Bootstrap includes a wide range of shorthand responsive margin, padding, and gap utility classes to modify an element’s appearance.

Spacing on Bootstrap

Margin and padding

Assign responsive-friendly margin or padding values to an element or a subset of its sides with shorthand classes. Includes support for individual properties, all properties, and vertical and horizontal properties. Classes are built from a default Sass map ranging from .25rem to 3rem.

Using the CSS Grid layout module? Consider using the gap utility.


Spacing utilities that apply to all breakpoints, from xs to xxl, have no breakpoint abbreviation in them. This is because those classes are applied from min-width: 0 and up, and thus are not bound by a media query. The remaining breakpoints, however, do include a breakpoint abbreviation.

The classes are named using the format {property}{sides}-{size} for xs and {property}{sides}-{breakpoint}-{size} for sm,md,lg,xl and xxl.

Whereproperty is one of:

  • m - for classes that set margin
  • p - for classes that set padding

Wheresides is one of:

  • t - for classes that set margin-top or padding-top
  • b - for classes that set margin-bottom or padding-bottom
  • s - for classes that set margin-left or padding-left
  • e - for classes that set margin-right or padding-right
  • x - for classes that set both *-left and *-right
  • y - for classes that set both *-top and *-bottom
  • blank - for classes that set a margin or padding on all 4 sides of the element

Wheresize is one of: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 & auto


Here are some representative examples of these classes:

.mt-0 {
margin-top: 0 !important;

.ms-1 {
margin-left: ($spacer * .25) !important;

.px-2 {
padding-left: ($spacer * .5) !important;
padding-right: ($spacer * .5) !important;

.p-3 {
padding: $spacer !important;

Horizontal centering

Additionally, Bootstrap also includes an .mx-auto class for horizontally centering fixed-width block level content—that is, content that has display: block and a width set—by setting the horizontal margins to auto.

<div class="mx-auto bg-100" style="width: 200px;">Centered element</div>
Centered element

Negative margins

In CSS, margin properties can utilize negative values (padding cannot). These negative margins are disabled by default, but can be enabled in Sass by setting $enable-negative-margins: true. The syntax is nearly the same as the default, positive margin utilities, but with the addition of n before the requested size. Here’s an example class that’s the opposite of .mt-1:

.mt-n1 {
margin-top: -0.25rem !important;


When using display: grid, you can make use of gap utilities on the parent grid container. This can save on having to add margin utilities to individual grid items (children of a display: grid container). Gap utilities are responsive by default, and are generated via our utilities API, based on the $spacers Sass map.

<div class="d-grid gap-3">
  <div class="p-2 bg-light border">Grid item 1</div>
  <div class="p-2 bg-light border">Grid item 2</div>
  <div class="p-2 bg-light border">Grid item 3</div>
Grid item 1
Grid item 2
Grid item 3