1a1 1 0 0 1 0-2h6V1a1 1 0 0 1 1-1z"

	<div class="content">
		<span>Some text ...</span>

SVG is ➕ icon on closed state, and will be rotated 45deg to ❌ in open state.
To get rid of triangle marker is suffice to change display to flex or grid on <summary>

Let’s define variables. It helps me to update / finetune styling.

:root {
	--text-color: hsl(0, 0%, 20%);
	--bg-color: hsl(0, 0%, 100%);

	--hs-base: 300, 100%;
	--primary: hsl(var(--hs-base), 15%);

	--summary-bg-color: hsl(var(--hs-base), 98%);
	--summary-hover-bg-color: hsl(var(--hs-base), 90%);

	--border: 3px solid hsl(var(--hs-base), 80%);
	--border-radius: 0.66rem;

	--padding-x: clamp(1rem, 5%, 2.5rem);

	--transition-duration: 300ms;
	--transition-timing-function: ease-in;

<details> tag doesn’t need a lot of styling, just add borders.

details {
	overflow: hidden;
	border: var(--border);
	border-top: none;

details:first-child {
	border: var(--border);
	border-radius: var(--border-radius) var(--border-radius) 0 0;

details:last-child {
	border-radius: 0 0 var(--border-radius) var(--border-radius);

And now <details>’s children elements

summary {
	display: grid;
	grid-template-columns: 1fr 1em;
	align-items: center;
	gap: 2em;

	font-size: calc(1rem + 2px);
	font-weight: bold;

	cursor: pointer; /* I wonder why is this not default behavior */

	background-color: var(--summary-bg-color);
	padding: 1.25rem var(--padding-x);

	transition-property: color, background-color;

details[open] > summary {
	font-style: italic;

summary:hover {
	outline: none;
	background-color: var(--summary-hover-bg-color);
	color: var(--primary); /* Icon also will change color */

details .content {
	position: relative;
	z-index: -1; /* for animation, hide behind summary */

	background-color: var(--bg-color);
	color: var(--text-color);

	padding: 1px var(--padding-x);

svg {
	width: 1em;
	height: 1em;
	fill: currentColor;

details[open] {
	transform: rotate(45deg);
	transition-property: transform;

Nice thing about SVG in HTML is that we can set fill: currentColor, which would be impossible with background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml, ...") or <img src=”x.svg”>.

Some animation if dear user is ok with it.

@keyframes appear {
	0% {
		opacity: 0;
		transform: translateY(max(-2rem, -100%));
	100% {
		opacity: 1;
		transform: translateY(1);

@media (prefers-reduced-motion: no-preference) {
	details * {
		transition-duration: var(--transition-duration);
		transition-timing-function: var(--transition-timing-function);

	details[open] .content {
		animation: appear var(--transition-duration) var(