SASS vs SCSS: What Are Differences

When it comes to front-end web development, cascading style sheets (CSS) are the backbone of styling web pages. However, writing and maintaining CSS for large and complex projects can be a daunting task. That’s where pre-processors like SASS and SCSS come into play.

In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities between SASS and SCSS to help you decide which one is the right choice for your next project.

What is SASS

SASS, which stands for Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets, was one of the first CSS pre-processors to gain popularity. It was created by Hampton Catlin in 2006 and later extended by Natalie Weizenbaum. SASS uses indentation and relies on significant whitespace to define nested selectors and properties. SASS files have the .sass extension.

Here’s an example of Sass syntax:

$primary-color: #ff0000

  width: 100%
    background-color: $primary-color

What is SCSS

On the other hand, SCSS, short for Sassy CSS, is a CSS extension that has the same SASS features but uses similar syntax to CSS. It is a superset of CSS, meaning that any valid CSS code is also valid SCSS code. SCSS files use the file extension .scss.

Here is the previous example written in SCSS syntax:

$primary-color: #ff0000;

.container {
  width: 100%;
  .box {
    background-color: $primary-color;

SASS vs. SCSS | What Are Differences

Both SCSS and SASS offer the same core features and functionality. The main difference is their syntax. SCSS uses CSS similar syntax introduced in Sass version 3 and is designed to be a superset of CSS. This means that any valid CSS code is also a valid SCSS code. On the other hand, SASS uses an indentation-based syntax. However, these two preprocessors must be converted to a CSS file before they can be used in an HTML file.

SASS vs. SCSS: Which One to Choose?

The decision between SASS and SCSS ultimately comes down to personal preference and project requirements. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Existing Familiarity: If you’re already comfortable with CSS, SCSS might be the better choice as it closely resembles the CSS syntax.
  • Readability: SASS’s whitespace-based syntax often leads to more readable and elegant code, while SCSS’s similarity to CSS can make it easier for larger teams to collaborate.
  • Community and Support: Both SASS and SCSS have large and active communities with extensive documentation and third-party tools.
  • Integration: Consider the tools and frameworks you’re using. Some might have better integration with one of the preprocessors.
  • Legacy Projects: If you’re working on an older project, it’s worth checking if there are any existing stylesheets in one of the formats.

In practice, many developers choose SCSS due to its CSS-like syntax, making it easier to onboard team members and integrate into existing projects. However, if you prefer a more concise and visually appealing syntax, SASS could be the way to go.

Features of Sass and SCSS

Sass (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) and SCSS (Sassy CSS) provide additional features to CSS. Here are some key features of Sass and SCSS:

  • Variables: Sass and SCSS allow to define variables to store and reuse values throughout your stylesheets.
  • Nesting: With Sass and SCSS, you can nest your CSS selectors within one another. It reflects the HTML structure.
  • Mixins: Mixins allow to define reusable sets of CSS declarations and include them wherever needed. They are similar to functions in programming and can accept arguments to customize their behavior.
  • Inheritance: Sass and SCSS support inheritance through the use of the @extend directive. It allows to share styles from one selector to another
  • Operators and calculations: Sass and SCSS provide arithmetic operators like +, -, *, /, etc., which can be used for calculations within your stylesheets.
  • Partials and imports: Sass and SCSS allow to break your stylesheets into smaller, modular files called partials. These files start with an underscore (_) and can be imported into other Sass/SCSS files using the @import directive.
  • Control directives: Sass and SCSS provide control directives like @if, @for, and @each. They allow to conditionally apply styles or loop over lists or ranges.
  • Comments: Sass and SCSS support both single-line (//) and multi-line (/* */) comments.


To sum up, SASS and SCSS are a preprocessor scripting language that is compiled into CSS. It introduces a number of features and enhancements over regular CSS, such as variables, mixins, nested selectors, and more. SCSS is the newer syntax introduced in Sass version 3 and it’s designed to be a superset of CSS. On the other hand, SASS use indention-based syntax.

If you learn more on SASS, you can check the following articles:

Thank you for reading.

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