Creating and using theme values

Access the current theme in context with useTheme. Tamagui themes operate much the same as CSS variables  do, and so they can nest and override each other contextually.

Note that the object that useTheme returns is the current theme, proxied upwards to every parent theme, finally proxying back to your tokens. This means it behaves just like CSS variables at well, at runtime.

A short example:

import { YStack, useTheme } from 'tamagui'
const App = () => {
const theme = useTheme()
return <YStack backgroundColor={theme.color1.val} />

The useTheme hook returns your Theme turned into a ThemeParsed, which means it turns all values into a Variable:

background: {
val: '#000',
variable: 'var(--background)',
name: 'background',
isVar: true,
color: {
val: '#fff',
variable: 'var(--color)',
name: 'color',
isVar: true,

The useTheme hook further adds a .get() helper function on each Variable for extra performance. On the web, this will return the .variable property and avoid re-rendering if values change, as it assumes you are using the CSS variables it generates to update styles. Meanwhile on native it will return .val and re-render always. But - if you enable the fastSchemeChange setting on createTamagui then get() will return a DynamicColorIOS  on iOS and avoid re-rendering there too - unless you do get('web') in which case it will only optimize for web.

import { Stack, useTheme } from '@tamagui/core'
import { SomeExternalComponent } from 'some-external-component'
const App = () => {
const theme = useTheme()
// on the web this is something like var(--background) and will avoid re-renders
// on native it will be something like #fff and will re-render
const background = theme.background.get()
// if you needed to access it in a way that always returns the raw value
const backgroundValue = theme.background.val
return (
<SomeExternalComponent style={{ backgroundColor: background, }} />

You can mix and match useMedia and useTheme, and the compiler understands most basic usages, even with nested logic or constants within the file or imports white-listed in your build setup:

import { YStack, useMedia, useTheme } from 'tamagui'
const App = () => {
const theme = useTheme()
const media = useMedia()
return (
<YStack y={media.sm ? 10 : 0} backgroundColor={media.lg ? theme.red : theme.blue} {...(media.xl && { y: theme.space2, })} />

This will compile on the web to:

const _cn =
' _alignItems-1oszu61 _boxSizing-deolkf _display-6koalj _flexBasis-1mlwlqe _flexDirection-eqz5dr _flexShrink-1q142lx _transform-_sm_1exagq _transform-_sm0_1wpzndr _backgroundColor-_lg_no4z4g _backgroundColor-_lg0_1qoifqd _transform-_xl_gqa6p0'
import { YStack, useMedia, useTheme } from 'tamagui'
const App = () => {
return <div className={_cn} />

And the following CSS:

._alignItems-1oszu61 {
-ms-flex-align: stretch;
-webkit-align-items: stretch;
-webkit-box-align: stretch;
align-items: stretch;
._boxSizing-deolkf {
box-sizing: border-box;
._display-6koalj {
display: -webkit-box;
display: -moz-box;
display: -ms-flexbox;
display: -webkit-flex;
display: flex;
._flexBasis-1mlwlqe {
-ms-flex-preferred-size: auto;
-webkit-flex-basis: auto;
flex-basis: auto;
._flexDirection-eqz5dr {
-ms-flex-direction: column;
-webkit-box-direction: normal;
-webkit-box-orient: vertical;
-webkit-flex-direction: column;
flex-direction: column;
._flexShrink-1q142lx {
-ms-flex-negative: 0;
-webkit-flex-shrink: 0;
flex-shrink: 0;
@media (max-width: 860px) {
:root:root ._transform-_sm_1exagq {
-webkit-transform: translateY(10px);
transform: translateY(10px);
@media not all and (max-width: 860px) {
:root:root ._transform-_sm0_1wpzndr {
-webkit-transform: translateY(0px);
transform: translateY(0px);
@media (min-width: 1120px) {
:root:root:root ._backgroundColor-_lg_no4z4g {
background-color: var(--red);
@media not all and (min-width: 1120px) {
:root:root:root ._backgroundColor-_lg0_1qoifqd {
background-color: var(--blue);
@media (min-width: 1280px) {
:root:root:root:root ._transform-_xl_gqa6p0 {
-webkit-transform: translateY(var(--space2));
transform: translateY(var(--space2));

Using outside of styling

You can useTheme() (and useMedia()) at runtime. Like useMedia, useTheme will only re-render when it has to, and often you can skip re-renders altogether by either passing the values to a Tamagui styled component, or by using the helper getVariable:


If you access theme.bg.val in your render function, the component will only re-render when theme.bg changes.

import { theme, View } from '@tamagui/core'
export default () => {
const theme = useTheme()
// access the value
return (
<View backgroundColor={theme.color1} />

Changing the theme at the hook level

This is a more advanced use for building custom hooks or components, but you can pass in a theme name and a component theme name (as discussed here) to grab the right subset theme:

function MyComponent(props) {
const theme = useTheme(props.theme, 'MyComponent')

For example, if you have the following themes:

  • dark
  • dark_green
  • dark_green_MyComponent

And this code:

<Theme name="dark">
<MyComponent theme="green" />

The above useTheme hook would return the dark_green_MyComponent theme.