Css – the best way to clear the CSS style “float”


I'm pretty accustomed to clearing my floats by using <br style="clear:both"/> but stuff keeps on changing and I am not sure if this is the best practice.

There is a CSS hack (from positioneverything) available that lets you achieve the same result without the clearing div. But… they claim the hack is a little out of date and instead you perhaps should look at this hack. But.. after reading through 700 pages of comments 🙂 it seems there may be some places the latter hack does not work.

I would like to avoid any javascript hacks cause I would like my clearing to work regardless of javascript being enabled.

What is the current best practice for clearing divs in a browser independent way?

Best Solution

Update: In 2014, you should use a clearfix technique that utilized pseudo-elements, like the one mentioned by @RodrigoManguinho. This is the modern way of clearing floats. For an even more up to date method, see Nicholas Gallagher's micro clearfix:

 * For modern browsers
 * 1. The space content is one way to avoid an Opera bug when the
 *    contenteditable attribute is included anywhere else in the document.
 *    Otherwise it causes space to appear at the top and bottom of elements
 *    that are clearfixed.
 * 2. The use of `table` rather than `block` is only necessary if using
 *    `:before` to contain the top-margins of child elements.
.cf:after {
    content: " "; /* 1 */
    display: table; /* 2 */

.cf:after {
    clear: both;

 * For IE 6/7 only
 * Include this rule to trigger hasLayout and contain floats.
.cf {
    *zoom: 1;

Original Answer:

I really don't like using extra non-semantic markup, so I stay away from using a clearing element. Instead of just apply overflow: hidden; to the parent of the float(s) to clear them. Works cross browser, no problem. I believe overflow: auto; also works.

Obviously, it won't work if you want to use a different overflow property, but because of the IE6 expanding box bug, I rarely have a reason to purposely overflow my containers.

See more info on using overflow instead of clear to avoid adding extra markup.